Jamie and Mat’s intimate wedding was held by the marina in Carins, a tropical paradise in the north of Queensland. Their ceremony was right by the water, and their reception was held at Salt House restaurant. “We met while I was working at the Cairns night markets airbrushing hats”, began the bride. “I noticed Mat walk into the markets and prayed he didn’t come to my booth as I was covered in paint… but over he came to order some hats. I stumbled through conversation with him, discovering we were both originally from the small rural town. It was definitely lust at first sight! Two weeks later we went on our first date and we haven’t spent a single night apart since! He proposed after just three months and we were married three months later!”
“Our wedding theme vintage but with a touch of modern”, she continued. ” We had vintage chairs and teacups but also with glass skull centrepieces! Our wedding was small, just 30 guests. We haven’t regretted this decision for a second.”
The bride’s super glam dress and headpiece were by Aussie bridal designer Johanna Johnson. “We had no real budget as such, we just wanted things to be how we wanted them but without spending a fortune. Honestly, there isn’t a thing I’d change now. We had everything we wanted and more. Our main cash splash would have to be my headpiece actually! At $800 I definitely considered leaving it out, but I think our portray why I just couldn’t!”
If the idea of a huge guest list fills you with dread, why not keep things simple and intimate, just like Fran and Ray did? The couple wanted to get married in a way that felt right for them. That meant keeping things small. They had just 15 guests for their ceremony, and their reception was held in their favourite restaurant.
“Ray and I met through our mutual love of weightlifting (hence the cake!)”, began the bride. “We actually spent the first year of our relationship apart – Ray on Guam and me in Australia. We spent a lot of time in airports and on planes. It was hard but we knew our future was worth it. He proposed on a beautiful tropical beach on Guam, New Year’s Eve 2013.”
“We didn’t want a big wedding”, she continued. “All that mattered was having our very closest people around us in a beautiful setting. One of the highlights for me was that my mum surprised me by coming over from the UK for the wedding, and Ray’s parents came all the way from the USA! I was extremely nervous about meeting them for the first time the day before the wedding, but they were incredibly sweet and loving to me.”
Siobhain and Ben wanted a fuss-free and relaxed wedding that they’d really enjoy. So they invited just 12 guests and planned the whole thing in only two months! “Planning a wedding in just two months was stressful at times”, explained the bride. “Our guest count was only 14 people including Ben and I but it was perfect, I always liked the idea of having a small intimate wedding, it felt so much more personal, everyone was a part of it.”
“The day was relaxed and non-traditional. We opted for a registry oﬃce instead of a church because you can make it a bit more personal, we had a few Smashing Pumpkins tracks as our ceremony music which was really nice and ours vows were beautiful, they had great meaning to us about love and friendship.”
Tim and Ange were married in Brisbane. One of the most notable things about this wedding was that they completely changed their plans, mid-way through. They went from organising a big 100+ guest wedding at a fancy venue, to a small and intimate one in an alley in the heart of the city with just 20 guests… oh and organising it all in 12 weeks!
“I think the most important thing for both Tim and I was to feel like us on our wedding day”, began the bride. “Even in the early planning stages, we had been looking for vendors who embrace thing that are a little left of centre and who were willing to embrace our ‘less than traditional’ way of doing things.”
“Between being made redundant, struggling to find work and trying to plan ‘the big white wedding’ with Tim’s ever-changing schedule lighting theatre shows, we got pretty fed up”, Ange explained. “I think I had gotten to my breaking point, and after a very tearful afternoon with my sister and my niece, all I wanted to do is to be married to the love of my life. So we did exactly that. We went from a wedding almost a year away with 100+ guest wedding in one of Brisbane’s most beautiful venues to getting married in a city lane way with less than 20 people which we pulled together in just over 12 weeks… not to mention Tim being ‘on the road’ for 8 of those weeks (plus moving house!) It kind of threw some people to begin with, but at the end of our wedding day, as I closed my eyes next to my beautiful husband, I couldn’t think of anything that we should-would-could have done differently to make it more perfect.”
Elia and Joey didn’t want a big wedding, instead they wanted something small and meaningful. The day was held at Little Valley Mountain Resort with the ceremony in the chapel there and the reception in one of the cabins!
“We wanted to do something very special to us, without spending a whole bunch of money”, Elia wrote. “We wanted it to be small, which was a necessity just because the chapel sat 24 people. We were hoping to make this a weekend vacation for everybody there, instead of just another wedding. I think we may be the only couple ever introduced as husband and wife at the reception with ‘Spheres of Madness’ by Decapitated. I think we did things different from the norm by not stressing on ANYTHING. We just took every bump as a part of the story.”
“I’m not particularly crafty, but those on Etsy are. I basically took their DIY and made it my own”, she continued. “Etsy was key to our wedding. Also, even if you are planning on doing your own hair, have somebody there to help when your arms get tired. It took two hours to do my hair, and it was exhausting and sweaty.”
“The best thing about the day was that everybody at the wedding was either in it, or family. It was a weekend spent with the people absolutely closest to us, and would have been a blast even without a wedding! We managed to save a lot of money on the food as we had the reception in the cabin the wedding party was staying in, and it had it’s own kitchen. Our moms cooked us our favorite meals! Comfort food! They were happy to help, especially since we paid for the entire wedding ourselves.”
Becca and Chris were married at Larmer Tree Gardens on the Dorset/ Wiltshire border. They wanted their day to be small and stress-free so they only had nine guests. “We didn’t have a theme for our wedding, we just picked things we loved, without thinking too carefully about whether they would match,” began the bride. “That’s why I wore an art deco dress, the car was from the 1950s and our entertainment was a Mariachi band mash-up! The main thing was that we wanted our love of travel to come across, so we had a lot of map bunting, colour, and a global influence to our food and music.”
“It was quite a challenge not to get sucked into the wedding vortex, but we tried our best to stay away from it and we didn’t buy any wedding magazines or go to any wedding fairs. In fact, Larmer Tree Gardens was the first and only wedding venue we visited. We did everything exactly the way we wanted.”
Katie & Eric didn’t have the wedding they’d originally planned, but when circumstances changed, so did their wedding. However being able to have the people there that meant a the most to them was more important than waiting for a big wedding. “When we got engaged last summer, we started to plan a big wedding for October 2013 that we could invite all of our friends and family to”, began Katie. “A few months after we became engaged we found out that my Dad had liver cancer, and everything changed. The most important thing was to have our family members at the wedding, and have them all attend in comfort. With that in mind, we changed almost every aspect of the wedding and planned it in four months.”
They chose Jekyll Island, GA as the spot where they would say ‘”I do”. Not only was it very close to where Eric proposed, it was where they spent their first day as an engaged couple while adventuring with a group of close friends. The ceremony was held on Driftwood Beach and the reception at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. “My favorite part had to be the ceremony. Eric’s sister, Laura, was our officiant, and she composed a ceremony specifically for us. I made our handfasting cords, and our friends and family set up the ceremony site. It really felt like a group effort and was truly magical. Laura scooped up the sand that was under our feet as we said our vows and gave it to us in a heart shaped jar as a wedding present.”
Sam & Dave wanted an intimate ceremony, just the two of them, so they were married in their own living room. Afterwards they hosted their reception for all their friends & family at Zeitlos, a bar in Hamburg.
“The inspiration for our wedding started with what we didn’t want”, began the bride. “We’d been to lots of weddings before and they showed us all the things we didn’t want to have! We wanted a small ceremony just with the two of us, telling each other what we really feel without having everyone’s eyes on us. This was really important to as as sometimes we’re not that good at showing our feelings with others around (for example, at the registry office we first shook hands to congratulate each other instead of kissing!) We didn’t want it formal and stiff and traditional, we wanted a party.”
“It’s funny because everyone assumed I would have the freakiest wedding dress because of all the tattoos. No one really could imagine me in a classic dress but that’s what I went for. My dress was by Agnes but finding it wasn’t without problems. I had picked a really nice dress but when I went back to try it on and had the changes made, it turned out I had lost so much weight that I couldn’t fit into it any more. So I had to choose another one really quickly. It was the second dress I tried on that day. In the end I was really happy that the other one didn’t fit. My new dress was exactly what I had been looking for all along.”
Taylor & James kept things small… tiny in fact. They were married at home, the bride’s father officiated, and their only guests were their immediate family – 6 adults in total, with one extra, Taylor’s sister, who watched the ceremony over Skype.
“We are who we are and we do what we want,” explained Taylor, “so I guess that makes us Rock n Roll! The things that make us happiest about us is that we have metal dust running through our veins… literally probably at this point! Casting was one of the first things I realized that James and I both were in love with. I gave James iron ore as part of his wedding gift… it’s what iron truly is at its core. It’s beautiful and it comes out of the ground. It’s probably the most meaningful gift I could give anyone ever that shares that love with me.”
When Gareth & I were in New York in May we met up with photographer Steve Gerrard as he was also over from the UK to shoot Natasha & Marc’s wedding! The couple, also from England, flew him over with them as they knew he was their perfect wedding photographer after seeing him featured on Rock n Roll Bride.
The intimate ceremony was held in the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park, which was followed by a photo session around some iconic NYC locations (they also met up again the next day to shoot some more!) The reception was on a private yacht with incredible views of the city.
“We originally looked at having a wedding within the UK, but after viewing a number of venues something didn’t feel right,” began Natasha. “Everything was expensive and quite strict and we wanted something a bit more unique. I loved Emma Case’s wedding which Steve had also shot. I actually cried reading about it on Rock n Roll Bride while sat at my desk at work. It was so beautiful and in the back of my mind, it was similar to what I aspired to as well – a smaller, intimate, romantic and unique wedding. Luckily for me it turned out Marc wanted that too! Phew!”
Ronnie & Richard were married at Calistoga Ranch, California. Originally from Taiwan, the couple’s families knew each other and had often joked about setting the two of them up, but they’d never met. It was only when they both moved to America (her to New York and him to Austin, Texas) that they started emailing and arranged to meet.
The bride readily admits that she’s not a very crafty person so DIY was out of the question for their April wedding. She did however fall in love with etsy and used it to source as much as possible for the wedding. “We didn’t have anything handmade ourselves except for the ‘here comes the bride’ flag which Richard made”, she told me. “I am not crafty, but I like the unique touch that comes from handmade products which is why I used etsy so much. I am also very into vintage style clothing and décor. I spent a lot of time researching on the site, searching for vintage wedding dress, bridal accessories, wedding favors and paper goods. At the end, I feel really fortunate to have found things I loved with affordable prices.”
“Before the actual wedding, we had a traditional Taiwanese engagement ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan as well as a courthouse wedding in Austin”, she continued. “Richard and I both wanted a western style of wedding, and because we’d done the other two things, we knew we want to go for something simple and intimate with our families and close friends.”
“The first thing we did was look for a venue. Once we had that sorted we built our wedding around it. Calistoga Ranch is a resort secluded over north border of Napa Valley with spectacular lake and mountain views, a nice wine cave set up, and good catering. The best part is we did’t really need to do much to it. The scenery itself is so pretty that we decided to keep our decorations simple. We were expecting a lake scene with blossoms in April, so we decided to use the basic decorations provided by Calistoga Ranch with just a little bit more flowers for the ceremony settings. I worked with the local florist, Susan, who used two barrels with large floral pieces and rose petals to define the aisle and the ceremony site. At the wine cave, we decided to use candles with medium-sized floral pieces to add romance.”