Category Archives: Wedding

Nathaniel & Eve’s Quickie Wedding

When photographer Eliza Claire tweeted me to tell me the bride she had just met was wearing a Vivienne Westwood dress for her wedding I immediately got excited. So excited in fact that I ‘bagged’ featuring the event before I’d even seen one photograph! Eve’s dress was not an actual ‘wedding dress’ at all, but one from Vivienne’s Anglomania range that she had fallen in love with.

“I’d been non stop dress shopping for two weeks and so far had six wedding dresses hanging in my wardrobe – all cream or ivory, all perfectly lovely, but none quite hitting the spot,” Eve told me. “The fact was that I wanted a Vivienne Westwood dress – I just love that VW look, the corset style waist, emphasis on the bust, full skirt… But I’d been to her shop and couldn’t find anything, I think at that point I was still set on a white wedding you see. Then, the week before the wedding, in one last ditch attempt to find THE dress, I was racing through Selfridges when I passed the Anglomania concession – and there it was. I fell in love with it straight away. It helps that grey and navy are my favourite colours.”

“However, I was conscious that I needed to ‘wedding it up’ – and I only had a few days to make the look work, so I booked a personal shopping session at Selfridges (it’s a free service) for three days before the wedding. Luckily for me I got Debbie styling me. She’s getting married herself in March – so she’d been doing her own wedding recce of the store for the past year. Debbie totally got the look I was imagining (wedding with an edge) and proceeded to storm round the store picking out killer heels (me: “but i can’t walk in those!” Debbie: “who cares? it’s your wedding – IT’S FASHION!”) and beautiful head pieces. She fixed me up with Christian Louboutin shoes (D: “all brides should tread on red darling!”) and a Cherry Chau head piece (mercifully in the sale…).  I’d love to see what she looks like on her wedding day – amazing I bet…Now all that remained was to take those six ivory wedding dresses back….”

The wedding took place in Oxford, and after a ceremony at Oxford Town Hall the wedding party headed to North Oxford Community Centre for their last minute reception! You see, Nat & Eve may have been together for more than six years but it they got engaged and married within a month!

Eve explained, “I’d been bugging him to propose for years – he didn’t see any immediate need. But then everything changed…In November Nat and I interviewed for jobs in Qatar, in the Middle East, but we weren’t really expecting to get them. Suddenly, on 19 December 2010 it was on – and on fast. They needed us to start in a month (our first day in our new office was 18 January) – and by the way, it’s illegal to live together in Qatar if you’re not married…So action stations – we had four weeks to end our jobs, get married and relocate to the Middle East. Add to that the fact that everything was closed for Christmas and New Year and you’ll see why our wedding was a ‘make do and mend’ affair – and all the better for it we reckon…”

Nathaniel didn’t actually officially propose until a week before the wedding too! “It occurred to me a few days before the wedding that the nature of the job offer and the necessity to get married meant that I’d never had a proposal”, said Eve. “I pointed this out to Nathaniel who immediately went down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I cried – which seems ludicrous when you consider we’d already been organising the day for three weeks…”

However, Eve was sure that the last minute/throw it all together and see what happens nature of their wedding was what made it perfect – and perfect for them.

“I wanted the day to not just be a wedding, but a leaving party too. Most importantly I wanted it to be fun. I’m usually someone who’s really into the details, but I couldn’t be, I didn’t have time, and I think that’s what made it work.  Given a year to plan, I’m sure I’d have become obsessed with it, planning the minute details and watching as the costs rocketed. But as it was I knew I needed everyone to rally round and help, which seemed to make everyone feel more involved in the day. It wasn’t a case of Ii hope nothing goes wrong’  – it was so last minute that my ethos was ‘things will definitely go wrong – but let’s just make sure we enjoy it whatever happens’.”

“Nat and I sat down early and decided what we wouldn’t compromise on – what really mattered. We wanted people to party – there had to be plenty of food, plenty of drink and tons of dancing. For us – our priority was a laid back ceremony and photos of the day to treasure forever. So we invested in a great photographer, a delicious middle eastern themed buffet and a great live band. We made sure we had plenty of booze from Majestic – and the rest we didn’t worry about too much.”

Amy & Jonathan’s Cute, Vintage, Village Hall Wedding

Amy & Jonathan were married in May, in a cute village hall wedding. The couple clearly put a lot of love, thought and detail into their wedding as you can see from the incredible reception images! The whole thing ties together so beautifully – the bunting, the sweets, the cake, the flowers, the mismatched tea cups…I just love it all!

The ceremony was held in Kington St Michael Church, Wiltshire and the reception that followed was at Kington St Michael Village Hall. “We tried to do as much as possible ourselves so the wedding would be as personal as possible,” explained the couple. “We had our wedding in church and then walked across the road to the village hall which we had decorated the day before with our family and friends. It made the day very personal and very different. We hung bunting that a friend had lent us, fairy lights, union jack flags etc and had jam jars of flowers on the tables. We made favours of jam and chutney that doubled as place names.”

“We tried to keep things fairly traditional but with our own spin on it and we tried not to be limited by what a wedding “should” be.  So many weddings seem like the same thing over and over but we wanted ours to stand out. We made summer berries gin for the toasts by adding raspberries, strawberries and blackberries to gin with sugar and letting it sit for four months. Then we removed the fruit and we had pink gin! I also made the cake topper after a visit to Hobbycraft!”

Amy wore a stunning vintage lace dress which she found on eBay. She added her own personal touches to it by adding a silk dress underneath made by Alison Miles.

Continue reading

Holly & Michael’s Heart of San Francisco, Fashionista Wedding

It was The Great American Music Hall that played host to Holly & Michael’s wedding. It was the couple’s love of a good party, Rock n Roll and quirky fashion that inspired their day. “The team behind Union Square’s uber chic Shotwell Boutique, Holly Kricher and Michael Weaver are style savants who’ve worked their way into the hearts and minds of San Francisco’s fashionistas in a very short period of time,” explained photographer Christina about the couple, “So, it makes sense that their wedding thoroughly reflected their fashion-forward sensibility.”

“Having the reception at The Great American Music Hall not only complemented the bride and groom’s vintage aesthetic, it created the feeling of being at a glitzy nightclub rather than a formal wedding. Instead of assigned seating, the couple opted for a cabaret-style set up for both the ceremony and reception. When those tables filled up, guests could get a bird’s eye view of the action from the balcony upstairs.”

This fashion forward bride wore a dress by Morgane le Fay and Christian Louboutin shoes. She opted not for a tradition bridal jewellery, instead favouring a custom made gorgeous statement necklace, bracelet and earring set by Erickson Beamon. Both Holly and her Maid of Honour carried bouquets that were illuminated with a blue light. The result was very dramatic as they walked down the slightly dimmed aisle.

The couple thought about all of their details carefully and as well as DIYing a lot, had set designer Courtney Atinsky on hand to help them transform their vision into reality. Instead of flower petals, the “flower girls” threw small cloth butterflies down the aisle which they purchased from Micheal’s. They also wore black leotards with tutus.  The favours included vintage-style costume jewellery, such as brooches, rings, and earrings, doubled as table decorations.

Continue reading

Kennon & Bob’s “Double Rainbow” DIY Wedding

Kennon & Bob’s “double rainbow” wedding is a perfect example of why less than perfect weather doesn’t have to spell a disaster for your wedding or your wedding photographs!

The wedding was held at South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago – the same venue that The Obama’s held their wedding reception! The couple also loved the venue because all their rental fees are given to support arts and cultural programming in the area. “If you asked our family and friends, they’d say that we’re Rock n Roll because we have tattoos and piercings, aren’t traditional or religious, go a lot of concerts and love to throw parties,” the bride told me.  “Ok, we agree.  We just didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding.  We wanted nothing to do with dowries, religious figures or treating women as possessions. We wanted to share our beliefs in marriage — love, respect, equality, friendship — and to throw one hell of a party!”

“My goal for the “theme” was to have it look like anthropologie threw a wedding.  I gush every time I’m in that store and I wanted to replicate the mix of vintage, quirky, green and modern elements in everything from the cake to the centerpieces to my dress. Bob and I are incredibly goofy, so it was a pretty fun, casual affair in an extremely gorgeous venue. Our poet/geologist/apple-farmer/rooftop gardener friend Dave married us in an Ethical Humanist ceremony that we all wrote.  Music was a HUGE part of our wedding — Esperanza Spalding to Howlin’ Wolf.  We planned everything ourselves — the groom helped A LOT! We made out own DIY invitations, programs, menus, seating chart, donation cards, family photo collage — this was a really fun and long process; I visited dozens of paper shops and online sources looking at design ideas; purchased most of our materials at Paper Source, Michael’s, and Target (design paper, envelopes, stamps, ink.)”

Kennon’s tea length dress was Jessica” by Renella DeFina. She wanted the vintage look for her gown and not only found it on sale at Kasia’s Bridal, but she was able to get a further discount on it because she offered to donate some canned goods to the store’s Thanksgiving food drive!

Continue reading

Michael & Chloe’s Seriously Bad Ass Festival/Circus Wedding

Michael & Chloe got married in the Circadia Circus Tent at Woodford Folk Festival, Australia. I think that’s all I have to say to let you know that this wedding is seriously bad ass and awesome right?

The bride wore a handmade dress and Wellington boots (festivals are muddy!) and the entire wedding was organized by the ‘Circadia’ team. The couple didn’t have bridesmaids, groomsmen or flowers, but they had a cake organized by Michael’s sisters (and a sweetie table, again organized for them by their family!) Bogan Bingo – a 90’s hair band doing a “bogan” version of Bingo – entertained the guests before the wedding began.

“Like so many Love Stories, ours starts with a boy doing something stupid and painful while trying to impress a girl,” began Michael, the groom. “It was late 2007 and I had only met Chloe a few short weeks earlier, having rejoined my friends at ‘Bound’ – the Acrobalance Troupe I had helped start while at Uni. In those few short weeks on the Southbank lawns however; between shoulder-stands, flying, and cartwheel practice; I found myself inexplicably drawn to Chloe’s company and I hoped – prayed! – she felt the same. On the particular evening upon which our story starts we were practicing tumbling. In true misguided machismo, I set out to impress her by leaping off a concrete bollard to the grass below before dropping forward into a commando-roll. Unfortunately ambition exceeded ability – my leap was too long; my roll mistimed – and my collarbone and shoulder connected with the ground with a resounding ‘crack’!”

“I lay there cursing through gritted teeth under the weight of a dislocated shoulder, broken clavicle, and badly bruised ego. And as my eyes refocused from the pain, I saw her blue eyes above me, filled with concern, pity, and something that looked just a little like laughter… Later that night after Chloe had reset my shoulder and helped me to re-mobilize the joint in the water of the Southbank lagoon, we shared our first kiss. It was way more sexy than that sounds. Because both of us were only recently single when we met, we had promised each other we wouldn’t get ‘too involved’; although we were practically inseparable until I headed away to the Woodford Folk Festival that New Year’s to take part in the Fire Ceremony. There Woodford, bathed away the hurts of old wounds, as Woodford always does, with rain and with fire. I realized what a silly promise we had made and on the 1st of January, 2008 as the Fire Event’s lighthouse burned and tumbled, I called her to say the words my heart had known since that first moment at training, “I love you Chloe”.”

Continue reading

Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish Fusion Wedding

Just wow. Like seriously, wow.

That’s pretty much all I said for 5 minutes when Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish fusion wedding hit my inbox this week. I almost don’t know where to begin telling their epic wedding story, luckily for me the bride explained it a lot better than I ever could. The couple actually had two weddings – the first in Japan in July 2009 and the second (pictured) in Scotland in September 2010.

“My new Hubby and I actually got married in Japan (where we live) in 2009.  We went to the city office and signed lots of forms to update my alien registration card, change his official address and get hitched.  Which one of those forms was actually my marriage certificate I still don’t know.  I wore my mothers 1970’s full length purple embroidered waistcoat over my purple cord flares and after we went to the crazy Japanese arcade on our street and had photos taken in the hello kitty photo booth.  Much fun yet somewhat lacking in romance.  We thus decided to come home to Scotland and have another celebration with my family, which we did in September.  Planning my wedding from Japan was hard to say the least, especially as I wanted something a little different from the norm, and the whole thing became more of a disappointment as I spent hours trawling through ugly dresses, bland invites and over the top bling, until a good friend with similar problems directed me to your site.  From then on I visited your site nearly every other day to remind myself that there were options other than white wedding package A, B or C and so in turn I am sending you my wedding in hope that it may help other brides in the UK realise the same and give them a wee break from the monotony of the wedding industry.  I hope you like.”

“I came home to Scotland in 2009 to start looking for a wedding venue as I knew that it would be my only chance to see somewhere before I actually returned to get married. I wanted to have a rustic wedding in a barn or something similar but Kiichiro insisted that if he was bringing his family from Japan they were not going to sit in a barn.  He then threw down his one condition, that we get married in a Scottish castle.  Thus my Mother, two of my sisters and myself packed ourselves into a car and went on a road trip from Glasgow through Inverness and up into the highlands visiting every castle on our way.  The castles were GORGEOUS but most were way out of our budget and the ones we could afford were never quite right.  We returned to my sisters house in Ayr two days later more than a little dejected.  My eldest sister then suggested that we go and look at a castle a few miles down the road that I had never heard of so we all, rather grudgingly, got back into the car and drove the few miles to Blairquhan Castle.  As we turned on to the three mile drive my spirits lifted a little.  The river Irvine shaded by huge mossy trees was running alongside the road that was covered in confused pheasants (they obviously weren’t used to cars on their road) and at the end of the road the imposing face of Blairquhan showed itself.  This is no fairytale castle this is a big Scottish “don’t even think of attacking me” castle. Perfect.  Add to this the huge front lawn, boating pond complete with ducks and geese, walled garden and acres and acres of forest and we had the perfect venue.  They had even converted all the old stable buildings into holiday cottages so all my friends and family came for a wee three day break over the wedding weekend.”

Pheigi was decided underwhelmed by traditional wedding dresses so decided to make her perfect gown herself instead. “I went to try on wedding dresses with my best friend imagining we were going to have that movie moment where I would find “the dress” and we would both cry,” she told me. “We did cry…with laughter as I looked friggin’ ridiculous. Most of the dresses were as wide as I am tall making me look like a sequined taffeta square.”

“I am originally from the Isle of Lewis famous for its tweed and I am milliner who works almost exclusively with the lovely fabric so it made sense that my dress too would be woolen.  And so I set about making my brown and green steampunk-esque mermaid, corseted, bustled, leopard print lined wedding gown.  This was the first dress I have ever made and I couldn’t find a pattern I liked so I made it up as I went along.  I am sure a seamstress would have kittens if she looked closely but I was happy with how it turned out and on the wedding day outside in Scotland in September I was very happy to be wrapped up in tweed.  The fabric was woven for me by Callum Maclean of butt of Lewis textiles who was very helpful in offering me tweed and wool samples to make sure I got exactly what I was looking for.”

“My gold Celtic headband was my something old as it was the headband my eldest sister had made for us to wear as her bridesmaids.  I had originally decide that I wanted to wear a top hat but looking around I could find nothing I liked and those willing to make one for me were all very expensive so I decided to make my own.  Instead of a hat I went with an olive green birdcage veil with massive pheasant and peacock feathers which matched the colour of my tweed and my Mother’s outfit perfectly (I also made her a matching hat).  The lack of variety I encountered while searching for my wedding outfit frustrated me so much that I have spent the last year and a half teaching myself millinery and very recently opened a shop on etsy selling my tweed pillbox hats and alternative bridal veils.”

In honour of his wife’s Scottish heritage, Kiichiro wanted to wear a kilt. “Kiichiro decided early on that he wanted to wear a kilt so we sat down with a tartan sample book and to my delight he chose my family tartan (Ancient Macdonald of the Isles muted hunting) with a charcoal tweed waistcoat and jacket to match” continued the Pheigi. “We had the whole outfit made by Philip King in Aberdeen.   My sister Morag knitted his kilt socks.  His Brogues (shoes) came from ebay as did his amazing Tibetan goat sporran.  His plaid brooch was form pewtermill crafts.  His kilt pin was red deer antler as was his sgian dubh both from Comrie Crafts.”

The outdoor ceremony was a very meaningful one. Pheigi explained,  ” I do not belong to an organised faith and my husband is Buddhist, so the choice of Church, registry office or humanist ceremony didn’t really fit. We were already legally married so I decided to write the ceremony myself and my sister Eilidh acted as officiant on the day.  I based the ceremony on the Celtic Scottish tradition of hand fasting so we got married under a HUGE tree with our family and friends standing in a circle around us.  Instead of bridesmaids I had my 4 corners to represent the elements, my best friend and nephew read poems, my uncle gave us a blessing in Gaelic (my family’s mother tongue), my Aunt (married over 40 years) welcomed us to married life and held the broomstick for us to jump over and enter married life before we welcomed our guests with a dram from our wedding quaich. After the wedding we surprised our guests with a band of hairy drummers who led them from our tree to the walled garden of the castle where we played games and ate canapés while drinking sparkly on picnic blankets.  As it was cold I had set up a tea bar offering herbal and Japanese tea for people to keep warm.  We had a sit down meal in the castle where myself, my mother, the groom and the best man (who doesn’t speak English) gave speeches.  Our first dance was a swing dance to Hey sailor by the Detroit Cobras.  My friend officially opened the bar by reading a poem about the SS politician (the whisky filled boat that sank off the coast of Bara and led to the film Whisky galore).  We had a traditional Scottish Ceilidh then played with sky lanterns and sparklers.”

To keep thing personal, the couple wanted to DIY a lot of their reception details. “I did so much by myself and on the day it was a little heart breaking to see that most people don’t notice all the tiny details that you put in.  I noticed them however and it made my day better,” the bride continued. “Doing everything by yourself is hard work and can be really stressful.  The night before the wedding as I was trying to cover seats, make flowers, arrange tables and welcome my guests the word fun was far, far away. However my favorite memory of the day was a DIY moment.  At 6am on the morning of the wedding Kiichiro came and woke me up to go and decorate our wedding tree.  This tree was on a small lawn through a little piece of forest.  The branches were huge and came all the way down to sweep the floor making it feel like you were standing under a huge leafy umbrella.  It was so big that all our 80 guests could happily stand in a circle and still be enclosed in our green bubble.  We decorated it with ribbons, origami cranes on thread and candles hanging in jam jars.  At 6am as the mist was starting to lift off the grass and the sun was so low in the sky you had to squint I remember standing under my massive tree, ribbon in hand, and watching the sleepy faces of my sisters and mother wander out of the forest to help us.”

Finally, the bride summed up to me why their wedding was perfect for them. “I didn’t choose to have a different wedding.  I don’t want to be different for the sake of being different.  I just didn’t like any of the wedding stuff that was out there.  I found the whole wedding process to be disappointing and frustrating as I flipped through wedding magazines and websites and found absolutely nothing I liked.  The few things I did find I couldn’t afford.  It broke my heart.  Not for one second did I consider the white wedding just for ease.  In one way I had it very easy.  My family was awesome.  No one questioned any of my decisions.  No one made negative comments and during the day no one person (within my earshot) asked “what the f**k is going on?”.  Without their help there wouldn’t have been a wedding.”

Continue reading

Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish Fusion Wedding

👰

Just wow. Like seriously, wow. That's pretty much all I said for 5 minutes when Pheigi & Kiichiro's Japanese/Scottish fusion wedding hit my inbox this week. I almost don't know where to begin telling their epic wedding story, luckily for me the bride explained it a lot better than I ever could. The couple actually had two weddings - the first in Japan in July 2009 and the second (pictured) in Scotland in September 2010. "My new Hubby and I actually got married in Japan (where we live) in 2009. We went to the city office and signed lots of forms to update my alien registration card, change his official address and get hitched. Which one of those forms was actually my marriage certificate I still don't know. I wore my mothers 1970's full length purple embroidered waistcoat over my purple cord flares and after we went to the crazy Japanese arcade on our street and had photos taken in the hello kitty photo booth. Much fun yet somewhat lacking in romance. We thus decided to come home to Scotland and have another celebration with my family, which we did in September. Planning my wedding from Japan was hard to say the least, especially as I wanted something a little different from the norm, and the whole thing became more of a disappointment as I spent hours trawling through ugly dresses, bland invites and over the top bling, until a good friend with similar problems directed me to your site. From then on I visited your site nearly every other day to remind myself that there were options other than white wedding package A, B or C and so in turn I am sending you my wedding in hope that it may help other brides in the UK realise the same and give them a wee break from the monotony of the wedding industry. I hope you like."

Continue reading...