All You Need Is Love Themed New Zealand Wedding: Courtney & Nick

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Courtney and Nick wanted a day that didn’t break the bank. They managed to keep the costs down by shopping in charity shops, accepting help from family and friends and DIYing a lot! They put the flowers together themselves, had a playlist instead of a band or DJ and made their own stationery. Both of their outfits were “lucky finds on the internet”. The designers didn’t matter to them, only that they liked what they wore. The bridesmaids had dresses from eBay.

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“Our wedding was loosely themed around ‘all you need is love’, but we didn’t really stick to a genre”, explained the bride. “We drew inspiration from vintage, cottagey garden vibe which you can see in the table settings and all the bunting, as well as the lawn games that included a super fun giant Jenga set. The ceremony was set in a beautiful pine forest, with hay bales as seating giving a forest fairy feel.”

“There were loads of different places we got inspiration from, but most importantly we wanted to make sure that it reflected us as a couple. We wanted a day filled with fun that celebrate our LOVE. The Beatles played a major part, as this is one of our favourite bands, and love of music is one of the first things that brought us together.”

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Group Effort Steam Museum Wedding: Laura & Colin

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Wearing a second hand dress, black velvet Dr Marten boots and a homemade flower crown in her lilac hair, Laura married Colin at Lovekyn Chapel in Kingston Upon Thames. The reception was held at the London Museum of Water and Steam, which they decorated themselves with the help of their families. Nearly all the flowers were grown in Laura’s Mum’s front garden and were arranged the morning of the wedding.

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“Our inspiration was London, spring-time and marjarelle blue from gardens in Morocco, where Colin proposed”, began Laura. “We both love history and I work as a carpenter/welder so the industrial past of the museum and the still-working women’s forge in the grounds suited us perfectly. I like things juxtaposed so I used lots of spring flowers, candles and white linen to add femininity.”

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Intimate London Pub Wedding: Alex & Sophia

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Alex and Sophia were married at Stoke Newington Town Hall, followed by a reception at The Draper’s Arms pub in Islington, London. They day had a subtle vintage vibe – from Sophia’s Jenny Packham dress and Flo and Percy headpiece, to the retro photo booth and polaroid shots their photographer Lisa Jane took! Ultimately though, they wanted a local wedding that was intimate and enjoyable for their guests.

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“We wanted our day to be relaxed, informal and fun”, explained the bride. “Keeping it local to where we’ve lived for the last 10 years was important and we wanted to support local businesses whenever we could. We also wanted to showcase to friends and family how amazing London is which is why we stuck to a registry office and knees-up at one of our locals.”

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13 Things You’ll Wish You Did On Your Wedding Day

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Hindsight is a wonderful, if not mildly frustrating, thing. It’s all very well and good learning a lesson from an experience but most people don’t ever go back to have a second wedding! So here are 13 things from my own experience that I recommend prioritising on your wedding day.

1. Start the DIY early

We didn’t have a lot of DIY in our wedding (we did the stationery ourselves but that was about it) but even then I wish we’d started it much earlier than we did! These things always take longer than you anticipate so give yourself a fighting chance and get those craft supplies out sooner rather than later! I can’t think of anything worse than still having DIY to do the night before your wedding. That is so not fun!

2. Have your hair and make up done by a pro

I did my own make up, but looking back I really wish I’d had a professional make up artist to do it. I hadn’t yet discovered just how amazing make up done by someone who knows how to contour and properly blend eye shadow can be. I had a few trials in the run up to our wedding but I must have been going to the wrong people because I left each one thinking “Meh, I can do this myself, what’s the point?”

While, in the end, my make up was okaaaay, I would have looked, and felt, a million times more beautiful if I’d had it done by someone else.

I strongly advise having at least one trial before the wedding day (of both hair and make up) to make sure the person you book understands exactly what you want. Bring photographic examples with you to show how you want it to look, and afterwards have someone take photos of you from every angle. It might look great in person but you’ll want to know how it photographs too.

By the way, if you’re in the UK I love and recommend Elbie Van Eeden and Lipstick and Curls for hair and make up, and Allison Cameron for make up. Other artists that I’ve worked with and loved around the world are Regan Rabanal (make up), Kristen Jackson (hair) and Eryk Datura (make up) in New York, Your Beauty Call in Vegas (both), Lauren aka Queen of Blending in LA (make up) and Bernice in Melbourne (make up).

3. Delegate!

A lot of couples don’t seem to like asking for help, but believe me, most of your friends and family will be happy – thrilled in fact – to lend a hand. You can not do everything yourself, especially on the day, and especially if you are having a DIY wedding!

Its also a really good idea to have a specific person in charge of certain things, for example the playlist (if you’re not having a DJ or band), keeping the photo booth ticking over and riot-free, and for rounding up wayward family members for the group photos!

4. Have a ceremony rehearsal

We had a rehearsal the day before our wedding and at first I thought it was going to be weird, “Who needs to practice?? I thought, “surely I just walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’?”.

But there’s a lot that goes into some ceremonies (particularly religious ones) so it’s a really good idea to have a run through. In ours, we actually had to respond with “I will”, not “I do” so I would have got that wrong for starters..!

It’s also good to find out in advance things like what to do with your bouquet, who’s going to pass you your vows and when, and where you have to go to sign the marriage certificate.

You’ll also probably be really surprised just how poignant the ceremony is. I’m not a teary, emotional person but I burst into (happy!) tears when we were practising our vows. I’m glad I didn’t do it in front of a church packed with every single person I know!

Oh and practice your walk down the aisle. I practically sprinted down the thing I was so nervous and excited. I was at the bottom before the song had really even begun. Take your time!

5. Have a back up copy

…Of everything! The music, the group shot list, the seating plan… you just never know. Give one of each to a responsible bridesmaid or groomsman.

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Inexpensive Bridesmaid’s Gifts That You’ll Want to Keep For Yourself

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What are you getting your bridesmaid’s as thank you gifts? If you’re looking for something cute, inexpensive and thoughtful then look no further – I’ve done the browsing for you!

Statement jewellery

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Source: For The Maids

For The Maids make loads of lovely bridesmaid’s jewellery sets. You can get them in squillions of different colour combos too!

Animal masks

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Source: Silly, vintage, rock n roll wedding

Silly masks aren’t just for the photo booth. Any kind of funny mask is sure to get a giggle out of your girls and they’ll look great in your photos. The most important question is… who gets the cow… or the pig!?

A pretty phone case

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Source: FC Wonders

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Intimate and Spiritual Island Wedding: Emily & Bernard

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Emily and Bernard were married at Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island in Washington. They wanted an intimate, special day and didn’t want to spend a lot of cash so they also thrifed wherever they could. Emily’s dress was by Free People, her shoes were from Goodwill and her jewellery was all vintage. Bernard’s outfit was also second-hand and all the flowers were picked from a nearby wood!

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“We wanted the ceremony to reflect our natural and spiritual beliefs”, wrote the bride. “We made an alter of little things that are special to us: our dog’s collar (who is no longer with us), dried rose buds from my Grandmother’s youth, and a photo of us and our daughter. I also made all the flower arrangements using plants and flowers from the area.”

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