Ben and Erin’s DIY Autumn wedding was held in a barn at Tuckaway Cove, a historic event space on Tellico Lake in Greenback, TN. Their main inspiration came from family: past, present and future.
“We love antiques and the stories that come from finding them”, explained Erin. “From an old camera that was probably used at a wedding in the early 1900s, to the one grandpa used in the 50s, to a briefcase that may have been used for a young couple’s honeymoon, or even the hat great grandmother would wear almost every Sunday. It is all very special to us. All the props on the tables came from our own collection.”
This was a proper DIY wedding with almost every element being homemade by someone in the family. The cake was made by the bride’s mother and the flowers were found in a local craft store and via bulk order websites. They did all the arrangements themselves, although the bride’s bouquet came from a seller on Etsy. They even had DIY catering with the groom’s mother making everything from scratch!
Claire and Jamie’s wedding was held at home, in their own barn. Almost everything was homemade by the couple or their guests. “We just wanted everyone to have a good time, and feel comfortable as the reception was at home”, began the bride. “We live in a rural area so we didn’t want anything fancy, just plenty of food, drink and music.”
“Our guests bought homemade cakes for the desert table. We made pom poms over the course of many evenings with friends. The tables were old school tables sourced from eBay (which we sold afterwards!) and covered in dust sheets and chintzy bedspreads. We also had hay bales for seating and to create a bit of structure around the barn. We even grew our own hay in the land next to our barn.”
John and Louise wanted a rustic, barn wedding and Sledmere Barn in Yorkshire was perfect for them. The venue was a real ‘blank canvas’, meaning they can completely free reign on how they decorated it.
Sledmere barn was the first place we visited and we didn’t need to see any other locations – we loved it!” said the bride. “The barn has some gorgeous details, brick archways, wooden beams, old hooks and nails dotted everywhere. It is open on one side but to protect us from the elements the manager said he would build us a hay bale wall!”
“Our wedding theme was simply about us, our friends and family, our loves, our lives and our memories”, she continued. “We made everything we could ourselves, and used an eclectic and rustic country theme to pull everything together. We called in a lot of favours from people, not necessarily to save money but to just make everything as personal as we possibly could.”
Flo and Matt wanted a relaxed wedding that bucked tradition and felt like them. “We started out fighting against traditional wedding themes, looking for something that represented us”, began the bride. “The venue was the way-in to planning for us. We were keen to find a venue with accommodation but a relaxed feel in Herefordshire. We viewed many venues including yurts, country houses and a priory but knew on the approach to Lyde Court that it was the place for us.”
“Initially we weren’t sure if we needed to do it at all so we didn’t set out with any great ambitions or themes”, said the groom. “Flo had never made that ‘wedding book’ you read about in all the magazines and she didn’t want to make all of the decisions on her own either! It was important for us to create a relaxed atmosphere and that ambition helped to inform a lot of our decision making along the way. We set out to avoid anything too ‘wedding’ and we thought long and hard about the things people assume you must do or must have on your wedding day. When it came down to it we still did a lot of the standard stuff but somehow it felt more personal because we had chosen to do it rather than felt we had to.”
When it came to organising their wedding, Jess and Tony had one thing in mind – family. This was their second time around (yes, they married each other twice!!) and this time they wanted to do things completely on their own terms. “Our wedding was shabby, ethereal, vintage, pin-up, country and quirky”, explained the bride. “Basically, it was anything but normal!”
“What made it even less normal was that this was actually our second wedding…. to each other! It wasn’t just a vow renewal, it was a wedding. We were really young when we got married in 2000 and had a very traditional wedding that neither of us really felt a part of. Life took over and our marriage fell apart after 13 years. We separated and worked really hard through some excruciating stuff and this was a celebration of new life, new family, and is as our authentic selves. We have 3 kids and they were part of our wedding. This was us doing the wedding the way we wished it had always been.”
A dairy farm in South Africa was the location for Philip and Lily’s steampunk wedding. Wearing a unique dress and thrifted accessories, the bride planned the day to reflect their mutual love of their chosen theme.
“Initially the wedding was just inspired by the steampunk theme”, said the bride. “Although, as I worked for about a year on pulling everything together, the end product seemed to combine steampunk with DIY and Alice in Wonderland! I wanted it our wedding to be a little bit fantastical without making it look like a Halloween dress up party. We wanted things quite simple and pretty.”