A Tattooed Dress for a Tattooed Bride!

Sally and Nick wanted their wedding to lean itself towards people dressing up and so they went for a vintage Rock n Roll theme with some unique tattoo twists. The bride even wore a tattooed wedding dress made for her by The Couture Company! They did a lot of DIY so everything had their stamp on it, had their reception at Sally’s dad’s venue, and had very few formalities except for the speeches and the dances.

“Our ceremony was a small and intimate do at Stanton Lakes, in Leicestershire”, began Sally. “We had both said that we didn’t want a big ceremony, or a religious do (despite Nick being a son of a preacher and my mother’s best efforts to book the biggest fairytale castle possible!) and we physically couldn’t fit everybody into the ceremony venue so we restricted that to immediate family and very close friends. The room overlooked the lake and was lit in pale blue to match our theme. We had a few drinks in the bar afterwards and then headed to the party at Victoria Farm which started at 3pm and carried on until midnight.”

“We’d decided we weren’t going to put champagne on the tables for the speeches as we both hate it!” she laughed. “Originally we were just going to give people vouchers for the bar to get what they wanted, but then our caterer pointed out that this would cause a rush on the bar and it wouldn’t be possible to get that many people served in a short space of time. So we decided to make our own cocktails, which we put out in jugs on the tables just before the speeches. The whole thing worked really well, although we *might* have made the alcoholic ones a bit stronger than intended!”

“For our band we had The Del Sharrons who were amazing! We had asked them to learn Mr Brightside by The Killers (the song I was singing at karaoke the night we met) but in a 50s Rock n Roll style. They learnt it, recorded it, and sent it to us so we could learn a secret routine to it to surprise our guests! We were especially proud of us secretly learning to dance for two reasons: 1. we didn’t kill each other when it came to it, and 2. Hellen, my chief bridesmaid and wedding planner extraordinaire, didn’t know anything about it!”

They did a lot of DIY projects for their wedding including the invitations and all the paper goods, the cocktails, the centrepieces and the personalised glasses which were their favours. “We etched and wrote 170 of the damn things but our guests loved them! We also made our own sweet jars for table centres and a photo collage – pretty much anything that could be made or constructed, we DIY’d!”

Their biggest expense in the end was actually Sally’s wedding dress, but it was everything she ever wanted. “I was determined not to have a ‘traditional’ wedding dress as I don’t usually wear dresses”, she explained. “I actually only tried on one! I knew it was the one as soon as I saw it. It was an original design by The Couture Company but customised to my requirements. Jo and Yasmin there were awesome, helping me pick all the bespoke elements. I had the sleeves made longer, chose all of the tattoos and even had an embroidered brooch made with my married name on it. It was worth every last penny!”

However they saved money on pretty much everything else. “My dad provided the venue and roped in a lot of his friends to help. Not only did this keep the costs down but it meant we had total control over it and everything in it. Nothing was included without our say-so and we had plenty of opportunity to keep visiting and measuring and planning. We didn’t have any flowers, instead we had button bouquets and buttonholes, which were at least half the price and looked awesome!”

“However our biggest saving was on the catering. The whole remit for the wedding was that it was going to be fun and informal, and we’d decided early on that although we were feeding everybody twice, we weren’t going to have a formal sit-down meal. The first meal was a barbecue and pudding was an ice cream van! The second meal was carvery cobs. We had paper plates with blue napkins and plastic cutlery. It meant we didn’t have to worry about who would set the tables and clear away again as it all just went in the bin.”

Sally and Nick both loved doing all the wedding planning together. “The best thing about wedding planning was seeing the day coming together, step-by-step, and ticking things off the list as we went, it was so exciting! It only took us seven and a half months, but I don’t think we’d have coped if we’d had a really long engagement! But the worst thing was other people getting involved and us having to placate or accommodate them. No matter how hard you try to only please yourselves, you’ll still end up bending forwards, backwards and sideways to keep other people happy. There’s no getting around it, family politics is a bitch!”

“Our advice for future brides and grooms is to make sure the main people you’re pleasing are you. Don’t just throw money at the day for the sake of it; you can still have a magical day without it costing the earth. Make use of anyone who offers help and, no matter what happens, don’t lose sight of what the day is – a celebration of your love for each other. Don’t dither over decisions; all you end up doing is stressing yourself out. There are lots of decisions to be made for a wedding so make one and move on to the next one, otherwise you’ll just wind yourselves into a knot.”

Supporting Cast

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