Category Archives: Wedding

A Homemade Back Garden Wedding: Philip & Katie-Jane

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Philip & Katie-Jane had a handmade wedding in the bride’s parent’s back garden. They hired a tipi and decorated the whole garden with the things they love – creating a really magical looking space. They even converted the shed into ‘The Poppy Red Shed’ (Poppy Red is a bar in Birmingham which the bride and groom first met) which they stocked with local ales, spirits and liquours.

“With the bride being in fashion (Senior footwear designer for KG for Kurt Geiger) it was always going to be different kind of wedding,” the couple told me. “We wanted to make sure there was less formality and more personality. Using personal inspiration and the bride’s vision we focused on what the guests would experience and how that would make us feel. The sun came out as soon as the wedding couple stepped into the garden and the day just got better and better.”

There were so many DIY elements of this wedding, as the couple continued to explain, “All the invites were handmade, handkerchiefs stamped with the details wrapped in a doilie posted with a portrait stamp of the bride and groom. We also made the teacup chandelier hovering over the top table. The cake table was brought together by several guests bringing their own cakes to share although the main wedding cake nearly got eaten before it had even been cut!”

“The bride made all the ‘winecup’ favours herself, a wineglass stem with a teacup on top. The women guests (and some men) were in awe and the race was on to ensure they all got to take one home. The pewter tankards were a massive success, again collected from car boots, family and friends. It took the men about 10 minutes to get them and that was it for the rest of the night. We had a flipcam passed round the tables and it was one of the happiest hours ever after the wedding watching all the guests enjoying the food, drink and each other.”

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Katie-Jane wore two dresses – the first by Vera Wang and the second, a vintage gown from Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. She also wore Miu Miu shoes and vintage jewellery.

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A Black Wedding Dress, A Traditional Church Wedding & A Burlesque Themed Reception: Scarlet & Craig

Scarlet & Craig’s wedding wowed me as soon as I spied that dress. I was so excited to be able to share this incredible Goth extravaganza and luckily for you lot, so were the newlyweds. In fact Craig’s reply when I emailed him back saying ‘Yes yes, hell yes (ps your wife is hot)’ was something along the lines of ‘OMG so excited that you’re going to feature us!!! Squeeee’.

“I’d never really thought about my wedding day growing up, so when Craig proposed on a trip to Amsterdam (with a tattoo that simply said ‘Marry Me’ on his wrists!) I was thrown into a bit of a panic!” Scarlet explained. “But as soon as we started planning we knew we wanted to do things our own way. Luckily we found Rock n Roll Bride, which made us realise there really are no ‘rules’ for a wedding, and then we just went all out! We didn’t start out with one, but as we went along we developed a kind of pink and black gothic fairytale theme, pink being my favourite colour, and black being Craig’s!”

“We didn’t have a huge budget, and didn’t want to waste money on things that people ‘expect’ to have at weddings which arent really necessary (for us, flowers were one of these things!) It took some convincing my parents that the bridesmaids would look great in £35 high street dresses and Primark shoes, and that the best men didn’t need buttonholes! Wherever possible we enlisted the help of friends and family, from the dress to the cake to the reception decor and catering. I’m a make up artist so I did my own hair and makeup, and I let the bridesmaids have free reign with their looks as I didn’t want them to look to ‘matchy’.”

As I said above, Scarlet’s dress was what really caught my attention when I first saw this wedding…and it turns out I wasn’t the only one! “The theme for the wedding really revolved around my dress, which was designed and handmade by the amazingly talented Kim Denman,” the bride continued. “I knew straight away that I would never find anything in a bridal dress shop, so didn’t even bother looking! Kim is a family friend who is based in LA, but also has a house in Hastings. I approached her about making the dress, and after an initial brain storming session, we decided on a kind of 50’s underwear themed colour scheme of dusty pink and black, with plenty of feathers, beads, and netting thrown in! Oh, and a massive stuffed pink bow on the back! I travelled to Hastings several times for fittings, but unfortunately didn’t get to accompany the dress on it’s trips to LA and back! Several times during the fitting process I wondered whether I’d taken it too far (my Mum was particulaly against the idea of a black dress) but in the end everyone loved it, even our most conservative guests and (suprisingly) our Vicar!”

After a ceremony at St Mary’s Church, the reception as held at The Suffolk Barn. “We instantly loved the idea of having the reception in a barn, and wanted a venue where we could create exactly what we wanted. Luckily we found the amazing 14th Century Suffolk Barn in Hawstead. The owner only allows a handful of events to be held there each year, and it has pretty much been left with all its original features, meaning it was a blank canvas for our ideas. My Dad is a production designer for film and TV, and without him, we could never have created anything so magical as our reception decor. From the fairy lit trees guiding the way to the entrance, to the handmade globes of foliage and pink ribbon hanging from the ceiling, to the enormous gilt frame that made our stage look absolutely surreal, he worked so hard (along with my brother and cousins) to make the venue look like something from a fairytale! The colour theme from my dress popped up everywhere: the beautiful cake made by my extremely talented cousin Maddie even had the lace design from the dress incorporated into it.”

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Messing About on the River: Emma & Tony

Emma & Tony had an intimate wedding of just 40 guests in Henley on Thames. Coincidentally this is where I went to college and I have a lot of fond memories of chilling out by the river, most probably while I was supposed to be in lectures – which maybe one of the reasons I love this wedding so much! Anyway, I digress…

The wedding was held at The River & Rowing Museum, a modern wedding venue situated right on the river Thames. A friend of Emma’s is a registrar and it was really special to have her marry them. “The museum was exactly what we were looking for,” Emma told me. “The staff at the museum were fabulous, nothing was too much trouble. Laura, the events planner for the museum, coordinated the wedding and it was great having her their on the day to make sure everything ran to plan so I didn’t have to think about a thing and just enjoy the day. Jeff from Digby Trout Catering with his team delivered the most delicious food that wowed even the London foodies. The seating plan was titled ‘Eat, drink & Be Merry’ and we all certainly were thanks to Jeff and his team – what a gem.”

The museum has its own jetty, right onto the Thames, and so for the evening reception/party, the couple hired the ‘Hibernia’ from Hobbs of Henley. “Sailing down the Thames in the evening watching the world go by while we partied into the night was the perfect end to a wonderful day,” Emma continued. “Michele and the whole team at Hobbs of Henley gave us an evening to remember.”

The bride wore a cappuccino dress made from Italian duchesse silk satin and sparkle tulle. It was designed for her by a friend. Georgina at Atelier Millinery make her a bespoke headpiece to perfectly match her dress. The bride also opted for a corsage instead of a traditional bridal bouquet. “We decided to do a mixture of professional and DIY for our flowers,” she explained. “As it was a simple, modern wedding I realized I didn’t want a wedding bouquet so I opted for a red rose wrist corsage and Tony had a matching buttonhole.”

“We wanted the day to feel like a big dinner party just enjoying the good company, great food and endless wine,” the bride concluded. “It was an informal day with everyone just mingling. I missed half the food as I was busy chatting at the tables and soaking in the atmosphere – it was wonderful. From the flower arranging, to putting together the stationery, to the bunting on the boat and setting up the cheese wedding cake, using family and friends meant it was a muck-in day rather than a manicured affair.”

“It was great to be able to thank everyone for making the day so special. Instead of a champagne toast we decided to go Rock n Roll and give everyone a half bottle to pop the corks and celebrate which was a wow.”

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A Beautiful Handmade French Wedding: Sophie & Julien

Sophie & Julien’s family-central wedding was held in the Cote d’Or region of Burgandy, France, in a house build by Sophie’s Grandfather. The ceremony took place at the local town hall and the reception at the family home.

“The wedding was from start to finish a family affair,” Sophie explained. “The house was spruced up for the occasion with my Mother being the driving force behind all the sanding, painting, repairing etc.  Julien’s Mother came out to help as well as my Sisters, Cousins, Brother’s in Law etc!  My Sisters and I spent months looking up ideas and images on various blogs with all details being put to parents, friends etc.  The lanterns came from a friend of mine in Montreal who does decoration for cinema.  She had to create a wedding scene so I bought them off her and added them to the suitcases of various family members who were in Canada visiting to take to France.”

“Our biggest motivator was that the wedding would be fun, elegant relaxed as well,” the bride continued. “We wanted the atmosphere to be happy, friendly and warm – like our families!  Having the reception at my family home in Burgundy was very special…the house was built by my great, great Grandfather and so it is steeped in family memories.”

“The decoration was all hand-made and here are some of the things we did…My Sisters sewed metres and metres of bunting and collected bits of lace which they used to decorate the pear tree under which we got married. My Dad and Julien’s good friend put up all the lighting and lanterns, my close friend and my Brother’s in Law created wreaths and put up hundreds of fairy lights in the trees. We washed and wired loads of jam jars which were hung from trees as candle lanterns.”

“Julien and I designed the invitations and place cards which we had screen-printed in Montreal. Julien’s parents made endless trips to supermarkets, cheese shops, stations, DIY shops to get weird and wonderful provisions, we collected old doilies, lacy tablecloths which we set up on outside tables and chairs for general lounging and smoking. My Sister and her boyfriend helped us find some old frames in which we added some old maps as backing board to our hand-written table plans, they then hung them outside from the arbour we have in the garden – they looked amazing!”

“We bought over mini packets of almonds cooked in maple syrup as favours. My friend and my Step-Mum weeded the driveway, made countless cups of coffee and tea as well as litres of Kir made with local cassis. My Mum made about 12 quiches and other goodies for our next-day brunch and she also made tweaks to my wedding dress, made the vintage lace into a shawl, hand-knitted a alpaca shawl for when it got cold and generally was a superstar! I think I have gone on long enough, needless to say it was a massive group project and it all went without a flaw!”

Sophie’s dress was Custom Designed with Canadian Designer Véronique Miljkovitch. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted a dress that was different and initially I was sure I would find a vintage dress. I found my dress almost accidentally – my Mother was in Montreal visiting me for a couple of weeks and Julien managed to get her to take me to a local designer who is a friend of a friend.  The idea was that I would unknowingly pick out a dress for my birthday present…little did he know that on this surprise shopping trip, I ended up finding my wedding dress!”

“I tried on a dress that was beautiful and my Mother and I instantly could imagine it as a wedding dress.  We asked Véronique the designer whether she would be interested in custom-making it in off-white with a few tweaks here and there and she agreed!  From then on it was a series of secret visits, fabric hunts, fittings. Véronique’s dress was perfect and incidentally has a vintage feel to it!  I decided not to go with a veil but I completed the look with a piece of vintage lace around my shoulders (I found it in a second-hand shop with my Mother in Montreal during another visit a year later!) and shoes that I already had by Mine de Rien.  My beautiful jewellery was created by my sister Dominique with gold chain, non-dyed sapphires and quartz.”

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A Halloween, Day of the Dead & Bonfire Night Themed Wedding: Jennifer & Ian

Jennifer & Ian were married on Halloween so their day had a distinct theme to fit the time of year. “We wanted the wedding to have all the components of a ‘normal’ wedding but be personal to us,” the bride told me. “We both love Halloween, Day of the Dead and bonfire night and so decided to incorporate all three into a super-theme!”

“We wanted to make as much as we could ourselves, and to make the day as relaxed and enjoyable for everyone else.,” she continued. “We wanted a bonfire with jacket potatoes and toffee apples. The rest of the wedding was built up around that.”

“I made most of the decorations myself, but had some help from my friend Sharon and my Mum on the tissue paper Mexican picado’s. They were very time consuming to cut as the designs I chose were very intricate! But they were well worth the effort as they transformed a traditional bland-ish room into a Mexican festival!”

The couple booked Hannah Millard to photograph their wedding after seeing her featured on Rock n Roll Bride. “Hannah was absolutely amazing, she breezed in at the crack of Dawn and it was like I had known her for years,” Jennifer said. “After talking to her over emails I knew we would get on as we share the same ideas and principles on photography and weddings! What I didn’t expect was for Hannah to integrate with everyone else so easily, and to be a constant reassuring comfort to me throughout the day. She was so unobtrusive and took spectacular shots of our day.”

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A Summer-Fun Wedding: Katie & Chris

Katie & Chris’ cute Summer-themed wedding had a really ‘fun for all’ vibe – kids and big kids alike! I love their giant cupcake cake (made by a friend), the space hoppers (that I’m sure the adults spent more time on than the children…) and the pops of colour they injected throughout.

“Chris used to be in the army, The Parachute Regiment, and left recently,” Katie explained. “We have been through so much together, including his tour of Afghanistan, so we knew we wanted this wedding to be nothing but fun! I don’t know if our wedding was too different to many other weddings, but that’s because we never compared it to anybody else’s. It was our day, and everything was done how we wanted. One thing I learnt is that everyone has an opinion, and you can’t make them change your ideas.”

Katie wore a dress by Tobi Hannah (who she met at The Designer Vintage Bridal Show in Birmingham) and Vivienne Westwood shoes and jewellery. Her bridesmaid’s wore Vivien of Holloway dresses.

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