Inspiration/Musings

Celebrating Great British Weddings With BRIDES Magazine & Nu Bride

Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Megan & Jason by Remain in Light 1

So what makes a British wedding so great?

It’s certainly not the unpredictable weather or all those over the top hats that mean you have to crane your neck to see the happy couple during the ceremony. Or the fact that we confusingly call it a ‘wedding breakfast’ when it’s actually dinner and refer to ‘carriages’ instead of taxis home at the end of the night (why can’t we just talk in plain English?!).

In my mind, the thing that makes British weddings so wonderful is their incredible diversity.

Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Kirsty_Rajan_1 copy

Every day across this tiny isle where I grew up, couples of all faiths and cultures, from different backgrounds and with vastly differing budgets (hello Royal weddings!) are saying ‘I do’. And in the most amazing venues and locations too, from local pubs and tourist attractions to train stations and stately homes. From gay weddings* to humanist ceremonies and traditional village church nuptials in tiny chapels. There is such a huge variety of wedding styles, themes and this wonderful sense of union – of coming together. Not just between two people but between families and cultures too.

They don’t call it the United Kingdom for nothing.

Britain (and especially London, where I’m from) is a glorious melting pot of diverse cultures, with hundreds of different languages spoken, a vast array of ethnicities and a plethora of second generation Brits whose parents were born outside the UK but who have grown up with their feet planted between two, three (and more!) countries and cultures, yet who are all still very much British.

Take my husband, Zee. His mum’s from Manchester, UK, and his dad’s from Iraq, he was born in Kuwait but has a British passport and has spent most of his life in Britain bouncing between London and Wales. Now, to confuse matters even more for our future children, we live in Dubai. He is a bit of a nomad but at heart he is well and truly British. And thanks to my English, Scottish and Irish roots, back in 2010, when we got married, there was no-where else we’d rather wed than in the place we’ve called home for so many years.

Then there are the Brits, like me, who were born and bred in the UK and love nothing more than a cup of tea and a biccie, buy their undies from M&S and strip off at the first paltry signs of summer. Some have weddings that are traditionally English just like our parents and grandparents before us, while others choose a different route. Festival wedding? Pagan ceremony in the woods? Second time around wedding with your kids walking you down the aisle? Why not!

Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Laura_Jamie_2 copy
Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Kirsty_Rajan_2 copy

In this current, unsettling political climate, in the UK and across the world, where people’s differences aren’t actively celebrated but are feared or ridiculed, this Great British Wedding project felt like a wonderful way to showcase love and marriage in the UK in all it’s beautiful, diverse forms.

Find out more about our collaborative project below.

Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Kemi_Yomi_1 copy

We have long wanted to collaborate on a project with Nova of Nu Bride, our good friend, inspiration and all round champion for celebrating and showcasing diversity in the wedding industry. While BRIDES magazine has been on my dream list of publications to work with since, oh I don’t know, my first ever Bridal Musings post back in 2011. It’s the UK’s no. 1 bridal magazine (not to mention the most stylish) so of course when the opportunity arose to collaborate we jumped at the chance.

After lots of brainstorming, phone calls and emails galore we came up with the Great British Wedding project – enlisting the help of real couples to help build a vibrant picture of what it looks like to wed in Britain today. We focused on one particular day of the year (July 29th) the most popular day of the year for weddings in Britain, no less** – and set out to attend and feature a whopping 17 of them.

So we reached out to you lovely lot and the response we received was incredible. Between the three publications, we received hundreds of entries so it was incredibly difficult to narrow them down to just 17 but narrow them down we did (in the very fancy setting of Claridges – which made a change for us as we’re normally typing away in our PJs!).

Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Jenny_Simon
Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Holly_Kristi_1 copy

Needless to say we were absolutely thrilled to be involved in this very special project, which, as it turns out was quite a mammoth undertaking consisting of 1 predictably dreary summer’s day in July, 20 weddings, 40 loved up newlyweds and thousands of their wedding guests plus a host of reporters covering each and every wedding including Nova and our previous editor Claire.

It was quite a challenging project but well worth it – just you wait till you see the spread in BRIDES magazine (out now!) it’s amazing. Also be sure to check out Nova’s thought provoking and heart warming coverage of our project over on Nu Bride.

Brides Magazine Great British Wedding Issue.pdf
Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Great British Wedding Amy_Sebastian

Our previous editor Claire Byrne travelled to the wilds of Essex to report live on Megan and Jason’s feminist and humanist wedding that incorporated their Jewish & Muslim faiths and cultures. It was such a privilege to be a part of their day and we’re super excited to be sharing Claire’s full write up and their love and fun filled day on BM next week. So don’t miss it!

In the meantime, grab a copy of BRIDES magazine’s latest issue to find out more about their day and all the couples who took part.

 

Great British Wedding Bridal Musings, Brides Magazine, Nu Bride Megan_Jason_1 copy

Finally, all that’s left to say is a HUGE thanks to Nova, BRIDES magazine and all the couples who applied and took part in the project – wishing you every happiness in your marriages. Thank you for showing us just how great British weddings can be!

*We’re still just waiting on Northern Ireland to get their act together and legalise gay marriage.

** Source: Bridebook survey 2017

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