Category Archives: British Brides

A Crafty & Fish-Themed Wedding on the Banks of Loch Fyne: Claire & Doug

Unlike in England, in Scotland you can legally be married in an outside ceremony. The photos of this part of Claire & Doug’s day in particular made me fall in love with this wedding. The celebrations were held at Inver Cottage Restaurant on the banks of Loch Fyne. Claire explains, “We went on our first family holiday to Strachur last year and when we stumbled upon Inver Cottage Restaurant on the banks of Loch Fyne we fell in love with it.  We love all things seafood.  It was during this holiday with our 9 month old daughter, Maggie, that Doug proposed.  Directly across from Inver Cottage at the ruins of the old castle Lauchlan. The only place for our wedding ceremony was at Inver Cottage.  We both hated the idea of a formal wedding but wanted to share the day with close family and friends and do it in a personal and well thought out way.”

Instead of a traditional wedding dress, Claire opted for a dress by Dessy, who specialise in bridesmaid’s dresses. “I tried on a variety of ‘classic wedding dresses’ and hated every one,” Claire told me. “I had cut out an image of a dress with a bateau neckline and pockets and instantly fell in love with its laid back yet elegant appearance.”

With this she wore shoes from Dune, a vintage-inspired headpiece from Jenny Packham and carried a Lulu Guinness handbag, shaped like a pair of lips! “Since studying at art school and making handbags I have always loved Lulu Guinness.  I own at least 20 of her bags and have met the lady in person.  She is very 50’s glamour and I knew that was the look I was after.  Rather than having a bouquet of flowers I splurged on a classic lip clutch bag of hers.”

The ‘flowers’ were hand crafted by the bride, her Mum and some of the bride’s willing students (Claire is an art teacher.) “The pupils were especially good at the button flowers,” she explained. “They made my daughter Maggie’s bouquet for me and I love it.  All the fabric was vintage scraps I have collected.  The buttons, beads and pearls came from my Gran’s collection and a couple of friends Mums.”

As well as the laid back and crafty vibe of the wedding, it also had a distinct water and erm…fish theme! The couple put together a number of personal touches to craft the laid back wedding of their dreams. “Our wedding invites were handmade messages in a cork topped bottle. Maggie inviting every guest to the marriage of her mummy and daddy. Using the water beside the venue as inspiration.”

“I grew up with memories of going to the seaside and eating fish n chips from newspaper wrapping and wanted this for ours with a modern twist,” Claire said. “So we bought a few newspapers when Kate and Wills got married for the photograph and headlines, then doctored it by superimposing our faces, and Maggie’s on top of the image of their balcony kiss.  We changed the headlines so that we were the headline news of the day and got it printed locally.  We then made these up into 50 paper baskets for our “fish suppers” to be served in (even asking our local chippy if we could have 50 of the paper trays that they use as the template shape.)”

“Carrying on the fish theme and to add some decoration to the table I handmade 50 clay hanging fish as favours.  I made these by going into school at weekends and using the ceramic room there to add glazes and to kiln fire.  Each one is different and marked with the date of our wedding on the back. Each name tag for table seating plans was stitched on and embellished with vintage beads and buttons to carry the vintage craft theme.”

The entertainment the couple laid on was also quite unique. Firstly they had a friend who plays the guitar serenading their guests outside, and secondly (and again, channelling Claire’s inner art teacher) they asked their guests to contribute to a painting for the couple to then take home. “While photos were happening was a couple of local artists from Fyne Studios where there and our guests were invited to add to a painting of our day that we could take home and have forever.  It was perfect.  Our friends and family painted Inver Cottage, the ruins of the castle, and what was happening on the top, and underneath the water, continuing fish theme.  Maggie added the rainbow.  We finished off the painting by adding two hearts over Inver Cottage.”

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An Intimate & Laid-Back Lunchtime Wedding at The Savoy: Anna-Maria & Sakhi

Anna-Maria & Sakhi had a low key, intimate wedding at The Savoy in London. A small ceremony was followed by a lunch at the hotel with only their closest friends & family in attendance.

Anna-Maria wore a beautiful dress from Traffic People which she’s only decided on wearing that morning, talk about laid-back bride! Her headband was from H&M and her cute vintage-inspired gloves and amazing feather cape were from ASOS.

For wedding rings, both the bride and groom wore claddagh rings – a traditional Irish ring that is given as a token of love or in the past was often by worn as a wedding ring. Sakhi’s ring was bought from Ireland whereas Anna-Maria’s was a family heirloom. “My Dad is  from Connemara which is where the Claddagh ring is believed to originate from, so it was a way to tie in my Dad’s heritage,” Anna-Maria told me. “The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown).”

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A DIY Heavy Seaside Wedding with a Paper Trail: Clare & Paul

Clare & Paul’s fabulous seaside wedding had a whole lot of DIY love and the bride told me all about it, “I had such a fabulous time organising our wedding.  I usually work as a community artist and I often work on exciting glittering and decorative carnival costumes, so this was an opportunity for me to bring some sparkle into our day!”

“Paul and I wanted our wedding to be special to us and to reflect our personalities and our interests in art and music. I wanted to be part of the designing and making of as many different parts of the wedding as I could. We love colour so when my daughters chose their ivory and black beautiful dresses I added hot pink and red to the mix.  Although there is so much to do and you can go on a mad spending spree, we set a budget (which we slightly exceeded – oops!) but I loved every minute of it.”

The wedding reception took place at The Hayling Island Sailing Club in Portsmouth. “Our guests arrived on a red double decker London bus,” Clare continued. “My two daughters and my niece were my bridesmaids, they had their hair in Audrey Hepburn inspired buns with beautiful orchids and Gloriosa in their hair to match our bouquets.  I wore an Ian Stuart asymmetrical dress.  We arrived at the ceremony in Trevor Howard’s (Brief encounter) beautiful red alvis sports tourer and a candy pink london taxi!”

When I first saw Clare & Paul’s wedding, my eyes were immediately drawn to their incredibly unique table numbers, crafted out of vintage books. I had to know more! Can you believe the bride made these herself?! “We used paper cuttings from vintage books to decorate our table plan and our table numbers,” she said. “We scattered plectrums around on the table with our names and the wedding date on. I made a huge table plan using a large frame I had resprayed and cut out leaves and origami roses made by Paul.  I made my table numbers with a set of 7 vintage books in which I made little scenes of Paul and my life! My shop on Etsy ohlalovely is selling/taking commissions for these books if anyone wants some made.”

Incredible huh? I don’t know about you, but I’m off to check out Clare’s Etsy store right now!

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A Mad Men Inspired Vintage Wedding: Rowan & Neil

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Rowan & Neil were married at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Renfrew followed by a Mad Men inspired reception at 29 Private Members Club in Glasgow. “The wedding ceremony was particularly special to us,” Rowan explained. “My Dad is an Episcopal minister and it was a great honour to have him conduct the service in his own church. My Mum walked me up the aisle – it was lovely to have them both involved in the duties of ‘giving the bride away’.”

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The couple knew as soon as they got engaged that they didn’t want a traditional wedding. They met when working at a local hotel in fact so had seen a lot of what they didn’t want! The bride has also had a bit of experience planning a Rock n Roll wedding before as she helped her sister-in-law plan her wedding which was featured actually on Rock n Roll Bride last year! (You can see it here) “I had really enjoyed the creative aspects,” said Rowan, “so when I got engaged a few weeks after their wedding, I was soon sucked into the world of wedding blogs – checking Rock n Roll Bride everyday!”

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An Old-Fashioned Tea Party & Vintage Inspired Wedding: Dan & Rach

Dan & Rach didn’t think too hard about the theme of their wedding, they simply went with what felt perfect for them. This evolved into a village fete/old-fashioned garden party with 1930’s touches.

“It’s so easy to fall into the big fluffy trap when you start planning a wedding,” Rach told me “but then I discovered Rock n Roll Bride – yay! – and it was inspirational to see all those couples doing it their way.  We moved from Brighton to Shropshire a month before the wedding, so a lot of it was done at the last minute. We managed it, thanks to our families and friends rallying round. We also found the truly splendid Bethan of Haywood Jones Photography through Rock n Roll Bride . We were nervous about being photographed but soon relaxed into it and it was like having an old friend there on the day.”

The ceremony took place at St Mary’s Dudleston, Shropshire. The bride’s Mother is a retired vicar so she performed the ceremony, making it extra special. After the touching service, the couple and their guests headed to Plas Warren, a B&B in Dudleston, Shropshire. “We had afternoon tea using vintage china and vases collected from charity shops,” continued the bride. “Dan made a load of cake stands using old plates and bits off eBay. We covered the tables with vintage tablecloths that had belonged to my Grandmother.”

The bride’s vintage-inspired dress was made by a friend and it turned out just as she wanted, “My bridesmaid Sally designed and made my 30’s-inspired frock. I’m very lucky to have such a talented friend. We bought the silk on Berwick Street in London. I knew I didn’t want white and when I saw the grey silk I fell in love with the colour, it had an old Hollywood look. She finished it off with a belt using an art deco dress clip for the buckle.”

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Film Wedding Photography – Sophie & Robert’s Quirky Vintage Countryside Wedding

There’s something about film photography. Something magical. Our wedding was shot on film in fact, and while at the time this wasn’t even a conscious decision (digital wedding photography wasn’t as popular then – wow I sound like we got married in the dark ages!) it’s a choice I’m pretty happy we made. There’s just a certain quality with this format, that no matter how hard it tries, digital images simply can’t compete with.

So when photographer Ashton Jean-Pierre sent me Sophie & Robert’s wedding last week, shot 100% with film, I jumped at the chance to share it with you.

“I grew up wanting to be different and loving quirky & unusual things,” newlywed Sophie told me. “I just don’t have a thing for traditional weddings and get excited whenever I see an alternative wedding on the internet. I knew that was what I wanted after getting engaged.”

“Robert and I knew we didn’t want to look traditional. Although I initially wanted to wear a vintage dress, I ended up falling in love with the quirky David Fielden dress! It was, in fact, the first dress I tried on and only took me 8 more dresses to decide it was the one for me. The back of the dress was initially short and I asked the dressmaker to make it longer as I wanted it to look a bit dramatic. Robert absolutely loves vintage-looking suits, so he got a beautiful bespoke brown suit made at Dress2Kill and it suited him perfectly! He also got this fabulous pink & cream striped bow-tie from Hackett.”

The couple wanted to put their personal stamp on their wedding, and so took it upon themselves to DIY wherever they could. “Due to my creativity, I wasn’t frightened to make my wedding ideas come real,” Sophie continued. “The unusual table plan display and the confetti cones were among the things Robert and I made. I also ordered favour badges, which went down well with our guests!”

“My lovely Mum made the pink/cream/light brown bunting and and the confetti cones were made by myself and Rob. We got the vintage vases & containers from charity shops and family members.”

“The other decorations came from Etsy – Pom Queen, FunOnAStick, Victorianstation – and Folksy – The Lime Garden.  I got the paper mache table numbers off Lainesworld.co.uk and sprayed them with gold paint! The invite, RSVP postcard,  menu and order of service were designed by myself, and Rob and I created the unusual table planner!”

And as I imagined from seeing Ashton‘s incredible images, the photography was also very important to this stylish pair. “As I am a photographer myself, choosing a wedding photographer was going to be a very easy task! Actually, Ashton was the only wedding photographer I considered hiring as we are friends and I absolutely love his style. We both have a thing for vintage things & alternative weddings and prefer to use film, so he knew exactly what I wanted. He was fabulous on our wedding day!”

Beautiful! I’m laying my blogging claim to all of Ashton’s weddings from here on in. I love his photography SO MUCH. Who’s with me?

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