Category Archives: British Brides

A Music & Literature Themed Wedding: Claire & Scott

Claire & Scott chose an old movie theatre in as the setting for their ceremony, The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Although they hadn’t even thought about marrying in a theatre, after seeing one in Whitby they loved the idea. “We’d originally planned to marry in Whitby, as it’s a special to place to us both,” Claire told me. “Whilst looking at venues there, we were shown a theatre hidden away at the back of the sea front community centre. We hadn’t thought about marrying in a theatre, but we both fell in love with the idea. In the end, we decided that we’d rather marry closer to home in Sheffield, but the idea of marrying in a theatre stayed with us.”

“After an afternoon on Google, Scott emailed every theatre within a fifty-mile radius of us to ask if they did weddings. The Lantern Theatre was one of the few that replied and it turned out to be barely a mile from our house. When we arrived we fell in love with the place. It’s an old 84-seat Victorian theatre with anaglyph wallpaper and red velvet seats. The staff there were so flexible and open to all our ideas. They even bought a mirrorball so that I could walk down the aisle in spiralling light. They served cocktails in teapots, put together a lighting and music programme so that the ceremony ran without a hitch and Keith – the volunteer who ran the bar – even dressed up in a dapper waistcoat and tie.”

After the ceremony the couple and their guests boarded a old London bus to The Countryside Centre. “We chose The Countryside Centre because it gave us a blank canvas to work with,” Claire continued. “There are no staff there on the day itself so you have complete freedom to use whichever suppliers you want. Though there’s a converted barn and grain store, we chose to hire a marquee to make the most of the beautiful grounds and asked our caterers to set up a steak and fish barbecue, which was fantastic.”

The couple chose a music and literature theme for their day. “Literature and music have always been important to us and during the planning it soon became apparent that though we hadn’t intended to have a theme for the wedding, words and music were a recurring motif. Our invites were designed to look like classic orange and white vintage Penguin paperbacks, with library tickets inside for the RSVP (we’d stamped the wallet in which the library ticket sat with the key dates of our relationship). We used the Smiths’ song title ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ as the title of the paperback/invite.”

“Our place settings followed the Penguin theme, with the guests’ names replacing the author’s and a lyric we’d individually chosen for each guest replacing the title. Inside the place settings were CDs with the key songs from the wedding day. The orders of service that were handed out at the theatre were designed to look like vintage Penguin Plays paperbacks, with the title on the cover taken from a Velvet Underground song. Our readings were taken from books, except for one, which was the lyrics of the Pulp song, ‘Something Changed’.”

“During the service, we exchanged copies of our favourite books, around which the rings were tied on a ribbon. Even the confetti followed the literary theme. Using a heart-shaped holepunch, we punched confetti from the pages of our favourite books.”

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How about a Tattooed Wedding Dress?

When wedding dress designer Jo of The Couture Company first told me about her idea to design a tattoo themed wedding dress I was excited. Super excited. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it before! Whether you’re a tattooed goddess and you want your dress to reflect your own ink, or you’re not quite brave enough to go under the needle but you love the idea of being a tattooed bride, these dresses are just perfect for you.

Designer Jo says, “I have always tried to design gowns that are different and unusual – using unusual colours, doing a traditional victorian bustle gown in fuschia pink, or a big meringue dress but in black. I love the idea of a bride having something totally unique and bespoke to them.”

“I have been a Rock n Roll bride addict for about 2 years and have been totally blown away with the diversity, creativity and individuality of each wedding featured – even if some of the brides wear the same dress, the weddings always look totally different. So that got me thinking about creating a dress that could be customised and unique and symbolic to that bride and her wedding.”

“I have seen so so many beautiful wedding ‘bits’ that are tattoo inspired over the last few months – cakes, jewellery invites, place settings, even couples who get commemorative tattoos on each other to celebrate getting hitched. However I’ve never seen a tattoo themed wedding dress so I thought, ‘why not?'”

“The truth is that the Rock n Roll Brides inspired me, and for this gown I was inspired by the old school sailor tattoos. Don’t forget the dress in these pictures is just an example and we can customise the tattoos on every dress order to the style the bride wants. She can also have the dress in any colour. We are open to brides bringing tattoo ideas to see if it is possible to incorporate their ideas into the gowns. All our tattoos are created using silk embroidery and are accented and highlighted with beads and crystals.”

Don’t you just love it ladies? Also pictured is Jo’s super cute daisy design wedding dress…I am totally gaga over the colour and that massive bow at the back!

Prices for the tattoo dress varies depending on the number and size of ‘tattoos’ wanted as well as what fabric you want the dress made in. However as a starting point, the blank canvas gown pictured – made from silk dupion and is overlaid with silk organza – is £1000. For more info on this, and any of Jo’s wedding dresses, be sure to drop her an email to joanne@the-couture-company.co.uk or call 0121 608 4445. The Couture Company are based in Birmingham, UK, but orders can be completed via email correspondence if you are unable to make it to her studio for fittings.

Exclusive Reader Offer

Jo would like to offer any reader of Rock n Roll Bride who gets in touch, the first two tattoos on her dress absolutely free. Simply quote ‘Rock n Roll Bride’ when you contact her to qualify.

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A Shabby Chic Wedding with Vintage Touches: Hannah & Andy

“Random but fun” was how Hannah & Andy described their Peterborough wedding to me. They bought as many elements into their day as they could, the only rule was they had to have significance to them and their relationship.

They served their favourite food, bangers & mash followed by individual pots of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They also collected as many random jars and bottles from car boot sales and antique shops as they could in the run up, and kept their floral arrangements simple and inexpensive by placing single roses in them for the centrepieces.

“What we really wanted was for the whole day to be fun for us and all the guests, as often at weddings the time can drag or there can be long pauses between sections,”  Hannah explained. “We hired a magician to turn up after the speeches, two roulette tables with croupiers and a photo booth from Say Fromage so people could take their own pics and take a copy of it away with them.”

Hannah wore a stunning Terry Fox gown with a Magpie Vintage necklace made from genuine vintage pieces.

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“Joyfest 2011” A Weekend-Long Festival Wedding: Jen & Rob

“A weekend of celebration” was how Jen & Rob described their festival wedding to me, and that couldn’t have been a more perfect description. Stokes Barn, specialising in self-catering group accommodation, in the Shropshire hills played host.

“We knew we wanted something different,” explained the bride. “We wanted to celebrate with the special people who enrich our lives and who share and understand our values and beliefs. We had the idea of a festival type celebration where we could create a magical, memorable and warm weekend (whatever the weather!) of celebration, relaxation, much merriment, Peace and Love!”

After the ‘legal ceremony’ at a register office on the Friday morning, the couple had a humanist ceremony outside, on the Saturday afternoon, in front of all their guests. “We made our commitment to each other, and shared our aspirations with our guests as they sat on rugs and chairs in a semi circle around us. My brother was our celebrant and our daughter read ‘the Owl and the Pussycat’ and my son read ‘The Art of a good relationship’.”

“We are not practising pagans but are pagans by heart and believe deeply in our connection with Mother Earth,” Jen continued. “Therefore we wanted to find a peaceful and natural environment where our friends and family could also share with us the beauty of nature and of the countryside. We found Stokes Barn, the most perfect location imaginable, a place which provided shelter but also allowed our guests to camp while enjoying views stretching across Shropshire.   Our daughter came up with the name ‘Joyfest’, a perfect description of what we were hoping to create: A Festival of Joy!”

For catering, the couple asked their guests to bring their favourite dish instead of wedding gifts. This not only meant they had a really unique and delicious meal, but that everyone was able to feel involved in the day. “We asked people to bring a dish for the Friday night buffet and, if they wanted, to bring something to decorate the courtyard or marquee. We wanted to make the whole event very personal to every single person that was there. We wanted our friends and family to feel like they were truly a part of it and that they could make themselves completely at home!”

“We hired a bouncy castle which was a complete success with not only the 46 children who celebrated with us, but with many of our adult friends and family too,” the couple continued. “We asked people also to contribute to the entertainment so our guests organised tug of war competitions and rounders. We also put on a morning of archery.”

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A Pop of Neon: A 50s Meets 80s Styled Bridal Shoot

When wedding blogger and stylist Sonia of Want that Wedding send me this neon inspiration shoot I fell in love immediately. I’m a bit of a colour fiend (no duh!) and neon is a trend that I’m love love loving on the high street right now. I’m super excited to see it filter down into bridal styling and I’d love to see some real Rock n Roll Brides rocking out this look on their wedding days. What do you think?

The shoot took place at the beautiful One Marylebone, London. Their bright white ‘galleries’ room made the perfect backdrop for the shoot. The white setting really makes the neon accents pop!

“The inspiration for this shoot came about during a brainstorming session with Kat Hill of Kat Hill Fotographie,” Sonia explained. “We were discussing various themes for a shoot when this idea just suddenly popped out ‘how about a 50s shoot with an 80s twist?’ I’m not even sure who said it first but we both fell in love with the idea.”

“During my research that followed I became utterly captivated with a neon wedding shoot and I just knew I wanted to incorporate neon bursts of colour. I love the near total whiteness with the pops of bright colours and neon, it’s really edgy and cool and it’s a pretty way to incorporate this ‘in your face’ colour palette into your wedding day.”

“I wanted to create a cute candy cake station. I thought it’d look adorable to display yummy treats with bold pops of colour and neon detailing. It’s easy to order neon food colouring and neon sprinkles off the net. I ordered a few neon knick knacks to get into the creative flow and I particularly adore the LOVE sign, it’s so retro and cute!”

“The wedding bouquet is a statement piece, pretty and bold with the neon edges on the rose petals. It’s a nod to the dip dye trend and is an incredibly easy thing to recreate. The cake was purchased from good ole’ M & S and was decorated with some of the dipped rose heads. All you need is a can of neon spray paint!!”

“I also love that the bright make-up, 50s hairstyle and accessories, neon beads, cuff and earrings plus the beautiful 50s wedding dresses with brightly coloured underskirts pull the whole look together. It shows what you bridestobe can achieve if you put your minds to it! Who says neon can’t be used in your wedding?”

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A Quirky East London Pub Wedding with a Nod to the 1940s: Becca & Dan

For Becca & Dan, a formal wedding was never on the cards. “We wanted the day to be about our guests not all the attention on us,” the bride wrote. “There were no formalities, just tea & cakes followed by pie & mash then a good all knees up in an east London pub with Billie Holiday playing & a free bar all night!”

Becca got ready at Zetter Townhouse, a really stylish house with quirky vintage decor & stuffed animals. It proved to be the perfect place for some pre-ceremony snaps with her bridesmaid and really set the tone for the rest of the wedding day.

The bride wore an unusual and beautiful Delphine Manivet wedding dress with nude Kurt Geiger shoes and a vintage headpiece. For the couple’s portraits in a local park (with their dog – I love this!) Becca added a fur trimmed coat.

After a ceremony in Hackney town hall, the lucky wedding guests were treated to a good old fashioned party with a nod to the 1940s at The Crown Pub in Victoria Park, East London.

The couple booked Joanna Brown to capture the fun. “Jo was truly brilliant,” Becca continued. “She understood what we wanted and put us at ease straight away. We knew we’d picked the best girl for the job and she captured our day just perfectly.  We really feel that if you weren’t there on the day, our photos really tell the story of our wedding.”

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