Category Archives: British Brides

A Black & Red, 50s Rock n Roll Wedding: Hannah & Lewiss

Hannah & Lewiss’ small and sweet wedding was held at St Fagans Castle, the National History Museum of Wales. For their evening party they moved to the trendy Jolyons at No.10, a boutique hotel in the heart of Cardiff. The venue choices were important to this couple and they both wanted places that stood out. Hannah explained, “We both didn’t believe in long engagements so we set a date for 9 months after we got engaged. Finding a unique venue was important to us, but this was harder than we imagined. Living in Cardiff, we wanted somewhere in South Wales but it seemed to be flooded with chain hotel venues or vast historic buildings which were too big for the small wedding we had dreamed of. After overlooking it a couple of times we went to visit St Fagans Castle. St Fagans is the National History Museum of Wales, an outdoor museum full of historical buildings from all around the country. The Castle is a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan Manor House set in the most fabulous gardens. Even though it wasn’t what we originally had in mind, we knew straight away it was perfect. Also it’s in the area where Lewiss grew up and his parents still live, so it being local meant a lot to him.”

For their wedding theme, they oped for a subtle 50s theme, but really, they just included anything they loved. “The last thing we wanted was a one colour themed cookie cutter wedding”, Hannah continued. “We are both really creative so we did pretty much everything ourselves. Not only did this help us stamp our personality on the whole day, but it worked well with our smaller budget too. We started off with quite a strict theme idea, but over time, we stopped thinking about it too much and just let our natural style and quirkiness shine through. I love the classic look of the 1950s so that inspired what I wore as well as some of the decor; we went for a simple black white and red approach. I was very specific about what decorations I wanted so ended up making a lot of it myself. I did a lot of sewing with the table runners and tablecloths, and we designed and printed the stationary ourselves. We both LOVE rock music, I’m all about 1970s classic rock, and Lewiss is obsessed with 1980s metal, so we threw a bit of that in too with the table names and some of the decorations. We filled the day with music we love; I walked down the aisle to Joe Satriani, we signed the register to Led Zeppelin and we walked out of the ceremony to Creedence Clearwater Revival. During the day reception we had on Free and more Led Zeppelin while everyone was enjoying their lunch and our DJ in the evening loved British Punk music so we danced to a lot of The Clash which was amazing!”

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A Backyard Pool Party Wedding: Kate & Doug

Kate & Doug’s backyard wedding took place in Kent, in June. Kate designed her own dress, hand-crafted the decor and played in a band with her husband at the reception! She told me all about their magical day. “We have been together for 10 years so we really wanted to have a proper big wedding to cement our relationship and have a blast with our friends and family. I really wanted to get married in the garden of England, Kent, where I grew up and have a proper English country wedding. So we started looking at venues and found Ratsbury Barn, a beautiful 17th century Kentish barn in Tenterden for the ceremony. Then, my Mother’s boyfriend who lives down the road very kindly offered to let us use his amazing place for the reception! We got a marquee and extended his pool house area, it was perfect.”

“I had our good friend Adam who works as a designer at Penguin books help me design a fun tea towel wedding invitation with a matching rsvp postcard”, she continued. “I really enjoyed designing it with him and we were so happy with the result, we love the fact our guests got to have a little pre wedding favor to get them in the mood for the big day! We went with a red white and blue colour scheme to tie in with the Queen’s Jubilee which was the weekend before our wedding.”

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A DIY Farm Wedding with the Ceremony on a Dam: Bobby & Gitte

There are certain weddings that make me smile from ear to ear… OK well yes, all of the weddings I feature are flippin’ awesome but there are some that just have that extra something. I think in this case it’s the bride & groom themselves. I want to be BFFs with Bobby & Gitte please!

For their May wedding the couple knew they wanted to do something different – something low key and fun. They spent just £2500 pulling off the event. The ceremony was held on Claerwen Reservoir Dam in Rhayadar, Wales. Although not the most practical of choices, they wanted it there for sentimental reasons. The reception was on a friend’s farm in Ballingham, Hereford. “It took us a few days to get the venue together, as there were literally cows and horses – and their muck – in it prior,” wrote Gitte. “But once we saw it we had our heart set on it, and didn’t stop until our hands were dirty and we were happy.”

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A Fancy Dress Glastonbury Festival Wedding: Alice & Matt

After dating for four and a half years, Matt proposed to Alice on the long drive home from Glastonbury Festival in 2011. So needless to say, the couple decided they wanted a festival themed wedding… or more specifically a homage to their favourite festival. “It had been an amazing weekend of music, love and cider-fuelled reveling,” began the bride. “It was pretty much an unspoken agreement from the off that our wedding would be an homage to Glastonbury. The festival has played a massive part in both our lives and running around in the mud, dressed like loons, dancing until dawn is high on our favourite things to do list. As soon as we’d verbalised the words ‘festival’, ‘camping’ and ‘fancy dress’ the thought occurred that it might be worth a punt asking the Eavis family (who own the land Glastonbury Festival is held on) if they would consider letting us use Worthy Farm. The family are great friends of my parents and scrumptious people. Amazingly they were really excited about the idea and more than happy to help (although they have since decided they don’t want to host further weddings – we might have put them off for life…eek!! – that’s not their bag).  Glastonbury was having a year off so we chose to wed on Saturday 23rd June, a date which anyone who knows anything about Glastonbury will know understand to be highly significant!”

Alice wore ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham. She originally wanted to try and find it second hand but it proved impossible. “I fell in love with the Jenny Packham Eden dress”, she continued, which was way beyond our means. But after much agonising and many months of searching for second hand ones I came up empty handed and decided to bite the metaphorical budget-busting bullet. If Matt’s reading this, you should know I haggled like a trooper and managed to make significant savings and freebies along the way!”

With her perfect gown she wore a beautiful cathedral length veil (FYI, I don’t see enough full length veils these days, where are all my veil-donning readers?) and a homemade headpiece. “The veil was chosen partly due to being fabulous and creating the effect of a train I wanted and mostly down to it’s name. As soon as we discovered the veil was called ‘the golden shower’ and my bridesmaid Jess fell off her stool laughing, we proclaimed it was the one. Some things are meant to be! I also found a fabulous Jenny Packham headdress which I also fell deeply in lust with, but at £450 and with an increasingly agitated groom, I decided it was a step too far and to try and make my own version. My Mum came to to the rescue using a £12.50 Accessorize sequinned headdress as a base to which she added years worth of broken jewellery and a marquisite brooch to create a one of a kind look-a-like.”

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A Rustic French Countryside Wedding: Natalie & Oliver

Natalie & Oliver were married in France, at Oliver’s parents home in L’Isle En Dodon. The British couple live in The States but made the trip to France to marry surrounded by their friends and family. “The French countryside and beautiful barn were our main inspiration and did a lot of the hard work for us!” explained the pair. “The family setting and DIY approach gave the wedding a really personal touch, which we would never have been able to achieve in a more traditional venue, and gave the wedding an incredibly unique feel. So many people contributed to making the wedding as amazing as it was – it really was a family affair and those invites, certainly a labour of love!”

“The way we described our wedding theme to people was ‘french, rustic, country with a vintage-feel'”, they continued. “What we meant by that is that we wanted it to be sympathetic to the setting with decoration that felt natural and homemade but beautiful. We wanted it to feel really personal and relaxed and not too overdone (not too ‘wedding-y’!) We really enjoyed planning all the little details and seeing people’s reactions to them on the day.”

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A Great Gatsby & Peacock Themed Wedding at Nonsuch Mansion: Chloe & Michael

The first thing Chloe & Michael decided upon for their wedding was the venue. They picked Nonsuch Mansion, in the heart of Nonsuch Park, as it held great sentimental meaning to them. They’d spent a lot of time there thoughout their relationship and so having the wedding there made total sense. “The mansion is built on the site of Henry VIII’s long gone Nonsuch Palace and is located in the middle of a huge park that we live within a few minutes walk of,” Chloe explained. “The park is very important to us and we spend lots of time in there, running, walking, picking berries, lazing in the sun with a beer etc when the seasons are right! In fact, it was lazing in the shade of a tree just by the mansion on a sunny afternoon when we first said ‘I love you’ – so it’s a pretty special place. Choosing the venue really was a no-brainer for us!”

In fact from the off, the venue defined style of the day, “As the venue was so close to our hearts, it was an easy choice to make and we had it booked within 10 days of getting engaged” she continued. “From that moment on, everything else was a slow evolution of ideas, a work in progress to the very end! We just rolled with it… if we liked an idea, we’d try it out. If it worked, great! If it didn’t, we’d come up with something else! Our motto – Don’t give in to the norms (unless that’s what you want, of course), keep banging on with your ideas and give everything a go!”

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