Helen and Rich are hooked on the TV series, Peaky Blinders, so when they came to plan their Manchester wedding, they based it on their favourite show. “It was only natural that we decided to join the Brummy gang for our wedding day”, Helen explained. “Also, Rich’s father grew up not that far from the real Peaky Blinders gang, he has Irish heritage, and I have always been obsessed by the 1920s. It just made sense.”
“A lot of 1920s themed weddings are very glam, more along the lines of The Great Gatsby. As much as we love that film, we felt that our characters and northern heritage needed more of an edge, especially against the industrial and slightly grey backdrop of Manchester. Neither of us like being the centre of attention unless it’s for being daft, so wanted a smaller wedding with everyone feeling involved by being dressed the part. Rich wanted the Peaky Blinders look and maintains that it was his overcoat and Grandfather’s pocket watch that made his outfit.”
Laura and Simon wanted a wedding that felt like them. They didn’t pick one particular theme. “We didn’t really have a set ‘theme’,” explained the bride. “With so many fantastic sources of inspiration we simply couldn’t decide and commit to one thing. At the beginning, we felt overwhelmed, but soon realised that we needed to focus less on the best bits of other people’s weddings, and more on what we actually wanted for our own. It was important that whatever we chose reflected our relationship, interests and personalities and this is exactly what helped us to bring it all together.”
“We knew we didn’t want the wedding to be traditional or stuffy, but we wanted it to be quite classic with some eccentric touches. We wanted to incorporate a nautical element too as it linked back to our engagement which happened on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. We also introduced the vintage element with pastel colours as we’re both inspired by alternative fashion and trends, and it suited the décor of the venue.”
Alex and Maddy had different ideas about what their wedding should be like, but luckily they learned to compromise! “When we first started discussing the type of wedding we wanted, we realised we were on opposite ends of the spectrum”, explained the bride. “Alex would have been more than happy with a simple registry office with minimal guests whereas I wanted something where we could celebrate with all of our friends and family, where I could feel a bit like a princess for the day! In the end we agreed on a rustic woodland theme and kept to a relatively small budget considering the size of our guest list. We had 105 people (big families!).”
“We decided to throw out all of the typical conventions and plan a wedding that was ‘us’. Alex didn’t want much to do with it (events aren’t his forte) so he gave me a list of his requirements (which were pretty much ‘Hog roast’ and ‘No hats or fascinators’) and I set to work with making the rest of it fall in to place.”
“I don’t feel our wedding was particularly unique or cutting edge, but it was completely right for us and our family and friends. It was a relaxed chilled out day with LOADS of personal details. Having our three year-old daughter involved in the ceremony was really special. She helped tie the knots around our hands during the handfasting part.”
For a lot of ‘normal’ brides and grooms, getting married on Halloween would be super weird. But for most Rock n Roll brides and grooms its the best idea ever! Liz and Si picked October 31st for their big day which took place at the iconic Royal Pavilion in Brighton.
“We knew that we wanted a Halloween wedding, with purple as the main colour, and plenty of skulls”, began the bride. “Everything evolved very organically from there. As well as Halloween we took inspiration from the things we both liked – the 1950s, skulls, bats, poison bottles and Brighton.”
“We made poison bottles and apothecary jars for the centrepieces ourselves. We made the labels for the favours and assembled them. We also made ring-books to hold our rings during the ceremony and the place-cards. We even made our own cake and the memory tree we used to honour people who couldn’t be with us on the day.”
“Something else that was significant was my leather rose bouquet”, she said. “Leather roses have been a part of our relationship from the start, and we wanted the flowers used on the day to reflect that. We also decided to keep real flowers to a minimum, and matched the bridesmaid’s wrist corsage to the flowers being used in the centrepieces.”
There’s something so extra special about tiny weddings and Hannah and Calum only invited very close friends and family to their December wedding. They were married at private house by Loch Lomond. They hired it for the full weekend and everyone stayed there with them.
“We wanted a relaxed weekend with friends and family with a wedding in the middle”, said the bride. “From the beginning we knew we wanted to do a lot of it ourselves with all of our guests pitching in. Everybody helped out, from baking the wedding cake, to creating the ceremony room, to arranging the flowers, to keeping everybody fed for the weekend. Our inspiration was that we just wanted to have lots of delicious food and spend the weekend with our favourite people.”
The bride wore a silvery grey dress (which she designed herself with the help of a dressmaker) and a green cloak that was over 100 years old and had belonged to her grandmother. “We had grand plans to whisk Hannah and Calum off and make the most of the stunning Loch Lomond scenery”, took over photographers Tino & Pip. “However that was scuppered somewhat by the raging storm! We did get a few cracking shots of them standing together braced against the wind and rain inches from the water’s edge. Hannah’s dress and cloak certainly looked dramatic against the landscape!”
Cat and Andrew’s September wedding had no theme other than them wanting it to pay homage to the West Country, where they live. A lot of things were found cheaply or homemade. The bride wore a dress by La Redoute, the groom was in Topman and the bridesmaids, ASOS. The cake was made by the bride’s mum and they also arranged all the flowers themselves.
“While we have nothing against a good theme, I don’t think we consciously went for anything too specific”, said Cat. “Our love of the West Country definitely shone through, but we basically just took all our favourite things and put them together in a tumbledown barn! Wildflowers, candlelight, a massive full moon, camp fires, live music, locally sourced food and drink. Cider With Rosie meets bohemian gin palace? Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Wurzels gig?!”
“I love wild swimming and have been visiting Farleigh River Swimming Club, next door to our venue, since I was a kid”, she continued. ” The vague idea that a morning dip would be a good way to shake post-wedding hangovers led us to check out the neighbouring farm. It’s stunning setting and reputation for excellent cream teas sealed the deal. From that point on, the surroundings dictated the direction the wedding took. The barn was a ‘proper’ barn, with swallows in the rafters and piglets in the yard, so it was never going to be a white linen and fine china kind of a do.”