Tag Archives: Pub

A Wedding on a Budget with Portraits in IKEA: Janet & Dave

I’m rather partial to IKEA… I know it’s not the fanciest of home stores, but whenever I persuade Gareth that we need a trip there (I’m sure we’re due another one soon) I feel like a proper grown up. I can actually afford the stuff (like who decided £2000 was standard for a table and chairs? pah John Lewis, PAH!) and it makes me feel all educated buying things with Swedish names. Plus their items are always pretty… even if not always functional – “why yes Gareth I do need that cardboard deer head to put on my office wall…” And don’t even get me started on the kids department. I just wish the pink chest of drawers came in adult size…

So when wedding photographer and all round cool dude Chris Barber sent me Janet & Dave’s wedding I was excited. Not just because of Dave’s Rock n Roll stylings but because they chose the Coventry Ikea as the location for their wedding day portrait sesh. GENIUS! Oh and they spent just £4000 on their day. I’m IN AWE.

“We had our daughter in January 2011 and that gave me a serious itch to be married”, Janet began. “Dave proposed on Christmas morning 2011 with my Granny’s wedding band. He had a calendar printed with a photo of our daughter from each month last year, and on December 25th 2012 he had written ‘anniversary of our engagement’, which is when he nervously popped the question!”

The couple were married in July at Coventry Registry Office, and their reception was held at Varsity Warwick, a local student bar with delicious food. “We were originally planning a bigger and more expensive wedding for September 2013. It was the wedding we had talked about before we were engaged, and before we had our daughter. It would have been a wonderful day, but something about it just wasn’t sitting right with us. We hadn’t booked anything yet, despite having found the venue we wanted already, so we changed our mind. I had been looking at options for having a small ceremony and then a meal for close family and friends, but even the costs for that seemed astronomical for what you would get, and none of the restaurants were ‘us’ or had any meaning to us as a couple. Then Dave jokingly said ‘why don’t we get married at Varsity?’ – our favourite place to go for a meal, a somewhat quirky student pub in Coventry with an amazing menu. Unbeknownst to him, I made some enquiries and spoke to the super lovely manager, Rachel, who was so excited to have us there for our wedding reception. It wasn’t something they had ever done before, although they have parties there all the time, but they pulled out all the stops for us. They really went the extra mile, putting up all of our decorations for us and setting everything up beautifully (after my very helpful instructions of “here is a box of stuff, please make it all look pretty”).”

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An Intimate Ohio Wedding: Ashley & Jon

“Jon & I were married on a scorching hot day (temperatures just shy of 100F!) in September of last year in Columbus, Ohio”, wrote Ashley. “This was the culmination of a year and a half of UK to USA long distance relationshipping! We met while living and teaching ESL in South Korea 3 years ago, and after 8 months of dating while there decided to keep trying even as we returned to our respective continents. After Korea, I started a master’s degree course in Ohio while Jon returned to Brighton and found a job. The year and a half apart was tough but we kept the love alive with lots and lots of Skyping and daily gchats. We got engaged when Jon surprised me by secretly flying to Ohio (an impressive collaboration between himself and one of my best friends/roommate) on February 13th, 2011 with a vintage ring he’d bought at an antique shop in the Brighton Lanes.  I was absolutely shocked, believe me!”

Aww what a lovely engagement story for an even lovelier wedding. The busy couple decided a small wedding would suit them best. The stress of having to plan a giant wedding was something they just didn’t want! “We had a joyous day that was part intimate celebration, part raucous party, and all love (and….booze)”, Ashley continued. “Jon’s parents and two siblings were our only English contingent at the wedding, and they flew in the day before – well, except for his sister, who had to take a taxi directly from the airport to our ceremony! I had my 4 parents in attendance (dad/stepmom, mom/stepdad) and my sister, plus a smattering of aunts, uncles, nieces, and friends. Overall, we had 24 people there with us. It was the perfect size and we felt that this meant everyone there constituted our ‘wedding party’, with no need for bridesmaids and groomsmen.”

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A Hackney Bash with an Orange Colour Scheme: Laura & Hanno

Orange isn’t a colour you see enough at weddings… but we should –  Laura & Hanno’s Hackney wedding proves how amazing it can look! The couple were married at Stoke Newington Town Hall, just half a mile from their flat, with their reception taking place at The Londesborough pub.

From the bride’s gorgeous 50s inspired dress, to the bridesmaid’s burnt orange numbers, the theme just really works. “Ever since we started planning the wedding I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to look HOT,” explained Laura. “Not pretty, not sweet, not floral, not vintage – just HOT! So, when I came across the totally original orange dresses in the Spoiled Youth collection by Aqua, I knew I’d found my weapons, and our wedding colour! I did hear on a couple of occasions that ‘I shouldn’t make my bridesmaids look too good, to make sure I look better’…What a load of crap!”

” As soon as I’d heard that, I went all out – they are my best friends, and all happen to be totally gorgeous, so I wanted to absolutely maximise their minxing potential!  They all ended up choosing which dress they preferred from the collection – with a bit of faffing around we got them all sorted, even the lovely Celeste, who made me so proud by sticking with it all despite being almost 8 months pregnant on the day! The pièces de resistance though were definitely their amazing hair and make up, all done by the super cool Elbie Van Eeden. The girls chose their own hairstyles, but they all had a plait somewhere to keep a running theme throughout.”

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A Quirky & Vintage Manchester Pub Wedding: Mike & Geraldine

Retro board games on the tables, a laid back pub location, a gorgeous heirloom vintage dress & yellow Vivienne Westwood shoes. What’s not to love about Mike & Geraldine’s Manchester wedding? Answer: Nothing.

The wedding was held at Manchester town hall and Odder Bar. The couple picked the pub location for it’s quirky decor, laid back vibe and the ability to do anything they wanted with the space.

“I am one of those kind of girls that most people, especially organised list-making people, want to give a good shake to,” Geraldine began with a giggle. “So just to bug people more I went and fell madly in love with Mr Practically Horizontal himself… Not being a planner means I jump out of bed, sling a few things together and then give people a mystified kind of look of gratitude when they compliment the finished look… And this is exactly what happened with our wedding as well.”

“We’ve always loved the gothic beauty of Manchester Town Hall, even before a wedding was even on the cards for us, it was always going to be the venue that we had our ceremony in. However we had problems deciding on a reception venue. At the beginning we agreed on a barn and field in Glossop, but the couple who owned it ended up getting divorced and sold it so we were back to square one. We were sat in Odder bar one night and I realised just how comfortable we were there. It is so eccentrically decorated with walls of mirrors, butterflies and clocks so it just hit us that this would be perfect. They had never hosted a wedding before but gave us free run of the place and Dan, their head chef, organised an amazing mix of foods for our guests.”

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A Hackney Vintage Mash Up: Aimee & Lee

Aimee & Lee were married in April at the Hackney Council Chambers. The wedding had an effortlessly cool, East London vibe with vintage elements throughout. “We both really love Hackney and wanted to get married in the borough as we brought our first home here and its where we first met”, the bride told me. “We picked the council chamber because of its art deco features and also it is a circular room so it felt really intimate and we loved the idea of being surrounded in a circle by all our family and friends.”

The Peasant Pub in Clerkenwell proved to be the perfect reception venue for this laid back couple. They were able to hire the entire pub for a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding venue, as well as really go to town putting their own stamp on the decor. “Myself and Lee wanted a relaxed wedding venue and somewhere where we felt at home, this happened to be a pub in Clerkenwell”, the bride continued. “It has some lovely original Victorian features in the pub and being a lover of anything old it was the perfect spot. I also had specfic ideas of how I wanted to decorate it and Nick the owner was open and let us decorate it how we felt. He was fantastic at planning and helped us with any queries, his staff where also incredibly helpful on the day.”

“We tried to do a lot of decoration at the pub ourselves so customised our own bunting with our initials entwined. Lee is a massive lover of Scrabble so everyone had a Scrabble name as there name place. I also brought loads of vintage table cloths on eBay to give the pub a vintage feel. Our favours where a tape we recorded together of one of our favourite songs, Johnny Cash – Jackson. I can’t sing so I’m hoping no one has actually played it.”

The bride wore a 1940s vintage wedding dress which she found in Hope and Harlequin, Brighton. “As a massive lover of anything old I always knew my dress would be vintage”, she explained. “I went to Hope and Harlequin in Brighton as its a relaxed atmosphere and you can browse through the rails of dresses from all eras. Louise the owner is a jem and encouraged me to try on all styles. I ended up choosing a 1940s dress with pearl embellishment, which they took in for me and ended up fitting me like a glove, it was perfect and reduced me to tears.”

With her perfect dress she added customised Kurt Geiger shoes and and a homemade 1920s inspired cap veil. “I love Kurt Geiger shoes and wanted something classic but with a modern twist, so I brought the shoes and a talented friend of mine customised the soles so they where neon pink. I made my veil myself and was influenced by the 1920/30s caplets. I found a old pearl necklace and brought some silk mesh from Berwick St in London. The floral brooches on the ear pieces where from Hammersmith vintage market.”

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A ‘US Meets UK’ Rock n Roll Wedding: Aaron & Melanie

Aaron & Melanie’s rocking 50s wedding does exactly what it says on the tin.  This is unadulterated Rock n Roll Bride gold and I’m thrilled to share it with you today. The couple, who met in San Francisco while Melanie was there on holiday, were married at the end of January at Old Marylebone Town Hall, London. “We met whilst out dancing at a rockabilly club called the Jay n Bee, and whilst there was instant attraction, I was only on a two week holiday so nothing really happened,” Melanie told me. “However, I returned to the USA a few months later for Las Vegas and a three month stay in San Francisco, and that’s when we started dating.  We continued travelling between San Francisco and London, and got engaged on our 8 month anniversary (which was also Christmas Eve) whilst out dancing at the Southbank Centre in London.  We had originally planned to get married in SF, but one sunny day last October, we were laying in the garden here in London, and I said to Aaron ‘We should get married in London…in January!’ and so we planned our wedding in just over three and a half months!”

In order to keep the wedding personal, to save money and to enable them to organise everything so quickly, the couple did as much as they could themselves, with the help of friends & family. “We are really fortunate to have a lot of talented friends who were kind enough to help us make our day exactly as we wanted it to be,” Melanie continued. “My niece’s friend Claudia made our cake for the cost of the ingredients, numerous DJ friends took to the decks on the night and my sister’s friend Leena Teperi made my dress for me (exactly how I envisioned it!) My friend Natasha from Pretty Me Vintage did my hair and make up for me and an old school friend of mine, Mike Massaro, was our photographer.”

“We knew that we wanted our wedding to be very personal, and Aaron and I spent many evenings crafting until 2am in the weeks running up to the wedding! We made bunting, table decorations, cookies for favours, the table plan, signs, labels for the sweetie jars, mini-bunting for the table names, and my personal favourite – Aaron made Mr & Mrs 3D letters from scratch, using card, glue and tube maps (to keep with the UK part of our UK meets USA theme!)”

The most important thing to these two though? Well it’s all about the love baby! “Without trying to sound too cheesy, we were inspired by our love,” smiled the bride. “We planned our wedding around all the things that are special and meaningful to us, and did the best we could, with our budget, to make the most fun, memorable, romantic and personal party possible. We wanted rockin’ music, delicious food, attention to detail, and a fun atmosphere. We started out with a very non-traditional approach, and ended up with the perfect mix of traditional and non-traditional elements. We honestly feel that even if we were not on a tight budget, and had access to double or triple the money to spend, we still  wouldn’t change a thing.”

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