Tag Archives: DIY

A Homemade Tipi Wedding in Wales: Nathan & Laura

When I get wedding submissions like Nathan & Laura’s I’m literally bursting at the seams to get them published. So sometimes I sneakily share a picture or two on my facebook page. The shot I shared of Nathan’s reaction when seeing his bride walking down the aisle totally encompassed this awesome wedding. And it would appear you guys loved it too – over 200 likes and I didn’t even show you the stunning bride! Well the wait is over my friends, I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth it and that his face was 100% justified. Just look at her!

After proposing with a ‘Laura will you marry me?’ tattoo (!) the couple got to planning their wedding for earlier this month. The celebration was held at Penybanc Farm, hosted by Welsh Green Weddings, and the relaxed vibe of the farm really set the tone for the whole day.

“We had a marquee which was put up by made by Roger, Simone and team at Welsh Green Weddings“, the couple explained. “We then added our own personal touches including bunting made by the Mother of the bride and hearts on line made by both our Mothers and the groom’s daughters. Our wishing tree was made by the Mother of the bride and the cake stand was made by Laura. We had individual homemade ‘plant pot’ cakes too. We had tea cups and saucers for favours which we collected from car boots and charity shops. The bridal bouquet was made out of of vintage buttons and featured items from both our grandmothers, Edelweiss (Austrian relatives) and the Father of the bride’s numbers from his police uniform. As Nathan proposed to Laura with a ‘Laura will you marry me?’ tattoo, we also had temporary tattoos as favours and both of us had our own ‘secret tattoos’ on the day.”

“Think about the kind of people you are and who you are going to invite” the couple advised when I asked them what influenced their wedding, “in our case we knew that around a third of the guests would be under 12, so a venue where children and their parents could feel relaxed and excited was important to us. Being true to your self is vital and having some sort of connection with the people running the venue as well as a faith in their professionalism helps enormously. For us, when we went to see Simone and Roger at Pennybanc we knew we were on the same wavelength.”

“A professional photographer is also totally worth the money” they continued. “The married couples we spoke to who hadn’t had one said it was their only regret from their own weddings. If you can, budget with them at the centre and book them early on. Nicola from Daffodil Waves Photography was amazing.”

“Don’t get too hung up on being original”, they concluded. “Wedding blogs and magazines are great to help you think about things and give inspiration, but they can also be intimidating and make you feel that your ideas are ‘old hat’. It ebbs and flows so don’t compete. We both like Elvis and vintage style so it was inevitably going to feature in the music and look of the day, but we didn’t want it to be to ‘themed’. We wanted to have a structure to the day but it also had to have enough flexibility in it to to deal with overruns and the unexpected…and we wanted unexpected things to happen!”

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A 1920s Speakeasy Carnival Themed Wedding: Emily & Jesse

Vintage themes aren’t always my bag, but throw a 1920s carnival idea at me and I go weak at the knees! A strong theme like this, done really really well, gets me very excited indeed.

Emily & Jesse were married at The Voorhies Mansion at Edenvale Winery. It provided the perfect canvas for their creative ideas! “I would encourage anyone planning a wedding to use wedding tradition as a springboard and focus on the experience you want your guests taking away from your event,” newlywed Emily told me. “My husband and I went through the traditional wedding/reception order and activities and then changed what didn’t work for us. Everything was a conscious choice from writing the hilarious ceremony with our officiant to deciding to have four bouquets which I presented to my mom, MIL and grandmothers. Once we knew what we wanted we could be very clear with all of our vendors about our ideas and every single one of them bent over backwards to help make it happen. Our guests still tell us it was the most fun, memorable wedding they’ve ever been to and that is exactly what we were going for.”

The speakeasy carnival theme was everywhere – from the homemade stationery, to the food, to the performers. “We have many talented friends and family who contributed performances that totally made the party,” Emily continued. “My sister sang old jazz standards before and during the ceremony, and friends performed our wedding ceremony, performed aerial silks during dinner, taught the Charleston to our guests, fire danced or played the part of a fortune teller, flapper or mime. True Love Sound not only took care of music but were great MCs and with their help we made a silent movie reenacting how me met… it was totally hilarious! You can see it here along with our guests’ reactions in the video below.”

“We also included a note on our invitations and on our wedding site to let guests know that we encouraged them to dress up to fit the theme in any way they wanted… And they DID! It was fantastic! I also want to thank Heather Goodwin, owner of An Inspired Affair, for being my advocate the day of our wedding. She helped me with all of the logistics while we planned and made sure I could have fun by knowing everything was taken care of on the day of.”

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A Quirky Brazilian Wedding Planned in Just Two Months: Juliana & Tomas

Organised in just two months, Juliana & Tomas’ wedding was held in Brazil on the very date that they first met. The bride explains, “Tomas & I met two years ago through a mutual friend. At that time, Tomas lived in New York and I lived in Sao Paulo. In December 2009, Tomas went to Brazil to work and our friend invited him to spend New Year’s Eve in a house I’d rented at the beach. We spent 6 days together and, two months later, we met again, but this time in New York. We started a long-distance relationship, which lasted just 4 months, because I decided to come to New York. My plan was to spend a season in New York, study and invest in our relationship. Back then, we were very uncertain about our relationship’s future, but now we have no doubt we made the best decision.”

“At the end of October 2011, he proposed me and the only thing that we were sure at that time was that we would get married in Brazil in the same date that we met. The tough part – we had less than two months to organize our wedding. We wanted a small wedding, just the closest friends and our family, but Tomas also wanted a ‘wedding that didn’t look like a wedding’. We wanted a party with our touch, our style.”

“So in order to do that we made as much as possible ourselves. We did our own wedding invitations, we painted jars, and we took care of every small detail of the party. We flew from New York to Rio de Janeiro with two bags full of decor items. We really wanted something different and unique, a non-standard wedding. We spent the morning before our wedding together at the hotel’s swimming pool, we helped each other get dressed, and we got dressed in the same room, where some friends stopped by for a pre-party.”

Juliana wore a Cymbeline wedding dress with a striking red headpiece and carried a homemade bouquet created out of felt hearts. “My dress added a dash of fun style and my bouquet and the wedding cake were also unusual. The ceremony was performed by our mutual friend, our parents and siblings. Chef Damien was in charge of a vegetarian menu. We left a Polaroid camera available to our friends and some of the most memorable pics were taken with the photo booth props. If you asked me what I would change in the wedding, I would say ‘nothing, it was a perfect party!'”

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A Homespun Beach Wedding: Elissa & Chris

Weddings like Elissa & Chris’ make me all giddy inside. A relatively simple affair done well is probably my current favourite kind of wedding style. No fuss, no stress, just effortlessly cool. One day I’ll be as awesome as these guys!

The reception was held in the backyard of a private residence, owned by Chris’ family, in Carolina Beach, NC. The family owns two beach cottages on a lake that share a large lawn, and that was the perfect place for them to pitch their tent which played host to their epic party!

“We toured a number of venues in the New England area when we first got engaged, mostly summer camps and farms, but just when we thought we had it figured out we realized we were way off course,” the couple explained. “We wanted to celebrate at a place that was not completely plucked from the blue. We spent a lot of time wishing we had a farmer owner in the family, and then realized NC would be perfect. The most important thing all along has been to find a place where we could have complete control over set-up, food, decoration, etc. We wanted to DIY as much as possible, as cookie cutter weddings don’t appeal to us in the slightest. At first we wanted to elope, but realized we would regret not bringing our families and friends together to celebrate in a way that was totally ‘us’.”

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A Modern New Year’s Eve Wedding: Tyler & Martin

New Year’s Eve might not cross everybody’s mind as a date to get married, but for Tyler & Martin it couldn’t have been more perfect!

“Martin and I are a little obsessed with The Flaming Lips,” Tyler explained. “He introduced me to the band early in our relationship. He took me to my first show…it was New Years Eve, Halloween and pure happiness all in one night! I’ll never forget watching another couple get engaged that night and telling Martin that would be a pretty awesome way to do it. Apparently he filed that information away. A couple years later during our yearly pilgrimage to Bonnarooo, Martin proposed to me under a shower of confetti and balloons while The Flaming Lips played ‘Do You Realize.’ It was perfect.”

“We chose New Years Eve as our date because it would mark a new beginning for us and everybody else there”, she continued. “We knew we were taking on a challenge by having a NYE wedding – Wayne Coyne even expressed his concern to us when we met him after a Flaming Lips show a couple months before the big day. Wayne invited us to come to Oklahoma City to be married onstage. He even gave us his phone number because he wanted our New Year’s Eve to be perfect, an unbelievable proposal from a generous musician. While we declined his offer to be with our family and friends, we did our best to keep his spirit alive in VA Beach that night (the signed poster with Wayne’s digits and message of ‘I’m worried about New Years Eve’ will always hang in our home!)”

The wedding was held at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. “We chose a venue that not only embodied things we love – modern architecture, education, theater, art – including an amazing hanging colored glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, but also served as a very spiritual setting for two artists to join their lives. We embraced the day, our love for music, and the joy of creating – making our decor full of paper goods we designed ourselves and NYE staples like party horns, streamers, hats and sparkly things like disco balls everywhere!”

“I know neither of us will ever forget our ceremony. When we saw the amazing Chahuley sculpture housed in our ceremony space, we knew we had to get married right underneath its colorful explosion. To do that meant re-configuring the norm and creating a ceremony space ‘in the round.’ In addition to shaking up the layout, we also decided to make the ceremony itself our own – drawing from unconventional prayers, writing our own statements of intent, selecting wooden wedding bands and even choosing music by Phish and The Beatles.”

“On New Years Eve it all came together and was amazing. As we stood in the center of our family and friends, we were overwhelmingly surrounded by their love and support. I cried as I read my promises to Martin (no one was surprised there) and then looked up to see my brother-in-law shedding tears too. It was then it hit me, not only was it a powerful moment in our lives but one that truly touched those we shared it with that night.”

Tyler works in the wedding industry herself as a designer and wedding photographer, so she was keen to make their wedding scream ‘them’ as much as possible. In particular, she designed and created all of their stationery and paper goods herself. “We knew it had to be funky, artsy and Rock n Roll from start-to-finish. I poured over album design and episodes of Mad Men to get my creative juices flowing for our vinyl-inspired invitation designs. It was the ultimate challenge for someone who does the same for others as their job!”

Having such a musical story, the entertainment was also really important to this couple. “We hired a band, The Jangling Reinharts, because what’s better than putting on a concert for friends and family? Plus, they already had our song ‘Do You Realize’ along with the rest of our favorites (Phish, The Beatles, Mark Knopfler) on their set list. We topped it all off with completely vegetarian fare (we both are), signature drink of hot rum cider (our New Years tradition) and a video installation!”

The night concluded with said video installation, “Our venue had a theater so we knew we had to take advantage of it!” Tyler explained. “Martin took on the task of creating a video to share with our family and friends. He scanned thousands of photographs from childhood to present and logged hours of footage to create a piece entitled ‘Copyright 1983’. We deemed it a life collage.”

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A Dr. Seuss & Anthropologie Inspired Ballroom Wedding: Jen & Ilan

Jen & Ilan’s spring wedding was held in a Seattle ballroom but it certainly wasn’t your traditional ballroom wedding! “A DIY wonderland that could have been dreamed up by a love child of Dr. Seuss and Anthropologie,” was how wedding photographer Laurel McConnell described it to me and I totally agree!

“The couple met while working for Adidas and so they paid homage to their employer/matchmaker with shoes and track suits for the wedding party,” Laurel continued. “Every detail radiated Jen & Ilan and their history of coupledom. Ilan had his sneakers customized with their red wedding logo “J + I” and Jen’s something blue was their initials and wedding date stitched inside her dress. On a trip to Jamaica (the groom’s first trip out of the United States!) the couple discovered the “#9,” which acted as the signature drink of the day.”

“Bottles of wine from their 1st date and engagement and for their 1st and 5th wedding anniversaries acted as the guest book. A deck of cards to play Jen’s family’s favorite card game of Shanghai Rummy were distributed as the wedding favors. Jasper’s BBQ catered their super fun affair while feeding the groom’s love of BBQ.”

“Personal DIY creations were also the name of the game: the bride made necklaces for her bridesmaids to coordinate with their shoe & flower colors, she created the menus and programs in their whimsical wedding style, and the paper flower and birch bark centerpieces, the pedestals, and the cake stands were all designed by her parents.”

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