With their careers in hospitality and production for the entertainment industry, Gemma and Howard know a thing or two about organising events. “Though to be honest it’s best not to think about it too much and just get on with it,” said Gemma, “otherwise you’ll end up curbing all your ideas and never realising your plans!”
And big plans they had for their wedding, as they wanted to create a celebration fit for their venue. Held in the landscaped grounds of Berrington Hall in Herefordshire, they were inspired by the Neo-classical mansions history, and channelled Georgian soirees, bacchanalian feasts and lovers trysts peppered with bountiful blooms, sequins and personal touches to help shape the feel of their day. They had the added gravitas that they are, and will be, the only couple in living memory to have been married at Berrington Hall as it’s a National Trust property; better have a party to end all parties, then!
Vanessa and Vincent didn’t want a theme for their October wedding, even going to far as telling people who asked that their theme was “shit show” (LOL) but undeniably, by bringing their own likes and personal style into their day, they created a wedding that reflected the bride’s gothic aesthetic and the groom’s family values.
“We really just wanted to have a wedding that reflected our kooky personalities but were on such a budget”, Vanessa began. “Luckily, we have so many talented friends who were so generous to volunteer their time to help make our wedding a little more us and a little less stressful. Jokes, it was so stressful!”
“Our real inspiration was just that we are broke and wanted to get married! We have two sons, one of us got really sick and while planning a wedding on top of hospital visits we both had full time schedules. So many friends came to our rescue but we didn’t want to make anyone feel obligated so we went into our wedding day knowing A LOT was going to go wrong. But it wouldn’t have been our wedding without the hiccups so it made it so special.”
They decided to keep their guest list small, not only to save the budget but so they didn’t have to keep a lot of other people happy! “I was trying to satisfy everyone so the smaller the better!” the bride laughed.
Charlie and Duncan were lucky enough to score a gem of a venue for their wedding – Outfields Farm in Bedfordshire. Usually used for holiday accommodation, they had their reception in the barn usually used as a bunk room, and the whole bridal party were able to take over the holiday cottages adjacent for the whole weekend. Many of their other guests camped on site too. As it wasn’t an advertised wedding venue, happening to belong to Charlie’s bridesman’s parents, they’re convinced they managed to achieve what they wanted from their big day for a third of the price of hosting it in a manor house or country club!
Being able to stay over the nights before and after the wedding meant that there was a real party atmosphere for the whole weekend, not just the day itself, which is just what Charlie and Duncan wanted when they began their planning. The couple took their inspiration from the rustic charm of the venue itself and their love of relaxed days spent in pub gardens with friends, family and dogs. They wanted it to be as personal as possible, and the input of so many friends and family ensured the day was completely tailored to their tastes and passions by those who knew the couple best.
It was super important to Drew and Emma to ensure that their wedding day reflected both their personalities, and that it was an explosion of colour! So they mashed together elements from their favourite superhero movies and comics and their love of bright and unusual flowers to create a day that was unashamedly them.
Emma wore a David Tutera x Mon Cheri dress with Irregular Choice shoes, and the bridesmaids wore Lindybop dresses with different coloured petticoats. The gents wore buttonholes made out of comic book flowers, and superhero tie pins. The mother of the groom even got involved with the theme and wore a Captain America themed fascinator!
Katie and Jeff met at school and have been together since they were 15! They were married in August and described their wedding theme as ‘complete randomness’. They were inspired by their love of music so Jeff wore a yellow jacket as a tribute to Queen, and Katie had their favourite Foo Fighters song on her Crown and Glory veil. They also asked all their guests to request a song on their RSVPs so that everyone would enjoy the music on the day.
The couple got married in Jeff’s family home, Wingfield Hall. “We took a lot of time to get Jeff’s parent’s house registered for marriages so we could have it at his family home”, began Katie. “The ceremony was everything we wanted it to be. We got married under an archway in the middle of the room so it felt really intimate and all the guests were close to us. We wrote our own vows that mentioned our cat Frank and our favourite song lyrics and had my brother give a reading (which made everyone cry).”
I published close to 400 real weddings on the blog in 2016 (WHAT?!) and while every single one is special and beautiful and wonderful in its own way, there are always a few that really stand out. Here are my top 20 weddings that I shared throughout the past year. Did your favourite make the list?
If you want to check out more ‘best of’ posts, why not check out my real wedding round ups for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 too?!)
Minimalist and simple industrial wedding
Tattoo lover’s vintage Vegas elopement
Back to the Future Wedding on October 21st 2015
The princess and the pirate punk
Magda and David wanted a simple autumnal wedding with lots of warm colours. Their reception was held in a restaurant with gold chandeliers and they decorated the tables with ivy and leaves. “We wanted the wedding to feel like we were just at home”, the bride said. “Our dress code was ‘whatever makes you feel relaxed’ and we made almost everything ourselves.”
The day started with a quick ceremony at Gothenburg town hall. “The ceremony lasted for about 30 seconds and was very simple. There were a few words of wisdom from the officiant about listening to and appreciating each other, the classic ‘Do you take each other?’ and so on before the kiss and it was over! Outside on the steps our families threw uncooked rice and confetti.”
I love looking back at the weddings I’ve shared at the end of each year (you can see the lists from 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 here!) It’s like a mini time capsule of wedding awesome. I shared a mammoth 331 real weddings this year (woah!) so if you’re bored over the festive period there’s plenty of pretty things to entertain you.
While every single wedding I publish is wonderful, unique and gorgeous in its own way, these are my personal favourites from the past twelve months. What were yours?
Super budget, totally kick ass Alice in Wonderland wedding
The punk wedding to end all punk weddings
Glamorous Romanian wedding
Incredible Icelandic elopement
Colourful and fun wedding at One Friendly Place
Kitsch and eccentric Rock n Roll tea party
With 2013 drawing to a close and me about to take a couple of days away from the blog for Christmas (don’t worry, I’ll be back posting as usual on December 26th!) I thought it’d be a good time to round up some of my favourite weddings from the past twelve months.
I blogged a massive 296 real weddings this year (so far!) so if you really fancy killing some time over the festive period there will be plenty of stuff to distract you. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and I’ll see you on the other side.
These are the 30 weddings that I got most excited about sharing this year. Click the photos to see the full features!
Lisa Jane Photography
Adam Lowe Photography
When I saw these images sent all the way from California by the guys behind You + We Photography, I instantly thought what a dramatic set of images they were – the light, the dark, the shadow – they really stood out. Vasiliy and Angela’s wedding took place at Golden Palace, California and I’m pretty sure you’re going to really dig them…