Category Archives: British Brides

A Simple & Intimate Concert Hall Wedding: Valerie & Craig

“For us, we wanted our wedding ceremony to be kept simple – no flashiness and relaxed,” newlywed Valerie told me, “which is just the way we are. We wanted intimacy and for it to be very personal which I think was reflected in our music, readings (the lyrics of the Adam Sandler tune from the Wedding Singer and an extract from the Irrational Season, Madeleine L’Engle) and having our little boy with us. However, we definitely wanted a big party afterwards to celebrate.”

The ceremony was held at The Recital Rooms, Candleriggs, Glasgow and the recopetion that followed was at The Old Fruit Market, a concert hall also in Candleriggs. “There was a large visual and atmospheric contrast between our ceremony and reception but both were reflections of us as a couple,” the bride continued. “But we’re also an outgoing couple, for whom music and dancing is part of who we are.”

“The themes that ran through the wedding were peacock feathers and colours (greens and purples) so they featured on my hairpiece, the boutonnieres, page boys, flowergirls and bestmen outfits, the favours and place names. When we found our venue we wanted to stay in keeping with the rooms we used themselves. The ceremony room was a plain white room with art deco windows and draping at the head of the room. The lighting gave it atmosphere and these were subtly in our wedding colours. The only other decorations we used were the papal picado banners (found on Etsy) along the walls. For the reception room we wanted to keep with the rustic character of the room and I feel that everything from the flowers to the favours reflected that. For example, our placecard holders were simply made from branches from the tress in our garden and I made the favour CD holders out of hessian material for that natural feel. The Old Fruit Market is grand without being imposing and we felt it really matched what we wanted to create the party atmosphere for our wedding.”

With the reception being held in a concert hall, clearly music was a big consideration for the couple. Valerie explained, “The music for our wedding was always going to be really important to us, music is a big thing for both of us (even if our tastes can widely diverge at times) and we chose everything from the ceremony music to playlists for after the ceremony and during dinner. Friends of the Stars and James Summerfield played at the ceremony. Anna (from Friends of the Stars, the band that Craig sings and writes with) and James sang an acoustic version of Islands in the Stream for me to walk up the aisle to. It was lovely to have them sing for us as it made the ceremony feel so personal and intimate from the very start.”

“For the reception, our friend Kev Kiernan, DJ’d. We knew he’d rock it because of his wide and eclectic style of tunes. I’ve known Kev for years and have spent many nights dancing to Kev’s DJ’ing at house parties into the wee hours. He played everything from 60s funk, early 90s house and country tunes…And then of course, we had Elvis.”

“We knew early on that by choosing to have an Elvis, it couldn’t just be any Elvis. He had to be amazing for us to pull off this old wedding cliche. We did our research and pulled a blinder when we found Paul, a twice UK tribute winner no less. We chose the playlist of songs that he would sing too. He came out to the Space Odyssey 2001 theme and then went straight into See See Rider. The crowd literally went wild.”

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A Roaring 20’s & Speakeasy Ibiza Celebration: Lauren & Duccio (NSFW)

Before I get into sharing these stunning photos I do have to let you know that some of them are potentially not safe for work!

Lauren & Duccio had a two-day wedding celebration (day one is on the wonderful Green Wedding Shoes today) in Ibiza. The roaring 20’s, flapper & gangster, speakeasy, glamorous and naughty vibe of the second night party day made it perfect for Rock n Roll Bride!

“This couple were seriously Rock n Roll!” photographer Polly Alexandre told me. “Pole dancers on the dancefloor and topless dancers during the drinks reception, a full on club atmosphere and awesome guest outfits! It was full on wildness and glamour.”

“The couple did away with bridesmaids and groomsmen and a cake, and made their celebrations their own with a two-part party…Night 1 was a hippy chic beach side Spanish dinner celebration after the ceremony and night 2 was the reception, again with a drinks reception, sit down meal and dancing….and a whole new theme.”

“A flamenco duo danced during dinner, bejewelled dancers from iconic Ibiza clubs Space and Pacha draped themselves across daybeds to greet the guests, danced and posed,” she continued. “US singer Barbara Tucker was flown in especially to sing the couple’s first dance where she stood on a wall in front of the sea. Watching the bride’s father dance with a topless model was priceless!”

“I love how all the groom’s friends look super cool in their bespoke suits and hats….can you tell they are all Italian?!”

Gotta love something a bit risqué for a Friday afternoon huh?! Have a great weekend guys!

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A Late Summer, Rustic & Nature-Filled Shoot: Agnese & Iveta

Agnese & Iveta’s DIY shoot was set up with the help of Jaye from Tux & Tales Photography. Jaye has been doing a DIY inspiration shoot series, to show brides that they don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding (I featured one of her first ones here).

“For this shoot we decided to focus on a civil partnership. We decided early on to go for a ‘rustic’ theme that focused on the colours and tones of late summer,” Jaye told me. “Each of our DIY shoots was styled (including the dresses!) on less than £250. This shoot was particularly fun because we got to recycle and upcycle a lot of items which is really a great way to save some cash. Plus, we scavenged for items from ‘the wild’ to help create our top table.”

“I am an absolute nut for using fruit and veg as part of a design (c’mon, beautiful and edible!) and so we loaded the table with fresh fruit from our local green grocers. The confectionery and baked goods were all top shelf varieties from local supermarkets and just looked amazing mounded up with the fruit. A little macaroon to go with your cold grapes? Yummy!”

“We decided that we would use a same-sex couple for this shoot because we couldn’t think of any civil partnership inspiration shoots that we had seen before. There are so many considerations that go into a civil partnership that are different from those of a traditional wedding (such as clothing choices and who gets a bouquet!) that we think they deserve a little separate attention. That said, we really hope that brides and grooms of all makes and varieties find a little rustic inspiration in our images.”

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An Alice in Wonderland & Willy Wonka Themed Wedding: Aebbe and Sam

Aebbe & Sam wanted to go all out with their wedding theme and had it resemble a kind of Alice in Wonderland/Willy Wonka hybrid.

“Sam pretty much let me run with the theme,” Aebbe told me. “I love Alice in Wonderland and as my first wedding was very traditional and straight laced (not me at all) he really wanted it to be magical not just for me but him as well. We had a true fantasy day.”

“I think I managed to be really savvy with making decorations to save money,” the bride continued. “I don’t know what I would have done without my bridesmaid Vicky’s help.”

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A Rock n Roll London Wedding with Rockaoke!: Chris & Natalie

When photographer Annamarie Stepney slipped Chris & Natalie’s wedding my way, I just about squealed with joy. Not only was Natalie an avid Rock n Roll Bride reader throughout her wedding planning, but I could see a few little ideas that she’d gotten from my blog snuck in there – hello purple wedding dress and Butler & Wilson skull crown! “I fell absolutely head over heels for the Butler & Wilson skull crowns after seeing photos of Kat in one so I checked them out,” wrote the bride. “It was great as no one realised it was made up of skulls until they got close. I also wore it for my 30th birthday a month later.”

The wedding was held at Shoreditch House, London – a private members club which comes complete with a bowling alley. “Shoreditch House was the only venue we went to visit,” Natalie told me. “We knew it was the right place straight away. We loved the urban/warehouse feel to it and reminded us of New York where we had met. The bowling alley was an awesome addition too!”

Natalie found her incredible dress in a charity shop in Newbury – OMG talk about an amazing find! “I LOVE MY DRESS!” she squealed. “I had been on two wedding dress shopping trips and tried on a number 1950s style dresses. We were planning a party and I wanted a dress I wouldn’t have to worry about dancing in, bowling in and general stomping about in!”

“I then went and spent the weekend with my Mum in Newbury. The shop assistants were a wee bit bemused when I took my pewter, studded galore shoes out of the box. It kind of went something like this a few times – ‘Yes the dress has to match my shoes… yes these shoes… no, these shoes… no I am not going to buy other shoes…. sorry I seem to have got your dress stuck on the stud of my shoe!’ I tried on dress after dress in white, ivory, off white, antique gold, magnolia (that may be just a paint colour!?) and so on whilst my Mum cooed and ahhed I totally felt like a kid playing dress up! I have never dreamt of wearing a traditional white dress.”

“On the off-chance we popped into some local charity shops in my Mum’s town and as soon as we walked in I was in love with a dark purple dress. It was beautiful and I couldn’t believe it when I tried it on that it was perfect fit, never been worn and I knew my shoes would match perfectly (and rumoured to have been originally bought for a potential dress for Katie Price…although this may be rubbish). I was sold!”

The groom looked just as dapper in his Boland & Banks bespoke grey glen plaid suit, “I have to give Mark Banks a massive plug!” Chris wrote. “He was an absolute star and a true gent. He asks that you trust his judgement I’m really glad I did. He convinced me to go for the grey glen plaid patter over a more straight laced navy blue. He also give me the nod for the Oliver Sweeney shoes.”

Having a great big party for all their guests was really important to the couple, so instead of hiring a traditional band or DJ, they had Rockaoke! “Chris would make an excellent front man or guitarist!” Natalie laughed. “We used to go to rock karaoke at Arelene’s Grocery when we lived in New York. We had seen Rockaoke perform at festivals and in London and although we looked around for other bands we both really wanted to book them. The guests loved the band and so many people got up and sung. And we ended the night singing Motorhead together.”

“Music is a big part of our lives so it became a big feature,” the couple concluded. “From the table names, the place names – written on the discs from mini discs, with a band badge to suit each guest and a mini guitar. Rockaoke for our band and all the music throughout the day was chosen by Chris.”

“I guess we did things differently by doing exactly how we wanted and planned the day as if we were planning a party for our friends and family and not so much planning a wedding. This worked out perfectly as the wedding was all about us, the things we love and things that make our relationship special to us. Chris’ Dad wrote the reading that his Mum read during the ceremony – it was all about us and had people in hysterics! In fact we all spent the whole day in hysterics.”

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A DIY London Wedding & A Barefoot Bride: Hannah & Olly

Hannah & Olly were engaged at Bestival in the inflatable church, “Olly proposed to me at Bestival in the inflatable church following our annual Bestival wedding in front of all our friends dressed as unicorns, Mario, Luigi, Alien babies… ” Hannah wrote to me. “It was chucking it down as we strolled back to the main stage (engaged!) and The Wailers were playing. All of a sudden the sun came out and like from nowhere Olly handed me a Pina Colada in a pineapple! We spent the afternoon dancing to Chic and chinking our pineapples.”

From this unconventional proposal, it was clear that this couple were to have anything but a traditional wedding. As the groom explains, “We’re both very creative people and from the start of organising our wedding we wanted it to be different. Throughout it we used blogs, including Rock n Roll Bride, and we did it together. Myself and Hannah contributed equally and both did a lot of homework on details. The motto from the beginning was that it was to be a party, not a ceremony. With that in mind we kept thinking of the things that we loved from parties we have been to.”

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