Quirky travel-themed wedding at Brooklands Museum

Debbie and John’s unique and quirky wedding

[T]here are so many things that I want to say about this wonderfully quirky Brooklands Museum wedding that I think I’m going to have to write this blog post gradually over a few days just to make sure I remember everything I want to include.

I first met Debbie and John at All Bar One in Sutton. We sat down together one evening after they had finished work and they began telling me their plans for their wedding. I hadn’t actually heard of Brooklands Museum before, which seems strange now because most people from Surrey who I have since mentioned it to had all either heard of it or been there for a visit. It’s a great place, well worth a day trip for those with an interest in vintage cars, classic aeroplanes and everything a bit 1940s.

Speaking of aeroplanes… halfway into my chat with Debbie and John they mentioned that they were getting married on a concorde. YES, ON A CONCORDE. I was hooked, immediately. I was desperate to shoot this wedding, and when they got in touch a few days later to say they wanted to book me I was over the moon!

The wedding ceremony

All the wedding guests grabbed their tickets, climbed the steps and took their seats to wait for the ceremony to begin. Debbie arrived at the rear of the Concorde in a little golf buggy, and once I had taken a few snaps of her on the stairs I ran round to the front again so that I could be positioned just to the side of the registrar. I was in a spot where usually there would have been the front row of seats, but these had been removed especially for the ceremony. When Debbie appeared from behind the curtain at the rear of the plane it was such a great moment because she was so smiley and happy it was infectious. There was no aloof slow walking here, she was joking around with the guests and beaming at everyone, and John was smiling along with her.

John and Debbie are so funny together. I was so pleased I caught the moment when, after the registrar announced them as husband and wife, they both pulled an ‘OH MY GOD WE’RE MARRIED’ face at each other. They then had their first kiss as all their guests cheered and finally ended the ceremony with a high five. It was all just so fun.

The handfasting ceremony

Another cute and quirky touch to this wedding was the handfasting ceremony underneath the concorde straight after the wedding ceremony. I hadn’t seen one of these before but Debbie explained it to me ahead of the wedding. It’s a traditional Pagan custom where the couple both declare their commitment to each other while their clasped hands are bound together by cords and ribbons. It’s a lovely tradition symbolising how the couple are now spiritually bound together for life.

They made this wonderfully personal by having John’s dad officiate the ceremony. They included lots of humour and lightheartedness in their vows and got all their guests involved by asking them to bring along their own ribbons and cords to add to the first ones tied by their best man and bridesmaid. It was a beautiful part of the day, and also included a brilliantly funny moment where John’s nose started to run just when their hands were tied together and he could do absolutely nothing about it. A moment of panic and hilarity ensued until someone provided his dad with a tissue. John’s dad quickly wiped his nose for him, but was keen to make sure I had got a photo before moving on.

The travel-themed decoration

Debbie and John had done a truly fantastic job with their decorations and DIY details. Brooklands Museum have a large blue room where they hold the wedding breakfasts, and without decoration it could potentially look a bit plain. John and Debbie had gone there the day before, along with a team of helpful friends and family, and had completely transformed the space, making it look absolutely beautiful.

The bunting hanging across the ceiling was made of world maps, as was the plane-shaped confetti that was strewn across all the tables. The centre pieces all had small globes on top of travel books, and were all labelled with the 3 letter codes for the airports in their favourite world destinations, beautifully hand-painted to look like the flag of that country. Their DIY table plan carried on with this theme with a world map identifying all of these places and the names of each person on a label for each location. A really good idea and executed in a very classy and professional-looking way. Everyone’s place was marked with an individual paper aeroplane which they later all threw off the balcony for a photo. Someone even managed to hit the poor, defenceless photographer on the head with one. An excellent shot.

Something I must finally mention about the travel theme is the cake. Oh my goodness, this cake was STUNNING. Everyone was amazed by it, and so impressed with the intricate detail. Truly, Iced Innovations did a fantastic job.

Brooklands Museum wedding

I really loved shooting this Brooklands Museum wedding, it really is such a unique and quirky wedding venue. There are so many wonderful places to take photos, such as outside the vintage BP petrol station, in front of the coloured garage doors with retro signage and with the enormous engine inside one of the museum buildings. If you’re looking for a wedding venue somewhere in Surrey that is a little bit different, then this could be a fantastic option for you. Everything ran so smoothly from start to finish, and I especially liked that all the ceremony guests received individual plane tickets to board the concorde. Such a great idea and a lovely keepsake from the day.

I did a fun engagement shoot with Debbie and John at Crystal Palace Park, you can see my blog post about that HERE.

Themed wedding

If you’re thinking that you would like to have a themed wedding like Debbie and John, I love that idea! You can see a music-themed wedding from a couple of months ago in my blog post HERE. I’d love to hear more about your ideas so please get in touch via my contact page.

Supplier Love

Wedding dress:  Rita Mae

Wedding shoes:  John Lewis

Groom and groomsman outfits:  Marks and Spencer and Next

Bridesmaid dress:  Dorothy Perkins

Bouquets:  Silk Blooms Ltd

Buttonholes:  I Do… Wedding Florists

Cake:  Iced Innovations

Stationery:  Angelfins Stationery