Category Archives: British Brides

Ted & Nina’s Purple-Themed, Internet-Sourced, Gothic Wedding

Ted & Nina’s wedding was put together by the power of the internet – that is, they saved money as best they could by buying everything online! Nina’s dress was bought from Dark Angel and really set the tone for the whole day. The striking purple & white theme was everywhere they looked, from the bride’s gorgeous coat from eBay and her fabulous hat from The Black Cat Boutique to the flowers, the groom’s outfit and even the bride’s hair!

I wanted to share the couple’s wedding day portraits primarily, as they are simply awesome! I love their style don’t you?

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Leslie & Ben’s Rowing Club Wedding

Leslie & Ben’s rowing club wedding shows perfectly why I adore my readers! Such utter gorgeousness without conforming to anybody else’s idea of what makes a wedding…plus the whole thing was DIY. I approve!

“We called in a lot of favours to make the day; partially because we had a limited budget, but also because by using friends the day would be more special.  Luckily we have a lot of talented friends who include a graphic designer (who did our invitations), a chef (catering), a musician (band), ex-florist and so forth.  The favours, peanut butter fudge, I made myself 4 days before. It was all gone before the main course at the sit down dinner, so I’m guessing no one minded it was made by the bride!”

“The venue decorating was DIY by a friend…we found out on the Thursday that we weren’t allowed into the venue on the Friday to decorate as they had another booking.  I had been worried about that the whole time, so had minimal decorations in mind, just flowers, and a few other bits and pieces.  So late Thursday night, I called my friend Gary who happens to be my event assistant at work and bribed him with a Gaucho in exchange for decorating.  So he cancelled his plans on Saturday and went and did some diy decorating for us.  And it was all perfect.”

“Ben also joined the wine society and we had months of wedding wine tasting before we decided on what to get and brought it all in ourselves (the venue has very reasonable corkage for a London venue). We take our wine very seriously and wouldn’t settle on a wine list, so it was very important to find somewhere we could choose our own wine. And god it was good.  We bought way too much, Ben fully expected to bring some home.  I expected to run out.  Our friends and family did not disappoint on the drinking front; it was just the right amount to see us through the day without a drop to bring home.”

When I asked the bride why the felt their wedding was Rock n Roll, her answer just made me love them even more! It’s all so true. “I didn’t plan a wedding.  I planned a party that we happened to get married just before and dressed up for.  I never wanted a wedding in the “traditional” sense.  We wanted a wedding, followed by a slap up meal and a big party in the evening.  I had family come from all over the world – The States, Australia, Kuwait – to be with us, so we kept the wedding and meal (4 course feast) as family only, with a couple of friends thrown in: mine who had delayed their honeymoon following their August wedding so that they could come from The States, as well as a few of Ben’s close friends as I have an enormous family and he has a tiny one.”

“We wanted a wedding where everyone could have fun, and wasn’t just a spectator on the sidelines.  The Father of the bride speech happened when it was only family which was great as he knew everyone, everyone
there knew what a tough year we had so no explanation was needed and so forth.  So no speech that alienates a lot of people, or bores them as they have no idea what’s happening.  The evening guests had the groom and best man’s speech, it was all friends, so was perfect.  They were short and sweet.”

“I think this sums it up.  We have had so many people tell us it was the best wedding they had ever been to, because at the end of the day it was fun.  Within half an hour of the evening guests arriving, we had everyone on the dancefloor, and they didn’t leave it until the venue made us stop well after midnight!”

“The best piece of advice I was given, sadly not sure who from…don’t try to please anyone else when wedding planning.  Stay true to yourself and plan the best day for you.  We did and we had an utter blast.  And people won’t like what you do.  My mother HATES our wedding invitations – they’re based on steampunk – but we thought they were the coolest thing ever.  So what!  We love it and that is all that matters.  Don’t be swayed by others opinions.  Or by the whole bridal machine.  And ENJOY it all.  I do event organising for work, so approached it all in a functional way as it is what I do.  I wish I had had more fun with it, rather than make spreadsheet after spreadsheet after spreadsheet.”

Good advice Leslie!

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Laura & Andy’s Classy, Rockabilly, Back to the Future Inspired, DIY Wedding

Laura & Andy’s rockabilly wedding is pure class. Shot by the wonderful Chloe Browne of Caught the Light, the day exudes 1950’s elegance and styling…with a big fat Rock n Roll twist!

“We did things differently by really letting our personalities and our interests shine through our wedding preparations,” began the bride. “Both ourselves and our friends are immersed in the music dancing and lifestyle of the 40s and 50s Swing and Rockabilly scene.  It was inherent that I would wear a 50s style dress rather than a traditional wedding dress, that the details of our wedding would be centered around our love of vintage music, pin-up fashion, jive and jitterbug dancing, traditional tattoos, classic Chevy pickups!”

“Everything to do with the day reflected our day-to-day interests as well as some personal obsessions (particularly a certain Michael J Fox film from the 80’s!) Rather than having a ‘theme’ our wedding day reflected us -eclectic, unconventional and fun-loving and we wanted it to go with a swing!”

“We wanted an on-budget, hand-crafted rock’n’roll wedding where everyone we love best in the world could come and share the fun of seeing us get hitched followed by an awesome party. In the evening we truly ‘Rocked Around The Clock’ with my Great Aunt and Uncle showing us kids how they danced it the first time round which was awesome!”

“I knew from the get go that I would be wearing a 1950’s style wedding dress but still enjoyed the rites of passage of trying on some meringues beforehand. My Bridesmaid Hollie had nicknamed me ‘The Anti-Bride’ after every white dress I saw myself in left me in peals of laughter. I just felt like I was in fancy dress which I didn’t want. I just wanted to feel like me. I had my heart set on a coloured dress – and the inspiration for the peach colour came from the dress that Marty McFly’s ‘mother’ wears to the prom in ‘Back To The Future’.  ‘BTTF’ is our favourite film and not only was my dress an homage to it, but also our first dance was ‘Earth Angel and then straight into Johnny B Goode’ as an in-joke between us.”
I just have to interrupt right about here and say that the Back to the Future references make me love this wedding even more! It’s also my favourite film of all time and Gareth & I walked back up the aisle to ‘The Power of Love’ from the film. Anyway, sorry about that brief interlude…back to the task at hand…

“My dress was custom made by Caroline Arthur and my petticoat was custom made to match the colour of my dress by a Annabella Designs on folksy. Hollie had also had a lady on etsy make me a custom garter in leopard print and silver skull detail that I unwrapped on the day. It was so very ‘me’ and I was really touched.  I was originally planning to have the Heart Vivienne Westwood shoes but when I saw the cherry version I actually let out a small scream and hugged the sales assistant in Liberty! They cherry shoes then inspired the design of the bridesmaid’s hats which I made from millinery items bought from MacCulloch and Wallis.”

“I was insanely happy to find the ‘My Pretty’ Jewellery collection from Tarina Tarantino when I was planning my outfit as I have a life long obsession with The Wizard Of Oz. I was really torn between The Wicked Witch Of The West version but saw sense and went with Glinda The Good Fairy pearls and matching bracelet.”

“The Bridesmaids and I each wore over sized heart rings, custom for the wedding by Clutterfly Jewellery who make Rockabilly inspired jewellery. It was the perfect answer to my ‘Something Blue’ – but with added glitter. The bridesmaids had matching red glitter heart rings declaring their love of ‘TEA’! This matched our vintage teapots and teacups dotted around the mansion and reminded me of the brilliant vintage tea–hen-party they had thrown for me!” 

The couple decided to buck tradition and had the groom arrive in style at the ceremony in a Chevy. “As myself and my bridesmaids had a beautiful large Bridal suite to get ready in at the Mansion, we decided to turn tradition on its head and have the groom turn up in a vintage car – a mint green 1950s Chevy pickup,” Laura explained. “I will always remember hearing the engine revving as it pulled up outside and feeling insanely excited that the ceremony was about to begin!”

Both the Laura & Andy are designers and met during their Design Degree at University. Therefore, in order to make everything super personal, the couple decided to hand make most of the wedding decor and details with help from their friends and our family. The group worked hard and created the tissue paper pomanders. the cake and crocheted cake toppers, the cd favours, the guest book and the family photo board. “Other goodies at the guest table included 40s style hand-held fans to help guests cool down after a jive on the dance floor and vintage pressed glass bowls filled with marshmallows, bon bons and other sugary treats.”

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Helen & Dan’s Good Old-Fashioned Coronation Street, 1940’s Tea Party Wedding

Cute, quirky, British weddings are my utter favourites to feature. There’s so much originality and such fabulous ideas floating around this industry of ours, and it really really excites me! I was lucky enough to meet Heather, the photographer who captured this beautiful wedding, at the Unveiled Photography Conference that I spoke at in July so I’m so excited to see that she’s put what she learnt in to practice with this killer wedding.

Helen & Dan were married in September in Rye. Their theme was “a good old-fashioned Coronation Street party/1940s tea party feel”. Originally the couple had planned to have an Alice in Wonderland theme, however after the film came out, and the whole world went Alice mad, they decided to do something different and more unique. “My mum is a magpie for nice bits and set about scouring the length and breadth of Lancashire’s charity shops for table decorations, the cups and saucers, the teapots and the candelabras” began the bride. “Dan’s nan volunteers in a charity shop, so she managed to pick up some lovely pieces too.”

“The outfits were the thing that I was most concerned about and probably spent the most time ruminating over. I KNEW it had to be a retro/1940s feel but the shops were all a bit full of conventional, uninspiring things. I scoured the internet and, thankfully, found Claire Pettibone, an American bridal designer. Her stunning gowns are stocked at Blackburn Bridal in London. Once I had the dress, it felt like everything else fitted into place.” With her dream dress, Helen wore Irregular Choice shoes and a hairpiece by Orelia.

Helen continued, “Neither Dan or I are religious, and we were both paying for the wedding ourselves, so we knew we wouldn’t be going down the traditional route! No older family members to please. Our readings at the ceremony reflected our desire to do things differently, and we had ‘To Love is Not to Possess’ by James Kavanaugh and the Doctor Seuss ‘Wedding Vows’.  My older sister and her son read the Doctor Seuss piece, to much laughter from the congregation, and Dan’s mum read the To Love… piece.”

“We’re both really big Blur fans, so it seemed appropriate to walk up the aisle to ‘Tender’. Dan came to the doors of the wedding chamber and met me so we could walk down together. I was so happy to see him when the door opened! My friend said he knew I was nervous when he saw my dress hem “trembling”! Our exit tune was ‘Celebrate’ by Kool & the Gang, and our first dance was ‘To The End’, again by Blur.”

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Faux Fur in Leopard Print – Gorgeous Glaswegian Vintage Engagement

It’s the 1st of Decemeber, and what better way to start of this freezing month than a chilly but beautiful British engagement session? Everyone knows I am Emma Case’s biggest fan, and engagement sessions like Debs & Richie’s are the reason why. Quite apart from the trademark Emma Case gorgeousness, this couple are just too cool for words. Faux fur in leopard print, denim turn ups and helium balloons all make me smile.

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Charlie & Jo’s Unconventional Music Gig Wedding

Charlie & Jo’s reception took place the day before their ceremony and that’s not the only thing about this awesome wedding that was unconventional. “We decided to get married and the Registry Office had a date free in two months time so we had a short amount of time in which to plan and make everything happen,” the couple explained. “We already had many things that we wanted to have at our wedding, incorporating lots of themes that we love. Many of these themes were not obviously related and not directly relevant to a wedding but we were more interested in these than having a traditional wedding. It all came together perfectly in the end. The less we worried about what we ‘should’ be doing, the more time we had to be creative and make our ideas possible in the time we had.”

“Our local community centre was the perfect venue but we could only get it for the night before the ceremony so everything happened a bit backwards! The hall dates back to 1909 and has a remarkable amount of original features (including the chairs!) and fitted in with the old time theme we wanted for our wedding. All our friends are very talented and generous so we knew that things would turn out perfectly if they helped arrange everything, rather than hire professional wedding companies – they designed the DJ booth posters, the stage banner, the collages, table decorations and more.”

“The age of the hall gave it a slightly eerie tone that reminded us of The Shining and so we complimented this with the DJ playlist for the beginning of the night by playing songs by Al Bowlly, Tiny Tim, The Ink Spots, The Mills Brothers etc. and brought woodland animal masks for the children. This loosely tied into the art nouveau style of the hall and complimented the Mexican party theme (tissue paper flowers and garlands, fairy lights, Santo, Salsa).”

Music was also really important to this couple so the reception almost has the vibe of a music gig. They had a DJ that played Mexican music, projections of some of their favourite films, line dancing, salsa dancing and a gramophone playing. The night concluded with the reunion of Charlie and his best man Dan’s band, who performed into the night with friends and family as extras in the line up. “Tracks included White Wedding, 20th Century Boy, Knocking On Heaven’s Door and our friends did a surprise cover of Don’t Stop Believin’ for our first dance,” Jo concluded.

The next day, the couple woke up together and headed to the Registry Office to be legally married.

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