Author Archives: Sophie Cooke

Dark, Edgy & Intimate Valley of Fire Wedding

Marissa and Darren didn’t want any of the ‘fluff’ that comes with a traditional wedding day; they just wanted to get married and focus on the two of them. The theme for their September day came naturally from their dark and edgy personal style, with help from Cactus and Lace to take their ideas and apply them to the Valley of Fire location the couple chose for their big day. 

They had just 10 guests in attendance and skipped out on having a traditional wedding shower, reception, and bridal parties. Therefore they were able to keep to their $5,000 budget for their day, excluding flights and guest accommodation. Marissa cites hiring wedding planners as the best decision she made for their day. “During the months leading up to the wedding, people would always ask us “how’s wedding planning?!” and my answer was always that I literally have done nothing! We bought our outfits and booked fights & hotels. Everything else was taken care of by Cactus and Lace. I had absolutely zero stress throughout the whole thing!”

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Music & Travel Inspired City Wedding with a DIY Dress

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.”

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Gothic, Victorian Inspired Elopement with a Heavy Metal Soundtrack

We regularly talk about the importance of playing by your own rules on your wedding day, and Justyna and Konrad are the epitome of this. They hired an entire 19th century gothic mansion – Rushpool Hall in Saltburn-by-the-Sea for their June wedding day for the sole purpose of sitting there at night while drinking whisky and listening to Black Sabbath, while dressed in their best!

They didn’t have a set budget for their day, but managed to get everything done for less than £3,000. Justyna bought her 1860s evening gown-style dress from an online store and paired it with custom-made, Victorian leather shoes from Etsy. As a collector of oddities who is fascinated by Victorian mourning customs, she incorporated these interests in her outfit with real crow skull and feet in her necklace and a headdress made from magpie skulls (all ethically sourced, of course.) Konrad wore black Victoria shirt and trousers from Devil Night UK with a skull belt by Jeffery West and armour rings. 

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Born to Run: 4th July meets Music Themed Wedding

Janie and Brennon met at school, but far from high school sweethearts, they were in fact rival class presidents that had to battle each other at Homecoming for the spirit stick. Brennan won, and while it’s still a touchy subject to this day, after school mutual friendships brought them together where they bonded over their love of art, music and a thirst for wild adventures.

Their wedding theme was a mixture of their musical interests and references to their 4th of July wedding date. “I would say the song Born to Run had the most influence on our wedding. We are massive Bruce Springsteen fans and that song is one that we fell in love while listening to. It is a love song that really captures the spirit of restless youth yearning to hit the road and live life to the fullest, which is directly linked to the romantic ideas of freedom. We have always tried to embrace life to the fullest and have a deep appreciation for the time we have on this earth, so having it reflect in the decorations & vibe of our wedding really made it that much more special.”

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Season of the Witch: A Budget-Friendly, Strange & Unusual Halloween Themed Wedding

Growing up in a small, conservative bible-belt town, Erica was always looked at as ‘a bit odd’. “I’ve always loved things spooky,” she told us. “Ever since I was a girl. my tastes gravitated away from the ‘norm’. This wedding was announcing my pride in being different.” Erica met Kenny online over a decade ago, and he has supported her in her difference and choices 100% ever since. 

With a budget of $3,000, the couple pulled out all the stops to bring Erica’s spooky dreams to life. They covered their ceremony area in spider webs, spiders, bats, rats and fake bones. String lights and electric candles lined the aisle, and they made pool noodles to make three-tier candles, while a friend carved pumpkins. Erica knew she wanted to use items that they could take home so they could reuse them and they wouldn’t go to waste.

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Red, Yellow & Blue Cardiff Covid Wedding

Like a lot of couples, Helen and Jordan’s original June 2021 wedding plans fell through due to the pandemic. While they’ve pushed their big humanist celebration back to 2022, they kept their original register office date and decided to still make an occasion of it, but just do something small, quirky and meaningful and not worry too much about traditions. “I’ve never really wanted a wedding that was super traditional anyway,” Helen told us,” so planning this small ceremony and just doing it the way we wanted was a very freeing experience.”

The couple spent less than £5,000 on their day, and adopted a colour scheme of red, yellow and blue, as Helen is a lover of bright colours and knew she wanted to wear a red dress! She chose a 1950s vintage style dress from British Retro, with shoes by Wedding Converse and decided to make her own bouquet out of paper. Jordan sported a matching buttonhole in the yellow and blue hues, and their guests were invited to take the colour scheme on board for their own attire and run with it, if they so wished.

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