Leesa-Marie & Stew wanted a relaxed and low key wedding with just their closest friends and family in attendance. They were hitched in Southampton, and after their ceremony they wondered round Ocean Village and Mayflower Park for their photos with Amy Radcliffe (they didn’t have their ceremony or reception photographed but wanted to portraits to remember their day.)
After a church ceremony at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Church in Hampshire, Lisa & Ric had a very British wartime themed wedding at Broad Half Penny Down Cricket Club, Hampshire – the world’s oldest cricket club.
“Life never goes the way you plan it,” the bride wrote. “I always dreamt of finishing uni, finding love, getting married and starting a family. The conventional family – we are not! I am 12 years younger than Ric, and also about 12 inches taller! Ric is frequently away with work and moved me to the south of the country, away from all my friends and family. Oh and how could I forget our 2 year old son – Bear. This was definitely not what I had planned.”
“When Ric finally proposed, I was on cloud 9 and I knew that our wedding day wasn’t going to be a ‘normal’ one. For example – I couldn’t decide what engagement ring I liked, so I have three! We also had a best woman instead of a best man, we ‘high fived’ at the altar instead of the kiss, and our son screamed through most of the ceremony then was racing his toy cars down the aisle with chocolate down his nice white shirt.”
The couple wanted a home made/DIY feel to their wedding. “Ric always jokes about me being a ‘stay at home’ wifey or being a ‘Yummy Mummy’,” the bride continued. “With Ric being in the military, it sometimes feels like we should have belonged to the 1940’s era…and I wanted to become a ‘pin-up’ for the day!”
Lisa wore a Candy Anthony dress, a hat from Jane Taylor Millinery and shoes from Aruna Seth. “I absolutley loved sourcing every part of my outfit and Rock n Roll Bride played a huge part in this. My 1950’s dress was so flattering and gave me loads of confidence with my post baby body! Walking into Candy Anthony was felt like being a kid in a sweet shop. Vicky Trainor‘s Vintage drawer stationery was also a huge inspiration, it’s so so so pretty! Our inspiration for the catering came from our son, his favourite foods include cakes, ice cream and fish n chips. Being from Yorkshire, we of course had to have a grand cup of Yorkshire Tea and I insisted on having Pimm’s on arrival. We made it a bit more glamorous by using The Tea Party‘s gorgeous vintage crockery and cut glass bowls.”
Holly & Patrick were married in Brighton. They didn’t really stick to a particular theme for their wedding, they simply included things they love. They wanted to keep the day simple and stress-free, as the bride explains, “We didn’t have a theme, and we didn’t say anything had to be a certain way. My dress was handmade on me, through chatting, drawings and ideas, by my friend Aimee who trained at London College of Fashion. Patrick chose his suit because he was definite that he wanted a ‘mod’ suit. It was all done very organically, and it was perfect. Somebody suggested I wear a long sleeve, high necked dress to cover my tattoos but I declined the suggestion and went for as low a back as possible.”
“I handmade all the invitations and the place names/wedding favours. This was to cut out unnecessary costs and because I love being creative. I used Brighton beach pebbles and decorated them with 3D copper paint with guests names on. As a treat we both also had a complimentary pre-wedding pamper (facial) from Elemis in their Brighton Spa-Pod – which was a gift from our photographers Horse and Carriage Wedding Photography.”
“Our inspiration came from our wish to have a wedding that was different to any we had been to and our main focus for the day was to try and make it as fun as possible for all the guests,” newlywed Jo wrote. “We wanted to have an informal day that just felt like a party. We both like antique decorations and I have always wanted a vintage dress because I wanted something different and not something that you might see someone else wearing at another wedding. I also loved the idea of my dress having a history and making someone else day special before mine. In the same way as I love the fact that the diamond in my engagement ring belonged to Charlie’s Great-Grandmother.”
“We didn’t want a ‘theme’ as I don’t like things that match but the village fete idea with the games, sweetie table and the hay bales etc grew as we started to put everything together. We did almost everything we could ourselves which was great but did mean late nights making orders of services, invitations place cards, menus etc. The night before the wedding Charlie and his best men were at the marquee until 10pm and I was up with my bridesmaid) finishing the Pimms flags (of us and our two dogs) until gone midnight!”
Antonia & Stuart what can I say? You two are clearly waaaay to awesome for me!
The couple were married in Canterbury at Wellington House, followed by a reception at a youth hostel (OK genius idea…) The bride even made her own dress (see didn’t I tell you? Too cool for me!)
Antonia told me all about their wedding ethos, “We went to a friends wedding that was super-relaxed and very low budget and decided to go down that road as we did not want a commercial wedding that would leave us in debt, and wanted everything on our terms. We were on a tight budget but collected everything we wanted/needed over a long period of time to spread out the cost, managed to get a lot of things for free or very cheap, and made loads of things ourselves. We ended up with no debt or loan.”
“Everything was decided on by us (long meetings with loads of lists in the pub!). The youth hostel gave us complete freedom, we could do everything how we wanted it (instead of having to use a venues catering/bar etc. like at a hotel).”
“For our table decorations we got lanterns from ikea and glasses with name-stickers made by us. Also we made badges with our faces on, a wedding dress fabric bow for each guest, and decorated the car with ivy (property of the groom – that promptly broke down after the ceremony!)”
“I would describe our wedding theme as natural – natural colours, recylable decoration. We just wanted to have a massive PARTY with all our friends, and disguise it as a wedding!”
Taking place on the Isle of Wight for the past 7 years, Bestival music festival has fast become sinimomous with crazy antics, fancy dress…oh and a big dollop of awesome music thrown in for good measure! Each year it also plays host to the Big Love Inflatable Church, where couples can go to tie the knot. This year wedding photographer Chris Cowley was there to catch all the action!
He explains, “A grand total of 48 weddings took place over the 3 day festival, Reverend’s ‘Nickerless’ and ‘Randy Johnson’ preformed ceremonies with the help of dishevelled bridesmaids, a mother in-law and a maid of dishonour.”
“Those wanting to get married booked up early on Friday to prepare themselves and their partner or partners, for a wedding they would never forget! Before the ceremony the bridesmaids dressed the groom and groomsmen in a variety of wedding dresses and suits of their choice. They then dressed the brides, who got to fulfil their fantasy of a semi traditional white wedding. When the groom, best man and any wedding crashers not in the bridal party were ready – they were taken to meet the Vicar who would be performing the ceremony.”
“In the meantime the “Pamper Posse” looked after hair, makeup, face painting and offered calming massages to the bridal party. Each bride was pampered and made to look stunning for their special moment as they were given away down the aisle of the Big Love Inflatable Church.”
“At this point, this is where the similarity to a traditional white English wedding ends and the uniqueness of a Big Love Inflatable Church begin! The ceremonies themselves were far from conventional! The Reverend’s took it in turns to conduct each service where anyone and everyone was welcome. The congregation packed tightly into the church with the bridesmaids kneeling below the Vicar. At the end of each very risqué service music played and the congregation danced in celebration whilst the bridesmaids encouraged everyone to create an archway for the couple to exit through under their arms.The wedding certificate was then signed outside the church, whilst the bridesmaids gathered the congregation together for one big wedding photo as the group shouted ‘BIG LOVE!’.”
“A wide variety of ceremonies took place over the weekend including numerous blessings, vow renewals (one only a week after the couple were legally married), civil partnerships and a stand-in wedding for a couple who couldn’t afford the one they initially planned.”
“Whilst every wedding was memorable for its own unique reason, a few in particular services stood out for me, including an Island group who have gotten married every year at the Big Love Inflatable Church for the last 7 years. A pirate wedding who were getting married for their 3rd time in a row (this time in the presence of their new-born daughter), another wedding who were led down the aisle by Edinburgh brass band ‘Horndog’ and the grand finale which was a special wedding for the Inflatable Church company director Tristram (a former Inflatable Church vicar) and his partner Sophie.”