Tag Archives: DIY

A 3-day Wedding at a Rockstar’s Retreat: Holly & Karen

Ridge Farm, a working farm and ex-recording studio in Surrey, proved to be the perfect location for Holly & Karen’s May wedding. “What made our wedding Rock n Roll? Definitely the venue!” Holly told me. “Aside from being a beautiful farm that we fell in love with instantly, Ridge Farm is also a recording studio where so many of our musical heroes have recorded albums and stayed – so our wedding guests were partying in the very same place that Queen, Whitesnake, Muse, Roxy, Rush and many more have partied! We hired the farm for the entire long weekend – Karen is Irish and it’s Irish tradition to hold 3 day long weddings so we had a big meal on the Friday for family and friends then the wedding on the Saturday, followed by a pool party with live music and a hog roast for everyone on the Sunday. The farm sleeps 24 plus there is a camping field so all our hungover guests could just crawl out of bed on Sunday morning and stumble over to rejoin the party. By Sunday evening everyone was in the jacuzzi swigging prosecco from the bottle, even Karen’s mum!”

“We wanted to fit a lot into our 3 day wedding but we were also determined not to start married life with a ridiculous amount of debt so we decided to try and swap our skills as web designers with various wedding suppliers,” she continued. “I would definitely recommend doing this, Karen posted an ad on Gumtree and we had over 20 bands offer to play for free! We also had offers from florists, entertainers and videographers. We chose 4 of the bands and they played in a mini festival on the Sunday in return for either website help or just a few beers! The bands were all lovely and we’re planning to go and see some of them when they next play in London.”

“Our friends and family also helped out massively – our ceremony was conducted by a friend, she was even ordained especially for the occasion! My mum made over 90 metres of bunting, a friend made us origami cranes, my aunt made our cake, my dad, best woman and Karen’s sister made all of the cupcakes and canapes – which were all served on large slates provided by my brothers roofing firm.”

“Karen made a sweet table to keep the children happy, although it was the adults that ended up eating most of them! It was the adults that had the most fun with the space hoppers we had too! We also made a lemonade stand and our page boys, my little brother and Karen’s nephew, served homemade lemonade to guests on arrival. We made a huge batch of rum and elderflower punch for after the ceremony and the caterers topped up glasses using a watering can.”

“We didn’t really have a specific theme,” Holly responded when I asked about it, “we kind of just picked all things that we liked. We wanted our wedding to feel more like a big party or festival than a wedding so we kept everything relaxed and tried to avoid anything that we felt was too wedding-y. The most important thing to us was that everyone else had a good time, so big sharing platters of food, loads of rum and wine and lots of music were the main things we focussed on.”

As the venue played such a huge role in the look and feel of the wedding, the couple did have a slight musical theme with their table names being named after albums. “We named our tables after albums that had been recorded at the farm – and I made a table plan using old records with mini doilies covering the record label to show the table name/number. I also used some of the old records that had been recorded at the farm to make bowls for our sweet table – I put the records in the oven on a low heat and placed them on top of various bowls/containers with a tin of beans on top to weigh them down as they melted into the shape of the bowls.”

“For the table decorations, we scoured charity shops and car boot sales for old china cups and bowls, we then filled them all with wax and made them into candles for each table. We made vases from old glass bottles and jars that our friends saved for us, then decorated them with the fabric that was left from the bunting. We also used the leftover fabric to tie each persons cutlery together, to make table cloths and to attach name tags to the favours (personalised m&ms) and my Nan made aprons from it for the waiting staff to wear. Maybe our theme was leftover fabric! I also cut up strips of burlap fabric to make the table runners and scattered each table with butterflies punched from our invites, beads from broken necklaces and old badges. I loved styling our wedding so much that I’m considering starting up a wedding styling and catering company now!”

“We both dislike the term ‘civil partnership’ so we went with ‘Karen and Holly are becoming civilized…’ as the introduction on our invites,” Holly concluded. “Karen wrote our ceremony and it was conducted by our close friend in Ridge Farm’s beautiful orchard. Having a friend carry out the ceremony made it much less intimidating and really personal, Karen’s sister wrote an emotional poem that she read during the ceremony and another friend did a reading that included quotes on love/marriage from our flower girl and page boy.”

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DIY Tutorial: Pretty Paper Fans

Today’s gorgeous DIY tutorial was sent over by wedding planner and stylist Tiffany Grant-Riley. I think these would look amazing as a ceremony backdrop or to hang from your wedding venue’s ceiling. In fact the possibilities are endless which is why you need to go buy some pretty coloured paper like, now!

Over to you Tiffany…

It’s pretty difficult to escape paper decorations at the moment, they’re a top trend and rightfully so! They add an instant splash of colour and can transform any blank canvas into an extra special space.

These paper fans look fantastic when grouped en-masse and used as a backdrop for your ceremony or photo-booth and I have them in varying sizes as a feature wall in my home. Here’s how to make your own…

Supplies Needed

♥ A roll(s) of wrapping paper or some special handmade paper sheets
♥ Buttons
♥ A craft knife
♥ Pinking sheers for paper
♥ A pencil
♥ A ruler
♥ A glue gun
♥ Cutting board
♥ A selection of buttons
♥ A hole punch
♥ Blu Tack

Size Guide

It may take you a little bit of practice to get them right, so it would be wise to play with some standard paper to start with. Essentially you need to make sure you have enough length as the wider the fan the longer it’ll need to be (all will become clear later on).

2” wide = approx 10” long
3” wide = approx 15” long
9” wide = approx 60” long
10” wide = approx 70” long

Method

Step One: Choose the size of fan you’d like to make and measure the width on the back of the paper. Cut your paper to the length and width required (you may need to cut several lengths for a larger fan).

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A Brazilian Restaurant Wedding: Rebecca & Gabriel

Rebecca & Gabriel’s Canadian wedding took place in November. Toronto City Hall hosted their ceremony, and they selected Caju Restaurant for a low key and casual reception. Gabriel is from Brazil so the cuisine of the restaurant provided a nod to his family and heritage.

“Gabriel and I met online, and deleted our dating profiles after our first date,” Rebecca told me. “We moved in together after a month of dating and knew we were going to get married. We both just knew we had finally met the right one, and something about the way we worked together just made complete sense! He is from Brazil, living in Canada and I moved to Toronto to meet people. None of Gabriel’s family was able to come to Canada for our wedding, so we had our small 30 guest reception at an authentic Brazilian Restaurant so we would at least incorporate Brazil through the amazing food.”

“On the day of the wedding Gabriel drove his scooter for 45 minutes to get our big red balloon. It was the only ‘task’ I had given him to take care of, and to get it home from where he found it he tied it to the back of his scooter and drove it back home! It is currently still with air in it (barely!) in our house. We loved that red balloon! He also forgot his wedding ring on the day of the wedding, and had to zip home on his scooter, and battle rush hour gridlocked traffic to get to City Hall on time!”

The bride opted for a short white dress from Fashion Crimes instead of a traditional wedding dress, and with it she teamed a vintage fur wrap and a homemade headpiece. “I made my own birdcage veil, very simply from a website I found online”, the bride continued. “I decorated all of our floral mason jars with mismatched lace and fabric (from my own personal stash!) I made drink straw banners and cupcake bunting and hand stamped our envelopes, made our invitations, and of course made all of my own flowers! I’ve been a florist for over 10 years, so it was very important to me to do that.”

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An Elegant & Eclectic North London Wedding: Tommy & Emma

Tommy & Emma were married at Stoke Newington Town Hall, with a reception at the amazing The Roost in Dalston, London. Far from a traditional wedding venue, it often plays host to TV or film crews and provided a really unique and quirky setting for their celebration. “Our wedding was homemade & eclectic”, Emma explained “elegant with rough edges… a bit like us!”

“It was really important to us that our guests felt part of the day and felt included,” she continued. “Instead of place names we found photographs of everyone from our personal collection of people over the years. We hoped that this would also spark conversation between guests that might not know each other very well. We also wrote everyone letters to thank you for coming on the day and with a special memory of our time together. Before the ceremony we gave each guest a outline of the day, so that everyone knew what was happening and when people were going to eat/drink and dance!”

“It was also so important that everyone knew how much we appreciated them being there. We wanted our wedding to reflect us, but also how other people have shaped our lives along the way. We pretty much did everything ourselves (with the help of our family!) We had homemade jams, chutneys and lemon curd on the tables as favours. This was a real triumph as everyone loves a bit of homemade jam! We also spent the whole year collecting cups and saucers, plates, side plates for our wedding breakfast. We handmade the table plan to look like bunting. Also, as emotions often run high at weddings we decided to screen print our invitations directly onto lots of different beautifully embroidered cotton handkerchiefs that we had collected.”

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DIY Tutorial: T-Shirt Bunting

Bunting is still an incredibly popular decor idea for weddings this year, so I thought a super simple and quick DIY tutorial would probably help a lot of you out! Thank you to blog reader Erin for putting this together for us. You can see more of her DIY ideas over on her own blog Little Red Riding Hood. If you are doing DIY projects for your own wedding and fancy submitting a tutorial idea, just drop me an email with a brief outline and some photos and we can chat! OK, over to Erin…(nice feather boa hat by the way!)

I grew up in country Victoria, but moved to inner bayside Melbourne to be with my partner after returning from some amazing adventures living overseas. In everyday life, I work as a five-star hotel sales executive and event manager. This sounds glamorous, but mostly consists of lists and finding the right length trestle table (usually at 5:30pm on a Friday…) When I’m not riding my vintage bike or sipping third-wave coffee with the hipsters in South Melbourne, I like to garden and read. I also like to bake and craft, but sometimes these things don’t work so well for me – I recently worked out that I can excuse these “experiments” by blogging them!

Supplies Needed:

♥ Old t-shirts, or any material, really (Check the off-cut bin at your local op-shop!)
♥ Lace or ribbon for edging
♥ Sharp scissors
♥ Ruler, pen and paper

Method:

Step One: Prepare your material. Inspired by the t-shirt bunting made from David Fleck’s designs I saw a while back, I dug out some old t-shirts and material scraps I have hoarded saved.  You may need to allow an extra hour or so of time to do the digging – I found some lovely gold and plum material that I didn’t know I had.

Then I found a feather boa (er….four father boas, actually…) put it on and tied a yellow scarf around my head.

Some of the t-shirts I’ve worn and worn and had to retire but one was an obnoxious neon colour I bought from JayJays back when I paid to go to festivals like Big Day Out.

Because I didn’t intend to make a great deal of bunting, I simply chopped out the bits of the t-shirts that I liked, and didn’t worry about the rest of the shirt.  They’ve gone into a rag-bag to stuff felt flowers with or something involving buttons.

Step Two: Create your pattern. I tried a diamond shape cut-out, thinking I’d fold in half and edge the triangles. After I did one, I decided I couldn’t really be bothered to do edging on these particular bunts (I don’t care if that’s not the singular word for bunting, I’m using it anyway).

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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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