Laura and James’ 2018 road trip around Europe inspired the theme for their August wedding day. Laura incorporated maps into her bouquet, James had plane cufflinks, their table centrepieces were named after places they had been and they even had a suitcase that was their card box and a guest globe book. They chose the Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art for their venue as Laura went to university in Newcastle so they have fond memories of the city. It was also where the couple got engaged so it was an obvious choice for them.
“All other little touches just came naturally throughout our wedding planning journey,” Laura told us. “We didn’t want to rush as we wanted to save up for our wedding but also continue living as well, we wanted to still go on holiday and go travelling and we didn’t want to have to stop all of this to save up for the big day so we got engaged in 2017 and planned to have our wedding in 2020. I got lots of little ideas from reading Rock n Roll magazine and also sitting on Pinterest for hours.”
Originally planning their wedding for March 2020, but as everyone knows what happened next, so Laura found the Rock n Roll Bride facebook group invaluable for navigating the ins and outs of postponing. With it re-planned a total of 4 times there were a lot of changes along the way, most notably being that with just two months to go to their new date, Laura decided she wanted a different dress. “I saw this fabric online and as a singer, it just seemed too perfect an opportunity to miss. I downloaded a dress pattern from Etsy and had a bash at making my own dress. It was the first dress I’d ever made so my first attempt I made from old bed sheets, my theory was I had a back up dress if this didn’t go to plan but I’ve always dreamt of making my own dress and never had the balls so I just figured ‘what’s the worse that can happen’. I felt amazing wearing it and was super proud of myself for making it myself.”
As a lover of DIY projects, Laura didn’t stop there; also making her bouquet, the corsages and buttonholes, centrepieces, table plan and welcome sign. She made loads of paper flowers to decorate their memory ladder, card box suitcase and candy cart. She has some sage advice for future couples; “DIY is a fabulous thing but I wouldn’t use your wedding as a practice session. If you’re new to DIY I’d probably have a few practice runs before your wedding or get on Etsy and buy from all the wonderful small businesses that can take the stress out of DIY but still provide you with personal touches. I feel super lucky to have been able to do so much DIY but had I not already done lots prior to wedding planning, I might have found it a bit too overwhelming. Don’t bite off more than you can chew or it can make wedding planning super stressful.”
Overlooking the Quayside, their ceremony included a reading of Love Is Like a Bottle of Gin and a stone ritual, where a stone was placed on their guests seats for them to write a phrase on to summarise love and marriage and place them in a glass jar at the end. “We based this on an ancient Irish blessing where stones are cast into the water, but we really liked this version as it gave us a keepsake as well.” Laura even wrote her own ceremony entrance song with the help of an old guitarist friend. “We liked adding these little touches to make it just that little bit different, and very much ‘us’.”
After the venue, the couples biggest expense was the band. “Music has always been an important part of both our lives so we took this very seriously, going to two rehearsals beforehand to make sure they had the right vibe for our day. Continuing with musicality, James DJ’d after the band until the early hours. The couple even ended up with their own wedding crashers! Laura told us; “later on in the night I had a couple who kept bringing me drinks while I was dancing and I presumed they were just friends of James or friends of friends, later on they confessed that they thought it was just a bar and they’d come in for a drink then felt really guilty for crashing the wedding so kept buying us drinks to make up for it. They stayed and partied until the end with us.”
“I’ve been reading Rock n Roll bride since 2016 before I even got engaged,” Laura concluded. “I have loved reading about other people’s weddings and all the unique details. The magazine encouraged me and James to push the boundaries and have our special day just the way we wanted it, I love that the magazine is encouraging so many other couples to do the same.”