Category Archives: British Brides

A Groovy Kinda Love – The 1960’s are BACK!

“The idea for a 60’s inspired shoot came about after I noticed we’re seeing lots and lots of vintage 1950’s style about and I figured it was about time the 1960’s gave it a run for its money,” explained photographer Shelly. “I had a vision of a pink bowler hat and from there, everything else fell into place.”

Shelly invited planner Kelly (of Boho Weddings) and Asher to model for her. “I knew I wanted mini dresses in a Mary Quant style and Debbie over at Danielle Lara Couture created these two especially for the shoot. When I went to collect them, I ended up picking up a couple of others at the same time – I just couldn’t help myself!”

Shelly commissioned Muscari Whites to created her an heirloom bouquet of  pre-loved and found objects. Their brief was “pink, quintessentially British and a bit nuts”.  The bouquet even has a little telephone box on it and a London Underground sign.

Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish Fusion Wedding

Just wow. Like seriously, wow.

That’s pretty much all I said for 5 minutes when Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish fusion wedding hit my inbox this week. I almost don’t know where to begin telling their epic wedding story, luckily for me the bride explained it a lot better than I ever could. The couple actually had two weddings – the first in Japan in July 2009 and the second (pictured) in Scotland in September 2010.

“My new Hubby and I actually got married in Japan (where we live) in 2009.  We went to the city office and signed lots of forms to update my alien registration card, change his official address and get hitched.  Which one of those forms was actually my marriage certificate I still don’t know.  I wore my mothers 1970’s full length purple embroidered waistcoat over my purple cord flares and after we went to the crazy Japanese arcade on our street and had photos taken in the hello kitty photo booth.  Much fun yet somewhat lacking in romance.  We thus decided to come home to Scotland and have another celebration with my family, which we did in September.  Planning my wedding from Japan was hard to say the least, especially as I wanted something a little different from the norm, and the whole thing became more of a disappointment as I spent hours trawling through ugly dresses, bland invites and over the top bling, until a good friend with similar problems directed me to your site.  From then on I visited your site nearly every other day to remind myself that there were options other than white wedding package A, B or C and so in turn I am sending you my wedding in hope that it may help other brides in the UK realise the same and give them a wee break from the monotony of the wedding industry.  I hope you like.”

“I came home to Scotland in 2009 to start looking for a wedding venue as I knew that it would be my only chance to see somewhere before I actually returned to get married. I wanted to have a rustic wedding in a barn or something similar but Kiichiro insisted that if he was bringing his family from Japan they were not going to sit in a barn.  He then threw down his one condition, that we get married in a Scottish castle.  Thus my Mother, two of my sisters and myself packed ourselves into a car and went on a road trip from Glasgow through Inverness and up into the highlands visiting every castle on our way.  The castles were GORGEOUS but most were way out of our budget and the ones we could afford were never quite right.  We returned to my sisters house in Ayr two days later more than a little dejected.  My eldest sister then suggested that we go and look at a castle a few miles down the road that I had never heard of so we all, rather grudgingly, got back into the car and drove the few miles to Blairquhan Castle.  As we turned on to the three mile drive my spirits lifted a little.  The river Irvine shaded by huge mossy trees was running alongside the road that was covered in confused pheasants (they obviously weren’t used to cars on their road) and at the end of the road the imposing face of Blairquhan showed itself.  This is no fairytale castle this is a big Scottish “don’t even think of attacking me” castle. Perfect.  Add to this the huge front lawn, boating pond complete with ducks and geese, walled garden and acres and acres of forest and we had the perfect venue.  They had even converted all the old stable buildings into holiday cottages so all my friends and family came for a wee three day break over the wedding weekend.”

Pheigi was decided underwhelmed by traditional wedding dresses so decided to make her perfect gown herself instead. “I went to try on wedding dresses with my best friend imagining we were going to have that movie moment where I would find “the dress” and we would both cry,” she told me. “We did cry…with laughter as I looked friggin’ ridiculous. Most of the dresses were as wide as I am tall making me look like a sequined taffeta square.”

“I am originally from the Isle of Lewis famous for its tweed and I am milliner who works almost exclusively with the lovely fabric so it made sense that my dress too would be woolen.  And so I set about making my brown and green steampunk-esque mermaid, corseted, bustled, leopard print lined wedding gown.  This was the first dress I have ever made and I couldn’t find a pattern I liked so I made it up as I went along.  I am sure a seamstress would have kittens if she looked closely but I was happy with how it turned out and on the wedding day outside in Scotland in September I was very happy to be wrapped up in tweed.  The fabric was woven for me by Callum Maclean of butt of Lewis textiles who was very helpful in offering me tweed and wool samples to make sure I got exactly what I was looking for.”

“My gold Celtic headband was my something old as it was the headband my eldest sister had made for us to wear as her bridesmaids.  I had originally decide that I wanted to wear a top hat but looking around I could find nothing I liked and those willing to make one for me were all very expensive so I decided to make my own.  Instead of a hat I went with an olive green birdcage veil with massive pheasant and peacock feathers which matched the colour of my tweed and my Mother’s outfit perfectly (I also made her a matching hat).  The lack of variety I encountered while searching for my wedding outfit frustrated me so much that I have spent the last year and a half teaching myself millinery and very recently opened a shop on etsy selling my tweed pillbox hats and alternative bridal veils.”

In honour of his wife’s Scottish heritage, Kiichiro wanted to wear a kilt. “Kiichiro decided early on that he wanted to wear a kilt so we sat down with a tartan sample book and to my delight he chose my family tartan (Ancient Macdonald of the Isles muted hunting) with a charcoal tweed waistcoat and jacket to match” continued the Pheigi. “We had the whole outfit made by Philip King in Aberdeen.   My sister Morag knitted his kilt socks.  His Brogues (shoes) came from ebay as did his amazing Tibetan goat sporran.  His plaid brooch was form pewtermill crafts.  His kilt pin was red deer antler as was his sgian dubh both from Comrie Crafts.”

The outdoor ceremony was a very meaningful one. Pheigi explained,  ” I do not belong to an organised faith and my husband is Buddhist, so the choice of Church, registry office or humanist ceremony didn’t really fit. We were already legally married so I decided to write the ceremony myself and my sister Eilidh acted as officiant on the day.  I based the ceremony on the Celtic Scottish tradition of hand fasting so we got married under a HUGE tree with our family and friends standing in a circle around us.  Instead of bridesmaids I had my 4 corners to represent the elements, my best friend and nephew read poems, my uncle gave us a blessing in Gaelic (my family’s mother tongue), my Aunt (married over 40 years) welcomed us to married life and held the broomstick for us to jump over and enter married life before we welcomed our guests with a dram from our wedding quaich. After the wedding we surprised our guests with a band of hairy drummers who led them from our tree to the walled garden of the castle where we played games and ate canapés while drinking sparkly on picnic blankets.  As it was cold I had set up a tea bar offering herbal and Japanese tea for people to keep warm.  We had a sit down meal in the castle where myself, my mother, the groom and the best man (who doesn’t speak English) gave speeches.  Our first dance was a swing dance to Hey sailor by the Detroit Cobras.  My friend officially opened the bar by reading a poem about the SS politician (the whisky filled boat that sank off the coast of Bara and led to the film Whisky galore).  We had a traditional Scottish Ceilidh then played with sky lanterns and sparklers.”

To keep thing personal, the couple wanted to DIY a lot of their reception details. “I did so much by myself and on the day it was a little heart breaking to see that most people don’t notice all the tiny details that you put in.  I noticed them however and it made my day better,” the bride continued. “Doing everything by yourself is hard work and can be really stressful.  The night before the wedding as I was trying to cover seats, make flowers, arrange tables and welcome my guests the word fun was far, far away. However my favorite memory of the day was a DIY moment.  At 6am on the morning of the wedding Kiichiro came and woke me up to go and decorate our wedding tree.  This tree was on a small lawn through a little piece of forest.  The branches were huge and came all the way down to sweep the floor making it feel like you were standing under a huge leafy umbrella.  It was so big that all our 80 guests could happily stand in a circle and still be enclosed in our green bubble.  We decorated it with ribbons, origami cranes on thread and candles hanging in jam jars.  At 6am as the mist was starting to lift off the grass and the sun was so low in the sky you had to squint I remember standing under my massive tree, ribbon in hand, and watching the sleepy faces of my sisters and mother wander out of the forest to help us.”

Finally, the bride summed up to me why their wedding was perfect for them. “I didn’t choose to have a different wedding.  I don’t want to be different for the sake of being different.  I just didn’t like any of the wedding stuff that was out there.  I found the whole wedding process to be disappointing and frustrating as I flipped through wedding magazines and websites and found absolutely nothing I liked.  The few things I did find I couldn’t afford.  It broke my heart.  Not for one second did I consider the white wedding just for ease.  In one way I had it very easy.  My family was awesome.  No one questioned any of my decisions.  No one made negative comments and during the day no one person (within my earshot) asked “what the f**k is going on?”.  Without their help there wouldn’t have been a wedding.”

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Sally & Vyv’s Stylish London Wedding

Sally & Vyv’s stylish London wedding took place in November. The ceremony at Islington Town Hall was followed by a party at 06 St Chad’s, Kings Cross.

Sally told me all about their day, “My dress was from a vintage fair at Chelsea Town Hall, I don’t know the designer/era but I was talking to a fab lady who runs a vintage shop in Camden Passage and she thought it might be late 50s.  I didn’t plan yellow but wanted a bright colour and when I saw it I knew it was what I was looking for.  I got it altered by The Lady That Does who is as much fun as she is talented, I spent a good few evenings laughing over cups of tea at her house with her partner – they are both very into their vintage and run swing nights in Walthamstow, but that’s another story… oh yes and he runs dance classes!  I almost forgot that I was there to get the dress pinned they were so much fun!  Shoes were unimaginatively from Topshop.”

“We chose Islington Town Hall as it’s our local registry office and we have been to both official meetings in the council chamber as well as another wedding!  6 St Chad’s came well recommended from 3 friends,  for food, cost and sound system. The first DJ was Paolo Zerbini, Vyv’s brother in law who flew over from Parma, Italy to play a selection of northern soul from his impeccable collection.  Vyv’s friend Stu followed with his characteristic floor fillers and the last couple of hours were covered by Vyv’s friend Ed who made sure no-one stopped dancing until the every end.”

“Our table decorations were crafted by my Mum and brother the day before and tables were named after hills/mountains Vyv and I have climbed together.  The bunting I sent out by post to guests and they decorated them and posted them back in time for me to staple them together.”

“The most important consideration was to make sure it was a relaxed day, so we didn’t want it to be too big and we tried not to over plan.  We dispensed with tradition of just the men doing speeches and let Mums, Dad’s and close friends all say a few words as well as both the groom and the bride! I think what really made it great was having our backpacks behind the bar and changing at the end of the night, to be driven off to the airport with all the guests waving us off!”

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Victor & Tori’s Dramatic Deep Purple Wedding

Victor & Tori’s dramatic, slightly gothic – totally fabulous British wedding totally hits the nail on the Rock n Roll head. As soon as these landed on my desk I was instantly smitten with Tori’s wicked deep purple, handmade gown by Janice Whitehorn of Uptight Clothing, “My bridesmaid sent me the link to Janice’s website and I loved her styles,” explained Tori. “I went for a consultation and I told Janice what I liked and didn’t like, and she came up with the most amazing dress/corset that made me feel like a princess, along with the headpiece which was modified from her original design and all the jewellery.”

The couple were married in October at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire and the deep purple theme was carried throughout the day and the details. Victor and his groomsmen wore a tailed morning suits with brocade waistcoats hired from Moss Bros, but their cravats were also handmade by Janice from the same material as the dress to match.

“We always knew our wedding was going to be different – neither of us have worn white since our teens so we knew there’d never be a white dress” concluded the bride. “We wanted a romantic and private setting, and we felt a castle would really fit this idea.  We always knew we’d end up having a friend DJ so there was music at a wedding we actually liked, and we wanted a visual treat to remember, so we asked everyone to wear purple and black to fit in – and it really worked! It wasn’t stressful at all, we had so much help along the way, especially from my mum.  We also couldn’t have found better suppliers, all were amazing.”

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The Editor of WEDDING Magazine’s Very Own Rock n Roll Wedding

I am totally thrilled, excited, over the moon, honoured that my editor at WEDDING Magazine asked if I wanted to feature her Rock n Roll wedding. As the editor of a national wedding magazine, you might expect her wedding to be the super traditional kind but not this chick! By working in the industry for so long, Catherine knew exactly what she did (and didn’t!) want for her big day and the result was a fabulous and eclectic one.

She spoke to me this week about her Rock n Roll wedding ideas, “I was never going to be a traditional tiara and train bride. I needed something that screamed ‘look at me’ for all the right reasons and Candy Anthony realised this dream for me. My scarlet prom dress with matching headpiece was the exact statement I wanted to make, and drew crowds outside Chelsea register office when we stood at the top of those infamous steps. I didn’t want my wedding to be too colour co-ordinated, and chose an OTT venue complete with Jimi Hendrix posters, stuffed crocodiles and a view of Battersea Power Station to add to the mix. I clashed funky Ikea prints with recycled tins and bottles, chose non-bridal vibrant dahlias and had my tattooist brother design my wedding cake. I also wanted to ditch formality, so there was no table plan, guests just grabbed a seat in either the decked garden or in the bar to enjoy their surf n turf barbecue while being entertained by deceptionist Sav and pianist Danny Mills doing his own versions of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC songs. Rock music was vitally important to me on my big day, no cheesy Take That love songs here! And as my ace DJs Wedding Smashers played Guns n Roses (my favourite group)  and I danced with my friends and family, I knew I’d created my ideal Rock n Roll wedding.”

Catherine married Sergio in the suitably Rock n Roll environment of The Duchess Pub, Battersea. “I wanted my big day to be relaxed and without any of the formality of a traditional English wedding,” explained the bride, who looked radiant in her bright red Candy Anthony gown. “I wanted the day to have an urban party feel, so I chosen my pub venue for it’s laidback, eclectic vibe and décor as well as the stunning view of Battersea Power Station.”

The styling of the reception was also anything but traditional. Catherine had florist Rebel Rebel fill the room with flowers, “I had my heart set on Rebel Rebel’s signature flower-filled retro handbags, and also loved its original cake stands packed with roses. The eclectic mix of bottles, tins and jars used to display the vibrant table displays of dahlias, roses and stocks completed the colourful look to absolute perfection.”

The bride’s Mum and Dad hand decorated the photo frames which the couple gave out as favours and Fancy Nancy created a completely show stopping cake for the occasion. The rest of the reception décor – the bunting, the cushions etc were also all DIY’ed by Catherine and her Mum.

What a seriously fabulous wedding – I wouldn’t expect anything less than the editor of the wedding magazine that lets me and MY bonkers ideas on to it’s pages every issue!

Catherine & Sergio’s wedding can be seen in this month’s WEDDING Magazine (alongside my latest ‘trends’ article) out in shops NOW!

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Abbie & Steven’s Snow-Capped, Twitter Inspired Wedding

Abbie & Steven found a lot of their wedding day inspiration online, including Rock n Roll Bride, which makes their wedding a very special one indeed. I’ve followed the bride on Twitter for the last few months in fact so I do feel a little bit like I’ve been along for the ride of their wedding planning!

“I don’t think we ever set out to be different just be ourselves. We never liked the ideas of themes as it can often just become gimmicky and lose sight that it’s actually a wedding and not some theme party,” Abbie told me. ” Ensuring it felt like a wedding was really important to us but we didn’t believe that meant keeping it traditional. This is not an easy balance to strike, it’s not about rebelling for the sake of it but picking and choosing the things that mean something to you.”

“Making decisions about the day was a pretty organic process; we either saw things we liked or bounced ideas around, although Steven lived in fear of my wedding mantra ‘I’ve had an idea’. So the day ended up being a bit of a hotchpotch, which kind of defies definition which suited us fine. Being a bit of a twitter geek that was probably my main planning and ideas tool. We found our photographer, hair and make-up, jewellery and shoes using Twitter. Using Twitter was great as we were able to build up some really good relationships with our suppliers before the wedding, especially with Chris and Dani the photographers and Elbie Van Eeden the hair and make-up artist. We got so much more out of the experience because by they knew us and knew what we liked, our style and the kind of day we wanted to have.”

“I feel like I have to tell people about how amazing Elbie is, she worked so hard on the day and she is immensely talented. I didn’t want the traditional bridal look, I wanted something a bit more dramatic and Elbie just ran with this and came up with something amazing. I’m sure she’s a little bit magic. The photographers Chris and Dani were absolute stars they not only produced the most fantastic photos but managed to put everyone at ease. We wanted them to feel part of the wedding so they sat with some of my relatives during the wedding breakfast and when I was speaking to the relatives later they said that Chris and Dani felt like part of the family.”

Abbie wore a dress from Tom Flowers and amazing glittery shoes from Schuh. I am also a HUGE fan of her faux fur leopard print coat which was a last minute addition for the portraits in the snow! The couple did a few DIY projects including the groom making the giant cupcake and the couple using horse shoes from Abbie’s Dad’s horses as part of their décor.

“You can try and plan every minute to be perfect but there will always be those things that come out of left field that you can’t control”, concluded Abbie. “At our wedding, one of my best friends waters broke at the start of the ceremony, snow prevented a table of guests from actually getting there and within 5 minutes of exiting the ceremony a guest spilt mulled wine all down my dress.  You just have to take these things in your stride, it’s the stuff you don’t plan that you will remember later (in a good way, honest).”

I just love them don’t you? And seriously…don’t get me started on the faux fur leopard coat…I totally ADORE this bridal look!

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