Did you know – the average engagement, from proposal to walking down the aisle in the UK is 20 whole months? From securing a date at the venue you’ve been dreaming of since you were little to purchasing a made to order dress, not to mention the tiny detail of y’know – saving up enough to pay for the whole thing, there are a lot of different reasons why this might be the case. But what if you don’t care about any of that stuff and just want to be married already?
It can be done, and Jade and George are testament to just this – they were engaged in mid September, and married by the end of October! As long as you can get an appointment to give your legally required 28 days notice, you can get married in the year thereafter at any point you choose!
Amanda and Matt have worked together for years doing weird Health and Safety stuff. “Our eyes met over an arsenic stuffed otter in a museum storeroom,” Amanda told us, “whilst carrying out risk assessments for all the lovely toxic things that the Victorians left behind. It was much like the scene from ‘Lady and the Tramp’ with the spaghetti and meatballs, but with overalls, rubber gloves and face masks. Since then we have travelled the land, looking at such amazingly beautiful things as clinical waste, stinky composting sites and my favourite, the sweet factory making chocolate willies.”
As self-confessed nerds – Amanda with Harry Potter and mystical fairy forests and Matt, retro gaming and Lord of the Rings, an enchanted forest theme was a natural concept for their February wedding. They chose The Treehouse at Alnwick Garden, Northumberland as their venue as a chance to hang out in the trees and party like crazy was a winner from the start!
With a $10,000 budget, Allexa and Evan saved in many areas when it came to planning their March wedding. “One of our biggest savings was hiring an AirBnb for the weekend,” the bride told us. “Not only was it much cheaper than a venue would have been, it also included our accommodation expenses for three nights!”
They chose a retreat in McKinleyville, California, as the hub for their warm and cosy, woodland themed day. “I wanted the day to have an ethereal but edgy, enchanted forest vibe. I spent the last five years collecting ideas from Pinterest and Instagram, and pulled in our own ideas to make the day feel more like ‘us’”.
High-school sweethearts Erika and Garrett couldn’t let 2020 (and their 10-year anniversary) pass without at least one good thing happening, so when it got to December they decided to plan their elopement in just one week.
With a budget of $1,000, they just wanted to present their authentic selves on the day. They were originally due to get married at Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz, so as they loved their venue so much, decided to hold their elopement ceremony as close to it as they could.
Together with their ten guests, they walked to the ocean front bluff, for a simple ceremony performed by a mutual friend. Erika wore a dress from ASOS with a floral headband from Kochetova via Etsy, and her trusty Doc Martens. Garrett wore a Kenneth Cole suit from Macy’s.
Erika’s bouquet ended up being completely free! “I’d attempted to get flowers from a local shop, but due to COVID they were all closed. I was left with little option than putting together my own bouquet with flowers from Whole Foods, and when I told them what it was for, the store gave them to me for free!”
The wedding industry will have you believe that by achieving wedding day perfection you will ensure your happily ever after. But let’s be realistic for a second, we all know that for some couples, that simply isn’t the case. Being a second (third or fourth!) time bride is nothing to be ashamed of. The good news is that in most cases partners are often wiser and know themselves even better having gone through the wedding – and marriage – process before.Alicia Porter is here to share her experiences of wedding planning second time around.
When I got married the first time in 1996 it was, for lack of a better phrase, ‘planning chaos’. We had location battles, I had a ‘friend’ wanted me to pay her to be a bridesmaid, my mother told me I was too fat for my wedding dress and people constantly wanted to ‘help’ by faxing me pictures of suitable dresses. So, I went on strike. We flew from Alaska to New Zealand and eloped. It was pretty, there were fun cousins nearby, and the florist was a star. The wedding dinner was a random restaurant, and there was chocolate log for a wedding cake. It was wonderful.
My family then threw an elegant garden party reception on our return. However, my parents attitude was it was their party, therefore their choices prevailed. My mother chose the invitations, the cake, the venue and what everyone wore – including me. This is how I found myself in a borrowed dress with a gardenia on my shoulder in a receiving line with outright strangers.
In hindsight, I now realise that although an elopement was easier, the result was we were two very independent people who didn’t know how to work together on big projects. Obviously, this wasn’t the only issue in the relationship, but a lack of being able to work together as a team compounded the fact that the marriage simply didn’t work. Planning for a future together requires work and communication. Child rearing is nothing if not a joint effort. Wedding planning in some respects is a safe practice run to make sure that you know how to work with each other for the bigger picture.
We don’t often feature proposals here at Rock n Roll Bride, but knew when we saw this that the Harry Potter fans among you would lose your minds! All of these details could easily be transferred to a Harry Potter themed wedding so without further ado, behold!
John’s girlfriend Veronica is a HUGE Harry Potter fan and Christmas is her favourite time of year, so together with the team at Scarlet Plan & Design, set about ro combine all of her favourite things to create the most romantic AND magical surprise proposal ever!