Category Archives: British Brides

A Homemade Tipi Wedding in Wales: Nathan & Laura

When I get wedding submissions like Nathan & Laura’s I’m literally bursting at the seams to get them published. So sometimes I sneakily share a picture or two on my facebook page. The shot I shared of Nathan’s reaction when seeing his bride walking down the aisle totally encompassed this awesome wedding. And it would appear you guys loved it too – over 200 likes and I didn’t even show you the stunning bride! Well the wait is over my friends, I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth it and that his face was 100% justified. Just look at her!

After proposing with a ‘Laura will you marry me?’ tattoo (!) the couple got to planning their wedding for earlier this month. The celebration was held at Penybanc Farm, hosted by Welsh Green Weddings, and the relaxed vibe of the farm really set the tone for the whole day.

“We had a marquee which was put up by made by Roger, Simone and team at Welsh Green Weddings“, the couple explained. “We then added our own personal touches including bunting made by the Mother of the bride and hearts on line made by both our Mothers and the groom’s daughters. Our wishing tree was made by the Mother of the bride and the cake stand was made by Laura. We had individual homemade ‘plant pot’ cakes too. We had tea cups and saucers for favours which we collected from car boots and charity shops. The bridal bouquet was made out of of vintage buttons and featured items from both our grandmothers, Edelweiss (Austrian relatives) and the Father of the bride’s numbers from his police uniform. As Nathan proposed to Laura with a ‘Laura will you marry me?’ tattoo, we also had temporary tattoos as favours and both of us had our own ‘secret tattoos’ on the day.”

“Think about the kind of people you are and who you are going to invite” the couple advised when I asked them what influenced their wedding, “in our case we knew that around a third of the guests would be under 12, so a venue where children and their parents could feel relaxed and excited was important to us. Being true to your self is vital and having some sort of connection with the people running the venue as well as a faith in their professionalism helps enormously. For us, when we went to see Simone and Roger at Pennybanc we knew we were on the same wavelength.”

“A professional photographer is also totally worth the money” they continued. “The married couples we spoke to who hadn’t had one said it was their only regret from their own weddings. If you can, budget with them at the centre and book them early on. Nicola from Daffodil Waves Photography was amazing.”

“Don’t get too hung up on being original”, they concluded. “Wedding blogs and magazines are great to help you think about things and give inspiration, but they can also be intimidating and make you feel that your ideas are ‘old hat’. It ebbs and flows so don’t compete. We both like Elvis and vintage style so it was inevitably going to feature in the music and look of the day, but we didn’t want it to be to ‘themed’. We wanted to have a structure to the day but it also had to have enough flexibility in it to to deal with overruns and the unexpected…and we wanted unexpected things to happen!”

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A Mythical Gothic Anniversary Shoot: Emma & Owen

After their wedding Emma & Owen decided they wanted to do a shoot that really showed off their personalities and personal style. They hadn’t had any portraits taken at their wedding eight years ago, and so they contacted photographer Jess Petrie to ask if she’d like to shoot them.

Owen told us all about their relationship and why they wanted to do this shoot. “I met Emma when I was fifteen and we’ve been together ever since. It really was love at first sight – that’s probably the only way it could have worked as I was too shy to speak to her at the time! As a teenager with a paper round, I had to save up for an engagement ring; I picked a ring at a jewellers and went there every week to add to the down-payment on a tiny gold ring with two small diamonds holding a larger third in the middle. I’d literally go there some weeks with 82 pence in copper coins to add to the pot, but I paid it off eventually and took it home! We went to sixth form and then University together, Emma to study Fine Art Painting and me to study Film & Video Production. Nowadays, Emma is a successful portrait painter and I run a film production company and am about to direct my first feature film.”

“We got married just under eight years ago at Hedingham Castle in Essex, a Norman castle from the 11th Century. The wedding was brilliant, with an all-black dress code and we wrote our own vows. Being a film maker with a professional photographer for a father, most of my friends are pretty good at wielding a camera, so we didn’t hire a photographer for the day (we obviously didn’t know Jess then). I’d been to a few weddings where the photographer had made the whole day revolve around themselves which seemed to kill any romance or spontaneity in the couple; too much ‘Stand here! Move there! Now we need the Bride’s Mother and the Groom’s Father…’ for my liking when we just wanted a day to celebrate being in love. After the wedding we were sent discs from everyone and had just under 5,000 images to sift through which was great fun, if a little slow! One thing we realised afterwards was that although we’d documented the day thoroughly, it would have been nice to get a few shots which were just about ‘us’ rather than the event.  Hence booking in with Jess for this shoot.”

“Nowadays, wedding photographers seem to have evolved, thank goodness! I went to a wedding recently where the photographer got in a fight with the bride’s uncle over ordering people about too much, so it still happens and it’s not just me it bothers – but there is a new and wonderful trend for photographers like Jess. Essentially, it’s their job to be very subtle and just capture unguarded, natural moments where people are celebrating, laughing, crying and playing. If wedding photographers like Jess had been around in 2004 when we married, we’d have booked her!”

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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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