Tag Archives: DIY

Relaxed Back Garden Wedding in Surrey: Rachel & Ally

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Rachel and Ally won their wedding photography though a contest hosted on this very wedding blog, so when Rachel excitedly emailed me with the resulting gorgeous photos, I couldn’t wait to post them! The wedding was held in Ally’s parent’s back garden in Surrey.

“When we first got engaged and I started to look at possible venues I got so downhearted that I abandoned the search for 18 months”, began the bride. “Every couple wants a wedding that represents them, and we were no different, but I felt everywhere I looked we either couldn’t afford or wouldn’t let us choose the things that were important to us. They all seemed to insist that you use their recommended suppliers. We are both laid back and wanted something that wouldn’t be stressful to organise.”

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“Rather than start at what we wanted, we started at what we didn’t want and built from there. We didn’t want formality or to subscribe to tradition. I didn’t want a wedding dress and Ally didn’t want a morning suit. We wanted it to feel very natural and relaxed so cut out many of the usual parts that make up a wedding. I didn’t want to be a princess; the only thing I wanted to be on our wedding day was Mrs Jowett.”

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Rachel’s beautiful dress was from Jarlo, her scarf was from Etsy and she made her own flower crown. “We wanted to get married in Ally’s parents garden but legally we couldn’t do that, so a few days before the wedding we went to the registry office in Brighton. Then we went to the local pub and had burgers and champagne. We spent the afternoon sitting on the beach together and then went to a hotel. I’m really glad that we got the legalities out of the way beforehand as it took some off the pressure off the wedding.”

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“Ally being a musician, it was really important that the music was great and so it was lovely to have one of his old students sing at the reception”, she continued. “The song I came out to was Peter Gabriel’s ‘The Book of Love’ and the lyrics ‘I love it when you sing to me and you can sing me anything’ sum up how I feel about Ally. Every time I watch him perform I fall in love with him all over again.”

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“The South of France inspired the food and the lavender, we also got the wine from the local vineyard of the town we were going on honeymoon to. The food was really important to us so that was one area we didn’t want to scrimp on. We didn’t want a formal sit down meal though so our caterer helped us come up with a tasty buffet style meal.  She is a family friend and we always wanted her to be involved in the day. We didn’t have a cake either so she created two amazing meringues, one with fruit and the other with nuts and chocolate.”

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The couple chose not to have a wedding party, or formal photos, and the groom didn’t do a speech. “We are both relaxed and laid back people and we wanted a wedding that was the same, we asked guests not to buy new outfits for the day and come what they were comfortable in, if that was jeans then that was fine.”

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“We didn’t have best men or bridesmaids, we love all our friends and just wanted them there enjoying the day with us. I would l have liked Ally to do a speech but he wrote most of the ceremony and that was lovely. The reason we didn’t do speeches was because we didn’t want to put pressure on people to speak in public, not everyone is comfortable with it and we knew it would make some people anxious so left that part out.”

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Bohemian Wedding at Big Trees State Park: Patrick & Jessica

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Patrick and Jessica were married June 29th with a budget of under $5000. They planned everything themselves and the bride’s uncle conducted the ceremony.

“Patrick and I grew up in the same county and graduated in the same high school class”, began the bride. “Where we live is very ‘small town America’. We wanted our wedding to have the same feel. Patrick and I both love camping and the outdoors. Every aspect of our wedding had our own personal touch and backstory. We wanted our wedding to represent us and our guests really loved how genuine it was. We didn’t want a generic wedding we wanted something that we made and represented our relationship.”

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The ceremony was held at Big Trees State Park on Beaver Creek and the reception was at the group camp area. The flowers were gathered and arranged by the bride and her bridesmaids. They made flower crowns and the centrepieces.

“I loved the night before and the morning of our wedding”, Jessica continued. “The bridesmaids, tribesmaids and I camped out and made the floral hair wreaths, boutonnières, and table arrangements. We slept under the stars and at dawn we had a silent vigil on a beach at the river. The silence was broken when we all jumped in the water. It was very serene and empowering to start the morning with my closest friends and jump into the brisk water. It was symbolic to the day, plunging into my new life as a married woman.”

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Bohemian Midsummer Wedding in Scotland: Fiona & Mike

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Fiona and Mike wanted an outdoorsy, chilled out wedding that was as fun for their guests as it was for them! They went above and beyond to provide entertainment, drinks and food that everyone would enjoy. Having as much as possible locally sourced was also really important to them both.

“We wanted to have our wedding outside surrounded by the landscape that makes us both happy – the dramatic mountains, colours and trees of the Scottish Highlands”, explained the bride. “The wedding was also to be a celebration of time and place and locality.  Using local, seasonal and sustainable food, drinks and materials as much as possible. To be true to ourselves by throwing our ideal summer party where all our guests felt valued and included.”

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The wedding was held at Inshriach House in Aviemore, Scotland. “We live in Edinburgh but regularly take the 2.5 hour trip up the A9 to my family’s second home near Aveimore”, she continued.” We got engaged up there in the woods on Alvie Estate with Archie the dog beside us.  So it seemed only right our wedding was the same!”

In terms of DIY, there was plenty! The groom, his brother and both Dads built the arch structure for the ceremony, which was then draped with flowers. The bride’s father also cut railway sleepers into blocks which they attached the menus too. All the signage was also homemade.

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Creative and Colourful 1950s Inspired Wedding: Ryan & Connie

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With a budget of just £4000, Ryan and Connie planned a beautiful 1950s inspired wedding. The bride wore a dress made especially for her by Honeypie Boutique, shoes from Next and fun Tatty Divine jewellery. The bridesmaids’ vintage inspired dresses were by Vivien of Holloway.

“We love colours, patterns and prints so we wanted the wedding to reflect that”, said Connie. “All the bridesmaids chose their own coloured dress and I had a bright pink ice cream bag!! We wanted to use local suppliers as far as possible and keep costs low by making things ourselves. We also wanted the day to be colourful and bold but also relaxed.”

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The day was held at Kelham Island Museum and Little Mesters Bistro in Sheffield. “Our wedding was on the Tour de France weekend and Sheffield was crammed with people!” she continued. “Travelling to the venue with my bridesmaids in our vintage VW camper van was incredible! There were so many people, including lots of street performers on stilts, looking in and waving. It made it feel even more special.”

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Woodland Weekend Wedding in Yorkshire: Lorna & Liam

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Lorna and Liam were hitched at Camp Katur in Bedale, North Yorkshire. They hired the place for a whole weekend in August so they could have a nice, long celebration. “We both love nature and fell in love with the venue straight away. This had a massive influence over the whole wedding”, began the bride. “We wanted it to be informal, fun and a great reflection of our relationship and life.”

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“Our theme was definitely a rustic woodland theme. We love colour so had many colours around, we used swallows inspired from our tattoos, logs from Liam’s yard, sunflowers have always been my favourite flowers… We tried to keep it as ‘real’ as possible. We did loads of DIY. We had three main areas to fill and two nights worth of fun. We were very fortunate to have so many amazing people to help us. Liam’s friend made us a coconut shy, my sister made all the signs and Hannah, our wedding planner, did all the stationery. It really was a joint effort of DIY.

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Whimsical and Romantic Black Forest Wedding: Phillip & Elena

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If cute, quirky, outdoor weddings are your idea of heaven then prepare to stand at those pearly gates, because Phillip and Elena’s Georgia wedding is a beauty!

“Our inspiration was just love and our relationship”, said Elena. “All the things that brought us to that point. We had games instead of dancing because we got to know each other over UNO and Monopoly.”

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The bride wore a dress from BHLDN, the bridesmaids picked their out outfits and nearly everything else was handmade by the bride or thrifted. “We made the bunting, table runners and the stationery”, said the bride. “We arranged every flower ourselves and I also made the cake toppers, escort cards and signs. It was so worth it.”

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