Category Archives: British Brides

A Woodland Ceremony & A Pirate Themed Party: Jenny & Gary

I love love love Shell de Mar‘s wedding photography. Every single image is bright and fun and vibrant. They just make me feel so happy. I don’t know what it is… It’s probably a little to do with the amazing way she captures colour but more likely than not it’s a lot to do with the firecracker behind the lens. Shell is a cute as hell force to be reckoned with. She’s also one of my best friends and so it’s always an honour to share her work on my blog.

Today’s installment of sunshine comes in the form of Jenny & Gary’s woodland ceremony, hillside portraits and pirate themed reception. “Our ceremony was held at Wittenham Clumps (i.e. up a hill!), just next to the reception venue”, Jenny told me. “When we came to see the barn as a potential reception venue we fell in love with the view, the fresh air, abundance of wild flowers and birdsong (sounds cheesy but it truly was idyllic) and just had to have the wedding there.  Amazingly the sun shone on the day, although it had been raining for weeks before and after.  We were bloody lucky!  The only down side was there was no license so we had to have a small civil ceremony the week before (no great burden really – having an intimate day was also wonderful).”

The couple knew they wanted their wedding to be laid back, fun and colourful but they didn’t really know where to start. After being engaged for years they finally decided to start organising with the help of their amazing wedding planner Josie of Savoir Weddings. “I avoided DIY like the plague although I bought a strip of parrot fabric for our ceremony backdrop that I got the drycleaner to hem and my Dad to hang”, Jenny laughed. “I can honestly say that our wedding wouldn’t have happened without Josie.  We had been engaged for years with only the vaguest notion of what our wedding might be until I stumbled upon Josie’s website. She expertly teased out of us what mattered to us about our wedding and encouraged us to start making some decisions (like setting a date!) After that her expertise and support were truly invaluable every step of the way.”

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A DIY ‘Glamping’ Wedding & a Bride with Pink Hair: Josie & Nick

I ain’t gonna lie… I harbor a certain level favoritism for pink haired brides… hum, I wonder why!? So when I saw Josie & Nick’s camping themed wedding I was very excited indeed. The couple didn’t spend a bomb on the day, utlising things they already owned (hello, look at Jodie’s awesome Antaina boots!), by having the reception in Nick’s parent’s back garden and by making as much of it as they could themselves.

“We DIY’ed everything”, Jodie told me. “It can be really easy to bite off more than you can chew though so my advice would be to decide on a cohesive theme early on. Select projects you know you can complete both skill wise and in the time you have. And start early! Anything you can do well in advance is great.”

For the reception they set up tents and and sign posts which is where the ‘glamping’ theme started. “Our wedding was planned long distance. We had to drive 250 miles to Kent the week before the wedding and do 80% of the work and projects that week! We took the seats out of the back of our (quite large) car and piled stuff to the roof. We still had to leave things behind! If you have to travel with your wedding stuff I would definitely say pick small but effective items – bunting, food flags, fancy tablecloths. You will save yourself a lot of stress trying to cram picnic baskets, fruit crates and wedding dresses in your car!”

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A Contemporary Minimalist Wedding: Hayley & Matthew

“Matthew is an architect & loves modernist architecture and things that are minimalist, well designed & have clean lines so we decided we’d like our wedding to reflect this”, newlywed Hayley wrote. “The venue really set the scene with it’s amazing art deco features but funky modern interior so we chose not to detract from this keeping decorations & flowers to an absolute minimum & only in white. We wanted the guests & bridesmaids to add the pop of colour which they did!”

The bride wore a gorgeous Jenny Packham wedding dress and as anticipated, the bridesmaids stood out and looked spectacular in their red and purple Dan Kerr cocktail dresses and matching bouquets. “I wanted poppies but everyone told me they die too quickly so our florist suggested red anemones”, Hayley explained. “When I started researching anemones I just loved the bright colours they came in (red, purple, blue, pink, ivory) so decided to incorporate all these colours in the bridesmaids, who all had different mixed bouquets with different coloured flowers in their hair too.”

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A Retro Red Wedding at The Picturedrome: Jo & Lal

Jo & Lal worked together but only realised they both liked each other when at a 1940s themed work party at The Picturedrome, Northampton. When they were engaged 6 months later they decided that having their wedding at this same venue would be pretty cool. There wedding theme also happened to suit the surroundings perfectly.

“The emphasis on our wedding was inclusion of all our friends who contributed massively” Jo told me. “From the registrar to the DJ, the favours and the cakes, we had out friends involved as much as possible. The emphasis of our wedding was not to spend ridiculous amounts of money but to create a fun and relaxed day, which reflected our personalities. We did not allow ourselves at any point to become influenced by other people’s opinions. What we really set out to achieve was a fun day for all! Our budget, although limited, did not prevent us in anyway from having exactly the kind of day we wanted.”

Jo wore a short 50s style tulle wedding dress with a dramatic red sash from Brides of Wellingborough and bright red shoes to match.

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A London Mod Wedding: Maddy & Victor

I seem to be featuring a lot of weddings with pub receptions at the moment but I love the idea and the fact that they are a cost effective venue option. However the thing I love about the particular pub weddings that I share is my readers. Even with similar venues the weddings couldn’t be more different from each other! Take Maddy & Victor’s mod-esque wedding for example…

“Our reception was at Clissold Arms in North London”, Maddy began. “The ceremony was at St Michael’s Church in Highgate and Victor wanted a good exit from the church and journey to the pub. Whilst we discussed leaving in a Delorium and re-enacting a scene from Back to the Future, there just wasn’t the budget! But Victor is a huge fan of scooters, and had the idea of leaving with an entourage of vespas following us was born. So we gave the local scooter club, New Originals North London Scooter Club, a call and they were more than happy to help!”

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A Shoreditch Shindig: Mike & Louise

Located in East London’s trendy Shoreditch, Mike & Louise went for an urban vintage vibe for their wedding.

“We met in 2009 in Sydney where Louise had just relocated to and where she was working for a charity with an old college friend of mine who set us up”, Mike wrote. “It didn’t take long to realise we had a similar outlook on life and after 1.5 years we decided to get married. Being from opposite sides of the world we faced the tough decision of where to get married as either location would see some of our family and friends unable to attend. In the end we opted to marry officially in London as Louise really wanted her Nan, a huge inspiration in her life, to be there on her special day.”

“We had travelled to London for one of Lou’s friends weddings in September 2010 and had spent some time in Shoreditch. We felt quite strongly that we really wanted a non-traditional wedding for just our closest family and friends. We also knew from our time there previously that we would love to incorporate the local graffiti which so characterises the area.”

The ceremony was held at Shoreditch Town Hall and the reception was at The Fox pub.  “On a return trip to London for work, and armed with the knowledge of roughly how many people would be attending, Louise started looking for venues. After much debate we settled on Shoreditch Town Hall for the ceremony and The Fox for the reception as they were both informal and more suited to our small crowd.”

“The wedding was themed partly around a vintage 60s feel which suited both the Shoreditch area and our own taste, and the invites which were loosely based on a design we saw in a stationery shop here in Sydney. We were both adamant that this should be a very relaxed and casual, non-traditional wedding that didn’t follow any of the normal rules. Most of all we wanted it to be about and feel like ‘us’.”

“It was tricky planning a wedding from the other side of the world”, Mike replied when I asked about the styling of the wedding. “We had to guess at a lot of things. Louise sourced some custom made bunting for the day online from Emma at Sherbet Rose which was brilliant and really good value. We also got incredibly lucky with many things. Louise found her dream dress, on sale for only $200 on the very first day she went looking. The headpiece, which looks like it was made to order was found in a vintage shop in Shoreditch the day before the wedding. The pub, which we were initially concerned would look sparse without lots of flowers everywhere instead looked amazing in all its wood panelled glory in the London sunshine and with only small amounts of bunting and simple place settings. The love hearts were left over from Louise’s hen do and really made the table settings – along with the conversation starter cards we had stumbled across in Sydney.”

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