Zack and May’s wedding was a weekend-long affair. They invited their friends and family to stay with them at the venue from Friday-Sunday and everyone pitched in to help.
“We wanted to have a mini-festival where everyone was part of the event, rather than turning up to a stage-managed thing”, the groom told me. “Most people stayed on-site in rooms or treehouses. Everyone came up on the Friday to help decorate the venue, and we had the Proper Pizza Company, who built two brick pizza ovens in the courtyard, to feed the helpers. Everyone contributed to the day, and many stayed until Monday. Instead of presents we asked the guests to bring a couple of bottles and a dessert or some cheese for after the meal. On Sunday we woke up early and cooked a huge roast for everyone who stayed over.”
The wedding was held at West Lexham Manor in Norfolk. “We heard about the venue through a friend”, he continued. “We were able to do lots of DIY and make them place our own. We had custom printed table runners with cartoons us done by friends and pom pom sheep name holders with top hats. The tables were identified by posters of our top five favourite films and the ceiling was decorated with dried flowers, red and white paper lanterns and giant tissue-paper flowers. We also had strings of lights and lots of flowers in vases to teapots. Our plates and cutlery were made from naturally fallen materials like banana leaves. We got them from Little Cherry.”
The inspiration for video game designers Kirsty and James’ wedding was an obvious choice – er, video games! They really went all out on their theme with everything they did centring around it.
“We wanted our wedding to be a really fun day for everyone”, began Kirsty. “James and I make video games for a living, so we’re quite good at understanding how to create fun situations for other people to enjoy. I spent about a week trying to think about colour schemes and the like, then thought ‘sod it, lets just have stuff we like, who cares if it matches!'”
“We had my favourite flower, sunflowers, in jam jars with LEGO kits, and our table names were our favourite video games. We asked two of our friends to make our wedding cake, and had figurines of our favourite video game characters as the cake toppers. We also had a beautiful ice cream van outside. “We had movie style posters outside the venue advertising the wedding, then as people went inside there were soundtrack themes from our favourite films playing. We also had little boxes full of popcorn on each seat.”
Sarah-Lily and Jon wanted a fun wedding that they’d created themselves. Their main theme was dinosaurs and glitter and all their family and friends pitched in to help.
“We wanted our wedding to be relaxed”, the bride told me. “We’re both massive dinosaur fans (our first date was to the Natural History Museum!) so we also wanted to incorporate that into it. We also love festivals and summer fairs, so that was another big inspiration.”
“All the dinosaur decorations were hand-glittered”, she continued. “There were 52 of them! My bridesmaids helped me glitter them plus 50 jam jars which were filled with our favourite sweets for people could munch on throughout the day. Jon made over 60 origami T-Rex’s and my mum made over 80 metres of bunting, as well as our wedding cake and all the gingerbread favours! My dad made the frame for the table plan. Our guest book was combined with the photo booth, so guests took a picture of themselves using the Polaroid camera that we got off of eBay and then hung on a tree, it was great!”
Shirley and Jonny wanted a relaxed wedding with all the most important people in their lives there… including their two dogs. In fact they picked their venue, The Arcadia in Portrush Northern Ireland, specifically because they could have them there!
“We really just went with the flow when we were planning the wedding”, Shirley explained. “We picked things that worked with our venue and the surrounding area. Both our venue and photographer where chosen because of our love of dogs. We had to have Max, our nine year old boxer, and Millie, our one year old Chinese Crested there. They are a massive part of our family no way could we have got married while they had been put in kennels for the day!”
“Unfortunately our baby Max passed away recently. We are all devastated but we have the most beautiful memories of him on our wedding day. If anyone is unsure whether they should include their dogs in their wedding we would say definitely do it.”
Leeanne and Zak wanted a DIY wedding in all senses of the word. Initially they weren’t even going to have a professional photographer, but thankfully some friends convinced them otherwise! While this was a bigger expense than they were planning, they were able to counterbalance that with lots of savvy money saving options. The bride’s dress was £29 in the Monsoon sale for example! Their ceremony was at Leeds town hall and their reception at Thwaite Mills, an industrial museum, also in Leeds.
“We wanted our wedding to be informal, welcoming and inclusive”, said the bride. “Zak’s mum is Spanish and we love the way they do a great mix of food and good times over there. While our wedding wasn’t exactly Spanish themed, we were influenced a lot by that. We also wanted as much colour as possible. It looked amazing against the industrial back drop of the water mill. Leeds can be very grey, so we wanted to be sure there was colour.”
I have a funny feeling you’re going to completely fall in love with Helen and Ainge’s colourful wedding. Rainbow roses, bridesmaids ear headbands made of flowers and a bride carrying a hamburger purse! I mean what’s not to adore about it?!
“When we were planning the wedding we didn’t really have any strong ideas regarding what we did want but we knew exactly what we didn’t want”, began Helen. “We didn’t want a bare function room, we didn’t want it to be too traditional and we definitely didn’t want it to be too stuffy or formal. We viewed the Belle Epoque in February 2014 and booked it a few days later. It was exactly what we were looking for – quirky, cosy and with amazing food!”
“When it came to our theme, I’ve always loved colour and am known for my brightly coloured shoes!” she continued. “Our house is filled to the brim with colourful things and I just couldn’t imagine only choosing two or three colours for the wedding. So we went for all of them! We were so lucky that we found our florist Emma Fawcett-Eustace as she was fantastic from start to finish. I told her my (very rough) ideas for the flowers and she just went to town and created the most amazing bouquets, buttonholes and table centrepieces. She was so enthusiastic about our colourful wedding and was just a joy to deal with. The groom, the dads, the best man and each groomsman had a different coloured buttonhole each and myself and the bridesmaids had bouquets filled with gerberas, parrot tulips, craspedia and, of course, glorious rainbow roses.”