Julia and Roo met at a metal club in London over 11 years ago. When it came to planning their October wedding, they knew they wanted to go for a very dark theme; they based it around their love of Harry Potter, the moon and general witchy things. They chose a full moon for their wedding date and crammed in as many personalised touches as their £10,000 budget would allow.
The couple were married in a short ceremony at Stoke Newington Town Hall, with custom vows, before heading over to The Escapologist; a cocktail bar in Covent Garden. “Our reception venue had never done a wedding before, but they were perfect for the informal style party atmosphere that we wanted, with pizza, nibbles, cocktails and prosecco (with custom ‘Acio Prosecco!’ glasses to drink it from, no less!) We decided very early on in planning that we wanted to avoid a sit down dinner,” explained the bride.
When it come to planning their May wedding, Adeline didn’t start out with the mindset that she wanted it to be unique of alternative; she just wanted a day that represented herself and her partner, Nelius, and what they love. They didn’t want traditions forced on them just because that’s what people do at weddings, so they nixed traditions like cake cutting and bouquet tossing, and kept some things they loved. “I just wanted to look pretty, marry my man and have loads of fun with the people I love the most!” explained Adeline. “Nelius wanted good food and drink, and that’s what the man got.”
Aesthetically, florals were extremely important to Adeline. “I wanted the flowers to be very eclectic, with different types, lengths, heights and colours and I wanted it to seem like they were just tossed into the vases but obviously with some flare.” They paired them with heavily patterned linens, gold-spray painted animal figurines for place settings and mannequin hands for table numbers for an opulent, eclectic vibe.
Matt and Julia had planned to get married In Hawaii this coming July, with their reception to follow in their hometown in August. But with the current uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, they weren’t sure if their dream wedding would still happen the way they planned. Voicing concerns to Julia’s co-worker, who happens to be a licensed officiant, she offered to marry the couple at the tattoo shop Julia works at before their state went into lockdown. “I think one of my friends summed it up best by saying ‘you got married at a tattoo shop, by a tattoo artist, in the middle of a pandemic; that’s the most punk-rock thing I’ve ever heard!’” said Julia.
The couple met while working on a production of Green Day’s American Idiot, and their song has always been Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by the band. “This whole thing truly gave new meaning to the lyric ‘something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.”
With four day’s notice, their friends rallied around to help them pull it off. Their photographer, Tiffany, did their engagement photos and is set to shoot their wedding in Hawaii, whenever it ends up being. Julia’s bouquet was made by a friend, and decorative flowers were put together by the officiant’s wife. They also used elements that they were planning to use for their Hawaii wedding; Julia’s outfit was supposed to be for her bridal shower, which got cancelled, and she paired it with her original wedding veil.
They pulled in meaningful props too – an American Idiot heart hand grenade from the stage show that they met at, was also used in their engagement photos, so it felt right to use it in their wedding photos too. Matt wore his Hawaiian print shirt, their officiant wore a Hawaiian shirt, and her wife decorated the whole tattoo shop with Hawaiian inspired decor. “They even cranked the heat up to feel tropical, played Hawaiian music, and burned coconut candles to make it feel like we were in Hawaii!”
With the surname of ‘Gather’, Luke and Louise couldn’t not be inspired by this for their September wedding, and so ‘The Gathering’ was born – a bringing together of all the people who mean the most to them. The venue was a no-brainer. Luke grew up around the corner from Elvaston Castle in Derby, and went for regular walks around the grounds. The couple live together nearby and walk their dogs there regularly, so it holds a special place for them.
The gothic hall of the castle inspired some autumnal and outdoorsy touches in their day; they had an owl ring bearer for their ceremony, and an hour of bird handling during drinks and canapés to keep everyone entertained. The wedding was also very DIY heavy – Louise hand-wrote calligraphy and goal-foiled every single save the date and invite, made all the flowers – bouquets, bridesmaid hoops, table centres, buttonholes and hanging flower chandeliers – from felt and crocheted mini versions of the two of them as a cake topper. Luke made lawn games, created hanging lyric signs on mirror to decorate their reception marquee and they made their own wedding rings together. “We absolutely loved being able to be creative and coming up with ideas for touches that truly reflected us as a couple,” said Louise.
Chloe and Mitch both love going to festivals, so they took some inspiration from that for their summer wedding without being too gimmicky. Their main inspiration for aesthetics came from their venue, Elmley Nature Reserve in Kent. They wanted everything to be simple, natural and suit the surroundings.
They nicknamed their wedding Camp Cubitt, with all their guests staying on-site with them for the whole weekend in farmhouse, shepherds hut and teepee accommodation. This gave them the freedom to spend plenty of time with their loved ones, even hosting a BBQ breakfast the morning after the wedding.
A few years ago, Ben saw something on social media about a couple who had invited their friends to a 30th Birthday party and then ended up surprising them all with the fact they were getting married. He told his (then) girlfriend, Alice, that he thought it was a brilliant idea and that he’d love to do something similar if they ever got married as he hates all the ‘fuss’ that a wedding tends to bring.
Fast forward to December 2018, Alice had been to a Christmas party at Riverside, Stratford-Upon-Avon; an unusual, stilted venue that she was particularly enamoured was above a dinosaur mini golf, and hinted to Ben what a great wedding venue it would be. Ben asked Alice to marry him shortly after, and between Christmas and New Year they planned the surprise wedding at Riverside; no-one knew they were engaged until the following February when Ben proposed again with a ring. “We told everyone that the engagement party was going to be our main celebration,” explained Alice, “heavily implying that we were thinking of eloping and that they really should come.”