Category Archives: British Brides

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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Amelia & Gareth’s Stunning Vintage Wedding

“Oh Le. Swoon!” was my first thought when I saw Amelia & Gareth’s gorgeous vintage wedding a few weeks ago. The bride wore a genuine vintage dress from one of my most favourite bridal shops, Fur Coat No Knickers too! The couple were married at Bow Registry Office and had their reception The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, London.

Their reception was pretty special, with the food they served taking centre stage. “It was really experimental – Heston Blumenthal kind of stuff,” photographer Matt told me. “The Town Hall Hotel has a fairly famous chef who makes up all sorts of weird concoctions.” 

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Becci & Chris’ Funky, Retro, London Wedding

The slinky, sparkly vintage-inspired Topshop (yes really!) dress was what grabbed my attention when I first laid eyes on Becci & Chris’ retro styled London wedding. However when I saw the rest of their day I was utterly smitten. The pair, who never wanted a traditional wedding, were set on creating something within budget and to suit their funky London lifestyle.

I spoke to Becci about their wedding and I’m so thrilled to share their amazing wedding and all their quirky details with you today.

“Chris and I live and love London, so it was always going to be our number one location for getting hitched,” she began. “Budget constraints – and the fact that a meringue dress, tiara and dainty white kitten heels were my idea of hell – meant that we had to be inventive while planning our big do. We wanted something that represented us as a couple, and our personalities, and felt strongly that we wouldn’t follow wedding procedure just because.”

“We decided on Islington Town Hall for our ceremony and quickly fell in love with The Vine as our reception venue. It’s cool retro interior, gorgeous Italian grub, intimate conservatory and super-calm landlord, James, meant it won over Chris and I as soon as we walked in. We work in the magazine publishing industry, so we strongly agreed that our photographer needed to be super talented and super creative. Enter Ian Johnson. After meeting up for a few pints and a briefing, we both knew that we’d got the right man. Ian did not let us down. Despite the time constraints of us marrying fairly late at 4pm, he achieved all the money shots.”

“For the dress I wanted a slinky evening number. Never did I think that, while browsing Topshop’s website, would I stumble across my dream dress – antique silver, sequinned, slight fishtail, deep V front, backless… I was in love. Yes, it was high street but I couldn’t afford anything designer and I received so many compliments from guests thinking it was vintage… I just kept my mouth shut! A veil was never going to suit my style but I still wanted a wow-factor headpiece. I turned to milliner extraordinaire Louis Mariette who understood completely my vision and created something truly special. As for Chris, he wanted a fitted suit with a Mod influence so he took a trip to Jump the Gun in Brighton. For my bridesmaids, I wanted them to look drop-dead gorgeous (no peach taffeta, ta very much). To complement my dress and Chris’s suit, I was after a navy, corseted, strapless style – the All Saints Freja dress came up with the goods.”

“We all stayed at Hoxton Hotel the night before and, on the big day, our wedding cars consisted of a duck egg VW camper van– the bouncy suspension and a bottle of fizz nearly ruined mine and the bridesmaids dresses on the drive to the Town Hall! – and the obligatory cheesy Routemaster. For my flowers, I wanted simple and elegant so I went for a cala lily bouquet and a pared-back white and green theme. Personal touches included haggling over a massive shabby chic mirror at Portobello Road then writing the seating plan on this; and my mum kindly baking glitter-sprinkled heart biscuits as favours for everyone to dip in the yummy dark chocolate mousse dessert (we vetoed a traditional wedding cake as it just wasn’t what we wanted). What else went down well with our guests? Well, our party photo booth from Snappabox had a queue all night, while our ‘Love story’ booklet, complete with cartoon Chris & Bex, brought everyone up to speed on our relationship history.”

“And the final Rock n Roll moments? How about the groom not getting to bed until 6am on the morning of the big day (still a sensitive topic around the Hodgson kitchen table) or us newlyweds heading to East Village in Hoxton for a post-wedding clubbing session. Well, I was wearing Topshop after all…”

Incredible! I am so chuffed to have these guys rocking all over the blog today.

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Shalma & Leo’s 1950’s Inspired Candy Anthony Wedding

Shalma & Leo are what I like to call friends of the blog. Not only did they find photographer David McNeil though a feature on Rock n Roll Bride, but I featured their gorgous A Bout de Souffle engagement session over the summer AND myself and the bride have exchanged regular emails ever since they got engaged about all things wedding! So when David asked if I wanted to feature them …well he didn’t have to ask twice!

“I am so pleased that you think my wedding is Rock n Roll enough for your website,” Shalma wrote. “I would love for you to blog it! I have to say this again, but your blog has been such immense help over the past year. When I got engaged every childhood dream I had of the full Indian wedding just wasn’t an option anymore. To find a wedding site which thrives on individuality and the boldness to do what you want is refreshing and fun.”

Shalma wore a Candy Anthony dress – the first one she laid eyes on! “My dress was the first one I saw in the shop and I knew that was the one,” she explained. “I tried on about 5 before hand (even the leopard print one which is gorgeous) but I kept going back to that one. They also made my fascinator in the same fabric. To keep with the 50’s theme, my Mother in law very kindly gave me her Mother’s vintage 50’s pearl necklace with a diamante clasp. It’s stunning I was really honoured that she wanted me to have it. At my hen party all the girls pitched in and brought me my Tiffany pearl earrings to match.  I was so touched that they all did that for me I couldn’t believe it. Luckily I had the shoes already which made the whole outfit complete!”

However for this Rock n Roll wedding it wasn’t just the bride who stole the show. The super stylish Leo was also certain that he didn’t want to look like every other groom. “Its so difficult for grooms to find something that isn’t your generic penguin suit,” Shalma said. “He also can’t buy anything off the rack so finding somewhere that does cheap tailor made suits was hard.  He wanted a herringbone textured 3 piece suit in a brownish colour. There’s a great website called A Suit That Fits. They are brilliant. You pick the fabric, style, lining, everything and its made to measure.”

The couple didn’t want an obvious theme for their wedding, they just wanted to keep it simple, beautiful and perfect for them. “We both wanted to do things our way. We had a small budget and we’re both very creative so a lot of the design work was done by us. We basically wanted to incorporate all of our favourite things. I made my own bunting and cushion covers out of Indian silks brought from Southall. That was so much fun. I love Southall. I probably made 4 trips there in total and brought yards of coloured fabric, ribbons, jewellery. It was an epic task and so much fun.  Leo designed our invitations and he also designed the cocktail menus. We made a photo guest book using funny pictures of everyone.  We gave the kids little party bags so they had stuff to play with on the day. We painted glass jars different colours which were used for the flowers and candles.  Leo’s sister made our red velvet wedding cake which tasted amazing! We had a playlist on our ipod made up of our guest favourite songs which worked really well. We only had 1 bridesmaid and groomsmen each. My bridesmaid’s wore a dress from Coast which matched my petticoat, shoes from Carvela and the sash was brought from Candy Anthony. The groomsmen wore his own suit.”

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Mel & Mark’s Rule Britannia Rock n Roll Wedding

I’ve got another authentic Rock n Roll couple for you today…and by authentic I mean actual readers of Rock n Roll Bride. My favourite weddings to feature are those of couples who actually read and loved Rock n Roll Bride throughout their wedding planning. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

Melanie & Mark, who were lucky enough to find their photographer’s McKinley-Rodgers Photography via a feature on this here blog, got married Burgh House followed by a Rule Britannia style reception at The Britannia Pub in London.

Mel’s dress was a really family heirloom made by her Great Great Aunt a couple of years before WWII and also worn by her Great Aunt and Grandmother at their own weddings. With this vintage classic gown she accessorised with Mark’s Grandmother’s engagement ring, earrings from Tatty Devine and a “yes” necklace from Zoe and Morgan.

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Sarah & Pete’s Classy Vintage-Inspired Wedding

Sarah & Pete’s classy, vintage-inspired wedding took place at Stoke Newington Town Hall and The Tab Centre, Shoreditch. The bride, who originally didn’t even want a wedding dress wore a gorgeous Temperley number that she found in Bicester Village outlet mall just outside of Oxford. “I don’t really like wedding dresses!” she told me. “I was nearly going to buy a nice party dress in a bright colour after trying on quite a few wedding dresses which were just ‘ok’. I then spotted this one in Bicester. It is quite vintagey in style but still flattering (and not tiny weeny sizes like a lot of original vintage dresses!)”  With this she wore a hair piece by Jenny Packham and vintage Gina shoes from Urban Outfitters.

A lot of DIY elements went into the reception decor, including the hand made candles in vintage tea cups which were not only gorgeous, but acted as favours for the guests to take home.

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