Our Route 66 themed wedding in the Suffolk countryside

After getting engaged on the Mother Road, it didn’t take Dave and me long to decide that we wanted a Route 66 themed wedding. When the big day finally came around, we had lots of fun sharing our road trip memories with our guests and integrating the memorabilia we’d bought on our adventure into our ceremony and reception. So, on our anniversary, I thought it might be nice to reminisce by showcasing some of my favourite aspects of the day (aside from marrying my soul mate of course).

The outfits

We wanted our special day to combine English tradition with colourful 1950s Americana, inspired by Route 66. With the brief firmly in mind, the bridesmaids’ dresses were one of the first things we chose after booking the gorgeous, 16th century listed mansion, Woodhall Manor in Suffolk. We went for polka dot swing dresses in four different shades, which informed the colour scheme for the rest of the event.

The petticoat flared skirts went perfectly with my princess-style, embossed ivory gown and birdcage veil, set off by my Audrey Hepburn-esque hair style.

Dave and the groomsmen went for traditional black suits and top hats, with Route 66 cufflinks.

The cake

We were fortunate to visit some of Route 66’s most iconic attractions on our road trip and have fond memories of talking to their owners, so were keen to incorporate these tourist hotspots into our day somehow. Our cake seemed like the perfect opportunity to do this as we knew we wanted a dessert that was bespoke to us. The final, hand-painted, creation featured Mother Road landmarks such as the Gay Parita Service Station, St Louis’ Gateway Arch and the Wigwam Motel, placed around topsy-turvy tiers designed to evoke the famous Oatman Highway on the route in Arizona. The U Drop Inn on our top tier even had real neon lights in its windows! After months of searching, we finally managed to find our cake toppers in Orlando – Stanley and Lizzie from Disney’s Cars, complete with their own wedding outfits.

The flowers

Bold, bright but classy were the criteria for our flowers. I think we pulled it off with my bouquet of green roses, purple calla lilies and pink orchids, featuring the white Route 66 shield Dave and I bought from Joe and Aggie’s Café in Arizona. Dave’s also bought a pin badge from the restaurant and displayed it proudly on his button hole, whilst the Catoosa Whale pin was my ‘something blue’.

Table decorations

Samantha French from Wild Poppies did an amazing job with the table arrangements for our wedding breakfast. Brightly coloured blooms trailed down from the tops of classic American cars, angled from the top of vases to evoke Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch. The bases of the displays were lit with small green lights, because it wouldn’t be Route 66 without neons shining bright. Our tables were named after each of the Route 66 states, which we highlighted on vinyl records, and my lovely auntie baked cookies in the shape of Route 66 shields for our favours. On the top table, Dave and I had decorated model dinosaurs (a Mr and Mrs of course) to channel the Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook Arizona.

The entertainment

I had a lot of fun making our photo booth, using California’s Mojave Desert as the backdrop. For props, I painted replicas of some the funniest signs from the Dynamite Museum (a collection of weird and wacky road signs erected by artists across Amarillo), along with humorous licence plates created by one of our close friends. We also had a giant Scalextric and guests could leave us messages on postcards featuring the designs of acclaimed Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire, posting them into our custom-painted USA mailbox.

The surprises

I was getting my hair and make-up done before the ceremony when my mum called me over to the window. Looking out, I was surprised to see Dave pulling into the venue’s courtyard in a yellow Camaro! He’d rented the two-seater as a surprise for our journey home the next day. Thinking that was exciting enough, I was shocked when we walked out of the ceremony to see a yellow 51 Buick. Dave had booked ‘Daisy’ as a surprise so we could have a few minutes to ourselves before the party started.

If you’re curious about how we got engaged on the Mother Road, or want lots of advice about undertaking your own American road trip, check out my book – Brits on Route 66 out now.

All photos are courtesy of the talented Andy Chambers, our wonderful wedding photographer.


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Vicki Graves

Author of Brits on Route 66: A Very British Guide to the World’s Greatest Road Trip and blogger at www.britsonroute66.co.uk - American-themed travel and lifestyle blog with a British twist, helping more folks from across the world drive the journey of a lifetime down the Will Rogers Highway.