Her offbeat partner: Patrick – technical operator
Location & date of wedding: Wandsworth Town Hall, London UK — 14th November 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We didn't have a lot of cash, and we didn't want a shiny ‘perfect' day. We wanted to get married with all our friends and have a great party!
I went with a 50s Vogue look for my dress as I love that style, though for my hair, I chose my usual dreadlocks. To save money my chief bridesmaid's mum handmade the dress from scarlet dupioni silk and my sister-in-law made the cake and cupcakes from scratch. All the bridesmaids got to choose their own dress to suit their own uniquely individual styles — the only provision being that they had to be black.
The groom originally planned to dress very casually in a 50s bowling shirt and pants, but then changed his mind at the last minute — though he was rather upset that no one could see his tattoos. He plumped for a very traditional three piece suit with less than traditional shoes!
As a designer I knew the one thing I didn't want was a ‘branded' wedding where everyone is primped and matching- – guests could wear what they liked, and bridesmaids could have their hair how they pleased — even if that meant clashing in pink and green.
Our biggest challenge: Keeping the wedding affordable in London with it's insane prices. We knew we wanted to get married somewhere memorable, and set our hearts on London, so all our best friends would be able to make it, but soon found cheap venues are thin on the ground. Finding the gorgeous town hall in Wandsworth with its marble staircases and stone fountains and then finding the Brewers Inn pub just across the road was an absolute godsend. And the result of several weeks spent searching the internet.
I think I'd also mention the dress. I fell in love with a red Candy Anthony dress almost as soon as we were engaged. But since they cost more than we spent on the whole wedding, that was somewhat out of the question! My best friend's mum stepping in and offering to have a go at making my dress turned out to be a more than perfect solution. I couldn't possibly have been happier in any other dress. I know a number of people who've turned to making their own dresses and I think it's a great way to get the gown of your dreams.
My favorite moment: The reactions to my dress and the wonderful clashing purple underskirt (a very last-minute addition) were fantastic! I felt I'd made all the right choices.
And to see all your best friends smiling and happy, having a great time and being relaxed — that was my idea of a ‘perfect' day.
My offbeat advice: Shop around. I made a list that I kept adding to with things I'd seen on this website (red dresses, dreadlocks, umbrellas!) and in various magazines and books. Don't feel ashamed to borrow and customise ideas that you love and mix them up into your own individual vision.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
The purple and red underskirts are from Rockers England in our home town of Manchester. Patrick also got his shoes here and they sell the little top hats too.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: