Category Archives: Wedding

A Red & Blue Themed South African Beach Wedding: Rupert & Liana

Anyone fancy a South African beach wedding on a chilly Monday morning? All I know is Rupert & Liana’s wedding certainly warmed my cockles when it landed in my inbox recently.

Their October wedding was inspired by the things they love. Liana loves red and Rupert blue so they wanted this combination to be their wedding theme. They’re also both love the beach so of course they had to have their ceremony on the San Lameer Beach, SA.

“It was a hot spring day down the South Coast of Durban, SA, with beautiful blue skies,” photographer Eileen of Bright Girl Photography told me. “The wedding ceremony took place on the beach in front of close friends and family. All the guests had to leave their shoes on the rack and collect white parasols and a necklace of red flowers. Liana was driven to the beach on a golf cart decorated with red & blue balloons. Everything was so well co-ordinated in terms of colour, the flower girl had a little red pair of sunglasses and the groomsmen’s red & white checked shirts. The red & blue colour scheme really popped against the light brown sand.”

The bride wore a dress by F&H Bridal Creations to which she added the red sash and sexy red Iron Fist shoes. Instead of a headpiece, she wore a daisy flower garland made for her by her florist, Twisted Willow.

The red & blue beach theme carried on into their reception with details such as the pin wheels in bottles held in place by sand, watering cans filled with flowers, blue tablecloths and homemade heart shaped red napkins. Even the cupcakes were in blue cases with red strawberries on top. “This was a real DIY wedding,” Eileen continued, “with friends and family chipping in where help was needed. Liana made the table decor, cut out the heart-shaped serviettes, strung the seating arrangement photographs and much more.”

“Everything about their wedding was unique and representative of Liana & Rupert. Her red Iron Fist high heels, his wrist band and chain, her black diamond ring, the polka dot heart shaped serviettes which she made herself, their endearing nicknames spelt out in the scrabble tiles and their first dance which started out slowly until the music changed mid-way to ‘Love gun’ by KISS and they started head banging.”

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A Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus: Nicola & David

Nicola & David were married on Halloween weekend in The Hospitium in York (England’s most haunted city apparently!) The venue is in the middle of the Museum Gardens and in the shadow of the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. The unusual setting was the perfect backdrop for their Rolling Stone Circus wedding.

Nicola explained, “We’re both massive Rolling Stones fans so we wanted to have the same type of feel as The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus. Slightly carnival like with a serious nod to music. We drew the line at stilt walkers, jugglers and such, though I did very much want a peacock and an elephant. Surprisingly there are no ‘hire a peacock’ websites. Even less chance with the elephant.”

“We’re both also 60’s fans in that we love the music, films, fashion and whole esthetic of the 60’s. The 60’s had to feature pretty heavily without getting into the shark infested territories that are 60’s fancy dress and theme type ideas. Our clothes, house and furnishings, books, music and films are mostly 60’s so we’re not the weekend warriors that could get away with hiring the local scooter club to park up outside the venue for the day. We ensured that all the music would have something like an obscure garage or psych track for us and then a Motown or 60’s pop track for the family. We even threw in a bit of 90’s Britpop for the old school mates. We also put together a two hour DVD of 60’s film, adverts, music, dance, fashion and telly clips. If the guests didn’t like the sounds, there was definitely something for them to see there.”

“I have always loved Eastern esthetic from Indian to Moroccan to Oriental,” the bride continued. “We knew that it somehow had to play a part in the day, especially since it got a serious introduction to the Western World in the late 60’s. There were bits of it everywhere from the beading pattern on my dress to the table runners, to the stationery, to some of the music and visuals and definitely the belly dancers! Also, since the wedding was going to be in late October and we both love the Autumn we wanted to somehow incorporate our love of rich vibrant bold colour into the wedding.”

Both the bride & groom 100% looked the part for their impeccably themed wedding. Nicola wore a wedding dress which she had made by House of Mooshki (“I looked at hundreds of vintage dresses and some were stunning but asking to find a later 60’s ode to Hammer Horror/Celtic/Grecian/Medieval/Indian hybrid in ivory and gold that fit me was literally impossible”) and a headpiece by Lindsay Fleming Couture (“it was a slightly medieval looking circlet type thingie from with flowers threaded through. Sorry, just can’t use the word tiara. It conjures up all sorts of Katie Price images. Then I need a valium.”) The groom wore a suit made by George Lilley of Kristoffers in Leeds, inspired by a suit worn by Brian Jones in a Rolling Stones picture book.

The reception was styled and decorated by the couple themselves. They wanted it to totally be their vision. “We did everything. We sourced every idea we had, researched where to get stuff and the best options and gathered the lot ourselves. Our garage now looks like a car boot sale on acid.”

“In the ceremony room which was red, purple and gold we simply found four different types of tea light holders on eBay and we put them everywhere there was space. We found purple and gold cushion covers also on eBay which went perfectly with the red cushion covers already in the venue on the window ledges. In the reception room we had Indian silk table runners with psychedelic patterns on them in the ten different colours. Also from an Indian seller on eBay. We had black wire lantern/candle holders with a coloured candle in the centre and we had the same type of smaller hanging lantern/tea light holders on stands as our favours. We wanted people to be able to take something home, put it in their house and maybe think of us when they lit the candle in it. We also had psychedelic and retro patterned chocolate initials in the guests’ first initial rather than ours.”

The most important thing to the couple was that they had their wedding for them and that they ignored the things that they were informed they should do because it was a wedding. “We met with an amount of resistance from people when we told them some of our ideas,” the bride concluded. “Firstly, this was David’s day as much as it was mine. It was OUR wedding, not just my day. We decided that David would walk down the aisle to a song he chose. His groomsman, then his best man, then his parents and then David all walked down the aisle to ‘Change Is Now’ by The Byrds. It was then my turn. As the Stones ‘She’s a Rainbow’ came on, I walked down with my TWO Dad’s (who high fived each other!) after my bridesmaid, my best friend and my Mum (who was my maid of honour). I don’t know who makes the so called rules about how things are done, but I wasn’t very interested in abiding by them.”

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A Pretty Vintage Islington Wedding: Cecilia & Robert

Cecilia & Robert’s pretty London wedding took place at Union Chapel and Union Hall, Islington.

“At first we had to decide where to have our wedding as I’m from Italy and Robert London,” Cecilia wrote to me. “We soon realised that London was the perfect place, as it’s where we’ve chosen to live and where we definitely wanted to start our life as a family. We started looking at a few venues, but they all looked a bit impersonal and soulless to us, we definitely wanted somewhere that would have a meaning for us and our relationship. And so that’s how we “stumbled” upon the Union Chapel. Rob had been there several times to see gigs, and we had been together to see a very special acoustic performance by Editors. Many people think it’s not an actual church, but it actually is – and it made perfect sense to us to get married there!”

“We were also delighted to find out that – apart from the main auditorium – they have several spaces for hire that can be used for all sorts of events. The Upper Hall fitted the bill perfectly, as it’s a completely blank canvas that we would be able to personalize according to our own taste.”

Cecilia wore a vintage dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. “Being only 5 ft 1’ and quite curvy, I was dreading the idea of going wedding dress shopping as I knew what is available in ‘traditional’ wedding dress shops simply wouldn’t look good on me and would undoubtedly knock my confidence. Then one day in a shop just off Brick Lane I saw a beautiful prom-style short dress and that’s when I knew that would be the style I would go for. But it wasn’t until I went to the National Wedding Show at Earl’s Court and discovered Fur Coat No Knickers that the whole ‘vintage’ thing started to incredibly appeal to me, so I went to see the fabulous Laura & Emma about 9 months before the wedding. Laura insisted we had ‘a little play’ and she picked a dress for me to try on first. As soon as I saw myself in the mirror I went ‘oh my god!!!’– I simply couldn’t believe how amazing it made me look!. I also picked a stunning necklace from FCNK, which complemented the pearl earrings my mum gave me for my 31st birthday.”

“We had quite a few DIY projects that we completed thanks to the invaluable help of our friends and family”, the bride continued when I asked about their reception details. “We did our wedding invites ourselves, Rob designed the London skyline that became a sort of ‘fil rouge’ throughout our wedding, and created the actual invites around it. We also handmade our jam jar wedding favours and the little sugar almonds bows. Rob’s brilliant sister Anne (who also made my hair on the day!) and her husband Kevin made most of the plum and peach jam, whereas the jars were provided by my mum, who works for a glassware manufacturer. Anne and Kevin also made the spiced apple and onion chutney that was served together with our cheese cake!”

“We were on a tight budget so we knew we could not afford a traditional seated meal for all our 80 guests. This, combined with the vintage feel we wanted to give to our wedding after I chose my dress (and, I admit it, my love of cakes), convinced us we should go for a traditional English afternoon tea party. After all the cakes and sweet treats, we thought that having a traditional wedding cake would not make any sense. That together with Rob’s absolute love for cheese convinced us that we had to go for a cheese cake! We purchased the cheeses (Cornish Yarg, Stichelton, Italian Caciotta, Coeur Neufchatel and Crottin de Chavignol) from the fantastic La Fromagerie in Highbury – a real treasure trove for all cheese lovers!! The cake was decorated with cherry tomatoes on the vine and black grapes, and was served with our homemade chutney and artisan bread sticks.”

“I have to say,” concluded the bride, “that although we put all our efforts into organizing this wedding while being on a budget, trawling all the wedding blogs out there and trying to do as many things as possible ourselves, we couldn’t have done anything without all the amazing suppliers we met along the way, who really surpassed themselves on the actual day.”

“Although the months of planning were quite stressful, we were very absolutely over the moon with the result, because we managed to stay true to ourselves and incorporate all the things that really mattered for us in our day. We wanted our guests to experience something personal and different, and we wanted those who had travelled across Europe to be there to really feel it was worth it – and their happy faces were the best reward for us! So my advice to those planning their wedding now is just this – be true to yourself and do things with your heart!”

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A Simple DIY Wedding: Tara & Oleg

Tara & Oleg were married at Wentworth Falls School of Arts, NSW, Australia. The bride wore a beautiful 1950’s debutante gown made of white taffeta with black flocked trim which she found on eBay!

“They met at Acting College in Sydney and have been together for the last 6 years,” their wedding photographer Jemima Richards told me. “The easiest way to describe these two as madly in love. Their wedding was a really beautiful reflection of that. The entire wedding had a distinct DIY theme, but with all of their personality in every single element. Oleg is from Croatia, so his family members made the special journey over, with his two sisters travelling from opposite ends of the planet just to be there. As a wedding gift, Tara also flew in Oleg’s very best friend from London as a surprise!”

“The ceremony was simple and in the small and intimate events hall at the School of Arts,” she continued. “Tara had handmade 150 large paper pom-poms to decorate both the reception and ceremony with as opposed to flowers. She even disclosed that she spent a back breaking 5 hours the night before the wedding ‘poofing’ and hanging every single one.”

“Each guest was presented with a personalised program for the wedding which included a personal and individual message from the bride and groom in the back. The couple read their own vows (or in the case of Oleg, spoke straight from the heart) and their celebrant even recited the Dr Seuss poem ‘Oh! the places you’ll go’ (which was super relevant and very sweet). The ceremony was brief, but very sincere and heartfelt.”

“The couple opted not to have any formal portraits taken of themselves with their best man and maid of honour, and instead went straight into the reception which was held in the adjoining theatre of the School of Arts. The lack of formal photos was made up for by the addition of a photobooth, which the couple described as ‘a way to give a gift to each guest’.Tara and Oleg wanted their reception to be all about their guests, while still having the same amount of personality as the ceremony.”

“Guests were treated to a self serve lolly bar with suggestions written on playing cards by the wedding party, lots of dancing, and their gorgeous Cowboys and Indians themed wedding cupcakes. The entire night was a party to celebrate their getting hitched and there was not a single moment where there was a lack of love in the air or someone being bored.”

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A DIY 1940’s Carnival Wedding: Marcie & Rich

Marcie & Rich’s Nerdy DIY wedding was inspired by the things they love. The couple love to hang out at home with cat and dog playing video or board games and reading so the wedding theme kind of stemmed from these ideas.

“I think our inspiration for doing things the way we did was that we didn’t want the same old same old”, Marcie told me. “We’ve both been to tons of weddings where the details were essentially the same but for a few differences. People tend to do the long church ceremony with the long gown that you would never want to wear again and make a bunch of stuff for the guests that they will never use or even want just because you saw that tiny beer stein in a craft store and thought it was perfect cause you like beer. We wanted people to have fun all the way through, including ourselves! We would much rather have a swinging party and get married in the middle of it than the other way around.”

“Our ‘theme’ was loosely based on a 1940’s style Carnival. I love the time period and we both wanted a theme that would allow us to have games for our guests and fun retro style clothing and accessories.”

The wedding took place at Heritage Hall, Vancouver British Columbia, Canada. “The Hall is this great building that used to be many things in the past and is now a rentable hall,” the bride continued. “Loads of crafty-type fairs happen here and that is how I came to hear of it in the first place. It has a huge clock tower and is located in Mount Pleasant which is a funky area filled with small locally owned shops. The look of the building and the area made a perfect place to rent. Didn’t hurt that it was far more reasonably priced than any ‘wedding hall rental’ places in Vancouver and we were allowed to do things our own way.”

Marie wore a dress by Peppermint Pretty, shoes by Fluevog and a headpiece that she made herself. Both she and her bridesmaids also wore jewellery by Wicked Minky. “I wanted a tea length dress because I have never understood why people buy these amazing shoes only to cover them up with a huge long dress. I was also very keen to get something that was a bit retro. I have been in love with 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s styles since I was little and a dress without a crinoline was not an option! I also wanted something that I could cut a rug in and not trip and fall on my face. When I dance, I go all out so the fewer restrictions the better! I fell in love with this dress straight off the bat. Erin Coleman was amazing and made something that fit me perfectly and all I did was send in my measurements. I did not want to go into a bridal shop at all and I didn’t. Most have a posh vibe that I don’t appreciate and they never seem to have anything that isn’t all along the same line of design. I find it both intimidating and boring.”

Many of the other wedding details were DIY including the bride and her bridesmaid’s bouquets, the ‘popcorn’ cupcakes (made by Marcie’s cousin Allison who owns a bakery), all the stationery and the majority of the reception decor and props.

“We made all the bunting hanging around the reception out of old thrift store sheets cut up and strung together, as well as the centrepieces. These were thrift store vases filled with tons of gum balls to hold up the Whirly Pops, handmade pin wheels, felt moustaches on sticks made by Maro Designs, and flags to name the table. We went with song names and made a game out of people winning a drink token if they were the first one to come up to the DJ when their table song was played.”

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An Undead Steampunk Wedding: Renee & Ian

So where do I begin trying to explain the awesomeness of Renee & Ian’s undead steampunk wedding? I think maybe the title gives away just how amazing this wedding is going to be doesn’t it?

The couple were married at Catalyst, a private live/work artist community in Chicago. “We actually had to ‘audition’ for the space,” Renee told me. “The members have a delicate relationship with the community and can’t risk any trouble. We had to prove to them over several months that we talented and responsible enough to be able to use their space. We had to foster a personal relationship with them before they would even consider us. It was tedious, but worth it in the end.”

“We gained some more wonderful friends for our already stellar collection, and the space allowed us freedom that traditional venues could not (like staying until 6am and coming back later in the week to help clean up).”

The bride made her dress herself from a 1880’s corset pattern. She tea stained dupioni silk and lace and designed the skirt and blouse herself. Her headpiece was a pair of vintage goggles that she bought from a flea market which Ian ‘steampunked’ by using random pieces including a magnifying glass that belonged to his Grandmother.

“We love Halloween and costumes!” the bride continued. “It’s truly the only time of year that we have any pictures together. We plan all year for it! We’re not really big on the institution of marriage. We partly decided to ‘make it official’ (though our love and commitment was official enough for us) because Ian’s dad was diagnosed with cancer, and the outlook was grim. We knew he would love to see us married. On a lighter note, Greg is doing very well these days in remission.”

“Our choice of theme started a bit of an uproar in our families. We were made fun of, called sacrilegious, and many of our family from WI didn’t show up (some for financial reasons, but I assume many of our very catholic family members just didn’t approve). We were asked to have a separate ‘family wedding’ in WI, but refused. Our wedding was going to be a celebration of our love, our way and a way for us to show our families that we are proud of who we are. We didn’t WANT to dis-include or hurt them, but we didn’t want to compromise ourselves on our day! In the end, the family that did show up really seemed to enjoy themselves.”

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