After being set up by mutual friends, Kim and Richard quickly realised they had a lot in common, first and foremost their appreciation of the macabre and all things gothic. So when we married, five years later, they decided this had to be the theme of the wedding.
“We went for a 50s rockabilly aesthetic but with touches of goth and lots of mentions of a shared love of classic horror films”, Kim said. “All the tables were named after Hammer Horror actors. We also had a splash of kitsch glamour because I love leopard print. Like, really love it.”
Both the ceremony and reception were held at Stockport Town Hall. “One of the reasons we chose our venue was due to the gorgeous marble staircase that, as an option, couples could get married on”, Kim continued. “We both embarked on our own DIY projects for the wedding too. Richard made the seating plan and centrepieces. The skulls candles were purchased at Asda over Halloween and the candelabras were an exceptionally impressive eBay deal! I made three button bouquets and a number of buttonholes. As it transpires, that was easier said than done but I managed it and I think I did a pretty good job too!”
Nikki and Lee wanted a laid back and informal wedding where they didn’t have to spend a fortune to have a great time! “Our budget was £5000 and we stuck to that like glue”, Nikki wrote. “We initially wanted to elope and just have a little ceremony somewhere on a mountain, but then, one sunny August afternoon in the pub with our friends, we just looked at each other and agreed it was too much fun not to have everyone we loved there!”
“I’ve always been crafty and big on saving money”, she continued. “It took months to find a venue that would let us bring in our own food and drink and that didn’t cost the earth and had a bar. Mycenae House, which is a community centre, fit that perfectly. The only catch was that it was used for yoga the following morning, so everything had to be cleared out by 12pm, meaning everything had to be disposable and we had to be SUPER organised.”
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!”