z a g a M g in d d e W e v ti a rn e lt A e Th
Editor Heidi Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Director Rachel Holmes email@example.com
Cover Image Photography Babb Photo laurababb.co.uk
Hair Sharon Roberts Wonderful Hair wonderfulweddinghair.co.uk
Make Up Ana Ospina Make Up anaospinamakeup.co.uk
Styling The Bijou Bride thebijoubride.co.uk
Dresses Oh My Honey ohmyhoney. bigcartel.com
Star Tiara Rene Walrus renewalrus.co.uk Headpieces jobarnesvintage.com
Editor’s Words Welcome to the very first issue of Altared Magazine. When I created The Alternative Wedding Fair I wanted to connect alternative couples to alternative suppliers. While working on the fair, I realised that alternative brides and grooms like you have no wedding magazines that reflect anything other than white, frilly and quite honestly, boring weddings. None of the real weddings I have seen in existing magazines show weddings that are completely personalised to the couples own quirky style. In fact, the way the wedding industry presents the way a wedding should be, reminds me of when you are forced to get all dressed up on holidays as a kid and hate every minute of it. That isn’t you and you know it. Celebrate your quirkiness; it’s what sets your relationship apart. As you read through this magazine, keep in mind that your wedding is a celebration of you as a couple, and if you are both massively into Star Wars for example, well then I think you should incorporate that into your festivities. I hope you enjoy Altared and that it inspires you to “altar” your thinking about your own wedding! Comments, questions or suggestions? Send them my way at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Heidi Want to Advertise?
Want to Contribute?
To advertise in Issue 02 of Altared Magazine email advertise@altaredmagazine for details
If you have something to say about alternative weddings, we’d love to hear from you! Email Contribute@altaredmagazine for how to get involved
Issue Real Wedding
3 Editor’s Words 6 Don’t Say it with Flowers Not a flower person? No problem! You don’t have to have flowers on your wedding day and these 10 bouquet alternatives will give you some ideas about what to use in place of a floral bouquet.
8 DIY Vintage Novel Pinata Inject some child-like magic into your wedding celebrations with this DIY wedding pinata
16 Trash The Dress Weddings are very personal and therefore should reflect your personality. This article explores how one couples made their wedding their own
23 Renaissance vs Pirates Wedding
Pirates meet the Renaissance for this unique themed real wedding
26 Themed Cakes for Themed Weddings Learn how to communicate your ideas, no matter how quirky, to your cake baker
12 Make Your Wedding Your Own with personal touches 30 Unexpected Costs Weddings are very personal and therefore should reflect your personality. This article explores how one couples made their wedding their own
Budgeting is critical to wedding planning. Don’t be caught off guard by these unexpected costs
33 London’s First Alternative Wedding Fair
Did you miss The Alternative Wedding Fair in London? Catch up on what you missed with this article. Real Wedding
40 Roll on Down the Aisle
A wedding at a roller rink? Sounds like a blast! This real wedding will inspire you to think outside the box when choosing your wedding venue
46 Vows that Wow Many couples struggle to write their own vows. Follow this advice from gothic wedding planner Steff Metal and you will be well on your way to creating your perfect vows.
50 Finally Wedding Food Gets Interesting
Don’t allow yourself to be limited by what everyone else has done for their wedding breakfast. This article will encourage you to think creatively when planning your catering
For centuries brides have carried bouquets on their wedding day. Celtic brides carried bouquets of herbs, thistles, heather and garlic â€“ the strong smells would ward off evil spirits. When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, she chose to carry fresh flowers, and the practice has continued ever since. In the 18th Century a Turkish custom of using flowers to send secret messages became popular. Since Victorian propriety prevented lovers from outwardly expressing emotions, they would send elaborate bouquets of carefully chosen flowers that revealed their true feelings. For example: Azaleas meant temperance, carnations meant fascination and pure love, and daffodils were for unrequited love.
Issue 01 Nowadays, brides choose their wedding blooms based on the season and colours of the bouquet. But what if you’re not into flowers? Surely an alternative bride can carry something that holds meaning to her? Here are some ideas for floral bouquet alternatives for the untraditional bride:
2. A Pet
Pets are part of the family, and you might like to acknowledge this by walking down the aisle holding your cat, dog, or falcon. If your animal is on a leash, you could decorate it with ribbons - just make sure your animals know how to behave!
Feathered bouquets make stunning editions to dramatic, gothic and masquerade weddings. You can purchase feathers at most craft supply stores and make your own bouquet. Try mixing feathers in with flowers or crystal stalks for a truly unique arrangement.
3. A Candle or Lantern 1. A Book An elegant alternative to a bridal bouquet is to carry a book into the ceremony. This might be a family heirloom, a prayer book or bible to be used in the ceremony, or a book that holds significance to you as a couple. Some couples like to hollow out the pages of a book and hide their rings and vows inside. This is a great idea, but make sure a book isn’t precious before you go cutting out pages!
The perfect choice for winter, evening, and church ceremonies, candles and lanterns give the bride a dramatic air. You could use the candle as part of a candle ceremony, and keep it in your home afterward to remind you of your wedding. Be sure to have someone stationed by the door to light your candle, and don’t carry a candle without a holder – you don’t want to drip hot wax on yourself!
7. Fan Add some fun to an outdoor, summer wedding by carrying a fan. Fans come in many styles to match your wedding – you could clutch a delicate Japanese design, a Victorian lace fan or a bold Moulin rouge feathered style. Not only will a fan look stunning in your wedding photographs, but it stop you getting carried away with the heat of the moment!
4. A Photograph
If you have a deceased relative or friend you wish could be at your wedding, you might like to carry a framed photograph – or a trinket that reminds you of them - to place on the altar.
Add a little oriental flair to your wedding with a handmade bouquet of origami flowers. Choose coloured and textured papers to match your wedding theme, find some origami tutorials online, and get your bridesmaids over for an afternoon of wine, gossip, and folding.
5. Christmas Tree Decorations For a modern twist on the floral bouquet, you could carry a posy of bright Christmas tree baubles. Find colours that match your theme, and get your craft on creating arrangements for you and your bridesmaids.
9. Parasols Parasols come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and definitely add a romantic flair to your wedding outfit. You can pick up inexpensive paper parasols from Chinese shops, or look online for delicate lace ones.
10. Nothing Who says you need to carry anything at all on your wedding day? No one – that’s who. If you’d rather have both hands free to wave, hug and arm wrestle with your guests, then why not forgo the bouquet idea altogether.
Steff Metal - gothicweddingplanner.com
DIY: Vintage Novel Pinata Hello lovely readers of Altared Magazine, My name is Klaire Webster and I’m very excited to be sharing today’s DIY Tutorial with you. Make your celebration go ‘with a Bang’ with this super easy (but messy!) Piñata project. Not only will playing the piñata game be great fun for you and your guests, (Naturally, the bride get’s to go first!) but will provide a great opportunity to capture a series of uninhibited, energetic action shots for you to keep forever. By day, I’m an alternative Wedding Florist along with my husband for our company Paper-me-Happy (paper-me-happy.co.uk). We apply ancient origami folds to vintage novel pages and patterned papers to create everlasting bouquets and arrangements for brides looking to break from tradition.
So on to today’s project; You will need: A Balloon, Sheets of newspaper, Roughly 15 sheets white a4 paper, Roughly 30 pages ripped from an old book, Flour, Water, Tin Foil, PVA Glue, Mixing Bowl, Wooden Spoon,
String/ribbon to hang finished Piñata from, Scalpel or Stanley knife, Scissors, ruler, thin Paintbrush and finally lots and lots of sweets and chocolates!
OPTIONAL: this project gets quite messy - so you might like to use an apron and rubber gloves.
Before we get started it’s worth noting that this project is really easy to make for even the most ‘uncrafty’ of crafters - no precision is required! But as after each layer of papier-mâché is added to the balloon, it will need to be left overnight to dry. I like to use at least four layers to ensure the piñata doesn’t break on the first whack! Meaning that the earliest your piñata will be ready to decorate will be 4 days after you start.
Issue 01 Day one 1 Lay down some newspaper over
your intended work surface and put you gloves and apron on if you’ve chosen to sport them.
2 Mix up the paste in the mixing
bowl - I find 1 part water to 1 part flour gives the best consistency. Use the wooden spoon to achieve a well-mixed even paste.
5 Next, start the papier-mâché-ing,
Today, it’s time to add the final paper layer to the blossoming piñata - this time using torn-up strips of novel pages - once completely covered set aside to dry for one last time. Just one more sleep before the fun can begin.
6 Keep going until you have covered
dip the first strip into the paste and wiping off any excess paste, stick this to the balloon. Be careful to smooth over the contours of the balloon surface ensuring there are no creases in the strip. Repeat this with the next piece overlapping it slightly with the first.
the entire balloon in paper, apart from a small circle (approx. 7cm diameter) at the top of the balloon - as this is where you will add the sweets at the end.
7 That’s it for today, leave the papier-
3 Start ripping up the white a4
paper sheets into thin strips - about 5cm wide is fine - otherwise you’ll be there all night!
4 Blow up the balloon to the size
you want your piñata to be and tie it up. If you have something that you can hang your balloon from, that will make things easier as you will be able to papiermâché both sides at the same time. I’m fortunate that that my dining table is under ‘the big light’ (as my mum calls it) so I used a length of the rope tied under the knot of the balloon and hung it from there.
mâché to dry overnight and cover over the bowl of paste with some of the tin foil.
Today, tear the newspaper or parcel paper into strips and repeat through stages 5-7 from day one, until all of the white paper is covered with the newspaper strips.
8 Once the 4th layer is completely
dry, you should be ready to go, but to be on the safe side, gently but firmly tap the piñata - if your happy it could withstand a battering, then use the pin or the scalpel blade to pop the balloon and discard any loose latex. (If you’re not convinced - just add another layer of novel pages and come back tomorrow)
Day three Just like yesterday, add another layer of papier-mâché, this time I used more white paper - I like to use alternative paper types, as it’s easier to keep track on where you have already covered.
9 Use the scalpel/Stanley knife
blade to slowly edge through the papier-mâché creating two slits at the same height opposite each other. Next taking a length of rope long enough to be hung
from it’s intended height but still be reachable with the piñata stick, use the back edge of the scalpel blade to help you poke each end through and tie inside with a bulky double knot.
11 Taking 22 of the novel pages,
Now time for the fun bit decorating! Anything goes really, you could paint it with poster paints in the right colours, use crepe paper strips or even spray it silver, but I’ll explain how I used vintage novel pages and tin foil to create my version.
roll each around a pencil to help each page curl. Next, cut strips into each of the pages leaving a 2cm at the top to keep the strips together. Starting at the bottom and working your way up, glue each strip one at a time until you reach the top edge of the piñata. Repeat same process on the opposite side
12 Finally, cut some 1cm wide
strips and stick them around the edge of the heart and top edge.
10 First, fold a piece of a4 paper
in half and draw a half heart shape and cut round it to create a symmetrical heart shape. Crumple the foil slightly to give a shabby chic, imperfect feel. Then loosely stick the paper heart to the foil with masking tape and trim round the edges. Next, glue the heart to the piñata using the brush and the PVA glue.
All, that’s left to do now is fill up with sweets and enjoy on the big day. I’ve really enjoyed sharing this month’s DIY project with you. If you’d like to see more of my wedding flowers and decorations, do pop on over to paper-me-happy.co.uk and like my Facebook page facebook.com/papermehappy. I’m planning on sharing lot’s more DIY projects soon - so if there’s a particular element of your big day that you’d like ideas for, drop me a line at
email@example.com Much Love, ~Klaire~
How to Make You Wedding
A question I am often asked by clients is “How do we make our wedding our own?” to which, there is no straight forward answer. Ask anyone in the wedding world who has been there and done that and they will answer differently every time, based on their own experiences. There is no right or wrong way. When I started to plan our wedding 2 and half years ago, there wasn’t much in the way of “alternative” inspiration in magazines or on the internet. It was incredibly disheartening to pick up the latest wedding magazine and find nothing to our taste. It was a world full of matching paper napkins with your names printed in gold, the same old design factory made satin dresses, oh and sugared almonds.
Nowadays though, the wedding landscape has a completely different view and there has never been so many fantastic sources of inspiration.
If you want to get married in blue, walk down the aisle to The Ace of Spades and eat candy floss instead of cake, YOU CAN. You just need the inner confidence to stick two fingers up to the “this is the way things were done in my day” generation. So here are a few of tips based on my experience of planning an ultra personal wedding day:
Let the groom wear what he wants! Ok so you probably just spat your tea out, but I do have a point. We didn’t want Tom to wear black, it just wasn’t him, so why for one day would he conform to the black/navy/grey suit? He wanted to wear purple! So we spent months searching the internet for a purple suit and without the budget for Saville Row, it was hard work. But we managed to find one, 8 weeks before the wedding on ASOS.com for £90. It was a slim fit style in Cadbury purple and it looked fantastic. He teamed it up with hot pink skinny tie and dark grey shirt with pointy black shoes. When I described what he would be wearing to people, they would scrunch their faces up like “That’s not what you wear for a wedding” - So frustrating! But he looked so sharp on the day and all the lads loved it!
Get creative! I think I just about made anything and everything I could for the wedding. I went into personalisation overdrive. From the flowers to the dress, the venue decor to the invites. If it was home makeable - I made it! After the wedding it was so lovely to hear how everyone enjoyed the personal touches we included, everything was just so original and therefore reflected us as a couple. Eclectic, laid back with a love of bold colours and exotic travel. So we ate curry sat on floor cushions in an Arabian tent draped in orange and saffron fabric, not to everyone’s taste I agree, but it suited us perfectly and that’s ALL that mattered. In saying that though, you don’t have to raid Hobbycraft to have a personalised wedding. Even something as simple as putting a favorite brooch in your bouquet, or better still something that reminds you of happy times, maybe your first date? I included a child’s badge of the Hungry Caterpillar as that was my favorite book growing up.
Write ‘Love Lists’ . . . The first thing I do when I have a project to plan for is brainstorm, its amazing the things you can come up with once you get on a roll. Start by compiling a list of each of your own interests and a separate one for your shared interests. Say he loves wearing DC trainers, you love Sex in the City but you both love travel. It might sound like a bit of a clash of interests, but you can easily incorporate these things into your wedding day. He could wear his DC’s (perhaps let him have a new pair) and you could walk down the aisle to the Sex in the city theme tune. As for the travel element, you could either name your tables after places you have visited OR you could pull together photos from your travels and put them on a huge board next to the bar. Not only would this show off your personalities but they make great ice breakers to!
Everyone loves cake! If you don’t want to stray to far from the traditional wedding road but still want to put your twist on the day, the one thing I would say is go wild with your cake. You can have any cake flavour, style, size or shape. Your dreams really are the limit and it’s something you can both get involved with. If you refer back to your Love Lists, take a look at ideas you could incorporate to create a cake that defines the two of you. The talented Skye at The Whimsical Cake Company makes all kinds of stunning cake creations, including this one for the Alice in Wonderland lovers out there (and there’s a few you!). It is guaranteed to create a fun atmosphere at the reception and will give something for your grandmas to tell their friends about! The image of the elephant wedding cake was ours, everyone loved it and they were surprised when I told them that the main cake layers were actually polystyrene decorated with icing. Great tip for saving money there!
There are millions of ways to make your wedding your own, I would be sat here all year listing them. Just stay true to yourselves. After all there is nothing worse then looking back at your wedding photos wishing you had done things your way and not your parents/in-laws!
All images ©Funkyido.com Mad hatter cake image © Thewhimsicalcake company.com
Trash the dress is the latest trend in contemporary wedding photography. Contrary to popular belief, it is not meant to merely destroy or devalue a once elegant and expensive dress. Rather, it gives brides a reason to put their wedding gown on one last time and make art. And in art, there’s no rules! Whether doing the photo-shoot solo, as a couples session or as a group trash the dress with a bunch of newlywed friends, trash the dress is all about going out and having a blast without being afraid of getting a little dirty. It’s an adventure for everyone involved! Most trash the dress sessions are done within a few days of the wedding. However, there’s absolutely no limitations. I’ve photographed many trash the dress sessions ranging from months to years after the big day. It’s also popular as an anniversary gift-session!
Images Copywrite Chelsea Nicole Photography - chelseanicole.com
Brandon and I have both always loved the Renaissance faire. While visiting the faire the previous year, we decided on getting married — we even bought our puzzle wedding rings there. It just made sense that if we had this much fun at the Ren Faire every year, why not make our wedding this much fun? Not to mention, it was a great excuse to buy that dress!
The groom’s side and the ushers went as pirates — complete with the cutest little pirate ring bearer ever carrying our rings in a tiny treasure chest — and my father-in-law as a spectacular Pirate King.
Our families thought we were CRAZY when we told them our plans. There was especially some grumbling when they all figured out they had to wear costumes! But they did it anyway and there weren’t too many complaints. I even got my dad to wear tights! (He must really love me.)
Our reception included music by hammered dulcimer, a visit from the King and Queen, a sword fight, programs written on scrolls, lots of mead, and a cake shaped like a pirate ship (which we cut with a sword).
My side of the wedding party dressed as royalty, with my dad and his girlfriend as the King and Queen and my bridesmaids as my ladies in waiting.
We spent the rest of the day riding an elephant, getting a henna tattoo, fighting off an ogre guarding a bridge, and engaging in some “newlywed couples therapy” by playing “King of the Log.”
Renaissance vs Pirates?
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Themed for Themed Cakes Weddings approaching a baker for offbe
Offbeat weddings are by their very nature, a very honest representation of how you desire your wedding to be, after all you, you are selecting a favourite genre or theme for one of the biggest days of your life. Styling your celebration is very personal, you spend months, maybe even years looking for perfect accompaniments to your theme, yet your cake, an iconic element of the day, is often an artistic format that is overlooked, but what an oppourtunity to characterise the essence of your inspiration! Cakes are getting more adventurous all the time, and the world is your oyster.
Issue 01 Your baker as an artist Approaching a professional baker to create a masterpiece for you is a big gift of trust, whether you provide the ideas and the design or barely any specifications at all, but you may be surprised to know that a lot of bakers have specific styles that they excel in. For instance my palette is bold, bright, full of modelled features with intricate hand painted details, and I will go to town for retro, ink, rockabilly, vintage and cult movie themes, however, if you want something a little more traditional with lace and delicate cala lilies, I’m probably not the best girl for the job; not because I am not capable of achieving it, but because I don’t have a passionate love for it. Check the styles of bakers in your area and see what range is around. A baker who loves a certain style will be your very own personal artist and will appreciate the theme detail needed in producing your cake.
Specialists, enthusiasts and fellow fans Search nationally. A lot of bakers will travel long distances, and if you find a baker that specialises in your genre that will interpret your theme more accurately than others nearby, it is worth asking.
Reference &inspiration Even if you can’t find a baker who is on the same wavelength as you, all bakers will welcome mood boards, inspiration collages, reference movies or YouTube clips, swatches of colours or patterns, you name it. We want to nail the cake for your big day just as much as you want to receive a perfect-for-you cake, so never be shy in handing over a big ol’ folder of goodies to help your baker get in the zone and design you a beautiful cake!
Design Development If you want to put the design in your baker’s hands, ask them to put together some sketches for you based on a pack provided by you of references to your theme, we’re an arty bunch! You never know what we’ll come up with!
Your perfect cake You want a Death Star? A skull shaped cake surrounded by chocolate bone cake pops? An edible scene of a your favourite band in concert? A cake shaped as the bust of Marilyn Monroe on a tower surrounded by vintage cupcakes in teacups? It’s all probably doable. Your baker will soon tell you if its not exactly possible, but they’ll generally tell you the closest that they can achieve. You can either accept their suggestion, or continue looking for other bakers.
Replicates If you find the ‘perfect’ cake on a bakers website or Google for another baker to replicate, please be aware that some bakers work to a specific
style and may not be able to clone the cake. Bear in mind that directly copying cakes is considered poor etiquette by some bakers, so please gain permission by the original designer of the cake before asking another to achieve it.
Sharing your passion Don’t be shy – if you feel a little embarrassed to discuss your theme, or feel uncomfortable asking someone who may not understand your passion, why not invite the baker to visit you at home if you have a lot of goodies and treasures that show your relationship with the theme? Explain why you feel for it in depth with plenty of inspiration images or items. Your baker will be only too pleased to produce such a special and original piece for a couple that it will mean the world to.
Sarah of Kiss & Bake Up, all photos are original creations Kiss & Bake Up.
Do you pick up wedding magazines
and think, “This isn’t me”? the
is for you! thealternativeweddingfair.com
So you’ve got your wedding budget all set up and you know what you’re spending and where it’s going so you’re doing well, right? Maybe not. Have you accounted for those pesky unexpected costs? By “unexpected costs” I mean everything from the VAT to all of the undergarments that go with a wedding dress. No one ever thinks of these expenses and then they get into financial trouble when they find that they have gone over budget. I recommend setting aside 10% of your budget for unexpected expenses. It may sound like a lot to set aside but whatever you don’t spend, you can take with you on your honeymoon! Here is a list of some of the most notorious unexpected expenses that creep up on unsuspecting brides.
VAT When you get a quote from any supplier it is important to ask whether or not VAT is included in the price. So let’s say you have budgeted £5000 for your reception and that is the maximum amount you can spend. If VAT is not included you do not really have a budget of £5000, you actually have a budget of £4125 (VAT=£875). Also, keep in mind the planned VAT increase and find out what rate of VAT you will need to pay for your wedding date.
Issue 01 Corkage Fee As you may be aware, you can find some pretty good deals on alcohol for your reception should you choose to provide your own. However, be weary because some venues have what is called a corkage fee. A corkage fee is the fee that a venue will charge to serve alcohol that you have brought yourself. This is in place because venues make so much money off of their alcohol and they lose that revenue when you decide to bring your own. Depending on your venue, it may still work out cheaper to provide your own alcohol if they allow you to so explore this possibility.
Cake-cutting Fee Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds. This is literally the fee a venue may charge to in order to cut and serve your wedding cake. When interviewing your venue, be sure to ask if this fee is something that they charge.
Alterations It is likely that your dress will need to be altered and these costs can be substantial depending on the complexity of the work that needs to be done. You do not have to go to the shop that you purchased your gown from; you are free to shop around for a better value.
Delivery Costs Several things will need to be delivered to the wedding venue from the chair covers to the wedding cake. Not everyone charges a delivery fee but it is better to ask and be aware of it than to be caught unprepared for it at the last minute.
Gratuities This is more of an issue in America than it is here in the UK but it is customary to tip some of your
suppliers, namely your wedding officiant. This is usually only when the officiant is a minister and is seen as a thank you gift from the couple.
Undergarments I remember the first time I tried on a wedding dress-I had no idea there were so many undergarments to go along with it! It is likely that you will have budgeted for your veil and tiara but what about your undergarments?
Postage Most couples account for the cost of their invitations, RSVP cards and thank you notes, but seem to forget about the postage. This cost can be substantial depending on the size of your wedding so be prepared by planning ahead for it.
Make-up/Hair Trials Before your big day, you may want to do a test run with your beautician. Many packages include trials, but ask your beautician to be sure.
Include these costs with your invitations and other paper goods.
Flowers for Other People You must keep in mind not only your bridal party, but your parents as well as they often wear a boutonnière or corsage on the day of the wedding.
Vendor Meals Some vendors, such as your photographer, will be with you for the entire day and may request that they be fed. It usually will say in a vendor contract if they expect to be fed and if it does not you should definitely ask. I could probably go on and on about things I have seen people forget about entirely because the wedding planning process is a hectic one, but these are some of the main expenses that couples may incur. Don’t be overwhelmed, you are not likely to incur all of these expenses, but it is important to be aware and read your contracts carefully.
Other Paper Goods This can include menus, place cards, as well as ceremony programs.
Heidi Thompson - thealternativeweddingfair.com
Alternative Wedding Fair
Puts Fun and Personal Style Back Into Weddings
As many of you know, on 22nd January The Alternative Wedding Fair came to Piccadilly Institute in London to host London’s very first Alternative Wedding Fair. I could go on and on about what I thought about the fair, but I think it is more important to hear what the attendees and exhibitors thought...
Special thanks to Pearl Productions for this awesome video!
“Great to be able to talk to vendors who offer an alternative to the standard idea of how weddings should be, I wish there had been more!” Amanda (alternative bride-to-be)
“Exploring the Alt Wedding Fair was like discovering a hidden treasure in the massive wedding industry! Aimed at people just like me who want something different from the bland samey wedding market. I enjoyed my day chatting to all of the amazing vendors who can help me create my perfect wedding to my taste! It was inspiring and a breath of fresh air. Just what I needed! Many Thanks Alt Wedding Fair! “ Kim (alternative bride-to-be)
Heidi Thompson - thealternativeweddingfair.com
The Alternative Wedding Fair is such a fantastic concept and fills a HUGE gap in the market. The countr y is flooded with traditional, mainstream wedding fairs and if you are bride looking for something a little bit different you really have to hunt down suppliers and spend hours and hours trawling the internet to find what your after. The Alternative Wedding Fair tracks down all those suppliers for you, from all corners of the countr y and puts them in one venue! I am so grateful that a show like the Alternative Wedding Fair exists as it gives my business the perfect platform to meet the right kind of customers and gives Brides a fantastically fun, exciting and inspiring day!!
(Elisabeth Armstrong Designs) Dress featured previous page
“I feel like this is just the beginning and it’ll get better and better each time. Lovely people, great range of suppliers and a refreshing alternative to regular wedding fairs!” Rachael (alternative bride-to-be)
Heidi Thompson - thealternativeweddingfair.com
“With only just starting my wedding planning journey being able to go to the alternative wedding fair was fantastic. I want a wedding that totally reflects my fiancé and I and the so called traditional vendors weren’t doing it for us. It was ace to find out there are people out there that can help us realise our dream wedding and not look down on us.” Laura (alternative bride-to-be) “I was thrilled to have been a part of The Alternative Wedding Fair. All of the exhibitors were of an extremely high standard and all of the guests in attendance were enthusiastic and excited. The catwalk show really set the Fair apart from others that we have participated in previously and we all really enjoyed the event (even though by hometime, we were exhausted, having been so busy on our stand!).” Charlotte White (Restoration Cake)
Laura McCluskey of Just Married Photography took some amazing shots of the day and managed to capture an amazing moment. She took the models outside of the venue to take some photos and these lovely gents showed up looking all dapper and started dancing with them! It was one of those moments that you could never plan and was totally spontaneous.
All in all, I think it is fair to say that the London fair was a massive success. In fact, I know of four suppliers that had bookings within a week of the fair and two of those were within 48 hours! I am looking forward to the next fair which is in Manchester. You can find more details on the Manchester fair here: thealternativeweddingfair.com/events I am also actively searching for venues in both Glasgow and Brighton for the autumn so be sure to check the website to see when those will be!
Heidi Thompson - thealternativeweddingfair.com
Roll on Down the Aisle I can’t tell you how excited I was to shoot this wedding. Not only was it very unique but it incorporated one of my favorite childhood activities, ROLLER SKATING and my adult passion, PHOTOGRAPHY! That’s right, this wedding was a roller skating wedding held inside a roller rink that wasn’t touched by time since 1985. It was awesome. When Liz and Dave told me about their plans to get married inside a roller rink while on skates I couldn’t believe it. You see, I did a little competitive skating back in the day. Yes, I actually could do sow-cow and axel jumps while wearing a fully sequined skating dress. This wedding was right up my alley. I jumped at the chance to meet them at The Golden Skate, the wedding venue, and as soon as I stepped inside that building untouched by time I knew I wanted to document this special wedding. I was just going to chat with them but after about 10 minutes of watching them on the rink like a kid who had to sit out a game I finally couldn’t take it anymore and had to put on some skates. It’s amazing what happens when you do something as an adult that you thoroughly loved as a kid. It’s freeing actually. My mind went blank and I could have skated around and around for hours completely carefree. Luckily I didn’t, because the next day my adult body reminded me that I wasn’t a kid anymore.
So their wedding day FINALLY came and it was just as cool as I imagined it to be with button bouquets, vintage roller skate cases, and one adorable Betsy Johnson dress. Liz and Dave really did get married on skates and had a pretty fun party for their guests with a lot of skating in between. I didn’t shoot the wedding while on skates, for fear of falling and breaking my equipment and ruining the wedding, but at the last 45 minutes of the day I laced up my rental skates and went around that rink like a fool until I was sweaty, out of breath and 12 years old again. Thanks Liz and Dave for letting me document your wedding while combing my childhood and adult passions of roller skating and photography! I’ll never forget it.
Michelle Hayes Photography
Images Copywrite Michelle Hayes Photography - michellehayesphotos.com 43
Writing your own
Wedding Vows Being an alternative couple, you’re not going to be pulling your wedding vows from some generic vow-generating website and writing your own vows can be the hardest aspect of wedding planning. How do you articulate your feelings about your partner and the commitment you’re about to make? Not to worry – we’ve put together a great guide on writing your own wedding vows:
Brainstorm with Your Partner Like every other major aspect of your wedding planning, writing your vows should begin with discussion with your partner. With pen and paper handy to write down any ideas, discuss what you want your vows to be – for some people they’re an affirmation of your relationship, for others they’re a promise to be kept, and for others they’re a chance to extol the virtues (and foibles) of their partner.
If your wedding has a theme, discuss whether your vows should reflect that theme. For example, at a gothic wedding ceremony you might like to incorporate lines from your favourite Romantic poetry into your wedding vows. You might also decide whether your vows are going to be lighthearted and funny, or more serious and ritualistic. With your piece of paper in hand, talk with your partner about your relationship, what it means to you and the promises you want to make to each other. Write down all your ideas even if they seem silly or cliché or soppy. Here are some questions to help you:
Questions ! What makes your fiancé so awesome? ! How did you realise you were in love with them? ! What do you admire about the way they treat other people? ! What does marriage mean to you? ! What have been some of your favourite moments together as a couple? Why were they so special? ! Are there other people you want to include in the vows – for example, children? ! List five words that describe your partner and five words that describe your relationship. ! How do you cope with problems as a couple? ! What makes your relationship so strong? ! How will changes in your lives and personalities affect your relationship? ! What do you think your lives will be like in 30 years time? If you have readings, song lyrics or poems that mean a lot to you, you might also like to include these in your vows.
Steff Metal - gothicweddingplanner.com
Writing the Vows
Go over everything you’ve written down and talked about, and pull passages and fragments you want to incorporate into your vows. You could do this together, or separately, keeping your vows secret until the wedding day.
Most couples exchange vows by reading them aloud during their wedding ceremony. When you declare your vows to each other in the presence of your friends and family, you’re making that sacred commitment public and official.
Don’t worry if you’re more of a Bob the Builder than a Lord Byron – your vows don’t have to be a poetic work of art. As long as you’re sincere – and you don’t waffle on for pages – your partner and your guests will love your vows. In fact, the shorter your vows, the better – you can express a lot in a few well-chosen phrases. It can be helpful to have a close friend, or your celebrant, look over your vows. They can help you fix clumsy words and suggest alternative ways of phrasing something to make your vows truly beautiful.
But what if you’re shy? What if the thought of sharing your personal feelings about your spouse in front of so many people makes you feel ill? What if your terror at speaking at your own wedding is overshadowing your excitement about the big day? There is no rule that says your vows need to be read aloud to be “official”. I officiated a wedding recently where the couple decided they didn’t want to share their vows aloud. Instead, they wrote them down and sealed them in black and silver envelopes. When the time came for them to exchange vows, they exchanged these envelopes instead. They read them later, in private. I’ve known other couple who whisper their vows to each other, or have members of their wedding party read out the vows for them. Talk to your celebrant about the legal requirements for your wedding ceremony, and fit in a private vow exchange around these. You’ll feel much calmer and will be able to enjoy your wedding ceremony. If you’re going to read out your own vows, make sure you give your celebrant a copy to take to the wedding ceremony. From experience, I don’t recommend memorising your wedding vows – with the emotion of the day, you’re liable to forget them halfway through! Writing your own wedding vows can be one of the toughest creative challenges you’ll ever face. But when you’re standing before your family and friends and looking into the eyes of your lover, you’ll be glad you took the time to create vows that reflect your personality and relationship.
Ste ff a nd James’ Weddi ng Vow s I spent weeks agonising over the wording for our heavy metal medieval wedding ceremony, but I just couldn’t get it right. My husband took one look at my ceremony and vows and told me to pull out a fresh page. He wrote these simple vows: “I place my sword, my life, and my heart at your feet. I vow to protect and honour you Through whatever may follow From this day on As I link my soul to yours. And take you as my wife.” And right away, I knew how to respond:
‘I return this sword to you, bound with my heart. I shall be the shield for your back And the healer of your wounds. I shall honour you above all others From this day on As I link my soul to yours. And take you as my husband.”
F inall y wedding food gets
You’ve spent hours sourcing the perfect venue, so why not show your wedding food the same respect? Forget the standard three-course, sit-down chicken in white wine sauce kinda meal - more and more couples are injecting a generous dollop of their personalities into how they approach the wedding catering and their guests certainly aren’t complaining.
If you’re after something with a splash of originality, but suffering from a bout of planning fatigue, how about having a nosey at what some other couples are up to? Here’s a selection of this year’s tastiest trends: t Hearty, rustic hotpots (or saucy summery casseroles) in the centre of the table - eating ‘en famille’ t Luxurious canapé parties - standing is the new sitting, darlings t Classic childhood favourites - do avoid Smash and Angel Delight, though t Platters of miniature desserts for guests to help themselves to during speeches t Dinner in a bowl – “bowl over” your guests with stylish, seasonal bowl food menus showcasing the finest dishes. The perfect middle ground between canapés and formal dining. t Al fresco noshing - hog roasts, BBQs and seriously swanky picnics t Sumptuous five-course ‘taster’ menus - to satisfy the fussiest of foodies
Of course, you’ll need a catering company with oodles of creativity and flair to produce gorgeous grub like this to your exact specifications and Purple Grape Catering is just the beastie. Very sensibly, the mantra is flexibility (if they can do it, you can have it) and what its team of selfconfessed foodies doesn’t know about creating personalised, bespoke menus featuring seasonal and sustainable produce for all tastes and budgets just ain’t worth knowing, quite frankly. They’re also very nice people, which you’ll find extremely reassuring as you descend into the inevitable prewedding madness. The Grapesters recently performed miracles for an East End wedding for 150 guests with traditional tastes, cor blimey, guv’nor. To kick things off, guests got stuck into tomato soup (and it wasn’t the Heinz variety - we’re talking the finest organic, here), which was followed by a main course of fillet steak, chunky chips, mushrooms and tomatoes - not forgetting the custom-made ketchup and brown sauce for the table - and a devilish dessert of sticky toffee pudding.
Purple Grape Catering knows that the devil is in the detail, and so to complete the effect into the evening’s festivities, head honcho Emily Gillan explains that, “when guests left the dinner tables and entered the evening section, they were thrilled to find funky, pub-style low seating and tables dressed with personalised beer mats and ashtrays filled with candy and chocolate cigarettes, together with bowl food of sausage and mash, cauliflower cheese pots, and lamb, mint and pea pies - all done in the best possible taste, of course!” So, now you’ve got no excuse whatsoever to opt for a safe and boring wedding menu, whatever Aunty Gladys might think. Repeat after us: “It’s our day, and we’ll do it our way.” Go on, fortune favours the brave and all that gubbins. Get on the intyweb and find out more at:
purplegrapecatering. co.uk. Be warned - the bowl food,
taster, dinner, en famille and canapé menus are guaranteed to leave you drooling all over your keyboard...
Purple Grape Cateering - purplegrapecatering.co.uk
Bespoke, sumptuous dresses that are as special as the celebration ... Classic cocktail frocks for all occasions Wedding dresses in glorious colours that will be long remembered
Call Catherine Shaw THE OVERSPILL, 4 COOPERS YARD CRYSTAL PALACE, LONDON SE19 1TN TEL: 07764 196 284 www.allboneandtrimit.co.uk
A big thanks to all who have contributed and helped to make this first issue happen! Find all the details of advertisers and contributers below.
A Alicia Craft Workshops
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Gothic Wedding Planner
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Purple Grape Catering
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Just Married Photography
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Michelle Hayes Photography
The Alternative Wedding Fair