Category Archives: British Brides

Rom & Will’s DIY, Humanist, 1970’s Vintage Wedding

You might recognise the gorgeous Rom & Will as I featured their engagement session back in August. I knew their wedding would be awesome as soon as I saw those shots so you can imagine my excitement when I got an email from photographer Steve Gerrard asking if I’d like to feature their wedding that took place a few weeks ago in Somerset.

The couple had two ceremonies – a legal ceremony at Hestercombe Gardens, followed the next day by a humanist ceremony and reception at Huntstile Organic Farm (a humanist ceremony isn’t legal in England at present.) Rom wore a different dress for each part of their day. For the civil service she wore an original 70s Ossie Clark dress which she had hunted high and low for. She finally found in a treasure trove of a shop called Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. “The owner Lou has original vintage dresses and she also makes bespoke vintage replicas,” Rom explained. “With this is also wore Gold cork platforms by Miu Miu and a vintage garland headband from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company.”

For the humanist ceremony and wedding reception, Rom wore her Mother’s wedding dress which was an original Janice Wainwright dress, also from the 70s. “I had it altered and updated for me by Rachel at Heirloom Couture who did me and my mum proud. Shoes this time were by Beatrix Ong and were reduced from £700 to £100 in the sale! Possibly the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen” Rom continued.

To keep in with their humanist and Rock n Roll theme, the couple omitted a lot of wedding traditions. They didn’t have a wedding cake, favouring afternoon tea and cupcakes made by the venue. They also didn’t have a traditional wedding band or DJ, opting for a punk rock n roll band from Exeter called The Computers.

Rom asked her bridesmaids to pick their own dresses. Her only requirements were they were long and they each picked a different colours. The groomsmen looked similarly relaxed and cool in skinny black suits, white shirts, black ties and Vans trainers.

“We DIY’d a lot of things ourselves, stole ideas from wedding blogs and roped in friends and family to help too”, the couple concluded. “It’s amazing how the effort that goes into the little details can make your whole day more personal. One thing that worked really well was a ‘lucky dip’ where instead of getting us gifts, we asked everyone to bring something under a tenner for a lucky dip. It meant everyone got a funny present from another guest and was a great way to get people mingling to find the person their gift was from.”

“We really just wanted the wedding to be the best party we could ever organise. We did away with any traditions that we didn’t like – first dance, cutting of the cake, wedding list, seating plan, wedding favours, matching bridesmaid dresses etc and focused on what we thought was important. The best advice we were given was to ensure guests are never hungry, thirsty or bored. It served us well.”

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Mia & Matt’s Super Kitsch, Super Gorgeous 1960’s Wedding

I think I possibly have one of the cutest weddings ever to round of today’s posts. When I first laid eyes on Mia & Matthew’s 60’s inspired wedding, I kid you not, I literally squealed with delight. How happy do these photos make you feel?! I KNOW! Adore…

The wedding took place in Devon at St Gregory’s RC Church in Kingskerswell. The reception then followed at Colehayes Park in Bovey Tracey, a Georgian House in beautiful grounds. As soon as the couple got engaged they knew their wedding would have a 60’s theme. Mia is obsessed with everything from this era and even had her dress made by a friend to an authentic 1960’s dress pattern. Mia explained, “I’m obsessed with vintage so it had to be that way! I also wore a floral headband of golden coloured alstroemeria which was made by our florist, gold t-bar sandals which I found in the Miss KG by Kurt Geiger. I wore yellow plastic daisy earrings from Spitalfields Market, a silver engraved locket which Matt gave me on the morning of our wedding and an amazing wedding cartoon bracelet which I bought from Da Da Dreams on Etsy. My sister also gave me a lovely bluebird bracelet and matching garter on the morning of the wedding, which she’d had handmade for me. They’re amazing! In the evening I changed into a 1960s lace mini dress with cape which I found on Ebay and borrowed a vintage faux fur cape from my sister.”

They hired two 1960’s Rolls Royce’s and at the reception they played nothing but 60’s music. The bridesmaids even wore authentic 1960’s vintage dresses. “Finding the bridesmaids dresses was a real mission,” Mia told me. “I wanted them all in vintage pastel maxi dresses and we searched high and low to find the perfect ones. We got there eventually! My sister Becca, friend Emma and friend Corinne all found dresses on Etsy but and my friend Daisy was really struggling to find anything right when my grandma donated a dress which happened to be sitting in the back of her wardrobe! It’s the blue bridesmaid dress and it fitted her perfectly. I love that my grandma used to wear it. To make the dresses all work together I bought some white daisy trim from Ebay to add to the edges.”

The rest of the wedding was all DIY including the cake, with each layer being made by a different person. “My sister and chief Bridesmaid, Becca, made the main cake – a 2 layer chocolate sponge with yellow buttercream icing and iced orange butterflies, and my Grandma made matching vanilla cupcakes. And my mum made a fruitcake too. I was chief kitchen assistant!” Mia laughed.

To get everyone talking, the couple hosted a quiz all about themselves. The bought some old trophies in a junk shop and decorated them with their faces to give out as prizes! They also made personalised snowglobes to act as super kitsch placenames. “We bought a job lot of DIY snowglobe kits from Baker Ross Educational Supplies and put a photo of Matt and I inside with all the guests names printed on,” said Mia. “It took me, Matt, my mum and dad about 6 hours to make them but it was worth it as everyone had something cute to take home!”

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Sophie & Barney’s Silly & Fun, Vintage & Rock n Roll North London Wedding

I sneak peeked Sophie & Barney’s wedding on Twitter and Facebook as soon as their photographer Lisa Devlin emailed me to ask if I wanted to blog them – hello!? Look at these two…Like she even had to ask!!

The best bit though? Sophie & Barney found Lisa via Rock n Roll Bride – I love love love featuring the weddings of bona fide Rock n Roll Bride readers! Oh I can hardly contain my excitement over this one…

“We did everything we wanted do and didn’t care if anyone else thought it was right,” the couple explained. “We put together all of our loves and didn’t worry about a colour scheme or any thing particularly weddingy, we love autumn and Halloween and London and glamour and silliness and fur and penguin books and skulls so we chucked them all in. Is that Rock n Roll??!”

Simple answer – yes!

Sophie looked every bit the Rock n Roll princess in a genuine vintage dress which she bought from My Sugarland in North London. “It was the first and only dress I tried on,” said Sophie “and its beyond special having been a museum piece and nearly 100 years old! It was covered in mould and little rips, I owe Zoe at My Sugarland a massive thank you because she helped my Dad see beyond the grubbiness of it and talked him into buying it for me! She also passed me on to the wonderfully stern but kind Jacqueline Byrne who used to be a seamstress for the Queen no less (!) who tidied the dress up perfectly, even recovering all the buttons on the sleeves.” With her perfect dress, Sophie wore a custom made headdress from Lilly Lewis which she customized with a brooch belonging to her Mother. She also also wore her Mother’s silver fox fur jacket which was a gift from her Dad on the day she was born!

On the morning of the wedding, Barney surprised his bride with a Vivienne Westwood handbag as a wedding present (my kind of guy – Gareth take note!) Sophie told me she almost walked down the aisle with her flowers in it but her Mother said no! hehe (ps best photo ever! Reminds me of some photos Lisa took of me when we met up…)

Sophie dressed her bridesmaids in different high street and vintage dresses to keep in with the laid back vibe. Vintage touches were added with their accessories, including an amazing 20’s pearl collar necklace and brooches from different decades collected by the bride ever since she got engaged. She also collected antique lace and made hairbands for them all.

The couple saved money by decorating the venue themselves. The collected 115 old penguin books from charity shops and Sophie’s Mum covered them. A lot of work but totally worth the effort – they look fantastic dotted around the venue don’t they? Before the wedding both Barney & Sophie went down to a local market and bought pumpkins and pomegranates to decorate the venue with. Everyone they know had also been collecting glass jars for the humbugs that we covered with black lace and put on the table. They also screen-printed the cameos to put on the back of the chairs. Originally Sophie had planned to not have any flowers at all, but at the last minute she feel in love with some “mouldy looking bruised roses” and her Mum bought them for her and made them into her bouquet. The finishing touch to the decor really is the incredible ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ cake by Brighton based Choccywoccydodah. Magnifique!

Music was a big part of this couple’s day with a number of entertainers lined up for the evening reception, “It was started by the wonderful Ellen playing tunes from the 30’s-60’s. Honky Sausage, a fantastic Ska and Swing covers band that do the most original sausage based meat raffle in the world! Next came the Fantastic Ryan Knowles with some dancey beats, followed by the effervescent Miss Sami Fitz who closed the party with some absolute classic party tunes!” the couple explained.

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Sarah & Chris’ Handcrafted Tipi Wedding

Sarah & Chris got married at Croft Castle, Herefordshire followed by a Tipi reception in Sarah’s Father’s field. I have a serious wedding crush on this ‘venue’!

The whole wedding was a locally-sourced and handcrafted affair as this was very important to the couple. The tipi was decorated top to toe by Sarah and her Mother (her Mum is the lady wearing the fabulous handmade patchwork coat!) “We wanted our wedding to have a handcrafted feel and it was important that our friends and families were as involved as they could be” Sarah explained. “My inspiration for the feel of the day came from that, from getting those peoples input and spending time with them. My mother made the amazing patchwork coat that you can see her wearing, from thousands of small squares of lovely fabric, and she announced just after we got engaged that she was going to turn it into a quilt for our first baby after the wedding – this pretty much encapsulates the feel I wanted of the wedding.”

“I wanted to make as much as I could myself and took immense pleasure in spending hours stitching and crafting, using old family photos or random things picked up over the years to make everything as unique as it could be – it was so important to me that it all came, well, from the heart. Is that too cheesy? I don’t care, it was my wedding day and I loved every second of it.”

The flowers were all picked from the surrounding fields and local gardens (with permission of course!) and the bride made the bunting and 100 pots of jam! The linens and lace table runners were all found at local charity, antique and vintage shops and Chris built the campfire which everyone gathered round at the end of the night.

The bride made all the stationary and paper goods from the invites – which were little books made from wallpaper and hand stitched together, to the  save the dates, the table plan – which was made with ribbon and luggage labels and service sheets – which were hand printed and hand stitched. Sarah has since decided to start her own wedding stationary company and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. This is some seriously gorgeous and creative stuff!

Another thing that was really important to the couple was charity. After dinner, they held an auction to raise funds for ZAMCOG. They included included art from the brides art gallery, a hamper from Scotland and a dance with the bride. For their honeymoon, the pair plan to cycle across Africa, also in aid of this charity.

“For our not so romantic honeymoon we plan to cycle across Africa, from coast to coast – starting on the East coast of Tanzania, biking through Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and ending on the West coast of Namibia,” Sarah told me. “This covers about 5,000 km and we aim to do it in 30 days. Given that we haven’t done much cycling before (not counting the 12 minutes it takes me to get to work, and the 12 minutes it takes to get back) this could be quite a challenge!”

“Chris and I are fundraising for a school in Zambia that provides education, care and shelter for orphans, street kids and other vulnerable children. Through a stable and caring environment Shitima school aims to build a self sustaining route for children to create a better future for themselves and their community. There are at present 230 children in the school and it costs approximately £300 a year to feed, clothe and educate a child. The charity that funds the school also runs a feeding programme at a nearby drop in centre for street kids. The website explains it all in full but in short its a wonderful place where children are cared for and given new opportunities. We are aiming to raise £25,000 to contribute towards new facilities that would mean that the school could take on more pupils and which would also create more jobs within the local community.”

If anyone wants to donate to help Sarah & Chris, their charity site is:

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Vintage Charm – A London Engagement

The inspiration for Caroline & Ian’s engagement session was Caroline’s gorgeous Vivien of Holloway dress. “‘I’d worn it for my brother’s wedding in California a couple of weeks before,” Caroline explained. “It was such a wonderful outfit to wear that it was the obvious choice when I came to select an outfit for the shoot, and that set the whole style. I also wanted a deliberate contrast to the style of our wedding.”

To match up with Caroline’s style, photographer Julia Boggio was more than thrilled to accessorise Ian. Julia is a massive fan of all things vintage and has a studio full of props perfect for vintage styling (I know – I’ve had the treatment myself!)

Caroline & Ian’s wedding is going to be published in Cosmopolitan Bride magazine here in the UK very soon!

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Jim & Katy’s DIY-Fabulous Whimsical Beach Themed Wedding

I hosted a very special offer from Willow Tree Photography a while ago for free wedding photography to any lucky 2010 couples who maybe hadn’t planned to, or couldn’t afford a professional photographer. While I got a bit of stick on certain photography forums (apparently I was encouraging newbie photographers to undercut the market…well, anyone who read the post I published on Saturday will know this is certainly not the case!) I am over the moon that through running this very special offer I, and photographer Kathryn, were able to offer some awesome couples without the budget to spend on photography, the chance to have professional wedding photographs.

One of the first couples who took up this amazing offer were Jim & Katy. The pair had a whimsical seaside theme which started with an intimate ceremony at Harbour Community Church, Folkestone. “The wedding happened in our local church, its very near the harbour of our little town, its quaint but village-hall like (with a sloping floor) it helped to inspire the bunting and seaside/village fete theme”, the bride told me. “As we and our guests were outside the church after the ceremony doing the photos, a crack team of our friends re-arranged the church into a buffet for the reception, the chairs were moved from rows into circles and it was a very informal reception but with amazing food prepared by members of the church.”

“The church was decorated in hundreds of metres of bunting that was around the front and back of the church, ran down the aisle and spilled out to the rails outside, making everything look very happy and inviting. We then had an evening party downstairs at a local bar, informal, good atmosphere.”

The bride wore a custom made dress, which she had designed and created especially for her by a local seamstress. To this she added those amazing and awesomely bright Irregular Choice shoes (she also had white pumps from Schuh for the evening.)

The couple, who are both recent art graduates didn’t have much money to spend and so DIY-ed a lot of their wedding – the flowers, all the decor, the favours, the buttonholes, the cupcakes – everything was made by the couple or their friends and family members.

Katy concludes,
“Our inspiration was based on three things…

1. wanting an honest reflection of ourselves and the aesthetic
preferences that are likely to hallmark our marriage, not the packaged
ideal of a modern ‘wedding’.

2. We didn’t have much money.

3. The venue, we let that dictate somewhat. it wasn’t the prettiest
building but had charm that we used our theme and decoration to bring
out. We wanted to get married there because it is our local church and
so it was an emotional choice.”

“We knew we had this village hall-like building and we were right by the sea. Also we love bunting, so to ignore our actual surroundings would be absurd. My recommendation to anyone trying to think of a theme is to not only be true to yourselves but also to the architecture and geography of where you are getting married. That way everything will gel and fit, plus that location will become even more strongly associated with your special day.”

“We also new that lots of our friends have toddlers and we didn’t want to exclude them. We felt that our theme allowed everyone to be able to enjoy the day and have fun.”

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