Weddingapalooza Tour Highlights: UK & Europe

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The time has come to share some of the highlights from our epic wedding party tour of 2023! I’ve picked five varied events close to home to kick off with- including adventures in Stonehenge, Devon, London, Edinburgh and Valencia.


As detailed here, we are an international couple, and so decided to take our wedding on the road and tour like a rock band, bringing our celebrations to as many of our friends and family as possible. We dubbed this our “Weddinagapalooza” and even had t-shirts made with the tour stops on the back (yes, we like to run with a theme…). We had so much fun and I’m excited to share some of the many highlights:


1. Rocking out at Stonehenge

Paying homage to icons of rock and the loudest band on earth, Spinaltap, we had to hit Stonehenge in the first week of our tour! Our group braved a cold, windy, and (almost) rainy day to learn about the fantastically ancient landscape and discover some of the mysteries of its construction.


Rocking out at Stonehenge!


I strapped into my wedding-themed Dr Marten boots, and we took the little bus to the stones to walk the circuit around the edge and take in the majesty of the unbelievable site. It was my first visit and it was larger than I expected (certainly based on Spinaltap’s famously dodgy measurements!) and I can see why there is so much mysticism associated with the site.


We got the band back together!


We stopped off to buy pins at the gift shop and then it was onwards, heading West into Devon…


Our “tour bus”… we wish!


2. Hiking to Sidmouth


Devon might not seem like the most rock ‘n’ roll location, but we were about to shake things up… with a lovely seaside walk and chippy tea 🤘


We met at an idyllic mill-turned-artist studio and craft centre in the beautiful village of Otterton. The day started strong: a local gin distillery had set up a stand and kindly shared generous G&T samples with us! Fuelled up, we headed out of the village, past thatched roof cottages, up to the coast path that runs along the 60m tall, red sandstone cliffs of South Devon. This is one of my favourite walks. There are views over the gorgeous countryside in one direction, and spectacular coastal views in the other, plus wild horses roaming about which adds to the otherworldly, Shire-like feel. We even experienced classically British mixed weather, including a dramatic hail storm!


The red cliffs of Sidmouth


My favourite moment was sharing the joy of a chip butty with our Mexican friend…

Wind battered but not defeated, we descended into the seaside town of Sidmouth, with a picturesque parade of shops and hotels dating back to its Victorian heyday. Our first stop was for a late afternoon traditional fish and chips at my family’s regular haunt. It was wonderful to share this with our friends from the US, Canada, and Mexico. My favourite moment was sharing the joy of a chip butty with our Mexican friend who happens to be a chef (feel the pressure, British cuisine!). The verdict was that this double carb concept, flavoured with tangy vinegar is, “very naughty”, but equally tasty (phew!).


After stopping at the local fudge shop for essential supplies, we tripped back to the cars and headed to our village to rest before dinner. We later dined at the village pub, another very personal experience to share with our friends, and we upped the sphere of influence of the pub by several thousand miles in just one outing!


Evening meal at the village pub- magic!


3. London Blues & Goth party


There’s no way we were going to get married and NOT have a party with dancing- of both Swing and Goth varieties! Designed to be our “dream evening wedding reception”, we started the night in a function room at a local London pub, secured one of our favourite Blues acts, The Dust Me Down Blues Duo, to play live, and invited friends from many different groups to join us for a dance and celebration (including cake, of course!).


Blues party people!


Our friends kindly led a Blues dance taster class to kick off the night and encourage those new to dance to get stuck in. We had an interlude for a speech to thank our friends for their support and for joining our celebration (two guests even made it up the stairs on crutches to party with us!), and then the band did their awesome thing and raised the roof with their energy and swagger. 


The Dust Me Down Blues Duo


As an after-party, we planned the night to coincide with Slimelight, the famous Goth club hosted nearby. After a warm-up with some Goth and industrial tunes from a playlist I’d designed, those interested and/or coerced, piled into taxis to continue the party. We scheduled a quick wedding toast at midnight in the main bar to gather our clubbing troops and then headed to the dancefloor.


Goth club party people!


We had a brilliant night and it was so great to have different friendship groups mingling and making new connections- a real highlight!


4. Edinburgh meet-up


We visited the fabulous city of Edinburgh for a Blues dance event in July and decided to coordinate a wedding meet-up, both for local friends and those visiting from the US the same weekend.


Retaining the epic hiking theme, we started by taking in the views of the beautiful city from the top of Salisbury Crags and rewarded ourselves with a quick beer at the summit.




We then met up with our group in a cool historic pub, the Jolly Judge, in the old town area opposite Edinburgh Castle. We settled in to work our way through the menu of delicious flavoured beers in this cosy little establishment, before heading to the dance to enjoy some live music and more celebrations, closing things off with an essential dram of whisky!


Lovely historic pub party crew in Edinburgh


5. Brunching in Valencia


Representing mainland Europe on our tour, we spent a long weekend in Valencia, Spain. This was timed to coincide with another swing dance weekend, but it’s also where several of my friends live and a handy hub to meet other Southern European locals- we had mates living in Portugal fly to meet us!


Brunching in Valencia


Brunch is our favourite meal, so we were excited to combine this with gorgeous sunshine and lovely people- Spain didn’t disappoint! As well as brunch we also did some fun medieval and modern sightseeing in the city, plus a lot of eating (more on this in a separate post coming soon)!


A spot of medieval touring


It was tough to pick just 5 anecdotes, as we also enjoyed a special garden party hosted by my parents in Manchester and meet-ups at the Bikeshed Moto Co. in London, Eurovision in Liverpool, and a Goth music festival in Sheffield, so plenty of other fun stories- ask us about them in the pub! All our events were varied in their activities and unique in their flavour, which made for super memorable experiences. Next time we’ll jump over to Canada and the Pacific Northwest for more Weddingapalooza adventures…


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One Comment

  1. Wonderful blog. Made me so happy to read it and see photos i have not seen before. Love, V –

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