Category Archives: British Brides

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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The Rainbow Wedding to End all Rainbow Weddings: Jen & Ben

I think most of you will be aware by now that I love love love a rainbow wedding…why pick one or two colours when you can pick twenty seven!? So as you can imagine I squealed like a small child on Christmas morning when Jen & Ben’s wedding landed in my inbox. If I was less of a chatterbox I’d say that ‘I had no words’ when I saw these images…but in actual fact I had all the words in the world flying around my head as I made my selections for this blog post…

The wedding took place on 29th February this year. “We chose the date because we were so excited that there would be a 29th Feb this year!” Jen told me. “It was a Wednesday in late winter, but it didn’t put us off one bit. Our guests were a little surprised when we announced to them that the ceremony would be outside, but the weather was very kind to us and the ceremony was beautiful. Everyone also commented on how we won’t get an anniversary for four years, but (as my dad rightly pointed out in his speech) we get to have a two day celebration every year, on the 28th and the 1st!”

The outdoor ceremony and rainbow-covered reception were both held at The Matara Centre in the Cotswolds. The venue decor and rainbow touches were a real labour of love as the bride explains, “Working in the wedding industry (I make bridal headpieces and my company is called Head Full of Feathers), I knew I wanted to make things very personal to us. There are so many weddings that all look so very, very similar. We concentrated on having only the aspects of a wedding we liked the idea of, and got rid of the rest. We just wanted a huge colourful party with all our friends, and that’s what we got. We wanted the day to be as jam packed with things to do as possible, and the venue has such beautiful grounds that we wanted everyone to see them. So we got everyone to bring wellies and we went out to plant a cherry tree (Blossom flowers are my most favourite flower) It was a wonderful sight to see everyone playing about in the sunshine (in Feb!) all dressed in their best, and their wellies.”

“We wanted our wedding to be bright and colourful, so I suppose the theme multi-coloured fun-fest,” Jen continued. “So many people advised against it, saying we should stick to just 3 or 4 colours, but we knew it was going to work. Bright colours are just us. The invitations (drawn by me) were a magical wonderland inside a toadstool (the swing in the middle is in the grounds of The Matara Centre), so halfway through planning we decided to have as many toadstools at the wedding as we could. We printed off mini versions of the toadstool drawing on coloured card for our guests to write us messages on and peg them to our ‘guest book’ washing line and framed a large copy of it in the venue with our names and the date on. We also had a magic toadstool drawing tea-towel printed for favours for all our guests too. We even made 20 paper mache red and white toadstools which we put around the venue. The ushers had the job of secretly moving them around throughout the day, so it was like they were just popping up out of nowhere. Guests got to take these home at the end of the day too, which was lovely.”

“I had a dream during the planning process which featured a tree covered in cupcakes that looked just like blossom flowers. I just knew I had to recreate it somehow. I got in touch with my wonderful cake making friend, Sam, and she helped me bring the vision to reality, only better! She coloured all chocolate in all the colours of the wedding, and added them to the tops of all the little cupcakes. A true blossom tree. They were delicious too.”

“I bought a huge number of loose wooden flowers from Accents and Petals (their flowers are made of woodshavings from old pallets – amazing recycling!) and made all the table centres too. We concreted branches into pots and glued the wooden flowers onto them, to make a mini blossom tree for each table. Each table was a different colour, and thats how our guests found their seats.”

“We made so much of the decor ourselves – it made it so personal. We made so many different coloured pom poms – 200 pompoms in total, which took a whole lot of ‘froofing’ by very kind friends and family that had arrived the night before.”

Jen wore a 50s style dress which she had made by Honeypie Boutique. She really wanted a firey petticoats (oranges, reds etc) and Ann of Swank Underpinnings was up for the challenge! “When I first started looking for a dress I was do disillusioned by the whole process. I knew I wanted to have a short dress, because we would be dancing (a lot) and going to plant a tree, and I am a bit clumsy – I would have definitely got tangled up in it at some point. The first bridal shop assistant quite plainly told me that it was a ridiculous idea, and I wouldn’t feel like a bride in a dress that didn’t come to the floor – I was stunned (she has obviously never read Rock n Roll Bride!) Then I got in touch with a wonderful dressmaker who, it seemed, would answer all my prayers. Then she started ignoring my emails/tweets/phone messages. In the end I ordered a dress from Honeypie Boutique (lovely people that will do anything for you) and ordered a custom petticoat from Ann Swank. I customised the dress by taking the back out, and adding tulle to the bust, and I love it.”

The DIY didn’t stop with the wedding decor though as Jen painstakingly added 8000 Swarovski crystals to her Irregular Choice shoes. “I really didn’t think it would take too long to add the crystals to my shoes, I was wrong, it takes A LONG time. I even did my research wrong, thinking it would be 4000 crystals, but that turned out to be per shoe, oops. When I finally finished them I really wanted to show them off, but knowing I’m not allowed (and wanting to keep them a surprise for everyone for the day) I made a video and emailed it to Kat! I couldn’t help myself, I had to show someone! Luckily she loved them like I do!”

Being a headpiece designer of course Jen made her own headpiece as well as the ones her bridesmaids wore. “I made so many fascinators for the guests at our wedding and we had taken on so much in the way of DIY decoration, that I hadn’t even started to think about my hairpiece for the day three days before. I just kept getting on with other things that needed doing. Finally I got to it, and am really pleased with how it turned out. I made a mix of the wooden flowers that we used in all our decorations, and a version of my bleached peacock feather flowers, and finished them off with crystals and pearls. I wore a tangled pearl necklace and bracelet made by my good friend Helen (Fruitloop Designs) so this tied everything together”

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A Picnic Wedding: Alex & Denise

The inspiration for Alex & Denise’s Brighton wedding was for it to be “just like a big picnic”. They used local suppliers (including the caterers who used local produce and supplied locally produced champagne) where possible and DIY’ed the rest! “Our inspiration was for it to be like a big picnic – although without having to sit on the floor!” Denise told me. “I found mini picnic baskets that were used as the centrepiece on each table. These were filled with chutney, pickles and breadsticks. We wanted the wedding to be really relaxed – I’ve always disliked formal situations. I also wanted there to be lots of colour. For the meal we had a blanket set up on the floor for any children that got bored of the adults. We also did a play area with a wigwam, dress up box and colouring books. Although on the day they mainly opted for running around the field like lunatics.”

“The second (and very crucial) driving force for the wedding was the belief that it needn’t cost a fortune. Apparently the average wedding costs around £19,000 which to me is just a ridiculous amount of money (and was totally out of the question – we had nowhere near that amount of money to spend). We had less than £5,000 for the wedding and honeymoon but I didn’t want to compromise on the feeling of it being a special day. It was time to stick it to the man and beat the system.”

“There was a lot of DIY with this wedding. I gave myself the challenge of making 100 metres of bunting. I had my own mini production line! I sewed the bunting on to paper ribbon (which was much cheaper than using bias tape). I also made our sweetie favour bags (full of lovely sweets: pink shrimps, parma violets and flying saucers being my favourites). I really liked the look of the old fashioned paper sweetie bags – each table had a different colour (they looked great and they were as cheap as chips – sweet). They also doubled as name places. I tied them up using raffia. The raffia came in handy for lots of things – you can buy a massive bundle from floristry suppliers. This was much cheaper (and was far nicer raffia) than buying it anywhere else. Floristy suppliers were also a great place to go for decorative items (eg baskets, enamel buckets etc).”

“Another friend made great signs for the bar, camping area and toilets. This friend also made our tennis table bat table plan. Alex’s family are big fans of table tennis so it seemed like a good way to go! Each table was named after top table tennis players of the 1990s – I think that might be a wedding table plan first! I also made moustaches on sticks because I think they’re funny.”

Denise wore a wedding dress which she bought from Oxfam Bridal and then has customised and shortened by Erika Langley Bridal Alterations. “Wedding dress shops scare me so I never actually set foot in one,” the bride continued. “I’m not a girly girl and the idea of all the attention on me made me feel a bit ill. I knew I wanted a short dress – I’m only 5ft 1 and thought a meringue would drown me. Also, as we would spend the majority of the day in a field (and possibly a wet, muddy one) I didn’t want to be dragging a dress behind me. Plus, if I did need to don my yellow wellies, I wanted everyone to see them! I scoured the high street but nothing was right. I eventually went to Oxfam Bridal – perfect for me, I love a charity shop! The dresses were mainly quite extravagant but I did stumble across one that was nice and simple. It was also long with a huge train. Nothing that a dress maker couldn’t sort our though. I loved having such a simple dress – I felt really relaxed in it all day! My heels got replaced by some nice flat yellow sandals as soon as I got to the farm. A farm is no place for heels.”

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A Book-Themed Glasgow Wedding: Jane & Mike

They met while they were both working for their University newspaper, and although Jane said she only joined for ‘the hot boys’, it would appear her joining was worthwhile! The couple planned their wedding for March 2012 and were married at Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow. Their love of writing inspired their wedding decor, particularly the ammmmazing book vases. I had to know more…

“The DIY book vases (we got the tutorial via Ruffledblog) were definitely more of an ordeal than I’d realised,” explained Jane, “but we used the offcuts to make matching confetti and decorate the table plan which made quite a nice book theme. The slight fail on my part was that the books – bought from charity shops – were a high proportion of Jackie Collins or similar so there was quite a bit of filth in the confetti and some vases had to be strategically placed to avoid family and younger viewers!”

“I think we realised early on that we would both look totally out of place at a more formal, traditional wedding so we wanted to go for something a bit more relaxed – we’re both also quite food-obsessed so we wanted a day with lots of good foods and drinks,” she continued. “Mike and I named the tables after some of our favourite Seinfeld episodes as we bonded early on over a mutual love of watching Seinfeld and eating sandwiches in our pants. My sister and I made the favours (chocolate covered pretzels, mini apple pies and red velvet cookies – which turned out to be brown velvet cookies due to a food colouring fail on my part) as Mike’s family are from America and we wanted to add a little hint of that.”

“Apart from the books, we didn’t really have a theme as such, we just chose things that we liked and I developed a bit of an obsession with patterned tape,” concluded the bride. “Yes that’s right,” chipped in Mike, “”She really did develop an obsession with patterned tape.”

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A Vintage-Inspired Walled Garden Wedding: Carina & Chris

Carina & Chris chose The Walled Garden at Cowdray, West Sussex as the venue to host their March wedding. “It was a fantastic venue where we were really able to personalise for our day,” the bride told me. “They were very relaxed and the venue’s informal spaces were perfect for us and our guests.”

“We spent the last year since getting engaged planning all of the details of the day”, she continued. “We spent our weekends rummaging in charity shops collecting china and glassware. We spent a long time making all of the bunting, menus, paper flags and lots of other items ourselves and needed someone to make it all look pretty on the day so that I could relax and enjoy getting ready! For this we worked with Lucy at Love Lane Vintage. We met her at the venue and she worked closely with our plans and our items, as well as my many sketches to style the venue! We also hired her vintage china teacups and cake stands to style the table and serve our mini afternoon tea – in place of canapés – for the drinks reception! The macaroons and mini scones looked stunning, as did the piles of teacups and teapots for guests to use!”

Spriggs Florist in Petworth also immediately understood the vintage feel of the day – really relaxed, seasonal flowers arranged in the jars and a mix of vintage glass bottles we had collected – as if freshly picked and placed on the tables and around the venue. My bouquet had the 50s wow factor – full of sweat peas and big blousy peonies. Bridesmaid’s flowers complimented these using sweat peas again. Fresh rose petal confetti was supplied for guests to throw – handed out by our bridesmaid form a pretty vintage wicker basket.”

“Everything we used on the windowsills and sweetie tables we had collected, been given by family or friends or made ourselves. It was so much fun to see it all looking so beautiful! The cups, plates and bonbon dishes we collected looked amazing full of sweeties and flowers on the cake/sweetie table. As well as the bunting and vintage china, we designed and made all of the stationery for the day, guests really embraced the fabric covered badges and name tags on the tables and wore them during the evening dancing! It was great seeing friends and family collecting ‘souvenirs’ of the day to take home at the end of the evening!”

The bride were a short vintage-inspired wedding dress which she’d had designed and made by the fantastic House of Mooshki. “They make amazing vintage-inspired wedding dresses and they were fantastic to work with. Olivia, the designer, really understood what I was after and the dress was not only beautiful but and comfortable (amazing for dancing in the evening!)”

“We wanted a very relaxed day where friends and family could come along and fully enjoy the day without feeling formal,” Carina concluded. “We knew we didn’t want it to feel too ‘wedding-y’ with the same old things you see in a lot of magazines and wedding shows!  We did exactly what we wanted to do at every step of the way and only worked with suppliers who ‘got’ this including the amazing Lisa Devlin. After we had seen her work, we knew she’d be perfect to capture all of the detail of our day.”

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An Eclectic London Wedding: Kate & Jon

Kate & Jon were married in March in London. After a ceremony in Battersea Arts Centre they headed to Balham Bowls Club for their eclectically decorated reception. “The most important thing for us when planning the wedding was that it should consist of things that we normally like to do – reception in the sort of pub we would normally drink in, the style of dresses both I and the bridesmaids would normally wear (although a bit nicer of course!), the sort of food we would normally eat,” Kate told me.

“This was also reflected in the ceremony, with a reading from Captain Corellis Mandolin (one of my favourite books) and everyone singing along to ‘Sunshine of my life’ by Stevie Wonder rather than a more traditional song.  Also, our first dance was ‘You never can tell’ from Pulp Fiction – a favourite film of Jon’s. It was important to us that it was in London, which is where we and the vast majority of our friends and family live. Like most of the couples on Rock n Roll Bride, we didn’t concern ourselves with what was expected of us traditionally and instead thought of it more like we were just planning a big party!”

The couple had help from friends & family with organising the wedding, especially April from Rhubarb & Rose (who I’ve actually featured on the blog before – I’ve eaten her cake pops too, they’re YUM) “We am very lucky that the wonderful April is a friend of ours, and she did the cakes and dessert table. The centrepiece was a six layer chocolate Guinness cake with chocolate fudge and salted caramel buttercream icing, decorated with paper flags.”

“There were also mini fruit tarts filled with custard, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranate, mini Victoria sponge cakes and mini cupcakes in rhubarb and rose, choc raspberry, salted caramel and lemon with a lemon curd filling. We also had cake pops decorated with red lips and moustaches!” (YUM I’m literally salivating, thanks for that Kate!) “The illuminated letters were made by our friend Jack as a wedding present. He is a prop designer and has since started his own company, The Little Big Letter Company, to make them for other couples.”

“I searched the internet for old fashioned typewriter style fonts and used one of these for the orders of service. I had them printed on to thin brown Kraft paper and then bound them together using red and white striped bakers twine. We didn’t have a theme really but as I was wearing red lipstick and red nail varnish, we tied things together by using splashes of red throughout – red and white stripes for the favour bags and punch straws, red lips on the cake pops, as well as the giant red illuminated K and J.”

The bride wore two dresses, a ivory number during the day and a sexy black number for the evening which were both bought from Whistles.

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