Katie & Eric didn’t have the wedding they’d originally planned, but when circumstances changed, so did their wedding. However being able to have the people there that meant a the most to them was more important than waiting for a big wedding. ”When we got engaged last summer, we started to plan a big wedding for October 2013 that we could invite all of our friends and family to”, began Katie. “A few months after we became engaged we found out that my Dad had liver cancer, and everything changed. The most important thing was to have our family members at the wedding, and have them all attend in comfort. With that in mind, we changed almost every aspect of the wedding and planned it in four months.”
They chose Jekyll Island, GA as the spot where they would say ‘”I do”. Not only was it very close to where Eric proposed, it was where they spent their first day as an engaged couple while adventuring with a group of close friends. The ceremony was held on Driftwood Beach and the reception at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. “My favorite part had to be the ceremony. Eric’s sister, Laura, was our officiant, and she composed a ceremony specifically for us. I made our handfasting cords, and our friends and family set up the ceremony site. It really felt like a group effort and was truly magical. Laura scooped up the sand that was under our feet as we said our vows and gave it to us in a heart shaped jar as a wedding present.”
Caroline & Ben, who live in Shanghai, had a destination wedding in Verona, Italy. The bride’s father is from Northern Italy and so they wanted to have a wedding that reflected that heritage. “The idea of getting married close to my roots really appealed”, began the bride, “especially for the fact we could make a holiday out of it for our guests (and for ourselves!). Living abroad, we don’t get to see our friends and families as much as we would like, and this way we got to spend a few days with everyone. We had our ‘stag’ and ‘hen’ parties the night before for all our guests, and after the wedding a group of about 20 of us went up to the Dolomites for some skiing over New Year.”
“I originally thought that with the overseas wedding planning, I wouldn’t need to or want to worry about all the little details, but I had a very wise friend who knew I would care in the end… And I did care! The little details ended up being the things that we most enjoyed spending time over. I loved all the paper bits and pieces especially (and the aeroplanes escort cards made for good competition over dinner!)”
One of the most important thing to this couple was the photography and they booked the ever-fabulous Sassy of Assassynation Photography to shoot the day. “Photography was very important to us and Sassy’s eye and imagination really worked with what we wanted”, Caroline continued. “Her style was as far away from the soft focus and stilted shots that seemed to be preferred by the Italian photographers we could find. We’re lucky she fancied the trip over to Verona!”
Have you ever heard of a couple deciding to get married and do so within 12 short hours? And, no, a couple in a movie don’t count! Well that’s exactly what Thomas & Kimberly did whilst on holiday in Belize. They were married, just the two of them, in the middle of the ocean, on a sandbar in Ambergris Caye.
“We like to be laid-back, relaxed and chilled”, explained the bride. “We wanted to avoid any wedding planning stress, and to instead spend our time enjoying the sand, water, and each other. We wanted an event that would set the bar high for our life together, and we were very lucky to find Keli Engleson from “I Do” Belize Weddings. Keli coordinated the whole wedding in less than 12 hours. We were so excited about the location she suggested and she was great to work with. The ceremony itself was beautiful and touching.”
What first attracted me to this story though was their amazing and dramatic wedding photographs, taken by local photographer Leonardo Melendez. While the trend for a lot of wedding photography is still very (sorry but there really is no other word to describe it…) vintage-inspired, his work is bold, daring and as far removed from vintage as possible! “We had a great time having our pictures taken with Leonardo,” Kimberly continued. “He is the best in Belize as far as far as we are concerned. He came up with some really creative ideas.”
I always get really excited to feature a super-budget wedding because I love to show you that, with a bit of clever engineering, a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost £20,000. Ruth & Steve spent just £700 on their day and it was perfect. They also planned the entire thing in just two months – sheesh, why can’t we all be such overachievers?!
This thrifty couple were very clever with how they spent the money that they did have to spend. Firstly the opted for an East London pub for the reception venue. Without extortionate rental rates, The Water Poet in Spitalfields was just the ticket. “The wedding took about two months to organise”, the bride began. “We booked the reception first, as I thought that would be the trickiest part of the operation. Then we booked our ceremony at Islington Town Hall and gave our Notice of Intent to Marry about four weeks before the ceremony.”
“Choosing a reception venue was probably the most challenging part of the wedding! I wasn’t too particular, but knew that I didn’t have the budget to hire a private venue. I started searching around for pubs with free room hire – most places could only reserve a couple tables at most. As the ceremony took place on a Friday, I knew most pubs would be rammed, which would have been too much for our parents to handle! We decided on holding the reception at The Water Poet in Spitalfields. It wasn’t too far from Islington Town Hall and they had a private room where we could set up the food, cake and decorations. My hens and I handmade all the paper flowers on the tables from a fab tutorial that I found on Rock n Roll Bride! The best thing about the room was its own sound-system – we plugged in our iPhone with our wedding playlist and just let it run all night!”
Ruth wore a dress from Topshop, and her shoes, also Topshop were an eBay bargain at just £10. Her headpiece was, amazingly, from Primark and her jewellery was a gift from Steve’s sister. The cake and flowers were both DIY efforts from helpful friends and family, the venue provided a buffet spread and they forgoed a DJ for a Spotify playlist.
For their June wedding, Julieta & Christian wanted a day that was laid-back, fun and stress-free. They opted for a garden setting and a party late into the night. The couple both have a passion for music, but Christian particularly who is in a band and loves nothing more than to go to gigs or play one of his nine guitars with his friends. Clearly the music and the entertainment was going to play a big role in this celebration.
The wedding was held at La Masia Blanca Can Badia, a few kilometres from Barcelona and right on the coast. The bride, a chef, had a very strong idea of how she wanted the wedding to look and feel. Obviously she took control of all the food and drink but instead of doing everything by herself she asked her friends who are set designers and stylists to help. Mary & Lydia of Malgenio Workshop pulled together all the décor and paper goods.
Sam & Dave wanted an intimate ceremony, just the two of them, so they were married in their own living room. Afterwards they hosted their reception for all their friends & family at Zeitlos, a bar in Hamburg.
“The inspiration for our wedding started with what we didn’t want”, began the bride. “We’d been to lots of weddings before and they showed us all the things we didn’t want to have! We wanted a small ceremony just with the two of us, telling each other what we really feel without having everyone’s eyes on us. This was really important to as as sometimes we’re not that good at showing our feelings with others around (for example, at the registry office we first shook hands to congratulate each other instead of kissing!) We didn’t want it formal and stiff and traditional, we wanted a party.”
“It’s funny because everyone assumed I would have the freakiest wedding dress because of all the tattoos. No one really could imagine me in a classic dress but that’s what I went for. My dress was by Agnes but finding it wasn’t without problems. I had picked a really nice dress but when I went back to try it on and had the changes made, it turned out I had lost so much weight that I couldn’t fit into it any more. So I had to choose another one really quickly. It was the second dress I tried on that day. In the end I was really happy that the other one didn’t fit. My new dress was exactly what I had been looking for all along.”