Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Tutorial: Ombre Cake Icing

As I’m in the birthday spirit, what could be more celebratory than a big fat pink cake!? And with ombre being a wedding trend I’m still utterly loving, I thought this DIY from blog reader Heidi would be the perfect way to get the party started…

I’m Heidi, and I write the blog LittleMissLove. I work in Digital Marketing, drink too many iced lattes, and am also a pro hula hooper (more on that on the blog soon!) I write about things I love, and I love fashion, film photography, and getting crafty. I post a lot of mini DIY projects – pretty or tasty things you can make on a lazy sunday. It just so happens that my chap Dikki proposed to me over a home-made chilli just before New Years Eve, so since then most of my crafty projects have been some kind of trial run for the Big W. I’ve seen a lot of gorgeous ombre wedding cakes around t’internet recently, so here’s a how to if you want to try it out yourself!

Recently I met with my bridesmaids, to watch the awesome Bridesmaids film, drink cocktails and have a gossip. Of course, I need a cake for every occasion so I made a lemon sponge with blackcurrant jam in the middle. I tried out ombre icing for the first time – a gentle graduation of colour from light to dark. Here’s how!

Supplies Needed:

♥ Cake
♥ White Icing (can be bought ready made or you can home make some butter cream or cream cheese icing)
♥ Food Colouring in your choice of colour (I used red to make a white-pink-red ombre effect)
♥ Palette knife
♥ Spatula
♥ Bowl

Method:

Step One: Firstly, cover the cake in white soft icing, this is called a crumb layer, and it smooths out your palette. I cheated and bought a tub of Betty Crocker ready made frosting, since you can’t buy white butter in the UK (unlike the US) so you can’t make white buttercream at home. If you do want to go fully DIY just make a cream cheese frosting, that way it will stay nice and white (and it’s delicious!)

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A Barbie & Breakfast at Tiffany’s Inspired Wedding: Anna-Marie & Paul

Anna-Marie & Paul had a simple, down-to-earth and beautiful wedding. Barbie pink accents sat perfectly with their eclectic styling ideas and Breakfast at Tiffany inspiration. The reception was held at The Grand Café in Oxford, as the bride explained, “We went for a high tea affair in a beautiful 1920s style café. It is a special place for us as we started our dating years visiting Oxford and The Grand Café. In fact Paul proposed in Oxford too. We were aiming for a relaxed and informal atmosphere. No cutting of the cake, no first dance – just tea, cake and friends. We created a playlist of all our favorite songs and put it on shuffle throughout the night. It isn’t a wedding venue, partly why we picked it, we didn’t want anything typically wedding style. We aren’t crazy party animals so we only hired it for 4 hours, (5pm – 9pm). We wanted maximum impact, and minimal drunk people (the latter bit didn’t work out, It seems people cram more in a short space of time!!) All in all, it was the perfect choice for our wedding reception.”

Anna-Marie asked a friend from art college to make her wedding dress for her. She was inspired by the dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “I wanted an exact replica of the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress but in ivory. I also designed a top to go with the dress and decided 3 days before the wedding to cover the collar in pearls…it was stressful but often the best ideas come to me last minute! She did an incredible job, she is a pattern cutter for Coast, so I knew she was good, but I had no idea she was that good until I saw the dress for the first time! She even made me a cute label inside with my college nick name embroidered in ‘Annabell’. It’s finishing touches like this that made it even more special!”

As well as the pink colour scheme, Barbie dolls were featured throughout the wedding, making it a really girly but cute affair. “I collect Barbie dolls, and was determined to feature them in the wedding somehow, so I had the flower girls carry a Barbie doll each and the page boy carried a Thomas the tank engine toy. That way they had something to keep them occupied during the ceremony. I didn’t want all my closest friends walking down the aisle with me, as there were 7 of them! I had a corsage made for each of them to wear on the day and I attached tags to each corsage with a scrabble ring tied to it. Each ring spelt out the word ‘Friends’ and I wrote on each tag the reasons why they were special to me. Even though they were not official bridesmaids (we wanted to keep it informal), funnily enough when I got to the church I asked my sisters and best friend to walk down the aisle before me, it’s funny how tradition creeps up on you, but Im really glad I did, it made it more special.”

The couple added DIY touches where they could including making their own personalised stationery. “I’m a printer and designer by trade, so the stationery had to be amazing!” continued the bride. “The pressure was on! I created a Rob Ryan style laser cut invite, with a really lovely poem about marriage and love intricately cut out to form the shape of a lighthouse (we call our house the lighthouse, it has become our own special theme!) I made a fun spiral bound long thin Order of service, to be different and included a double page spread of pictures of all our friends and family. Printed on all my favourite papers, all 50% recycled stock. Then I made tissue slip cases for the church with the words ‘Tears of Joy…or a runny nose’ printed on each one. Each guest had a packet of tissues and an order of service on their seat.”

“The reception stationery include tea bag tags personalised with each guest name. We made our table plan a compilation of guests faces on a Polaroid picture in random countries around the world as backgrounds and each table was named after a different tea.”

“I created our own logo using the Tiffany’s & Co. logo, but then crossed out with Hughes scribbled above Tiffany’s. I printed it onto large luggage tags with questions on the reverse for each guest to fill out, this was instead of a guest book. We asked guests how and when they first met us, what we should call our next dog and what their advise for our marriage would be. We got some hilarious responses! We then tied each one to the willow tree that we took from the ceremony (saves on cost). We gave each guest a free drink voucher, entitled ‘fancy a drink?’ and placed in a tiny gold envelope on each place setting. I also made round disks with ‘the legend of afternoon tea’ printed on for our tea cup candle wedding favours.”

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A Low Key, Family-Centric Wedding with a Bowling After Party: Daniel & Zara

Daniel & Zara wanted a really low key wedding that focussed on family, friends, celebration and laughter. The ceremony was held at Camden Town Hall (where the bride’s parents were married 35 years earlier).

The reception kicked off with drinks at The Gilbert Scott or Cider Tap (the guests went to either or both!) and finally Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes. “Over several bottles of wine on holiday last summer we drew up lists of things we did and didn’t want as part of the day,” Zara told me “Over-formality was a big no-no and fun was a big yes! We fell in love with the Kingpin Suite at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes as soon as we saw it so that became our after party venue. It was as close as we could get to running off to Vegas without sacrificing having our friends and families there. Dan and I are both terrible at bowling, but he did propose outside a bowling alley (with a ring in a packet of hula hoops) just before we went in for a game – so it all seemed to fit into place. We managed to keep the reception venue a secret from guests until they turned up. No-one had a clue and it was brilliant for Dan and I to greet people with massive surprised smiles on their faces.”

“We put a real emphasis on little details of our wedding, not to save money but to personalise the day as much as possible and to satisfy my inner craft-geek.”

The bride wore a dress made by a friend, “My dress was made by a friend of a friend who is an awesome tailor, using a picture of an ozzy clark dress from the internet. We adapted it to include a brocade panel which was planned to match the bridesmaids who were all asked to wear brocade vintage. Dan and I had matching personalised converse trainers and I had a gorgeous pair of of Vivienne Westwood/Melissa shoes.”

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A Dusky Pink Wedding with a Touch of Vintage: Louise & Paul

Louise & Paul were married in London on 11th February, just a few days after their 12 year anniversary. “Our 12 year anniversary was the Thursday before our wedding!” Louise told me. “This is the reason why we chose this date. We got engaged two year’s previously on our 10 year anniversary! We were lucky enough to find our photographer Annamarie Stepney through a wedding blog and we just fell in love with her pictures. They are so romantic and unconventional. Her photos just tell a story of the day – people who were there can re-live every fab moment and fill in the gaps on the moments they couldn’t remember or missed. And those who weren’t there, get transported to the day. I’ve been blown away by all the amazing comments on them!”

The ceremony took place at The Old Marylebone Town Hall with the reception at The Union Club in Soho. “We just fell in love with The Union Club the moment we walked through the door” the bride continued. “Quirky, cosy, relaxed and friendly – which pretty much summed up what we wanted from our day! Then we ate there and the food was amazing. All their food is homemade – they don’t even have a microwave on site. We are proper foodies, so the grub was really important to us. We also loved how we didn’t have to choose a menu six months before – our guests got to pick their meal on the day.”

Louise wore a bespoke dress by Conchita Couture with Kurt Geiger shoes and a headpiece from Glitzy Secrets. “From the moment we got engaged I knew I was going to struggle to find a dress ‘off the peg’. I didn’t want a traditional strapless full length gown,” she explained. “They just aren’t my style – plus I’m only just over 5ft and a size 8, so didn’t want to be swamped! I just liked the idea of having sleeves and a high neck – I wanted that real Grace Kelly feel! My Mum actually married in a long sleeved dress too. I also wasn’t sure about marrying in white or ivory, so opted for a dusky pink number which was uniquely made by layering up different coloured fabrics. This kind of set the colour scheme for the wedding too.”

“We wanted to make sure our wedding day stood out from the rest!” Louise concluded. “We wanted it to be romantic but fun-filled at the same time! We didn’t follow the crowds, we chose not to have bridesmaids and ushers and favours on the tables and we also made sure our DJ pumped house tunes all night long. House music is what brought us together so was such an important part of our day!”

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A ‘US Meets UK’ Rock n Roll Wedding: Aaron & Melanie

Aaron & Melanie’s rocking 50s wedding does exactly what it says on the tin.  This is unadulterated Rock n Roll Bride gold and I’m thrilled to share it with you today. The couple, who met in San Francisco while Melanie was there on holiday, were married at the end of January at Old Marylebone Town Hall, London. “We met whilst out dancing at a rockabilly club called the Jay n Bee, and whilst there was instant attraction, I was only on a two week holiday so nothing really happened,” Melanie told me. “However, I returned to the USA a few months later for Las Vegas and a three month stay in San Francisco, and that’s when we started dating.  We continued travelling between San Francisco and London, and got engaged on our 8 month anniversary (which was also Christmas Eve) whilst out dancing at the Southbank Centre in London.  We had originally planned to get married in SF, but one sunny day last October, we were laying in the garden here in London, and I said to Aaron ‘We should get married in London…in January!’ and so we planned our wedding in just over three and a half months!”

In order to keep the wedding personal, to save money and to enable them to organise everything so quickly, the couple did as much as they could themselves, with the help of friends & family. “We are really fortunate to have a lot of talented friends who were kind enough to help us make our day exactly as we wanted it to be,” Melanie continued. “My niece’s friend Claudia made our cake for the cost of the ingredients, numerous DJ friends took to the decks on the night and my sister’s friend Leena Teperi made my dress for me (exactly how I envisioned it!) My friend Natasha from Pretty Me Vintage did my hair and make up for me and an old school friend of mine, Mike Massaro, was our photographer.”

“We knew that we wanted our wedding to be very personal, and Aaron and I spent many evenings crafting until 2am in the weeks running up to the wedding! We made bunting, table decorations, cookies for favours, the table plan, signs, labels for the sweetie jars, mini-bunting for the table names, and my personal favourite – Aaron made Mr & Mrs 3D letters from scratch, using card, glue and tube maps (to keep with the UK part of our UK meets USA theme!)”

The most important thing to these two though? Well it’s all about the love baby! “Without trying to sound too cheesy, we were inspired by our love,” smiled the bride. “We planned our wedding around all the things that are special and meaningful to us, and did the best we could, with our budget, to make the most fun, memorable, romantic and personal party possible. We wanted rockin’ music, delicious food, attention to detail, and a fun atmosphere. We started out with a very non-traditional approach, and ended up with the perfect mix of traditional and non-traditional elements. We honestly feel that even if we were not on a tight budget, and had access to double or triple the money to spend, we still  wouldn’t change a thing.”

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An Alice Wedding in Australia: Stew & Ali

The Australian wedding of Stew & Ali was held at Leaning Church Vineyard in Tasmania. “We knew even before we were engaged that we wanted to be married in a vineyard,” Ali told me. “We love to visit the amazing vineyards in our area of Tasmania, which is famous for its Pinot Noir. We’re known for our somewhat overzealous love of said Pinot Noir….So a vineyard screamed Stew and Ali. We chose Leaning Church because of its rustic charm, hills full of vines, a quaint little lake, long yellow grass and absolutely fabulous wedding coordinator!”

The bride wore a bespoke dress and Lady Dragon shoes by Vivienne Westwood/Melissa. “I wanted my dress to be whimsical and flirty and Alice inspired,” she continued. “My princess style dress had a blue petticoat and underskirt and a layer of blue tulle over the ivory skirt, so it shimmered blue in the sunlight. The bow around my waist was pure Alice. The shoes were the very first thing I bought, before we’d looked at any venues or decided on any sort of theme! It was so hard not to wear them before the wedding!!”

Ali’s headpiece was a mini top hat by Two Back Flats. “Well how could you have an Alice wedding without a top hat?” I contacted Jasika at Two Back Flats to see if she could customise her bridal top hat for me. I bought the vintage style mad hatter brooch from etsy and then sent that to Jas, who then put it all together with a gorgeous blue ribbon. I used a blue French net in birdcage style.”

Her bridesmaids wore blue, but were asked to pick any blue dress they liked. They also each carried a polaroid photo with a ‘glimpse’ of Ali down the aisle, which they handed to Stew when they got to the end. “It was a fun way to tease Stew (who didn’t know what I was wearing) and for the girls to have a chance to hug him and say something to him before the ceremony.”

Their reception was decorated to reflect the Alice in Wonderland theme. “I actually contacted Kat of Rock n Roll Bride late in 2011 to ask about lighting ideas. The result was glass jar ‘chandeliers’ with LED tealights inside, created by my Ma, as well as a wall of hanging glass jar lanterns in between teacups and doily flowers. We used books, teacups and silver jugs, sheet music and tiny white rabbits were gathered from op-shops and markets. All the flowers were handmade by Ma, and extra little details were purchased from etsy. My favourite stores were Black Baroque who did the Wonderland prints for the table ‘numbers’ (each table was a different character), and Windrosie who made the paper clocks and photobooth props. My Best Girl Sarah gave me the White Rabbit lamp as our wedding gift, which was a perfect addition.”

“Instead of a seating chart or escort cards, each guest received their own copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I covered each book with blue fabric, glued brown paper to the spine and then wrote the guests’ names on them and our wedding date. Inside was a handmade bookmark that told the guest which table they were seated at. At the ceremony were handkerchiefs tied with ribbon and a card that read ‘You ought to be ashamed, a great girl like you, to go on crying this way… Stop it at once!’. We also had personalised water bottles with our logo from Brewtopia.”

Hearing about a couple’s inspiration is often my favourite part of the wedding stories I’m sent – especially when they say Rock n Roll Bride helped them (brownie points all round!) “Our inspiration was clearly the Alice story,” Ali concluded. “I re-read the book about 10 times during the planning…And of course, Rock n Roll Bride was the first web page I opened every morning to get my fix of wedding prettiness. I got a lot of inspiration from the real weddings that Kat features.”

“We saw our wedding as a huge party, and the best chance I’d get to create my own whimsical wonderland. We had our own touches in our vows (Stew’s were made entirely of lyrics from cheesy love songs…) and we included a bit in our ceremony acknowledging our support for equality of marriage. We also asked our guests to write three words they would use to describe us in their RSVPs, which I put together into a coherent story that made up part of our ceremony as well.”

“I think we’re Rock n Roll simply because we did what we wanted, not what we were ‘supposed’ to do. My aunt and uncle brought a mad hatter costume along with them – he’s the crazy looking guy with the tiny teacup in the photos. My cousin rolled her eyes and said ‘it’s a wedding, not a party’. But I disagree; it was a party, at which we happened to get married. And to us, it was the best party ever.”

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