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Dinosaur Wedding in London

Lisa Jane Photography Alternative London Wedding Photography

Both introverts, Charley and Simon wanted their wedding to be as undaunting as possible! They achieved this by focusing on what really mattered. Their ceremony at Islington Town Hall was followed by a reception at The Union Club in Soho.

“We wanted a simple wedding that encapsulated our introverted natures while making sure we had a day to remember forever”, Charley began. “We’re not exactly traditional, so any classic wedding traditions we didn’t like – we didn’t do. We’re both quite shy, so the idea of having a day where all the attention was on us felt really scary! We were particularly worried about having a first dance. The thought of it made us uncomfortable so Lisa Jane, our photographer, suggested we have a secret dance somewhere in the city. We loved that idea! On the day, Simon brought a headphone splitter with him and played our song on his phone while we danced on top of an empty multi-storey car park in the middle of Shoreditch! Our photographer and videographer were there to capture it but only we could hear the song. It was so peaceful and so us. It sounds completely random but we loved it!”

The wedding theme was a mis mash of a lot of the things they love including vintage and dinosaurs! “There were dinosaurs everywhere actually – the cake toppers, toy dinos as favours on the tables, even our reading during the ceremony was about dinos! Our friend Luke read A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, about two dinosaurs finding love. He read it so beautifully, it was a wonderful moment.”

Lisa Jane Photography Alternative London Wedding Photography

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Fun-Filled ‘Kids Party’ Wedding: Laura & Tom

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Laura and Tom were married in Liverpool in September. They wanted a fun-filled wedding that everyone would enjoy. That meant ditching many of the traditions that they didn’t like the idea of, and only keeping the parts that they did!

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“When we first sat down to work out what we wanted from our wedding we realised that there were certain aspects of traditional weddings that, as guests, we found boring”, said Laura. “At the end of the day we just wanted to have fun at our wedding! So we skipped out the bits we didn’t like and picked the bits we did. We made a list of all our favourite things in the world and tried to see if we could incorporate them into our day. Most of all we just wanted to make sure that it was relaxed and laid-back, a lot like us.”

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WIN Your Wedding Dress from Flaunt It by Fur Coat No Knickers!

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It’s no secret that I am a Fur Coat No Knickers super fan. Laura and Emma are the purveyors of the friendliest bridal boutique in the country. No joke, these babes are some of the nicest human beings you will ever meet.

For years now they’ve been the go-to store for vintage wedding dresses, and in 2013 they expanded their range to include made to measure designs. All lovingly handmade in Britain, they wanted to be able to help every bride, whatever her shape or size. They love their vintage gowns, but with vintage sizing being stingy at the best of times, it was really hard for them to cater to anyone over a size 12.

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Doctor Who and Chester Zoo Wedding: Diana & Ben

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When my favourite vintage wedding dress shop launched their own, self designed, collection based on vintage styles (but able to be sized up to a Uk size 22!) I was super excited to be able to host an exclusive competition for one of my readers to win one. Alongside Fur Coat No Knickers founders and designers Emma and Laura, I read every single entry, eventually picking the gorgeous Diana as our winner.  Her story touched our hearts and we were all so honoured to be able to fulfil her dream to feel beautiful on her wedding day.

I am utterly thrilled to be sharing that wedding with you all today! It was held at Chester Zoo.

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“Our wedding was us. It was just us”, Diana began. “It was the most laidback, chilled out event ever. Everyone commented on how impressed they were that we’d managed to instil a sense of ourselves through proceedings. Neither of us wanted a big fancy event. We just wanted to get married and have a kickass party and that’s what we did. The Doctor Who stuff was more me than Ben but I loved it and so did the kids.”

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Smoke Bombs, Hippy Buses and Incredible Cornish Views: Antonia & Harvey

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Antonia and Harvey had a three day wedding at Roskilly’s Ice Cream Farm in Cornwall. Their wedding was a true labour of love, with the couple and their friends and family working hard to create the wedding of their dreams. The weekend happened to be the hottest of the year which couldn’t have been more perfect for their outdoor, ice cream farm celebration!

“Ultimately we wanted something that we would enjoy going to and to have a festival style, laid-back feel to the whole party”, began the groom. “Being the most expensive party of our lives, we didn’t want it to be over in a day so we had three days!”

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“The retro caravans made for a great backdrop to the festival theme and allowed us to create our weekend jamboree. We dragged our friends to the far end of the country, and in return gave them a church overlooking a Cornish fishing village, magnificent tipis and hippy buses. We had smoke bombs instead of confetti, original 1950s Monte Carlo pin-up glamour playing cards as place cards and table runners made from old public WC roller-towels. Our bunting was Mexican Day of the Dead bunting, we had a piñata ‘first dance’ and lucked out on finding an incredible caterer, celebrating the best of Cornish food. Antonia’s Fur Coat No Knickers dress was a theme unto itself – it was supremely glamorous, laden with historical allure. Yes it was vintage, yes it was rural, but the day sparkled with lavishness.”

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Blustery and Bright Brighton Wedding: Charlotte & Leo

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Charlotte and Leo, originally from Brighton but currently living in Liverpool, knew they wanted to marry in the city where they met. So they planned their wedding from afar and booked out an entire guest house right on the sea front to accommodate their guests! A Room with a View has nine guest rooms and was the perfect place for everyone to get ready. The floor to ceiling windows looking over the beach and pier made for some great photos from Lisa Devlin too!

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The ceremony was held in the cafe below the famous Brighton bandstand (they originally planned to get married on it but the weather wouldn’t allow it!) “When we began planning we decided we wanted to have a big party to celebrate with our friends and family, most of whom live down South, while we are currently living in Liverpool for my job”, began Charlotte. “We don’t get to go down as often as we would like, or to see everyone on each occasion, so we wanted to make the day as fun as possible for all the family and friends who are so important to us. We consciously decided in the end not to call upon our friends’ many musical, artistic and culinary skills as we wanted everyone to be able to relax and enjoy the day, although many of them were absolute super stars at helping us set up the day before.”

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Laid Back & Vintage-Inspired Cripps Barn Wedding: Laura & Tom

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Sometime late last Summer I strolled into my favourite wedding boutique to visit my friends, Laura & Emma, who own it. Whenever I’m in central London I always pop into Fur Coat No Knickers to see their latest pretty vintage wedding dresses, to drink some Cava and to catch up on all the latest gossip. But this fateful day in August was different. I was greeted at the door with squeals from Laura, “I’m engaged! Tom Proposed last week!” she shrieked. More Cava was popped and we started to discuss all things wedding – but this time not other people’s – hers!

Working in with wedding industry, Laura had quite a good idea about what she did – and did not – want for their March wedding. She knew Emma Case was the girl to shoot it and that obviously she’d be wearing a dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. She also knew they wanted something casual, low-key, fun and stress-free.

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“To Have Emma Case to snap our big day was amazing”, Laura began. “She and husband Pete are so cool and so chilled and they capture everything. They are like two little meerkats popping up and down throughout the day and they are such a laugh. We love our photos so so much. The photo shoot bit of the day was awesome fun and they made us play lots of games to keep us relaxed. I loved this part of the day because Tom & I got to spend some time together. Emma & Pete made us feel so comfortable and it was so fun. I can’t recommend them enough. They totally rocked our day.”

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Flaunt It with Fur Coat No Knickers & Win the Dress of Your Choice from the New Collection!

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In some ways I’m a terrible wedding blogger. I am ‘real wedding’ obsessed and I love to see the ins & outs of people’s actual weddings or read about their experiences, but in terms of what’s going on in the ‘industry’ I usually couldn’t give a toss. It’s also extremely rare that I ever get excited by anything to do with bridal fashion and I try to avoid fashion shows at all costs…sorry but they’re usually such a yawnfest. However when it matters, when someone actually does something new or exciting I do then get really passionate, chomping at the bit to feature it as soon as possible – often with a lot of extra exclamation points!

Laura & Emma of Fur Coat No Knickers have been long term friends of the blog. They loaned me dresses when no one knew who the hell I was and they always have Cava on the go when I pop into their central London boutique. We’re clearly a match made in heaven. So when they told me about their idea to create their own line of wedding dresses, inspired by their most popular genuine vintage styles but with the fuller figure in mind, I literally whooped with joy.

Introducing, Flaunt It

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The collection is made up of five dresses, each designed with original vintage styles in mind. Laura & Emma have taken their combined experience of over 20 years in costume design (working on productions like the Lion King, Shakespeare at the Royal Shakespeare Company and shows at the National Theatre) and 5 years of owning their own vintage wedding dress shop and created this one of a kind and truly exciting capsule collection.

They say, “We love our vintage dresses. But the one problem with them is not being able to fit the more curvy figure. Vintage dresses are, by their nature, on the small side. Although we do search and search for more realistic sizes, there have been occasions where we just can’t help. We hated that. So we set about designing a new collection, that would be every bit as beautiful as all the dresses in our shop, but available up to a size 22. And that collection is called Flaunt It.”

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“We based our designs on vintage dresses we have found and loved over the years, with shapes that are very flattering. Then we set out to find fabric that, when hanging in our shop next to the original dresses, didn’t stand out as being too modern. And with a mix of carefully chosen, beautiful lace, tulle and silk organza, we managed to achieve just that. We also wanted our customers to be able to customise the dresses, by taking away sleeves, adding different fullnesses of petticoats, coloured binding, sashes and headpieces and by tweaking the fit to the individual. Just like we do with the vintage dresses.”

“We did this shoot in our own shop and called up some of our past brides to model for us! We wanted to show how amazing these dresses look on real girls and not on models.”

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A Quirky Railway Museum Wedding: Emily & Rob

Having visited  East Anglian Railway Museum since she was a little girl (and in more recent times, every September for their beer festival), Emily always knew it was the place she wanted to get married. In her own words, they chose the Town Hall for the reception, and the pub for the lunch “out of necessity”, but luckily for them the sun shone for the whole day and in the end all venues were equally stunning. “People loved that we had three venues throughout the day”, she explained. “We even had the miniature railway running for the children at the railway museum.”

Emily got her dress, headpiece and jewellery from vintage wedding dress shop Fur Coat No Knickers in Central London. “I discovered the shop through Rock n Roll Bride and loved it the second I set foot in the shop. I only visited two other shops but everything else felt synthetic and swamped me in comparison to my gorgeous 50s dress.”

“A lot of Essex weddings can be quite princessy!” Emily laughed when I asked her about the details of their day. “We just wanted to share a magical setting with our friends and family and bring together all of the things we enjoy without any pretentiousness – simple delicious food, beer and an indie disco. We certainly had a few converts by the end. I didn’t DIY very much to be honest as I don’t have the patience and I really didn’t want things to end up looking over-done with signs and decorations everywhere – a 1950s train carriage is a pretty good decoration! But I’d like to think I am skilled when it comes to delegating!”

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A Humanist Lewes Castle Wedding: Sara & Lucy

Sara & Lucy were married in a humanist ceremony at Lewes Castle, just outside of Brighton (they did the ‘legal bit’ a few days before in Brighton register office). Both girls wore coloured dresses. Sara found her 50s floral number at Fur Coat No Knickers and Lucy wore a a grey dress from Pretty Eccentric.

The low key reception was held at Bill’s Cafe, an organic restaurant in Brighton, which didn’t need much decorating. However they added a few personal touches with the table names, the bunting and the flowers. “Bill’s organised all decor”, the girls told me. “They were amazing.”

“We decided to walk from the castle to Bill’s to gave everyone a chance to see Lewes, walk off some bubbles and approach Bill’s who had laid out lanterns and Bay trees for our arrival,”, they continued. “Flip flops were required for both brides for this journey!”

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Stripes, Pumpkins & Mean Looking Cars: Emma & Ross

Emma & Ross’ black & white, vintage themed wedding was, above all, a day to celebrate their love with their friends and family. The couple wanted a relaxed atmosphere and one where their guests would really enjoy themselves.

“We wanted our wedding to be personal to us, we didn’t want guests to walk in and think they could be at just anybody’s wedding,” Emma told me. “We have been to a lot of weddings, which were lovely but we knew that traditional just wasn’t for us. We just had our day, our way and it was brilliant! It was the best day of our lives so far, I just wish I could do it all again as it went so quickly!”

Emma wore a black & white 1950s dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. “The wedding dress I chose was the first one I’d tried on, ever. I went to Fur Coat No Knickers because I knew I wanted a short 50s dress and I love vintage! I didn’t really have any colours in mind I was open to trying on anything but I did want something I could wear again, so it was a bit of a shock that I chose the first dress I tried on, I was expecting a big epic search! Obviously I tried on lots of others after that one too, they are all so nice that it would be silly not to! I really enjoyed going back for fittings, especially to nose at all the other dresses. Their shop and they are lovely, they make you feel so comfortable, I want to live there!”

“I ended up having three pairs of shoes to wear on the day (I’m a little bit of a shoe addict!)” the bride continued. “They were always going to be red, I have a thing for red shoes. I saw the Stuart Weitzman‘s when I went to Selfridges shoe land (I want to live there too!) I went to buy a completly different pair but fell in love with those ones, luckly I got last pair left in the country and they were my size, so it must have been fate! As they are quite high I was also forced to buy the Melissa/Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon’s too. Finally, as I was planning on doing a lot of dancing I bought a pair of Converse that I designed myself on their website, they had skulls on and I got our wedding date embriodered down the back.”

The wedding didn’t have an obvious ‘theme’ but the couple made sure they included the things they really loved and wanted in their day. “One thing I always knew I wanted was a cool car, not a wedding car, I wanted something mean,” Emma explained. We both like American cars, especially muscle cars so it was a no brainer when I saw the Dodge Charger and the owner lived in Watford! We used to own a big yellow American truck but we had to sell it to fund the wedding, so having the Charger went some way to ease our loss. Ross wasn’t happy that I got to have the car and he didn’t as he stayed at the venue but the owner took us both out after the ceremony and went rather fast down the country lanes which was excellent!!! Its quite noisy, Ross said he knew that I was on my way to the venue because he could hear the car coming from about a mile away!”

“Most of our wedding was handmade by us or by family and friends, anything I or somebody we knew couldn’t make we mainly bought from Etsy which I’m VERY addicted to, I’m on there about 10 times a day, its like my drug! A lot of the stuff I did myself was made with about two months to go because we didn’t really get our colour scheme down until we decided to make our table flowers out of tissue paper, this was slightly stressful as we had only a small amount of time to make a lot of things! It kind of added to the stress when I decided three days before the wedding to not give the bridesmaids real flowers as they were too expensive and to make them myself from felt and buttons!”

“I made my own bouquet out of vintage brooches which I really enjoyed as it involved shopping for the brooches too! Ross and his Mum made all of the tissue paper flowers, pom poms and painted the inside of the jars aqua. My Mum made the younger bridesmaid’s dresses (the adults wore vintage and one from Coast) and the table runners and my Sister made our lovely wedding cake, cupcakes and all the wreaths.”

“The day before the wedding, with the help from the best man Dan and his girlfriend, we scooped, carved and drilled about 40 pumpkins! I’m still finding bits of pumpkin in my kitchen now! I’m also still finding black glitter everywhere from where we covered the table letters, it didn’t help that one of our cats kept rolling in it!”

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A Very London Wedding: Naomi & Chris

I was hanging out at Fur Coat No Knickers a few weeks ago catching up on my vintage fashion/wedding industry-based gossip, when in breezed an excited girl who had just got married in one of their beautiful wedding dresses. Naomi had popped back in to show Laura & Emma some of her wedding photos and as soon as I heard the words ‘wedding photos’ I immediately jumped out from behind the dresses to have a nosy myself (Poor Naomi, I must have given her a heart attack…turns out she was a regular reader of this little wedding blog throughout her planning!)

Anyway I loved the photos Naomi showed us on her phone, so when I received the submission from her photographer Sarah Lauren I was thrilled that I would be able to share them with you too!

Naomi married Chris in London on 1st October. After getting ready at the gorgeous Charlotte Street Hotel, Naomi and her bridal party hopped in a London black cab to Islington town hall for the ceremony. Following the marriage service, the newlyweds and their guests all jumped into a red London bus, which they hired from Routemaster Hire, and headed to 6 Fitzroy Square for their beautiful reception.

“October 1st was freakishly one of the hottest days of the year. The atmosphere in Fitzrovia was animated with London nightlife,” Naomi told me, “We tried to keep our wedding theme fun-loving, relaxed and really styled to our personalities; we had moustaches on sticks for the wedding guests to play with. We also gave them fortune–teller fish as favours. I handmade the cake toppers and Chris stayed true to his comic book roots and wore crazy Spiderman cufflinks which I bought him!”

“We love our hometown London and there was a definite London theme throughout with the Routemaster bus, the central venues and the cosmopolitan wedding party. Even though it was a very London-esque wedding, we had family and friends visiting from the USA, Australia and even the Scottish Highlands! We felt so flattered that our guests travel from far and wide to witness our special day.”

6 Fitzroy Square is literally down the road from the Charlotte Street Hotel where we were staying, so after the evening do at Fitzroy Square we thought it would be lovely to take a walk with close friends (those hardcore few!) back to the hotel for a chilled out drinks after-party. We stayed up til past 3.30am!”

The couple also had Frank Miller of Sassy n Frank to video their day…

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A Vintage Nautical Wedding: Liz & Tom

Liz & Tom injected a subtle nautical theme into their October wedding. “In our first few years as a couple I used to call Tom the one-armed fish man,” Liz laughed. “Our venue was The Bull Hotel in Bridport, a harbour market town, and we both want a scrimshaw anchor tattoo (haven’t done it yet but the plan is to have one for Christmas). So we flooded our wedding with vintage nautical touches and plenty of rum. Rock n Roll Bride was the only wedding blog that I read as I planned my wedding. It was from reading what other Rock n Roll Brides had done for their big day that we had the confidence to go our own way.”

Liz wore her Aunt’s 1950’s Nottingham lace wedding dress which she had customised by Laura & Emma at the fabulous Fur Coat No Knickers. “A year before we got engaged my Auntie Hannah gave me her 1950’s Nottingham lace wedding dress that she’d worn at her wedding in 1959 and my Mum also wore to her and Dad’s wedding in 1964,” Liz wrote. “She said she’d never need it again and ‘you never know, you might wear it one day if you ever get married.’ A year later, on holiday in Vancouver and the day after my birthday we did get engaged. So I took the dress to Emma and Laura a to work their magic on it. It is Nottingham lace over a very pale pink netting so even though I’m not particularly a ‘pink’ kinda girl I decided to embrace the colour and Laura and Emma added the pink silk sash.”

As the couple have attended many weddings in the past, they knew that the ones they enjoyed most were those that were relaxed, informal and more about the couple than the ‘need’ to do a wedding in a certain way. Liz continued, “As soon as it came to planning ours we were adamant we wanted a day that felt like a big party – relaxed, informal, fun…with great food! The Bull was our hotel bolt-hole. A boutique shabby vintage vibe of a place with great food, lovely staff and the type of attitude we loved – relaxed, informal but excellent in everything. From booking The Bull, the rest of our wedding fell into place.”

“From the start of our relationship as teenagers we’ve filled our lives with antiques and vintage finds so it was to all things old we turned to ensure we had the touches that friends and family would recognise as being very ‘us’. As a lot of our guests were staying at the hotel with us we booked it for the whole weekend and invited everyone to The Stable at The Bull for pizza, pie and cider on the Friday night. The Friday shindig had everyone relaxed and talking to each other so that when Saturday afternoon came they all felt like old friends.”

“Without bridesmaids, a best man, a cake to cut and lots of formal photos we concentrated on giving our guests plenty to drink, delicious food to eat, and personal touches to ensure they felt relaxed and at ease. Whilst we weren’t originally planning speeches my oldest friend Katie said a few words about me, Tom (a man of very few words) gave a beautiful speech thanking our friends and family who had come together to make our day possible, and finally Tom’s mum unexpectedly stood up and raised a toast to my dear departed Dad and Uncle. Everyone then hit the bar and the dancefloor to drink and boogie till the early hours. In our guest book that we read on honeymoon so many people commented on how it had been the most relaxed, fun and personal wedding they’d ever been to.”

“To us Rock n Roll is about going your own way. Not being tied to convention or rule. We did have touches of wedding tradition – a white dress, wedding favours, speeches – but overall we concentrated on making a day that was true to us.”

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