Category Archives: Wedding

A Simple Napa Valley Wedding: Ronnie & Richard

Ronnie & Richard were married at Calistoga Ranch, California. Originally from Taiwan, the couple’s families knew each other and had often joked about setting the two of them up, but they’d never met. It was only when they both moved to America (her to New York and him to Austin, Texas) that they started emailing and arranged to meet.

The bride readily admits that she’s not a very crafty person so DIY was out of the question for their April wedding. She did however fall in love with etsy and used it to source as much as possible for the wedding. “We didn’t have anything handmade ourselves except for the ‘here comes the bride’ flag which Richard made”, she told me. “I am not crafty, but I like the unique touch that comes from handmade products which is why I used etsy so much. I am also very into vintage style clothing and décor. I spent a lot of time researching on the site, searching for vintage wedding dress, bridal accessories, wedding favors and paper goods. At the end, I feel really fortunate to have found things I loved with affordable prices.”

“Before the actual wedding, we had a traditional Taiwanese engagement ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan as well as a courthouse wedding in Austin”, she continued. “Richard and I both wanted a western style of wedding, and because we’d done the other two things, we knew we want to go for something simple and intimate with our families and close friends.”

“The first thing we did was look for a venue. Once we had that sorted we built our wedding around it. Calistoga Ranch is a resort secluded over north border of Napa Valley with spectacular lake and mountain views, a nice wine cave set up, and good catering. The best part is we did’t really need to do much to it.  The scenery itself is so pretty that we decided to keep our decorations simple. We were expecting a lake scene with blossoms in April, so we decided to use the basic decorations provided by Calistoga Ranch with just a little bit more flowers for the ceremony settings. I worked with the local florist, Susan, who used two barrels with large floral pieces and rose petals to define the aisle and the ceremony site. At the wine cave, we decided to use candles with medium-sized floral pieces to add romance.”

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A Village Hall, DIY & A Beautiful Bride with Dreadlocks: Gavin & Hollie

I don’t see enough brides with dreadlocks. Where are you hiding my dreadlock wielding readers?! My sister and her boyfriend have them (his are down past his waist!) and I find them very intriguing and totally beautiful…

So you can imagine my exuberance when Gavin & Hollie’s wedding landed on my lap. “My good friends Gav and Hol got married in April”, wrote wedding photographer Anna Clarke. “They are a beautiful and too-cool-for-school couple who had a yellow and green wedding. They did everything themselves including all the printed stuff, going to the flower market to get the flowers, decorating the village hall etc etc. I just love all the colours and Hollie’s dreads piled into a big beehive. Her shoes are amaze-balls too…”

I was hooked.

After a church ceremony, which included a Love Actually style choir/congregation flash mob of Bjork’s ‘All is Full of Love’, the wedding reception was held at Maxstoke Village Hall. “We were a bit unsure what we wanted when we first started thinking about venues”, began Hollie. “We knew we wanted something that wasn’t run of the mill and we could make personal to us, but that was about it. Therefore we started out with our only stipulations being that we wanted ale to be served as Gavin is a big ale drinker, and that we wanted a barbecue. We quickly realised many of the venues we liked were either way over budget, or very inflexible. That’s when we considered alternatives and taking a more DIY approach. After considering a few local village halls, we settled on Maxstoke due to its rustic charm, beautiful views, and friendly, accommodating staff. We were pretty much able to do whatever we wanted with it. The two ales on tap at the bar may have played a slight role in this decision for one of us.”

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A Laid Back Camden Wedding: Gemma & Liam

Recently I’ve been getting so many weddings in my inbox where the couple describe their wedding theme as ‘laid back’. This makes me very happy indeed. I think a lot of couples stress so much about having the perfect magazine or blog worthy wedding that they forget about actually enjoying the whole process! Well not my readers… you guys know where it’s at!

Gemma & Liam’s Camden wedding couldn’t have been more gorgeous. The relaxed vibe of the venues they chose, and their quirky and fun fashion choices made this wedding stand out from the crowd. “The whole wedding was a very laid back affair, from organisation through to the actual day,” Gemma told me. “I didn’t even write a to do list until 2 weeks before the big day and I’m not sure if I even used it!”

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A Long Weekend Wedding at Cliff Barns: Nic & Will

Nic & Will hired the gorgeous Cliff Barns in Norfolk for the entire weekend (and then some!) for their wedding. The venue sleeps 20 and with family coming from far and wide they decided having the space from the Thursday to the Tuesday would make for a nice mini break for everybody with a wedding thrown in to boot! “We decided to make a long weekend of it, and invited our family (from NZ, NYC, Canada) over to stay in the house with us for 4 days”, Nic told me. “It gave everyone a chance to get to know each other and meant that we didn’t feel like we had to squeeze all our ‘hellos’ into one day.”

“We were looking for a relaxed and intimate vibe for our wedding and liked the idea of a festival style wedding, and Cliff Barns leant itself perfectly to that. You can’t help but be relaxed and playful in a venue surrounded by such treasures.  I was particularly fond of the tipi and fancy dress outfits!”

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A Homemade Festival Wedding: Anna & Jonny

“Although there were some traditional elements to our wedding, we wanted to keep the day as informal as possible,” began newlywed Anna. “We wanted a traditional wedding ceremony, but for the reception we just wanted to create a space for our friends and family to enjoy themselves. We had music all day, put out games and a fancy dress box, and left a jar of moustaches on the bar. The fancy dress box was well-used and our wedding became the chaotic festival-party we always wanted!”

“We didn’t really plan a theme, our wedding was just a collection of all the things we love – The English countryside, camping, festivals, folk music, food, beer and Fancy Dress! We’re big campers, and love going to festivals in the summer so our wedding loosely followed that.”

Anna & Jonny were married in April in Hampshire. Their ceremony was held at St Mary’s Church and their marquee reception was in the grounds of Gilbert White’s House & Museum. “We both grew up around Selborne village and wanted to celebrate our wedding somewhere that was close to our hearts”, the bride continued. ” Johnny used to work in the gardens of the Gilbert White Museum when he was younger, and we wanted our wedding day to have a real English-country garden feel to it so the beautiful setting and history of the place was perfect for us!  The museum has only just started making itself available for weddings so we felt very lucky to be able to hold our wedding there.”

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A Maryland Farm Wedding: Jamie & McKenzie

This wedding is just too gorgeous for words…like literally. I just stared and stared at these amazing photos for (what seemed like) hours before I found the words to start writing this article. There really is something utterly breathtaking about this wedding and Lydia Jane‘s images that captured it. I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you today so please forgive my gushing…

Jamie & McKenzie were married at home. They love their lifestyle on their farm, living alongside the sheep and chickens, so a homespun wedding was really the only option. The couple have a hugely supportive family who all helped out to make the wedding happen.

“Initially our wedding budget was non-existent. Jamie had just broken his arm, had surgery with no insurance, was out of work, and I was supporting the both of us”, McKenzie told me. “Our families pulled together to make our wedding a completely different ‘animal’ than we’d initially imagined. We were going to do a modified potluck, put together a bunch of small 12×12 tents, clean out the garage and open the house up to guests if it was raining, pick our own wildflowers, etc. I think combined, our families spent about $6,000 on us. I’m not completely sure but I’ll be honest, this is a sore spot for us because $6,000 is an incredible amount of money and it’s challenging to say no to people who really just want your wedding to be beautiful and ‘normal’ and non-farmy and accessible to older relatives. We eventually gave up a lot of our original ideas because we realized that if our families were going to help us, we’d have to be flexible with our values (local food vs. Costco, etc.) It sounds like I’m complaining, but really it’s just out of concern for what people can really afford and a strong dislike for harmful consumerism. Spending even $100 to us is a BIG deal. We’re trying to start a farm and thinking about that money going towards one-day’s worth of non-local baby carrots was a little unnerving (I don’t actually know how much money was spent on carrots, I’m just saying…) Overall, it was a beautiful day, and everyone worked their butts off to make it so. We are lucky that our families care about us enough to wrangle sheep, brave potential poison ivy patches, build new stairways, and let go our non-traditional trash set-up. This was where the money spent on non-local food became okay in our eyes. We divided the set-up into recycling, trash, and chicken-scraps. After dinner, our guests scraped their own plates in a homemade ‘mess hall’ and were overall pretty respectful of us wanting to feed the food scraps to our chickens. Our chickens ate like royalty for the next few days!”

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