Tag Archives: budget wedding

A ‘Make Do & Mend’ Wedding: Rosie & James

I actually saw Rosie & James’ wedding in the archives of Adam, of Viva Wedding Photography‘s, own blog. I dropped him a line to say I was sure another wedding blogger must have featured it when he first published the photos, but just on the off-chance…and to my utter surprise he said they hadn’t! I have to say, I was thrilled. This wedding has a serious amount of cuteness. The wedding may have taken place in 2009, but it’s still hella inspirational!

The laid-back wedding was held in West Hill Hall, Brighton. “They’re a funny little village hall, in the middle of the city,” Rosie told me. “They put on riot grrrl shows and underground music events in between yoga classes and coffee mornings. They didn’t have a licence to hold the ceremony but we persuaded them to apply for one so that we could do the whole event in one venue. We paid for the license ourselves, but it was still cheaper than hiring a proper wedding venue, and the hall hold onto the licence for 3 years so hopefully lots of other people can have cheap weddings there too.”

The couple wanted to do things on a budget and the bride wore a dress which she’d bought 10 years prior for just £20! Her headpiece was a battered Victorian orange blossom headpiece from eBay, which she re-gilded, covered with antique milliner’s flowers and attached a Victorian tambour lace veil to it. “I had a secondhand 70s dress that I’d never worn. My look has never been groomed and minimal so I embellished it by sewing on as much extra stuff as I could – we called it Bridal Buckaroo. There was loads of Victorian and Edwardian lace and antique enamelled buttons from eBay. It was held together with safety pins inside because I didn’t have time to finish it. In my head it was going to be an amazing confection of perfect seams and antique silk but I was so busy making bunting and tablecloths that I didn’t start the dress until a few days before the wedding so it looks a bit rough round the edges. I also made Edwardian silk underwear out of old bits of lace and trimmed it with antique ombre ribbon rosettes, and repaired a broken Victorian corset. I was still sewing it altogether an hour before the wedding.”

The wedding party also wore homemade and thrifted outfits. The bride’s niece had an Edwardian white lawn dress with crocheted lace panels from eBay and the adult bridesmaids had homemade cotton dresses which the bride made, “They weren’t my best work!” she laughed.

DIY was also a huge part of the wedding – from the cake, made by a friend, and the flowers collected the morning of the wedding from a local flower stall, the couple managed to pull off a lot themselves. They also made their own stationery, the inspiration of which was an old piece of sheet music called ‘Wedding Of The Rose’ that Rosie found in Oxfam then scanned and made the invites from the pattern.

The catering was helped along by friends and family as well. They asked everyone to bring their favourite picnic food to share instead of gifts. “We had an incredible buffet with vintage china, we had so much leftover food that we took it on our honeymoon and had sausage rolls and cakes every day for lunch. We barely had chance to eat anything at the wedding but the leftovers were great!”

To decorate the hall, the couple spent months trawling eBay, charity shops and jumble sales. “We collected net curtains, fake flowers, old sheets and bits of china and cutlery,” Rosie continued. “We dyed the sheets for tablecloths, made patchwork net curtain drapes to disguise the less attractive corners of the hall, did tacky flower arrangements in old Royal Wedding mugs and I handmade 400m of bunting from old clothes and scraps of fabric.”

“I also wanted to find a way to use lots of bits of old ribbon and haberdashery my Granny had given me, so really my inspiration came from finding strange old things and working out how to incorporate them. I had Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham at the back of my mind – the dusty, rotten lace and cobwebs (probably a bit of my teen goth resurfacing). Almost everything we used at the wedding was secondhand. Someone else got married with our wedding rings, and someone else had worn my veil and used the cake knife. I really like the idea of stuff having a life and a story before it comes to you.”

“We didn’t care about making sure our table confetti matched the hired Rolls Royce, we just wanted an old-school wedding in the village hall, with loads to drink and plenty of foolishness. We both love car boot sales and charity shops, and I’ve always made my own clothes and things out of secondhand tat. I don’t believe in buying something new when you can make it yourself, or get a more interesting version secondhand. Loads of the stuff we used was past its best, and it was nice to resurrect it and give it a new purpose. Also, on a practical level, we thought it would be madness to spend £20,000 we didn’t have on a luxury wedding package when we should be saving up for a house deposit.”

Continue reading

DIY Tutorial: Seriously Cute Fabric Bow-Tie

I love this super adorbs fabric bow-tie tutorial from Chloe Adlington of Adore by Chloe. I think they would be perfect for your fiance, his groomsmen… or even your pets to wear at your wedding (check out the sweet doggie photo at the end of the post!) Plus, once you’ve mastered the making the bow, why not use them to make something for yourself? You could add it to a headband, attach them to a belt, make it into a brooch… The bow-y possibilities are endless! Have fun!

Over to you Chloe…

My other half loves pattern, bright colours and has a quirky sense of style. Even if he’s required to wear formal, black tie he will find a way to bring his own style to it.

We faced said occasion over Christmas so I pulled out my fabric stash and made him a few different bow ties… nothing to offend his boss over dinner but still ‘him’!

They’re fairly simple to make if you can use a sewing machine.

Supplies Needed:

♥ Your choice of fabric – Two pieces which are 50 x 8 cm (for the bow & collar) and one piece which is 8 x 10 cm (for the bow centre)
♥ 2x 5cm strips of Velcro
♥ Sewing machine
♥ A needle and thread
♥ Scissors
♥ Ruler
♥ A pen

Method

Step One: Firstly, we’re going to make the bow. Take one of the pieces of fabric measuring 50 x 8cm and fold it in half, with the wrong side of the fabric showing.

Step Two: Sew along three edges (leaving one of the short ends open for turning) and snip the very corners off, this makes turning out neater in the corners!

Continue reading

A Casual & Intimate Outdoor Wedding: Michael & Mariko

Michael asked Mariko to marry him at a festival, “in a trashed tent with some beers, talking with some friends about relationships and life,” he told me. “You know… those most profound things you talk about at festivals. It was just the right moment.” So then they had their wedding theme – a festival style, party wedding!

“We wanted our wedding to be intimate, nothing big, loud or expensive,” Micheal continued. “The most important thing was that we were getting married and be together forever, to share our love with the people we love, all our friends and family.”

“Being both outdoor cosy crazy people, we decided to give our party in a forest in Antwerp, called St. Anna bos, near the river de Schelde. There was no real theme, we just wanted to give our guests a ‘welcome home’ feeling.”

“Almost everything was self-made, made by us or with the help of our friends. With some colorful ribbons, simple bouquets, 1000 candles and a couple of balloons, we did so much more than we expected. The place where we held our wedding party was not fancy at all, it was kind of dusty and old. It was a clubhouse that had probably had it’s best days somewhere in the 60s. You could tell by the hundreds of different vintage dishes we found in the kitchen!”

“It was a beautiful night, there was moonlight on the trees, candles lighting up everywhere and we and our guests were happy and relaxed, just as we wanted! Everybody was sitting on the benches, having conversations and drinking.”

Continue reading

A Shamanic Wedding Ceremony in Guatemala: Daniela & Mark

How utterly beautiful is today’s real wedding? This is the kind of wedding that makes my heart sing – no fuss, no details, no over-the-top-bridezilla-stresses – just the most important thing…love.

The bride, Daniela, told me all about their special day. “There were only the two of us at the ceremony, the lady who married us, the lady who owned the land and our photographer. The ceremony itself lasted about 1.5 hrs and consisted of several parts: lighting the fire, being cleansed with special leaves and incense, hearing the 20 nahuales of the Mayan Calendar being read out, telling each other our love and exchanging our rings, being wrapped in a green shawl which represented Gaia. We began and ended the ceremony with chocolate, a block of which was also burned in the fire. Chocolate is sacred in Mayan culture.”

“We chose to get married in Guatemala as we got engaged there last year and it’s our favourite country. Neither of us knew much about Mayan beliefs, but after doing some research we decided to tie the knot in a Mayan fire ceremony because we felt like we should honour the traditions of our chosen wedding location. Organising everything was extremely easy – we found our photographer via Tripadvisor and our shaman, the amazing Aum Rak , via a quick Google search. She then got us in touch with Terri, the owner of a local hotel in Lake Atitlan who offered us to get married on her land.”

“I knew that I wanted to wear a vintage (or vintage-looking) dress and briefly considered one by BHLDN, but it would have been almost criminal to shove such an expensive dress into my backpack for 3 weeks (we were travelling through Mexico and other locations in Guatemala before the wedding). So I chose a Gunne Sax dress instead, which I could just roll up and carry around with me without it getting creased. As for shoes, they had to be Swedish clogs!”

“Some might think we’re bonkers for getting married in this way,” she concluded, “but our parents fully understood, and for us it couldn’t have been more perfect or more emotional and meaningful (I was crying so much throughout the ceremony!). We had such a relaxed, blissful day as we didn’t have to worry about anything. No guests, no reception, no cake, no make-up or hair appointments… It was completely stress-free! Afterwards we had our honeymoon in the middle of the jungle in Honduras!”

Continue reading

A Rainbow Rockabilly Wedding: Jennifer & Jon

If you’re a long-time reader of this ‘lil wedding blog of mine, you’ll be well aware that I’m a huge fan of the rainbow wedding trend. I even modeled in an ‘Over the Rainbow’ themed shoot last October. So you can imagine my glee when Jennifer & Jon’s wedding landed on my desk.

The couple wanted a huge party, and with 200 guests and only a $10,000 budget they were determined to not spent a fortune to do so. “We honestly would never have been able to pull of any wedding without our friends and family,” Jennifer told me. “It was truly a DIY wedding with everyone helping out days beforehand by shoveling, raking and baking in the hot sun to make my friend’s ranch into a kick ass outdoor wedding venue. Caitlin & Michael Burns, owners of Rebar Ranch were gracious enough to make our vision come true (or turn our lack of vision into something amazing!)”

Everything from the ceremony to the after-party was personal to the couple. “Our inspiration was simply to have a wedding that represented ourselves completely in every aspect,” the bride continued. “I had to throw out the wedding books in order to stay sane. We just told each other no matter what it would be what we wanted and to not make things to serious. I walked down the aisle with my brothers –  two of the most important people in my life. One of the highlights of our wedding was we wrote our own vows as all the vows we found online didn’t really feel very ‘us’.  It took us awhile but after a few margaritas we incorporated some of our favorite song lyrics into every part of our vows”

“Our theme was simply ‘Party!’ All we wanted to do was celebrate with those closest and have as much fun as possible. Our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to. We danced all night! The band was able to play some Johnny Cash songs as well as their original songs.”

Continue reading

A Budget-Friendly DIY Wedding with the World’s Cutest Wedding Video: Melissa & Robbie

I love Melissa & Robbie’s wedding for so many reasons – her incredible shirt dress (which the bride, a fashion designer, made herself), the yellow and grey colour scheme, the cute recpetion details, their nephew and his ‘Melissa & Robbie’ flag – but most of all I love them because they shared this video with me. It’s a bit unconventional, but I’d encourage you to watch the video first. It was put together by the couple themselves from a collection of mobile phone/home camcorder clips filmed by their friends and it paints such a amazing picture of their wedding…

Told you! Wasn’t that the cutest thing ever?

The wedding was held at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, an eco-friendly nature center in Saint Charles, Illinois. “We had to move our ceremony inside last-minute because the weather suddenly turned cold,” Melissa explained. “I wasn’t thrilled with the room that we had to use because one of the walls was empty and not very attractive. Two of my friends – a street artist from Seattle and a graphic artist from New York City – put their heads together the morning of the wedding and surprised us by creating three pieces of gorgeous artwork (in a matter of a few hours) inspired by our handmade flower arrangements. When we arrived at the venue, the barren wall had been replaced by vibrant pieces of one-of-a-kind art that added beauty and an artistic energy to the space. To me, this was the ultimate reminder that when it comes to your wedding, it is important to be willing to let certain things go and remember why you are getting married in the first place – LOVE! Sometimes when things don’t work out as planned, something even more amazing happens.”

Pretty much the entire wedding was DIY. The bride made her own dress as from the fabric from her Mother’s wedding dress (!!) as well as her headpiece. All the reception decor was collected by the couple or was things they already had in their home. “For me, the most special part of doing things our way and keeping it DIY was making my own wedding dress. My mother had given me her gorgeous late 60s mod style wedding dress, and I (very apprehensively!) took it apart, and completely redesigned it into a more modern style. When my Mom saw me wearing it, her eyes instantly filled with tears. This was one of my favorite memories of our wedding day.”

“From the beginning, we agreed to keep things fun and casual, to do as much as possible ourselves, to stay within a small budget ($10,000 at the very most), and to do thing OUR way,” Melissa continued. “We didn’t want to have to follow any rules or traditions. All we wanted was to create a beautiful, relaxed party with one ultimate goal: to celebrate our love! Our vision was to include the things we both love the most about design: 1960s vintage inspiration (with modern flair), typography, and rustic minimalism.”

You can see more of Melissa’s DIY projects on her blog, Bubby & Bean.

“The venue we chose is a nature center and community urban garden area, so we wanted to blend in elements of nature and eco-consciousness as well. We also wanted to incorporate our colors (yellow and gray) throughout the venue, stationery, flowers, and attire as much as possible. This was an awful lot to include in one wedding, but our mission was to do so in a way that resulted in a cohesive design and a unique event. It was quite a task, but we did it! When we needed inspiration, we did three things that we both love to do: listen to old records, visit vintage shops, and watch our favorite old movies (Hello ‘The Graduate’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’!)”

“We planned our wedding in nine months (and for half of this time Robbie was on the road with his band!) We designed the event from scratch and hand made almost everything. We chose a dear friend to marry us, and kept the ceremony simple, light-hearted and brief. We asked the bass player from the band Robbie works for to be our ‘M.C.,’ and created an easy-going reception that had the energy of a casual party while still emphasizing our love for art, design, and music.”

Continue reading