Beth and Drew met at university where they were both in the film society club. They wanted the theme of their March wedding to reflect the way they met but not in a really obvious way. They inserted subtle film references such as the readings, their photo booth, their music choices and the table numbers. They then seamlessly integrated these in to an overall vintage theme.
“We didn’t follow any traditions that we didn’t want to”, began the bride. “Things that were not important to us were chopped straight away. It meant that we were both looking forward to all of the day. Drew is not a fan of dancing in-front of lots of people, so we went for a more chilled atmosphere and added in a movie music quiz, like a round from a pub quiz. Drew secretly made a playlist of music featured in films, and in table teams Beth and the guests had to work out which film each song came from. It was a nice interlude between courses and gave us all a good giggle.”
“Our biggest expense was the reception venue including food, drink and cake”, Beth continued, “bu it was well worth it. The Larder really looked after us and we can’t thank them enough. If we where giving advice to other couples we would strongly suggest looking into venues who don’t already have set wedding packages. We chose all the food and personalised so many things which would have been impossible in a lot of other venues.”
“For us the day was about our guests as well as us and we wanted to give them a great day”, she concluded. “We chose a city centre venue to allow people to choose their own hotel and make travel plans easily. We wanted people to be well fed and entertained, but we did not want to spend lots of time distracting everyone from having a good old natter at our special get together. It is not surprising to us how long we entertained ourselves with good food, good wine and great company.”
Claire and Iain were married in May at Maunsel House in Somerset. Their quirky Alice in Wonderland theme was beautifully incorporated throughout, from the stationery and paper goods to the high tea style catering and even the bride’s two fabulous mini top hats! The ceremony and afternoon tea both took place outside which made for some utterly stunning photographs from their photographer Emma Case.
“Choosing our venue was the hardest part of the process, we wanted somewhere were all our friends could descend for the weekend and also wanted as much of the day to be outside as possible”, began the bride. “We fell in love with Maunsel at first site, gasping like children, as we were shown round each room but the outdoor pagoda seating area clinched the deal.”
I am always so incredibly inspired when I see weddings where the budget was small. Far from it seeming like the couple had to make compromises, the ones I get to share always seem to prove that a small budget doesn’t have to mean a budget-looking wedding. In my opinion it is actually often the weddings with the smaller budgets that seem to have the most heart, the most personal details and the most inspiring ideas.
Jon and Alex had a budget of £2000 for their wedding but wait for it… only spent £800! A big reason for this was that the wedding was held on the bride’s parent’s farm and they helped out with the cost of the marquee. Their professional photographer was a friend (always handy!) which also clearly saved them a big chunk of change. They decided not to have any flowers, Alex’s sister in law made some cupcakes and her mother did all the catering. Instead of hiring an expensive wedding car Alex drove herself to the wedding in her own Ford Fiesta!
Lorna & Dave were married in Southend in April. Their ceremony took place at The Culture Centre, right on the pier, and their reception was at Ocean Beach, a restaurant on the beach. “The theme for our wedding was British seaside with a touch of vintage”, wrote Lorna. “The beautiful blue sky and sunshine really made the day that extra bit special. It was amazing! The children were able to run about and play on the beach at the reception and the view from the decking at Ocean Beach was incredible.”
“I run a vintage business, Latham Street Vintage, and we live by the sea in a lovely little fishing town called Leigh”, she continued. “These were our two main inspirations. Getting married on Southend Pier was amazing, especially having to get the old train up to the Culture Centre. Our guests loved that part and it made the whole day really quirky and fun. We were only the second people to ever get married at The Culture Centre too which also made it even more special.”
I’m not really supposed to have favourites, but Betty might just be one of the most beautiful and radiant brides I’ve ever seen… I am totally smitten with her 1940s vintage lace dress (bought on eBay for £40!) and that adorable white faux flower crown and simple bouquet combo. Total perfection. She married Johnny in Cornwall during April and the wedding only cost £5000.
“We met seven years ago at university, while studying down in Cornwall”, began Betty. “Once we’d both graduated, we decided to stay in this gorgeous county and bed our roots here. Six months ago we had a baby, George Buddy, and we really wanted him to be a big part of the wedding and celebrate our little family. We really wanted the wedding to show off Cornwall in its best light and so avoided the hotel/town hall venue route and instead settled on the most Southerly point in Britain, the Lizard. When walking our dog down on the Lizard, we fell in love with a lighthouse down on the point, overlooking the cliffs. We were overjoyed when we found we could book it as our venue through the YHA and National Trust.”
Emilie & Antony spent just £3000 on their wedding. They were married on a Friday and were really lucky to have a friend who worked at Lains Barn in Oxfordshire, who was able to get them a really cheap deal on the rental and food costs. “Lains Barn is perfectly charming and was perfect for our shabby chic wedding!” wrote Emilie. “We chose to have a hog roast. It was served with buns and apple sauce. My grandmother didn’t seem a big fan of the way it was served, but not everyone agreed – one of my friends said ‘Burgers at a wedding – genius!’ with a big smile on his face and a couple of burgers on his plate!”
This wasn’t where the money saving stopped though. Emilie found her dress for just £30 on eBay and Antony’s suit was from TK Maxx. They also didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen, the bride’s mother did the flowers and they kept the reception décor minimal. “The venue already came partly decorated”, she continued. “The main barn had long flowing fabric hangings which I thought looked perfect as they were, so I just added the flower arrangements to decorate the tables. The second barn, where the bar is, already had fairy lights and greenery decorating the animal troughs. I hung lots of silver stars along the wood beams to add some shabby chic whimsy to the room. I made them myself using the inside cardboard from toilet rolls, cutting each roll into 5 roundels. I flattened each roundel to make it a little pointed, and then hot-glued them in the middle to make stars! All that was left to do after that was spray-painting them silver.”