Charlotte and John decided to get married while on Holiday in San Francisco. They had just a photographer there as their witness. Afterwards they planned a low-stress village hall reception back home in North Yorkshire with all their friends and family. It was inspired by kid’s birthday parties and the groom’s pride and joy: His DeLorean!
“John didn’t want the pressure of organising a big wedding”, said Charlotte, “and I don’t think I could have organised a full on wedding day with out some kind of breakdown! So we decided to go to off and get married on our own. “We had booked our holiday to San Francisco before getting engaged and I had been Pinteresting things we could do there. I then made a joke about getting married while we were away… One thing led to another and the next thing I knew I was asking my mum if she would be OK with it!”
Monica and Charl’s South African wedding was a fun mix of the 1950s, rockabilly and pin up. The bride has always been obsessed with the era and she idolised Marilyn Monroe, so it was like the perfect theme for them.
“I always wanted to look like Marilyn Monroe on my wedding day”, she explained. “I also love vintage cameras and radios so I thought it would be really cool to incorporate the vintage goods with the 1950s stars to give the feeling of going back in time.”
“When we started planning the wedding the one thing I kept repeating to myself was ‘I want to be different, stay true to who I am’. With this in mind, we tried to stay away from the everyday wedding trends. I feel that I accomplished this by having a ‘2-in-1’ dress. It was long for the ceremony but we changed the skirt for the reception to be a short, fifties style.”
Cheyanne and Tanner had a summer wedding in Oregon. They wanted to DIY everything and so had a long engagement to give them enough time to do everything, save money and research all the options.
“Our wedding was a culmination of everything we love”, said the bride. “Music, fashion, classic cars, dancing, tattoos, comfort food and big parties… We threw in everything! I would say our theme was a 1950s vintage rockabilly and DIY extravaganza! Everyone said this was the most DIY’ed wedding they had ever seen, as well as the only rockabilly wedding they had ever experienced.”
Sandra and Hendrik were together for 12 years before they were married. They met in August 2004 at a funfair and distinctly remember the smell of popcorn filling the air. They wanted to recreate their first meeting at their wedding, so decided it should be funfair themed. They also wanted their wedding day to be a celebration with their loved ones while listening to great music and, of course, with the smell of popcorn in the air again.
“It was a funfair wedding through and through,” explained Sandra, “We wanted to share our feelings from 2004 with everyone. The day I saw him for the first time, both of us were on the funfair in Herne which is in the Ruhr Area. Both of us were and still are children of the funfair, through and through.”
The inspiration for their wedding was a passion for all things vintage and retro, a love of fantasy and their amazing venue, Preston Court in Kent, which came complete with a vintage carousel! They had a traditional church ceremony followed by an afternoon tea reception.
“We became Mr & Mrs Parnham on Thursday 28th July 2016”, said the bride. “We said our vows in a beautiful quaint church and spent a splendid afternoon and evening exploring old steam trains, having numerous rides on a carousel and dancing away the night to our vintage vinyl DJ.”
If there’s one thing I hope reading Rock n Roll Bride has taught you, it’s that you don’t need to spend all your savings to have a fantastic wedding. Starting off married life with a mountain of debt is no fun for anyone which I why I was thrilled to be submitted this retro bridal shoot using vintage dresses that all cost less than £40 each!
Stylist Ines of Wedding Bazaar Vienna told me, “You don’t always need a new dress to achieve a stunning look and that was the idea behind this photo shoot. All the dresses we used were second-hand and sourced on the internet for less then £40, or they were lent by friends.”
The inspiration for Nicole and Theo;s winter wedding was the colour palette of the Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Other than that they just wanted the day to be relaxed.
“We used the reds, blues, and yellows of the film throughout the wedding”, said the bride. “We had a winter wedding in February, which meant being prepared for a cold, rainy, dreary day. In the end, the rain held off, but we did have a number of big yellow umbrellas on hand!”
“There were some DIY elements to the wedding, including hand crocheted hearts in our wedding colours. These were sprinkled on the tables during dinner, and I was pleased to see guests wearing them and taking them home. We also had some retro elements, including hand-assembled bags of penny sweets as favours, which my family helped me assemble while jet-lagged a couple days before the wedding!”
April and James’ wedding was colourful and retro inspired with lots of fun details. The bride wore a dress by Kitty and Dulcie and a veil from Rock n Roll Bride x Crown and Glory.
“We envisaged a really fun and happy day, which included things we loved and that fitted with our personal style and tastes”, said the bride. “Generally the more colourful, vintage-y or kitsch the better! I spent a huge amount of time trawling through antiques stores, jumble sales, and charity shops for things that caught my eye. I love a bit of bric-a-brac! The owls were a result of a walk in the park one afternoon too. We stumbled upon Owl Adventures doing a public flying show – it just seemed like a fun thing that people would enjoy so we made the spontaneous decision to book it there and then!”
The couple ditched a lot of traditional elements and kept things as relaxed as possible. “We didn’t have a first dance, cake cutting, formal seating at the reception, or a typical three course meal situation!” April continued. “We didn’t even really have many group photos. We just wanted it to be easy going, and so we scrapped any elements that we didn’t want or that made us feel uncomfortable. And well, I guess I haven’t been to many weddings with the combination of owls, pizza and a bouncy disco!”
Wil and Sah’s Chippenham wedding was in two parts. They had their legal ceremony at the register office, followed by another ceremony for all their friends and family at their reception venue, The Old Road Tavern, their local pub…. Oh and their officiant was Batman!
“We both love everything vintage and retro, particularly 1950s Americana and tiki, so that was a big inspiration”, said Sah. “Our flat is crammed full of retro toys, comics and collectables. It also goes without saying that Rock n Roll Bride Magazine was an endless source of inspiration! Particularly when it came to décor and anything visual. We had a mish mash of pink, glitter, leopard print, My Little Ponies, Americana and the 1950s. Right from the beginning I wanted all the colours, lots of pink but also all the other colours, bright and kitschy and clashy.”
Aaron and Emma’s Australian wedding had a retro tropical theme. “Think a Connery-era James Bond-esque tiki bar plonked in the middle of a leafy oasis during twilight”, explained the bride. “We officially coined it as ‘Sparkly Jungle Chic’.”
“You’d be hard-pressed to find anything traditional about our wedding! The most controversial element was the bridal party, as two of my three ‘bridesmaids’ were blokes (they’re my three best friends, and frankly, a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do) and the fact that Aaron and I got to hang out before the wedding (we began the morning by doing the dishes together!), thus spitting in the general direction of superstition.”
Eva and Jay’s cute ‘n colourful wedding was inspired by the 1950s, tropical motifs and a huge dollop of kitsch! “Jay and I both love vintage decor, vehicles and clothing”, said the bride. “We have a 1949 Chrysler, a 1970s boat and our house is all decorated like the 1950s!”
They got married at the State Fairground in Minnesota. “We have a lot of pride in our state fair so it was a fun spot. We did our first look in an alleyway by a bar and for ambience we got to hear two guys cussing each other out at the near by transit station! We encouraged everyone to dress up inn 1950s outfits and our cake topper was from Jay’s parents wedding.”
The ceremony was super sweet and the couple sat on a swing that they’d added to their homemade arch. “My dad and I pulled up to the ceremony in an old car, 1955 Bel Air”, she continued. “It made for more of a dramatic entrance. Also I had my veil covering my face. My uncle was the pastor since that is his actual job in life. It was nice to have someone that knew us speak on our behalf. We also had an uncle, aunt and great uncle perform a song, My Romance by James Taylor. A family friend made a wedding arch with our names on it and he added a swinging bench to the structure so we got to sit and swing during the music. Our ceremony was more focused on laughter and love than the bible.”