Category Archives: British Brides

Vivienne Westwood, DIY Décor & Pink Plastic Flamingos: Mads & Nick

Mads & Nick are one seriously cool couple and I’m so thrilled to share their wedding with you today. I just know you’re going to love it!

“Our wedding was a hot mess of all-things-wedding and us,” Mads explained. “I don’t think we did anything revolutionary, all the traditional parts of the wedding were there; we just made sure we took the time to think everything through and make sure it was right – for us.”

“From the pre-ceremony music being a collection of our favourite film scores (How to Tame your Dragon anybody? Ahh  just me and Nick then), to the inadvertently weepiest of readings; eight dreamy looking bridesmaids and nine hot groomsmen and our tables being named after ‘Our favourite things’ (inc Midsomer Murders and Arnold ‘The best activities for your health are humping and pumping’ Schwarzenegger – we had no shame!). We had our friend on guitar after dinner, photos in front of an abandoned concrete barn instead of the lake, pink flamingos, a Lulu Guiness corsage bridal ‘bouquet (instead of a traditional bouquet)’, funk and films on in the evening – who doesn’t want to watch Predator in a deckchair under a blanket with a Pimms on the go? Then at the end of the night we stole a taxi, ate cake and I got to take my spanx off. Rock n Roll!”

The ceremony took place at Hungerford Town Hall and the reception was held in a friend’s barn. Mads looked incredible in her Vivienne Westwood ensemble -both her dress and her shoes were by my favourite designer – and Nick wore a bespoke suit from Saville Row.

“We made our own gin favours by making blackberry and pear gin – (mix equal parts fruit, sugar and gin then leave in a cupboard rotating occasionally, for three months) then had loads of fun gotgineverywhereandgotprettydrunk – pipette-ing gin into mini bottles we got from Hobbycraft and making them look cute with wish labels,” Mads continued when I asked about any DIY elements in their wedding. “I also made my own runners using Cath Kidston fabric so our tables were colourful. They weren’t perfect, the edges were cut using pinking scissors and weren’t ‘finished’ which meant they did they fray, but I honestly don’t think anyone noticed/cared!”

“Finally, rather than just have a wedding cake, as I have such a sweet tooth, we decided to enlist our friends to help us create a cake stall – which turned into a childhood cake-dream come true and surpassed our wildest dreams, bought everyone together over tea and coffee and looked/tasted amazing!”

Amazing indeed!

“I was given the advice,” the bride concluded, “‘Don’t worry if something isn’t perfect; no-one but you will know’ which proved invaluable in the final months of planning. Also, when planning your wedding pick what’s most important to you and work around it. Our money went on our food (there was never any doubt we’d have anyone but the Pot Kiln catering our wedding) so rather than have a hotel/wedding venue we chose a barn which balanced our budget out and was a compromise we were happy with.”

“At times it meant working harder as we had to think of everything – sourcing festival loo’s (when did I ever envisage myself doing that as bride?), putting seat pads on chairs, organising lighting – Big Top Mania made that barn bad ass – but we’d do it all again tomorrow as it meant we could have our venue exactly as we wanted it.”

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A Locally-Sourced Vintage Wedding: Marie-Claire & Nick

Can you guess what initially drew me to Marie-Claire & Nick’s wedding? Yep…her Fur Coat No Knickers vintage wedding dress of course! Marie-Claire also got her wonderful vintage veil from the store and her shoes from Rachel Simpson (yep, another one of my favourites!)

“I guess I didn’t want a regular corporate feel wedding with lilies, tight white roses and a white bodice dress!” Marie-Claire told me when I asked her what inspired their wedding. “So I had a look around for alternative things and found Fur Coat No Knickers and my red dress!”

“From there I decided I’d like something quite vintage and low key. We tried to use suppliers which were in our area to keep it local – all the flowers came from a mile up the road and the singer Kirsty Macleod is one of our neighbours. Nick’s Mum also made chutney as favours for our wedding and his brother designed the label. Our invitations came from Dottie Creations (you can see them here.)”

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A Relaxed, Boho Wedding: Laura & Graeme

Laura & Graeme were married at Marle Place, Brenchley which perfectly suited their laid-back boho wedding. “It is a peaceful, privately owned Wealden garden, ten acres of formal planting and many more acres of woodland and orchard,” Laura explained. “None of our guests had ever heard of or been to Marle Place, before and neither had we. I didn’t find it on my original wedding venue searches, eventually I found it by searching for something like ‘secret garden’. It has been described as a hidden gem and I totally agree.”

Their photographer Joanna Brown agrees, “As I drove to Laura’s parents house I totally got it that Kent is described as the garden of England… Field upon field of fruit, rolling hills, and acres of sky I decided there and then that I loved Kent and I looked at the blue sky and just knew that this wedding was going to be gorgeous it had all the ingredients for a belter and boy it did not disappoint.”

“A wedding is full of beautiful things, dresses, flowers, tea cups (which this wedding had in bucket loads) but what really makes a wedding is the people and the story of the day unfolding with real emotion and meaning and I saw this every minute of the day.  I loved it when Laura got ready and it was just her and her mum savoring that moment like a rite of passage it felt really symbolic and then to witness her Dad coming in to see her for the first time and his reaction {and Laura’s} was so precious it actually made me cry it was so tender and honest.  I loved also the bridesmaids when they saw Laura for the first time and they could not contain their excitement of seeing her in her dress.  Equally I loved Graeme and the boys eagerly awaiting the wedding party to arrive and the pacing around to calm his nerves at one point he even went to the corner shop.”

The couple hired three Giant Hat Katas instead of a traditional marquee, because they wanted a less formal or traditional wedding. “We wanted a boho, relaxed feel to the day and they were amazing! My brother and his wife  made us various signs for the reception including Parking, Rest Rooms, Graeme hearts Laura 23.07.11 etc. I loved them! I filled a basket up with flip-flops and they made a sign saying ‘Help Yourself’; these were placed in front of the decks for our guests to take if they wanted to take their heels off to dance. They had all gone by half way through the night!”

“We also hired various vintage accessories from Vintage Flair; tea cups and saucers, milk jugs, napkins, candlesticks, bunting, cake knife, cake tablecloth etc. I bought lots of different tea light holders (from Velvet Wedding and Live, Laugh, Love ) to decorate the exterior/gardens and also floor lanterns. I also bought heart table name holders and large manilla luggage labels as table names (to match our manilla invites).”

Laura wore ‘Zachary’ by Delphine Manivet. She wanted something boho in style and this fitted the bill wonderfully. She also wore a vintage headpiece and jewellery from Vintage Bridal Jewellery. Her bridesmaids wore nude coloured dresses of their own choosing (from various high street stores) and nude peep toe shoes from ASOS.

So beautiful! (and ps how cool is that final shot of the boys by the pool!?) Oh Joanna Brown you are so clever!

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A Brightly Coloured Floral Explosion of a Wedding: Sam & Dave

OK so don’t hate me…but there’s no Thursday Treats or Post it Notes this week or next week as I’m off galavanting in the US of A. However I hope I can make it up to you with today’s beautiful wedding (and the promise of a MASSIVE bumper edition of Treats and some extra special wedding and business tips on my return!)

Sam & Dave were married in London in July. After a church ceremony the couple and their guests all walked down the road to Wanstead Golf Club. “I wouldn’t say we were that Rock n Roll really. We just did what we wanted and tried not to think about what we ‘should’ be doing and people’s expectations,” the bride explained. “We tried to do it on the cheap and make what we could ourselves. I even just called a cab to take me to the church as I didn’t see the need to waste money on something that was just dropping me up the road!”

“We found it a bit annoying when people in the lead up to the wedding asked what the ‘theme’ was. I hate ‘the theme’. The ‘theme’, we explained to them, was that we were in love and getting married. And that was it. We just wanted to be surrounded by things we loved or thought were funny, whether they went together or not. But I guess if there was a theme it was a bit of an indoor fete feel. There was lots of bunting and fun stuff. Lots of colour (it was a bit like Gay Pride had thrown up all over it) and pretty much everything we’d done ourselves.”

Sam wore a vintage dress from Elizabeth Avey with leopard print, peep-toe Louboutin’s and a flower head garland, “I tend to wear quite flamboyant stuff, so my choice of dress was extremely modest for me – so I knew I wanted a bit of a statement on my head,” Sam continued. “When Rihanna appeared on X Factor last year she wore a big flowery headband and I really wanted something similar. So my Mum and I spent an afternoon together with lots of red wine and we made it from a load of old silk flowers she’s had stuffed at the back of her cupboard for years, which we wired on to a 99p Superdrug hair band! I was a bit unsure of whether to wear it as I was worried it looked a bit ridiculous and perhaps as if I’d just stepped off a carnival float, but I’m glad I did.”

The groom looked dapper in his bespoke green suit and oversized red bow tie, and the bridesmaids wore pink. “I had three main bridesmaids: my god-daughter Amber (14) and my nieces Rebecca (13) and Charis (8). The two elder ones wore shocking pink, 50’s style A-line dresses (I got the pattern from eBay and then my Mum made them) with a bright red sash with a huge bow on the back (bought from H&M.) I bought Charis a different dress – a sparkly red sequined party dress from eBay with a big tulle hooped skirt, which she wore with a pair of sparkly red Dorothy shoes that she chose from Accessorize (like me, she’s like a magpie when it comes to party dresses and sparkly stuff!) I just wanted her to have as much fun as possible and it to be a bit ‘fancy dress’ as opposed to having everyone matching.”

“I also had 5 older sort-of-bridesmaids – or wing-women, if you like (my best friends.) I asked them to buy any dress as long as it was a really bright block colour, and to team it with red shoes. So they looked a bit like a rainbow! Paula (canary yellow), Kate (red), Ash (pink), Nat (bright blue) and Caroline (orange.)”

They wanted to keep their reception casual and fuss-free. They served bangers n mash for the meal and  sparkly cupcakes for afters which were a part of the centrepieces on each table. They’d made cake stands out of mismatched crockery bought from charity shops. Like her headband, Sam wanted the flowers to be eclectic and not over-styled either. “The brief I gave to the local florist was that I wanted bright flowers – anything – but for them to be a bit messy and to look as if they’d been grabbed from a Nanna’s garden on the way. I was a bit worried that it might all look really wrong, especially with the cake flowers and the silk flowers on my head, but I loved it. It was just an over-the-top mess of colour. A bit like me.”

“We’d made up red and white striped candy bags with old school pick ‘n’ mix for our favours,” Sam continued, “and attached a personalised vintage-style temporary tattoo to each (either a heart with a dagger or a swallow – but both said ‘Sam and Dave’). Also, everyone got one of those squealing rocket balloons in their sweetie bag, which NEVER fail to make people laugh. There were rocket balloons squealing all over the place which was exactly what we’d anticipated.”

“Dave painted our wedding invites too. We wanted to have a royal crest, as a bit of a joke because of the royal wedding – so we made our own. It’s got the Wanstead herons on (as this is where we live) wearing our bow-ties, the cat at the top is our cat Fidget and he’s holding the Brazilian flag, because this is where we met. Our friend Tim drew the pictures of us to drop in. We wanted something really different and personal, and don’t like to take ourselves too seriously.”

How awesome are these guys?

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Candy Coloured Cuteness: Lucy & Michael

Lucy & Michael’s candy coloured cute-as-hell wedding stole my heart! The pastel colour palate is so fresh and totally perfect for their DIY wedding. Lucy & Michael actually found their photographer, the fabulous Shell De Mar, through an engagement shoot featured on Rock n Roll Bride too so it’s really cool that I’m allowed to feature their gorgeous wedding too.

“We knew that it was important to have a wedding photographer who understood the style and inspiration for our big day and would capture all of the details we had so painstakingly created,” Lucy told me. “We wanted a fun and creative record of our day rather than a set of stuffy portraits. We discovered Shell De Mar when we saw a seaside engagement shoot that was featured on Rock n Roll Bride. We immediately fell in love with her use of light and colour, and the way she captured her couples.”

As readers of Rock n Roll Bride, the couple knew that wanted to create a wedding that reflected their personalities (yey!) Lucy explained, “When we started planning our wedding, we wanted to make sure our personalities were reflected in every last detail, that we incorporated the wedding traditions people would expect without being ruled by them, but most of all that we threw an amazing party with something for everyone that all of our friends and family would enjoy. I scoured the internet and took inspiration from wedding blogs (I am a daily Rock n Roll Bride reader!) and magazines, pulling out all of the elements we loved and adding a few extra ideas of our own.”

“The theme for the day was vintage village fete. When we first went to see our reception venue, a traditional village hall out in the countryside, we knew it was perfect for our theme and it even had beams to string our bunting from! We loved the idea of having a sweet table and a cheese table as these were one of our favourite ‘wedding trends’, and Michael suggested that we could set them up as market stalls to tie in with our village fete theme. After numerous prototypes Michael and my Dad constructed amazing market stall backdrops for our cheese, sweet and cake shops.”

“Another wedding trend we were excited about was having a photo booth at the reception. I mentioned the idea to my brother and he not only created a photo booth computer programme using a camera linked up to a laptop, but also made us a ‘booth’ and created a website to showcase all the photos after the day. We topped it off with a dressing up box, including of course moustaches on sticks as no indie wedding would be complete without these!”

“Music was also a really important part of our day as it is a huge passion for Michael! We had a vintage record player set up for our arrival drinks, and created a background playlist for during the wedding breakfast using soundtracks from our favourite films. Instead of hiring a wedding DJ, we decided to ask Michael’s friends to each do a DJ set for us, and Michael even played a few tunes on the night! We ended up with a really great variety of music which was all carefully chosen and meant something to us.”

As you can see, DIY was also something the couple wanted to tackle for their wedding. They made a number of things themselves including the save the dates, the photo booth and the candy buffet. “We love making things and are always working on DIY projects, so we DIY’d as much of the wedding as we possibly could!” Lucy continued. “We really enjoyed coming up with an idea for the wedding, then trying to think up a way to make it into a reality. We started off with handmade save the dates styled like vintage postcards (complete with vintage stamps). When it came to the invitations we decided to use a professional designer we found on etsy to design the suite which we then printed and assembled. We also added bus tickets for all our guests coming on the route master bus!”

“My Mum and I created most of the decorative elements – from placecards, table plans and sweet shop labels to tissue paper pom poms, cushions and napkin rings. Mum also created the beautiful Mr & Mrs letters we displayed on our top table. Mum now has her own website (spottydaisy.com) and creates a whole range of handmade and bespoke wedding decorations and occasion cards to order. I think the biggest DIY project I took on was the wedding favours. I loved the idea of having little thank you gifts, but couldn’t find anything that would appeal to all of our guests, so I decided to make favours tailored to each person. I sewed corsages for the ladies, monogrammed handkerchiefs for the men and then handmade all of the favour boxes.”

Oh this is so cute and a wedding I wish I could have been at!

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A CMYK Themed Wedding: Rebekah & David

When Rebekah & David’s wedding landed in my inbox a couple of weeks ago I just about let out a ‘whoop’ of joy! Colour colour everywhere, what’s not to love? Their CMYK theme is just perfect….perfect!

“Shortly after our engagement, David suggested that we have a CMYK wedding” Rebekah told me. “Graphic design is a massive part of our lives and to base our wedding on the colours that make up a lot of printed design work (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key Black) made so much sense to us. It was so much fun applying CMYK theme to our day, from table numbers, to my wedding dress to our bridesmaids.”

The wedding took place at the church they attend regularly, followed by a reception at The Roundhouse in Derby. They clearly put a lot of work and thought into the décor, including their fabulous and unique guest book idea, “We produced our own guest book by using a series of postcards that Dave designed and then we had guests write on them and peg them to a washing line, it was a great visual effect,” they said.

I know you’re all thinking ‘The dress Kat, what about her dress?!?’ Well Rebekah’s dress was made by True Bride which bought from Lori G Bridal. The team at the store also custom-made her fabulous multi coloured petticoat which she wore underneath the gown. “The colours in my petticoat were a solution to my desire to have CMYK on the dress,” she told me. “It wasn’t actually full petticoat, but individual square pieces of netting pinched up, like a handkerchief, and sewn on to one of the layers of my dress. I bought metres and metres of the netting from my local market and it worked a treat. The wonderful seamstress at the bridal shop dd any amazing job of realising my vision!”

Her bridesmaids all adopted one CMYK colour and bought their dresses from various high street stores. They wore their own shoes and each girl even found a pair of Converse trainers in their colour to wear in the evening! The girl’s also each had a different colour bouquet to match and the bride had a bunch of white blooms. The result is certainly dramatic and modern. I love it!

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