Heather and Veronica chose to have a best man each, rather than bridesmaids, for their small, 30-person wedding. The day was non-traditional and uniquely ‘them’; spiritual yet non-religious. They took inspiration from Celtic and Infinity symbols with a handfasting ceremony in the gardens of The Lavender Inn in Ojai, CA.
The couple were determined to only include the things they wanted in their day, but were surprised to find how tricky it still was to steer their suppliers away from the traditional. They told us, “We had trouble communicating with vendors about how we wanted things; they assumed we wanted to do things a certain way. It was important to us to make the wedding our own and not do something for the sake of tradition.”
Meeting at just 14 at a bonfire on the beach, it was love at first sight for Sarah and Chris. They carried this theme of fire through to their day, along with an explosion of bright rainbow colours. The flowers, chair cushions, table settings… even the drinks were brightly coloured!
Sarah and Chris had an ‘unplugged’ wedding , asking their guests to put their phones in ‘phone jail’ for the day and focus on celebrating in real life, without distractions. They chose a beautiful garden setting in La Jolla, California, overlooking the ocean, and created a personalised ceremony, as Sarah explained, “We invented our own ceremony rituals around our relationship, including a mindfulness practice and lighting a sparkler to represent our work mottos ‘Magic is Something you Make’, ‘Make it Awesome’ and ‘Hug and Breathe’, which we do when we’re overwhelmed! We kept it pretty secular, but Chris did break the glass to honour my Jewish roots.”
Combine tonnes of roses, a flower boy and a sprinkling of ladybirds and you’ll be fairly close to Eva and Kitty’s wedding day. Their vision was a gothic, night and nature-inspired vibe, with a witchy touch. The couple used deep red tones, rich lace, black fabric and gold stars to create the perfect midnight garden.
Music played a big part in the day, as Kitty explained, “Music was like classical meets metal, and Joe Satriani as a cherry on top of the cake at the ceremony.” Kitty’s friend also played guitar and sang, as a really special addition to the celebration.
It’s a classic high school movie scenario – a crush on your bff’s brother’s best friend. Then running into your teenage crush a few years later, the love story culminates in a big, beautiful wedding. But this was no movie for Kenzie and Ryan, whose Hollywood ending became a reality. Kenzie explained, “I always had a crush on him. He moved away for college and a few years later we ran into each other at a bar and it was like time stopped. I told my mom the next day that I had met the man I was going to marry.”
Working in the bridal industry, Kenzie was completely clued up on planning a wedding, however she told us, “I knew it wasn’t about the dress or the makeup or the vacay… it’s about the love you share with your partner and being surrounded by your loved ones.” Which is why they focused on exactly what they wanted, planning a unique, personalised day, writing their own ceremony script and curating a playlist with no cheesy wedding songs!
Whitney and Justin were hitched in Chicago at Gallery 1028, an industrial style venue on Goose Island. The space provided the perfect canvas for their winter wedding, the style of which was influenced by other weddings they’d attended as well as wanting day that suited the season but didn’t feel to festive or themed. They were married on December 7th.
“We were shooting for a theme that seemed wintery, but not in a Christmas or holiday sense”, Whitney began, “and we came up with the idea of Midnight Garden. We worked with our vendors to elicit a focus on warm dim lights, white cotton, burgundy and lush greenery. I would describe our ‘look’ as a rustic outdoor garden at nighttime – only indoors!”
Elissa and Joey’s English garden wedding is a totally joyous, tear-jerker affair. And you know us, we’re not about the clickbait life – it was genuinely a deeply emotional collaborative effort using as many beautiful homemade elements as possible. With that in mind, here’s their theme, explained better than I ever could:
“When my Grandma became poorly we had to help her sort through her accounts and paperwork,” Elissa recalls. “It was a total filing catastrophe but in amongst the reams of paper and notes she had catalogued and treasured so much ‘stuff’ to do with us all – receipts from long forgotten occasions carefully annotated, preserved flowers, notes of our minor achievements to the extent she’d created a huge archive of all of our lives. It was a real reminder of just how important we all are to her, and her love of family and ability to see the significance in tiny things in when times are hard was our major inspiration.”
With her grandma’s health declining, Elissa and Joey had a registry office ceremony and a mini-reception in her care home the day before their garden wedding. “I made my bouquet from flowers from her garden and used some of her ornaments to decorate the registry office, whilst her carers did her hair and make up and helped her decorate a cake for me as she always wanted to bake my wedding cake,” she says. Told you it was a beautiful, raw, honest tearjerker, didn’t I?
If you are interested in spirituality, this is the wedding for you. Felix and Jack’s delightful woodland wedding, held in the garden of their family home, was inspired and led by their spirituality, with numerous rituals taking centre stage.
“We were inspired by our belief that all things are connected, and energies are much more profound when shared collectively,” the couple explains. “Upon arrival, our guests took part in a sage purification ceremony to rid themselves of any negative energies. The ceremony involved walking through the billowing smoke of burning sage smudge stick, then balancing the masculine/yang aspect of that exercise by passing through the feminine/yin aspect of incense. Clapping or ringing a bell between the two produces a total cleansing effect.”
You are just not READY for the wedding that’s about to hit your eyeballs. After we featured Nancy and Boogie’s beyond cool fashion editorial inspired engagement shoot last year, I had a sneaking suspicion that their wedding would be similarly amazing… and it turns out I was bang on the money.
Married in June at a local park with the reception at the groom’s parent’s home, they wanted their wedding to be casual and laid back but also have elements of tradition. “For our ceremony, we wanted to be more traditional but for our reception the theme for all our guests was to dress extremely fashionable and as extra as you can”, Nancy explained. “We’re really into fashion and wanted everyone to be comfortable and themselves, so what better way to make that the theme for our big day?”
The bride kept things low key yet super stylish in an Urban Outfitters dress paired with Forever 21 shoes and jewellery. She did her hair and make up herself. They skipped having bridesmaids or groomsmen, the groom’s mother and aunt made the cakes and Nancy even put together all the flowers herself (costing a total of $6 for bouquets and $4 each for the centrepieces). For food, they ordered pizza and chicken wings which they served pot luck style, alongside lots of delicious treats brought in by their friends and family.
Ella and Alex got married in the spring at the Secret Garden in Kent, where they had a day filled with floral patterns, pastel shades (as well as fresh vibrant colours). The overall feel to their wedding is just pure romance. And by the powers of DIY, they achieved this beautiful day for £10K.
They didn’t really have a theme, the theme was just ‘them’ and the way they wanted to do things. “We had pastels and bright colours, flowers, books and cats”, said the bride. “Nothing matched but everything worked together. The way things should be. We started looking at venues early on – it felt to me that once we had the venue, everything else would work around that. There was a beautiful one just around the corner from us. It was really lovely, but wasn’t quite us, it felt just a little too formal. We just wanted somewhere to have a party with our friends and family.”
“I found the Secret Garden online, and it looked perfect, so I booked in to see it in the August. One weekend, I was down in Brighton visiting my cousin when I found out that the husband of a friend of mine had sadly passed away. He had just turned 32 and they had only been married for three months. I instantly felt like I needed to do something positive and happy, so we drove to the Secret Garden – it just felt like the right time to view it (even if our appointment wasn’t for another couple of weeks). I don’t think I’ll ever forget how I felt when we arrived. I knew from that second that this was where I was going to marry my best friend. It was perfect. Beyond perfect. Its Glass House, where we had our ceremony, was like a tropical paradise, and it was only small but had such character; it was different from anything else I’d ever seen.”
Sami and Aaron were married at Elysian, a private garden sand event space in Los Angeles. The venue definitely inspired their theme which ended up having a garden vibe with urban touches.
“We got married in a really beautiful outdoor garden area”, said the bride, “and that inspired the design and colour scheme that we chose. Our beautiful ceremony was written by my friends, Craig and Brenda, that happen to be incredibly talented, published poets. We knew we wanted to have a friend officiate us and they immediately popped into my head and they were perfect.”
“You can’t tell by the photos, but it was 108 degrees outside! Literally it was the hottest day of the year! So the ceremony was a perfect length, about 20 minutes, considering, and everyone was very patient and enjoyed it very much which was great to hear! Because it was so hot out, we decided against doing ‘first look’ and opted to see each other for the first time at the ceremony. Leading up to the wedding I kept asking Aaron if he would cry during our vows. He is a very sensitive man, but not a huge crier, so mainly I was joking. But when I walked up the aisle and we saw each other for the first time, I saw tears in his eyes and I said, ‘Don’t you do this to me!'”
Sebastian and Wiebke hosted their ceremony in the bride’s parent’s garden, followed by a reception at a local restaurant. Their theme to be a colourful garden party inspired by pop art.
“Our wedding theme was inspired by our living room and the art in it”, said the bride. “We both like Roy Liechtenstein and we were inspired by him to use primary colours and to have speech bubbles. The stripey pattern that became our signature wedding pattern started when we made our Save the Dates. It was based on an album cover (Die Ärzte by Planet Punk) combined with Liechtenstein’s colours.”
“Other than that we aspired to make everything look and feel light and cheerful. Since our tastes in stationery and decorations are quite different, we tried to achieve a synthesis of both of our tastes. Sebastian likes sleek professional design and I love cute and colourful handmade things.”
Spanish-born Vero and Agus had been living in London for five years before their wedding so they wanted to bring a bit of ‘Britishness’ into their wedding back home. They chose their venue, Jardín Müller in Granada, because it reminded them of the gardens in the UK.
“Our wedding theme was shabby chic”, said the bride, “and I got a lot of ideas from wedding blogs. I wanted the wedding to be a celebration with family and friends.”
“On the day, everything was perfect. Time flew from the morning to the night. There were so many unique moments: the time I spent with my sister in the hotel, the arrival to the gardens, that moment when Agus saw me, our proud and happy parents, the excitement, the happiness, the tears… It was a magical day.”
Emily and Glenn were married at the bride’s childhood home. She wore her grandmother’s wedding dress and they wanted to make sure everything they did minimised waste. “Our wedding inspiration was to use second-hand, borrowed, vintage and thrift store finds”, Emily explained, “We really focused on re-purposing things for the day. This meant incorporating vintage furniture as seating and using items my father had collected over the last 30 years as décor. Everything was DIY but since we did not want to buy anything new we stayed away from crafting and mostly decorated with old lanterns and vintage furniture. We also borrowed a lot of stuff from friends and family so that we didn’t have to buy brand new things.”
“Our biggest inspiration was to keep it meaningful. Every element of our wedding represented some connections to our families. I had my wedding ring made from two rings – one which belonged to my great grandmother and the other belonged to Glenn’s mother. My dress and necklace were both family heirlooms. Glenn and I decided to have the wedding at my parents’ home because it was a place that meant a lot to me and somewhere that we both loved being. Having a small venue meant we also had to keep the guest list small, so all our guests were our closest friends and family. Having a small guest list was wonderful because Glenn and I were both able to spend a lot of time with everyone, which was important to both of us.”