Dani and Mark mat three years ago at Balham Bowls Club in south London. So when it came to choosing a venue for their October wedding, nowhere else could have been more perfect! “The night we met I was quite hungover and was out for a friend’s birthday, Mark was out for some drinks with his friend (and best man) Paul. Depending on who tells the story, I apparently gave Mark ‘the eye’ as he walked into the pub, which prompted him to start talking to me later in the evening, OR (my version) I don’t remember looking at Mark as he came in and wondered why he was staring at me all night. Either way, he bought me a rum and coke and we were inseparable ever since.”
“The idea behind our wedding was that we really just wanted a big party with all our friends. In a way it was easier knowing what we didn’t want (chair covers, fruit cake, pastel colours), which helped us find what we did want – lots of bright colours and for everyone to have a really good (boozy) time!”
“One of my biggest worries about the wedding was that I would just cry the whole way through the ceremony, not get any words out and generally look disgusting”, she said. “In the car on the way my bridesmaids Googled ‘techniques to stop crying’ and discovered that apparently if you recite song lyrics it can help. We ended up singing Bon Jovi ‘Living on a Prayer’ at the top of our voices all the way to the ceremony – I think the driver thought we were drunk! And I managed not to cry through the ceremony (mostly)! We were actually both quite surprised at how much we loved the ceremony part, even all the photos outside beautiful Wandsworth Town Hall. Walking into the reception to cheers from our friends and family was pretty amazing too. It was really overwhelming to see everyone in there!”
Maria and Graeme wanted their wedding to reflect what was most important to them – family and having fun. They also wanted their day to have minimal fuss and stress and planned the whole thing in just eight weeks!
“Although we got engaged on NYE 2011, and had a lot of ideas, they all fell by the wayside last year when my brother died suddenly”, Maria explained. “He would have played a very big role on our special day, and it was very hard coming to terms with him not being with us. However in August last year, we decided to just go for it. We saw the venue on August 17th, and were married there on October 18th!”
The wedding took place at The Tithe Barn at Symondsbury Estate. “We managed to do tons of DIY in that time”, she continued. “We made the button bouquets, cake, buttonholes, spray painted bottles for the flowers, place cards, table plan, order of the day, and music playlists. We had a lot of help from our very brilliant and talented friends too. I loved making my own bouquet and it also saved us money. Not only did it feel like a massive achievement, but it was lovely to carry something so special and unique. We collected buttons from friends and family (including some from my late brother) as well as lots of pink ones from eBay!”
With the surname ‘Button’, Lauren and Nick had to have some cute button details in their October wedding! The day took place in Hackney, East London, where they live. “The inspiration for our wedding was our location”, wrote the bride. “We started with an idea for a traditional East End wedding, a church service followed by a ‘knees-up’ in a local boozer. Nick’s parents got married in the same church in Haggerston so that was really special. All of our other ideas started to form around this really.”
“Our theme was laid back London”, she continued, “with quite a few buttons thrown in (seeing as that’s our surname!) There are so many parts of the day they we loved that they’re all competing for our one favourite moment. The service was lovely, there we tears and laughter and the groom being singled out and embarrassed was definitely a highlight! As Nick’s parents got married there, and his father is unfortunately no longer with us, this was a particularly important part of the day.”
When TV presenter Layla Anna-Lee married Richard, they both knew they wanted to do something different. They wanted their wedding to feel like them, to be easygoing and fuss-free. They had their ceremony at Artington House and their reception was afternoon tea at home with just their closest friends and family.
“We’re not big party people, we like quiet quality time with friends so we had a small ceremony then high tea at our home”, explained Layla. “It was all a little last minute despite having six months between getting engaged and getting married. I had to fly to Brazil for six weeks for work and then when I returned we were just really chilled out about it all. We only really started planning three months before the date.”
“We knew the date we wanted, and we were super excited to get married but all we were interested in was the actual getting married bit. When we spoke about wanting to marry each other we were attracted to the beautiful promise and a future together, we never uttered the words ‘I want to have a meeting with a florist and check out venues with you!’ These things were just not on our minds at all. We both wanted something warm, modest and homely. We saw many lovely venues online, but we kept wanting to just have it at home. We only bought our house together very recently and we got engaged here – it feels so special.”
As a wedding blogger, being submitted a wedding described as a “dino glitter explosion” is a red letter day. Rob and Lucy’s Derby wedding might have just leapt up to being one of my all time favourites ever! They were legally married in a registry office but had an emotional and beautiful blessing at their reception at Shardlow Village Hall.
“We were inspired by our parents weddings”, said the bride. “My folks got engaged on a Tuesday and got married two days later with flowers from the garden and a chippy tea for the family, and Rob’s parents took only two months to plan their homespun wedding; they inspired us to just crack on with it! Most people spend over a year planning their wedding, but because we had just four months, only the most important things got done, and the rest of the pomp and circumstance just didn’t happen. It left us free to do exactly what we wanted.”
Ali and Gem are both into the arts, so having their wedding at the groom’s place of work, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre was the perfect choice! They wanted a wedding that reflected both of them and avoided tradition and trends at all costs! The groom actually sent me the most amazing email while they were planning their wedding (which I couldn’t help but share!) so it really is a thrill to see how their wedding turned out!
“From the very start we were inspired by Rock n Roll Bride”, they began. “Through the blog we could see that we wouldn’t be chastised for having a wedding that didn’t fit or didn’t follow a specific structure or tradition. We didn’t want tradition and grey monkey suits, but we didn’t want to be drinking out of jam jars and buying hipster centrepieces from vintage car boots either. We didn’t want to think about what cake ‘suits our personality’ or what colour theme to go for, so we just took it all one step at a time and agreed on everything together.”
“The question we most found ourselves asking was ‘Why?’ – ‘why would we leave a sugared almond for our friends?’, we hate them (the almonds, not our friends), the guests hate them, why would we do that? Why would you have a three course meal? We’re real foodies but we wanted to spend our day talking to our guests not watching them, from the back of a room, suckling on an amuse bouche. Once you start asking ‘why?’, a lot of the parts of a wedding just seem kind of odd. We didn’t want to find ‘alternative’ options to the traditional aspects of a wedding, we just scrapped things we didn’t like.”