Category Archives: British Brides

A Vintage Tea Party Wedding: Chloe & Emma

After a New Year’s Eve proposal (“not at midnight, we’re not that cheesy!”) Chloe & Emma set to planning their tea party wedding for the end of March. Being two girls, they knew their wedding would stand out and they wanted that as well as to put their own stamp on their day. As Chloe explained “Obviously as two girls getting married our wedding was always going to be a bit different. People kept on asking which one of us was going to wear the suit but we were both determined to be complete princesses on the day. We knew we wanted a vintage tea party wedding and we looked at lots of different ways to achieve it as we had a tight budget. In the end my mum who found Jam and Tea, who provided the tea & cake catering, online (she is an expert Googler) and the rest of the wedding fell into place from there.”

“Maryanne of Jam and Tea was the heart and soul of the whole day. Her food is insane and totally yummy and so beautiful to look at. We came away from the food tasting completely high on sugar and knowing the wedding was going to be perfect. I guess the other thing we did that was Rock and Roll was only use independent female British businesses. From the caterer to the dresses, photographs and head pieces, we tried to promote great British girlies as much as possible and they were all amazing!!”

“We also made a lot of items for our wedding as we are both creative people,” she continued. “I guess the biggest thing we made was the wedding invites. We hated anything that said ‘Civil Partnership’ on them and found traditional ones so impersonal. I love to bake and Emma has a degree in industrial design so we decided to do it ourselves with a £50 budget. We also made little boxes with teapot sugar cookies inside as favours. They were a complete hit and everyone said they were the best wedding invite they ever had. They also came in under budget.”

Chloe wore a short, 50s style dress which she had made by Dolly Dare in Spitalfields Market, London, and Emma’s gown came from Ghost. “We would love to add a special mention to Nazrine Elms of Dolly Dare for making the most amazing dress for me,” Chloe raved. “We went into the shop looking for shoes (they sell Irregular Choice shoes) and accidently bumped into an amazing dress designer. She does not usually make wedding dresses but was willing to give it a go and put up with us in her shop every Sunday for 3 months. It was a complete creative process and the dress is 100% bespoke and unique. I can’t thank her enough for her brilliant creative mind. I would recommend her to anyone.”

The girls chose Shell de Mar to shoot their wedding as they fell in love with her bright and fun style. “Shella made our wedding pictures look like the ones I had been looking at as inspiration for years, except better. I’m still blown away by how she made our wedding look. I knew it was a beautiful day but the light and the softness she managed to capture (on a particularly crappy March day) was phenomenal. If she and Maryanne of Jam and Tea ruled the world it would be an extraordinarily beautiful place.”

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A Carousel Wedding: Lucy & Mini

When you set your wedding around a vintage carousel it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a fun-filled and awesome day right? That’s exactly what Lucy & Mini had when they found Preston Court in Kent, and even the rain couldn’t stop them having the time of their lives! “Lucy & Mini chose an outdoor wedding and were married under a pretty little gazebo on Juliana’s Island which their guests sat across a little stream to watch,” wedding photographer Jennifer West told me.

“All was well until there was a huge downpour which soaked all the guests. Luckily everyone saw the funny side. Lucy & Mini walked down the aisle (well, the path) as husband and wife to ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’. The torrential rain lasted most of the day until the end when the sun came out and lots of fun photos were taken on the carousel while the sun was setting.”

The day was relaxed and fun with homemade touches everywhere. These included the flowers, the centrepieces, the stationery…and even the brides dress which her mother had made!

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A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock n Roll: Abby & Ian

Vivien of Holloway dresses are so beautiful, and many of the lucky bridesmaids in the weddings that I feature get to wear them…however when Abby got married she thought “why should they have all the fun?” and so she opted for a pink floral 50s inspired dress from their collection for her wedding dress! Pairing it with awesome cowboy boots and a faux fur jacket, she looked incredible.

The rainy wedding (it certainly didn’t dampen their spirits – like it could with the bride in a dress like this!) was held at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, and after a horse drawn carriage ride, the reception took place at East Dean Village Hall, East Dean.

“We really wanted to avoid anything too stereotypically weddingy,” Abby told me, “we just wanted the day to be a reflection of how we think about each other – just lots of fun! Neither of us feel particularly comfortable with formality and stuffiness – laughing, messing about and being childish are much more important! We wanted it to be something which could be enjoyed by everyone – from toddlers to our older relatives. We decided to give the some of the more traditional elements such as speeches, cutting of the cake and first dance a miss. However, we did do a spot of jiving to get me spinning and twirling around in my dress…it was too hard to resist!!”

The couple injected DIY elements wherever they they could, “Not only were we lucky to get a lot of helping hands setting up, but so many people helped in the run up to the wedding. My mum really is the star DIY pupil though as she made so much cool stuff – including all the cakes, the vinyl record cake stands and bowls, the bridesmaids dresses, the windmills and felt hearts! She even planted spring flowers in troughs (that she made herself nonetheless!) to stand outside the village hall. We made ribbon flowers to add to the tables as we thought these would be an interesting and unusual decoration. Ian decided that, having made some ties in a high school project many years ago, that he would hand make the ties for him, the bestman, the ushers and his dad – it turned out to be more time consuming than expected (and he wonders if any of them managed to still have them by the next morning….)”

The wedding had a really relaxed vibe and the ‘hoedown’ theme really got the party started! “I guess our theme was country and bluegrass,” the bride concluded, “from the Johnny Cash inspired ceremony music and readings, mixed with the rustic and rural charm of the US deep south – gingham, jam jars, JD bottles, banjos, barbequed meat and wild west lettering and signs. And of course, some cowboy boots thrown in there for good measure!”

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A 1960s Inspired Easter Wedding: Kate & Daniel

The Yorkshire wedding of Kate & Daniel took place in April at Victoria Hall, Saltaire.  The bride’s look was undeniably 60s with a bespoke mod style wedding dress made for her by one of her bridesmaids, and genuine vintage shoes, jewellery and a veil sourced from the shop her bridesmaid owns, Glory Days Vintage.

“I would describe our wedding as eclectic – vintage 1960s and a variety of musical genres including soul, rock and indie classics,” Kate told me. “We wanted a completely unpretentious day, we had no fancy wedding cars, wedding line up or long top table. I wore a 1960s style dress and we nontraditional wedding music (Soulsavers – Revival Wedding march, Arcade Fire – Wake Up, Wedding exit). We opted for no DJ and instead played music from our collection. It was a very music based wedding including Morris Dancers, a Wurlitzer cinema organ, a Soul Band and our own play lists.”

Kate decorated the hall herself with items such as chocolate eggs and bunnies to reflect the fact that the wedding took place on Easter weekend. “The table decorations were all designed by me. I included vintage 1960s coffee pots, different styles of mint green table cloths and vintage egg cup favours with foil wrapped chocolate eggs, large eyed chocolate bunnies and Easter crackers for children. The table plan was made by a close friend Toni Giles using vintage wallpaper and typewriter font for table names and guests. It was displayed in different vintage photo frames and attached to an antique door.”

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A Japanese Tea Shop Wedding: Adam & Klara

Adam & Klara had two weddings, the first in Osaka, Japan and the second in Brighton, UK. The Japanese ceremony was held in Kitahama and afterwards the couple and their select few guests headed to Tables in Shinsaibashi, Osaka for tea and cake! When back in the UK, the ceremony took place at Brighton register office and they recreated the tea & cake reception idea with a simple gathering at Metrodeco, a 1930s themed cafe that specialises in high tea.

For both events, the bride and groom wore kimonos which they had made to their specifications, “My kimono was by Misty Waters in Sunderland,” Klara began. “I’ve never felt I was a traditional white dress woman, and nothing really turned me on when I went looking for dresses. When we decided to marry in Japan, kimonos sounded perfect, as Adam loved the idea of wearing something other than a boring suit. We looked into renting kimonos, but it would have cost us about £3,000, and we could only wear them for the day! Also, the whole idea of doing the very traditional Japanese wedding also felt restrictive, and not ‘us’. We have a friend in the UK, Tracey, who makes wedding dresses, and we decided to design our own kimonos. I absolutely love Liberty in London, and can’t get enough of their vintage prints, so I spent weeks choosing perfect clashing liberty prints for my kimono. Adam decided he’d love his Kimono in traditional British tweed. Traditionally, the inside fabric of a kimono is a chance to express the wearers personality, so we both chose fun linings for the inside. I had dainty tea cups, and Adam had vintage slide carousels.”

“The kimonos used yards and yards of fabric and there were quite a few off-cuts,” Klara continued. “Adam brought some with him to Japan and I used them to make fabric necklace/headbands as favours for my bridesmaids. It was lovely and personal for them knowing they were made out of actual bits of kimono fabric. And of course, they were liberty print. I also designed parodies of the Royal wedding tea towels, to go with our British theme, and I drew in Ghibli characters having a British tea party. We screenprinted them onto tea towels and tote bags, and we gave them away as wedding favours to our guests in Japan.”

“As a couple we’ve never really done things in quite the most straightforward way”, Klara answered when I asked why they wanted to marry in Japan. “We were living almost 6000 miles apart when we decided to get married and we only had about 10 weeks to organise everything. Kimono designs, fabric choices and all the logistics had to be decided over Skype. I didn’t see my kimono in the flesh until a few days before the wedding. Right from the start we knew we wanted to do things our own way and make it very much a private affair. Our Japan wedding was just for ‘us’, and our Brighton wedding was for our family and friends. We were married by our friend Tom, who is a western priest in Japan. He adapted a ceremony from Universal Studios Japan, and we swore over Pukka Love Tea. The idea of the ceremony is that if your marriage is really in trouble, either one of you can produce an object; in our case, Love Tea; and you promise to give it another go. We drank Love Tea at our reception in the teahouse, and gave away Love Tea teabags to our guests after.”

“The theme of our wedding ended up being ‘Britishness’ seen through Japanese eyes, and vice versa,” the bride concluded. “I used to live in Japan I was enamored with the tweed, and the Sherlock Holmes style clothes available. I loved how our cultures were seen so differently through each other’s eyes, and it made my own culture fresh and interesting. I loved visiting Japanese tea shops that were so meticulously ‘British’ as they saw it, and they were wonderful places. One in particular had clashing floral tablecloths, amazing china and teaspoons, and the theme began bubbling away from there!”

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A Scottish Loch-Side Wedding: Wayne & Mac

Wayne & Mac were married at The Lodge at Loch Goil in Scotland. The beautiful venue and epic scenery really defined their gorgeous wedding. Newlywed Mac told me all about their fabulous day. “Rock n Roll Bride was a favourite blog for my when planning my weddings! It was a bit of a godsend actually as all the standard wedding websites and magazines made me feel a bit nauseas with twitterings on about favours and general frilly pinkness. Wayne and I are both fairly scruffy monkeys that don’t do a lot of dressing up so we were keen to have a do that catered to us and our friends tastes. We wanted a fairly small wedding with close friends and family to have a chance of spending time with them rather than a quick 5 minutes that some mates had endured at their bigger do’s. And we wanted to get some time together!”

“The original plan was poking around a snow wedding in Norway or away snowboarding but the practicalities of shipping 20 plus people north or to mountains proved epic, and Wayne chipped in his ‘must haves’ of Scotland, bagpipes, and being able to keep his mutton chop sideys. We stumbled across The Lodge at Loch Goil during my many productive hours at work Googling and from our first visit adored it. Alice Gill, the head planner, and her assistant Kelly sorted out pretty much everything from their list of regular bookings – they do in-house catering (even with our veggie and gluten bothering mates), a resident florist and use local staff and suppliers for as much as possible including their own kitchen garden in the grounds.”

The simple and stress-free wedding was perfect for this couple who decided the wedding fluff and stuff really wasn’t for them! “I wore a dress from Coast,” the bride continued. “I originally found a random pink version on a non-wedding shopping trip, and despite not liking pink it liked it as I knew I didn’t want a meringue. I tried it on with the boots I had on and the seed was sown. It took a bit of ringing round various branches and whispering credit card details in restaraunt toilets to get it, and then persuading them to exchange it a couple of months later when the white version was released!”

“Neither Wayne or I are particularly religious and we wanted a ceremony that was a bit less formal than some might expect. After Mum mentioned going to a friend’s daughter’s humanist wedding where the bride and groom skipped down the aisle to the Benny Hill theme tune I knew we were on to a winner. We booked our wedding at quite short notice, and were lucky enough to meet Linda Britton, our celebrant. Humanist weddings encompass the legal bits with whatever reflects the couples values as long as it is dignified and legal! We met with her and did lots of emailing about the ceremony and she did us proud, we can’t thank or recommend her enough. The Lodge gave us indoor/outdoor options for the ceremony depending on the weather. We had rain the day before and a pretty poor forecast but Alice came up trumps and gave the go ahead for the loch shore under the tree. (With the tyre swing, good fun). It was lovely and informal with a table, a few chairs and some flowers and everyone gathered round. People passing by in canoes and boats is a lovely bonus, and I’m so impressed that our photographer got such great photos as I spent the whole thing grinning like an idiot and doing thumbs up.”

The Lodge has been designed and curated with vintage and retro pieces and Alice is an encyclopedia of beautiful things. We also brought a dressing up box of nonsense for people to take their own shots with and loads of spare flip flops for dancing. The ultimate decor was the Lodge’s treehouse which I still make little squealy noises about when it pops up on the Visit Scotland TV adverts. It was the perfect place to have our pictures taken.”

“We had a piper from the local pipe band playing as guests arrived and as I trotted through the garden with my Dad. As a sneaky surprise Wayne and I booked fireworks in the evening through Alice, it was a hard job keeping my trap shut about it. The village gets considerate advance warning that they will be happening, and we were told they would all be out watching from their gardens. What we didn’t know was that the grounds would be lit with candles and we would launch a fireballoon as a pretence for getting everyone outside. The fireworks lasted ages and it was a wonderful end to our day standing by the loch with all our family and friends. I was so glad I skipped favours and other things I was ‘supposed’ to have and went for something that everyone could share in.”

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A Scottish Loch-Side Wedding: Wayne & Mac

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Wayne & Mac were married at The Lodge at Loch Goil in Scotland. The beautiful venue and epic scenery really defined their gorgeous wedding. Newlywed Mac told me all about their fabulous day. "Rock n Roll Bride was a favourite blog for my when planning my weddings! It was a bit of a godsend actually as all the standard wedding websites and magazines made me feel a bit nauseas with twitterings on about favours and general frilly pinkness. Wayne and I are both fairly scruffy monkeys that don't do a lot of dressing up so we were keen to have a do that catered to us and our friends tastes. We wanted a fairly small wedding with close friends and family to have a chance of spending time with them rather than a quick 5 minutes that some mates had endured at their bigger do's. And we wanted to get some time together! The original plan was poking around a snow wedding in Norway or away snowboarding but the practicalities of shipping 20 plus people north or to mountains proved epic, and Wayne chipped in his 'must haves' of Scotland, bagpipes, and being able to keep his mutton chop sideys. We stumbled across The Lodge at Loch Goil during my many productive hours at work Googling and from our first visit adored it. Alice Gill, the head planner, and her assistant Kelly sorted out pretty much everything from their list of regular bookings - they do in-house catering (even with our veggie and gluten bothering mates), a resident florist and use local staff and suppliers for as much as possible including their own kitchen garden in the grounds."

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