Author Archives: Erin Balfour

A Double Wedding with a Labrador Ring Bearer, Oodles of DIY & a £3000 Budget

Millie and Mitchell said their biggest aim for their wedding was to capture fun and personify it into a colourful, laid back, alternative day. They actually had two wedding days. The first was the legally recognised one at Portsmouth Register Office with 14 guests made up of their families and one close friend. They followed it with a breakfast of champions in Chambers restaurant then on to the arcades at Southsea Seafront in the rain. Then, three days later, they had a big forest festival style party with a second ceremony in a woodland shelter at the Sustainability Centre in Petersfield. Even with having two events, they kept the budget under £3k!

The couple did both days exactly how they wanted without making any sacrifices or changes to suit anyone else. They organised, decorated and sourced everything themselves over the two years leading up to the weddings. “The idea was to not have a theme or colour scheme, but to have multi-coloured everything”, began the bride. “The décor consisted mainly of paper pom poms, coloured bunting, red tassels, candles and fairy lights everywhere! Although it was utterly tiring, it made the day that much better and unique to us.”

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A 1960s, Thrift and Feminist Wedding

Lizzie and Kyle’s wedding day was full of things that were personal to them as a couple, a ton of DIY, and some canny thrifting, all of which kept their budget low and the feels high.

“Our theme was a bit of a combo!” said Lizzie. “We had animals everywhere as Kyle had proposed after an amazing day at Berlin Zoo. We kept the clothing sixties-inspired as I’d found my dress early on and wanted things in-keeping with it. And as one of our first dates was a dog walk in the New Forest, colour-wise we used any colours you’d find there, so mustard yellow, heathery purples and greens, plus dusky blues. We tried to get as many bits from charity shops as possible, both for the good karma and great style. It was important to both of us to get friends involved and have a gender-equal ceremony. We tried to keep everything as family-friendly as possible, as well as relaxed and happy.”

“We bought Rock n Roll Bride magazine religiously over our 18 months of planning, and I know that Kyle really appreciated the articles for the guys – so hard to find! We wanted to make as much as we could ourselves because we have always handmade our presents for each other, and when my friends make me gifts I honestly love them to death! If I’m totally honest, it was also a bit of a platform to show off all of the things we can make – we both love a good compliment!”

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Fully Self-Catered DIY Barn Wedding

Natasha and Paul had a relaxed summer church wedding, followed by their colourful reception in a beautiful rustic barn. DIY played a huge part, and between themselves and their family they handled the invitations, cake, flowers, decorations, wedding favours, hair and make-up, setting up the venue, and cleaning it the next day. The groom and the usher even catered the event!

The couple knew exactly how they wanted things to go down regarding styling. Paul said, “As we both come from a hospitality background, we were sure that we didn’t want a typical hotel style wedding, which we felt was too impersonal. We wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere and simply enjoy the day. We both love bright colours and knew we wanted to stay away from pastels and black!”

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Pagan & Pastels Outdoor Wedding in France

Morgane and Phil had known each other for ten years, and had worked together, when out of the blue love hit Morgane straight in the heart. “One evening, I finally saw it!” she said, and she knew they would never be apart from that moment.

“The marriage proposal arrived a few years later, after the arrival of our Princess Tabatha. It was my birthday, and we’d had a great day at Europa Park, a big amusement park where we like to go often, but in the evening there was still no birthday present from my darling… So I told him I was a little disappointed, saying ‘I didn’t get my present…’ and he said to me softly ‘If you look on your bedside table…’ It was a ring! He’d been trying to ask all day, but hadn’t had the opportunity while we were on the rides! I said to him ‘Go ask for real!’ And I got my ‘Will you marry me?’ at last.”

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Turquoise & A LED Light-up Bouquet: A Winter Elopement in Cornwall

There’s a special place in Lora and James’s hearts for December 21st as it’s the date James officially asked Lora out, and four years later on that same day he proposed. So of course it had to be their wedding day, too! They eloped on their fifth anniversary and married in Cornwall. The whole day was about them just being together and really feeling the love. Also there was a cat at their wedding, which we know you will just love!

There wasn’t a particular theme, said Lora, “But I do love turquoise, so I made sure we were both wearing some! We both absolutely love Cornwall, so when we decided to elope we knew exactly where we’d be heading. As soon as we found Lower Barns, we knew it was the venue for us! We’ve been to Glastonbury Festival for the last five years, and from the photos we saw of Lower Barns we knew it would have a similar magical, colourful, relaxed atmosphere that we love, but in the most high-end, five star way imaginable (with no mud in sight). It certainly didn’t feel like the end of December being surrounded by venue owners Janie’s beautiful styling and Mike’s awesome prop constructions!”

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Tattoos, Smoke Bombs & Pups: Trash The Dress Wedding in Chicago

If this is how you do weddings in Chicago, I want in. Let me just list the boxes Brandi and David ticked on their incredible day: a romantic rooftop first look, getting hand tattoos in their hotel room, playing with smoke bombs against the backdrop of a spectacular rainbow, and their two pups were the ring bearer and flower girl! Then, as if that wasn’t kickass enough, a week later the bride contacted photographers Ed and Aileen Photography to do a ‘trash the dress’ session, which took place in Lake Michigan on a 2°C day! That’s not just setting the bar high, that’s sending it stratospheric.

Brandi and David met through mutual friends when the bride worked at a burger bar. When he came in wearing a teal blazer from an ’80s party the night before, he made her laugh! “We started hanging out after that and I got that giddy feeling you get when you’re in middle school. I had no idea he had a crush on me, too”, she said.

The couple had a goal, rather than a set theme, which was to throw the biggest party they could, at ceremony venue Concord Fifty Five, filled with tacos, booze, food, music and love. Brandi said their inspiration was, “Really our personalities. We wanted everything to really show who we are as a couple. It is really the one time you get to throw a party and do what you want, so we definitely took advantage of that.” When we asked them what their budget was, Brandi said fabulously “What’s a budget? We fell just shy of $30K.”

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