Colourful Kitsch Yurt Wedding

Emma Playsted Photography

September 17, 2015

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Caris and Steve were inspired by everything they love for their wedding. So that meant flamingos, kitsch, traditional tattoo designs, Mexican day of the dead, 1950s B movies and octopuses – it was quite an eclectic day!

“We both love colour and knew we wanted it to feature strongly throughout the day, along with a sense of informality, fun and fiesta”, said the bride. “After visiting a few potential venues we realised that we would not be able to do exactly what we wanted at any of them (which were also way over our budget) therefore we would need to start from scratch with a blank canvas.”

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“We fell in love with a large 42ft event yurt made by Yurt Maker so we hunted around for somewhere to put it and eventually approached a local wildlife charity who owned the perfect field just five miles from where we live! They were totally up for the idea of having a wedding reception on their land, despite never having done anything like this previously and charged us a really reasonable hire rate and were just fantastic throughout. We were thrilled that rather than our money going to a corporation it was supporting a local charity.”

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“We only did what we wanted to do”, she continued. “If we didn’t like a tradition, we didn’t do it, which meant no first dance (we both squirmed at the idea). My daughter, Lola, walked me down the aisle, symbolising us joining together as a family and Steve officially becoming her step-father.”

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Caris’ amazing red dress was vintage from the 1950s and bought on Etsy. Her shoes were Miss L Fire. Steve also wore a vintage suit from a charity shirt and a Hawaiian shirt from eBay! “I had always said I wouldn’t wear white to get married”, she continued. “As red is my favourite colour it was the obvious choice, teamed with contrasting turquoise.”

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“We did lots of DIY. We both have an arts background and planning the wedding was an opportunity to really indulge our creative vision and fantasies. Steve designed the invites, I hand-painted all the signs and I even had a crafty hen do (fuelled with Pimms and cake) where we painted glass jars, beer and rum bottles with old school tattoo inspired imagery. We also made paper flowers to put into the decorated bottles and jars.”

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“I also collected lots of kitsch glass and ceramic vessels from charity shops, including grapes shaped bottles, a rabbit planter and a number of swan vases, which were sprayed pink, turquoise or yellow using Plasti-Kote. Steve designed and printed customised tin can labels that we wrapped around tin cans to hold gerberas and chrysanthemums. He also designed and made the matchbox flamingo favours filled with colourful Millions sweets. Our artist friend Sharon made 120 ceramic flamingo medallions for favours and my brother brewed a beer especially for us, using our favourite flavours of ginger and chilli.”

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The wedding budget was £7500 and the biggest expense from that was the yurt hire. They were able to save on nearly everything else. “Steve’s suit cost £10 from a charity shop! Caris laughed. “Our rings were also a gift from a dear friend and made from recycled silver. We made everything from the bouquets to the stationery, the cake to the decorations, which also saved a lot. However overall we saved the most money by not going for a standard wedding venue and just booking local individual suppliers to provide the things we needed.”

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“At times we felt totally daunted by what we had undertaken, never having organised anything like this before”, she concluded. “But it was so worth it in the end as we absolutely created the day we wanted that was completely ‘us’. I would advise other couples that if you have a lot of kids coming, creating a space just for them can be a huge bonus. We had a separate smaller yurt filled with cushion and games which they absolutely loved hanging out in while their parents were able to relax and enjoy a beer.”

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