Category Archives: British Brides

A Darkly Dramatic Gothic Wedding: Alix & Zach

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Some of you may remember Alix & Zach from their gothic tea party engagement shoot. Well I’m thrilled to be able to share their wedding with you today – and guess what, the smoke came with them!

After getting ready at The Rookery Hotel (somewhere which I’ve actually stayed – its a beautiful hotel!) the couple were married at Lauderdale House in Highgate. The reception was held at somewhere that’s fast becoming one of my favourite London venues, The Metal Works in Islington.

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Newlywed Alix told me all about it. “We wanted everything to have a very lush, maturely decadent, and darkly dramatic feel.  Our theme was more romantic from a by-gone age than modern Goth. We were inspired by all that is dark and whimsical…a fusion of Victorian vamp, fanciful garden beauty and Old-World luxe tweaked with flavours of Rock n Roll and Carnival/Circus…elements included mismatched French style furniture, vintage silver ware abound with roses and ostrich feathers and candelabras all in a rich palette of blood red, deep plums, black and white.”

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“There were many elements that made our wedding a little bit different and very Rock n Roll,” she continued. “I walked down the aisle to Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses – and when guests arrived at the ceremony we had string quartet versions of Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Aerosmith and Metallica playing.  We wanted to incorporate an ancient Celtic handfasting ceremony as a nod to my Irish heritage which our celebrant was happy to do.  We added a paragraph to the program to explain what it was about so it wasn’t lost on the guests!”

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As part of their day, the couple went away with their photographer Lisa Devlin for a photo shoot in a nearby cemetery. They brought along smoke pellets and the photos are quite frankly stunning! Certainly worth some time away from their guests I reckon. “We loved doing the photo shoot in a beautiful ivy covered Victorian cemetery – it started to rain and I had to clamber over brambles in 4” heels but it was totally worth it and I cannot believe Lisa managed to get such an amazing smoke effect from the smoke pellets – ever since we did our engagement shoot I feel nothing looks right without a little bit of smoke wafting into view!”

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“We weren’t too fussed about doing a first dance as we totally ran out of time to do any choreography/come up with an original idea/figure out something funny to do.  Speaking to The Metal Works venue a few weeks before the wedding they described the time the circus came to the venue. My jaw dropped with excitement as this worked perfectly with the carnival twist that was creeping into the wedding.  So for the first dance to “Without You” by Motley Crue Zach and I twirled around on the dancefloor for about 20 seconds and then the aerial silk performers took over to finish the dance!  It looked great and was the last thing anyone expected.”

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“As I am Vegan and Zach is vegetarian it was important to us that the food we had at the wedding reflected that.  We worked with the very Rock n Roll and super talented Jake from Octopus Food on creating a menu that everyone couldn’t help but love because it was just so damn tasty – even if it was completely meat free! It was a bit of a gamble especially for the evening BBQ – but everyone said they loved the food so that was awesome!”

“One of many funny bits of our wedding was when one of the evening guests arrived, dressed in drag as Nancy Spungen, along with his friend dressed up as Sid Vicious!  The dress code for the evening was Rock n Roll Royalty so this was hysterical.  But even better was the look on my Dad’s face!”

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The couple DIYed a lot of their wedding with some extra help at the last minute with on-the-day-styling from Josie from Savoir Weddings. “We DIYed a huge amount for the wedding mainly because I couldn’t find in shops or on the internet the things I envisaged for our wedding.  My Mum and Dad made jam using fruit from their strawberry farm in the Cotswolds for the favours along with a ‘love potion tea’ complete with love spell.  My Dad also made the wooden A and Z letters which he painted white, covered in black lace and then attached to black and white striped ribbon to hang – they worked out to cost about £20 for the 2 which was much so cheaper than buying something similar and turned out way more on-theme. I designed the pin badges, programs and flags, with a huge amount of help from my friend & graphic design guru, Colin.”

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“We weren’t allowed to throw confetti at the ceremony venue so instead we got the guests to wave flags and streamers.  The streamers were made again by my Dad and me by screwing small metal hooks into wooden cake dowels and then threading black and white ribbon and lace through the hook. I got everyone to collect jam jars which I covered with black lace, these then became candle holders and vases. I wanted to have a guestbook that also doubled up as a decoration so it would catch the guests’ eyes so they wouldn’t leave without signing it!  I cut out some red and white hearts some I covered with some of our favourite bands’ album covers in corresponding colours like Guns N Roses, T Rex, New York Dolls, Black Sabbath etc.  The hearts were attached to bakers twine with pegs so guests could write their message and peg it back on – by the end of the night we had touching messages graffiti-ed all over the hearts and an interactive wedding decoration to boot!”

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“The place cards were made from black bracket gift tags which I bought from etsy I then printed the guest’s name and added 2 metal studs for a bit of punk attitude. Finally, I made the wedding cake, and wedding cupcakes –which of course I HAD to baring in mind I own a bakery. We also hired quite a lot too, obviously not many venues provide black tablecloths and black studded plate chargers as the norm!  This bumped the décor cost up a bit but was totally worth it.  We hired the French lounge furniture from Prop Solutions – who were really helpful and eager to work within our budget unlike some other hire companies I approached.  The furniture looked great against the cobbled street in the group shots.  I bought some battery operated fairy lights which we cellotaped into the shade so it could be switched on when it got dark.”

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Ahh there’s just so much to take it but I love it. Alix & Zach really certainly have released my inner goth. I love everything.

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A Wedding in the Woods & A Bride Wearing Antlers: Ian & Jo

OK so it isn’t much surprise that I pretty much died when I first saw Ian & Jo’s wedding. The woods! The campfire! The bride wearing freakin’ antlers! Oh my lord I’m so thrilled to be blogging this baby.

“Our wedding was had a subtle vintage 1920’s summer fete theme,” Jo wrote, “We love art, creativity and community. The things that make us human. The wedding was never about me & Ian exclusively, marriage to us means the joining of many, a coming together. It was our opportunity to share our love for each other, and extend it to our loved ones. That day was for all of us. I think that vibe came across.”

The wedding took place at Lord Hyde wood in Watford. “Tony the Farmer next door lent us his field for camping which we shared with his beautiful, pregnant old breed cattle” the bride continued. “We made as much of the decorations, clothing and games that we could with help from friends and family. I would definitely recommend that. Don’t follow tradition, do it the way you want. What exactly is a ‘favour’ anyway?”

“What made the day work was the wonderful family and friends that we have. All of whom threw themselves into the community spirit of the day, getting involved with the set up, the mucking in, clearing up. It was a real team effort and the vibe was one of togetherness and love. Life is good when we are in relationship with each other in an open, honest and loving way. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone and the day shone with magic.”

Jo wore a dress from Jane Bourvis on Portabello Road which she customised with vintage lace and pearls purchased from markets and from Annie’s Vintage. Her incredible headpiece (seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it!) was hand made by bride with help from her chief Bridesmaid, Nicole. “We think there are 4,000 beads all hand stitched and it took about 90 hours to complete. The design was inspired from 1920’s headdresses.”

Aaaah-mazing. Oh and Pete (photographer Emma Case‘s partner in crime) made a video on his iPhone too. Whoooa. Love it.

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A Humanist, DIY Wedding in London: Emi & Adam

I’m officially dying over this wedding. Overly dramatic maybe but oh Lordy how beautiful is everything? Emi sure has that ethereal look down. Her Baby Ceylon gown (found on eBay) and vintage veil combo is just perfect…and don’t even get me started on her short evening dress by Jones + Jones and Jeffrey Campbell American Flag boots. Seriously…

The DIY wedding was held at Blo Norton Hall in London (its hard to believe this place is in the city!) The humanist ceremony took place 5 years to they day that the couple met. After the touching ceremony, the speeches were held outside in the beautiful grounds. The informal wedding breakfast was also held outside.

“I don’t know how to put our inspiration into words,” Emi wrote. “The main thing for us is that our wedding was all about everything and everyone we loved.  We wanted it to be a mish mash of vintage and DIY but to keep it beautiful and not too contrived.  So much was made by friends and family, from the bridesmaids dresses, the decorations, the cake, the food and even the flowers.”

“We had originally planned to marry outside on the lawn, but as the day approached the weather was being a little ‘British’ so on the morning of the wedding we moved it indoors to what would later be the dancefloor. We pulled the curtains, lit all the candles, littered the floor with petals and switched on the heart! It couldn’t have been more perfect (and as it was the sun shone all day…)”

“Adam and many of his friends are all musicians, but we actually didn’t want the day to be too Rock n Roll – otherwise it would’ve turned into one big jamming session!  We wanted it to be more like an English garden party, lots of friends, lots of food, lots of love, and croquet on the lawn.  And that’s exactly what we got – oh, and one hell of a party at the end of it!”

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A Backyard Handfasting & Rock Festival Wedding: Becca & Gary

Becca & Gary’s wedding looks like it was a lot of fun, dispite the rain! The first part of the day was a handfasting ceremony and morning reception in the bride’s Gran’s back garden. Afterwards the couple went to the registry office for the ‘legal bit’ and the day was rounded off by them going to Nozstock Festival and staying in their very own honeymoon suite – a tipi!

“We knew straight away that we didn’t want a traditional wedding and we both loved the idea of running away together to get married in secret but at the same time we wanted all our friends there too,” the bride told me.”We’d both been to weddings that felt impersonal and where we’d both felt nervous and out of place so our mission was to try and make the day as chilled out and as comfortable for everyone as possible. Gary came up with idea of going to a festival instead of a wedding reception and it all sort of fell into place.”

“My Gran’s garden was 5 minutes away from Nozstock and as soon as Noz confirmed the festival dates we started to organise a wedding. Everything we did we did because we wanted to. We didn’t have a hen or a stag do because we didn’t want one, we didn’t have speeches at the wedding because neither of us wanted to make one and we fed everyone muesli and prunes because we like muesli and prunes!”

“Some ladies want to feel like a princess on their wedding day but I’ve got an obsession with 80’s hair metal and all I wanted really was to feel like a rock star for the day! I didn’t plan to wear aviators at all, I grabbed them at the last minute with the vague idea that by wearing them I might encourage the sun to come out… Looking at the photos I’m soooo glad I did though as they looked incredibly cool. Turning up at the registry office with muddy boots, slightly trashed wedding dress and tattoos with our two witnesses felt pretty Rock n Roll and then arriving at the festival with Sassy our photographer definitely fulfilled some of my rock star dreams.”

Becca wore an Ian Stuart dress which she bought second hand on eBay. “I was gutted when I woke up and it was raining but in the end we were glad that it did as the mist added to the magical atmosphere and meant there was no option of being precious about my dress,” she told me. “I think we well and truely rocked the outdoor rainy wedding with no plan B.”

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A Heavy Metal, Karaoke Party: Julia & Steve

Julia & Steve found their photographer Hannah Millard after seeing a feature on her on Rock n Roll Bride. It’s always so extra special to me to share weddings that my blog has ‘helped’ in some way and I’m really excited that this gorgeous couple were able to get such great wedding photographs because of Rock n Roll Bride. Happy face!

Hannah clearly agrees. “Woahhh,” she writes. “This wedding was just… wow. I mean. Just… OK, I’m having trouble putting it into words, it was just pure Rock n Roll. Julia & Steve are an awesome couple and they definitely know how to party. There was vodka and tattoo artists and rock band karaoke and Julia’s brother DOVE INTO A CAKE. It was amazing.”

The wedding was held at the University of Nottingham, where the couple had met when living in halls, almost exactly 10 years to the date of the wedding. It was also where Steve proposed in December 2010, by the frozen lake, so needless to say the location was a very special one to them. “It was awesome being able to hold the reception back in one of the halls of residence, as everyone was able to stay in the student rooms so it was just like old times for us and our friends from University,” Julia told me.

“Although our wedding followed the traditional format for the day, we just tried to make everything as personal as possible – we saw the day as the biggest chance we would ever get to celebrate with all our friends and family, and we just wanted the day to reflect all the various aspects of our personalities,” the bride continued.  “We also wanted to make sure that our guests felt relaxed and able to wear whatever they wanted, drink and eat as much as they liked and go a little bit crazy! We were very lucky in the sense that our families are both open-minded and so we didn’t have any pressure on us to do things by the book or in a certain way.”

“We took inspiration from a variety of places – ideas from festivals and award ceremonies we’d been to, plus Day of the Dead and skull themed websites and blogs. I think what maybe made us Rock n Roll was that we didn’t have a formal feel to the day, and tried to create an ‘anything goes’ atmosphere so that people could just have a really good time.We tried to focus our budget on things that we actually wanted at the wedding and things that would contribute to a big party atmosphere rather than things like chair covers, posh cars and silver service food.”

“We did as much as we could ourselves and cheaply – from making decorations to buying things from Etsy to getting a close friend to drive me to the ceremony instead of hiring a car. And by the end of the night there was stage diving a-plenty and crowd-surfing across the dance floor (by both the bride and groom, plus guests), which turned the disco into a pretty Rock n Roll affair! We are really lucky to have such amazing friends and family (some of whom are into the rock and metal scene, many not at all) who all really got into the spirit of the day.”

Putting their personal stamp on their wedding was clearly very important to the couple, and they also wanted their friends & family involved where they could be. So, the weekend of the Royal wedding, they hired a cottage and had a big ‘wedding DIY party’ to make all the decorations and favours.

The entertainment was one of the most important things to this couple. On the day, the couple hired a temporary tattoo artist to inject something different into the day – that’s not something you’d usually see at a wedding but I bet the guests were queuing up to have a go! They also had a rock karaoke band called One Night Standeoke who played in the evening.

“As the wedding had a ‘Rockstar’ theme we thought it would be awesome to let people unleash their inner rockstar on stage (especially me, as I love rock karaoke and will use any excuse to get up and sing),” Julia remembered. “It seems we had more people with inner rockstars at our wedding than we thought, including aunts and uncles who leapt at the chance. The DJs were friends of ours who are rock/metal DJs that we met through our involvement with Download Festival (where we had out joint hen and stag do’s!) and who were fortunately happy to play our whole, long range of song requests, from thrash metal to power ballads and Lady GaGa. The band and DJs were all awesome, and really helped create the party atmosphere we wanted.”

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An Upcycled, Recycled & Indie Wedding: Mel & Carl

The bride’s love of all things indie, unusual, hand made, recycled and upcycled was the catalyst to the theme of this creative wedding. After a hand-tying ceremony, where their friends and family all added a strip of fabric to their hands, Mel & Carl invited their friends & family to a laid back and family-central wedding reception.

A number of the wedding attendees helped to set up the wedding beforehand hanging decorations including the ‘lollipop tree’ (lollipops bought from Etsy hung from a willow tree), vintage fabric bunting, origami birds, vintage toys and games, wildflowers and Victorian birdcages (be sure to check out all the amazing details in the gallery below!)

They even had a homemade candy buffet ‘staffed’ by their son and homemade super food cookies, popcorn and wasabi peas served in newspaper cones which were homemade by Mel.

The bride wore a dress found on eBay £80 which she pimped with the help of her best friend Sarah. The applique swallow was an antique beading decoration found at a flea market and the flowers and beads were also vintage, sourced from Kempton Market. They also added turquoise cord to match the brides shoes.

Mel’s bouquet was designed by Jen of The Ritzy Rose. She wanted it to match the electric and unusual vibe of the day and so none the individual pieces really ‘matched.’  They added dinky toys and animals to mirror Mel’s love of vintage toys. The bride’s beautiful and unusual necklace was bought from Andra Aitken of ‘Pejolu‘ on Etsy.

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