Jen & Brynley's red & white, 50's inspired wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

The Offbeat Bride: Jen, Graphic Designer (and OBT member "Jensensi")

Her Offbeat Partner: Brynley, Musician

Location & date of wedding: The Country Cottage, Nottingham, UK — 27-06-09

What made this wedding offbeat: We decided from the get-go that we wanted it to be as cheap as possible without compromising too much on a nice venue. We didn't want a church and I have a huge dislike for registry offices, so that left us with stately homes and hotels.

We only got engaged in January, and had originally planned to get hitched around 2010, but when I started looking into it, there was a cancellation date at a fairly pricey hotel venue locally that was just gorgeous. We saw it, and were told there was no minimum charge for a date in June! The venue agreed to do it as cheap as they possibly could so with only 12 weeks to plan a wedding it was cutting it fine, but it was too good a deal to miss.

The bridesmaids and I slaved for hours hand crafting the invites and favours. The table decorations were giant martini vases which I added silk flowers, coloured water and floating candles to. I designed and had the cake stand custom made (for free!), and the groom was so disillusioned with the men's wear in this country, so we had some trousers and a waistcoat shipped over from California.

My dream dress was a tea length halterneck, and I was lucky enough to find a gorgeous Vivian of Holloway one, for a bargain £90!

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Our biggest challenge: Honestly there was very little that I found challenging in terms of planning and organising it. Everything slotted together so well, the whole way through I felt like it was "fated" to happen.

I originally found my dress on ebay, but the woman turned out to be a con-artist, luckily I got my money back and found the exact same dress (she'd stolen the picture!) on the Vivian of Holloway website. And We lucked out with getting a venue that would nornally have cost us £6000 for £2000.

The only challenges were Bryn's outfit, as he's quite fussy, and groom attire is all very samey. He was very disheartened in the beginning until we decided to splash out on some pieces from Gentlemen's Emporium.

For me it was the ceremony, I've never been so scared in all my life! I found it very overwhelming and emotional, and was quiet relieved when it was over and all that was left to do was partay!

The bridesmaids with the butler.
The bridesmaids with the "butler."

We also took along our Halloween butler, who we class as ours first born. Its a long running family joke, and everyone loved it.

My favorite moment: The whole day was amazing. But one of the bits that sticks out was chilling out with my dad in his hotel room for ten minutes whilst he changed out of his suit. We had a good chat about how proud he was of the ceremony and how pleased he was that we felt we didn't need a religious blessing to be married. I really needed that time to collect my thoughts before going back out to the party.

Another favourite was the speeches. We had two best men, both of whom were so unbelievably nervous but managed to pull out an amazingly heartfelt speech. Including Bryn's little brother – who said he'd always counted me as his sister from the day me and Bryn got together. Aww!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Don't stress out over the little details. During the planning process its so easy to think the colour of your centre pieces is going to make or break your day, but once its actually happening the only thing that matters is that you're married and everyone has a brilliant time.

Having a photobooth style camera was really important to me before the wedding, but on the night I was that busy trying to talk to everyone and enjoy myself, I couldn't have cared less if it even got used. (Luckily it did and I got some brilliant shots!)

There will always be bits of tradition that will be impossible to avoid, embrace them and put your own twist on them.

But most of all take your time and enjoy the day. Hopefully it will be the last time you do it!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

  • Beautiful affordable 50's inspired dresses: Vivien of Halloway
  • Personalized chocolates by a wonderful lady, Cheryl
  • Other than that I pretty much sourced everything from Ebay. Always check they have excellent feedback and pay with PayPal if you can (as they're insured) and its a brilliant resource.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

  1. LOVE it! I especially love the wedding glasses and the fact that she's wearing a halter with a bolero!

  2. Can I ask if the grooms waistcoat was from gentlemans emporium and if so which one it is? My groom is also disillusioned with the groomswear stuff available and although we have sorted a hire suit he now likes he hates all the available waistcoats! He doesn't like any of the ones at Dark Angel and the Gentleman's emporium one he really wanted has been discontinued. I can't seem to work out from the pics your groom is wearing one from their current selection as I suspect he will like that one!

  3. Wow, those red glasses! And the dress! And that shot of you in the car with (who I assume is) your dad… brilliant. All of it.

  4. Hey!Cant believe I've found a fellow Notts gal on here! and with such fab taste! loving the dress & bolero! My wedding is similar-gorge venue for a budget price and ebaying and etsying or diying everything else! its sooooo much fun! Your wedding looks beautiful!! xx

    • Coolie! Not that many UK offbeat briders at all let alone local ones! Are you a bride tribe member? If so feel free to message me if you need any help 🙂

  5. OMG! Lovely lovely lovely! I adore Vivian of Holloway dresses. Where did you hire that gorgeous american red car?

  6. WOW! The dress, the shoes, the hair, EVERYTHING I want for my day! JUST GORGEOUS!

    With lots of love,
    Ashley
    Dallas, TX

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