I’m not gonna lie, where was something in particular that swayed me when it came to featuring this wedding… Stan, the ever so slightly disgruntled looking cat. Of course when I saw the rest of the photos, I just happened to fall in love with Stan’s owners, Jodi & Dave as well, but if I’m going to be 100% truthful, Stan did help their cause.
This couple didn’t want to spend a fortune on the wedding and so by DIYing as much as they could the day came in at under £9000. The ceremony was held at Swiss Gardens, Shuttleworth with the reception taking place in the Safari Lodge at Woburn Safari Park. “We looked at about 12 venues from a marquee where I keep my horses to a vintage factory ballroom but nothing quite ticked all the boxes”, wrote Jodi. “But when we found Swiss Gardens we knew instantly this was the one. We originally booked it for August 2013, but then were told the venue would be shutting down for 18 months for a lottery funded renovation so we could only postpone, cancel or move it forward! So we moved it forward giving us only 6 months to plan and make everything!”
With a budget of just £5000, Sophie & Tom planned their perfect wedding for 1st September this year. Hosting it themselves on the farm where they live, they were able to save money and make things super personal by getting creative. Sophie wore a second hand Ian Stuart wedding dress and Tom wore a Vivienne Westwood suit which he bought on sale.
“Tom and I unknowingly grew up in neighbouring small towns on the outskirts of London but first met when we were teenagers”, began the bride. “We didn’t know each other well but had mutual friends and went to the same house parties for a while. Years later we re-met aged 29. Both older and wiser, Tom with a son and me with a collection of world travel and life experiences under my belt. We moved to a rented property on a farm in Winchester and here we both suddenly felt settled. Tom proposed two years later whilst we were in Japan and we set the wedding date for ‘as soon as possible’. Then our landlord offered the use of the farm for the wedding. We spend almost every minute together (well except during work) so planning the wedding together was easy. The only tricky bit was making time in our often far too busy (in a good way) lives to actually do it! So instead of waiting around we decided to plan the wedding in just four months.”
The DIY wedding of Tom & Jenny took place in Kent in July. After a church ceremony, their low key reception was held in Tom’s parent’s back garden.
The bride wore a short wedding dress from Yours Truly Bridal Shop in Maidstone which cost her just £180 with a gorgeous headpiece was by a Rock n Roll Bride favourite, Crown & Glory. Alongside her lucky bridesmaids, she wore Vivienne Westwood/Melissa Lady Dragon shoes and instead of bouquets they all carried a single giant faux flower stem, bought from Hobbycraft costing just £2 each!
“We tied the knot in our local parish church and had a wonderful DIY reception in a marquee on the lawn of Tom’s childhood home”, began Jenny. “Our theme was of a country garden party or fete so we had pétanque, jenga, croquet and a coconut shy that Tom and his best man Nick made for me in secret! We also wanted to make the garden decor a bit of a surprise for our guests, so we had loads of garden gnomes and pink flamingos dotted around that we had collected. In fact of of my favourite parts of the wedding was seeing people continually surprised and excited and commenting about all the little things we had spent so long thinking about and planning for. Whilst it was our day, we wanted to give our friends and family from over the years a great knees up, and seeing all our efforts come off was very humbling. There was no colour theme at all, the brief was simply: ‘colourful!’ And, as can be seen from our bunting, the more mismatched the better!”
A village hall reception venue, a bride who designed her own dress and a groom who found his entire outfit in charity shops – oh I am so excited about Laura & Mike’s amazing wedding! Is it just me or are the low key, budget friendly and full of love weddings winning over the high-maintenance, super detail heavy weddings right now?
“I am a huge geek and one of the things I am most geeky about is design, craft and making things”, wrote newlywed Laura. ” So when Mike proposed at a picnic in Kensington Gardens just after our 6 year anniversary, the mother of all craft projects was born! We hadn’t really been to many weddings before which I think actually helped as we had very few pre-conceived ideas of what a wedding ‘should’ be. Don’t get me wrong, our wedding wasn’t hugely wacky – there was still a ceremony, some food and some dancing – but hopefully a few bits and pieces on the way made it ‘our’ day.”
“I knew I wanted to do a lot myself, because making things is what I do”, she continued, “and after some pretty soul destroying wedding venue searching, we came across Rotherwick Village Hall who hire out the venue from 1pm on a Friday until 11am on a Sunday for a bargain price – perfect! Once this was locked down, we looked for the ceremony venue.”
Not being able to find what she wanted in a dress for a price she could afford, Laura decided to design her own wedding dress with the help of dressmaker, Rosemary Pitkin. “Rosemary made my drawing a reality. I then embroidered the back and sleeves of the dress. I made my headpiece out of vintage brooches and earrings – it was my something old, and Mike’s suit was £15 from a charity shop!”
Michael & Sheena were married in July on a shoestring budget. With just $5000 to spend they were able to pull together a truly personal and totally beautiful wedding. The day took place at Independence Lake Park by Whitmore Lake in Michigan.
“We met on an online dating site, plentyoffish.com and our relationship took off like wildfire”, began the bride. “This was the 2nd time around for both of us, and though we moved quickly, we knew what we wanted and every day we realize more and more how perfect we really are for each other. Our dream is to move out to the Pacific Northwest (Washington State, or Oregon) and start a small organic farm, raising veggies, dairy goats, egg chickens, and alpacas. We want to be self-sustained and raise our children to love nature and animals, and to help the environment.”
Describing their wedding as “A DIY, natural, outdoor, lakeside, rustic, upcycled & recycled”, the couple’s first aim was to spend as little as possible, “We wanted to do this cheap!” Sheena continued, “$5,000 or less, and we did it. Secondly, we wanted to do things ourselves – the decorations, the bouquets, the jewelry, we even wanted to rent a grill and make the food ourselves, but practicality of the big day forced us to finally hire a caterer – who totally rocked and did better than we could have. The things we made had to be from recycled or upcycled materials, and everything had to have a future home before we would buy it. After the wedding our plan was to sell our mason jars to a local organic farmer, our burlap to another bride and our recycled tissue paper decorations are being used as packaging supplies in our little business. The material for the fabric flowers came from unwearable wedding dresses bought from a local cancer charity.”
So firstly a little apology. I’m away this week at Photography Farm so there’s no Thursday Treats. “Waaaah” I hear you cry, but fret not, I have something even better! Who fancies making rainbow pom poms?! OH GOD YES!
You might remember Jen & Ben’s epic rainbow wedding… oh yes, it’s one of my all time faves too. So it’s taken a while but I’ve finally bartered Jen enough and she’s created a DIY tutorial of just how she made those fabulous rainbow pom poms… and if that’s not enough for you, she’s even done a step by step video!(scroll down to the end of this post).
Over to you Jen…
This tutorial shows you how to create your own seven colour rainbow spectrum pom-poms. If you prefer softer shades, I show you how to use the same technique for ombre pom-poms in my tutorial video. The method is the same, so you can use your own colours and get creative.
For rainbow spectrum poms, which look lovely as a garland, you will need 7 colours of tissue paper, and at least 4 sheets of each – I used red (fading into) orange (fading into) yellow(fading into) green (fading into) turquoise (fading into) blue (fading into) and purple.
When I was looking for tutorials for paper pom-poms for my own wedding, the number of sheets of tissue paper varied from tutorial to tutorial. I tried out lots and found that 12 sheets per pom-pom made the best, fluffiest poms. You can make the poms in lots of sizes. Large ones, by using the full sheet (approx. 50cm x 75cm), working to smaller ones by cutting the sheets in half, and smaller in half again and so on.
In this tutorial I am using 50cm x 75cm sheets cut in half, for a medium sized pompom.