Category Archives: British Brides

A Handmade Informal Tipi Wedding: Katie & Will

Don’t gorgeous handmade weddings like Katie & Will’s just make you go weak at the knees? So much of what went into their amazing wedding was hand crafted by the couple and their friends, making the day a really special one.

Katie explains, “I didn’t want a traditional bouquet and so inspired by the web, I opted for my Mum and Mum’s friend to make a bouquet out of brooches and rings that I found on market stalls where we lives in Spain. It looked amazing and is something I can keep forever. To match the brooch bouquet, My Mum made Will’s buttonhole out of pieces of lace and a satin brooch.”

“We bought an authentic US Post box to use for the wedding cards,” the couple continued. “This came from eBay and was in a sorry state. Will restored it to a beautiful condition by removing all the old paint and resprayed it in cream gloss. He then stenciled ‘Mr & Mrs Dorling’ onto the side using some homemade stencils and paint from his hobby supplies.”

“To make the cake personal we bought two plain wooden cake toppers from Goose Grease on Etsy. Again, Will painted these using acrylic paint to match the outfits we were wearing on the day. He knew what his suit looked like but as Katie’s dress was a surprise so she gave him a colour palette to work with.”

“We opted out of having a table plan as we wanted a relaxed feel to the day. To make sure people had fun during the meal we made a selection of moustaches on sticks for people to play with and take pictures. We printed a selection of 5 stencils online and used thick black card as the moustache. We trimmed around the stencils making 2 at a time -100 in total! When all the moustaches were cut out we glued them to the sticks in batches – wooden kebab skewers bought at supermarket with sharp points trimmed off. These were presented to guests tucked into a folded napkin with a copy of the ‘Heads Up’ order of events sheet.”

“We also handmade some signs directing people to ‘The Wedding’, the ‘Loos’ and the ‘Favours Buffet’. These were made from some free MDF sheets left outside a woodwork shop in Brighton, painted purple using home emulsion and the text was stencilled on then brought out using a cream chalk pen bought online. Instead of a Guest Book we thought we would get one pun in relating to the earlier wedding of Will and Kate. We bought a souvenir apron crossing out the wedding date and adding our own. Guests then signed the apron with their message.”

Katie wore an incredible dress by Jane Bourvis who has a shop on Portobello Road, London. It was made of vintage lace from 1910. She also wore a 1970s white Marabou bolero jacket was bought from a vintage wedding fair.

“Katie managed to get halfway through one bridal magazine before deciding that the options she saw were very samey and not for us and so she immediately turned to the web for inspiration,” the couple continued. “Katie took a lot of inspiration from blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride and Ruffled which gave us the initial ideas that we could do whatever we wanted on the day and not to be restricted by traditional formalities. We found our wonderful and unique photographer Joanna Brown on Twitter and other suppliers via the web.”

“We must add that the photos taken throughout the day by Joanna were perfect and provide a real story, capturing the events of the day. We love her style especially the way she photographs people in a really natural way whilst they are enjoying themselves. Another skill of hers is to pick out the finer details and touches so that they aren’t forgotten.”

“Overall we wanted the day to be super relaxed, fun, and a really nice party – a wedding without the formalities. Where we chose to go down a slightly more traditional route, i.e. the venue for the wedding, we tried to pull it back into theme using variables we had control over such as the music. We wanted the reception venue to be different and the Tipis supplied by Beautiful World Tents are out of this world. When they are dressed with all the twinkling fairy lights they look stunning and were a huge focal point on the day. Most guests had not seen anything like them and the setting on the side of the lake at Duncton Mill was perfect.”

“Our day was rounded off staying at the ‘Old Railway Station‘ down the road from our venue. This unique accomodation has converted Pullman railway carriages as guest rooms resplendent with many original art deco features. Breakfast was served in the old ticket office. We will definitely be making a return visit.”

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A Magical & Ethereal Midsummer Night’s Dream: Daisy & Adam

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the inspiration for Daisy & Adam’s September wedding. The wedding was held at Mountains Country House, Hildenborough, with the ceremony in the gazebo in the gardens.

“As a child I remember being taken to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Daisy wrote to me. “It was being performed in a London park, and with each scene the audience picked up their chairs and walked with the actors through the woods to get to the next setting. I remember being struck by the romance of it, the mystery of the faerie woodland was so magical, it was always how I’d imagined by wedding. Luckily, Adam loved the ideas too!”

“It was important to Adam and I not to spend money on things which wouldn’t enhance the guests experience/our wedding day. I’d so recommend this to other couples; it’s so easy to get caught up in having ‘essentials’ for your wedding which are really only essential because they make companies lots of money! We didn’t want to spend vast amounts of money on frilly bows for the chairs, or little favours on the table (particularly when guests were about to eat and drink really well anyway!), or anything else which wasn’t personal to us. I am amazed looking at wedding options when the only real option the bride and groom has is over the colour of the chair sashes and table plan. It seems sad when every couple has its own personality that this doesn’t always come through in the wedding – a wedding is about you two – make it that way!”

“Our wedding was a magical, ethereal, Shakespearean, muddy, messy, beautiful and romantic day,” she continued. “I tend to spell faerie in this situation the Shakespearean way – I tend to think of fluffy pink girly ‘fairies’ when it’s spelled the other way!”

Daisy wore a dress whcih she found in Perfection Bridal, Bromley with Irregular Choice Floral Cortesan shoes. “My shoes were the first thing I bought when we got engaged. I’ve known ever since I first saw these shoes that they had to be my bridal shoes! I initially wanted them in a deep green colour, but these were no where to be found, the cream and gold worked beautifully with the dress and veil though. Their messy, pretty and unusual appearance was a little touch of the faerie world!”

Daisy had two bridesmaid’s and she gave them both a different dress. “I knew I didn’t want them to be wearing the same dress, I didn’t want matching, when the girl’s personalities, looks and styles don’t match, it doesn’t feel right. I wanted them to be comfortable and happy in their outfits. The only real requirement was that they weren’t too ‘un-foresty’ in their colour – I was happy with blues, greens, purples, golds. My sister and her boyfriend Rob were travelling across Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China, Australia, NZ and India for seven months. Whilst there, she emailed me a photo of a dress she’d had made for her in Cambodia. A full length, deep green silk gown – it was $40. It was perfect! We found the second dress in the sale in Coast – it turned out to be similar to the first in style, and was equally vibrant in its colour, but was a beautiful sapphire blue.”

With a Midsummer Night’s theme, the flowers were of course a big part of the day. The couple worked really closely with their florist, Helen Tinworth, to make them just perfect. “I knew I didn’t want a formal, too arranged looking bouquet, I wanted a freely tied, messy assortment of leaves, foliage and a few wild looking flowers thrown in,” Daisy explained. “I wanted it to look as though it could have been picked when walking through the woods. The bridesmaids bouquets had to be similar, but we chose to have them without coloured flowers, just green and white, they were beautiful. The florists suggested incorporating herbs into the bouquets – this was such a wonderful idea as I’d wanted all senses to be ‘hit’ in our wedding.”

“I met with Helen countless times before the wedding to discuss ideas and work out how the theme would all come together. I’d bought an entire room full of Midsummer Night’s Dream ‘props’, Helen’s job was to take them from a great big pile of ideas and turn our venue into a magical enchanted forest! No small feat. I know this was the biggest project she’s had and I’m sure had as many sleepless nights as me, thinking about logs, and sourcing birds-nests, and other equally important things!”

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A Simple & Intimate Concert Hall Wedding: Valerie & Craig

“For us, we wanted our wedding ceremony to be kept simple – no flashiness and relaxed,” newlywed Valerie told me, “which is just the way we are. We wanted intimacy and for it to be very personal which I think was reflected in our music, readings (the lyrics of the Adam Sandler tune from the Wedding Singer and an extract from the Irrational Season, Madeleine L’Engle) and having our little boy with us. However, we definitely wanted a big party afterwards to celebrate.”

The ceremony was held at The Recital Rooms, Candleriggs, Glasgow and the recopetion that followed was at The Old Fruit Market, a concert hall also in Candleriggs. “There was a large visual and atmospheric contrast between our ceremony and reception but both were reflections of us as a couple,” the bride continued. “But we’re also an outgoing couple, for whom music and dancing is part of who we are.”

“The themes that ran through the wedding were peacock feathers and colours (greens and purples) so they featured on my hairpiece, the boutonnieres, page boys, flowergirls and bestmen outfits, the favours and place names. When we found our venue we wanted to stay in keeping with the rooms we used themselves. The ceremony room was a plain white room with art deco windows and draping at the head of the room. The lighting gave it atmosphere and these were subtly in our wedding colours. The only other decorations we used were the papal picado banners (found on Etsy) along the walls. For the reception room we wanted to keep with the rustic character of the room and I feel that everything from the flowers to the favours reflected that. For example, our placecard holders were simply made from branches from the tress in our garden and I made the favour CD holders out of hessian material for that natural feel. The Old Fruit Market is grand without being imposing and we felt it really matched what we wanted to create the party atmosphere for our wedding.”

With the reception being held in a concert hall, clearly music was a big consideration for the couple. Valerie explained, “The music for our wedding was always going to be really important to us, music is a big thing for both of us (even if our tastes can widely diverge at times) and we chose everything from the ceremony music to playlists for after the ceremony and during dinner. Friends of the Stars and James Summerfield played at the ceremony. Anna (from Friends of the Stars, the band that Craig sings and writes with) and James sang an acoustic version of Islands in the Stream for me to walk up the aisle to. It was lovely to have them sing for us as it made the ceremony feel so personal and intimate from the very start.”

“For the reception, our friend Kev Kiernan, DJ’d. We knew he’d rock it because of his wide and eclectic style of tunes. I’ve known Kev for years and have spent many nights dancing to Kev’s DJ’ing at house parties into the wee hours. He played everything from 60s funk, early 90s house and country tunes…And then of course, we had Elvis.”

“We knew early on that by choosing to have an Elvis, it couldn’t just be any Elvis. He had to be amazing for us to pull off this old wedding cliche. We did our research and pulled a blinder when we found Paul, a twice UK tribute winner no less. We chose the playlist of songs that he would sing too. He came out to the Space Odyssey 2001 theme and then went straight into See See Rider. The crowd literally went wild.”

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A Roaring 20’s & Speakeasy Ibiza Celebration: Lauren & Duccio (NSFW)

Before I get into sharing these stunning photos I do have to let you know that some of them are potentially not safe for work!

Lauren & Duccio had a two-day wedding celebration (day one is on the wonderful Green Wedding Shoes today) in Ibiza. The roaring 20’s, flapper & gangster, speakeasy, glamorous and naughty vibe of the second night party day made it perfect for Rock n Roll Bride!

“This couple were seriously Rock n Roll!” photographer Polly Alexandre told me. “Pole dancers on the dancefloor and topless dancers during the drinks reception, a full on club atmosphere and awesome guest outfits! It was full on wildness and glamour.”

“The couple did away with bridesmaids and groomsmen and a cake, and made their celebrations their own with a two-part party…Night 1 was a hippy chic beach side Spanish dinner celebration after the ceremony and night 2 was the reception, again with a drinks reception, sit down meal and dancing….and a whole new theme.”

“A flamenco duo danced during dinner, bejewelled dancers from iconic Ibiza clubs Space and Pacha draped themselves across daybeds to greet the guests, danced and posed,” she continued. “US singer Barbara Tucker was flown in especially to sing the couple’s first dance where she stood on a wall in front of the sea. Watching the bride’s father dance with a topless model was priceless!”

“I love how all the groom’s friends look super cool in their bespoke suits and hats….can you tell they are all Italian?!”

Gotta love something a bit risqué for a Friday afternoon huh?! Have a great weekend guys!

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A Late Summer, Rustic & Nature-Filled Shoot: Agnese & Iveta

Agnese & Iveta’s DIY shoot was set up with the help of Jaye from Tux & Tales Photography. Jaye has been doing a DIY inspiration shoot series, to show brides that they don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding (I featured one of her first ones here).

“For this shoot we decided to focus on a civil partnership. We decided early on to go for a ‘rustic’ theme that focused on the colours and tones of late summer,” Jaye told me. “Each of our DIY shoots was styled (including the dresses!) on less than £250. This shoot was particularly fun because we got to recycle and upcycle a lot of items which is really a great way to save some cash. Plus, we scavenged for items from ‘the wild’ to help create our top table.”

“I am an absolute nut for using fruit and veg as part of a design (c’mon, beautiful and edible!) and so we loaded the table with fresh fruit from our local green grocers. The confectionery and baked goods were all top shelf varieties from local supermarkets and just looked amazing mounded up with the fruit. A little macaroon to go with your cold grapes? Yummy!”

“We decided that we would use a same-sex couple for this shoot because we couldn’t think of any civil partnership inspiration shoots that we had seen before. There are so many considerations that go into a civil partnership that are different from those of a traditional wedding (such as clothing choices and who gets a bouquet!) that we think they deserve a little separate attention. That said, we really hope that brides and grooms of all makes and varieties find a little rustic inspiration in our images.”

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An Alice in Wonderland & Willy Wonka Themed Wedding: Aebbe and Sam

Aebbe & Sam wanted to go all out with their wedding theme and had it resemble a kind of Alice in Wonderland/Willy Wonka hybrid.

“Sam pretty much let me run with the theme,” Aebbe told me. “I love Alice in Wonderland and as my first wedding was very traditional and straight laced (not me at all) he really wanted it to be magical not just for me but him as well. We had a true fantasy day.”

“I think I managed to be really savvy with making decorations to save money,” the bride continued. “I don’t know what I would have done without my bridesmaid Vicky’s help.”

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