Tag Archives: DIY

A Reclaimed, Relaxed & Fun London Wedding: Caroline & Lewis

Caroline & Lewis wanted a relaxed and fun London wedding which would reflect their loves and inspirations – reclaimed items, Caroline’s love of fashion and vintage and quirky DIY elements all played a massive part in their wedding.

“The whole day felt so perfect, not in the sense that everything went to plan, but it felt good that all our hard work was finally coming to fruition,” Caroline told me. “Amazingly we didn’t feel nervous at all, we just felt excited. It gave me a huge sense of achievement knowing that I made my own wedding dress, made the bouquets, the cake, the invitations and all the decorations. I’m not saying that I did a better job than the professionals, but it was fun to have a go and it keeps costs down. You don’t need a massive budget to have a London wedding. There are lots of pubs, bars and restaurants that would jump at the chance to host a wedding and don’t charge a hire fee.”

“We wanted the day to be relaxed and fun with a few quirky surprises.” the bride continued. “The hardest thing was finding venues that didn’t feel too formal and were within our budget. The decorations and other details were the fun part. We didn’t have a particular theme, era or colour palette, we just collected things that caught our eye. We scoured wedding blogs for inspiration and then worked out how we could recreate them on a budget. We hired a lovely vintage ice cream van instead of having a sit-down dessert. We kept it a secret, so watching our guests faces as the little Honda ice cream van pulled up outside was priceless. Our main aim was to have an intimate ceremony that was personal to us, followed by an amazing party for our closest family and friends.”

As a fashion designer it was important to Caroline that she found her perfect dress…or two dresses actually. She wore a 1930’s dress which she customised herself for the main part of the wedding and a vintage floral dress which she found on Etsy in the evening. To her day dress she added a belt which she bought from New Look for just £1.50 and a floral crown which she made herself with guidance from her florist.

“My mum made her own wedding dress so I thought it would be nice to follow in her footsteps,” she explained. “The original 1930’s dress was bought for £95 from Annie’s Vintage in Angel, the dress then sat in a brown envelope for the next 6 months whilst I hunted for a suitable lace. As the dress was vintage, it was slightly off-white so finding a lace in the same colour proved very difficult. I tried to find another vintage lace dress that I could deconstruct, but it was difficult to find anything that had enough fabric. I finally found a French Chantilly lace in Macculloch & Wallis 10 weeks before the wedding. Many hours were spent sat behind a sewing machine, cramped in a tiny box room in our London flat. Listening to people gasp ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe your dress isn’t finished yet!’ just added to the pressure so I just pretended it was all finished if anyone asked. The final hand stitching on the dress was actually done on the morning of the wedding, I found it quite therapeutic.”

I simply love love love the Oreo cake! It was also made by the bride and her family the day before the wedding. They even added a cute bird cake topper from Etsy to complete the look. “We made the cake the day before the wedding from Oreo biscuits. The biscuits are kept in place with chocolate icing. The whole cake took about 25 packets of biscuits to make. The smell of the biscuits and chocolate icing was divine but I had to resist temptation until the wedding diet was over!”

“I believe that you can do anything if you set your mind to it,” concluded the newly-married Caroline. “The best thing about our wedding was all the DIY touches, they’re the things that give the day some personality. There are tutorials online for just about anything so I just gave it a go and hoped for the best. I really enjoyed being busy on the morning of the wedding, it was a welcome distraction and prevented any nerves from creeping in.”

Simply wonderful. I know you’re going to love this one guys! What a cool couple….

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An Unconventional Japanese Beach Wedding: Chaco & John

I love Japan. It’s one of my favourite places in the world (we had out honeymoon in Tokyo) and I hope to go back again someday. So when I spied Chaco & John’s wedding at Riviera Zushi Marina in Kamakura and reception at Zushi Beach, I emailed their photographer Chennergy immediately and asked to feature it.

John proposed at the worlds busiest road crossing, right in the middle of Shibuya, Tokyo. Check out the video here – it’s the cutest!

“My inspiration for our wedding theme was my Dad loving Rock n Roll and since both our names are John, or Johnny I thought it would be appropriate to rock to Johnny B Goode,” John explained. “I also am a big fan of the youtube video JK wedding, and the scene in Back to the Future where Michael J Fox rocks out to Johnny B Goode at the prom scene. We also had an 80’s feel, since we both love the 80’s. The 80’s sunglasses and recession song being “Nothing’s Gonna Stop us now” by Starship.”

The shack where their reception was held is only constructed for the summer months, so just like the proposal I guess, the couple had to coordinate and plan the wedding a long time in advance “We booked the venue a year in advance,” John continued. “The floor was sand and was just a great feeling to have a party there.”

“Instead of having a traditional reception, which is a bit costly and boring, we went straight to the after party at the beach. We changed our outfits to a Hawaiian theme. I wore an all white Hawaiian wedding aloha shirt, with a fresh Maile lei brought over by my older brother who lives in Hawaii. I also bought Hawaiian accessories (shark bone necklace) online. Chaco wore a white BCBG lace and a simple leaf and white plumeria flower head lei.”

“Our decorator sewed the table cloths and decorated the tables with herbs and wild flowers, she learned how to create a table setting just for us, because she teaches children for a living and was just a friend who had never done anything like this before. All of our friends pitched in with their skills and talents to make the wedding a reality! We had blues, aquas and yellow wild flowers. Yellow for full of life and blues for tranquil and peaceful ocean. The sea was a big part of our theme since we had our wedding in a glass chapel on the sea, with blue carpet isle lined with seashells.”

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A 1950’s Rock n Roll Wedding: Laura & Neil

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Laura & Neil 1950’s Rock n Roll wedding was inspired by the thing that brought them together – music. They explain, “Music was the thing that brought us together – Neil’s Dad played the Cavern in the early 60’s – and we’ve both always had an interest in classic Rock n Roll.”

“We definitely enjoyed searching – Laura liked sourcing her own dress on the internet and having the bespoke accessories made to personalise the look. We didn’t want to look like anyone else and we didn’t want the wedding to be traditional. We choose Sassy of  Assassynation as our photographer because of her unusual and unique style.”

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“Guests were greeted with vintage gramophones, radios, antique tins and Rock n Roll and motown music,” they continued. “We placed framed pictures of classic films and 50’s movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe all around the venue and we decorated the outside area with vintage bunting. Laura walked down the aisle to Brian Fallon’s (The Gaslight Anthem) version of the Johnny Cash classic ‘I Walk The Line’. Guests found out the seating arrangements from a poster Neil created in the style of a 1950’s Rock n Roll bill and our tables were all named after classic hits such as ‘At Last’, ‘Be Bop A Lula’ etc.”

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“Our centrepieces were stacks of classic 50’s and 60’s crime fiction novels with vases of fresh red roses and every guest had a little record sleeve with our faces on it that Neil had created with a cookie inside, wrapped to look like a record.”

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“The Black Cat Trio were a really cool band and Neil lost over a stone dancing to them!” the bride concluded. “Sassy made us both feel really comfortable and had some amazing ideas that we would never have thought of. But Neil would have liked her to have air con in her car! We had the best day of our lives with all of our friends and family and we were so pleased that we did it our way. With the photos, it will be a day we can look back on for the rest of our lives.”

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Back to School – A Madmen & Book Themed Wedding: April & Zdenko

As a high school teacher, getting married at the school she taught at seemed like the perfect idea to April. The venue also gave them a really great starting block for a totally unique and awesome wedding – Back to School! “I’d say our wedding was a mix of Madmen style with a book theme,” April explained. “I am a high school English teacher and my husband is a graduate student at University of Chicago with plans to be a professor. A book theme just seemed natural. I immediately knew I wanted books as our centerpieces and since our names are April and Zdenko, A to Z bookends were perfect. Then I thought of personalized pencils and it all started to come together.”

“I am super crafty and we were on a tight budget, so our choice to do most things DIY was more out of necessity than anything else, but it created the look I wanted anyway. I didn’t necessarily try to go out of my way to be different, I just was trying to capture our personalities.”

“Our ceremony and reception venue was the high school that I teach at on the Westside of Chicago in the recently redeveloped Homan Square area of North Lawndale,” the bride continued. “The school is a charter school run by Henry Ford Learning Instituted aptly named Power House High due to the fact that it was the former power house for the original Sears Tower and factory plant. The building was renovated into a school 3 years ago and many of the original machinery was left to create a museum-like atmosphere. We were the first couple to rent out the space for a wedding, but they certainly hope to continue renting it out for this purpose. If interested, contact Kevin Sutton at ksutton@homansquare.org.”

As mentioned before, the majority of this wedding was DIYed by the couple and their friends. “We depended on may people for their creativity. We have two friends that brew beer and they made three different homebrews for our wedding. My best friend’s husband made these awesome invitations for us with an A to Z bookend graphic he designed. My cousin and her husband used that graphic to make personalized screen printed T-shirts for our wedding party.”

“My Mom made my favorite cookies and Zdenko’s mom made a variety of Bosnian cookies. Our friend Alexis and his brother Teddy run a food truck here in Chicago and they ended up catering our rehearsal dinner in their soon-to-open restaurant. My sister-in-law and Mother-in-law made the bell favors. My best friend made the flowers, the moustaches for pictures, and many other things. My neighbors made the beautiful arch with an awesome floral arrangement for the ceremony. My friend Kay made the A to Z bookends for the centerpieces. Everyone was just so awesome and constantly asked to help out in more ways than I even could imagine!”

Almost makes me want to go back to school…well maybe only if it was as cool as this one!

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A Fuss-Free Sydney Elopement: Heather & Yeo

Oh I do love to feature the odd fuss-free elopement on Rock n Roll Bride. Planning a wedding can be so damn stressful that it’s just so nice to see people who say ‘screw that!’ and go and do their own thing.

Heather & Yeo met on Facebook while they were both living 100 miles apart in the UK. After finally meeting in ‘real life’, and then after just a couple of months, Yeo told Heather he’d been offered a job in Sydney and asked would she go with him. She didn’t think twice and bought a one-way ticket right away!

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After just 5 months of planning the couple were wed at the New South Wales Registry Office, Sydney. “The aim was to have a simple and easy wedding,” Heather told me. “It was a great day and I don’t think I would of changed anything about it. Our ceremony was to start at 11:30am and it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day – just what I wanted! We had invited witnesses only as both sides of our immediate family couldn’t attend. So in the end we had 3 other adults, three kids and the photographers in the room. The actual ceremony went very fast and I had the giggles when it came to saying my vows – I think it must of been the only nervous bit throughout the whole day.”

After the ceremony, the couple and their photographer Rachael Muller went off for a portrait session at some of their favourite locations around the city. “At one point someone drove past playing Glee’s version of Bruno Mars – ‘Marry You’,” Heather continued. “Now, every time I hear that now makes me think of the day. Another memorable moment would be going catching the train from Central and walking up Market Street all dressed up. We kept getting glances from everyone and getting well wishes from total strangers on their lunch break.”

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A Lithuanian Theme Park Wedding: Alma & Aleksandras

I don’t think I’ve ever featured a wedding from Lithuania on the blog before, but I’m pleased to say that’s all about to change…and if there are more Lithuanian weddings as awesome as this one I want to share them as well please!

Alma & Aleksandras’ wedding was sent to me by their planner Laura Vagonė. “I met these two six months ago, both of them are photographers so wanted to have wedding in some special and at an interesting place. I‘ve offered them an old carousel park and they loved the idea.”

“The ceremony was held at 8am and officiated by the the father of the groom. We had amazing party and the guests were invited to try carousel. They were happy as kids, trust me. We also had a live band playing the whole time. Everything was so great that I‘d like to share that colourful joy with you!”

Well I’m very pleased you did Laura!

The wedding had a blue colour scheme which was reflected in both the bride and groom’s outfits. Alma wore a second hand dress which she found on eBay with cute flats and a headpiece, both by Agne Giedriene (she also changed into Nike trainers later in the day) and the most amazing twitter-inspired tights by Tattoo Socks on Etsy. Aleksandras wore a second hand suit with a blue bow tie he was given one Christmas.

Their were also handmade touches throughout the wedding including the cake, the ceremony décor and the flowers, which were all put together by the groom’s Mother.

The wedding day finished with a boat ride and the couple jumping into a nearby lake! Rock n Rooooll!

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