Wow, wow, wow! Get yourself ready because you are going to LOVE Hannah and Andy’s wedding! They were married on 7th September 2018, their eight year anniversary, at Allerton Castle, a beautiful gothic castle in Yorkshire where some scenes of The Secret Garden were filmed. They wanted their day to feel personal and although they ended up spending quite a bit more than they originally planned, they have absolutely no regrets! The day was opulent, dramatic and just what the bride always wanted.
“Our wedding was a Rock n Roll meets Disney Fairytale meets The Addams Family theme!” began the bride. “I’m not sure that’s a thing but that’s what we were going for! We just wanted to create a celebration around who we are as a couple, what music we like, our tastes, hobbies, things we like to do together. I think most girls growing up have ideas here and there about their wedding day and for me that was always gothic, November Rain, good music, skulls and sequins! I got so wrapped up in the world of wedding planning.”
Marc and Chloe have always been interested in gothic style and an alternative lifestyle – meeting at a metal gig in 2012 – so it was never a question that they’d have anything other than a wedding that reflected their true selves!
Their venue, an actual real-life castle, was the perfect setting for their gothic and Halloween inspired day. Hedingham Castle in Essex is a nine-hundred year old Norman castle, full of medieval splendour. They had their ceremony within the castle itself, before moving to a marquee for their reception.
I can all but guarantee you won’t have seen a wedding quite like this one before! Sijin and Paul had a big budget, seriously creative wedding complete with the bride arriving on horseback! They were legally married on August 17th at Lambeth Town Hall in London (not pictured). Following this they had their main celebration at Bran Castle in Brasov, Romania!
The bride wore TWO amazing one-of-a-kind dresses, made for her by Brighton-based designer Joanne Fleming. Her accessorises were something else too – a seriously impressive headpiece, shoulder pads (!) and a skeletal-inspired corsete that she wore over her second, 1930s inspired gown. These were all made by Osipa Agnieszka Philippe Pfeiffer. Her shoes were from Gianvito Rossi. The groom wore head-to-toe Dolce & Gabbana.
Zoya and JP’s wedding day was themed around themselves and the things they love, which meant the groom’s Scottish heritage, florals, pirates!
“The day celebrated all we hold as fun and great about each other”, began JP. “From my Scottish heritage, to my wife’s amazing love of all things floral, to our love of pirate events to Treasure Island and the sea, to great food and dancing the night away with close friends. We kept thinking what would make people smile and have fun, and what would make them think, ‘That’s so JP & Zoya!’ – and then we did it!”
The couple married in May at the very grand Lulworth Castle in Dorset, looking out over the sea. They had a legal ceremony first, then a Captain Jack Sparrow actor arrived to officiate a pirate-themed second ceremony! “We made the seating plan into Treasure Island, and the wedding breakfast into a love of all things pirate and sea-scape”, said the bride. “JP and his entire band of seven best men were in full Highland regalia, whilst I wore a floral wedding gown. We involved our Chow Chow throughout the entire day, and all the wedding guests stood as witnesses to our marriage – instead of the usual one or two. Apart from that, it was a standard, run-of-the-mill wedding… If you don’t include the bouncy castle and the rum bar. Oh, and the pirate dress-up!”
Diana and Jason had already booked a month long holiday to Europe together, when a friend suggested the idea of eloping. Straight away they knew it was perfect for them! Neither of them wanted a huge middle-eastern wedding (which is the tradition in Diana’s family) so their month long holiday turned into a pre and post wedding honeymoon!
Their wedding theme was Victorian chic, with gothic accents, particuarly in Diana’s amazing black dress. “We were inspired by our love for Morticia and Gomez Addams,” explained Diana, “Their love is fierce, passionate, and eccentric. They are the ultimate couple.”
Their ceremony was held in Scaglieri Castle on Lake Garda. “We arrived in a BMW to the cobble streets of Malcesine. We walked up to the castle where many locals and tourists began clapping, taking photos and kindly congratulating us. It was quite fun as we felt like celebrities! The ceremony was located on the terrace of the castle, overlooking beautiful lake. We reached the castle steps, and waited for our aisle song to begin. In Australia, the bride walks down the aisle to reach her fiancé, but in Italy, we both walked down the aisle together. It was a lovely moment as we felt it represented walking into our new journey through life together.”
Victoria and Gav were married at Bolton Castle, one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles. The American bride met her British groom when he came over to New York City with a band he managed. After moving around the world together (NYC, LA, NYC again and then the UK) they decided to marry in June of this year.
“I would describe our wedding theme as ‘High Fashion Flower Faeries of the Dales… also, owls!’ Is that a theme?” the bride laughed. “Another way we described it to people was ‘Game of Thrones Chic’ and I think that’s pretty accurate. For the longest time we didn’t have a clue what we wanted the wedding to look like. The castle and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales really did a lot of the work for us in terms of vibe and, to a certain extent, decor. The place just oozes magical faerie kingdom gravitas.”
“Bolton Castle was really the catalyst for the inspiration. We had been engaged for four years, but due to getting busy with work and touring we never quite had time to get round to planning a wedding. We relocated from New York to (Old) York at the beginning of 2015, and while we were exploring the Yorkshire Dales in the spring, we saw a building far away in the distance and decided to investigate and drive closer. It turned out to be Bolton Castle. We were totally wowed by the gardens and location and we both thought this would be a great place to get married. In that moment decided to plan our wedding. We wanted to have a wedding that encapsulated the quirks of our personalities and had flavours of the beautiful surroundings we were in but also captured our US and UK roots.”
Sara and Marc were married in a castle. Their day had a gothic feel and the bride wore purple! Their budget was just $8,000 and they saved money by DIYing the décor, not having a DJ or band, and by avoiding using real flowers or having a traditional wedding cake. They were also very lucky to win their wedding photography in a competition!
“If I had to choose a theme for our wedding id say it was ‘gothic chic'”, explained the bride. “It was dark and beautiful, classy, and feminine. We wanted the wedding on Halloween but the venue was already booked so we went with the 10th October instead. However it turned out to be better than if we’d done it on the 31st because the weather was perfect!!
“Still, we kind of went with a Halloween theme. We had bats hanging off the centrepieces which were made from branches, skull garlands hanging behind our seats and black glitter pumpkins on the tables. Marc wanted to have a modern day Lestat look for his outfit, which I think work out perfect for the look of the wedding.”
Kelly and Thom wanted their wedding to be inspired by their love of travel, but with fun little unexpected touches. They weren’t constrained by a particular theme, they just picked things they liked, such as having a ‘Herbie’ Beetle as their transport! The ceremony was held at Old Wardour Castle and the reception at Spitfire House Farm, private farming estate owned by family friends.
“We looked for every opportunity to pour ourselves into the décor”, said Kelly. “Most of the decorations were handmade by us or things we already had. As part of the invitations we sent postcards of Wiltshire and Boise for RSVP, using the returned cards as bunting decoration. The flower bunting flags were handmade by a family friend and surrounded the entire marquee. We had small frames all around with quotes from some of our favourite books and every table had a small tower of books from our own collection. Thom designed the table numbers, each featuring a different lyric from The Beatles. Thom also has a collection of vintage cameras we placed around the tables. The trains were all from the Brio set that Thom and his brothers grew up with. And I designed the little iSpy cards. For fun we got a whole bunch of the foam flying gliders for every place setting. Thom’s dad also made the large sized Jenga!”
Kat and Matt wanted anything but a traditional wedding. They started the day by having their ceremony at Old Wardour Castle in Salisbury. “The inspiration for the wedding was everything we enjoy: computer games, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, swords, horses, cats, dragons and castles!”, said the bride. “We love looking around castles and historical sites, so finding a ruined castle licensed for weddings was amazingly perfect!”
“The inspiration evolved throughout planning and it got more adventurous as we went on. The clincher was Matt asking if I would arrive on horseback, something which I had dreamed of but initially dismissed as way too risky and over the top. Our friend Heather spent at least a day bathing her lovely horse Millie and let her be my horsey bridesmaid. I think it was the icing on a rather eccentric cake…. Oh and the swords! I had ‘Longclaw’ Jon Snow’s sword from Game of Thrones and Matt had ‘Narsil’ from Lord of the Rings!”
Ali and Steven were married at Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. The whole wedding party stayed there from Friday-Sunday which made it feel more like a holiday away with friends!
“We had the place to ourselves it felt really homely and relaxed”, Ali explained. “We had an afternoon tea on arrival on Friday and the bridesmaids and I decorated the space. Then we all went out for a lovely dinner at the Minishant Inn. We relaxed back at Culzean in the big cosy lounge. On Saturday we all had breakfast together then did some finishing touches to decorations, got ready and had canapes and champagne in the round room with a beautiful view out to the sea. After the ceremony there were drinks in the armoury with the musical trio before dinner in the Georgian kitchen.”
The couple planned the whole wedding themselves, and loved doing so. “We enjoyed doing it ourselves”, she continued. “It felt like a more special day and we were proud during the weekend looking at and experiencing our handiwork.”
“The wedding was inspired by my love of colour and basically anything we saw and liked online. We looked through the A-Z of having a wedding, tore out what we didn’t like and scribbled all over the rest. We kept in anything traditional that we really wanted. For example, Steven didn’t want to see me in my dress until the ceremony and he wanted to cut the cake and I wanted to do the confetti bit – its always a great picture and a fun moment for all to get involved in.”
Jane and Andrew were married in Lissanoure Castle in Loughguile, Northern Ireland. Their day was eclectic from the start which began with the most unusual, but weirdly perfect, inspiration! “Jane found a couple of starting points for the visual style of the wedding early on”, Andrew explained.
“Firstly this photo of Gram Parsons wearing his amazing white cowboy suit with bold coloured leaves and flowers, and an Alice Temperley dress called the Long Eliah Flower Show Dress. Things evolved a long way from there. We used Pinterest to develop ideas with Jane’s sisters and our lovely designer friend Kat Flint. In the end we had a lovely jumble of different bold colours, with some white and neutral tones from brown paper and hessian.”
“The main thing we wanted was for the whole thing to feel relaxed, friendly and personal”, they continued. “We tried to keep it all quite informal with lots of friends and family helping with different parts of the wedding. Music is really important to us too. Andrew spent a lot of time planning all the different musical elements of the wedding (and sang a song at our afternoon open mic).”