Tag Archives: DIY

Hannah & Carlos’ Full Moon, Movie-Themed Fancy Dress Wedding

Hannah & Carlos’ full moon/supermoon/autumn equinox/fancy dress/movie themed wedding rocks my world. I’m kind of blown away by the whole thing! The couple put so much love and attention in creating their perfect wedding that I didn’t want to miss one detail…so, over to the bride…

“We had a fancy dress wedding, the theme being movies. A big part of Carlos and my time together has been spent watching movies…we love them! We’ve shared many hours snuggled up together, going on journeys through film.”

The ceremony took place on Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand (spectacular!) and the reception afterwards was held at Wharariki Beach Holiday Park which was owned by one of their friends. Carlos went dressed as the Mad Hatter and Hannah wore a beautiful tutu style dress, made for her by her sister.

“Our friends Jade, Dion and their daughter Willow helped make the whole wedding possible. On the day, when we were all ready, they transported us down to the far end of the beach in their jeep, all dolled up just for us. We clambered down onto the beach after a short jaunt through the bush, and then I got into my tutu there. Then we had a short journey through rocks and tidal pools from the sea, onto the big stretch of beach. We arrived together, with our Best Man, Bridesmaid and Flowergirl, all coming down the beach from the opposite end to everyone else. All our guests were waiting at the entrance to one of the beach caves, with an aisle made of flowers and surrounded by colourful flags on bamboo poles. When we got there, Carlos and I walked up the aisle together, totally together, ready to meet our Fairy Celebrant.”

“We wrote the whole ceremony ourselves, with help from our Celebrant and dear friend, Lolly Dadley-Moore. We wrote our own vows, which we each repeated after Lolly. However we both started with a little message, written on a paper heart. That was a surprise to each other. Both of us totally bawled as soon as I started speaking, as did most of the guests. Sigh. How emotional! We were completely connected, eyes blazing hard into each other, with everyone else falling away, disappearing…all I could see was Carlos. All he could see was me. But how amazing to be surrounded, so close, by all our friends and family! I love that everyone was right up close and personal, throughout the ceremony.”

“Afterward, the bubbly was popped and we proceeded to be hugged and squeezed by everyone that was there on the beach, all kitted out in costume, surrounded by colourful flags. It was quite surreal to see all these characters on the beach, like a different world. Like a movie. Perfect.”

“The guests then headed up the beach, carrying the flowers and flags back up to our friend’s campground. Carlos and I headed back down the beach for a few photos with our friend Pete, then Dion and Willow drove us back to the camp. We were trailing cans, rattling around, announcing our arrival. The campground had been totally decorated by our friends in the days leading up to this…Anand set up his Moroccan Tent, friends brought out tables and chairs from the local High School, Ricki let us borrow his huge sound system, Natalia made a dreamcatcher that hung above the dance floor, as well as setting up all the white lycra decorations, the gold hanging stars, the lights…there were fairy lights and black lights and spotlights, borrowed from a range of friends. There were psychedelic wall hangings surrounding the DJ booth. There were drum fires dotted around the place. The place looked so incredible…and it was only to get better as the sun went down.”

“We had a huge potluck meal, provided by everyone. There was a cleaning crew already at work that night, and all the next day. We retreated back to the Moroccan Tent to eat and drink, there were toasts and we were sung to…I cried. Again. And then the moon came up, full and huge and blazing a light so clear and bright all night long…”

“Our first dance was to Nina Simone’s ‘My Baby Just Cares’. It rocked. Then we were treated to a stunning bellydance performance by my big sister and two dear friends – more tears flowed. Then the dancing continued, as we all hit the dance floor for a trance party…our friends DJ’d for hours, we had such a blast! Somewhere in there we cut the cake, but I totally forgot to throw the bouquet…it was such a crazy event, so much going on that I completely forgot!”

“Carlos and I crashed out late late in the night, exhausted and spent. Our little caravan had been set up with gold hanging heart decorations and rose petals were flung everywhere…it was so beautiful. The following day, once the entire thing was packed down and cleaned up, we drove away to spend the night at another beach…staying awake just long enough to open all our gifts, cry some more, then watch the moon rise over the ocean. Waking just in time to see the sun rising in the same spot, we were back to the real world, but married now…united…totally, gloriously, magically happy.”

“My Mum had bought us a beautiful little handmade journal/book and left it on the main table at the reception, by the cake for the whole night. We invited people to write us messages…when we read the book the following night, we were in tears because of all the beautiful heartfelt messages our friends left for us. We will treasure that book forever.”

“Our wedding was so much fun – it was light and colourful, there was much laughter and tears…it was so heartfelt and powerful, everyone noticed that and was moved by that. Neither of us are mainstream conservative people…we are unique, we love to have fun, and we love to dress up. We didn’t have much to spend, so we did everything as cheaply as possible, but that took nothing away from this event – it was AMAZING! I was shocked by how much power we weilded just in being open and expressing our deep love for one another, in front of everyone else that we love. So many friends pitched in to help create this wedding, I am still blown away by that. All of that, for US. For LOVE. Far out.”

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Christina & Sybrina LGBT-Friendly Wedding

Christina & Sybrina were married in their own back garden in Vegas. Christina wore a beautiful dress by Ouma Clothing and Sybrina wore a sharp suit. The couple are pretty active in their local LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and so wanted to use their connections to do it ‘right’ and create a wedding that was perfect for them and their friends.

“We worked very hard in making it a comfortable environment to accommodate our diverse attendees,” the couple explained. “Most of the vendors we used were close friends. We wanted to integrate them throughout the wedding while supporting local small and new businesses. Our close friend, Jeff Hames, even did a mural on our backway that matched the wedding invitations.”

“We tried to stay as true to our queer feminist roots as possible.  We made our wedding our own by only using things we felt comfortable with.”

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Elbie & Derek’s Opulent & Eclectic DIY Wedding

I love Elbie… love love love! She is the hair & make up genius behind many of my photo shoots, including the Mad Hatter Beach Shoot, the Tattoo Revolution magazine shoot and my rainbow hair for the Big Fat Wedding Blogger’s Photo Shoot! Elbie is one hell of a cool chick, so when I heard the she was getting married in South Africa this March I pretty much laid claim to blogging her wedding before she’d even had the chance to tell me anything about it!

Elbie married Derek at Glen Skye, a farm owned by her uncle and aunt in the Eastern Free State, SA. Elbie’s Mum pretty much organised the whole affair as both Elbie & Derek now live in London. She even made her daughter’s dress based on a Dior pattern! I was particularly excited to see how her dress ended up, as we’d had long conversations in the run-up to the wedding about what it was going to look like.

She explained, “My Mom orchestrated the WHOLE wedding for us. We planned the wedding over the internet, she would send me pictures of the dress progress, and I’ll send her drawings of what was in my head.”

“The dress was made by my Mom, after I showed her a fabulous couture gown I liked – she had to design and make it with only ONE fitting of a mock-up a year before the wedding!  She is a little bit magic and we both were VERY relieved when I tried it on for the first time and it was PERFECT! There were about 18 metres of hoop in that gown, but it was surprisingly light! She also made my hairpiece, using beads to make little flowers, and adding gemstones and a piece of a broken tiara that belonged to my grandmother, Elbie Senior.”

With her custom dress Elbie wore shoes Irregular Choice and Doc Marten Dee boots for the evening. The lucky bride also carried a Vivienne Westwood handbag that Derek gave to her as a wedding gift!

“My Mom also made the bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers, the décor, (every table setting was a little bit different, shoe of my great-grandmother were sprayed silver for Elbie-ness- my Mom’s quote ) and they MADE most of the steel ‘props’ with my dad (they do that for a living)” Elbie continued. “The wedding arch and birdcage were made by them, and the groom made the cake stand as well as the princess and the frog cake topper in bronze!!!  The parasol was a last minute addition, a present given to me by my mom-in-law and her 4 sisters.  My bouquet’s flowers wouldn’t open in time, and the parasol worked beautifully!”

“We spent two weeks before the wedding to prepare everything, from making signs to spray-painting hydrangeas (a trick I learnt while working on the Wonderland project.) Oh, and a valuable DIY lesson – never throw anything away.  My Mom is a creative genius who could make things out of nothing. We’ve exhausted ourselves (and my poor father and my then-fiancé), because everytime they thought everything was sorted, we’d come up with a new idea!”

The evening reception was also a special one, with Elbie fulfilling her childhood dream of singing to her new husband, ” When it was my turn for my ‘speech’, my talented brother accompanied me on keyboard so that I could serenade my groom with ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ – by Journey, not the Glee cover!  (there’s a pic of him staring at me in shock/wonderment!)” she told me.

“We had so many people helping us out, borrowing stuff or giving it for free, we really got a sense of community there,” the bride concluded. “We had our relaxed, but opulent wedding. I have never dreamt of a white wedding, and wanted a festive, overgrown, eclectic day.”

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Mary & Sam’s Private Bay Wedding

Mary & Sam were married in a private bay in Picton, New Zealand. Their biggest challenge for their wedding was that they lovingly (and painstakingly) restored a 70 foot boat to transport their guests from the ceremony site to their reception at Herzog Winery!

“Working to restore a non-functioning 70-foot launch so we could transport our guests was… well, it was Rock n Roll in fact that we had no sleep, too much to do, and had to call in our amazing family to bail us out! We tried to forget about the industry noise around weddings and instead focused on the fact it’s just the thing that happens before you’re married, so let’s have a party focused on love instead.”

It was all worth it though, especially the magical moment when a pod of Dolphins followed the boat on the journey to the ceremony. Wow.

The couple DIYed the majority of their wedding and used wedding blogs as inspiration, “I can’t speak highly enough about the great wedding blogs out there (my favourites were Rock n Roll Bride, The Wedding Chicks, Ruffled and Green Weddings Shoes)” Mary explained. “They tutored me through making tote bags, our own centrepieces, invitations, fixing jewellery, all sorts of things that made the wedding of our dreams accessible provided we threw in a little blood sweat and I-can’t-believe-super-glue-won’t-stick-to-this-metal-but-my-fingers-are-stuck-together-tears.”

Mary wore a stunning lace pre-loved dress by Allure Bridal (style number 8634) and shoes that she customised herself from an old pair of shoes, some fabric swatches and lots of super glue!

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Alena & Geoff’s Circus-Themed Costume Party Wedding

Alena & Geoff were married at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. Their fancy dress, circus themed day was certainly a show-stopper, especially as the majority of their guests really got into the swing of it and made a real effort with their outfits. “We invited our guests to dress up, and that made them fully participate in all aspects of the circus/carnival wedding,” they told me. “We had 2 guests as ‘door clowns’ who checked people in, gave them clown noses and flags. We had a popcorn man in the lobby of the ceremony giving out popcorn bags. We borrowed huge circus banners from other friends and used them to decorate for the reception.”

The couple made a number of DIY items to go with their theme, but were keen to pass on to the readers of Rock n Roll Bride that there is no need to stress about the ‘little’ things on the run up to your big day. “We made flags for our guests, our own centerpieces, and other decorative touches. Don’t waste time on gifts or things you and others won’t care about though.” they explained. “We filled large vintage popcorn boxes with bottles of water, snacks, local things to do in town and directions to the event and had them given to our guests when they checked in at their hotels.”

Alena wore a custom made dress from Skingraft, Fluvog boots and a hair piece that she made herself from feathers, copper wire, a piece of gold veil and a costume jewellery blue brooch from her great grandmother.

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Vanessa & Brian’s Bicycle Themed Wedding

Vanessa & Brian’s DIY wedding has a vintage bicycle theme because cycling was what brought them together. The day was held at Simpson House, Kansas City and started with an intimate ceremony on the gardens. Vanessa walked down the aisle to “I Will” by the Beatles, performed acoustically by a local couple. After the kiss, everyone rang bells that were placed on their chairs. They also decorated their venue in a way personal to them. Wheat was an important decorative element as Vanessa’s Dad was a wheat farmer and passed away when she was young. She even has a tattoo of wheat on her arm in memory of him.

The couple put a number of DIY elements into their wedding including the ceremony backdrop which was actually a flower and ribbon chandelier created from bicycle wheels. They even had a super cute bicycle cake topper made for them by their coordinators, Hitched Weddings + Events. “Our inspiration was the shared passion that we had for cycling & all things vintage”, they explained. “That really helped us to think out of the box and try to incorporate touches of the motif without having it be too ‘themey’.”

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