Last year, my beautiful friend Jo lost her battle with depression. I miss her so much and not a day goes past when I don’t think about her. Once the dust settled after her death, her boyfriend Chris and I had long chats about him doing an project in her memory, with proceeds going to charity. On Thursday, what would have been Jo’s 31st birthday, he launched The Salvage Project.
Chris explains the project better than I ever could. The ‘About Jo’ section of the website reads, “I refuse to dwell on her illness as it simply didn’t define who she was to anyone. Jo struggled with a variety of mental health issues throughout my time with her. She hid it from everyone with the exception her closest family and I.
For the purpose of narrative and facts, only: Jo took her own life in February 2014.
I saw this project develop whilst she was alive and, for Jo, ‘The Salvage Project’ was an escape. It was a ‘place’ she felt like she had a real purpose and somewhere that she saw a future. I’ll always remember her face when we’d finish a certain part of a logo or website. She’d bounce and clap and squeal with excitement. I remember, she used to uncontrollably waddle around like a penguin when she was excited.”
“It was ‘her’ project. The Salvage Project gave her a sense of independence and a feeling of self worth. She’d learned to use side effects of her illness, such as attention to detail and perfectionism to create one of the few things she was genuinely proud of. This project contributed to moments where she was truly herself and I’m so grateful I was around to see how it made her feel.
From the start, we always referred to this as ‘The Salvage Project’. The word ‘Salvage’ took a much deeper interpretation when I started revisiting the project, after she passed away. Jo left behind mountains of her work including chests of beautiful jewellery and notes on the direction she wanted to take with business ideas and branding. Stepping into her office at our home was like stepping into a time capsule of her ‘happiest’ times.
To me, ‘Salvage’ refers to the act of scrambling through the aftermath of devastation to find, develop and launch a project she’d worked so hard towards. I wanted to ‘salvage’ my positive memories of her instead of ‘moving on’. I told myself that ‘If I can’t say goodbye to Jo, I want my memories of her to be from when she was at her happiest’.”
For everyone that wants the big, family wedding there are those that can think of nothing worse. They crave something small, intimate and just for the two of them. That’s exactly what Erin and Ryan wanted their wedding to be like. They said their vows in front of an old abandoned church with Ryan’s best friend Travis officiating the ceremony.
“Our wedding was pretty far from normal”, the bride told me. “We eloped for one. We decided a big wedding wasn’t for us, but still didn’t just want a courthouse wedding. So we decided to take everything we liked about more traditional weddings, and left the rest behind. I had a dress, he had a tie, but Instead of inviting (and feeding) all our friends and family, we bought a dozen donuts and had my mother and a few close friends there (6 people including us).”
Katy and Kerr wanted a bright and colourful wedding that would be fun for their guests. They chose to serve afternoon tea, followed by take away pizza in the evening! This not only saved them a lot of cash, but went down a storm with their guests!
“Our wedding theme was bright and colourful”, exclaimed Katy. “We wanted it to be full of fun and sunshine. The rainbow-ness and stars were sort of influenced by our shared love of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series and the Edgar Wright directed movie of the books. These take their inspiration from 8-bit and old-school computer games and that’s exactly what we wanted.”
“We are really pleased that people have commented what FUN it was”, she continued. “When we were planning, that was our absolute number one priority! There was nothing worth doing if it didn’t have love or fun at its heart! That took some people by surprise – it’s funny having a conversation with someone who doesn’t understand that ‘rainbow’ is a totally legitimate wedding colour theme!”
The couple decorated the space completely themselves from paper bunting from FunkyFrillsUK on Etsy, rainbow ribbons and plenty of bits from Hobbycraft! For their ‘cake’ they simply arranged pork pies from the supermarket on a cupcake stand! They decorated them with a customised cake topper made by one of the bridesmaids.
Brent and Tash’s laid back wedding took place at a gorgeous old school house in the middle of the Kiwi forest. They met when Brent moved in with Tash as her flatmate so they’ve never not lived together!
“Our wedding theme was ‘Grandma’s garden’'”, began the bride. “All the colours and flowers of a beautiful garden and the rustic-ness that my husband is attracted to. Our venue was quite shabby chic in style, so I wanted to add an explosion of colour.”
“We did loads of DIY including the table runners, napkins, and spray painting cutlery and picture frames. We also made all the place cards and put together the dessert table and the antipasto and cheese table. The cake topper, curtains hanging in the barn and our guestbook quilt (made by my grandmother) were also all homemade.”
Have you heard the news? On Tuesday, on a bit of a whim, I started a closed Facebook group for Rock n Roll brides, grooms, wedding obsessives and vendors to connect and help each other with wedding planning. IT HAS GONE OFF THE CHARTS.
Within 24 hours of it launching we had over 1000 members, and it’s pretty much taken over my stream completely! It makes me so incredibly happy to see everyone connecting, sharing their plans, making friends and helping each other out. Isn’t that what the internet is all about?! I think it might just be the best thing I’ve ever done actually. If you’d like to join in the party, just click here to request an invite. Fair warning though, you might not get any work done for the rest of the day…
Here’s what else has been occupying my (limited!) down time this past seven days.
Weddings & Weddingy Things
♥ Cinco de Mayo wedding ideas
♥ DIY Southern Highlands wedding
♥ This pink ombre would be so good for a wedding theme too!
♥ This bridal party is SO glam!
♥ Modern, bright, Jewish wedding
♥ 10 smile inducing cake toppers
♥ Incredible tropical bridal portraits – Take me to the beach right now please!
♥ Yellow daisy wedding – The crochet cupcakes are just too adorable!
Brown Paper Parcel
When I shared a preview of Fran and Lewis’ wedding on my Facebook page, you all FREAKED OUT – and with good reason too. I mean, just check out Fran’s killer Couture Company dress, those leopard Crown and Glory kitty ears and their guests of honour – their sphynx cats!
The pair were married at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire and they had their reception of pizza and movies at home. “Our wedding was just ‘us'”, said Fran. “We wanted everything we love to be a part of the day. That meant cats, pizza, leopard print, Him (our favourite band) Frankenstein and horror films!”
“Our ceremony was a hand-fasting and it was our favourite part of the day. Jumping the broom was amazing… and we got to keep it afterwards! We did it outside so it was really cold and really windy (my Nan had 3 coats on!) but it was wonderful. We also loved having our ‘reception’ back at our own house. Just having our best friends there and watching Pet Semetary (our go-to horror film!) and relaxing was amazing.”