Ed and Elaine show us how to do a 1940s VE Day street party-influenced wedding to perfection. There is so much fun, history, and the glamour of the era reflected in their big day. I think my favourite details are the bride’s entire style and look (WOW!), the Union flag motif throughout, the ration books and identity card DIY place settings, and the use of records as props. And all done for under £6,000! Just brilliant!!
The Story of The Wedding by Elaine, The Bride
“We both have a passion for classic Volkswagens, and have been been socialising in similar circles for the past ten years. We knew of each other, but had never really spoken. We then met through other friends…
“Ed proposed on Christmas morning, which was lovely. He didn’t get the reply he expected initially as my first response was, “Are you taking the piss?” He was dressed in his underpants, UGG boots and cycling leggings!!!!
“We married at Reading Register Office as neither I nor Ed is religious. We wanted a small group of family and close friends to join us when we made the commitment to each other. The register office has a nice frontage, and the room met our needs.
“The reception was held at Rotherfield Greys Village Hall. We chose it because of the original vintage style of the interior and exterior. I fell in love with it as soon as I had seen it. The ceiling and lights were so original. The stage was perfect for having the ‘I do’ lights on, and this added some extra theatre to the decoration. It was also a perfect size for the number of people we had attending the afternoon tea and evening do. The hall also lent itself to the afternoon tea/street party feel.
“The afternoon tea was provided by Mother’s Kitchen. She did an amazing job, and all the cakes were homemade. She also provided the vintage cups and saucers as part of the catering package.
“We wanted the wedding to be relaxed and personal. Ed wanted something that wasn’t mainstream. I really love the ’40s and ’50s and wanted a theme that was based around a VE Day style village celebration. The outside space was enough to know if the weather was good that we could put blankets out and have a relaxed afternoon and a summer picnic style atmosphere. The local area also had barns and a cricket pitch/pavilion that was good for photos. The caretaker was so warm and friendly and was amazingly helpful.
“Our budget was originally £4,000, but we pushed it up to £6,000.
“I wore a dress from Cutting Edge Brides, which was a Lou Lou dress. I had managed to buy it in the sample sale the summer before. Ed wore his own clothes – a Tweed single breasted jacket with a Moon pure new wool waistcoat and Clarks brogue boots. I asked my best female friends to all wear different shades of red. I didn’t want to choose a dress style that they wouldn’t all feel comfortable in, so I left the choice to them. Some friends wore reproduction vintage from a variety of websites. One of my friends even had something made, as she uses a wheelchair and needed something that she could wear with comfort.
“Favourite moments? Ed says the moment I arrived at the front of the register office, when he could see me fully. I have a few moments, including arriving at the front of the register office room and Ed grabbing my hand, everyone travelling on the bus together and people who didn’t necessarily know each other chatting, the comedy of collecting some guests outside the pub, having fun with the speeches, friends DJing, and sitting outside in the sunshine on blankets, chatting and drinking.
“In terms of DIY and thrift, all of the props, apart from the lights, came from our own home, as we have a ’40s influenced sitting room. Also, making homemade limoncello, making my own ration book/evacuee place settings, decorating the records with personalised labels, as well as the guest book and bar sign. The cool hand painted/pinstriped fuel can and tool box were painted by Seaside Neil.
“Any disasters? No, the day was perfect. We did worry about the weather, as it was raining heavily on the Friday and then again on the Sunday. Someone was definitely looking down on us.
“Our advice for brides- and grooms-to-be is to be yourselves.”
Photography – Paula Broome Photography
Second photographer – Ever Photography
Bride – Lou Lou dress from Cutting Edge Brides
Groom – Own clothes
Bridesmaids – Own clothes
Venue – Reading Register Office for the ceremony; Rotherfield Greys Village Hall for the reception
Catering – Mother’s Kitchen
Music – walked in to Let’s Do It by Ella Fitzgerald; signed register to You And Me Song by The Wannadies; walked out to I Found Loving by Fatback Band