Tag Archives: budget wedding

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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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.”

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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.”

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A Shabby Chic Wedding with Vintage Touches: Hannah & Andy

“Random but fun” was how Hannah & Andy described their Peterborough wedding to me. They bought as many elements into their day as they could, the only rule was they had to have significance to them and their relationship.

They served their favourite food, bangers & mash followed by individual pots of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They also collected as many random jars and bottles from car boot sales and antique shops as they could in the run up, and kept their floral arrangements simple and inexpensive by placing single roses in them for the centrepieces.

“What we really wanted was for the whole day to be fun for us and all the guests, as often at weddings the time can drag or there can be long pauses between sections,”  Hannah explained. “We hired a magician to turn up after the speeches, two roulette tables with croupiers and a photo booth from Say Fromage so people could take their own pics and take a copy of it away with them.”

Hannah wore a stunning Terry Fox gown with a Magpie Vintage necklace made from genuine vintage pieces.

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DIY Tutorial: Twine Ball Light Garland

This simple and cute tutorial to make your own twine ball light garland is right up my street. Thank you to Michelle Kelly of Pocketful of Dreams for putting it together for us!

Over to you Michelle…

I’ve seen twine balls used for all sorts of purposes, from chandeliers to pretty table decor, so I thought I’d have a go at making a light garland using this idea. I wanted something that would create a really pretty lighting effect, but I also wanted the string to have quite a strong and vibrant colour.

So I chose to use coloured twine, alternating between pink and purple twine balls. But what I actually found was that the glue and cornflour mixture tended to make the colour look a little dulled and whitewashed, it still looked pretty and works really well if you have more of a muted colour-scheme, however this is not the look I was going for. So to create the vibrancy I wanted I sprayed my twine balls with spraypaint once they had dried, this gave them a really lovely sheen as well as the strong colour I wanted, so this is worth noting if you want strong as opposed to muted colours. And of course if you are spraying yours you can use any twine, you don’t need to go to the expense of sourcing pretty coloured ones.

Supplies Needed:

♥ Twine – Either plain or in colours of your choosing
♥ PVA Glue – About 1/2 litre
♥ Cornflour
♥ Warm water
♥ Balloons
♥ Marker pen
♥ Vaseline
♥ Old tray for the glue mixture
♥ A broom or long piece of wood to hand the balloons from
♥ Twinkly light garland to attach the twine-balls to
♥ Fishing wire
♥ Spray paint in the colours of your choice – I used Rustoleum painters touch multi-purpose paint

Method:

Step One: First of all blow-up the balloons, one for each twine-ball you want to make. Smear the balloons with a thin coating of vaseline (this will stop your twine from sticking to the balloons).

Step Two: Tie a piece of string to the ends of each balloon and then around an old piece of wood (I had mine balanced across the backs of two chairs in my backyard). Make sure you have something underneath, like plastic sheeting or bin bags to catch all the drips.

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