Chrissy and Dave wanted their wedding to be a place where their families could meet and really get to know each other. With the bride growing up in Brighton and the groom in Liverpool, they’d never had the opportunity to meet before so the wedding was planned to be like a mini family holiday for everyone.
They chose Folly Farm in Bristol as their venue. They loved it because not only could they stay there with 20 of their nearest and dearest all weekend (plus space for campers!) but they could decorate it exactly as they wished.
“Dave’s family hold annual holidays where we all stay in an Airbnb and its really informal, fun, relaxed and special”, began the bride. “When we found Folly Farm it meant we could have everyone for two nights, everyone had to travel so it meant they would have the time to relax, enjoy and get to know the family they are now part of.”
This was a real DIY wedding with everyone pitching in to help. Chrissy painted all the signs and their photographer (and friend) Adrian, made them a personalised canvas to act as a guestbook which he designed himself. They had shepard hooks holding glass jars that were decorated by the groom’s mum, candles and fairy lights to decorate the courtyard and hay bales for people to sit on during the picnic lunch. They purchased lots of picnic blankets and cushions from lots of different places (mostly in the sales and from charity shops).
Married on the bride’s family’s farm, Levon and Casey had a summer wedding that was full of their favourite things: Colour, dinosaurs and legalised marijuana! Casey designed and made so much for the wedding, even designed own dress. She created the succulent pattern, had it printed and then assembled the dress herself. She used the same patterned fabric for the wedding party’s outfits and Levon’s tie.
“We were inspired by camping, electronic music culture, psychedelia, technology, and neo-paganism for our wedding”, began Casey. ” We both felt like the way to make the wedding as sincere and meaningful as possible was to make ourselves as present in the ceremony, creation, and celebration as possible, so that everyone would be able to recognise us, see how serious we were, and how important it was to both of us.”
James and Bex go to Glastonbury every single year, but as there was no festival in 2018, they decided they would get married on the same weekend and host their own! The day was held at The Pheasantry Brewery, near their home in Nottinghamshire. As well as making their day feel perfect for them, their family and in particular their children were a really important part of the day. Between them they have five kids, two each from previous relationships and the youngest, Frank, together. They even painted Frank’s buggy with the pyramid stage and portraits of Michael Eavis and Dave Grohl on it!
“Our wedding was a Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Glastonbury festival meets English village fete meets The Wicker Man!” said the bride. “As a family we usually go to Glastonbury Festival, its where James proposed in fact, and on hearing 2018 would be a fallow year and there would be no festival we decided to have our own, that way we get to celebrate our anniversaries there!”
The druid handfasting ceremony was a really special moment (they did the legal ceremony a few days prior). Instead of an aisle, their guests were gathered in a circle around them, their children were also really involved.
Being a festival wedding, the entertainment was obviously a big consideration… Their children are all quite musical so they held an open mic session at the reception where anyone could stand up and perform! All the kids sang, as did Bex and her bridesmaids.
As a young, queer, non-religious, vegan couple, Jazz and Atticus didn’t feel the need to fit any traditional ideas of what a wedding should be. “We filled our wedding with nods to who we really are, that those who are in the know would recognise, but that the great-aunties would be totally oblivious to,” said Jazz.
They defied as many traditions as possible. Both sets of parents walked them down the aisle. Jazz made the first speech, followed by another female. They had no dress code, in fact, the invitations said ‘wearing white – encouraged’. They prioritised fun for everyone over any notion of what they should do.
Vicky and Peter’s big day was inspired by their joint love of parties, festivals and raves – and combined with Vicky’s love of circuses, Alice in Wonderland and randomness, it made for a unique and fun-filled day! “Our main impetus was that everyone have a good time, instead of just watching us have a good time like you see at lots of wedding. We wanted to throw a crazy party that everyone could enjoy!” said Vicky.
The couple were lucky enough to be able to call in a favour for the location of their big day and hold both the ceremony and reception in the gardens of the groom’s boss’ house, so it meant they were completely able to go to town with the way their day looked.
This is the kind of wedding that you wish you’d been invited to – it looks like it was a riot of fun from start to finish! Rachel and Scott were married on the 20th at Festival 8 in Lincolnshire. Their ceremony was officiated by Sean Atkinson, the festival organiser!
“Our budget wasn’t set out from the start”, began Rachel, “but we knew we weren’t going to go overboard. All in all we spent £4,000 for a three-day wedding. This included EVERYTHING! Venue, food and Pimms for 85 guests, all our outfits, tents, the marquee, gifts for bridal party… the whole shebang!”
Rachel’s stunning blue dress came from Chotronette and her shoes were found online for £10! “I can’t remember where I bought them from, I just knew I wanted a flat platform to give me height without feeling like I was wearing heels and not worrying about sinking in to the grass! I had a military hat made bespoke to me by Katy May at Super Trooperz on Etsy. I gave her a colour scheme and a few key things I wanted it to include (reversible sequins so we could create silly drawings and I wanted it to light up in the dark). I took it on my honeymoon and wore it to death!! I loooove it!”
When Jess and Chris decided to get married, they found that the place they drew inspiration from the most was seeing how other people had done things their own way. They chose elements that they had enjoyed from other weddings, and did away with traditions they felt had no meaning to them.
“We made every decision together and questioned everything ‘typical’,” Jess explained. “If we didn’t see the point of something, we didn’t do it, and we replaced it with something meaningful to us.” This meant switching an elaborate cake which no-one would eat for a bountiful buffet of local cheeses. They picked their flowers based on what was local and in season, and made blackberry whisky as their wedding favours as something that people would enjoy, rather than leave behind.
In lieu of a particular wedding theme, it was important to the couple that they spent their budget on what mattered most to them and that, in line with their day-to-day principles, they didn’t consume more than was necessary or create a load of waste. They borrowed tablecloths, vases, hampers and fire pits from friends who’d used them in their own weddings. They made several hundreds metres of bunting from old sheets and shirts. Flowers were arranged in vintage jugs, borrowed vases, even an old watering can and large mayonnaise jars. With their venue boasting 360 degree views of the Sussex countryside, they felt it needed little embellishment for the sake of doing so, and were happy to allow the beauty of the local surroundings to shine through.
Holly and Simon go to a lot of gigs and festivals together, so they wanted to incorporate this into their September wedding. Making things as colourful and fun as possible was their main priority – they wanted a festival-esque party with a carousel, cassettes, live music and fresh flowers. They were married at the incredible Preston Court in Kent which ticked all their boxes – it even had its own vintage carousel!
“Our ideas came from a hash of boho and festival related Pinterest boards and our experiences at festivals”, began Holly. “We wanted the barn to be completely filled with greenery, which was a challenge to do on a budget as it’s such a large space, so we briefed the florist to hang strings of flowers between the beams, based on pictures we’d seen. We were lucky to have found an inventive company (Rebel Rebel) who were able to bring our ideas to life so perfectly. Walking into the barn and seeing hundreds of wildflowers hanging from the ceiling was an unbelievable moment.”
“The bridesmaids and I made all the centrepieces and cassette tape placeholders. The girls were absolute lifesavers – I can’t stress how much nicer wedding planning is when you get your friends involved. Everyone fully threw themselves into it and made all those little time-sucking tasks a fun experience instead of a stressful one. We made the table numbers from cardboard numbers from Hobbycraft, which we covered in PVA glue and gold glitter and then stuck to records, and we used an old-school Dymo label maker to add names to blank cassettes. We also used cheap fairylights and artificial ivy strings to finish off the tables. One of my bridesmaids dried petals at home to save on confetti and made the cones out of old music sheets, and I designed and printed the table plan and all of the invitations.”
So I’m going to let you in on a little trade secret – every couple that we feature on Rock n Roll Bride get sent a questionnaire that they fill out to tell us more about their wedding. You usually get quite a good feel of the couple’s character from what they say and from reading what Sanaa and David had to say – that they basically just wanted their wedding to be the most fun that any of their guests had ever had – we absolutely think they delivered…
They had a small legal ceremony in the Mayor’s Parlour at Islington Town Hall followed by a pub lunch in London. A few days later they headed down to Somerset for their big party and a second ceremony, lead by their best friends, Lindsay and Stephen.
“I’m from California, so I also wanted to marry somewhere outdoors, beautiful, in nature,” Sanaa explains. She found Widcombe Grange, in Somerset by literally googling ‘big house’, ‘hot tub’ and ‘UK’! “It was an extraordinary venue for our wedding weekend! Our families live abroad, and as they hadn’t met before the wedding, we wanted space and time for the families to get to know each other before our friends arrived. The 22 acres of landscape woodland gave us space for aw hole weekend of activities.”
Katy and Mike describe their wedding as “If unicorns came and pooped rainbows on a folk festival where everyone time travelled from the 50s” and, to be honest, I’m not sure I can top that so let’s just get on with it shall we!?
Their ceremony was held at the Guildhall in Hull, a beautiful historic building with loads of marble details. However, venue finding was a super stressful experience for them, as Katy explains. “I wish we had known not to worry about things so much! We had three venues fall through, however, everything works itself out, and we eventually realised that it’s best not to settle for something you don’t want if something does happen. The ceremony itself was quick and personal I think we were only in there for 20 mins but it was lovely and they made us very comfortable with everything.”
Let’s just start by talking about how OBSESSED I am with Hannah’s bridal outfit. Inspired by queen of frills Molly Goddard and king of style Alexander McQueen, her dress was made by her super talented friend Nadia Tahari. There was a running theme for Hannah and Sam’s wedding – to create something really relaxed and personal day which involved all of their family and friends. It’s safe to say they smashed it.
“It was a true celebration of not only our relationship, but of all our best friends and family,” Hannah explains. “We called upon the talents of our friends; from my dress, to our flowers, our band and the food, everyone had a part to play and it made the day really collaborative and unique.”