Dara and Vince had a three day wedding, the first being their legal ceremony followed by a woodland blessing and party a couple of days later. Their woodland ceremony was officiated by the bride’s dad. They wanted something chilled out and natural and having a longer event meant their guests could really get to know each other.
“We both have very different styles and tastes so we decided not to stick to any rigid theme”, the bride explained, “but we always knew that we wanted everything to feel very chilled out and natural. I work in a very visual way so I made loads of scrapbooks and Pinterest boards of woodland weddings and rustic, vintage themes that I could show to our vendors but really the venue was already so beautiful that we just tried to work everything around how it looked already.”
“For our second ceremony we had it on the morning of the second day in Camp Katur’s woodland ceremony area. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and everyone was gathered on tree stumps and wooden benches in the ceremony area where Vince was there to greet them. My Dad was our officiant, he is known as a bit of a joker and he has a keen interest in theology without being very religious, which was perfect as we aren’t religious and we wanted to keep everything personal and light-hearted rather than strictly ceremonious.”
Kat and Brent were married in July after a five and a half year engagement and nine years together! They wanted their wedding to be family focused and relaxed. “Our wedding was a family camping trip with a wedding thrown in the middle of it”, explained Kat. “It was a Wes Anderson picnic meets garden party meets Oregonian wedding. We are not religious, nor traditional, or even that young (I’m 31 and Brent is 34). I guess our main theme was ‘us’. We didn’t do anything in the wedding that didn’t feel 100% right for us.”
“Our biggest inspiration for the wedding was having our family all together in one place. To just have one weekend that there wasn’t any drama and we all could think back on and remember how much fun we all had. As for the decorations, the inspiration was my dress. Brent and I were walking through the mall one day right after we picked the date. We both stopped dead in our tracks and said ‘yep… that’s THE dress’. It had so many fun colours in it that we decided to decorate with all of them.”
Georgia and Mark did everything themselves for their festival inspired August wedding. They budget was just £4000 and the day was held in a field in the Lake District.
“It didn’t feel like there was a theme to the wedding”, the bride explained. “It just reminded me of the parties that my parents have been throwing since I can remember. Our inspiration was to have nice people, having a nice time. Nothing too structured and very chilled out.”
“Instead of gifts, each guest gave us £20 towards the cost of the field, alcohol and food”, she continued. “We compared it to having a bar and having to pay for a hotel. This helped a lot and we are still very grateful. Our guests set up tents on the afternoon of the wedding then got ready for things to kick off. Everyone camped overnight, even people that have never slept in tents or visited the countryside. There were no strangers involved in the wedding. We knew every single person that was there.”
A $5000 budget, a family cabin and a whole lotta love went into creating Cory and Ailsa’s dream wedding. Their beach ceremony comprised of a homemade arch and the ceremony itself was officiated by one of the bride’s mother’s oldest friends.
The family cabin and barn that served as their venue is located at the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. “Our wedding was completely DIY”, said the bride. “We wanted to focus on having everything made for the wedding. We didn’t want to have anything ordered or hire anyone we didn’t know to do anything.”
“The cabin has been in our family since 1930 so it was really special to get married there. We used trees from the property to make the benches. The entire wedding party camped with us the night before and the night of the wedding, and all of the 57 guests helped with something.”
“The ceremony was on the beach. Our friend built an arbour for us to stand in front of out of massive branches from driftwood and trees on the property. The benches were chainsawed into shape where they sat. The ceremony was beautiful and the weather was perfect. The Bay of Fundy has the biggest tides in the world and we let the tide wash everything away when the ceremony was done.”
Megan and Pasha met on OK Cupid. Both having been married before, they decided that they wanted their wedding to be unapologetically them!
“Our wedding theme was Burning Meets a magical fairy land!” Megan told me excitedly. “In particular we were inspired by our Burning Man camp: Pretentious Fox. We are both artists and we created large flower sculptures that lit up to decorate space (I created a tutorial here!). When we found our wedding, Precious Forest in Lucerne CA , we knew it was the place for us. We had to haul everything 4,000 ft. up to the top of a mountain for our unforgettable five day wedding but it was worth it! Having a five day wedding was great! It meant we got to spent a lot of time with the people we love and most of our guests camped with us.”
“We held the wedding on Friday, July 3rd so we could relax and enjoy the 4th of July with the stress of the wedding already over”, she continued. “We rented boats and kayaks for the 4th, then came back to camp where our friends threw us an afternoon tea party which then led to a forest rave. The party went until 7am when we all shared a bottle of prosecco and watched the sunrise around the camp fire (which was shaped like a heart!)”
Kati and Tamás have known each other eleven years, and have lived together for seven. So when they finally decided to make it official, they didn’t want a big wedding. They wanted something intimate, casual and just for their closest friends and family.
“Since we’ve been together a long time, we did not want a wedding with lots of guests”. the bride said. “We really just wanted a good party. We knew at the beginning that we’d like to celebrate only with the closest family and friends, and that we would like our dog to be able to be there.”
“We also wanted to have it go on for more than just one day so we found a venue where we could camp before the ceremony. This also gave us plenty of time to decorate the space. Finding the location was easy after we’d decided these things. We have been to the camp site for the past few years on holiday and know the owners well. We had the whole place just for ourselves and it was easy to accommodate everybody (32 guests) in the wooden houses.”
If cute, quirky, outdoor weddings are your idea of heaven then prepare to stand at those pearly gates, because Phillip and Elena’s Colorado wedding is a beauty!
“Our inspiration was just love and our relationship”, said Elena. “All the things that brought us to that point. We had games instead of dancing because we got to know each other over UNO and Monopoly.”
The bride wore a dress from BHLDN, the bridesmaids picked their out outfits and nearly everything else was handmade by the bride or thrifted. “We made the bunting, table runners and the stationery”, said the bride. “We arranged every flower ourselves and I also made the cake toppers, escort cards and signs. It was so worth it.”
Ben and Roo wanted their big day to feel like ‘them’. So they enlisted the help of friends and family to hand craft the wedding of their dreams! “Our theme was ‘nature meets colorful meets elegant meets comfortable!” began the bride. “I was a circus performer for ten years and Ben has been a rigger for his whole professional life. Our friends are eclectic and multi-skilled and they all pitched in. It made a blank slate of a venue become a colorful tapestry of strings of circus lights, people on stilts, colorful guests, chandeliers hanging from trees and an amazing electro-swing dance party!”
“It was ALL DIY”, she continued. “We had a small team that helped make our visions a reality. We made close to 50 pennants, shopping for the fabric, cutting it and gluing each triangle to rope. We also sourced recycled wood and hand painted all the signs. My mother, Chris, planned all the flower arrangements and lead a team in cutting and arranging thousands of flowers around the expansive venue grounds. Even our Save the Date cards were designed by a friend and laser cut for free due to a friendly favor.”
Rachael and Rob wanted to get away from the city for their wedding. So they rented a camp ground, just outside of Philadelphia where they could say “I do” and stay all weekend with their friends and family.
“We live in the heart of Philadelphia and wanted to find a place that all our friends and family could get away from the city of Brotherly Love while sharing in their Union of Love”, wrote Rachael. ” Maple Treehouse Camp on the Appalachian Trail in western Maryland proved just the place, offering an escape of fun where guests could spend the weekend celebrating. Since we have both lived all over before settling in Philly, we wanted to be able to spend more than a few hours with those special friends who made the journey. Friends travelled from all parts of the country to bunk together in tree houses, cabins, and in their own tents or campers.”
“The whole wedding was really community inspired! Since our relationship started with community and travelling adventure, we thought it perfect to find a place where all of our friends and family could get away from the city and everyday lives to find a little R & R and celebrate the love of R & R! The whole wedding came together with the community stepping up into different roles but also making sure they were able to have fun and not.”
“Upon arrival each was greeted by a ‘camp counsellor’ at the welcome table with a cabin assignment, a hand-crafted watercolor camp map, and a field guide with fun for the weekend. The whole affair, with the exception of the local organic farmer/pig roaster, Bev Egglesteine, was put on by family and friends. Dogs and kids were welcome with most wearing bow ties!”
Festival and tipi weddings have been big in 2012… like huge. Like they’re the wedding trend that just won’t quit. And that not necessarily a bad thing, because hell, who doesn’t love a festival and camping and toasting marshmallows over an open fire?
When Amy & Chris set to planning their July wedding, they decided that the groom’s family home, Laskey Farm in Thelwall, was a more than perfect spot. After a humanist ceremony performed by Kate Gee came a various bands and performances with the evening being rounded off with a silent disco!
“Our ceremony was totally unique because of the lack of legal and religious stuff every minute of it was about us”, explained the bride. “My sister and I read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII in English and Spanish which sounded amazing even though I couldn’t understand what she was saying! My cousin Tom, who’s an actor, read a ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ which I’d chosen as a surprise for Chris because we tease him about looking like an owl! His friend Tom played some Beatles songs for the beginning and end of the ceremony, and in the middle we had an ‘alternative hymn’ – The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” which worked really well, everyone joined in and sang along! We both felt quite strongly about being atheist and not having a church wedding, so after a little research we found Kate Gee, a humanist celebrant and all round fantastic lady. She totally understood the way we felt about our wedding and took lots of time to get to know us both so that she could write and talk about us in detail and on a personal level throughout the ceremony. It was the ultimate way to personalise our wedding! She suggested the handfasting involving the colourful ribbons and it worked beautifully – we tied the ribbons to random chairs and at the end of the ceremony anyone with a ribbon was asked to come up and tie it around our hands, and wish us well. My mum had stitched my buttons from the collection I’d inherited from my Nana to the ends of the ribbons to weigh them down so that they hung beautifully and didn’t get tangled in the wind; after the ceremony we tied them into a tree on the lawn.”
I ain’t gonna lie… I harbor a certain level favoritism for pink haired brides… hum, I wonder why!? So when I saw Josie & Nick’s camping themed wedding I was very excited indeed. The couple didn’t spend a bomb on the day, utlising things they already owned (hello, look at Jodie’s awesome Antaina boots!), by having the reception in Nick’s parent’s back garden and by making as much of it as they could themselves.
“We DIY’ed everything”, Jodie told me. “It can be really easy to bite off more than you can chew though so my advice would be to decide on a cohesive theme early on. Select projects you know you can complete both skill wise and in the time you have. And start early! Anything you can do well in advance is great.”
For the reception they set up tents and and sign posts which is where the ‘glamping’ theme started. “Our wedding was planned long distance. We had to drive 250 miles to Kent the week before the wedding and do 80% of the work and projects that week! We took the seats out of the back of our (quite large) car and piled stuff to the roof. We still had to leave things behind! If you have to travel with your wedding stuff I would definitely say pick small but effective items – bunting, food flags, fancy tablecloths. You will save yourself a lot of stress trying to cram picnic baskets, fruit crates and wedding dresses in your car!”