It was love at first latte for Becky and Char, meeting as baristas in Starbucks. They just wanted to enjoy themselves on their wedding day, doing all their favourite things – grabbing coffee and vegan burgers, taking photos and getting tattoos! They were married in July with a £5000 budget.
Instead of a big reception, they went out for the day in Bristol, focusing on what they loved, followed by the pub with 22 of their favourite people. They told us, “We laughed through the car park, stood in water fountains, threw the keys to our padlock into the river and stopped at Society Cafe for a bit of respite from the rain! Oowee Vegan provided our favourite burgers, and we got the best photo of the day swinging around in front of graffiti that we stumbled across. We then went to our local tattoo studio and it was the perfect place to chill, making our day extra special”
It’s sometimes difficult to remember a time when seeing genders other than female wearing dresses or skirts was unheard of. Although in recent times we’ve seen celebrities like Harry Styles and Brad Pitt jumping on board, the queer community have been experimenting with gender in fashion for decades! I mean, the rest of the world is really just catching up.
For photographer Stori O-Foley, who came up with the concept and shot this editorial, having one of her grooms in a wedding dress was the main thing she wanted to do. She wanted something sleek, with a cape, which suited the model’s personality and showed off his best features.
She told us all about her inspo. “Wow, so much went into conceptualising this shoot. I really wanted to push the unconventional in every way. I wanted to show that your wedding or elopement should represent who YOU are as a couple, not necessarily what is traditional.”
Lucy and Dan swiped right on Tinder and haven’t looked back. Finding their perfect match, they embraced their inner ‘pastel nerd’, planning a wedding around their first wedding purchase – Lucy’s rainbow Dr Marten boots!
With a focus on creating a vegan and eco-conscious wedding, the couple ensured they used recyclable or reusable products where possible, and asked guests to bring food bank donations instead of gifts. Lucy also took on the task of DIY-ing as much as they could.
They explained, “I essentially classed the whole wedding as a DIY project! I designed the invites, seating plan, place cards, welcome sign, donation sign, menu signs, recycling bin signs, karaoke slips, and every other sheet of paper with print on at the wedding. I also built and hand painted the cake Warhammer toppers to look like us and our cats.”
Perched on Southern Portugal’s iconic cliffs, minutes away from Albufeira and walking distance from three incredible beaches, W Algarve is the latest and highly anticipated addition to W Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio.
Our photo shoot team were commissioned to shoot a wedding and lifestyle editorial at the hotel and let me tell you, this was my the most incredible experience! It was such a fun (yet challenging!) adventure. Inspired by the style of the hotel itself, we were influenced by elements such as the locally made iridescent tiles which feature throughout the property, as well as the location’s striking natural scenery and local Portuguese artisans. We didn’t want to style the models in a way which would fight with the natural beauty of the hotel and region, we wanted to compliment it.
We hired five models, three from the UK and two locals, making this – by far – the biggest shoot we’ve ever done. It was such a GREAT experience and I’m totally manifesting more destination photos shoots in my future – just you try and stop me!
Here are all the wedding looks we shot, whether you’re having a destination wedding yourself or not, I hope these will inspire you for your own wedding day outfits.
Dating long-distance for 10 months, Helene and Katie planned a unique wedding that brought them even closer as a couple. Surrounded by llamas, alpacas and with a treehouse ceremony, they fulfilled their dreams to have a ‘Magical AF’ day.
“Planning our wedding connected us as a couple”, they explained. “It showed how well suited we are for each other because we wanted the same things and were easy-going and flexible in our decisions.”
Helene and Katie chose to undertake all the planning themselves, but were surprised at the time commitment required. Helene told us, “We wish we’d have known how time intensive it was going to be to pull the wedding together ourselves. We still wouldn’t have used a planner, I don’t think that would’ve saved much time because the amount of decisions to be made are the same, and that adds managing another person to the list.”
Wanting their wedding to be as ‘loud as they are’, Sam and Beth added colour wherever possible into their wedding to do precisely that. Armed with a £10,000 budget, they DIY’d their way through most of their wedding planning and adopted a ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ mentality when calling in favours and discounts on everything else.
Choosing Markshill Estate in Essex for their May wedding for its’ rustic and relaxed vibe, they saved money by marrying on a Tuesday and booked a ‘last minute’ deal, with only four months to plan the day!
They met when Jade moved to Strafford-Upon-Avon and, after responding to an ad for a house share, moved in with Cara and her then-girlfriend. They were married in summer 2021 in Brighton, where they’d also gotten engaged.
With a budget of £6k, they wanted their day to feel fun and to not cost a bomb. They didn’t opt for traditional outfits, choosing things which felt much more ‘them’, and prioritised the photography and video, spending the biggest chunk of their budget on these to make sure they were exactly what they wanted. “We wanted a typical Vegas style wedding, ‘in and out’ vows and then for it to be all about FUN!” they told us.
Luna and Omari wanted to disrupt stereotypical wedding gender norms and make their October wedding day feel as queer, trans and authentic as possible, all while keeping their alternative flair. “We originally were planning a huge wedding but did not have enough money to do so,” Luna told us. “Being the ambitious people that we are, we decided to do a last-minute small wedding ceremony at Prospect Park and a few days before we booked a venue through Peerspace for a reception.”
Everything about their day was DIY and collaboration with their friends and family, from their florals to their reception food. “Everyone bought their own drinks and showed up dressed as their best selves.” The couple spent around $4,000 on their day, with their most expensive elements being their outfits.
Omari told us, “We were very fortunate to have my former tattoo shop where I was apprenticing at the time pay for all of the alcohol and food at the reception.”
The love of basketball brought Justine and Mathilde together, and following a chilled proposal dancing in their pyjamas, the couple wanted a wedding that reflected their relaxed vibe.
They told us, “We wanted a ‘like at home’ theme with a somewhat vintage spirit, where we would have the impression of inviting our guests to our home.” They had a civil ceremony first, choosing relaxed matching jeans and Converse – and asking everyone else to come in jeans too – saving their dresses and finery for their outdoor ceremony.
For their reception, Justine and Mathilde hunted for décor that would create the perfect atmosphere, to ensure they and their guests felt at home. They explained, “We hunted down lots of old furniture, carpets, lamps etc. We had a very precise idea of what we wanted – Bohemian and mismatched – and everyone helped us get that result! The unity of our day was partly thanks to this mixture of all walks of life coming together as one. We also asked our guests to wear the same colour, which further demonstrates the unity, celebrating our love and the moment when all the people we love were in the same place.”
Inspired by their love of stargazing, science, geekery and our awesome universe, Emily and Alex’s Friday 13th elopement was their dream party and gave them the chance to wear and be surrounded by the things they find most beautiful in the world. The couple told us; “Our styling was inspired by Alasdair Gray’s zodiac night sky mural on the ceiling at the venue we chose, Òran Mór, which is the largest piece of public art in Scotland.”
As well as choosing Glasgow for sentimental reasons, Emily and Alex wouldn’t have been able to have the ceremony that reflected them in England. “Scotland allowed us to have a Humanist ceremony, and Scottish vows don’t require you to refer to your new spouse as a wife/husband or any aspect of traditional marital roles. This was really important for us as an equal partnership and queer couple, with one of us being non-binary. In a Scottish wedding, there are no ‘legally prescribed form of words’ (i.e. required vows) other than “I take you [name] in marriage” which meant that we could keep our ceremony short, simple, and focused on affirming our relationship as it really is.”
Mar and Nancy were Instagram friends for years before they met in person. Inspired by their spiritual journey, they chose to marry in Joshua Tree National Park, California, surrounded by their closest friends.
Their ceremony was unique to them and rather than plan every second, they let everything flow. They told us, “We didn’t plan our vows. We wanted everything to flow organically from our hearts. Our friends used their didgeridoos to cleanse our auricular field, and as a blessing for our union. It was simple, but powerful, given the location, the crystal grid our friends created, and the intention our friends and us set for our union.”
Giving away with all the traditions which didn’t appeal to them, Laura and Georgia were married in February (22/02/22 to be exact) this year. Both chronically ill, these beauties decided doing things just for tradition’s sake didn’t work for them. Instead they planned their day around their own wants and needs.
“We did all of the preparation together (chose our outfits together, spent the night before together and got ready together on the day)”, they told us. “We also did away with traditions like the garter (ew!) and parents giving us away. We walked down the aisle together. Everything came from a very feminist place where we were in charge of our own choices. The only reason Laura chose a white dress was because it was pretty (she originally wanted blue!) We also incorporated a little bit of Georgia’s Jewish heritage by smashing a glass at the end of the ceremony.”
Renting one big property for their guests to stay in, Sam and Lydia made a week of it, taking plenty of time to celebrate their wedding with all the people they loved. They wanted all their guests to feel comfortable, even if they were attending alone, so gave plenty of time for relaxed pre-wedding mingling.
Lydia told us, “We had a pre-wedding mixer with drinks and food so everyone had a chance to break the ice before the big day, because there is nothing worse than awkward small talk! This gave our guests the chance to meet each other so they weren’t feeling lonely when the canapes emerged!”
They truly stamped their own mark on their day, however the couple met their fair share of challenges. Lydia explained, “Literally every single person assumed we were marrying men – no, she isn’t my bridesmaid, friend or sister, she is my future wife!”
The couple walked down the aisle in one long procession so neither was waiting for the other at the end, and their spaniels led the bridal party before them. They chose Electric String Orchestra’s One Day Like This for the bridal party, and Westlife’s Hello My Love for themselves, walking with their dads.