Tag Archives: budget wedding

DIY Tutorial: Vintage China Cake Stand

This week’s DIY tutorial comes from Betty of Betty Bee Vintage. This simple project looks like a lot of fun, and wouldn’t these look amazing as part of your reception centrepieces? You could cover them with cupcakes, flowers, pearls…well, whatever takes you’re fancy I guess. I kinda like the idea of using really dark coloured plates and putting skulls on them surrounded with ivy…but well, that’s just me. I better leave this to the experts…

If like me you long for the days of Victorian decadence where tea was served in china regardless of the location and slumming it might mean forfeiting the finger bowl but never napkins then this craft project is for you. Nothing makes a wedding look as elegant as including a cake stand. You can use them as table centres covered with flowers or simply serve cupcakes on them. Here’s my guide to making one of your very own for under a tenner.

Supplies Needed

♥ Selection of plates
♥ A 3 Tier cake stand fixing (these can be found on eBay and many online craft stores they usually cost about £6)
♥ A fully charged cordless drill with a tile drill bit. This is important, as a normal drill bit will break your plates
♥ A screwdriver
♥ A pen
♥ A tape measure

Method

Step One: Probably the most time consuming part of the process is sourcing your plates. Charity shops, car boots and jumble sales are great for this. Remember the plates don’t have to match; in fact it can look prettier and more unique if they don’t. I always try and tie the plates together in some way whether it be a theme (birds, flowers or toile for example) or by complimentary colours but this is entirely up to you.

You will need a dinner plate for the bottom, side plate for the middle  and either a saucer or teacup for the top. Be warned very occasionally if a plate has a hairline crack or is especially delicate it will break when you drill it so this is not a project to do with your grandmothers irreplaceable dinner service.

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A Handmade & Simple Wedding: Genevieve & Andy

Genevieve & Andy were married at Smokey Glen Farm, Washington. A simply styled day, the couple put a lot of importance on their friends and family being involved and having a good time. “Early on, we decided which things were most important to us. We wanted it to be a fun party, to be simple, and to be uniquely us – everything else we tried not to sweat too much. As a result, we simplified our approach and only spent a lot of time and attention on a few key things. The venue supplied great BBQ, beautiful scenery, and a lot of fun games for our guests. And we rented a ping pong table. That was key.”

“Andy’s Mom made the strings of hearts, table runners, and the ties for the silverware and my mom and aunts arranged the flowers on the tables,” the bride told me.

“A friend was the officiant, another the DJ, another the videographer, and another did the hand-carved linograph invitations and thank you notes. Each bridesmaid doubled as a quasi event coordinator, especially the maid of honor who kept us on point all day.”

“The program and menu were chalkboards,” Genevieve continued. “We just got some chalk paint and plywood; the fanciest portion was buying some cheap floor molding and nailing it to the boarders of the chalkboards to make them look like picture frames. We bought a few hundred feet of white lights and stapled them to the rafters. We collected a lot of candles and mason jars and we crafted up a yarn wreath.”

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A Vintage Rock n Roll Italian Wedding: Alice & Matteo

Oh baby I’m literally dying over Alice & Matteo’s Italian wedding. Everything is so beautiful and the photographs by Martino Vincenzi leave me weak at the knees.

“Since my husband proposed me last year, I knew that my wedding would have been not a classical italian wedding,” Alice wrote to me. “So, when I found your wedding blog, it was like a mirage in the desert! You have been my bible, THANK YOU!!”

The wedding was held at Malga Riondera, a farm in Ala di Trento, Italy. “We wanted to have the wedding totally immersed in nature and when we found this place (where no marriage had ever been celebrated) we realized that everything would be just wonderful,” Alice continued. “We were married under a beautiful huge ancient oak, with violins playing one of my favourite song (Staralfur by Sigur Ros). It was like a dream!”

“During the planning I gently forced all my best friends to help me to make everything! It has been so tough, but worthwhile. We made all the cupcakes two days before the wedding, and the morning of the celebration we were still preparing and fixing stuff!”

“We don’t like rings but we love tattoos, so we decided that for our special day, instead of exchanging rings we would have a significant tattoo done on our ring fingers, since we had the fortune that one of our invited friends was also our tattooer. So now, when people ask me to show them my wedding ring, I indicate my beatiful little red star on my finger!”

“Rock n Roll is a state of mind!” the bride concluded. “Our wedding theme was vintage Rock n Roll as I I am extremely Rock n Roll with all my body and soul and I love all that is vintage. I love riding my Vespa and dressing like a pin up!”

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A Swedish Vintage Circus Wedding: Frida & Richard

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Frida & Richard were married at Hagaparken, a nature reserve just north of Stockholm, Sweden. The beautiful ceremony took place under a carefully selected tree and the reception was in The Copper Tent, also in Hagaparken, which was originally built by one of the Swedish Kings to house his horses, but which looks a little like a circus tent. The couple based their celebration around this tent, creating a vintage circus theme.

The bride designed her own dress and the couple DIY’ed as much of the day as possible including the flowers, the stationery and all the reception decor and props.

“My sister married us, something we decided to keep from the other guests,” Frida told me. “Despite a short line about guests being welcome to add their own touches to their outfits, we were took by surprise when everyone turned up with personal touches to match our wedding theme. Even the most unlikely of our family members really took to the task, which was ace. My personal favourite, the groom’s Uncle who appeared in a top hat, weilding a riding crop! We also had the pleasure of an assortment of fine shoes, hats and sparkles.”

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“As we spent a little time with the photographer after the ceromony, we gave guests a few games to play outside the venue while having a tipple including a photobooth with props, vintage circus games and ’the infuriating hammer game’, which was our take on the strong-man. Our chum Gus played records on a little portable record player.”

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“We really wanted to give ourselves and everyone else a day of merriment,” the bride concluded. “More of a cheeky flow of surprises and smiles rather than stiffness and formality – almost make it a bit like our little journey as a couple. Our start point was simply taking full advantage of wearing good clothes for a day, for one day just being a little bit more extravagent than we have ever been. We had no real outside influence, in that Richard’s family are all in the UK and Frida’s scattered across Sweden, so we just got to immerse ourselves in the process and take our time with it.”

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“The whole outcome was pretty satisfying – like everything from the little signs indicating the table groupings (strong men, ring leaders, mine artists, tattooed ladies, bearded ladies…) to the little trinkets around the venue were things that we found or made. There was also a train of thought that we wanted to blend the English/Swedish side of things so that some elements would be surprising to the relevant nationalities.”

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Hearts, Clouds and a Massive Party: Brandon & Tiffany

“A friend of mine described our wedding by saying it was ‘kind of like the Hangover, only without the tiger’.” newlywed Tiiffany explained. “Brandon and I planned the wedding purposely during our favorite holiday – Halloween. Our wedding venue was in the middle of downtown Orlando, which has a HUGE Halloween street party the weekend of Halloween. It’s loads of fun, and I knew that everyone would want to party on the streets after the wedding. Well, my maid of honor partied a little too hard, and we ended up in the emergency room the night of our wedding. Haha. I love her!”

Brandon & Tiffany were married the day before Halloween at Sak Comedy Lab. As you can see, they wanted a real party atmosphere for their wedding and so threw the rule book out the window when it came to deciding what they wanted.

“My goal for this wedding was to throw a bad ass party, without breaking the bank,” Tiffany continued. “I wanted a wedding that was completely different than anybody else in my family had ever done. Unfortunately, my mother was not a big fan of our ideas, which made the journey of wedding planning a little hard. She was absolutely against the idea of having the ceremony in a place other than the church, and hated the fact that we were having pizza. I tried to tell her that this day was about Brandon and me, but it was tough for her to accept it. In the end, she ended up having a great time like everyone else did! I wanted to prove to her that we didn’t have to have an expensive, traditional wedding to have a great time. Anyways, I’m not the type of person who would go into debt for a wedding. I want to enjoy my marriage and not have to worry about paying off a wedding for years to come. Thank goodness Brandon and I are pretty crafty people, we save loads of money by DIYing everything.”

“Our theme was ‘clouds raining hearts’. All of the groomsmen wore hand sewn clouds and the bridesmaids wore hearts in their hair. It was mostly Brandon’s idea. And he did most of the sewing!! All of our guests also wore hand sewn stuffed hearts as boutonnieres. and the bouquets were also composed of hand sewn stuffed hearts, attached to floral wire and put together by twine. The whole wedding was just an explosion of hearts!”

“We didn’t want the wedding to feel stuffy and serious. Brandon wrote the ceremony script, which was pretty hysterical. We had a part during the ceremony where we had ‘vows’ for our guests to promise to us. We embarrassed our parents by having everyone sitting around them give them high fives during the ceremony. We made everyone laugh during our vows, which were super kitschy but I absolutely LOVED it. I wouldn’t have done the wedding any other way.”

“We had so much help from family and friends, and without them, our wedding obviously would not have been the same. Brandon, his groomsmen, and his family did all the decorating the day of the wedding. Brandon didn’t even have any instructions from me on how to decorate the place. He wanted me to trust him with this task and I must admit, I was terrified. But it was so perfect that I cried the second I saw everything. He read my mind. He always does that.”

“Even though we had pizza as our ‘wedding breakfast’, my family insisted on helping out with making traditional Filipino food and other appetizers for our guests. My cousin Becki and my aunt Lucy were in charge of the food and O.M.G. everything was amazing. We even had trays of sushi that my family made! We had so much food that most of our guests took home leftovers and we were even able to leave a few to-go boxes to be given out to the homeless. It was such a memorable night, and I seriously want to thank everyone who shared this special day with us. You are all lovely and perfect!”

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An Urban & Eclectic Community Wedding: Stevie & Nick

Stevie & Nick’s eclectic city wedding took place in Mile End, East London. The bride described the day to me as “eclectic retro community chic,” with so many of their friends and family pitching in to help. “So many people said ‘that’s how weddings used to be’ and ‘this is how it should be, family and friends mucking in’. It meant a lot to us that this was how we did it – it wouldn’t have happened without all of the support we received.”

The wedding day started with the ceremony at Bromley Public Hall and concluded with a rockin’ party reception at The Victoria Pub, “Old man pub heaven” as the bride described it! “They’d never hosted a wedding before, but we were there for a jumble sale and afternoon pint and fell in love with the place,” she explained. “We started chatting to Jo and Martin, the amazing couple who own the pub with their son Alfie and couldn’t believe how genuinely excited they were by it. It made me realise that experience of weddings only gets you so far – real passion and enthusiasm was a lot more important in the end. When we wanted to bring in our own flowers, cakes and decorations – including nailing things to the wall – they were all for it!”

Stevie wore a short wedding dress which she bought on lightinthebox.com. “I know this website received mixed reviews, but it was the only place which had the style I wanted for the budget I had,” she explained honestly. “It worked for me and I would recommend it to anyone how has an eye for a bargain. Visiting weddings shops didn’t even enter the equation! I found this far less stressful. I didn’t try on any dresses or partake in the crazy wedding industry world for a second – people thought I was really weird for wanting to avoid the meringue monstrosity outlets.”

The couple brought their own cake, flowers and decor items and dressed their reception themselves (well with help from a friend on the morning of the wedding). This way, they were able to have the pub exactly as they wanted for a fraction of the price. “Our cake was made by my food-obsessed bridesmaid and usher. They were mini Victoria sponges filled with lemon curd (Nick’s favourite) with a big cake topped with little handmade versions of us. They came on vintage cake stands and looked amazing. Who needs 14 tier fruit cakes? No one eats it and it costs a fortune. These were made with real love and every one got eaten. Our 1950’s waitresses handed them round to the guests at their seats like a little (drunken) tea party!”

“We also bought all the flowers wholesale from Covent Garden Flower Market the day before the wedding (at 5am. Ouch.) Two of my incredible bridesmaids then spent the entire day putting them together. Everything was a surprise for me – including my bouquet. For a control freak like me, it was amazing. I only found out later that 3 bouquets had got stuck to the back of the fridge they were stored in, meaning lots of emergency flower re-arranging on the morning! I didn’t even notice!”

“The rest of the reception decor and props came from Deptford Market, every charity shop in Essex and Kent, eBay and our house. We were engaged for 18 months and we spent the whole time collecting little bits here and there. The whole family was involved. My sister put together the most amazing candy buffet using cut glass cake stands, jars and vases from my home. My childhood friend made 20 metres of blue and white bunting to go across the garden and Nick used our collection of second hand photo frames to put together a little photography exhibition of photos since we met. The gingham tablecloths were made by my Mum and we all sat around making our birds nest favours the day before the wedding.”

“No one in my family does big weddings,”Stevie concluded. “They either elope, or live quite happily without getting hitched. I had no family pressure so we were really able to do what felt right. Both of us were brought up going to jumble sales, hunting for bargains and being suspicious of anything which demanded a whole heap of money. I guess what made it different was that the idea of ‘impossible’ didn’t exist. We had a London wedding with 70 all day guests, 30 more in the evening, 7 bridesmaids and 7 ushers, beautiful food, drink and decoration all for around £7000. If we wanted something, we made it happen. It was really hard sometimes but we knew it was what we wanted.”

“Being Rock n Roll for me was about ignoring the ‘advice’ we read in magazines and pig headedly carrying on! No one believed me that a Victorian pub could be transformed into a sit down dining reception venue, but I knew it could. You can have the wedding you want on the budget you have, it just takes a lot of love and support from everyone around you and anything is possible.”

This is all just so utterly gorgeous! And did you spy Stevie’s nails? LOVE!

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