Tag Archives: budget wedding

A Colourful DIY Wedding: Rhian & Toan

My favourite wedding photographs are those with happy smiling faces in them. The ones that when I look at them, I hazard a guess that people’s faces were aching at the end of the day from grinning so much. Now obviously most weddings are full of joy and smiles, but I think Rhian & Toan might win the ‘most smiley’ prize. Big cheesy grins all round!

“We absolutely love our wedding photos, and genuinely couldn’t be happier with them,” begin Rhian. “We had a very tight budget for everything, but photography was the one thing I wouldn’t skimp on the quality. I love it so much in my day to day life I knew the value of getting good ones done for the big day. When I saw Shell de Mar’s portfolio I could see straight away that she has a beautiful eye for detail and lots of talent. We like to think that we found an excellent photographer who happened to do weddings, rather than a ‘wedding photographer’.”

The wedding was held in a marquee in Toan’s parent’s back garden. The couple DIY’ed pretty much all of their wedding decor – and doesn’t it all look amazing?! Rhian told me all about it,

“On the tables we had plain white tablecloths, the flowers were all put together by me, after a big trip to New Covent Garden flower market on the Thursday morning before our wedding. We chose them all, mostly white with a flash of yellow from the craspedia – to offset all the colour in the marquee. My sister spray painted the bottles of champagne (or cava) that we celebrated our engagement with in the company of various friends with white paint and we used these as candle holders, the corks were used to hold up the tablenames and my bridesmaids helped make some homemade candles in teeny sherry glasses (left over from my cake stand venture, see below!) to dot around the table.”

“The table names were photos of various London streets that mean a lot to us, largely in and around Camden. The table plan was displayed on an old door we found in Toan’s dad’s woodshed. The cake table was decorated using some fabric of my Mum’s, plates and cake stands I already had and a sign saying ‘sweet nothings’ from Banter Banner. Our guest book was made by us, using brown card (with questions like ‘what should we do for our 10 year anniversary?’ and ‘do you have any advice?’ and a photo album. We popped it all in an old school desk (again found in Toan’s parents’ magical shed) and surrounded it with random bits of wood found in the woodshed which we covered in old photos of us and all the guests. We put homemade rectangular bunting round the edges of the marquee with giant multicoloured tissue paper pom poms hung from the ceiling.”

“We also had a little tent off to the side with the bar in. We decorated this to look like an old fashioned pub, using pictures I found in a charity shop (and some of Toan’s Mum’s pictures and various paraphernalia. We used my sister’s old sofa, a chair another sister found on the street, plus one donated by a friend and a £5 coffee table for the furniture. Toan stencilled a sign saying ’Ravenscroft Arms’ and the pub opened for business for its first and only rather epic night. Outside we had more bunting, hay bales, signs dotted and a menu sign for the BBQ using a stencil and a piece of aluminium I found in Toan’s garden. We also used jam jars of candles and flowers and some paper bags to hold candles in dotted around. We even had an old Triumph that Toan’s parents’ had in the garage that his Dad cleaned up for us wheeled out and set up, with a skittle alley borrowed from someone else in the village!”

“We served drinks on top of ice piled into a trough that was used when Toan’s sister had a pony! We borrowed trestle tables from the village hall too. We made confetti cones out of magazine front covers and confetti was the excess tissue from the pom pom making. On our way back to the party, instead of being formally announced or anything like that our friends formed a little corridor and we walked down into the field while they all whooped and chucked confetti at us, which was amazing!”

Phew, I feel exhausted just reading that extensive list of DIY tasks! It was worth all the effort though guys, your wedding looks amazing!

“Our inspiration just came from being on a tight budget, necessity is the mother of all invention after all – and also from just wanting to have a good old celebration with our favourite people,” Rhian concluded. “We wanted it to be bright and colourful and full of positive energy. Neither of us believe in chucking money at things without thinking about it, everything you do should be done with passion. I looked on Rock n Roll Bride on pretty much a daily basis, as I loved reading everyone’s stories (lets be honest Toan also had a good nosey) – and also on those days when people said things like ‘what do you mean you don’t have a colour scheme?’, ‘your dress is from a market?’ or ‘what are you doing for your favours?’ having a quick check on the website reminded me to stay true to what I believed in and that the best celebrations were for those who did what they loved.”

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A Help Yourself, Village Fete Wedding in Cornwall: Rosalie & Fergus

Rosalie & Fergus had a sweet homespun wedding in Cornwall. “The whole ethos was to get all our creative friends and family together for a two week holiday in Cornwall,” the bride explained. “The deal was, that they spent the first week, sewing, making, cooking, baking and generally doing anything and everything – then we had a massive great wedding/party which continued for the rest of the week. I don’t think they feel used, it was a great vibe and a really chilled way to organise a wedding.”

“The records that we used as table numbers was a very last minute decision, we found a box of singles in a charity shop in Wadebridge (nearest town) and then made them into lollipop type sticks using our favourite musicians and some red and white tape! I had always wanted a sort of help yourself village fete type affair, so we made little flags for all the food and people helped themselves. The vintage crockery was the star of the show, having just started by business, The Crockery Cupboard, it was hot topic and really brought the whole reception to life, and because of all the colour, no-one noticed the drab marquee we were sat in!”

“We lit the garden with hundreds of jam jars filled with a little sand and a tealight, so easy cheap and looks so pretty when it’s dark,” Rosalie continued. “Also, the cake table was a massive success, we had lots of different cakes to choose from, all on beautiful cake stands to cater for everyone and people could have a cuppa and a slice of cake at any point as it was there for the whole reception, which made people feel at home and looked really pretty too with all the vintage cups adorning the tables. We didn’t spend a fortune on flowers because we had a beautiful assortment of vintage vases that only needed a few stems but dotted around everywhere gave the illusion of lots of flowers.”

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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.”

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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!

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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.”

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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!”

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