Category Archives: British Brides

Giant Teacups, A Homemade Bouncy Castle & Elvis – A DIY Wedding to the Extreme!: Caroline & Stuart

Caroline & Stuart were married at St. Annes Church in Littleworth Common, Burnham. They held their reception in a field right opposite the church. Their wedding was a super creative affair with them making and styling the whole thing themselves, they even renovated some giant funfair teacups!

“Bizarrely we had in our minds a vision of an abandoned set from an old Elvis film for our wedding ‘theme’,” Caroline told me. “We did things differently by building almost everything ourselves and loving doing it! In the end we made…
The stage (old fashioned wooden with footlights, which several guests sat/ fell on when drunk!)
4 giant funfair teacups for sitting in (we renovated them ourselves)
1 giant funfair teacup cake table
Giant wooden light up initials
Old fashioned funfair stall drinks bar
An oversized cake stand for every table
Giant lollypop table numbers
Maypole wedding cake stand
The light up frame for the table plan
All the other signage
Old fashioned style high striker to play on (now that was a challenge!)”

“We even designed the bouncy castle ourselves! Any wedding ones we could find were too trashy, and not in a good way!”

Phew….(and yes dear reader, I have asked Caroline if she’d like to do some DIY tutorials for the blog, let us know in the comments which ones you’d like to see the most!)

Caroline’s wedding dress was made by her Mum from an original 1960’s pattern. She also wore a beautiful original 1960’s headpiece. She bought herself some plain shoes and added all the swarovski crystals (all 2400 of them!) herself.

Caroline & Stuart now hire all their wedding props out through their company Vowed and Amazed.

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A Farm & Festival Wedding: Roisin & Paul

Roisin & Paul’s Somerset wedding makes me ache for those long Summer days again. The Apple Orchard at Brook Farm played host to their August nuptials – a celebration of love, life and all things good. The couple opted for a humanist ceremony led by Alison Orchard, “She was so crucial to the success of the ceremony, which was such an emotional and wonderful experience,” the bride told me. “I think lots of people thought it might have a been a hippy-dippy, tree-hugging, fingers down-your-throat service, but instead found it was a lovely and romantic experience. We wrote our vows and kept them quite similar to the traditional ones. We sang, ‘A little Help from My Freinds’ by the Beatles and I cried all the way through it.”

After the moving ceremony, came cocktails and games on the lawn and in the marquees hired from Abbas Marquees, “This was very much a DIY wedding,” Roisin continued. “All of my friends and family got involved which made it a lovely and personal wedding, along with being quite a lot cheaper. We picked stones from the beach for name places and brought ‘Brighton rock’ as favours. I also made lots of little clay hearts.”

“Our theme was, ‘Festival’ which was fitting as the site of the farm is less than a mile from the Glastonbury Festival site. My bridesmaids and the Best Man were incredible. It was quite an organizational feat and they took it totally on board. In fact we had a ‘hand-over’ on the Thursday evening. They then became in-charge and only came to me if they really needed to. This made me be able to really enjoy the day and not worry about all the details that had been prepared.”

“My sister organsied games in the field of ‘Welly Wanging’ and ‘scissors, paper stone’. It was one of the highlights of the wedding! It was a really relaxed affair, full of love, romance and fun. People dressed how they wanted to and children were very much allowed to run around and have loads of fun. At my hen-do, the girls hired a hoola hooping instructor and we learnt a routine that we performed at the wedding. Everyone loved playing with the hoola hoops and it added to the festival feel.”

“My favourite ‘home-made’ bits were the clay hearts that we made and put in the orchard. We just bought heart shaped biscuit cutters, rolled out the clay and hung them from the trees using ribbon. It made the ceremony feel so magical.”

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A Very London Wedding: Naomi & Chris

I was hanging out at Fur Coat No Knickers a few weeks ago catching up on my vintage fashion/wedding industry-based gossip, when in breezed an excited girl who had just got married in one of their beautiful wedding dresses. Naomi had popped back in to show Laura & Emma some of her wedding photos and as soon as I heard the words ‘wedding photos’ I immediately jumped out from behind the dresses to have a nosy myself (Poor Naomi, I must have given her a heart attack…turns out she was a regular reader of this little wedding blog throughout her planning!)

Anyway I loved the photos Naomi showed us on her phone, so when I received the submission from her photographer Sarah Lauren I was thrilled that I would be able to share them with you too!

Naomi married Chris in London on 1st October. After getting ready at the gorgeous Charlotte Street Hotel, Naomi and her bridal party hopped in a London black cab to Islington town hall for the ceremony. Following the marriage service, the newlyweds and their guests all jumped into a red London bus, which they hired from Routemaster Hire, and headed to 6 Fitzroy Square for their beautiful reception.

“October 1st was freakishly one of the hottest days of the year. The atmosphere in Fitzrovia was animated with London nightlife,” Naomi told me, “We tried to keep our wedding theme fun-loving, relaxed and really styled to our personalities; we had moustaches on sticks for the wedding guests to play with. We also gave them fortune–teller fish as favours. I handmade the cake toppers and Chris stayed true to his comic book roots and wore crazy Spiderman cufflinks which I bought him!”

“We love our hometown London and there was a definite London theme throughout with the Routemaster bus, the central venues and the cosmopolitan wedding party. Even though it was a very London-esque wedding, we had family and friends visiting from the USA, Australia and even the Scottish Highlands! We felt so flattered that our guests travel from far and wide to witness our special day.”

6 Fitzroy Square is literally down the road from the Charlotte Street Hotel where we were staying, so after the evening do at Fitzroy Square we thought it would be lovely to take a walk with close friends (those hardcore few!) back to the hotel for a chilled out drinks after-party. We stayed up til past 3.30am!”

The couple also had Frank Miller of Sassy n Frank to video their day…

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A Vintage Nautical Wedding: Liz & Tom

Liz & Tom injected a subtle nautical theme into their October wedding. “In our first few years as a couple I used to call Tom the one-armed fish man,” Liz laughed. “Our venue was The Bull Hotel in Bridport, a harbour market town, and we both want a scrimshaw anchor tattoo (haven’t done it yet but the plan is to have one for Christmas). So we flooded our wedding with vintage nautical touches and plenty of rum. Rock n Roll Bride was the only wedding blog that I read as I planned my wedding. It was from reading what other Rock n Roll Brides had done for their big day that we had the confidence to go our own way.”

Liz wore her Aunt’s 1950’s Nottingham lace wedding dress which she had customised by Laura & Emma at the fabulous Fur Coat No Knickers. “A year before we got engaged my Auntie Hannah gave me her 1950’s Nottingham lace wedding dress that she’d worn at her wedding in 1959 and my Mum also wore to her and Dad’s wedding in 1964,” Liz wrote. “She said she’d never need it again and ‘you never know, you might wear it one day if you ever get married.’ A year later, on holiday in Vancouver and the day after my birthday we did get engaged. So I took the dress to Emma and Laura a to work their magic on it. It is Nottingham lace over a very pale pink netting so even though I’m not particularly a ‘pink’ kinda girl I decided to embrace the colour and Laura and Emma added the pink silk sash.”

As the couple have attended many weddings in the past, they knew that the ones they enjoyed most were those that were relaxed, informal and more about the couple than the ‘need’ to do a wedding in a certain way. Liz continued, “As soon as it came to planning ours we were adamant we wanted a day that felt like a big party – relaxed, informal, fun…with great food! The Bull was our hotel bolt-hole. A boutique shabby vintage vibe of a place with great food, lovely staff and the type of attitude we loved – relaxed, informal but excellent in everything. From booking The Bull, the rest of our wedding fell into place.”

“From the start of our relationship as teenagers we’ve filled our lives with antiques and vintage finds so it was to all things old we turned to ensure we had the touches that friends and family would recognise as being very ‘us’. As a lot of our guests were staying at the hotel with us we booked it for the whole weekend and invited everyone to The Stable at The Bull for pizza, pie and cider on the Friday night. The Friday shindig had everyone relaxed and talking to each other so that when Saturday afternoon came they all felt like old friends.”

“Without bridesmaids, a best man, a cake to cut and lots of formal photos we concentrated on giving our guests plenty to drink, delicious food to eat, and personal touches to ensure they felt relaxed and at ease. Whilst we weren’t originally planning speeches my oldest friend Katie said a few words about me, Tom (a man of very few words) gave a beautiful speech thanking our friends and family who had come together to make our day possible, and finally Tom’s mum unexpectedly stood up and raised a toast to my dear departed Dad and Uncle. Everyone then hit the bar and the dancefloor to drink and boogie till the early hours. In our guest book that we read on honeymoon so many people commented on how it had been the most relaxed, fun and personal wedding they’d ever been to.”

“To us Rock n Roll is about going your own way. Not being tied to convention or rule. We did have touches of wedding tradition – a white dress, wedding favours, speeches – but overall we concentrated on making a day that was true to us.”

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A Rockabilly, Psychobilly Wedding: Claire & Lee

I love weddings like Claire & Lee’s. Not just because the rockabilly theme is awesome, but because they put their heart and soul(s) into creating a wedding that reflects how they are in everyday life.

“We’re both very much in to the whole rockabilly and psychobilly scenes and have been for quite some time, so it only seemed natural to extend this to our wedding day,” Claire told me. “One thing we set out to do from the very beginning was to make our wedding day for us. It seems all too often that people try and tailor their wedding day around their family and other guests, where as for ourselves we tailored it around us and guests had to fit in; which they did wonderfully.”

“We sourced everything ourselves to fit our style perfectly; the clothes, cars, venues, music and decorations had to be just right; and although at times it was a nightmare of a challenge to get every thing perfect (antique teapots are notoriously hard to find) we managed it and wouldn’t have changed anything for the world.”

The wedding ceremony was held at Manor by the Lake, Cheltenham. After a moving service the couple were greeted by Morris Dancers as they departed. “As Lee is a Morris dancer he had his side (The Gloucester Morris Men) waiting outside of the venue ready for when we walked out as husband and wife, their sticks raised in an arch for us to walk through. They then preformed a few dances for us, including Ladies Pleasure, a one man jig, for Claire. Lee also joined the side for one dance.” The couple were then whisked off to their DIY styled reception at The Lower Lode Inn, Tewkesbury in a 1959 Black Cadillac.

“All of the decorations for the reception I made myself, including 80 meters of bunting and the green and purple polka dot table cloth centres,” Claire continued. “The bunting ran diagonally across the room and was coupled up with strings of fairy lights, which came together to form a heart on the wall directly behind Lee and I. The table decorations were antique tea sets, with flower arrangements in the teapots and the tea cup and saucers had floating tea lights in them. There were also cut glass candle stick holders and candles which we collected ourselves.

Both the bride and groom wore two outfits, one for the ceremony and one for the reception. Claire changed from her Fairy Goth Mother corset and a skirt (made by a local seamstress to which Claire added – by hand – 500 pearls!) to her Forever Unique reception dress. Lee switched from a black 1950’s sharkskin suit (made in Las Vegas and bought on eBay) to a silver sharkskin suit which he found at Moss Bros of all places!

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A Psych-Folk-Horror Themed Wedding: Ali & Dan

Ali & Dan, who won free wedding photography with Laura Babb through a feature on this little wedding blog of mine, were married in November. With Dan being Scottish, they originally thought about having their wedding in the far North of the country (the area where he’s from) but it turned out the logistics were impossible. However they luckily found their perfect venue in Folly Farm, Bristol.

“We trawled around plenty of places with the help of the internet, and even booked another venue at one point – but when we found Folly Farm we knew it was the right spot,” Ali told me. “We completely lucked out with the weather on the day, it was hard to believe it was November – but as we fell for Folly Farm’s vantage point and woodland walks on a dreich February morning, we knew it would be beautiful no matter what. We will shortly be leaving the UK to spend a few years working in Philadelphia, so the wedding also gave us a chance to say goodbye to our closest friends and family.”

Although the couple didn’t really want a theme per-say, the day ended up just being a perfect reflection of them as a couple. “We wanted to include the things that we love: great music, the handmade, plenty of colour, nature, the outdoors and each other,” Ali continued. “We were enthusiastic planners though and our non-theme gradually evolved into something we decided to call ‘Psych-Folk-Horror’. We’ve been into folk music and particularly psychedelic folk for a while, so that was always going to be part of the musical element of our day.”

“The tipping point into full-blown theme though was when Dan gifted me “The Owl Service” by Alan Garner, a Folk Horror classic from 1967. After I read it, it became the inspiration for the invitations, RSVP cards and orders of service I designed. Folk Horror as a genre is inspired by nature and we made sure there was plenty of nature and wild things in the decorations. The woods at Folly Farm provided an amazing backdrop, with owls calling in the nighttime, deer and badgers. We let things get a little weirder later in the evening by projecting an animation we made in our living room of our RSVP cards coming to life, followed by the 1960’s TV series of The Owl Service.”

“Our inspiration primarily came from wanting the wedding to feel homely – part of us and the way we live together. That doesn’t sound very Rock n Roll in itself, but we tried really hard to cut out the rubbish and keep our own identities – hopefully whilst maintaining our usual sense of humour. It was very important to us that everything had some meaning for us. We collected lichen covered twigs and driftwood from a beach near Dan’s home in Scotland, teasels from Dan’s mum, and leaves from London’s parks (we’ve both developed a discerning eye for a good leaf!). We’re scientists by day and we wanted to include this too, hence the assortment of lab glassware. There were also things that we live with every day, such as blankets, cushions, bike bits and strange mix of ornaments.”

They even made their own ‘leaf bunting’ which, although looks simple, did take a lot of collecting, drying out and stringing of leaves to make happen! “We love the handmade and hand crafted, especially when those things are made by people we know.”

“We had a number of friends and family stay at the farm on Friday night before the wedding, who pulled out all the stops to help us with the decorations; tying leaf bunting, arranging teasels in conical flasks and piling up leaves and twigs late into the night. Dan’s Grandma is a weaver in the highlands; although she sadly could not make the journey south for the ceremony she made our cake and we used a number of her woven rugs for the ceremony.”

“I’ve always had a habit of ‘making’ and in recent years that’s predominantly been knitted things. The first bit of the wedding I made was my gloves, before I had any clear idea of what my dress would be like. The wool was an inspired gift from Dan, which I’d been saving for something special. I then moved onto shawls for my bridesmaids and a jumper for my page boy who is very fortunately fond of owls. I ended up designing Dan’s socks because I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, and I was really pleased with how they turned out. All these things were knitted in Alice Starmore’s yarn, whose colours are inspired by the Scottish landscape – specifically places where Dan grew up and we’ve both shared some of our happiest times together. We couldn’t get all our guests up to the remote Highlands, but we did manage to carry them with us during the day.”

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