Some couples want to stand out from the crowd and do things differently when they wed. Lynette Pinchess speaks to brides and grooms about how they made the day extra special
The newlyweds had posed for all the usual wedding shots when photographer Austen Blakemore suggested something he’d never tried before – a ‘drunken’ bar shot.
He captured Trish, 32, sitting on the bar, downing a drink, with all the men ‘passed out’ around her.
Best man Andy Gunn is lying on the bar. ‘Sozzled’ groom James, his dad Bill, brother Sam and new father-in-law Don are on the floor.
James, 30, says: “I love it. We’ve got it printed on a big canvas.
“We’re up for trying new things. We weren’t anywhere near as drunk as we actually look. It was probably about 5 o’clock,” adds James, a company manager at Gigantic Tickets.
The couple married at Butterley Grange Mansion in Derbyshire, last June.
“It was a brilliant day,” adds James.
Bride Kerry made an entrance when she arrived at her wedding by helicopter.
The unusual mode of transport was the idea of her dad Pete Hook.
“He likes to stand out from the crowd. If we’re going to do something he likes to do it properly. We don’t have any half measures,” says Kerry, who married David, 34, last August.
“Only me and my mum and dad knew before the wedding. I didn’t even tell my daughter who came in the helicopter with me. She cried with excitement when she saw it.”
The 29-year-old senior care assistant adds: “I am petrified of heights. but it was the best experience in the whole world. I don’t know if it was the adrenalin or what but it didn’t feel like we were flying. It was amazing.”
With guests waiting outside, as requested by Kerry, the helicopter flew in through the trees to land in the grounds of Breadsall Manor, a listed building in Derbyshire.
“Everyone was so surprised. Coming in a helicopter is completely different!
“David was in the room with the registrar and he said, ‘Can you hear the helicopter? Is that your wife-to-be?’
“Apparently he said to the registrar that we weren’t posh enough for that!” says Kerry, who is mum to Rianon, nine, and Alex, six.
An appreciation for all things vintage inspired the couple to have a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll wedding.
Icons from the era such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley joined them on the day – or rather lifesize cardboard cut-outs that they bought online did.
The theme was reflected in all the elements of the celebrations – their attire, the music, food and decorations.
Charlotte, 26, wore a 50s style tea length dress, a fur wrap, and a necklace that her great grandmother wore on her wedding day, which has been passed down the family.
Her bridesmaids had butterfly print tea dresses and they carried bouquets of yellow roses and sunflowers.
Will, a 29-year-old quantity surveyor, wore a Reiss suit with a print shirt, stripy socks and a pocket watch – a birthday present from Charlotte.
After a service at St Helen’s Church in Burton Joyce, they held a reception in the village hall.
Charlotte, a graphic designer, says: “We really wanted to create a village street party feel, so we had metres and metres of bunting to decorate the village hall and hired vintage china. British railway
travel posters influenced our wedding stationery. Music has also been a big interest in our lives so that also influenced the rock ‘n’ roll theme! Being a graphic designer I made 1950s style rock ‘n’ roll posters that featured us and other members of our wedding party.”
The food reflected the relaxed feel of the day. The couple, who moved to Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire, after the wedding, chose diner-style burgers and Knickerbocker Glory for dessert.
A shetland pony called Bobby was the ring bearer at Paul and Faye’s wedding at Colwick Hall.
It was a complete surprise for Faye, 33, and all the guests after Paul and his best man pretended they’d forgotten the rings.
“I can’t tell you what an amazing surprise it was when the doors opened and little Bobby walked down the aisle bearing our wedding rings.
“It made a wonderful day truly out of this world! It’s a moment I will never forget,” says Faye, a lecturer in travel and tourism at Nottingham Trent University.
Paul had spent four months secretly texting and phoning Debbie Priest from Clip Clop Pony Rides before the big day last May.
The 39-year-old DJ and producer says: “I like to do things a little bit differently – I proposed to Faye at a seal sanctuary at West Midlands Safari Park.
“You can get owls that fly down as ring bearers but everyone’s already done that.
“Faye used to have a Shetland pony in her garden when she was a little girl so I did some Googling and spoke to a few people.
“I spoke to Debbie at Clip Clop who thought it was amazing. She’d never done it before so we worked it out between us. I didn’t tell anyone as I didn’t want it to leak out.
“When I spoke to Colwick Hall they’d never heard of it before and burst out laughing, saying ‘if it does a poo, you clear it up.'”
Bobby, who has just one eye, was well behaved but Paul adds: “I said to Debbie, if it happens it will just be more stories – it doesn’t matter, it’s more fun.”
Bobby also joined the happy couple for photos after the ceremony.
The pony wasn’t the only surprise up Paul’s sleeve.
He secretly had guitar lessons and, after the speeches, played the song Faye walked down the aisle to, Charlene Soraia’s Wherever You Will Go.
“Faye said afterwards if you make as much effort during our marriage as you’ve made for this day it’ll be a good marriage,” says Paul.
Deena had never dreamt of a big fairytale white wedding when she was growing up.
Instead she opted for a ghoulish ceremony on Hallowe’en followed by a zombie reception.
“Hallowe’en has always been a favourite time of mine since I was a little kid,” says Deena, 34.
“I’ve always been interested in the unusual and the quirky. When I was a little girl I never imagined a big white wedding and a horse and carriage.”
Luckily Alec, a 45-year-old primary school teacher, was equally taken with the idea.
Deena, who is studying forensic science, wore a 1950s-style tea dress from Frock in Nottingham with ivory lace skulls decorating the skirt, a black steampunk bolero and a pair of black Dr Martens biker boots.
Alec’s attire included a dark brown Prince Edward frock coat. Daughters Storm and Hannah, both 14, wore black skater dresses and D’Arcy, seven, and Beau, six, had lime green dresses with mini black top hats.
After the ceremony in Nottingham’s Council House, they partied at Britannia Boat Club, which had been decorated with ivy and cobwebs.
But first there were preparations for the zombie apocalypse party.
“I’m really interested in special effects make-up. I did all our family’s make-up – I had a queue of people to make up as ghoulish as possible,” says Deena.
The guests, who had worn normal wedding outfits to the ceremony, got into the spirit, turning up with a deathly pallor and bloody gashes.
“It was hilarious,” says Deena.
“We had a hog roast and bring and share. All the guests brought Hallowe’en-themed food – the kids decorated cupcakes and someone made a plate of fingers.”
Alec’s parents went along with the theme but didn’t dress up, saying they were old enough to pass for zombies without make-up.
“His mum said ‘Why can’t you just have pretty shoes like other girls?’ I said ‘Come on Sheila, I think Alec would worry if I turned up Cinderella-like,” laughs Deena, who says she wouldn’t have changed a thing about the day.
“I’m so glad we did it. We had the day we wanted.”