Leslie and Drew were married on 31st October 2016 as so, naturally, they wanted their wedding theme to be Halloween. The day was complete with skulls, creepy dolls and all the guests dressed in costumes!
“We’d been together for nine years and wanted to celebrate that,” began Leslie, “anything that wasn’t fun, we didn’t want. We ended up not having bridesmaids or groomsmen because we wanted everyone to feel included. Our invitations said ‘costumes mandatory’ on them. It made the atmosphere, some people were scary, some were pretty, but no one was wearing something they didn’t want to be in and everyone had fun with it. And because costumes were mandatory everyone assumed we’d be dressed as Beetlejuice or something, so when we showed up in a white dress and suit it was a surprise!”
Their ceremony was conducted by a family member, and was suitably ‘weird’! “I walked down the aisle to the Indiana Jones theme, I made it about half way before cracking up. My brother-in-law, Stuart, was ordained online and preformed the ceremony in his Jedi robes! He also wrote the ceremony. We told him to keep it weird and he obliged, opening with a brief history of homo-sapiens and their rise to power through unity and ending with the mathematically increasing odds that we will be swallowed up by a sinkhole.”
Heather and Riley are met in Afghanistan in 2013 when they were both deployed to Kandahar from their respective countries (Riley from Australia and Heather from the US). At the time of their wedding Riley was still deployed in Iraq and flew out to Vegas for their ceremony! He then had to return to Iraq immediately after their honeymoon, just two weeks later. They wanted their wedding to be a bit of old Hollywood glam mixed with some of their favourite things including tacos, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Batman and tattoos!
“The inspiration for our wedding was everything that we love,” explained Heather. “We are foodies and my favourite food is tacos, hence our reception at the two story Taco Bell Cantina/Club on the strip! We had accessories with touches of characters we love such as Harley Quinn, the Joker and Batman. We got matching tattoos to commemorate our special day and I carried a paper flower bouquet which was custom created to tell our love story. Each flower was made of paper that has some significance; my favourite bible verse, lyrics from the song I walked down the aisle too, our country’s flags, Batman and Joker comic book, Wonder Woman comic book, Star Wars characters, a ‘junk food’ flower (that had tacos, pizza, burgers, and fries on it), and flowers made of maps of important locations to us. My bouquet is my most favourite accessory from the whole day!”
Nicoletta and Adam wanted a relaxed city wedding which reflected them both, was close to home and filled with their family and friends. They only served vegan food and filled their wedding with all the things they love.
Their ceremony was held in a medieval hall in Norwich. “Norwich is full of history and it was awesome to get married in such an iconic building,” began Nicoletta, “The ceremony was so intimate and wonderful. I walked down a beautiful staircase into an historic hall and we were married under the most stunning bay window. Walking down the staircase and seeing Adam waiting for me was my favourite part of the whole day. My mother held the ceremony and so it was incredible to have her there at such an important part of my life. We read our own vows, made out promises and all in front of our closest friends.”
Fanny and Chris’ wedding theme can best be described as Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette meets Tim Walker with a sprinkling of Baz Luhermann’s Romeo and Juliet! They wanted their wedding to be personal, stick to their budget and to transport their guests to their own magical world.
“Neither of us had been to many weddings and we didn’t really look at any typical bridal publications,” explained Fanny. “We really wanted to transport our friends and family to a little world of our own imagining.”
Their ceremony was a combination of traditions from lots of different cultures and was family oriented. “We were so lucky to have one of our closest friends marry us. It meant we could write the ceremony exactly as we wanted. Chris and Pete researched traditions from other cultures and created a ceremony that felt very personal and just right for us. We borrowed the Celtic tradition of hand binding by draping ribbons across our held hands while reciting promises we intend to keep to each other throughout our married life.”
“We got our friends and family involved by singing the Beatles All You Need is Love as a jubilant crowd. Each order of ceremony had a string attached so while we signed the register people were asked to tie theirs to the wrist of someone nearby, symbolising the greater family we were creating and the bond everyone now shared with us and with each other.”
Steph and Dan wanted their wedding to be a lovely relaxed day turning into a big kick-ass party later on! They broke lots of traditions (no cake cutting or first dance) and made choices to reflect their feminist outlook. They included speeches from the bride, mother of the groom and the bridesmaid, got ready together in their own apartment, had their first look together at home and walked down the aisle together. Instead of their first dance, had a Jagerbomb toast to open up the dance floor!. With 115 guests, it was the biggest round they’d ever bought!
Rather than hiring wedding cars, they both took public transport to the ceremony at Islington Town Hall. “We walked through Brockwell Park, the best park in London, to Herne Hill train station, where we got the train to Victoria before jumping on the tube to our ceremony venue,” explained Steph. “We got many well wishes from passers-by; it was beautiful. We then flagged cabs to take us to St John’s Square for our reception and my bridesmaid and the three best men were responsible for doing the same for the guests.”
Hannah and Alex met at another wedding in Croatia. When it came to their own big day they wanted it to be kitsch, pseudo-Las Vegas, playful, fun and to stick to their £1000 budget! They were married in Blackpool and the day included candy floss, a fairy princess carriage, a drag queen named Crystal, games on the pier, a ride on a carousel and getting down and dirty to rave music at the waltzers!
“Hannah is from Blackpool and wanted her two grandmothers to play a big part in the wedding,” explained Alex. “So we changed our mind at the last minute and moved the whole thing up to Blackpool from London. It as the best decision we made and was great just to go with the flow!”
Allana and Alex’s wedding was inspired by what they didn’t want. They didn’t want their wedding to be like other weddings, instead they wanted a day that their guests would talk about for a long time afterwards. Their starting point was choosing the colours (black and white) and then they just ran with that!
“Our wedding was still somewhat traditional but with inverted colours,” began Allana. “I wore a black wedding dress and my bridesmaids wore white! We were inspired by what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want our wedding to be like so many others. We wanted a day that our guests would talk about later, something that stood out and got people’s attention.”
Neither Allana or Alex were very keen on public speaking so they made their ceremony very short. “Our ceremony was over very quickly… I don’t think it even went for a five minutes! Alex and I aren’t big on public speaking so we made it short, sharp and shiny. We had our ceremony in Mount Crawford Forest which is where Alex’s father’s ashes were spread. It was the perfect location for us; we felt close to him on such an important day. Luckily the weather was surprisingly perfect after fears that it would rain!”
Starla and Johnny renewed their wedding vows this year, on their 10 year wedding anniversary. Their theme was the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz and everything was green: the decorations, the lights, the cake, the candies, their clothes and Starla’s hair. Even their guests wore different shades of green!
“The day after we got married in 2007 I said ‘I feel a little sad that it’s all over’,” explained Starla, “and Johnny replied ‘let’s do it again in 10 years’ time, and every 10 years, for the rest of our lives!’. So that’s what we’re doing. This was our 10 year anniversary so we held a vow renewal party to get married all over again. We’re fortunate that most of our friends are flamboyant creative types; artists, designers, writers, craftspeople and performers. Their input in the day was invaluable. The photographer loved that he didn’t have to worry about coaxing smiles out of shy people. We all happily ran around being silly for the camera waving green smoke grenades around and we ended up with some great fun photos as a result.”
Mary and Nick were married in May. They didn’t have a specific wedding theme but everything fell into place after the bride found the gorgeous Badgley Mischka dresses for her bridesmaids which she rented from Rent the Runway. Mary also always knew she wanted to wear a black dress herself.
The ceremony was held at the Son’s of Rest Pavilion in Tower Grove Park, Saint Louis “Our ceremony was short and nerdy”, said Mary, “Our officiant threw in a bunch of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Harry Potter references. We also had him explain the significance of the crowns that we used in lieu of a unity candle or sand. They are part of the Greek Orthodox ceremony and I wanted to include a part of my heritage in the mix.”
Karly and Richard’s wedding was inspired by shotgun weddings of the late 60s and early 70s. They wanted their day to be as least wedding-y as any wedding could be, but still celebrate their marriage. They also planned everything in just eight weeks!
“We didn’t have much time to plan our wedding”, said the bride. “We decided eight weeks out that we would get married on April 11th. In hindsight, having a couple of more months would have been useful but considering the short time span, we managed to exceed our expectations of what we could achieve.”
Their wedding ceremony was held at City Hall in New York. “We loved the idea of getting married at City Hall – a real New York experience. We wanted to get in and out and for it not to be a big event. The important thing for us was the reception and we chose a local restaurant that had a significant personal history for us. Bar Velo in Williamsburg is a small and intimate restaurant that could only accommodate the 20 people that we invited. It was perfect as it allowed us to have an intimate dinner with our close family and friends.”
For their wedding, Terri and Coral wanted to bring their families together for a memorable day in their home town. They kept the whole thing a secret and only told their family they were getting married on the morning of their wedding day! Their theme was ‘surprise seaside ceremony’ and focused on a little bit of everything they enjoy, but mostly their family and the town they both love.
“We decided to get married in September but and were worried about our parents wanting to contribute money that they didn’t have towards the ceremony,” they explained. “We even joked with each other about the possibility of eloping but in the end we decided that we loved our town and our community too much to leave it for the most important day of our lives. We also realised that we wouldn’t have a very large budget and with a large family and group of friends and colleagues, it could have become very unwieldy. Instead, we decided to have the most intimate ceremony possible with our very closest family and to surprise them with the news that we were getting married on the day… at breakfast! With four hours until the ceremony this meant they didn’t have any preconceptions and so could just enjoy the emotions of the day!”