Holly & Ben weren’t exactly sure what they wanted for their wedding when they started planning, but after feeling overwhelmed by what they saw in wedding magazines, they were quickly convinced about what they didn’t want!
“I was not one of those girls who always dreamed about her wedding”, began Holly, who married Ben at Botleys Mansion in October. ”I had never wanted a big wedding, as I think you can often lose the personal touches that make the day so special. But once we found the venue everything sort of snowballed and I ended up with this big venue that I wanted to feel personal and homely.”
“The amount of things that were suggested in wedding magazines about what you should do and what you are supposed to have made planning overwhelming. So I stopped looking at wedding magazines, and instead of using suppliers for everything I tried to do as many bits myself as I could. The favours were jams made by me from fruit that I grew in my garden. We created the save the dates ourselves, with help from my sister, and I made the invitations, the table plans, the place settings with help from my mum, sister and bridesmaids.”
Red flowing locks, a faux fur coat, deep red flowers in her hair… as soon as I spied the beautiful Lauren on photographer Emma Case’s blog I knew she was definitely a Rock n Roll bride. And then I saw the entire wedding and I literally couldn’t wait to get it up on these pages – as soon as possible!
Lee & Lauren were married in November at Stoke Newington Town Hall. They has their reception at The Artisan of Clerkenwell, a pub/restaurant in North East London. They did things their own way. They picked a non-traditional venue, they homemade as much as possible and only invited people that they really wanted to be there. This wedding was every bit the modern fairytale.
“Our inspiration just came naturally from the things we like; granny vintage, proper food, indie/rock n roll music, London, cameras, beer and above all a good ol’ knees up with our friends and family”, began the bride. “We didn’t set out to do anything ‘different’ really, but by knowing ourselves and what we really like, we knew that we wouldn’t shy away from things that might be considered a bit different either. We just wanted to do things that we thought would make for a really good day for everyone. The atmosphere was the most important thing – we wanted people to drink lots, dance like mad and have a great time. We didn’t invite children partly because of the venue, but mainly because we wanted everyone to let their hair down. This decision possibly caused a few ripples but we both believe it was the right one.”
Randa & Jimi’s London wedding started with a ride on a 1960s London double decker bus. The bride and her family used it to travel to the ceremony site, The London Wetlands Centre in Barnes, all together. The ceremony took place inside the centre, and the surrounding gardens made the perfect backdrop for photographs. After pictures and mingling, the entire wedding party loaded back onto the bus for the journey across the river to The Old Stationhouse pub in Chiswick.
“I am half Palestinian and half Belgian and my husband is English”, began the bride “Turns out there is no easy way to combine all those cultures and cultural expectations, so instead we completely abandoned tradition and what might have been expected. We didn’t have a church, a sit down dinner, a first dance, three part speeches – all the things we never much liked about weddings anyway. I never was a ‘wedding person’ before getting married and never thought once about what kind of wedding I was going to have. I had no preconceived ideas about what sort of colour scheme or theme we were going to go for. Luckily, my husband was happy with whatever I chose and decided to do!”
Sarah & Paul and were married in September at the royal observatory - Queen’s House in Greenwich. They went for a English vintage theme with a twist. It reflected the things they love in their everyday lives.
“The wedding theme was English vintage as I am big into my vintage clothing and music so things needed to be pretty but with an eccentric twist”, wrote the bride. “I didn’t want it to be a Cath Kidston wet dream and neither did I feel that an out-and-out rocking festival would have suited us so we went for something in between! I love typography and so that was instantly worked into our invites and other paper goods (I made the majority using pretty parchment card and downloading fonts from the internet).”
Karolina & Juan’s London wedding was informal and laid back but also reflected their multicultural heritage. The ceremony was held at Camden Town Hall, with the reception taking place at The Prince Albert pub, also in Camden. Karolina wore her Mother’s wedding dress from the 1970s and a floral wreath in her hair.
“We tried to keep everything very personal, making all the invites and art work ourselves,” began the bride. “We decorated the pub ourselves and we also tried to make it as relaxed as possible. The pub was the perfect cosy environment. We wanted to wedding to be near where we live in Camden, and for it to be true to the way we live our lives.”
“Our family is quite multicultural (Swedes, Germans, Colombians, Africans, Egyptians) so we had a few traditions from all the different cultures incorporated into the wedding. All the Swedish people from my side of the family sang a traditions Swedish drinking songs to the wedding party. My husband is Colombian so all the favours were traditional Colombian hats and there were many bottles of the traditional Colombian Spirit called Aguardiente being passed around all day. The DJ played a mixture of funk, soul and Salsa. We didn’t really have that many speeches planned, just my step dad and my husband then on the night it was open to other people who wanted to a few words. There was definitely little too much champagne flying around all morning and at breakfast. My sister also sang us down the aisle which was amazing.”
Being a wedding photographer herself, and seeing so many amazing weddings in her working life, newlywed Hannah Millard had a lot of people asking her what she was going to do for her own wedding. She actually found it quite difficult making the initial decisions – inspiration overload and all that! But once they realised what was really important – the fact that they were getting married and that they loved each other more than anything – the rest of the decisions came pretty easily! The couple spent just £3500 on their wedding and it was perfect.
“Oh my Goodness! I can’t believe that after reading Rock n Roll Bride for so long, and having some of my work up on these awesome pages, I am finally writing about my own day. Being a wedding photographer, when I told people I was engaged they always said things like ‘You must have seen so many ideas’ and ‘You’ll know what to do for your day’… and those things were only half true. I’ve shot some amazing and varied weddings and seen some great ideas, but when it came to our day I felt like I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. I knew that we would be financing it all ourselves and couldn’t afford much. In fact our wedding was very nearly an elopement. We were within moments of booking an intimate ceremony with just us and two witnesses, prepared to sacrifice having a party and just wanting to be married. It might sound strange but I think that deciding that we would have been content to do it in such a low-key way helped us come to the decision to make more of it. Every extra thing would be a bonus and we would get to share it with our friends and family.”