Tag Archives: DIY

Glamour, Sophistication & The Beatles: Lauren & Ben

The Beatles brought Lauren & Ben together, so it was fitting that they wanted their favourite band to influence their big day. Ben is from Liverpool and plays in a Beatles cover band as George Harrison and while working on reception at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York in March 2010 Lauren met the band when they played a gig there.

However the couple did not want their wedding to be too obviously Beatles themed, so instead they simply added a few subtle touches to the day. Lauren explains, “Our inspiration for the wedding was glamour and sophistication, with a whimsical, retro, playful twist. We had a live string trio play during our ceremony -with a solo of “Come What May” – the love theme from Moulin Rouge {which also tied in the glamour/whimsy/love theme of the day}. The strings {violin and viola} added a sophisticated, lovely, untraditional, more dreamy atmosphere to the ceremony {especially walking down the aisle to them!}”

“Because my husband plays George Harrison in a Beatles cover bands, and our shared love for the Beatles – we walked our wedding ceremony recessional to “All You Need is Love” {played by the string trio}, but also had our wedding party sing the “love, love, love – all you need is love” chorus, as we walked – and invited the guests to then join in the singing {to make it feel lighter, and more of an interactive, jovial experience}. Later, during the reception, my husband, and his two groomsmen {his best friends and former band members} got up on stage to serenade me, and rock out for our guests, which was one of the highlights of the night! Everyone was dying for them to keep playing!”

“We had our wedding at an old theater/duckpin bowling alley from the 1920’s, and connected to this rad retro diner, so the building just had this austere, yet quirky, cool look and vibe that completely fit mine and my husband’s personalities and tastes,” Lauren continued. “We had our names {“Lauren and Ben. Sold Out.”} and a silly message placed on the marquee, in lights, at the theater – {“La and Ben’s Super Fun Time!” thought up by my younger brother} – which definitely personalized things in a whimsical, unique way. My husband is a musician, so we thought tying together having “Sold Out” be on the marquee at the theater was a perfect touch.”

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A DIY Wedding at a Youth Hostel: Antonia & Stuart

Antonia & Stuart what can I say? You two are clearly waaaay to awesome for me!

The couple were married in Canterbury at Wellington House, followed by a reception at a youth hostel (OK genius idea…) The bride even made her own dress (see didn’t I tell you? Too cool for me!)

Antonia told me all about their wedding ethos, “We went to a friends wedding that was super-relaxed and very low budget and decided to go down that road as we did not want a commercial wedding that would leave us in debt, and wanted everything on our terms. We were on a tight budget but collected everything we wanted/needed over a long period of time to spread out the cost, managed to get a lot of things for free or very cheap, and made loads of things ourselves. We ended up with no debt or loan.”

“Everything was decided on by us (long meetings with loads of lists in the pub!). The youth hostel gave us complete freedom, we could do everything how we wanted it (instead of having to use a venues catering/bar etc. like at a hotel).”

“For our table decorations we got lanterns from ikea and glasses with name-stickers made by us. Also we made badges with our faces on, a wedding dress fabric bow for each guest, and decorated the car with ivy (property of the groom – that promptly broke down after the ceremony!)”

“I would describe our wedding theme as natural – natural colours, recylable decoration. We just wanted to have a massive PARTY with all our friends, and disguise it as a wedding!”

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48 Couples Marry at Bestival in the Big Love Inflatable Church

Taking place on the Isle of Wight for the past 7 years, Bestival music festival has fast become sinimomous with crazy antics, fancy dress…oh and a big dollop of awesome music thrown in for good measure! Each year it also plays host to the Big Love Inflatable Church, where couples can go to tie the knot. This year wedding photographer Chris Cowley was there to catch all the action!

He explains, “A grand total of 48 weddings took place over the 3 day festival, Reverend’s ‘Nickerless’ and ‘Randy Johnson’ preformed ceremonies with the help of dishevelled bridesmaids, a mother in-law and a maid of dishonour.”

“Those wanting to get married booked up early on Friday to prepare themselves and their partner or partners, for a wedding they would never forget! Before the ceremony the bridesmaids dressed the groom and groomsmen in a variety of wedding dresses and suits of their choice. They then dressed the brides, who got to fulfil their fantasy of a semi traditional white wedding. When the groom, best man and any wedding crashers not in the bridal party were ready – they were taken to meet the Vicar who would be performing the ceremony.”

“In the meantime the “Pamper Posse” looked after hair, makeup, face painting and offered calming massages to the bridal party. Each bride was pampered and made to look stunning for their special moment as they were given away down the aisle of the Big Love Inflatable Church.”

“At this point, this is where the similarity to a traditional white English wedding ends and the uniqueness of a Big Love Inflatable Church begin! The ceremonies themselves were far from conventional! The Reverend’s took it in turns to conduct each service where anyone and everyone was welcome. The congregation packed tightly into the church with the bridesmaids kneeling below the Vicar. At the end of each very risqué service music played and the congregation danced in celebration whilst the bridesmaids encouraged everyone to create an archway for the couple to exit through under their arms.The wedding certificate was then signed outside the church, whilst the bridesmaids gathered the congregation together for one big wedding photo as the group shouted ‘BIG LOVE!’.”

“A wide variety of ceremonies took place over the weekend including numerous blessings, vow renewals (one only a week after the couple were legally married), civil partnerships and a stand-in wedding for a couple who couldn’t afford the one they initially planned.”

“Whilst every wedding was memorable for its own unique reason, a few in particular services stood out for me, including an Island group who have gotten married every year at the Big Love Inflatable Church for the last 7 years. A pirate wedding who were getting married for their 3rd time in a row (this time in the presence of their new-born daughter), another wedding who were led down the aisle by Edinburgh brass band ‘Horndog’ and the grand finale which was a special wedding for the Inflatable Church company director Tristram (a former Inflatable Church vicar) and his partner Sophie.”

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A Hardcore Wedding at a Private Residence: Jacob & Janelle

Jacob & Janelle were married at a private residence in Provincetown, MA. The groom being a singer in the punk/hardcore/metal band Converge, this was always going to be a bad ass wedding and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

The couple were keen to create a wedding that had ‘them’ stamped all over it and so provides all the visual direction for the decor themselves. this included The vintage test tube rack idea to hold flowers. “This was something we knew we wanted to use from our own home,” they explained. “The glass bottle used as center pieces on the tables were all found objects from our own backyard. We have been renovating our home for a number of years, and it’s been a huge part of our lives during that time.”

“Since they were all found during that process, it meant a lot to us to include them. The beakers were provided by the people at Mad Props, Boston. Everything was artfully assembled by Andrea Black for Ramblin’Rose. We executed everything ourselves with the help of friends and family”

Of course the music and entertainment was really important to this couple so instead of entrusting it to a “potential horriblesitcom-esque DJ disaster” (their words haha!) they compiled the playlist themselves. “We spent a few days and assembled a variety of playlists for certain times during the evening,” they continued. “It was an eclectic mix, but not too obscure.”

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A Quintessentially English Country Garden Wedding: Liz & Blake

Liz moved to America from the UK where she met Blake while he was singing in a bar. After dating for a while he proposed while on holiday in Rome.

Although well-traveled, Liz wanted to have her wedding in her hometown of Brize Norton, in her parent’s back garden. She had to rely on her parents, sister and bridesmaids a lot for help during the planning,

“I arrived in the UK 3 days before the wedding and immediately had to go and meet our vicar, after that we had to fight the jet lag to start decorating the marquee,” Liz told me. “I didn’t realise how much stuff I  had collected over the year and when I saw it all piled up in my parent’s dining room I felt really overwhelmed by it all. Luckily my sister and bridesmaid were on hand to keep everything on track we knuckled down and started hanging and arranging.”

The wedding had a quintessential English feel. “I have always wanted to get married in Mum and Dad’s garden, Blake and I wanted our wedding to be casual, colourful and fun,” the bride continued. “I knew I wanted a vintage garden party feel to the wedding and I started collecting stuff. Mum and Dad were travelling around the UK picking up my eBay purchases. Dad would talk to me on the phone and say that his shed had been over taken with all my ‘junk’….”

“My mum has really green fingers so she started planting flowers to bloom in August. When my Mum and sister came over to NY for my hen party they went home with 2 huge suitcases full of stuff I had collected for the wedding – mason jars, oil lamps, vintage table cloths, vintage napkins, homemade bunting and of course my bird cages…”

“I love everything vintage, especially vintage jewelry, I started collecting vintage brooches initially to use as the escort cards. I found so many amazing enamel flower brooches that they inspired me to use them as my bouquet. It took quite a few attempts to get it to look good, but eventually what worked the best was treating each brooch as an individual flower. I attached florist wire to each brooch by simply twisting it around the pin. I didn’t want to ruin any of the brooches, all of them can be taken off the wire and worn as a brooch.”

“Once I had my bouquet together in a vase I arranged it and gathered them all up and selotaped them together. I then trimmed all the ends of wire so they were straight and bent the brooch flowers until I had an attractive bouquet with no holes. I then folded about a yard of 1” ribbon in a concertina pattern about 3” long and sewed it together at one end. I then attached this to the top of the wire stems, just below the flower heads and fluffed it out. I then took the rest of my ribbon and wound it around the rest of the wire stem attaching it with pearl dress pins. My Dad then put some mastic over the sharp ends of wire.”

Liz wore a vintage dress which she found in a shop in Cornwall. “I found it when I was out with Mum. Had no intention of buying a dress but I fell in love with it. My Mother in  law (Kim) then made me the bolero out of the fabric she cut off the bottom of the dress and shortened it. I turned out perfect, exactly what I wanted.”

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Lip Tattoos, Graffiti & Ice Cream: An Anti-Wedding Bridal Shoot

“The inspiration for this shoot really came from a morning cuppa with me and Hayley from Vintage Scoops, who owns a vintage ice cream van,” photographer Shaneen Rosewarne Cox writes. “We became friends via Twitter and discovered that we live very close by. I couldn’t resist a look at her fab ice cream van ‘Betty’ so we met up a few times. One morning over tea and lemon drizzle cake we decided to put together a shoot. ‘Betty’ is such a soft, pretty and summery ice cream van so we wanted to create a shoot that contradicted everything wedding-y.”

“Hayley is friends with Greg and Suzie from Lifestyle Salons and they very kindly let us use their gorgeous salon in Newport Pagnall to get the models ready. They’re very creative and lovely stylist Hayley did such an amazing job on the model’s hair. They both looked incredible!”

“When Hayley and I started to put the shoot together we put a call out for make up artists on Twitter. I can’t believe how lucky we were that Ana Ospina Ruiz (Milena) jumped at the chance. I gave her a very vague spec to just make the girls look colourful. She did such a great job, the lip ‘tattoos’ looked great.”

“Hayley also came across Mr Christian (dresses) at a previous wedding she had worked out and we were thrilled that he was happy to lend us a couple of dresses for the shoots.”

“The shoot took place at Milton Keynes Bus station. They have a legal graffiti wall that is changed every so often and it made for the perfect backdrop.”

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