Gareth and I live in an extremely unremarkable two bedroom house. That’s not to say it isn’t a lovely home (even if it is a bit on the small size!) and we’ve been very happy here for eight years now. Some long-term readers may actually remember when I shamefully shared a photo of what our living room looked like in 2010 (ugh shudder..!) so needless to say we’ve made some vast changes over the years.
Well… Gareth has. While I am DIY phobic at the best of times, he really is a superstar. Over the past six months he’s replaced the carpet throughout the entire house (I can’t even tell you how overjoyed I was to see the back of the hideous terracotta monstrosity that was covering our floors), removed and replaced the fireplace, plastered, and painted everything pristine white… all on his own. Yes, it’s true. I married a one-man IT/DIY genius. How the hell did I get so lucky?
He also put up all those pictures I’ve been hoarding for years. We finally have the gallery style wall of canvases, prints and paintings that I always dreamed of.
Although we would like to move somewhere bigger in future, right now we’re really happy with our little home. However as you’ll see from these photos, there is one big thing missing from our front room… COLOUR!
As you can probably imagine, I am all for throwing all the colours of the rainbow at it and seeing what sticks. However, Gareth is a lot more cautious and strategic and wants to make proper plans (yaaawn!) about what will work together and look right in the space. But considering what it used to look like, I am beside myself with happiness to live in a white-on-white-on-white house!
Ali and Gem are both into the arts, so having their wedding at the groom’s place of work, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre was the perfect choice! They wanted a wedding that reflected both of them and avoided tradition and trends at all costs! The groom actually sent me the most amazing email while they were planning their wedding (which I couldn’t help but share!) so it really is a thrill to see how their wedding turned out!
“From the very start we were inspired by Rock n Roll Bride”, they began. “Through the blog we could see that we wouldn’t be chastised for having a wedding that didn’t fit or didn’t follow a specific structure or tradition. We didn’t want tradition and grey monkey suits, but we didn’t want to be drinking out of jam jars and buying hipster centrepieces from vintage car boots either. We didn’t want to think about what cake ‘suits our personality’ or what colour theme to go for, so we just took it all one step at a time and agreed on everything together.”
“The question we most found ourselves asking was ‘Why?’ – ‘why would we leave a sugared almond for our friends?’, we hate them (the almonds, not our friends), the guests hate them, why would we do that? Why would you have a three course meal? We’re real foodies but we wanted to spend our day talking to our guests not watching them, from the back of a room, suckling on an amuse bouche. Once you start asking ‘why?’, a lot of the parts of a wedding just seem kind of odd. We didn’t want to find ‘alternative’ options to the traditional aspects of a wedding, we just scrapped things we didn’t like.”
When we were 17, a friend of mine and her boyfriend got each other’s names tattooed on their hips. Unfortunately, but probably rather unsurprisingly, the relationship didn’t last and they both ended up getting their once oh-so-permanent reminders of first love covered up with something else.
Inadvisable teenage tattoos aside, I am still a big fan of matching ink and more than ever I’m seeing couples opting for tattooed wedding bands, or a small symbol on their ring ringer, in place of physical wedding band.
While researching for this article I was massively disappointed to find that near enough every single piece I read on this so called ‘trend’ (if tattoos are a passing fad then it’s the longest running one I’ve ever heard of!) we’re wholeheartedly negative. “Oh if the marriage ends they’ll be stuck with a tattoo they hate”, “Laser removal is expensive and painful”, “It will be a permanent reminder of a relationship gone bad” they warned.
I felt completely depressed. Yes, we should be cautious and unimpulsive with big decisions like getting a tattoo… but surely even more so with a big commitment like, oh I don’t know, choosing to get married! It is a sad fact of life that some marriages end in divorce, but – shock horror – many of them do not.
I try not to be biased, but sometimes I just can’t help but fall extra in love with a couple and their story. I’ve actually met Kirstin a few times (and she’s a blogcadette – holla!) so when she told me she’s met and married Ash within nine months (!) and that her mum and his dad were also married to each other, I couldn’t wait to share their story!
“Ash’s dad and my mum got married a few years ago and we’ve vaguely known each other since then”, she began. “We only just started really getting to know each other Christmas 2013 and we ended up falling in love and laughed more than we had ever done before. Ash proposed not long after that and we decided to elope in September 2014 on a romantic adventure together to our favourite place in the world: the USA.”
“We wanted to elope because there is something about it that is really romantic and exciting. However we didn’t want Elvis to marry us, or it to seem like a whirlwind. It needed to feel like a real wedding like we would have back home and not a ‘runway’ wedding.”
“We spent around $10,000 on the whole trip (around £6,500) because was wanted to spend money on the things we really wanted to have”, she continued. “We also wanted to have fun together. Plus, we would have spent way more if we’d got married in England! Ash bought the exact clothing he wanted and I picked a Badgley Mischka dress from Rent the Runway. Yes…I rented my dress and it was awesome! I never thought I would rent my wedding dress, I always turned my nose up at the thought of it, but really it was perfect! I had pre-ordered it months before and they sent me three different sizes of the same dress just in case. Rent the Runway is HUGE in the States I wish we had it in the UK.”
Dave and Eve were married on La Cuesta Ranch in San Luis Obispo, California. Growing up in New York, Eve’s dream was to have a wedding in a wide open space and completely removed from civilisation. La Cuesta Ranch gave them that and so much more!
“We loved our venue so much”, she wrote “Also, the famous Madonna Inn is only five minutes away. It’s where we had our rehearsal karaoke night, where our guests stayed and where we got ready the day of the wedding. We are big on kitsch and felt extremely at home amongst the style of the Madonna Inn.”
“The venue was the biggest expense of the wedding but being so picturesque meant we didn’t need much in terms of decorations”, she continued. “Our theme was rustic, yet elegant. We really wanted to compliment the nature all around us and so our colors were muted earth tones, and the flowers were all local wild flowers. Our décor was pretty understated. In terms of DIY we made our own seed packet favors and stationery. The garlands on the golf carts were made with fabric and twine. I also hand beaded the top of my dress, made the groomsmen ties and vests, and painted the sign outside of the barn. My mother made the bouquets and boutonnieres.”
At the last Blogcademy class of 2014 in Auckland, we were lucky enough to have Josie of Wink helping us decorated the space. I loved her creations so much that I asked her if she’d do some DIY tutorials for the blog and print magazine over the coming months. Luckily she agreed! I think this Polaroid banner idea is super adorable and would be amazing to hang at your wedding reception. Over to you Josie!
♥ Cutting board
♥ Scissors or craft knife
♥ Mini wooden pegs
♥ Photo paper
Step one: I decided to print my own Polaroids using my own printer and photo paper, but if you don’t want to do this you can get them printed cheaply and through lots of different place such as Square Snaps, Printic App, Printstagr.am, Polabora and Origrami. If you do this you can skip directly to step seven!