Category Archives: British Brides

Rachel & Nicky’s Punk Luxe Andaz Wedding

Rachel & Nicky were married at the super swanky Andaz Hotel in London. The bride read Rock n Roll Bride throughout her planning and I’m oh-so-excited to see some of my favourite touches throughout this wedding (that cake? effing awesome!)

“Nic and I have been immersed in music since we were young, we have both grown up listening to punk and hardcore and a massive spattering of Bruce Springsteen!” the bride told me. “We wanted to make sure that our day really represented this. From invitations that featured Springteen lyrics, tables named after Springsteen songs from Born to Run to Badlands. I wanted to make sure that the day was a total celebration and that everyone was smiling all the way through. I walked down the aisle to ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ sung by Morecambe and Wise, just stopping short of doing the walk/dance that goes with it, which raised a laugh out of everyone attending and we left the ceremony to Springsteens ‘Two Hearts’.”

“Our cake from Choccywoccydoodah wasn’t the most traditional of cakes but it really represented our ‘dark side’! With a huge chocolate skull on the top and the tattooed ’till death do us part’ chocolate heart on the front, stunning and yummy. We always knew that if we got married that we would want to do it in Central London, we could never see the point of heading out to castles in the countryside as this had nothing at all to do with our lives. I have always found the City and financial district to be the most beautiful part of London, the incredible old stone buildings sitting between the sharp angles of glass and steel. I knew from the start that The Andaz was the place for us, I had dreamed of getting married here and having the reception and party in the old Masonic Temple that formed part of the hotel. We kept the temple a surprise and led people in there for the party, everyone was so shocked that there was room this beautiful tucked away. We partied away the night amongst the marble and gilt to classic rock mixed with a spot of punk, even our families danced along to Cock Sparrer’s classic ‘We’re coming back’! The whole day was our version of punk luxe.”

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Isobel & Dave’s Vintage-Inspired Budget Wedding

Isobel & Dave’s incredible vintage-inspired budget wedding gives me butterflies! I am so excited  about sharing all the beautiful personal touches that they put into their day. The whole wedding is a testament to the fact that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have your perfect wedding.

“The two things we had in our heads from the start were; that we didn’t have a very big budget and that we wanted our wedding to reflect us,” Isobel told me. “We started by approaching it as a really big party where we’d just happen to get married. The important things for us were that our favourite people were there, our favourite music was playing, and everyone would have fun! We aren’t particularly conventional and there was never any question of following rules or doing things because we ‘should’. I didn’t buy a single bridal magazine or visit any bridal shops during the whole process!”

“Rock n Roll Bride and DIY Bride were my only ‘go to’ blogs for inspiration and ideas! We just did things because we wanted to (if we could afford it)! With the little touches – the badges, the teapots as vases, teacups full of sweets, the birdcage for cards and messages, the photo booth (definitely a Rock n Roll Bride idea-steal!), and the bunting – I think we  created a wedding that was fun, unique, and best of all, exactly what we’d imagined.”

The bride wore a dress that she had made from a vintage Vogue pattern. She was keen to wear something that was ‘her’ and something that she felt comfortable and beautiful in. “My dress was ade by a friend of a friend from an old Vogue pattern I found on the Internet,” she continued. “I wanted long-sleeves as I assumed (wrongly) it would be cold in April and I wanted to cover my arms! I also wanted a dress that was ballerina length to show off my gorgeous shoes! The cream lace and nude lining it was made from were from Victoria Market in Nottingham. I chose lace because I wanted it to look like a wedding dress (you only get to do this once, right?!) but mostly because I love it. The woman who made the dress added the bow and the buttons on the sleeves, which I think were really good calls and one of the many reasons why I’m glad I didn’t attempt to make the dress myself.”

The DIY theme continued through out the wedding. The bride’s Mum made her birdcage veil and her bouquet from faux flowers (from Hobbycraft.) They also bought the majority of their decor ‘things’ that they weren’t able to make themselves from Etsy and eBay, including the invitations, the birdcages, the lanterns, the napkins and the Lego cake topper.

My favourite detail has got to be the bunting. When they sent out the invitations they included a template for a piece of bunting and asked their guests to send them one made from any material they wanted. “Lots of people did and we got some lovely and very creative pieces (metres of it in some cases!) which we put together and used to decorate the reception venue.  I think this really added to cosy, handmade feel of the reception and reflected what we wanted the wedding to be – a celebration with our friends and family.”

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Jenni & Neil’s Eclectic DIY Wedding

“I read something on a wedding blog during my planning, which I clinged onto for my own sanity,” bride Jenni wrote, “It said not to worry about decorations etc matching, if you like what you have, in the end it will all go together. This was my mantra for our wedding and it worked. We didn’t have a theme and I didn’t really have a plan or a colour scheme. I operated like a magpie, picking up inspiration where I found it and with the help of my husband and our friends it worked for us!”

Jenni & Neil’s wedding reception was held at Surrey Docks City Farm, London. This venue also really helped to set the style of their day. “The venue had never been used for weddings before and provided an empty shell, so the tables, chairs and all decorations needed to be sourced and made by us,” Jenni continued. “I spent months reading wedding blogs and started liking, starring and sharing posts I liked on google reader. I also found inspiration on craft blogs and DIY websites which indulged my love of interior decoration.”

The bride made all the bunting, table runners, napkins on a vintage (i.e. non-electric) Singer sewing machine. She also made and decorated the cakes, seating plan, bouquets & pinholes herself. The groom, best man and best woman decorated the farm venue the morning of the wedding. The bride and groom are originally from East Anglia & Birmingham (respectively) so they sourced beers and wines which were local to where they grew up and served them in pink tub-trugs full of ice.

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Sarah & James’ Deep Purple, One Mayfair Wedding

I was actually really excited about Sarah & James’ wedding before it even happened. My friend Alicia Barron, events manager of One Mayfair, told me about this fabulous wedding she had coming up at her venue – a bride in a purple dress, loads of dramatic lighting…ie right up my street! I told her to try and find out who the photographer was so I could beg them to let me feature it afterwards. But low and behold, would you believe that the lucky photographer was actually my friend Annamarie Stepney! I saw these images pop up on her blog last week, but before I could even email her with my request, she’d already sent them over…and told me that the bride had read Rock n Roll Bride throughout her planning too. Woo! Happy faces all round.

The ceremony was held in the vaults of Vinopolis World of Wine by London Bridge (One Mayfair is currently in the process of getting it’s licence so you will be able to actually get married there soon.) After cocktails in the great halls the couple headed out with Annamarie for some portraits around London. The second part of the reception was held at One Mayfair. The venue is a deconsacrated Roman Catholic Church right in the centre of London with all of the original features still intact (you can see more of this awesome venue on my blog here) “We were dancing in the alter and the speaches took place in the pulpit,” Sarah told me. ” It was massively gothic and we had really dramatic lighting which picked up alot of the features in the building.”

Sarah wore a purple dress by Britta Kjerkegaard from The Couture Gallery, YSL shoes and a black diamond necklace. Her bridal look was anything but traditional! Her bridesmaids wore 1950’s style swing dresses from swing dresses and birdcage veils from Honeypie Boutique and the boys were in gold, black and purple outfits to also matched the dramatic theme. “The theme was black, gold and purple and all guests were asked to dress in accordance with the colour theme.  All the lighting was done in these colours too, and even the cocktails followed the theme: Black Russians, Raspberry mohitos and passionfruit bellinis,” the bride explained.

“The thought of being a bride in white made my stomach turn and the notion of a traditional ceremony or party in a country house practically bought me out in hives for starters,” Sarah continued. “My favourite colour is purple and I love the ‘Rock n Roll-ness’ of black and gold so I just had to have those three as the colour theme which is where a lot of the details evolved from.  I really wanted to get married underground orginally but couldnt find anywhere that held 120 guests, and so found the vaults under London Bridge in Vinopolis served as a striking alternative. We looked at loads of venues for the party and the only one that really captured our imagination and could deliver on the key components of drama and individuality and was also completely untraditional was One Mayfair.  We also couldn’t resist the Rock and Roll irony of getting married in a wine museum and having the party in a church! The day basically was all about informality, hi-jinx, drama and indulgence.”

“The wedding invites were an extremely tongue in cheek take on the Royal wedding which was happening the week after our wedding.  Each guest received a ‘commerative royal wedding mug’ in the post which had a very cheesy soft focus pose of James and I, with our cats posing as lions on the side and the venue details printed on the other side!! I am cat mad so the cats featured quite heavily in the details. We had a massive ice vodka luge in the shape of the cat too.  This helped administer the the punishment for those who got questions wrong in the very risque  ‘how well do you know Sarah and James Quiz’ that we had in between courses.”

“At the cocktail party we had table centrepieces that were massive wine glasses that had black and gold goldfish swimming in them. The table names all represented various ‘firsts’ of ours; some were fairly standard such as first gig, first pets, first holiday, whereas others represented our slightly more saucy firsts (ie venues of).  As part of the quiz they had to match up which was which, which proved both surprising and taxing for the guests!”

Wow. Just wow…

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Stephanie & Kevin’s Rockin’ Party Wedding

Stephanie & Kevin were married at Alveston Manor, Stratford upon Avon. The day started with an intimate ceremony and reception for just 20 guests. The couple then had a massive evening party with 200 people. “Only having 20 guests in the day we wanted it to be relaxed and just about the family and us the way we wanted to do it, then 200 guests in the evening to really party,” the bride told me. “We did it our way and had great fun.”

Stephanie wore a dress which she had custom made by Stella Liliana, shoes from New Look and a veil from eBay, which she cut short herself. Her idea for her bridesmaid was for her outfit to be similar in style to her own, but not being able to find what she wanted on the high street, she took to making something herself. “I wanted my one bridesmaid my younger sister to look very similar to myself but we could not find a dress that matched so I brought a black bodice from h&m and two 1950’s style Rock n Roll underskirts which I sewed together and trimmed in length to create the skirt adding satin material around the waist to finish.  Their shoes were the same as mine but in black, also from New Look. ”

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Hannah & Tom’s Shabby Chic, English Charm Wedding

Hannah & Tom’s shabby chic, English country garden wedding had so many adorable details that I simply couldn’t turn down the opportunity to feature it. I love how the term ‘Rock n Roll’ can be applied to so many different styles of weddings don’t you? ‘Rock n Roll’ is an all encompassing love of expressing yourself and your individual quirks though your wedding (well, and real life too!) Anyway, mini-morning lecture over, let’s get on with sharing all these beautiful touches shall we?

“Getting married was obviously something I have hoped to happen but I was not ones of these girls who had the whole day planned,” bride Hannah told me. “So when Tom and I got engaged we both knew 2 things… 1st we didn’t want a long engagement, after 11 years together what is the point of waiting? And the 2nd thing was we wanted a relaxed wedding! I then started to build the ideas in my head of what I envisaged the day to look like and Tom and our parents didn’t get it at first, so I started a mood book, it became my bible.”

“I entitled it “English Charm” when people asked what my theme was, I replied with ‘rustic, relaxed and the thrown together look’. 
 We had viewed quite a few country houses and golf clubs but I just hated the fact you were just on a conveyer belt of weddings, stuck in one room. We wanted our own stamp and personality to come though in our wedding, which is then why we decided to go fro the marquee option! As it was spring I loved the idea of having loads of our own flowers around which is a great/relatively cheap way of having the impact of colour.”

“We had talked about hiring in the vintage crockery, then we found a few bits in charity shops and decided that it might be just as cheap to buy it all ourselves and Tom and I and my Mum loved buying all the bits and pieces, we went to car boots, charity shops, relatives cupboards and we then come across this Aladdin’s cave of vintage crockery in south Wales were we ended up buying a lot of our bits from. I then sourced all the fabric for the floral runners, which Tom’s mum made up for us.”

“I didn’t enjoy the whole wedding dress shopping experience at all, I thought I would as I love clothes and fashion but there was nothing I liked around, they were all to safe and same looking. I decided to keep my eye on eBay and Tom was actually sat next to me when I was bidding on my dress (although he was completely unaware of this fact!)  I found this vintage dress on there and brought it for just £40. I then decided because it was a bit tatty around the edge to have the exact dress re-made after choosing my own lace, pearls etc by my dad’s Cousin who is a dressmaker. When I walked into that church and I heard gasps and murmurs of “wow” I knew I had definitely got the right dress. I also loved the fact it had a split up the front so was perfect for dancing in the evening.”

“When we went out to quote for the catering of the wedding, we had a very clear idea on what food we wanted, for starter we had a picnic hamper per table with cold meats, pork pie, scotch eggs, pickled onions, gherkins, rustic breads and much more. This just got every one on the tables talking. For main course we went for a traditional British food – local bangers and a colcannon mash which went down a treat with everyone. For the desserts we wanted people to be able to get up and have a wonder around before they sat again for another hour or so for the speeches and due to Tom being a tree surgeon we thought it would be a nice idea to use tree trunks as cake stands and it worked brilliantly. It all felt very rustic with the summer berry parabola, lemon tart and chocolate brownies. The catering team really exceeded our expectations and did such a fantastic job.”

“We have had so many comments from friends and family since all saying the same thing, what a relaxed and unique wedding to remember which was exactly the wedding I wanted, we couldn’t have asked for much more.”

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