Maya and Jamie met at University but only got together five years after graduation after reconnecting over Facebook! They moved in together six months later, had a baby and got engaged! Their wedding was held at Donington Park Farmhouse Hotel and their theme was ‘1940s England meets 1950s America’.
“The inspiration came from our home and our lifestyle and the things that we love on a day to day basis”, explain Maya. “We both love these eras and they influence our day to day lives. The whole day was just ‘us’. We wanted to create a relaxed and enjoyable day from the start with minimal formalities. From day one the whole wedding was centred around having a good time, and doing what felt natural to us. We did not want to conform to expectations from other more traditional views of what a wedding should be.”
“We wanted the wedding to be true to us as a couple and to reflect our tastes and interests. There was no dress code on the day and the main aim was to feel comfortable and for everyone to get to know us as a couple a bit better.”
Emily and Josh met in Melbourne, where Emily lived and where Josh was visited from Auckland, New Zealand. Within six months of first meeting, he moved over with his band and they picked up from where they left of!
“We were heavily inspired by the 1940s for our wedding, especially the working class side of this era”, Emily explained. “The whole day was on a farm with animals, fruit trees and we held the reception in a barn. The girls all had mismatched floral dresses and 1940s styled hair and make up. The boys wore black work wear boots, heavy linen shirts, and fade to zero military haircuts – definitely referencing the prohibition era of American working class for the boys.”
Eve and Dave were married at the Royal Pavilion on Southend Pier. After fish n chips on the beach, their reception was held at The Arlington, an art deco style building. They wanted their wedding to reflect both their individual styles so a retro theme with gothic touches it was!
“Our wedding was vintage glamour with a touch of gothic”, began Eve. ” I love the 1930s/40s and that Golden Age of Hollywood. I wanted my style and dress to reflect that. I modelled my dress on one from LA Confidential with some vintage touches with my shoes, headpiece and the flowers. Dave is a little more into the gothic look. He wore all black with small hints of his style with the bat buttons on his shirt down to his studded shoes. We both had no idea what each were wearing, and I feel that our outfits worked great next to each other. We wanted a blend of both of our personalities into the day, with a touch of quirkiness. From looking at beautiful photos that Sam took, I feel we captured a perfect blend of both of us.”
Emma and Rikki had a lunchtime wedding. They were married at 10am and their reception kicked off right after. The ceremony was held at Eskdale War Memorial Church and their reception at The Old Church Restaurant and Bar in Napier, New Zealand. They day had a subtle vintage theme with the bride wearing a headpiece that had been her mother’s and little vintage touches throughout the reception décor.
“I was really in love with the vintage and rustic wedding themes, but I didn’t want my wedding to be an exact replica of other bride’s day”, wrote Emma. “I wanted our wedding to still be beautiful but still have the charm and personality of our individual tastes. I think by making it a day event helped our wedding to be more relaxed. We never wanted an overly ‘styled’ celebration or looked like we had tried too hard to fit into a theme that was never really ‘us’. I tried to keep this ideal in mind when I had my consultations with my vendors.”
Fiona and David’s Kent wedding was influenced by the style of the 1940s through to the 1960s. “I think the whole day was defined by it really being a reflection of us as a couple”, Fiona said. “We really didn’t want an identikit, faceless, corporate feel. Also, we wanted it to be as relaxed as possible. We didn’t want anyone to stand on ceremony or feel uncomfortable. We just wanted all the people closest to us there and to eat, drink, dance and have a lot of fun.”
The day was held at Kent Life, a heritage farm in Maidstone. The space was decorated from top to toe by the couple themselves. “I’d always imagined a street party type feel for our wedding but that proved to be quite difficult to organise so we were really pleased when we found this original 1940s village hall at Kent Life”, she continued. “The fact that we could decorate it ourselves was a massive incentive for choosing the venue. Neither of us are fans of doing things as tradition dictates and the idea of having chair covers and white tablecloths foisted upon us made me very anxious! The venue was great and the fact that the village hall is surrounded by farmyard animals somehow made the whole idea of a wedding seem less pretentious and not too grand.”
Lorna and Nigel described their May wedding as “like your Nan’s 1940s wedding, where family and guests all lent the couple their best china and vases and donated homemade cakes” and I think that couldn’t be more perfect! The wedding was held at St Peter & St Paul’s Church and Orford House Social Club and was full of fun and quirky 1940s and 50s details.
“I could not see us having a traditional wedding in a hotel or posh country house”, explained Lorna “the thought of that scared me actually! We wanted something that was relaxed and based around a live band. We love swing and Lindy Hop dancing and the more we got into the dancing, the more important the music and the dancing became I also wanted somewhere I could do my own décor and not be dictated to, so we had to find a venue that would allow us to do that. We go dancing at Orford House regularly so it was the ideal place for us!”
It’s not often I get to feature such grand weddings, but that doesn’t mean my heart didn’t skip a beat when I laid eyes on Christina and Richard’s epic Eastnor Castle celebration. Three wedding dresses, a custom Choccywoccydoodah cake, elaborate vintage styling and an impressive fireworks display really made this a wedding to remember!
“Vintage weddings are so popular these days but both myself and Richard have a love for 1940s music and lindy-hop dancing so decided this was the perfect theme for us”, Christina began. “We had a 1940s vintage theme with a touch of 1930s in the wedding attire for bride and groom, and vintage Hollywood style over dinner. We kept the details of the day secret from most guests, so the element of surprise as lots of different things happened throughout the day kept guests excited and entertained. The fireworks reflecting over the lake was the winning highlight for the guests as well as an extra hog roast as second dinner.”
I’m not really supposed to have favourites, but Betty might just be one of the most beautiful and radiant brides I’ve ever seen… I am totally smitten with her 1940s vintage lace dress (bought on eBay for £40!) and that adorable white faux flower crown and simple bouquet combo. Total perfection. She married Johnny in Cornwall during April and the wedding only cost £5000.
“We met seven years ago at university, while studying down in Cornwall”, began Betty. “Once we’d both graduated, we decided to stay in this gorgeous county and bed our roots here. Six months ago we had a baby, George Buddy, and we really wanted him to be a big part of the wedding and celebrate our little family. We really wanted the wedding to show off Cornwall in its best light and so avoided the hotel/town hall venue route and instead settled on the most Southerly point in Britain, the Lizard. When walking our dog down on the Lizard, we fell in love with a lighthouse down on the point, overlooking the cliffs. We were overjoyed when we found we could book it as our venue through the YHA and National Trust.”
The retro wedding of Nat & Sam is perfect… literally perfect. I just know you’re going to go nuts for Nat’s nostalgic bridal style, their ocean view ceremony and the reception that looks like it stepped right out of the past.
“Our ceremony was at Burrows Park Headland, Sydney”, explained Nat. “The ceremony spot was a beautiful cliff edge looking over the Pacific Ocean and located right next to the Bowling Club where we had the reception. We loved that the only way to get to it was via a very long, natural aisle sheltered on one side by trees, which we decorated with Chinese lanterns. For our reception we chose Clovelly Bowling Club. It was cheap as chips to hire, the drinks prices stuck in the 1980s, and the tacky bright blue carpet and a strange old picture of the Queen flanked by two Aussie flags above a stage which houses an ancient piano (which we tuned up and used!) were AWESOME! As soon as we walked in we looked at each other and said ‘Yes!’. Oh, and it had 180 degree ocean views!”
Sarah & Carol had a destination wedding in Canada. With Sarah originally from Canada the pair, who now live in Brighton, wanted to fly back for the wedding. “We decided to be married in Sarnia because Carol is incredibly attached to her hometown and the beaches and water of Lake Huron (can you blame her?)”, wrote newlywed Carol. “At the time we booked the venue we thought we would both be living in Canada, so it seemed a natural choice. We chose Sarnia Riding Club as our venue so we could be right next to the water. We knew that whatever continent we decided to do the wedding on, a lot of people who wouldn’t be able to attend, we’re so pleased that so many people made it – and we’ve promised to dance with those who didn’t make it very soon.”
The couple didn’t want to spend a fortune on the wedding, and by doing a lot themselves and making clever choices they were able to keep their entire budget to under £4000. They were able to save money by buying dresses that weren’t ‘wedding dresses’ and by having their friend and professional photographer Alexa Clark Kent (yes really!) photograph the wedding as a gift. Alexa was also the ‘best woman’ so she really worked her butt off at this wedding!
“Could there be anything more romantic than your soldier coming home from war?” wrote photographers Caroline & Jayden of Woodnote Photography. “And what if it was in the 40s, and you hadn’t been able to communicate with him online?” This was the starting point of inspiration for the honeymoon shoot of Ann & Anders which took place in Stockholm, Sweden.
“We teamed up with the fabulous stylists of Vintage Honeymoon to create this little inspiration from the past”, they continued. “Bicycles, a colorful picnic tea and a puppy as a wedding gift are the small details that turned this shoot into an afternoon of vintage magic.”
A honeymoon shoot might not be something you’ve considered before – well after all the hustle & bustle of organising your big day it’s probably the last thing on your mind! But after seeing Ann & Anders’ shoot I’m kinda in love with the idea. Gareth & I honeymooned in Tokyo. I would have loved a professional shoot to commemorate this trip – imagine what a weird and wonderful set of photographs we could have been left with!