Sam and Timm were married ten years ago in Vegas. They wanted to renew their vows and so they invited all their friends and family to a party in their own back garden.
“We had originally planned to have a big wedding ten years ago, but we had a few hiccups so we decided to run off to Vegas, keep things small and get married by Elvis instead!” Sam began. “We’d always wanted a big wedding though, so renewing our vows was our chance to do just that. As we didn’t need to worry about any of the legal stuff, we hosted it at home so we could have everything exactly to our taste. We didn’t want to have compromises or restrictions this time!”
The couple have had a tough few years with Sam being very ill, so the vow renewal was also a really amazing way for them to celebrate coming out the other side. “Our renewal fell a year after, almost to the day, of my first life saving surgery so it was a really poignant moment”, she continued. “I had struggled enormously with my self esteem and confidence after the surgeries left my body totally changed. The day was just so amazing. I loved all of it. It was the best day ever from start to finish.”
Ali and Steven were married at Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. The whole wedding party stayed there from Friday-Sunday which made it feel more like a holiday away with friends!
“We had the place to ourselves it felt really homely and relaxed”, Ali explained. “We had an afternoon tea on arrival on Friday and the bridesmaids and I decorated the space. Then we all went out for a lovely dinner at the Minishant Inn. We relaxed back at Culzean in the big cosy lounge. On Saturday we all had breakfast together then did some finishing touches to decorations, got ready and had canapes and champagne in the round room with a beautiful view out to the sea. After the ceremony there were drinks in the armoury with the musical trio before dinner in the Georgian kitchen.”
The couple planned the whole wedding themselves, and loved doing so. “We enjoyed doing it ourselves”, she continued. “It felt like a more special day and we were proud during the weekend looking at and experiencing our handiwork.”
“The wedding was inspired by my love of colour and basically anything we saw and liked online. We looked through the A-Z of having a wedding, tore out what we didn’t like and scribbled all over the rest. We kept in anything traditional that we really wanted. For example, Steven didn’t want to see me in my dress until the ceremony and he wanted to cut the cake and I wanted to do the confetti bit – its always a great picture and a fun moment for all to get involved in.”
Victoria and Matthew both work in the music industry (the groom is in the band Madina Lake) which is how they first met. Despite living on opposite sides of the world, the bride in the UK and the groom in America, that didn’t stop them dating!
“Matthew’s band was touring in the UK and I had organised in-store signings at my retail stores with the support band”, Victoria told me. “They invited us to the show afterwards and while we were hanging with our friends in Fearless Vampire Killers, drinking Madina Lake’s beer, their set ended and Matthew walked in.”
“The main inspiration for the wedding was to trade in the traditional for a healthy serving of original; we’re really not traditional people”, she continued. “We wanted the day that was meant to celebrate us to actually represent us, our personalities. We didn’t have a best man, ushers, bridesmaids, speeches, a fancy car or first dance. We just felt that none of those things were for us.”
“With half the guests being American, we wanted lots of British and Mancunian influences”, she explained. “The venue was a Victorian mansion and we hired the whole place so every guest got a room. Each room had a free standing bath tub and lots of original features, fireplaces, ceiling roses – very British!”
If you love a retro wedding, prepare to fall in love. Sham and Alice’s DIY marvel has got to be one of the most adorable weddings I’ve seen in a long while! The day was held at Blundell’s School in Tiverton, Devon.
“Our wedding was late 50s, early 60s inspired with a sprinkling of sunflowers and flamingos!” exclaimed the bride. “We had giant pink flamingos flanking the entrance and a sunflower arch that we got married under. We had an array of wonderful music including All You Need is Love performed by Andy Watts complete with backing singers and brass section, and I sang a self penned song called Shammy Blue Eyes at the reception. My parents coincidentally also sing one they had written called Alice Blue Gown during the speeches. Elvis was also a surprise for all the guests and worth every penny!”
One Friendly Place in South London was the perfect venue for Anna and Mat’s colourful wedding. While they officially got married three months earlier at Islington Town Hall, they wanted to throw a fun celebration for their friends and family. The venue was decorated with the coolest props already, but they added their own personal touches with the LOVE sign (made by the groom!), flowers in beer bottles (which they collected themselves) and the multi coloured paper lanterns which they hung from the ceiling.
“Our inspiration was just the notion of all the things we loved and enjoyed”, Anna said. “We decided very early on there were literally no ‘rules’ we were going to follow, and we did exactly what we wanted! We had party bags, balloon animals, loads of live music and mountains of booze and food. Basically, we wanted it to be the best party we’d ever been to and not to be constrained by the notion of what a wedding reception ‘should’ be.”
“Our theme was just ‘fun’! We created our own website called ‘Lovefest’ to share all the details of the day that was very fairground/ circus themed but the day itself was just a mash up of everything we like, including Mat’s love of skulls which made it into the cake and some of the decorations.”
Dave and Emma’s wedding had a subtle 1950s theme with a hung dollop of their personalities injected for good measure! The bride’s high street dress, birdcage veil and fur coat combo definitely harked back to a bygone era and all the colourful DIY décor made the day very ‘them’.
“We wanted our wedding to be fun and representative of us so that meant there was a vintage/ 50s style about my dress and the cars. The rest of the day was more about being quirky and fun. We wanted it to be relaxed and for there to be a party feel. There were hints of Americana with our postbox, popcorn and the evening food of hot dogs. We asked our guests to provide us with their favourite tracks and we used these to give the DJ a pool of songs to play from, this meant that we had lots of dancing from everyone and no terrible music!”
Their reception was held at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh. They didn’t go overboard with the décor but the bride and her bridesmaids made the centrepieces, place names and windmills, which were used as buttonholes and favours. “I really enjoyed making things myself and it all ended up looking fab!” she said. “It was also much less expensive than buying things in. The table plan, for example, cost £2 to make!”