Festival and tipi weddings have been big in 2012… like huge. Like they’re the wedding trend that just won’t quit. And that not necessarily a bad thing, because hell, who doesn’t love a festival and camping and toasting marshmallows over an open fire?
When Amy & Chris set to planning their July wedding, they decided that the groom’s family home, Laskey Farm in Thelwall, was a more than perfect spot. After a humanist ceremony performed by Kate Gee came a various bands and performances with the evening being rounded off with a silent disco!
“Our ceremony was totally unique because of the lack of legal and religious stuff every minute of it was about us”, explained the bride. “My sister and I read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII in English and Spanish which sounded amazing even though I couldn’t understand what she was saying! My cousin Tom, who’s an actor, read a ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ which I’d chosen as a surprise for Chris because we tease him about looking like an owl! His friend Tom played some Beatles songs for the beginning and end of the ceremony, and in the middle we had an ‘alternative hymn’ – The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” which worked really well, everyone joined in and sang along! We both felt quite strongly about being atheist and not having a church wedding, so after a little research we found Kate Gee, a humanist celebrant and all round fantastic lady. She totally understood the way we felt about our wedding and took lots of time to get to know us both so that she could write and talk about us in detail and on a personal level throughout the ceremony. It was the ultimate way to personalise our wedding! She suggested the handfasting involving the colourful ribbons and it worked beautifully – we tied the ribbons to random chairs and at the end of the ceremony anyone with a ribbon was asked to come up and tie it around our hands, and wish us well. My mum had stitched my buttons from the collection I’d inherited from my Nana to the ends of the ribbons to weigh them down so that they hung beautifully and didn’t get tangled in the wind; after the ceremony we tied them into a tree on the lawn.”
Alice in Wonderland themed weddings have been pretty popular since the Tim Burton version of the story was released in 2010, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still love to see them! I mean who wouldn’t want to look at photographs that transport you into a much more psychedelic world? When Adam & Louise got engaged, and despite the fact that they thought the theme had ‘been done’ quite a bit, they knew it was perfect for their wedding. Louise had been a huge fan of the story for her whole life, and had always dreamt of an Alice themed wedding… so why go changing?
“Louise has always been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, and in the early days of our relationship we had talked about how fun it would be to have an Alice inspired wedding,” began the groom. “Then after the Tim Burton film was released it seemed quite a popular theme to go with which made it feel like it would be a bit less personal to us if we were to do it too. However once we were engaged, we spoke about it some more and decided that it was still what we both really wanted so who cares if it’s ‘been done’?! We wanted our wedding to be laid back and informal so we needed a venue that offered outdoor weddings in a quirky surrounding. Highfield Hall Hotel was perfect! We didn’t want it to be garish so we opted for a subtle vintage theme running throughout as well.”
Having visited East Anglian Railway Museum since she was a little girl (and in more recent times, every September for their beer festival), Emily always knew it was the place she wanted to get married. In her own words, they chose the Town Hall for the reception, and the pub for the lunch “out of necessity”, but luckily for them the sun shone for the whole day and in the end all venues were equally stunning. “People loved that we had three venues throughout the day”, she explained. “We even had the miniature railway running for the children at the railway museum.”
Emily got her dress, headpiece and jewellery from vintage wedding dress shop Fur Coat No Knickers in Central London. “I discovered the shop through Rock n Roll Bride and loved it the second I set foot in the shop. I only visited two other shops but everything else felt synthetic and swamped me in comparison to my gorgeous 50s dress.”
“A lot of Essex weddings can be quite princessy!” Emily laughed when I asked her about the details of their day. “We just wanted to share a magical setting with our friends and family and bring together all of the things we enjoy without any pretentiousness – simple delicious food, beer and an indie disco. We certainly had a few converts by the end. I didn’t DIY very much to be honest as I don’t have the patience and I really didn’t want things to end up looking over-done with signs and decorations everywhere – a 1950s train carriage is a pretty good decoration! But I’d like to think I am skilled when it comes to delegating!”