Category Archives: British Brides

An Outdoor Ceremony & A Summer Fete Themed Wedding: Emily & Oliver

Emily & Oliver were legally married at Brighton Town Hall with only their immediate family in attendance. Then two days later they celebrated with all their friends & family Ridge Farm in Surrey. They started the day with an outdoor ceremony (not currently legal in England, hence the register office ceremony.)

“I first went to Ridge Farm a couple of years earlier to a music festival called Firegathering organised by a friend of my sister, they had got married there themselves,” Emily told me. “It came to mind as a venue to look round and when I took Oli he feel in love at first sight.  A big advantage was we could have the venue for 4 days!  We have always enjoyed the day after a wedding as the much as the wedding day itself, all ice has been well and truly broken and its just fab to carry on the party when you have all your loved ones together.”

Ridge Farm has 11 bedrooms, plenty of land to camp on, a huge bonfire site (great for late night chats), there is a pool house which is covered for the wedding breakfast and then uncovered the following day so that we could have a very informal BBQ and pool party.  The venue has amazing rock history and used to have a studio on site, the walls in the house are covered with albums that have been recorded there – artists include Sade, Ozzy Osbourne, James, Pearl Jam, Roxy Music etc.”

“The Ridge Farm ceremony was performed by Peter at Light on Life,” Emily continued. “We knew that Ridge Farm was the venue for us and they do not have a license to perform legally binding marriages, we didn’t want to spend the day traipsing round the countryside, so decided to have a very intimate ‘legal’ wedding with immediate family and a ceremony in the Orchard all our guests could enjoy.”

“Peter wrote a bespoke ceremony for us and ran with all my partner’s crazy ideas such as parents making and exchanging family flags/pennants during the ceremony.  We hired some fete style games such as a coconut shy and splat the rat for people to enjoy/mingle round over the two days – it was Peter’s idea to cut a red ribbon after the ceremony to declare the ‘fete’ open.”

The festival and fete theme of the wedding was brought together by some subtle and cute details. These included bunting from Beautiful Bunting, a tent from The Arabian Tent Company and fete games hired from Carousel Events.

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A Handmade Campsite Wedding: Maria & Chris

A campsite in Wales played host to Maria & Chris’ fabulous wedding. With the help of their friends & family the couple pulled a lot of the wedding together themselves. The flowers played a huge part in the styling of their day as Maria explained, “For the flowers I wanted it to look as though we had picked them all from the fields that morning and used whatever we had lying around to put them in.  We had been collecting vintage china for some time and used the various jugs, bowls and cups & saucers for the flowers on the tables.  The campsite also had some rustic enamel jugs that we used too.  Some of these Flowers I had ordered from the florist (Peonies, Cornflower, Lavender, Margharites etc) but the rest my Mum, her neighbour and my Auntie’s had brought with them from their gardens!  The Tipi was decorated with ribbon and Ivy from my Parent’s garden too.”


“All the table decorations were put together by my Chris’ Mum and one of my Bridesmaids,” the bride continued. “It was late Friday, the night before the wedding and it was flower chaos! In the end it was all hands on deck and friends and family were all stepping in to help.  Chris’ Mum also made 60+ stunning little bead & wire dragonflies to sit in the table decorations. I also had three silver butterflies that were a pair of earrings and a pin that belonged to Chris’ Grandma. She sadly passed away two years ago and by having the butterflies in my bouquet it was my small way of having her near all day.”


“We also used bay leaves and white roses that my two Granddads (who are no longer with us) had grown, in the table decorations – so the flowers became a very personal thing!”


The relaxed wedding didn’t really have a specific ‘theme’, the couple just wanted to pull together all the things they loved for their day. “We have always loved retro, vintage and homemade – long before it became fashionable again! So our inspiration was really always around us – homemade items created by friends and family and secondhand items that had a second lease of life (we left the vintage china at Fforest Farm to be reused at other peoples weddings!) Our inspiration was also the wonderful Fforest Farm and the countryside surrounding it.”

The bride wore a stunning Cymbeline dress which the bought online. “I originally was going to hunt down a vintage dress and after trawling the internet had made a list of specialist shops to visit in London.  Then  was on the internet one evening at my parents when my said ‘try eBay for a dress’ – I said that I had given up looking but my mum was insistent and there waiting for me was my dress to be! So – I purchased my dress from a very lovely girl on eBay! She originally bought the dress from Paris and it was made by Cymbeline, my Mum took the top in slightly but other than that it was perfect in every way!”

Can I also just draw your attention to this cake!? It was made by the bride’s Mum and both she and the bride crocheted the flowers and cake topper. How cute?! “The knitted and crocheted flowers were my idea,” said Maria, “and my Mum added the Mice and the mini version of our dog Poppy! I crocheted a few of the flowers but my Mum knitted & Crocheted the majority – she’s far more talented than me!”


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A Quirky, 1950’s & DIY London Wedding: Rebecca & Morgan

I fell in love with Rebecca & Morgan’s quirky wedding as soon as it landed in my inbox and I’m honoured and super excited to share it with you today…especially because they used some of my favourite suppliers (including Lisa Jane Photography and Vivien of Holloway) and well as some of the DIY project that I’ve posted on my blog. Yey!

Rebecca told me all about their fabulous wedding. “Morgan and I grew up only 8 miles apart and even went to the same secondary school; in fact he was in my sister’s year in school. However we didn’t meet each other until April 2009, believe it or not he sent me a facebook friendship request, we went for a date and a crazy year later I asked him to be my fiancé. I even commissioned a ring from the quirky designer Amber France as a surprise, he said yes (sigh of relief on my side). Our daughter Efa was born and things went on the back burner and then 7 months later on my birthday he gave me a beautiful blue opal ring, it was like a green light!”

“So we started chatting about our ideas and planning. We’re both artist so we knew our wedding would be different and would have to truly represent our characters and what we love in life. We had originally planned to have the wedding in 2013 and Morgan wanted to have it in North Wales where we’re from but things had been hard of late and I couldn’t justify spending all that money just on one day. We just had to make the difficult decision to leave London, which meant leaving all our friends and our way of life behind, so I suggested to Morgan let’s get married before we go. In the end London was where we met and where Efa was born and that was the start of our 7 weeks to plan a wedding.”

“We both wanted something fun, relaxed and most importantly something that was us. We choose our local Town hall for the ceremony and got married on a Friday. Morgan chose his local pub for the lunch, Pembury Tavern and I found The Royal Inn on the Park and rented the private room upstairs for the evening party. It was all based in the borough of Hackney where we use to live. We had a strict budget so DIY was a must but being creative types and having arty friends to get involved made it fun not a chore.”

“We did so many DIY decorations but our favourite projects were the recycled paper flowers that I got from Rock n Roll Bride. I made 57 of them and even used old vintage flower arranging books to make them.  I also enjoyed making the felt flower button holes/brooches for the wedding party; I made Morgan a sunflower to match my bouquet. Plus the badges we gave as favours, Morgan and I spent hours making around 250 badges from vintage photography, anatomy, flower arranging books which Morgan uses for his art. He purchased a badge machine couple of months before for our etsy shop DyfalDonc and it just made sense to use it for the favours.”

“I knew I was never going to wear a traditional wedding dress, I never wear white or cream and I love colour, so I choose cobalt/royal blue. I spent hours searching on the internet for a dress and end up buying my shoes first from Irregular Choice, I was in love. With the 50’s style in my shoes I knew I had to find a dress to match and went to Vivien of Holloway. After trying on a couple of dresses, even one in ivory for my Mam but not liking any, my friend Nia found it hanging on the rack hidden between other dresses the only halter neck circle dress in blue, in my size. Happy days.  She even bought it for me as my wedding present. I added French blue and royal blue petticoats underneath, made a forget-me-not felt brooch, bought a chiffon ivory bolero from Sew Cool Creations on ebay and vintage porcelain forget-me-not flower earrings at a bargain price of £2. To finish the look my friend Roxi who is also a burlesque dancer did my hair and make-up and created my wonderful headpiece.”

“We didn’t have a strict theme but we would say our wedding was 50’s, Sunflowers, Italian dinning, Badges, Vintage, Blue, Scrabble, Beer Mats, Cakes, Reggae, Welsh maps, Yorkshire puds, Curly Wurly’s, Moustaches, Retro, Bunting, Yellow, Ska and so much more.”

“The advice we would give to other bride and grooms-to-be that are planning a quick wedding on a strict budget is to make lots and lots of lists!! DIY is the way to go and get yourselves a good photographer. We’re so grateful to Kat that we found Lisa Jane Photography on Rock n Roll Bride; she’s a lovely person and a fantastic photographer. Thumbs up all round.”

“We had a brilliant time planning and organising and creating for the wedding, from the cake and sweet table, to searching for the vintage and retro fabrics for our bunting, to spending hours making our playlist for the evening party to designing our invitations. But at the end of the day it’s our friends and family that make it extra special so we just want to say thank you to them for sharing it with us.”

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A Weekend-Long Family Festival Wedding: Emily & Stef

If you’re a blog addict like me you may have seen some of the following images from Emily & Stef’s incredible festival wedding around the interwebs already. Emily is a wedding photographer herself and so a lot of the suppliers they used for their wedding weekend were friends as well as being exceptionally talented wedding industry peeps!

After proposing to Stef, Emily set to work planning a unique and quirky wedding to suit them and their family. Being a wedding photographer herself Emily had seen a lot of things she didn’t want for her own big day. It was important to them to have a wedding that reflected them, was chilled out and laid-back and fun for all their guests. “We had a bright, colourful, happy wedding that was all tied together with buttons,” Emily began. “We have shot weddings together for the past 5 years and wanted to have something that didn’t feel like we were at work. We also wanted an environment that was going to work well for our three children and lots of other little ones who would be at the wedding (about 27!) We both love music and festivals, so we wanted a lovely big party where everyone could relax and have fun. Someone described it as a mini summer holiday. That was the vibe.”

“There was craft, games, cake decorating, a tuck shop, two DJ set-ups, BBQ breakfasts, a sushi brunch, a hog-roast, falafel, a BYO bar, face-painting and balloons. We also really wanted to get married outside and have a humanist ceremony (something important in our lives), so Billycan Camping offered a perfect space for that too. The dress-code for the wedding was ‘please wear whatever you want so that you are comfortable in a field for a weekend but please can all the guys wear a bow tie.’ And people did just that! It was fabulous!”

The couple were legally married on the Thursday before their wedding weekend. You can see more info, photos and a cute video of this day on Steve Gerrard’s and O & C Photography‘s blogs. They photographed this part of the wedding for them.

However the day the couple consider to be their actual wedding day took place at Billycan Camping in Sussex. Emily actually found this venue after seeing this wedding on Rock n Roll Bride! As the wedding had a festival vibe, the majority of the guests camped over the nights before and after the wedding, making the whole thing a big massive weekend celebration!

Emily wore a bespoke dress made with vintage cotton lace from 1976 (the year she was born!) by Mr Christian. In the evening and for the after-party she changed the underskirt and bow from white to bright pink. Stef wore a pink suit from Aubin and Wills, but he had no idea that Emily had planned to add some pink to her outfit in the evening. It just all worked out perfectly you could say!

Almost all of the wedding decor was DIY and they bought a lot of items (crockery, picnic baskets, jars, board games) from charity shops. Emily explains, “I made lots of things before the weekend from corsages and ribbon wands to ceremony programmes and the guest book. Then on the the Friday I showed a few guests how to make the big paper flowers hanging in the yurt and they spent Saturday morning making them. We had a craft area so all the guys could make a bow tie (I really wanted all the guys to wear a bow tie!) and the ladies could make a pretty hair accessory or a corsage. My friend Charis and I made everyone a pinwheel corsage from felt and a button. There will be lots of DIY inspiration on our new lifestyle site New Homely over the next few weeks.”

“We had a do-it-yourself wedding with friends and family giving a huge amount of their help instead of traditional wedding presents. This is exactly how we wanted it to be but it’s not for the faint hearted. You have to really want a wedding like this as it takes a huge amount of planning, logistics (we hired and organized everything ourselves from the hog roast company to the main yurt, even the generators, everything apart the cake table, which we hired from Billycan Camping.)”

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without the amazing help from Paige of Paige One Events and Charley of London Bride. Paige helped me so much with making phone calls and sending emails, creating timelines and spreadsheets (with a three children under 5 this was tricky for me to do all by myself!) Both Paige and Charley were amazing on the day making sure that everything ran smoothly and co-ordinating all my friends and family so that everyone could join in and help to create the weekend of our dreams without me having to worry about a thing.”

Their wedding was photographed by the fabulous Polly Alexandre, someone who’s work both Emily & Stef have admired for a long time. “We had a first look before the ceremony by a lake near Arundel Castle. Completely amazing and perfect walking up to meet my husband-to-be through long grass in my flip flops, tapping in him on the shoulder and him turning round and seeing me for the first time in my dress. Amazing and intimate. It gave us some really special time together that we knew we wouldn’t get later with our three young children and lots of family and friends. Polly photographed it beautifully and we also took the opportunity to do our couple portraits then too, so that after the ceremony we could just go with the flow.”

The couple also employed The Wedding Reporter to come and write their wedding story for them. If you want to read more about how the day went and what it was like to actually be there, then be sure to go and check out her report on her blog (part one and part two.)

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A Simple Country Vintage Wedding for a Tattooed Bride: Dave & Clare

Dave & Clare were married at East Riddlesden Hall in West Yorkshire. The bride wore a Tara Keely dress and Irregular Choice shoes.

“The theme I was going for was simple country vintage,” Clare told me. “Throughout the whole wedding process from getting engaged to the honeymoon (which was only 5 months!) we just stayed true to ourselves, we invited who we wanted (no relatives we haven’t seen for 10 years) no kids, only the people who mattered.”

“As for the style, again we stayed true to what we liked and what we felt comfortable with. I don’t particularly see us as Rock n Roll but I guess with our tattoos and such I can see why people might think that. We’re just us and there’s nothing we like more than cuddling up in front of a film with a cuppa and our cats and dog!”

The couple used their own camper van as their wedding day transport, and after the wedding travelled around the Lake District in it for their honeymoon. The couple also added DIY touches throughout their day including all the stationery and paper goods. “We hired bunting from a company called Beautiful Bunting,” continue Clare. “I bought antique bottles, wrapped them in a bit of lace and used them as little vases for the tables along with some parafin lanterns we had bought.”

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A British Beach-Inspired, DIY Wedding: Emma & Matt


I teased a photo of Emma in her amazing short short wedding dress on twitter as soon as photographer David McNeil sent over this wedding to me. Whoaaa, I literally had to share it with someone (well 12,000 someone’s) right away! I. Die.

“We got married in Bardsea (on the bay of Morecambe)” Emma told me. “It’s my parent’s village which is just such a gorgeous place near the moors and the beach. Even though we live in Camden and love it – we’re both down to earth and love being outdoors and away from the city, so it was a natural choice. We got married at Eden Lodge, on the outskirts of the village, which has recently been converted from a Edwardian home to a small, minimalist hotel in some AMAZING grounds. We got married in the hotel itself and then the reception was in a marquee in the grounds. It was the hotel’s first wedding and they were AMAZING. We can’t sing their praises enough. The staff were EXCEPTIONAL and really went above and beyond to make our day perfect.”


Emma’s amazing dress was a custom-made Suzanne Neville number. She explains, “I never thought Matt and I would get married. I knew we’d be together forever but we weren’t really the ‘marrying kind’. As soon as he proposed, I knew my dress would be something that reflected my character. I’m not a girly girl and I usually dress in biker boots and short skirts – so short was what I wanted. I wanted to feel like ME on the day not a BRIDE. I scooted through some websites looking for a short wedding dress and found one designed by Suzanne Neville. I fell in love but hunted for something cheaper that I loved as much. Anyway I didn’t. The dress was custom made for me at a crazy price. But it was the only one for me!  I’ve been taking some millinery courses so I wanted to make something for me to wear. Obviously our wedding was near the royal wedding, so as a joke I designed and made a crown out of silk and fresh water pearls to wear. In the end I chickened out of wearing it as I was already so tall in my platforms but you can see me holding it in this photo.”


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