Category Archives: British Brides

Rachel & Dale’s Fabulously Theatrical Goth Wedding

Rachel & Dale may have got married in Vegas first, but having a goth perfect UK wedding was also very important to them. The couple, who’s outrageous punk rock engagement session I featured back in July, told me all about their awesome wedding, both here and in Viva Las Vegas! Rock music, choreographed lights, smoke machines  and dry icewere what was required for this fabulously theatrical wedding!

“We knew we didn’t want a conventional wedding, not being exactly a conventional couple so we eloped to Las Vegas in August and had Elvis do the deed for us,” Rachel told me. “We only told a few people we were going. We had a fantastic few days in Vegas then hired a convertible Mustang and drove through Death Valley and across Yosemite National Park – including having to sleep in the car one night, not easy for a 6 foot tall groom! Although my wedding dress made a surprisingly comfy pillow.”

“We drove through to San Francisco and stayed for a week. While we were there we popped into the PictureMachine (a very fine tattoo establishment) and Dale got an appointment set up for some new ink. The card in his top hat was the business card from his tattoo man (on the back it says $40 deposit paid – Dale and Wife!!) He got an awesome tat, complete with Highway 101 sign and a desert scene, surrounded by an old wild west border and a couple of wedding rings to finish it off. Love it!”

“The UK wedding was totally unofficial, not even a civil ceremony. It was for our friends and family to see us “married” in our ideal perfect way. So, we took a stroll around Kirkstall Abbey last year and joked about how cool it would be to get married there…and then it started! We got prices from the Abbey (ludicrously cheap to hire) and the whole thing grew arms and legs all by itself! The lights, fog, music, shrubbery…we had an insanely theatrical wedding with a rock music soundtrack to boot.”

“Dale swaggered down the aisle to the Ecstasy of Gold by Metallica, I came in to Yellowcard’s You and Me and One Spotlight. Both songs complete with dry ice and choreographed lighting. My friend Belinda was our officiant (the funniest girl I know, she dressed up as a geeky priest for the occasion and even sang Nana Mouskouri halfway through the ceremony!) Dale’s daughter was his Best Woman and my oldest friend Louise was my bridesmaid, dressed in black with fab red shoes and not a hint of a puffy sleeve in sight.”

“We had about 45 guests for the whole thing, everyone said it was the coolest wedding they’d ever been to and had never seen anything quite like it! We all hopped on an old red route-master double decker bus to take us to the reception where we got royally pissed and danced like idiots all night. No cheesy tunes were played and we rocked out to NOFX, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Jam, Queen, ACDC, Green Day (and a bit of Bon Jovi for the laydees! Much to Dale’s displeasure!) It was freaking awesome!!”

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Emma & Matt’s Detail-Perfect BBQ Wedding

It’s the little details that excite me, details like all that attention and love put into Emma & Matt’s Rock n Roll Wedding. The couple, who found their photographer Caro Hutchings through a feature on Rock n Roll Bride, got married St Mary’s Church in Yorkshire. After the ceremony, the whole party boarded a vintage double decker bus which took them to the reception, held at The Blue Lion, East Witton.

“We got married a year to the day of our engagement,” the bride told me. “We’re both known for being nerdy, creative and a tiny bit clothes obsessed so we were never going to have a typical wedding. When it came to thinking of a “theme” we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to have to be whatever we and everyone else wants!  We also wanted a day that showed everybody just how much we love each other.  We haven’t been together as long as a lot of couples, but from the day we “accidentally” got together on a work night out, we’ve both known its for good. Our guests have seen us grow up, enjoy life,  but ever single person there agreed that neither of us have been so happy as we are together.”
“Rock n Roll Bride was a HUUUUUGE inspiration for the day – it made us realise that we could have everything we wanted without upsetting our parents, who were secretly longing for a traditional wedding day. Nobody had to compromise on anything, the day was so laid back, so cool, so us.”

The reception consisted of a casual BBQ and an awesome band playing into the night! “The BBQ meant that the guests could roam around and take in the beautiful surroundings at The Blue Lion,” Emma continued.  We’re both very impatient (not to mention greedy!) so it was an inspired choice! Music is so important to both of us, so finding The Moobs was a stroke of extreme Rock n Roll luck – The dance floor was packed for every single dance. The coolest thing about the wedding for both of us was that we spent it with the people we love, the rehearsal the night before consisted of the, people we couldn’t live without. People we couldn’t live without and a great deal of tears!”

The cupcakes were made by the Mother of the bride, the flowers were all arranged by the Mother of the groom and the bridesmaids were all asked to find and style their own outfits, making the whole day a really group effort. The marquee decor was created by the bride, the Mother of the bride, the maid of honour and the Mother of the groom. “We spend the year leading up to the wedding going in every charity shop we knew, to source tons of broken and mismatched tea sets. These were filled with candles and sweeties and joined on the tables by birdcages and various other bits of kitsch.  As it got dark, the roof was lit up like a night sky and the trees outside were twinkling with fairy lights” Emma reminisced.

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Jessica & Forbes’ Retro Rockabilly Brighton Wedding

Brighton was the location for Jessica & Forbes’ rockabilly wedding this summer. They chose May 1st as their date as it was Jessica’s late Grandmother’s birthday and having it on this day was their way of inviting her to the wedding. All the guests were invited to dress up in their finest retro get-up,” Absolutely everyone joined in,” the bride told me, “We were so convincing a hotel guest asked if we were a convention!”

“We also wanted the ultimate Brighton wedding,” she continued, “and we lucked out getting booked in to the Royal Albion Hotel right in front of the pier for our ceremony and reception. The pier was our backdrop for the entire day and night. It was awesome when it lit up at night!!”

Jessica wore a 1950’s replica dress from Unique Vintage, Vivienne Westwoodshoes and a vintage pearl necklace that had belonged to her Grandmother. The bridesmaid wore bespoke dresses made by Jessica’s Mum and Forbes wore a genuine 1950’s suit that had belonged to his Grandfather.

DIY played a big role in this wedding, from the cake (made by Jessica’s Mum) to the decor. The bride’s sister made the fabulous bird cake topper and her husband made the awesome ‘picture frame wall’ photo booth, complete with extra picture frames filled with photoshopped retro photographs of the couple! Jessica also designed and made all the invites and stationary. As a final, super personal, touch, every table had a pin up picture by Gil Elvgren and a family wedding photo from the 50’s from guests families.

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Rom & Will’s DIY, Humanist, 1970’s Vintage Wedding

You might recognise the gorgeous Rom & Will as I featured their engagement session back in August. I knew their wedding would be awesome as soon as I saw those shots so you can imagine my excitement when I got an email from photographer Steve Gerrard asking if I’d like to feature their wedding that took place a few weeks ago in Somerset.

The couple had two ceremonies – a legal ceremony at Hestercombe Gardens, followed the next day by a humanist ceremony and reception at Huntstile Organic Farm (a humanist ceremony isn’t legal in England at present.) Rom wore a different dress for each part of their day. For the civil service she wore an original 70s Ossie Clark dress which she had hunted high and low for. She finally found in a treasure trove of a shop called Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. “The owner Lou has original vintage dresses and she also makes bespoke vintage replicas,” Rom explained. “With this is also wore Gold cork platforms by Miu Miu and a vintage garland headband from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company.”

For the humanist ceremony and wedding reception, Rom wore her Mother’s wedding dress which was an original Janice Wainwright dress, also from the 70s. “I had it altered and updated for me by Rachel at Heirloom Couture who did me and my mum proud. Shoes this time were by Beatrix Ong and were reduced from £700 to £100 in the sale! Possibly the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen” Rom continued.

To keep in with their humanist and Rock n Roll theme, the couple omitted a lot of wedding traditions. They didn’t have a wedding cake, favouring afternoon tea and cupcakes made by the venue. They also didn’t have a traditional wedding band or DJ, opting for a punk rock n roll band from Exeter called The Computers.

Rom asked her bridesmaids to pick their own dresses. Her only requirements were they were long and they each picked a different colours. The groomsmen looked similarly relaxed and cool in skinny black suits, white shirts, black ties and Vans trainers.

“We DIY’d a lot of things ourselves, stole ideas from wedding blogs and roped in friends and family to help too”, the couple concluded. “It’s amazing how the effort that goes into the little details can make your whole day more personal. One thing that worked really well was a ‘lucky dip’ where instead of getting us gifts, we asked everyone to bring something under a tenner for a lucky dip. It meant everyone got a funny present from another guest and was a great way to get people mingling to find the person their gift was from.”

“We really just wanted the wedding to be the best party we could ever organise. We did away with any traditions that we didn’t like – first dance, cutting of the cake, wedding list, seating plan, wedding favours, matching bridesmaid dresses etc and focused on what we thought was important. The best advice we were given was to ensure guests are never hungry, thirsty or bored. It served us well.”

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Mia & Matt’s Super Kitsch, Super Gorgeous 1960’s Wedding

I think I possibly have one of the cutest weddings ever to round of today’s posts. When I first laid eyes on Mia & Matthew’s 60’s inspired wedding, I kid you not, I literally squealed with delight. How happy do these photos make you feel?! I KNOW! Adore…

The wedding took place in Devon at St Gregory’s RC Church in Kingskerswell. The reception then followed at Colehayes Park in Bovey Tracey, a Georgian House in beautiful grounds. As soon as the couple got engaged they knew their wedding would have a 60’s theme. Mia is obsessed with everything from this era and even had her dress made by a friend to an authentic 1960’s dress pattern. Mia explained, “I’m obsessed with vintage so it had to be that way! I also wore a floral headband of golden coloured alstroemeria which was made by our florist, gold t-bar sandals which I found in the Miss KG by Kurt Geiger. I wore yellow plastic daisy earrings from Spitalfields Market, a silver engraved locket which Matt gave me on the morning of our wedding and an amazing wedding cartoon bracelet which I bought from Da Da Dreams on Etsy. My sister also gave me a lovely bluebird bracelet and matching garter on the morning of the wedding, which she’d had handmade for me. They’re amazing! In the evening I changed into a 1960s lace mini dress with cape which I found on Ebay and borrowed a vintage faux fur cape from my sister.”

They hired two 1960’s Rolls Royce’s and at the reception they played nothing but 60’s music. The bridesmaids even wore authentic 1960’s vintage dresses. “Finding the bridesmaids dresses was a real mission,” Mia told me. “I wanted them all in vintage pastel maxi dresses and we searched high and low to find the perfect ones. We got there eventually! My sister Becca, friend Emma and friend Corinne all found dresses on Etsy but and my friend Daisy was really struggling to find anything right when my grandma donated a dress which happened to be sitting in the back of her wardrobe! It’s the blue bridesmaid dress and it fitted her perfectly. I love that my grandma used to wear it. To make the dresses all work together I bought some white daisy trim from Ebay to add to the edges.”

The rest of the wedding was all DIY including the cake, with each layer being made by a different person. “My sister and chief Bridesmaid, Becca, made the main cake – a 2 layer chocolate sponge with yellow buttercream icing and iced orange butterflies, and my Grandma made matching vanilla cupcakes. And my mum made a fruitcake too. I was chief kitchen assistant!” Mia laughed.

To get everyone talking, the couple hosted a quiz all about themselves. The bought some old trophies in a junk shop and decorated them with their faces to give out as prizes! They also made personalised snowglobes to act as super kitsch placenames. “We bought a job lot of DIY snowglobe kits from Baker Ross Educational Supplies and put a photo of Matt and I inside with all the guests names printed on,” said Mia. “It took me, Matt, my mum and dad about 6 hours to make them but it was worth it as everyone had something cute to take home!”

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Sophie & Barney’s Silly & Fun, Vintage & Rock n Roll North London Wedding

I sneak peeked Sophie & Barney’s wedding on Twitter and Facebook as soon as their photographer Lisa Devlin emailed me to ask if I wanted to blog them – hello!? Look at these two…Like she even had to ask!!

The best bit though? Sophie & Barney found Lisa via Rock n Roll Bride – I love love love featuring the weddings of bona fide Rock n Roll Bride readers! Oh I can hardly contain my excitement over this one…

“We did everything we wanted do and didn’t care if anyone else thought it was right,” the couple explained. “We put together all of our loves and didn’t worry about a colour scheme or any thing particularly weddingy, we love autumn and Halloween and London and glamour and silliness and fur and penguin books and skulls so we chucked them all in. Is that Rock n Roll??!”

Simple answer – yes!

Sophie looked every bit the Rock n Roll princess in a genuine vintage dress which she bought from My Sugarland in North London. “It was the first and only dress I tried on,” said Sophie “and its beyond special having been a museum piece and nearly 100 years old! It was covered in mould and little rips, I owe Zoe at My Sugarland a massive thank you because she helped my Dad see beyond the grubbiness of it and talked him into buying it for me! She also passed me on to the wonderfully stern but kind Jacqueline Byrne who used to be a seamstress for the Queen no less (!) who tidied the dress up perfectly, even recovering all the buttons on the sleeves.” With her perfect dress, Sophie wore a custom made headdress from Lilly Lewis which she customized with a brooch belonging to her Mother. She also also wore her Mother’s silver fox fur jacket which was a gift from her Dad on the day she was born!

On the morning of the wedding, Barney surprised his bride with a Vivienne Westwood handbag as a wedding present (my kind of guy – Gareth take note!) Sophie told me she almost walked down the aisle with her flowers in it but her Mother said no! hehe (ps best photo ever! Reminds me of some photos Lisa took of me when we met up…)

Sophie dressed her bridesmaids in different high street and vintage dresses to keep in with the laid back vibe. Vintage touches were added with their accessories, including an amazing 20’s pearl collar necklace and brooches from different decades collected by the bride ever since she got engaged. She also collected antique lace and made hairbands for them all.

The couple saved money by decorating the venue themselves. The collected 115 old penguin books from charity shops and Sophie’s Mum covered them. A lot of work but totally worth the effort – they look fantastic dotted around the venue don’t they? Before the wedding both Barney & Sophie went down to a local market and bought pumpkins and pomegranates to decorate the venue with. Everyone they know had also been collecting glass jars for the humbugs that we covered with black lace and put on the table. They also screen-printed the cameos to put on the back of the chairs. Originally Sophie had planned to not have any flowers at all, but at the last minute she feel in love with some “mouldy looking bruised roses” and her Mum bought them for her and made them into her bouquet. The finishing touch to the decor really is the incredible ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ cake by Brighton based Choccywoccydodah. Magnifique!

Music was a big part of this couple’s day with a number of entertainers lined up for the evening reception, “It was started by the wonderful Ellen playing tunes from the 30’s-60’s. Honky Sausage, a fantastic Ska and Swing covers band that do the most original sausage based meat raffle in the world! Next came the Fantastic Ryan Knowles with some dancey beats, followed by the effervescent Miss Sami Fitz who closed the party with some absolute classic party tunes!” the couple explained.

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