Eclectic, Multi Coloured Carnival 1950s Wedding

This has to be one of my favourite weddings i have featured in 2011… it is so so much fun :-) and i cannot wait for you to scroll down and see every last detail of it.

You may recognise the lovely Natalie and Steve, for i featured their amazing engagement shoot back in June…. and they brought their balloons with them to their wedding too hehe.

Natalie and Steve wanted their wedding to be a fusion of ‘carnival, vintage, 50’s, rockabilly, tea party, and village fête’. And Natalie is a girl after my own heart who loves an eclectic mix of everything, which she pulled together perfectly, and within a budget of £4500!! Wow weeeee…. from the 50s attire to the tea cups, the entertainment, the balloons and the retro car, these two thought of all the elements  to make their wedding one to remember.

Thanks so much to the amazing UK based wedding photographer, Marshal Gray Photography for sharing his amazing images today, here is what he had to say about the day;

“Wow guys. We finally got here. I have been looking forward to your wedding for so long. Yours was the first I booked for this year and I’ve been excited about it since we first spoke and then even more so when we met in Bristol for our awesome pre-wedding shoot way back in May. What I adore most about your two guys is that you put this whole thing together yourself. The ideas were quirky and retro and all things vintage, which I love, and yet what really blew me away was when Natalie’s mum told me that pretty much everything I was photographing had been created by Natalie. In short I was truly honoured to even be at the wedding let alone shooting it. Congratulations guys …  I hope you enjoy your photography. (Thank you to Claudia Rose Carter for second shooting this one with me.)”

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Names…. Natalie and Steve

Wedding Date…. Saturday 17th September 2011

The Proposal…. We had already talked about getting married, and in the summer of 2010 I was off sick from work for a few months due to having a bad phase of M.E, so to fill my day I would look at wedding related things, hinting more and more to Steve about getting engaged, I even went into jewellery shops pointing out the exact ring I wanted! Soon after in October 2010 we went for a country drive one Sunday, and on the way I wanted to show him a cute little village hall I dreamed of getting married in. After peaking through the windows he starting acting a bit weird, before throwing his arms around me and telling me that his legs weren’t working and fell to the floor, as I was laughing at him telling to stop being silly he was on his knees with the ring asking me to marry him! And of course I said yes!

The Vision for the day…. My vision for the day constantly changed as I kept seeing great ideas on wedding blogs thinking that I wanted all the little bits of details and personalised things on our day. My mum had to sit me down to tell me I had too much and it was a bit tacky (in my opinion tacky is good!). I wanted to incorporate so many themes and ideas, in my head it seemed to make sense but not to anyone else. So I decided on a mix; carnival, vintage, 50’s, rockabilly, tea party, and village fete. I also didn’t want to use a particular colour I wanted everything to be bright and fun, so that’s why I chose 6 main colours for the day, which matched the 6 ushers, the 6 place settings per a table etc. The other important thing for the day that it wouldn’t be too formal. I wanted everyone to have fun and enjoy the day, especially between the speeches and the evening reception. So I decided to have a carnival room full of games to entertain the kids and the adults.

The Planning process…. As I wanted most things DIY there was a lot of planning, searching, and making things involved, most of which Steve stayed out of! I have to say that without my Sister and Mum I wouldn’t have been able to do half of it!

Budget…. The total budget was £4500 but I bought loads of extra bits myself, as did my mum and sister!

The Venue… I knew I wanted the wedding in a village hall. I absolutely fell in love with a hall in Cheltenham but with Steve being from Guildford and myself from Bristol we didn’t want all our guests to have to travel. My mum had been to Iron Acton Village Hall a few months before we got engaged and suggested it to me, the pictures on the website were old and didn’t paint it in a good light, but my mum convinced me to see it in person. From the first time I saw the venue I knew it was perfect for what I wanted!

The Dress + Accessories….. From looking at wedding blogs for inspiration I knew I didn’t want a “traditional” wedding dress, as I have a sleeve tattoo I knew not all dresses would suit me! I was instantly drawn to 50’s style dresses, as I love 50’s fashion anyway, and I saw one particular image of a large pink bow on the back of a tea length dress and I fell in love with it. Accessory wise I knew I wanted to carry on the 50’s theme with a birdcage veil which my sister made and vintage styled jewellery. I even made some vintage inspired plugs for my flesh tunnels! To make the dress even better I bought to pink petticoats to make the dress stand out more, and I had pink peep toe shoes to tie it all in. I even got some pink Converse to match for the evening party!

Finding the dress…. I first saw a few Candy Anthony dresses on some blogs, looking at their site I loved their dresses but knew they were out of my price range. So I decided to find an independent dress maker to design my dress. After some googling my sister found Louise’s website and I instantly knew I wanted her to make my dress, after a few emails back and forth attaching various images for ideas and then posting sample materials and colours we decided on the final design for the dress!

Groom’s attire… Steve loves Johnny Cash so I was having a look for 50’s men’s attire, and I found a picture of some black and white brogues and showed them to Steve knowing he would instantly love them, which he did, we based his outfit around them. He went for a white dinner jacket with a black shirt for the contrast. And to add a bit of Steve’s touch to the outfit he had Transformer cufflinks and a Superman belt.

The Readings + Music…. For the ceremony we decided to keep it simple, read our vows with no personal readings as were not mushy lovey people, only in private and we didn’t want to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. But we did give each other cards prior to the wedding to open on the morning which had our personal feelings in. I walked down the aisle to The Girl by City and Colour as it’s one of my favourite songs, and the lyrics are cute. For our first dance we had Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash as it’s Steve’s favourite song, and it’s pretty awesome anyway! We had an amazing band play (which my brother is a member of) and they played a variety of 50’s songs, or more recent songs with a 50’s twist such as Jonny B Goode by Chuck Berry, Back in Black by ACDC, Bad Reputation by The Hit Girls and Alien Ant Farms version of Smooth Criminal. We had some of our favourite metal songs done acoustically to make them a bit more appealing to everyone that came to the wedding. Some of the acoustic songs were Boiled Frogs by Alexisonfire, Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, and The Cave by Mumford and Sons.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. When it came to picking my bridesmaids it was obvious I was going to have my beautiful sister Rebecca even though we found out she was pregnant and was going to have her baby only weeks before the wedding! And my other bridesmaid was my best friend Alice, who I have known since playschool, so it was a no brainer! I didn’t want to have many bridesmaids, as I wanted people who were really special to me. As everything was different colours I decided to have them in different colours, Rebecca in red, as she suits it so well against her dark hair. And Alice in Blue, a bit like Alice in wonderland! A 50’s style halter neck dress was the obvious choice as they are so flattering! Louise my dress maker also made these for the girls.

The Flowers… Margaret my Auntie’s friend offered to do our flowers, I knew I wanted roses and old garden flowers. I saw some pictures of flowers in jam jars and fell in love, knowing it would suit our theme perfectly I had my mind set on them. I couldn’t decide on the flowers in the jam jars as I like so many flowers so I let Margaret decide, as she is the expert! And for the bouquets I knew I didn’t want them perfect, I wanted different heights and textures so I went for roses, wax flowers and lisianthus.

The Cake… I think this was one of the hardest decisions to make, as my sister and myself make and sell cakes I knew the sky was the limit with no budget. After many changes on the design I finally settled on a vintage, Cath Kidston inspired cake. And to be a little different I went for a 3 tier cider fruit cake with blue icing and pink roses all over, and as I love cupcakes I had these also! I bought polka dot cupcake cases in the 6 main colours of the wedding and piped the icing in the colours to match, and I made glitter roses to top them off. On the evening we had a buffet of cakes and desserts, most were made by myself and my sister, a few friends bought along various cheesecakes and fruit salads too!

Your Photographer…. We hadn’t given much thought about photography and we nearly didn’t bother to have a professional photographer we were going to have a few friends take the photos. Then we started having a look around at photographers in Bristol, I met with a few but I didn’t really see anything I loved or felt like the photographer understood my idea of a wedding unlike a traditional one. I then found the photography parlour website and as we had a budget I posted our wedding as a “job” on there. Within hours I was inundated with emails from photographers from all over the country, after going through each photographer’s website I narrowed it down to 3. Making the final decision was hard, but what swayed me was Gary’s personality and our emails back and forth about photography and random things such as Karl Pilkington. I love Gary’s photos and his passion and ideas for photos, we are so pleased with our wedding photos, I knew I had made the right choice picking him to be our photographer.

The Details + Decor…. I decided to make most things for the wedding, as I wanted lots of personal touches. I collected vintage tea sets, visiting charity shops most weekends. I bought a lot of fairy lights and lanterns to hang above the dance floor. I made all the bunting, which went on the top table, the stage, and around the venue in various places. In the reception to the village hall we had a table set up with pictures of our family past and present as without all of them Steve and I would not have been getting married. I even decorated the ladies toilets with a complimentary gift basket with goodies and products for the guests to freshen up with, hand towels, and handmade lavender hearts. Steve was in charge of the Candy Bar, choosing the sweets (and eating a lot of them!). We also had a DIY photobooth with a Fujifilm instax camera and props which I made, and the photos went into our guest book to accompany the message. In our carnival room of games which included the candy bar and photobooth we had; hoopla, hook a duck, table top skittles, tin can alley, and many more! There are so many other details and decor which I made, it’s hard to remember it all!

The Honeymoon…. We booked a week in a little cottage just outside St Ives in Cornwall in a village called Portreath. We wanted a chill out and have a stress free honeymoon so we decided to stay in the country, and Portreath has alot of memories for me from childhood so it seemed perfect for us.

Memorable moments… For us it was having all our family around us, as Steve is from Guildford and I’m from Bristol both of our families haven’t been all together in one place before. Steve’s most memorable moment was seeing me walk down the aisle, and mine was actually the day before when we were at the village hall decorating it with all our friends and family. Seeing it complete fully decorated like I had imagined for months, knowing all the hard work put in by our friends and family.

Advice for other couples… Just to be yourselves, don’t try to please everyone, if my Mum had more of a say it would of been a lot classier! I know it’s hard not wanting to offend anyone but it’s your day and you only do it once! Also if anyone offers to help out they mean it! I certainly took up many people’s offer for help.

Credit where credit’s due…

Catering & Bar – The Lamb Pub Iron Acton – Brendan & Tracey Byrne
Cake & Evening Desserts – Beckys Cake Boutique or Beckys Cake Boutique on Facebook
Dresses – Louise O’Mahony
Flowers – Family Friend
Transport – Family Friend
Band – Tinwings from Cheltenham
Chair Covers & Fairy Light Curtain – Dreams Chair Covers
Photographer – Gary Marshal
Balloons – Birthdays
Venue – Iron Acton Village Hall Bristol
Poole Court Registry Office –

Thanks so much to Natalie and Steve for sharing their amazing wedding story with us today :-) Please do leave them some comment love below :-) xoxo

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