Category Archives: British Brides

A Hackney Vintage Mash Up: Aimee & Lee

Aimee & Lee were married in April at the Hackney Council Chambers. The wedding had an effortlessly cool, East London vibe with vintage elements throughout. “We both really love Hackney and wanted to get married in the borough as we brought our first home here and its where we first met”, the bride told me. “We picked the council chamber because of its art deco features and also it is a circular room so it felt really intimate and we loved the idea of being surrounded in a circle by all our family and friends.”

The Peasant Pub in Clerkenwell proved to be the perfect reception venue for this laid back couple. They were able to hire the entire pub for a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding venue, as well as really go to town putting their own stamp on the decor. “Myself and Lee wanted a relaxed wedding venue and somewhere where we felt at home, this happened to be a pub in Clerkenwell”, the bride continued. “It has some lovely original Victorian features in the pub and being a lover of anything old it was the perfect spot. I also had specfic ideas of how I wanted to decorate it and Nick the owner was open and let us decorate it how we felt. He was fantastic at planning and helped us with any queries, his staff where also incredibly helpful on the day.”

“We tried to do a lot of decoration at the pub ourselves so customised our own bunting with our initials entwined. Lee is a massive lover of Scrabble so everyone had a Scrabble name as there name place. I also brought loads of vintage table cloths on eBay to give the pub a vintage feel. Our favours where a tape we recorded together of one of our favourite songs, Johnny Cash – Jackson. I can’t sing so I’m hoping no one has actually played it.”

The bride wore a 1940s vintage wedding dress which she found in Hope and Harlequin, Brighton. “As a massive lover of anything old I always knew my dress would be vintage”, she explained. “I went to Hope and Harlequin in Brighton as its a relaxed atmosphere and you can browse through the rails of dresses from all eras. Louise the owner is a jem and encouraged me to try on all styles. I ended up choosing a 1940s dress with pearl embellishment, which they took in for me and ended up fitting me like a glove, it was perfect and reduced me to tears.”

With her perfect dress she added customised Kurt Geiger shoes and and a homemade 1920s inspired cap veil. “I love Kurt Geiger shoes and wanted something classic but with a modern twist, so I brought the shoes and a talented friend of mine customised the soles so they where neon pink. I made my veil myself and was influenced by the 1920/30s caplets. I found a old pearl necklace and brought some silk mesh from Berwick St in London. The floral brooches on the ear pieces where from Hammersmith vintage market.”

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A Stylish East London Wedding: Charlotte & Jonathan

When the bride is an in-demand fashion stylist you just know the wedding is going to be incredible right? Well Charlotte & Jonathan certainly put their own stamp on their day, with Charlotte’s expert knowledge and uber cool credentials coming in pretty darn handy for all the pretty bits.

The wedding was held at Town Hall Hotel in London’s vibrant East End. The deco decor suited the theme of the day perfectly, which was also echoed by the bride’s gorgeous genuine 1960s vintage wedding dress from Elizabeth Avey.

“I’m a fashion stylist I wanted our wedding to be a bit personal to us both and for it not to be too stiff and formal”, Charlotte told me. “It was important for everyone just to have fun! Jonathan is Jewish and I’m not so we had a civil ceremony in the amazing Courtroom at The Town Hall Hotel and then Jonathan’s Dad did a little Jewish blessing afterwards so Jonathan could smash the glass! We also played the ‘Hava Nagila’ song later and were lifted up on the chairs for the Jewish dancing. Before the service started the music playing was acoustic versions of Rihanna and Beyonce songs! The Town Hall Hotel has loads of cool features too as a venue, lots of work is featured from East London artists which is a really nice touch. We live in East London too so wanted it to be local! I love that the venue was really amazing and beautiful but then there’s a council estate opposite and it’s still the original town hall building.”

Being a creative couple DIY was an inevitable part of their day, as Charlotte continued, “We (my Mum and I) made the cards and stationery. We made the table plan using an old rococo mirror and Liberty print wrapping paper and we are going to hang the mirror in our house afterwards.”

“I think the main drive for our wedding theme was that we didn’t want our wedding to be boring!!” Charlotte laughed. “I wanted it to be pretty, cool and fun – loads of flowers, candles, hearts and nice touches, not to traditional but not try hard/flashy. I didn’t want a long dress either as I wanted to be able to dance and for it to set the tone of the day.  The music in the evening was just like a big party – no normal cheesy wedding songs!! I think we wanted to keep it real.”

“I also hate traditional wedding cakes but love big old proper cakes! We liked the idea of it being a bit of an English, springtime, fun version of Marie Antoinette ‘Let Them Eat Cake’!”

“I think words I’d use to describe our wedding would be fun, modern vintage romance and pretty”, she concluded. “The dress code was black tie and pretty dresses… I also didn’t want a proper colour scheme – everyone kept asking us about colour schemes and we just wanted all lovely Spring, pastel, sherbet colours, nothing set in stone. And we had colourful ribbons tied in bows on the backs of chairs instead of chair covers (I hate chair covers!)”

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A Boho & Rock n Roll Fusion Wedding: Ioan & Anona

The Welsh wedding of Ioan & Anona was planned with everyone in mind – themselves, their friends and their families. It was important to them that their wedding would be an enjoyable day for everyone in attendance. “On one hand we wanted quite a traditional wedding that would keep the parents happy but also one that both our friends and ourselves would feel bore our own individual stamp,” the groom told me. “I play guitar in a hardcore punk / rock band and am obsessed with old 70s riff heavy rock and classic album art so I was really keen to ramp up those kind of aesthetics. Anona’s mother was quite keen on a ‘spring flower’ theme and whilst initially I worried those two influences would clash spectacularly I think in the end it all came together and balanced each other nicely.”

“Although we were both keen to stylize the wedding to some degree, the bottom line for us was that we just wanted to have all our friends and family nearby and really enjoy the day for what it was, a celebration of our love and commitment to each other. I think ultimately that really came across and whilst there were traditional elements it was by no means stuffy and the little personal touches really shone through.”

With the groom being in a band it was obvious that music would play a big part in their day. “I was determined to get a proper rockabilly band that could really tear it up!” he continued. “Wild went down a storm and both the youngsters and the oldies were going crazy for it. It was important to me that the band be really tight and professional and as far removed from the kind of bands I’d been involved with as possible!!! The playlists that we spent hours crafting went down really well and it was such a thrill to see people enjoying themselves and dancing all night long.”

“My friend Sian did both our cakes and we were just absolutely blown away by her sponge, chocolate and icing creations”, he continued. “She made a really elegant cake with pretty flowers for the day and a totally rocking cake for the evening. The life size chocolate skull was a complete surprise and it really cemented our rock n roll evening theme. I’m not really one for playing up to the camera but I couldn’t resist going ape with the cake knife and inflicting some dramatic damage during our ‘cutting of the cake’ ceremony!”

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An Oxfordshire Tipi Wedding: Saskia & Paul

Weddings don’t have to be detail heavy or complicated to be Rock n Roll – Saskia & Paul’s stunning Oxfordshire tipi wedding proves it! The Swedish tipi was erected in Paul’s father’s back garden, the bride had no bridesmaids and the groom had no groomsmen. For this couple, ticking things of the proverbial wedding list was of no regard – what mattered was them, their love and celebrating with their friends and family.

“The wedding planning revolved around our laziness”, the bride told me, “no bridesmaids or best men, no cars, no place settings, no hair trial, no fancy wedding cake… We wanted to have the least amount of stress as possible in the lead up to and on the day of the wedding. We had less jobs to do by cutting out lots of the traditional weddingy things. In the end, everything was awesome! My dad and I spent the day before playing badminton in the garden, and although the hairdresser was dubious about me not having a practice, it turned out great! We really enjoyed the day because we fit it to suit our personalities.”

“We ate a lot of soup in preparation for the wedding to collect tin cans for our flowers,” Saskia continued. “Instead of ordering flowers, Paul, my dad and I went to the flower markets in London a couple of days before the wedding. We got lots of pretty flowers for more than half the price I was quoted by a flower farm. We bought some florist block to weigh down the cans and spent a couple of hours arranging them. They fit the rustic vibe of the tent and it was a great father-daughter bonding experience!”

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Pastel Colours for a 1950s Inspired Wedding: Emily & James

As soon as I laid eyes on Emily’s incredible silver embellished 1950s inspired wedding dress I was smitten. What an utterly gorgeous bride and a completely beautiful wedding. I couldn’t wait to get it on these digital pages of mine! The couple were married at Edes House, Chichester and had their reception at the groom’s father’s house in Bosham.

“We wanted our wedding day to completely reflect James and me”, Emily told me. “This was something we kept in mind during the whole process, as I think it is easy to lose sight of what and who weddings are for, when you are surrounded by so many people in the wedding industry telling you that you absolutely need this and definitely need that. 
We both adore the 1950s and the pastel shades, and I really feel like these things were very present in the whole day. We also chose from the beginning which things would be the most important to us – these ended up being the food/drink for James and the flowers for me. We chose a catering company who were very local and produced the most delicious food. We hand picked each of the types of alcohol we chose, with Arundel Ales coming from Sussex and the cider coming from Appledram which is just around the corner from the reception.”

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My biggest advice to future brides is to always keep a clear idea of what you want the overall feel of the day to be. Use Pinterest as it will really help you to channel your style of the day and keep you focused. And don’t be afraid to delegate. I was terrible at this and had to really be coaxed into it by my lovely Dad, who was concerned I would end up having some sort of bridal breakdown with the amount of work I was taking on. As soon as I began to delegate the smaller jobs, I found it so much easier to relax and enjoy the bigger jobs. Lean on your family and friends who offer to help – they do genuinely want to be a part of the process!”

“I’m a very creative person and always have some sort of project on the go, so we always knew our wedding would be DIY heavy”, Emily continued. “Little did our wedding party know just how much they would be getting involved as well! 
I had seen beautiful ‘doily bunting’ on a couple of blogs, which involved taking a large doily and folding it in half over a pieces of cotton tape, and repeating to create bunting. This had the quaint look I was going for, but I was eager not to have them in white as I wanted to bring as much colour as possible into the blank canvas of the marquee. So, after much looking, it seemed near impossible to find doilies in the right shades of blue and pink, and it was then that I decided we would have to make them ourselves! 
I fashioned a template which worked, and my parents got stuck in at home, with various family members, creating a production line of doily bunting. They were fantastic and I think we ended up with approx. 300 metres of it!
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“The choice of paper lanterns came about when I hit a stumbling block with lighting. I originally wanting ‘festoon lighting’, conjuring up images of old fairgrounds, like the one out of The Notebook. Sadly, the ones which our marquee company had were only allowed to be used outdoors. That was when I found some stunning photos of paper lanterns inside marquees with dimly lit bulbs inside. I sourced mine through eBay and was so pleased with the outcome. One friend said ‘It looks like the wedding in 500 Days of Summer’ – it was the perfect compliment!”

“
James and I both love all things whimsical and retro, and we’re big readers. So, I chose to use old books as our table centres. These were relatively easy to source through eBay and old book stores. I loved picking out ones with quaint and quirky covers! The flowers were then dotted around them in old jam jars and bottles. I love using these around my house, as it has the lovely ‘just from the garden’ feel, so I knew straight away that this was how they would be displayed. With the help of some kind friends and family, we quickly gathered together around 150 jars to be used as vases and also lanterns in the evening, which were painted a light rose pink colour and gave off a beautiful, warm glow.
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“I wanted to add some colour to the tables, so I used the same 5 patterns of fabric which we used on the chutney jars, and made 70 placemats to go in each guest’s place. They were a little labour intensive as the pinning and sewing of the hems was fiddly, but I was so pleased with how they looked when we laid them out.
 The ‘Mr and Mrs Dall’ banner originated from my Hen Weekend. My wonderful bridesmaid, Penny, had made a lovely ‘Mrs Dall’ banner from card, paint and ribbon. I took it home with me after the weekend and realised how fantastic it would look with ‘Mr &’ added to it, and then hung behind us at the top table.”

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Working in theatre, I saw a great opportunity to go wild in the Chichester Festival Theatre props store and hire plenty of old bits of furniture and the odd trunk and suitcase to give a truly whimsical and old fashioned feel to the day. We used two suitcases and one hat box on the cake table to tier the cake levels and display them a little better. We used another suitcase for the presents and cards table. We also had a small ‘lounge’ area near the photobooth, where people could relax and feel like they were a little further away from the dance floor action if they wanted. For this we chose a couple of large, wing-backed armchairs, a nice big trunk as a coffee table, and a few little side tables with mismatched wooden chairs dotted around them. It gave a really lovely cafe style atmosphere and was very popular with all the guests, particularly the littlest ones who liked the big chairs!



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‘So what about that amazing dress?’ I hear you cry! “My dress was designed by Emily Garrod“, the bride told me. I realised quite quickly that I would not find my wedding dress in a bridal shop. I adore vintage style dresses and have a few 1950s style prom dresses with big petticoats. I knew I needed something in this style, rather than the classic long wedding dress. 
I found Emily by chance through a friend who worked in a shop and enquired about Emily’s dress which she was wearing when she wandered into the store. It turned out she had made herself. She is a wedding dress maker who is relatively fresh to the industry but absolutely fantastic and keen to fulfill your brief but also aid you with understanding what designs work with your height, shape etc. I gave her a brief of ‘1950s MGM musical meets ballet dancer’ and I was over the moon that she managed to make a dress which looked entirely as I had imagined it would.
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A Quintessentially British Wedding on the Queen’s Birthday: Jess & Dan

Jess & Dan’s wedding was quintessentially British with the theme carrying through from the attire to the cake to the DIY reception decor. Why the theme you ask? Well the wedding was held on the weekend of the Queen’s birthday!

The couple were married at Edes House, Sussex and had two reception venues, both of which were within the grounds of Chichester Cathedral. Their afternoon wedding breakfast was held at Vicars Hall and the evening party was at George Bell House.

“For us, our wedding was all about having fun and celebrating with those closest to us, we didn’t want a typical wedding and very quickly built a list of all the things we didn’t want!” the bride told me. “We even discussed having Sambuca shots for after the speeches but the venue felt that this maybe too much at 2.30pm in the afternoon. Considering we were having 4 speeches they were definitely right. Although we personalised our day with the things we like what really surprised us in the end was how traditional we actually were.”

“My Mum gave me away as my Dad passed away some years ago and in light of this my sister did the ‘Father of The Bride Speech’ which was very well received.  I too did a speech, as someone who likes to chat the lure of a captive audience was too great! The best man had put together a Powerpoint presentation with images, videos graphics and even props. Half way through the presentation it developed an IT malfunction, the best man recovered well by breaking out into a rendition of ‘Hakuna Matata’ (the song relates to something that happened on the Stag) while the staff fixed the problem.”

“For the meal we had steak and ale pie which people are still talking about. If our guests remember anything from our wedding it will probably be the pie. Our compliments go to the chef as it was a pretty spectacular. We had cupcakes for dessert which were a gift from the Best man and his wife. In the evening we had a BBQ and a sweet table followed by a cheese wheel cake; we even got the DJ to announce that we were ‘cutting the cheese’! This was served with a selection of chutney and crackers.”

“We wanted to create most of the wedding details ourselves partly to save money but to also give our wedding a personal touch” Jess continued. “Dan is a graphic designer so created all the stationery and printed materials. We spent many hours cutting and sticking our invites together.”

“Inspired by a recent trip to Tokyo, Dan created the flowers out of paper using an origami pattern for a kusudama flower and the buttonholes were made in the style of a rosette. I made all the wedding favours using buttons, the boys got cufflinks and the girls rings.”

“Our theme was definitely ‘Eclectic, British and most defiantly us’. We went for a British, red, white and blue theme as we got married on the weekend of the Queens Birthday. It’s also a very patriotic year in the UK with the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics.”

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