Tag Archives: DIY

A Weekend-Long Family Festival Wedding: Emily & Stef

If you’re a blog addict like me you may have seen some of the following images from Emily & Stef’s incredible festival wedding around the interwebs already. Emily is a wedding photographer herself and so a lot of the suppliers they used for their wedding weekend were friends as well as being exceptionally talented wedding industry peeps!

After proposing to Stef, Emily set to work planning a unique and quirky wedding to suit them and their family. Being a wedding photographer herself Emily had seen a lot of things she didn’t want for her own big day. It was important to them to have a wedding that reflected them, was chilled out and laid-back and fun for all their guests. “We had a bright, colourful, happy wedding that was all tied together with buttons,” Emily began. “We have shot weddings together for the past 5 years and wanted to have something that didn’t feel like we were at work. We also wanted an environment that was going to work well for our three children and lots of other little ones who would be at the wedding (about 27!) We both love music and festivals, so we wanted a lovely big party where everyone could relax and have fun. Someone described it as a mini summer holiday. That was the vibe.”

“There was craft, games, cake decorating, a tuck shop, two DJ set-ups, BBQ breakfasts, a sushi brunch, a hog-roast, falafel, a BYO bar, face-painting and balloons. We also really wanted to get married outside and have a humanist ceremony (something important in our lives), so Billycan Camping offered a perfect space for that too. The dress-code for the wedding was ‘please wear whatever you want so that you are comfortable in a field for a weekend but please can all the guys wear a bow tie.’ And people did just that! It was fabulous!”

The couple were legally married on the Thursday before their wedding weekend. You can see more info, photos and a cute video of this day on Steve Gerrard’s and O & C Photography‘s blogs. They photographed this part of the wedding for them.

However the day the couple consider to be their actual wedding day took place at Billycan Camping in Sussex. Emily actually found this venue after seeing this wedding on Rock n Roll Bride! As the wedding had a festival vibe, the majority of the guests camped over the nights before and after the wedding, making the whole thing a big massive weekend celebration!

Emily wore a bespoke dress made with vintage cotton lace from 1976 (the year she was born!) by Mr Christian. In the evening and for the after-party she changed the underskirt and bow from white to bright pink. Stef wore a pink suit from Aubin and Wills, but he had no idea that Emily had planned to add some pink to her outfit in the evening. It just all worked out perfectly you could say!

Almost all of the wedding decor was DIY and they bought a lot of items (crockery, picnic baskets, jars, board games) from charity shops. Emily explains, “I made lots of things before the weekend from corsages and ribbon wands to ceremony programmes and the guest book. Then on the the Friday I showed a few guests how to make the big paper flowers hanging in the yurt and they spent Saturday morning making them. We had a craft area so all the guys could make a bow tie (I really wanted all the guys to wear a bow tie!) and the ladies could make a pretty hair accessory or a corsage. My friend Charis and I made everyone a pinwheel corsage from felt and a button. There will be lots of DIY inspiration on our new lifestyle site New Homely over the next few weeks.”

“We had a do-it-yourself wedding with friends and family giving a huge amount of their help instead of traditional wedding presents. This is exactly how we wanted it to be but it’s not for the faint hearted. You have to really want a wedding like this as it takes a huge amount of planning, logistics (we hired and organized everything ourselves from the hog roast company to the main yurt, even the generators, everything apart the cake table, which we hired from Billycan Camping.)”

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without the amazing help from Paige of Paige One Events and Charley of London Bride. Paige helped me so much with making phone calls and sending emails, creating timelines and spreadsheets (with a three children under 5 this was tricky for me to do all by myself!) Both Paige and Charley were amazing on the day making sure that everything ran smoothly and co-ordinating all my friends and family so that everyone could join in and help to create the weekend of our dreams without me having to worry about a thing.”

Their wedding was photographed by the fabulous Polly Alexandre, someone who’s work both Emily & Stef have admired for a long time. “We had a first look before the ceremony by a lake near Arundel Castle. Completely amazing and perfect walking up to meet my husband-to-be through long grass in my flip flops, tapping in him on the shoulder and him turning round and seeing me for the first time in my dress. Amazing and intimate. It gave us some really special time together that we knew we wouldn’t get later with our three young children and lots of family and friends. Polly photographed it beautifully and we also took the opportunity to do our couple portraits then too, so that after the ceremony we could just go with the flow.”

The couple also employed The Wedding Reporter to come and write their wedding story for them. If you want to read more about how the day went and what it was like to actually be there, then be sure to go and check out her report on her blog (part one and part two.)

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A DIY, Lesbian Wedding: Natalie & Sarah

Natalie & Sarah were married at El Rio, a bar in San Francisco. “My friend described our wedding as ‘A backyard picnic with 52 pieces of flair’. I wanted it to feel like a big huge queer love fest,” newlywed Sarah told me.

“Our wedding was Rock n Roll because it was a queer wedding first and foremost. We had so much wiggle room to shape our event to be exactly what we wanted it to be. We were able to incorporate some traditional aspects, like the ring exchange, and do away with others that had no meaning to us like a bouquet toss or smashing a piece of cake in one another’s face. Although Nat and I can’t legally get married in the state of California we’re looking forward to taking a trip to New York to do it soon! I have a full sleeve of tattoos and wanted to feel sexy at my wedding, so I opted for a short dress that showed off my sleeve & some cleavage.”

Sarah’s dress was a bridesmaid’s dress from Lula Kate which she ordered in white to save money. She also wore shoes by Jeffrey Campbell and DIY veil and jewellery. Natalie wore a hired tux from Men’s Warehouse, but to say it was a bit of a rubbish experience is an understatement.. You can read all about the drama on their blog soyourenGAYged.com.

“We were on a very tight budget, but didn’t want our guests to know it, so we tried to do everything we could to make it feel like a small intimate gathering with all of your best friends in attendance,” Sarah continued. “We also served gourmet comfort food to our guests – fried chicken, baked beans & mac n’ cheese. Yum! We also tried to keep most of our money within the LGBT community, so the venue was owned by a lesbian, our caterer was a lesbian and most people who helped out day of were all from within our community too. We decided who read their vows first by playing rock, paper, scissors and it was a huge hit.”

The couple also DIY’d a lot to save money including the flowers, “They were hand sewn by yours truly because we ran out of money and I wanted to have some damn flowers!” Sarah laughed. “I handmade my bouquet with fake flowers and incorporated some vintage pins in it that I’d asked for as a gift for my bridal shower. My maid of honor did flowers for many years, so she made their bouquets out of fake flowers we bought the day before at a store. They turned out so well – she took hours to glue all of the pearls to the inside of the red flowers.”

“Our dessert table was designed by a fabulous friend who hung some of the desserts from a tree. Almost everything at the wedding was a DIY project completed by either myself or my amazing team of friends. We did 3 first dances, so that I could get in a cha-cha with my Mom.”

“The DIY altar and photo backdrop was my favorite DIY project. I blogged about it here. The photo’s in front of it turned out so so good!”

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A Hippy, Eco & Vintage Styled Shoot

This beautiful shoot with an eco hippy vibe tugs at my heart strings. Isn’t it just beautiful!? I die over the summery details – the coloured glass, the cute props (owls for the win!), the yummy confectionery and the stunning florals.

Photographer  Nikita Gross used digital, Holga and Polaroid photography to capture the whimsical and retro vibe of these shoot…and I’d say she’s done that perfectly! “We used tons of yellows and greens to keep with the natural vibe,” she explains. “All of the decor was found at local thrift stores.  Earlier this year myself and Jen Pritchard of Your Wedding by Jen created Cincinnati’s first Alternative wedding Expo, Love+Bash.  This is one of the table concepts from the show.”

Now excuse me, I’m off to lie in the sunshine and dream of this photo shoot…

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A Recycled Wedding Fashion Shoot at Paramount Ranch

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“The concept of this photo shoot was ‘eco friendly + recycled wedding fashion for modern brides’,” photographer Yuna Leonard writes. ” Both of the dresses and the boots in this set were found at American Vintage store on Melrose, Los Angeles. I love that store!”

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“I was in love with the ideas of recycling and reusing wedding fashion from days gone by – maybe from brides who were in your Mother’s or Grandmother’s generations. The dresses I bought were also very inexpensive { from $70 – $ 100. The boots were $50.} We fused this style with an idea for outdoor / backyard styled reception fashion as well.  The mixed style of vintage + bohemian + western totally got me this time! Hope you enjoy it!”

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A DIY, Heart & Confetti-Themed Wedding in The Netherlands: Laura & Nils

Laura & Nils were married at a vineyard in The Neatherlands. The laid-back nature of their venue was reflected throughout their entire day. It was important to the couple to put their own stamp on their wedding and so they DIY’d a lot of the details including the bride’s dress, the favours (a sweetie table), the cakes and the flowers.

“My dress was ordered from www.dressilyme.com, style number WWD005HV,” Laura told me. “It was a plain white poofy dress, with beads all over the bodice when it arrived. I then altered it myself, by removing the beading, and applying another layer of ruffled fabric and a piece of antique lace over the top to add a personal touch. The fabric and lace were bought at the Albert Cuijp market in Amsterdam. I had wanted to have the white dress because I normally never wear white, and thought that would make it extra special.”

“My personal favorite part of my outfit was my headpiece; a combination of antique lace and an antique brooch.The lace came from the Albert Cuijp market, and the brooch was bought on Etsy from seller HighHorseVintage, based in the UK. The brooch was made in the Victorian era, and symbolises light in the darkness, which I thought was a beautiful thought.”

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“We opted for cupcakes!” continued the bride. “And everyone loved them! A friend of ours was kind enough to make them (she loves baking), and did a fantastic  job. They were white, with a silver and a red heart on top, very cute and exactly what we wanted. My mum really wanted us to have a ‘ proper’ cake, so we could do the cake-cutting ritual, so our friend made a small white cake that had the same decorations on it as our homemade invitations, which was perfect!”

“I had a bouquet of red and white roses, as Nils always buys me roses on our anniversary, the same number of roses as the years we’ve been together. The girls had smaller versions of my bouquet.Those were the only flowers we had, we had balloons, streamers and confetti for our other decorations.”

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A Simple Country Vintage Wedding for a Tattooed Bride: Dave & Clare

Dave & Clare were married at East Riddlesden Hall in West Yorkshire. The bride wore a Tara Keely dress and Irregular Choice shoes.

“The theme I was going for was simple country vintage,” Clare told me. “Throughout the whole wedding process from getting engaged to the honeymoon (which was only 5 months!) we just stayed true to ourselves, we invited who we wanted (no relatives we haven’t seen for 10 years) no kids, only the people who mattered.”

“As for the style, again we stayed true to what we liked and what we felt comfortable with. I don’t particularly see us as Rock n Roll but I guess with our tattoos and such I can see why people might think that. We’re just us and there’s nothing we like more than cuddling up in front of a film with a cuppa and our cats and dog!”

The couple used their own camper van as their wedding day transport, and after the wedding travelled around the Lake District in it for their honeymoon. The couple also added DIY touches throughout their day including all the stationery and paper goods. “We hired bunting from a company called Beautiful Bunting,” continue Clare. “I bought antique bottles, wrapped them in a bit of lace and used them as little vases for the tables along with some parafin lanterns we had bought.”

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