Sally & Clifton’s city wedding had a classically elegant but quirky vintage vibe. The wedding was held at Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue, London, which really set the relaxed tone of the day.
“We didn’t really have a theme to start with, we just went with what felt right and what would make us happy,” Sally told me. “We just wanted a really great party with only our closest family and friends and for it to be relaxed, informal and fun. So it ended up really personal and fortunately all the styling came together very nicely too. Our outfits had a 1950’s vintage vibe and my dress was from Fur Coat No Knickers.”
“I think I was really lucky with the people I hired to help too – they all really made a huge difference and all came to it with a very similar relaxed, personal, professional approach which made it easy. There were no outlandish over the top bridezilla moments (my best ladies made sure of that), nothing was over-organised so there was plenty room for spontaneity, and I didn’t go anywhere near any bridal magazines. And the result was that we loved every minute of it.”
The couple chose some of my all time favourite wedding suppliers to be a part of their day. As well as a Fur Coat No Knickers vintage dress, they employed the expertise of Elbie Van Eeden for Sally’s hair and make up and Charlotte of Restoration Cake who made their yummy heart-shaped cake.
Can you guess what initially drew me to Marie-Claire & Nick’s wedding? Yep…her Fur Coat No Knickers vintage wedding dress of course! Marie-Claire also got her wonderful vintage veil from the store and her shoes from Rachel Simpson (yep, another one of my favourites!)
“I guess I didn’t want a regular corporate feel wedding with lilies, tight white roses and a white bodice dress!” Marie-Claire told me when I asked her what inspired their wedding. “So I had a look around for alternative things and found Fur Coat No Knickers and my red dress!”
“From there I decided I’d like something quite vintage and low key. We tried to use suppliers which were in our area to keep it local – all the flowers came from a mile up the road and the singer Kirsty Macleod is one of our neighbours. Nick’s Mum also made chutney as favours for our wedding and his brother designed the label. Our invitations came from Dottie Creations (you can see them here.)”
Danyelle & Daniel were married on New Year’s Eve in Islington Town Hall, North London. They picked this day for their wedding because the bride’s great grandparents were married on Christmas Eve before her great grandfather has to go off to fight in World War II and they felt it would be nice to have their special day around the same time of year, in memory of them.
“There is something a bit magical about that time of year, and since they had the best innings I can imagine for a married couple I was also hoping some of their luck might be rubbed off onto us,” Dannyelle told me. “Also, Christmas time is a lot easier for those travelling from Australia (where Dannyelle is from) in terms of holiday so it worked well for my parents and grandmother.”
The bride wanted a vintage dress but thought it was a lost cause as she is a curvy girl and vintage dresses are usually teeny tiny. That was of course until she discovered Fur Coat No Knickers. “I was really starting to fret about the whole vintage wedding dress issue, especially as I am quite curvy, until I stumbled across Laura and Emma at Fur Coat No Knickers. As soon as I walked in to the shop I knew that if I couldn’t find my dress there, it wasn’t too be found. Thankfully we found a beautiful, floor length, almost grecian looking number from America, which the girls shortened, added a petticoat to with navy blue detailing, added a velvet sash and some floaty shoulder wraps and we were on out way,”
“My friend Gaby made my headpiece, my shoes were from Office which I had dyed to match the exact navy of Dan’s blazer and my sash, and my bouquet was made from foam roses, small pearls and crystals and peacock feathers. I found my 1950’s jewellery online through Chic and Unique (thank god for the internet!). I also found a vintage fur stole in a boutique in Angel and added a peacock feather brooch to it to tie it into my outfit.”
The reception was held on the top floor of a beautiful old pub called the Queens Head in Angel. The bride’s friends & Mum decorated it on the day of the wedding, “I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked when we walked in,” she said. “As we had somehow randomly ended up a with a navy blue and white colour scheme, Daniel and I had gone trekking round the markets in east London for crockery, glass ware and containers to fulfil our ‘kitschy afternoon tea’ feel.”
“We also bought in loads of old fashioned sweets that we had found in Selfridges including sugared mice and bought giant blue and white whirlypops as wedding favours for the guests. I found some sweet love bunting, and photo prop moustaches online which went down a storm. As we like to bake cupcakes for our friends and family we decided that was the way to go – we used Crumbs and Doilies and speared these with custom flags we had made up by a seller on etsy. Although we didn’t go all out on some of the details like loads of couples do, we knew we were going to have the issue of lugging all the stuff across London on NYE so planned smart!”
Marcus & Simone used some of my favourite wedding suppliers for their barn wedding in Gloucestershire, including Joanna Brown for photography, Fur Coat No Knickers for the dress and Severin of The Hepburn Collection for the bride’s hair. I love this! “I got a little frustrated at how little choice there is when it comes to creating an individual wedding, especially as I didn’t have that long to plan it (5 months),” the bride told me. “I found it easier to not refer to magazines and traditional wedding websites and preferred to take inspiration from Etsy.com, blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride and to go with my own ideas. I think it’s easy to get sucked into the wedding machine and things can become too fussy. My ethos was to try and keep it classic, stylish and simple.”
The laid back day started with the ceremony taking place outside in the glade of Cripps Barn. The bride didn’t actually realise the ceremony was taking place outside until she arrived in the morning! They were really lucky that it stopped raining just at the right time.
“We both work in Television and I laughed when Marcus told me that he had hired a Art Director and Lighting Director to help set up on the day as we had a relatively small, uncomplicated wedding. But both of them proved invaluable. We had festoon lights hung in the trees and around the outdoor fire pit. Sally Lock, the Art Director, provided gorgeous finishing touches inside and dressed outside with hurricane lamps and hanging pieces in the trees, taking all the stress off me on the day and giving it an extra special edge.”
“I was also desperate to track down a huge heart lighting piece that I had once seen at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in London. However, during my search for it I stumbled across something even better: Giant (human size) light bulb letters. These were originally designed for a shop window display but are now hired out for events – they provided a great backdrop for pictures….even though our guests tried their best to move them around so they read S&M instead!”
“I always knew I was going to get a vintage dress and my wedding dress was actually the first wedding dress that I had ever tried on: I instantly fell in love with it. It originally had straps but the ladies at FCNK told me that they could amend it to make a strapless dress and fit boning into the bodice to give it a little more structure. They encouraged me to go and try on a few more dresses so that I could be sure that I wasn’t making a snap decision. I tried on a handful of dresses at a high end designer sample sale but everything felt very generic and nothing came close to being as unique as my vintage dress. We’re not sure of the original date of the dress but think it dates from the 1950’s.”
What’s this? Another awesome wedding from my photographer buddy Assassynation? Yep that’s right people, Sassy (aka Assassynation) really does get some of the very best wedding around…and the most awesome thing is many of them are Rock n Roll Bride readers so I get to then share them with you all afterwards. Yeey.
Lou & Chris had a simple wedding in London…and by simple I mean no fuss, no drama – just an awesome and super stylist day! They were married at Stoke Newington Town Hall, London which they followed up with a reception at The Londesborough pub, also in Stoke Newington.
“Our dream wedding was just a handful of family and close friends and a quiet registry office service,” the bride told me. “In all honesty, I was terrified of walking down the aisle and hated the idea of speeches. But we both have big families so, when we wrote down our list of essential guests, we realised that a small wedding was simply not an option. Instead, we decided to make it as personal as possible. We both work in magazines but were intimidated by the ideas in a lot of wedding magazines – we simply didn’t have the budget or the inclination to have a big swanky bash. Thankfully, I found Rock n Roll Bride just in the nick of time and realised that it was fine to do things differently – big relief!”
“We’re not religious so didn’t want to marry in a church and we didn’t fancy a hotel either,” Lou continued. “We looked at loads of venues in London and Yorkshire, where I’m from, from barns to restaurants to even an art gallery. Then we found the perfect place five minutes from where we lived. Stoke Newington Town Hall had recently been renovated and, every time we walked past and saw the grand pillars and art deco details, we’d both smile. When we had a wander around inside, we were equally blown away by it. We struck gold when we found the reception venue, The Londesborough – a gastro pub just down the road. Neither of us were interested in formalities or stuffiness and didn’t buy into the whole ‘princess for a day’ thing – we just wanted the whole day to be full of meaning for us and for it to be fun for our guests. Thankfully, the pub’s owners, Patrick and Greg Wright, were on our wavelength and happily allowed us to adorn the pub with homemade bunting and flower arrangements.”
“We tried to use local suppliers. Chris designed our invites and we used a local printer. The florist was also just down the road from our flat. We also had the idea of using old books as place settings as they’d double as favours and give people something to talk about at the meal. I had a romantic notion about DIY-ing and envisaged myself wafting around serenely, creating all these wonderful little bits. It was actually bloody hard work and I spent many weekends hunched over my sewing machine making metres of bunting and matching cushions. Thankfully, my sister helped out with sewing but I had to buy some extra in – the Mr and Mrs Smith bunting and the outdoor stuff was all bought in a panic the week before the wedding, as well as some extra cushions from Primark.”
“We made all the table names and also the place settings which we made by by writing names on parcel tags, putting them on raffia and then wrapping the raffia around the books. We got books from second hand book shops as well as purging my dad and gran’s book collections and we got a load of racy romance novels from the library – they were being sold off for 20p a book. We spent £20 max on the place settings and nearly all of them were taken home so they were definitely a success! We also saved money by using jam jars instead of buying vases for the reception flowers and dressed them up by wrapping raffia around them. Simple but really pretty.”
Lou went to my favourite dress shop for her vintage wedding dress, Fur Coat No Knickers in London. She explained, “When it came to my outfit, I always knew that I didn’t want a long dress. When I walked into FCNK, I completely fell in love – both with the dresses and with Laura and Emma, who run the shop. They are both so talented. At first, I’d thought that I’d go with a prom style dress but then I tried on a long fifties number and they showed me how they could transform it into a wiggle dress complete with a sash and funky ‘Priscilla Presley- style short veil. At every fitting I felt so comfortable in it and, on the wedding day, I even felt confident enough to make a speech.” Lou teamed her dress with shoes from Rachel Simpson and jewellery which was a gift from her Gran.
The photography was also really important to the couple, and I’m so excited that they picked one of my favourite ladies to shoot the day for them. “With the photography, it was important to us that the pictures captured the essence of the day and Sassy of Assassynation did not disappoint. She is such a calm person and she caught some really special moments, as well as all the fun bits, the decoration details and creating some really stylish shots too. We also had a little film produced by Frank Millar, which he set to our wedding music, and which makes us laugh and cry in equal measures. Everyone said how hard working and easy to get along with both Sassy and Frank were. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”
“Lots of people said that it was a very relaxed, fun wedding and I think that’s because we stayed true to ourselves and tried not to care what anyone thought,” concluded Lou. “On the day, the things that I’d worried about were my favourite part – walking down the aisle towards Chris was amazing and the ceremony was truly the happiest time of my life. Close friends did readings and my sister’s boyfriend Ian performed ‘It Must be Love’ by Labi Siffre. It was just perfect and really uplifting and I’m so glad that we followed our hearts. Our families and friends were amazing with helping us out. My mum organised the reception flowers – she brought down loads of flowers from her garden and did the arrangements the afternoon before the wedding, with help from Chris’ mum. And our families also helped us decorate the pub on Friday afternoon. Chris and his brother were out in pouring rain, putting up fairy lights in the garden, while the mums did the flowers and me, my dad, sister, auntie, my new sister in law Laura and one of our best mates clambered over chairs to pin up the bunting.”
“To me, that summed up the whole wedding – it was about two families joining together and it was really, really special. Not everything went according to plan – our shoes got trashed and we have a sneaking suspicion that no one remembered to turn on the fairy lights in the garden but we were having too much fun dancing to care! Our wedding day was messy and imperfect but it was real and so much fun and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
Yey!! This wedding makes me so happy. Don’t forget to check out the video too…wow.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Sarah & Adam’s wedding for an absolute age. You see, I saw Sarah’s incredible black wedding dress many times before the event, when I popped into see my girls at Fur Coat No Knickers in London. Laura & Emma showed the dress to me and told me I’d love the bride that has bought it – that she was cute and tattooed and wearing a black veil to match…and oh boy we’re they right! So without further ado…
“I would describe our wedding theme as American vintage,” Sarah told me. “With pretty carnival fairy lights, sweets and good music. Music was at the heart of our wedding. As My Chemical Romance’s biggest fan I had to walk down the aisle to their music (Desert Song) and we had songs that meant a lot to us throughout the day. From the music guests arrived to including Radiohead and Libertines, to the reading my Mum read during the ceremony (Bob Dylan’s Wedding Song), music playing constantly at the bar and during the meal.”
“We wanted a big wedding with all of our friends and family but it still had to feel personal and intimate, we had a little bit of us in every aspect of the day – from the Lost references, the comic book references and the music. People who didn’t get those little details could still enjoy them but those who understood them got that little something extra from the day and we always felt like the day was ‘us’ through and through.”
“We did all of the table decorations ourselves, tying ribbon around old jam jars and coffee jars to brighten them up and filling them with colourful sweets. We used blackboard paint and chalk for the table names. We also designed the table plan ourselves. We had empty Coke bottles dotted around the bar with some simple flowers from Camden Market placed in them. I bought an old vanity case from Camden market and wrapped silk flowers and luggage tags to it to use as a gift box.”