Category Archives: British Brides

A Locally Sourced & Relaxed Wedding: Kelly & James

“Love, laughter, friends & family” said Kelly when I asked her about her wedding theme. “Through all the help and support we had leading up to the day, we knew this would be our ‘theme’. It was important to us to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves. For us, it wasn’t about having a particular style or colour running through the flowers – it was just about being true to us as a couple and a family.”

Kelly & James were married at Braziers Park School in Oxfordshire, “I guess the inspiration for the day was making it about us and the things that are important to us which is basically family, friends and good food,” Kelly continued. “I am a big believer in things happening for a reason and so many things leading up to our wedding seemed like they were meant to be and felt so right!”

“We had been to see various wedding venues and just didn’t ‘click’ with them, as soon as we left Braziers Park, James and I could both immediately could see the day happening there. The fact that it was so close to where we first kissed made it even more special. We had been to some other stunning venues but felt like we were on a bit of a conveyor belt and that we wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to do things the way that we wanted.”

“At the beginning of the year of my best friends recently chose to become a wedding celebrant and offered to hold our ceremony for us. It was absolutely perfect and we felt very honoured that she was able to do it for us. It made the whole experience so personal.”

The bride wore a stunning Linea Raffaelli wedding gown which she bought second hand from a friend and customised by adding antique lace straps. “When we decided to get married my now Sister-in-law mentioned that a friend had a dress for sale,” Kelly explained. “I had seen a picture but wasn’t sure it was right for me but thought I should go along and try it as everyone said you should try all styles. When I tried it on I was really surprised how much I loved it as it was nothing like the image of the dress I thought I would wear. The dress was originally strapless but with 3 young children I just wasn’t sure it would work, so chose to have straps added. I met with a lovely local dressmaker and worked with her to choose the style of strap. I now think the antique lace straps made the dress and I love the fact that I was able to make it my own with it being a 2nd hand dress! I vowed to make the most of being in my dress as you only get to wear it once and said right from the start I wouldn’t be precious about wearing it. With the bonfires and camping it was a good job! I even ended up sleeping in it in our tent!”

After the ceremony, the wedding guests were treated to a delicious meal of local produce. “James works in the catering industry, running a local restaurant – which is actually where we met, so the food on the day was really important to us. Right from the start we wanted a meal that was relaxed, could be shared, and passed around to get our guests chatting. We wanted to move away from the formal fussy sit down. We chose to have 3 long tables rather than a number of tables as we loved the idea of a banquet/feast! We were fortunate enough that his boss helped us with the catering and put on an amazing spread of food, not only in the day but also the evening with large roast joints of pork on the open fire, chicken & lentil dahl & falafel flatbreads.”

The evening was rounded off with a campfire, dancing to an all girl rockabilly band and finally many of the guests camping over night! “We chose to have the band that we did after a recommendation when we had said we didn’t want to have a typical ‘wedding band’. It was great to have something different and I’m pretty sure all our guests loved them too! The camping was a big thing for us as well, most venues that you go to have to come to an end at some point and the camping allowed us to carry on with friends to the early hours of the morning.”

“The things that were truly important to James and I were keeping the day simple and about the things that we love and enjoy,” the bride concluded. “We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and we weren’t fixed on keeping in traditions for traditions sake. We thought about the things that were important to us i.e. rings as a symbol or our commitment and my Dad proudly walking me down the aisle and ignored the things that weren’t like cutting a cake or having a head table. It’s amazing the amount of people that look at you strangely when you say you’re not having those things. If I could give anyone getting married advice it would be to keep to what you want and don’t worry about what other people think. We just really wanted to have the most amount of fun possible with all the people we like spending time with.”

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Hearts, Love & DIY Heaven: Sarah & Gray

When Sarah saw the work of Sassy of Assassynation on Rock n Roll Bride, she knew she was the only wedding photographer for her. “All of the photos I loved the most on the Rock n Roll Bride wedding blog seemed to have been taken by Sassy so I took the plunge and sent an email,” Sarah explained. “We had an engagement shoot in September and instantly knew we had made the right choice (you can see it on Sarah’s own blog here). Sassy suggested bringing Frank along too to film our wedding and it couldn’t have been more perfect. The two of them were a dream to work with and felt more like guests.”

Sarah married Gray in November at Crockwell Farm. The bride wore a custom made Stella Lilliana gown to which she added a cute heart felt brooch to the back, and customised Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon Heart shoes (she wanted the red hearted version that are no longer available so bought a pair of fakes from eBay and replaced the orignally peach hearts on her genuine Viv’s – genius!)

Most of the wedding was DIY and the whole thing was planned in just 6 months! “It actually seemed like ages at first until we realised how much DIY we had to do!” Sarah laughed. “We spent many evenings making flowers.  We made everything we could ourselves from our Save the Dates to the actual invitations, it was a team effort with Gray putting in just as much work as me.”

Their DIY projects also included jam jars with the couple’s names and wedding date on, paper flowers (“about a zillion of them!”) for the tables and bouquets, felt heart brooches for all the guests in place of corsages, the photo booth props, and pretty much everything else you see at the reception! It really was a labour of love.

“We wanted to do as much as possible ourselves,” Sarah concluded. “I am quite crafty and Gray is a wizz on photoshop so we wanted to add as many personal touches as possible and make our wedding a celebration of us as a couple.  We wanted a relaxed wedding with a party vibe which is exactly what we got.”

Don’t forget to watch the fabulous video too…

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An Urban & Eclectic Community Wedding: Stevie & Nick

Stevie & Nick’s eclectic city wedding took place in Mile End, East London. The bride described the day to me as “eclectic retro community chic,” with so many of their friends and family pitching in to help. “So many people said ‘that’s how weddings used to be’ and ‘this is how it should be, family and friends mucking in’. It meant a lot to us that this was how we did it – it wouldn’t have happened without all of the support we received.”

The wedding day started with the ceremony at Bromley Public Hall and concluded with a rockin’ party reception at The Victoria Pub, “Old man pub heaven” as the bride described it! “They’d never hosted a wedding before, but we were there for a jumble sale and afternoon pint and fell in love with the place,” she explained. “We started chatting to Jo and Martin, the amazing couple who own the pub with their son Alfie and couldn’t believe how genuinely excited they were by it. It made me realise that experience of weddings only gets you so far – real passion and enthusiasm was a lot more important in the end. When we wanted to bring in our own flowers, cakes and decorations – including nailing things to the wall – they were all for it!”

Stevie wore a short wedding dress which she bought on lightinthebox.com. “I know this website received mixed reviews, but it was the only place which had the style I wanted for the budget I had,” she explained honestly. “It worked for me and I would recommend it to anyone how has an eye for a bargain. Visiting weddings shops didn’t even enter the equation! I found this far less stressful. I didn’t try on any dresses or partake in the crazy wedding industry world for a second – people thought I was really weird for wanting to avoid the meringue monstrosity outlets.”

The couple brought their own cake, flowers and decor items and dressed their reception themselves (well with help from a friend on the morning of the wedding). This way, they were able to have the pub exactly as they wanted for a fraction of the price. “Our cake was made by my food-obsessed bridesmaid and usher. They were mini Victoria sponges filled with lemon curd (Nick’s favourite) with a big cake topped with little handmade versions of us. They came on vintage cake stands and looked amazing. Who needs 14 tier fruit cakes? No one eats it and it costs a fortune. These were made with real love and every one got eaten. Our 1950’s waitresses handed them round to the guests at their seats like a little (drunken) tea party!”

“We also bought all the flowers wholesale from Covent Garden Flower Market the day before the wedding (at 5am. Ouch.) Two of my incredible bridesmaids then spent the entire day putting them together. Everything was a surprise for me – including my bouquet. For a control freak like me, it was amazing. I only found out later that 3 bouquets had got stuck to the back of the fridge they were stored in, meaning lots of emergency flower re-arranging on the morning! I didn’t even notice!”

“The rest of the reception decor and props came from Deptford Market, every charity shop in Essex and Kent, eBay and our house. We were engaged for 18 months and we spent the whole time collecting little bits here and there. The whole family was involved. My sister put together the most amazing candy buffet using cut glass cake stands, jars and vases from my home. My childhood friend made 20 metres of blue and white bunting to go across the garden and Nick used our collection of second hand photo frames to put together a little photography exhibition of photos since we met. The gingham tablecloths were made by my Mum and we all sat around making our birds nest favours the day before the wedding.”

“No one in my family does big weddings,”Stevie concluded. “They either elope, or live quite happily without getting hitched. I had no family pressure so we were really able to do what felt right. Both of us were brought up going to jumble sales, hunting for bargains and being suspicious of anything which demanded a whole heap of money. I guess what made it different was that the idea of ‘impossible’ didn’t exist. We had a London wedding with 70 all day guests, 30 more in the evening, 7 bridesmaids and 7 ushers, beautiful food, drink and decoration all for around £7000. If we wanted something, we made it happen. It was really hard sometimes but we knew it was what we wanted.”

“Being Rock n Roll for me was about ignoring the ‘advice’ we read in magazines and pig headedly carrying on! No one believed me that a Victorian pub could be transformed into a sit down dining reception venue, but I knew it could. You can have the wedding you want on the budget you have, it just takes a lot of love and support from everyone around you and anything is possible.”

This is all just so utterly gorgeous! And did you spy Stevie’s nails? LOVE!

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A Fashion Forward London Wedding: Courtney & Charles

Courtney & Charles were married at Marylebone Town Hall followed by a reception at The Union Club in Soho, London. The fashion forward bride wore a short wedding dress by David Fielden and incredible gold shoes by Charlotte Olympia. Not only do I love that she had a bridesman as well as bridesmaids, but I’m going gaga over his shirt and bow tie combo, made in the same Laura Ashley fabric as the girls. Doesn’t it look fabulously chic?

“Being in London, the whole day felt really informal and fun,” Courtney explained. “We didn’t want a load of wedding protocol getting in the way of a good party. A few days after the wedding we had a post-wedding shoot in our wedding attire, at some of our favourite spots around the city.”

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An Eclectic & Colourful DIY Wedding: Amy & Andy

As a regular Rock n Roll Bride reader, Amy booked some of my ultimate favourite wedding suppliers for her October wedding to Andy. Annamarie Stepney photographed the day and the bride wore a Candy Anthony wedding dress with the gorgeous ‘cherry’ Vivienne Westwood/Melissa shoes. She also dressed her lucky bridesmaids in Vivien of Holloway dresses.

“We looked at lots of wedding blogs to find a photographer and saw lots of examples of some beautiful and really cool photos but when I saw some of Annamarie’s work on Rock n Roll Bride we just loved them,” Amy explained. “After meeting her knew she’d be great. She made the day go really smoothly too so it was a good choice!”

“I also knew I wanted a Candy Anthony dress from the start, they’re such beautiful dresses and I knew would be best to compliment my curves. The thought of trying on or wearing a traditional full length dress was scary, it’s just not me and I don’t think it would have been very flattering for my shape, and I wanted something fun! I knew I didn’t want a plain white or ivory dress and I love pink so I chose the polka dots and sash and the MASSIVE raspberry petticoat which was amazing, it made me feel like a princess! People couldn’t stop touching it and making me twirl!”

The wedding was held at Gate Street Barn, Surrey “We wanted a relaxed, pretty venue with space to drink and dance so this was perfect,” the bride continued. “I looked at lots of wedding blogs and magazines whilst planning but my favourite was always Rock n Roll Bride which I looked at every day. I picked up lots of tips and inspirations from it, but mostly the idea that we could have our wedding, our way, whilst keeping a few nice traditions in there too.”

The couple decorated their colourful reception space themselves. Many items were found on eBay or Amazon and Amy painted all the jam jars herself. Her Mum also handmade the napkin rings and the embroidered hearts that hung on the back of the chairs.

“The jam jars were really easy to decorate, I made them all different because I wanted a riot of colour and didn’t want anything to ‘match’,” Amy explained. “I painted flowers, polka dots, stripes etc in lots of different colours. I used acrylic paint and a varnish so they’re waterproof. Quite a few friends took them home at the end of the night, otherwise I would be overrun with them now! Making the favours was really easy too (if time consuming), we put some chocolates in some pink and purple netting (from John Lewis haberdashery) and tied it up with a ribbon.. it saved such a lot of money as favours can be really expensive!”

“We wanted to add our own twist onto everything including the invites, decorations, readings and clothes.. it was just everything we wanted rather than trying to be refined and classic like a lot of (admittedly beautiful) weddings. Everyone said the wedding was very ‘us’ which was lovely as we did want it to feel personal. There was lots of laughter during the ceremony and then the speeches and the dancing. We had the best day, to me, being Rock n Roll is all about having fun and doing things your own way, so what could be more Rock n Roll than that?”

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A Autumnal Vintage Cinema Wedding: Holly & Robert

Holly & Robert were married at The Electric Cinema in Birmingham. After walking down the aisle to Billie Holiday ‘It had to be you’, the bride with her groom, headed to Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath for a casual and DIY reception.

“Rob asked me to marry him in NYC in October last year he got down on one knee in Central Park and gave me a beautiful 1920’s pearl engagement ring,” Holly wrote to me. “It was the happiest day of my life everywhere was just bursting with Autumn colour, strolling through the park was so romantic I wanted to capture the feeling of that day at our wedding.”

“I collected some leaves from the park that day and kept them to use on our wedding day, they became part of our buttonholes. We go to The Electric Cinema every Valentine’s Day, it’s a truly old style kinda romantic place, we didn’t want to get married in a hotel or registry office we wanted it to be memorable. We both have a shared love of classic films and we chose to play a segment from Casablanca whilst we signed the register, it really is romance at its best! I decorated the cinema with simple candle light and rose petals from our garden, as it was such a unique venue it didn’t need much to create an intimate atmosphere.”

“Our reception was at a small cafe which we eat breakfast at all the time,” Holly continued. “We only had around 80 people at the wedding so I wanted somewhere which would feel cosy and intimate. Its a real eclectic place full of art work and furniture for sale we wanted everyone to feel relaxed and we love the informal nature of the venue. We had an open fire for toasting marshmallows, sparklers, fire lanterns, toffee apples, spiced apple pie and frosted carrot cake, I wanted to really embrace the feeling of Autumn.”

“I styled the venue myself with help from my friends I had over 100 pumpkins which sat on tree stumps, I used antique bottles, tins, an old typewriter for our guestbook. Many of the Autumn decorations came from our garden and woodland so they didn’t cost us anything. It took a long time to collect everything and carrying logs out of the woods was pretty intense but so worth it! I am lucky that I have a styling business (Cabinets of Curiosity – cabinetsofcuriosity@hotmail.co.uk or call Holly on: 07712101446) and I have a huge collection of vintage china, antiques and so on, but you would be surprised at what you can find down the local park for free!”

“I made all the labels, table runners, bunting, banners even sliced the logs up with a chainsaw myself! We went back to NYC this October for our honeymoon as husband and wife and it was just as beautiful as I remember, I felt really proud of what we achieved with our big day.”

“I think our wedding was Rock n Roll because it was creative, unique and honest it was a true representation of us as a couple and not just a generic template for what a wedding should be like. Your wedding should be about you as people and not how much cash you can flash.”

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