Tag Archives: DIY

Oysters, Beach Huts & Paddling in the Sea – Abby & Julian’s Beautiful Whitstable Beach Wedding

Ahh the great British seaside! While we can’t rival (what seems like) the rest of the world in the sunshine stakes, our beach resorts certainly do have some beautiful British charm don’t they? I’ve visited Whitstable a number of times (it’s where we shot the mad hatter bride shoot!), and I have to say, photographer Joanna Brown‘s capture of this wonderful town is pretty much perfect. What a lucky couple Abby & Julian are to have had her as their wedding photographer!

After Julian proposed on Whitstable beach in September, the seaside town seemed like the perfect place to get married too. The couple were wed at The Beacon House on the seafront. “We both really wanted to get married, but to be honest neither of us were particularly fussed about a fancy wedding, and once I’d had a look at a couple of wedding magazines I started having mini-palpitations at the horror and the cost of it all,” Abby told me. ” I do love a wedding, but I hate being centre of attention myself and the whole coordinated, packaged nightmare of it was enough to bring me out in a sweat. We did visit a few beautiful venues, but knew they were just not us, and the final straw was visiting a perfectly manicured courtyard garden venue which had installed a permanent marquee ‘facility’ complete with carpet tiles AND bow back seat covers (my two pet hates), glowing colour change pillars ‘to fit your colour scheme’ and multi-function twinkling ‘star canopy’. They were so proud of it and it just epitomised everything I hate and DID NOT WANT at our wedding.  Finding the world of wedding blogs was a revelation and really just gave me the confidence to do what we wanted all along.”

“I already knew about The Beacon House from researching accommodation in Whitstable but we’d initially ruled it out as being too small,” Abby continued. “We went back to have a proper look just before Christmas, and while we were there popped into some nearby venues to see if they might work as a spill-over reception venue.  As soon as we went into East Quay we knew it was perfect.  I had my heart set on getting married at The Beacon House , so we decided to keep the ceremony small (on the veranda over-looking the sea) and just invite everyone along for a big party afterwards at East Quay.”

The theme really fell into place after the venue’s were sorted, and a vintage seaside theme was settled on. “The obvious theme to go with was vintage seaside which is great in itself but I was really conscious that I didn’t want it to be twee or pretty-pretty,” the bride continued. ” I also really wanted the wedding to have a personal, intimate feel about it, so decided early on that I wanted the whole thing to be as homemade as we could.  I think some people initially thought this was a cost cutting exercise but actually, tho our budget was quite tight, I would have done it this way regardless.  I don’t get the opportunity to be particularly creative in my job but I’m always cutting, sticking and sewing things together at home so this was really a dream project for me.”

“Because we didn’t want anything to be too fussy, manicured, pretty or perfect, I decided early on to keep the decoration simple, fill the room with homemade white pom poms and make the flowers the main source of colour. In the end we ran out of white tissue and the pom poms ended up being various shades of white pink and purple but I think it worked just as well. I looked into hiring table linen but I ended up finding some red and white tea towels in Ikea for 19p each (approx a third of what I’d been quoted for napkin hire) and decided to go with them instead.”

“We tied everything up with the same red and white striped ribbon and instead of name cards and table plans we just dug out funny pictures of all our guests, printed them out polaroid stylee and just left the guests to wander around and find their places, which was a great ice-breaker.”

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Alexandra & Kevin’s Homespun, Canadian Wedding

After a ceremony at Cathedral of Mary Immaculate, Alexandra & Kevin headed back to the bride’s family home for their reception. Alexandra and her sister were actually married within a week of each other (!) and so they both decorated the property to suit both their weddings.

Their photographers treated the couple to a ride on their pink cruiser bike for their portraits as it perfectly complimented the bride’s 50’s inspired Dolly Couture dress.

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Nic & Mike’s Incredible Homemade Backyard Wedding

OK so I am one lucky wedding blogger. My friend and photographer Assassynation sends me the very best weddings to feature! It helps that so many of her brides are readers of Rock n Roll Bride anyway (yeey!) but I just have to say that her work and new video project (with cinematographer Frank) is on FIRE right now. Today’s little gem comes in the form of the adorable backyard wedding of Nic & Mike.

After getting ready at the home they shared, Nic & Mike were wed at Exeter register office – which they travelled to together in their own car. After the ceremony and some portraits in and around the town, the couple and their guests headed back to their house for a casual and gorgeous reception in their back garden.

“Being true to ourselves was really important,” the bride told me. “The main thing was always that we did things our way, with the people we love (for who we are) around us to share the celebration. If that’s Rock n Roll then ace but truly that’s just us being ourselves. We’re both pretty creative people and I’m not especially good at delegating so it made sense to do it ourselves, that way we made sure we got what we wanted but we tried not to be too precious about anything.”

“In our humble opinion being Rock n Roll isn’t something to aspire to, or something to try to create-it’s about being true to yourselves-whatever that may be. Don’t try to do things for your wedding to please others or because it’s what you think you ought to-do what you want and enjoy being yourselves.”

The bride wore a dress which he bought online at Unique Vintage. “It was a scary optic white when it arrived but I soon sorted that by first tea staining it and later coffee staining to get the vintage finish.” With this she wore a bolero House of Fraser (which she again tea stained herself) an old scarf as a belt and Irregular Choice shoes.

“You’ll recognise my shoes Kat, as it was on Rock n Roll Bride that I saw them first, on that shoot you did on Whistable beach” Nic explained. “They were my first wedding outfit purchase, I kinda worked upwards from the shoes!  I knew from the outset that I wanted a fifties inspired dress and for it to be tea length. Our budget was tight plus there was no way even if we had the money that I wanted to spend over £150/£200 on my outfit, so I searched online for something.”

“I saw some gorgeous Candy Anthony dresses so used those as a reference point. I saw Kat feature this dress by Unique Vintage on another bride in America so I checked them out and when I saw this one there on the screen again I knew it was right. I was a bit shocked at the whiteness of it when it arrived but I soon sorted that out. My eleven year old daughter thought I was mad dunking my brand new wedding dress in the sink full of Earl Grey but it didn’t really surprise her!”

As you can imagine, the majority of this wedding was homemade. The bride made all the cupcakes, and she bought all the flowers beforehand and put them together, in jam jars, herself.

“We collected all of the vintage china in the months before the wedding, from our local recycling centre,” Nic continued. “I made the cake stands myself and the tablecloth were bits of fabric from eBay. We colour-coded the ribbons on the frames with the table plans in them to the tablecloths. The old suitcase cost £14 from a local junk shop which we then used for our cards to be put into. We had said on our invites that we’d rather not have gifts as we have all we need in our home, but if people wanted to contribute to our honeymoon then that would be lovely.”

Don’t forget the video! How could you really when it’s as stunning as this?

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How to…Make Your Own Wedding Garter By Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess

Photography Credit: Arrow & Apple

If you’re a wedding blog junkie like me, you will probably have seen Elsie & Jeremy’s beautiful wedding photographs on a number of the ‘big boy’ blogs this past week. However I’m super excited to be getting a piece of this beautiful handmade wedding to share with you too. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a number of DIY tutorials that this super crafty lady made for her wedding.

First up, a DIY garter…

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For my wedding I became a bit of a shopaholic. I ordered tons of pretty things from Etsy shops and boutiques. There was just one detail that stopped me in my tracks, the garter! I don’t love traditional satin garters with itchy lace that are available. After looking online at other options I decided to DIY my own garter! It was so much fun and easy as pie. I hope this little DIY will inspire some of you to whip up a special garter for your big day!

Step 1: Find some pretty lace and trim that you fancy! measure around your leg (about halfway between your knee and hip) and cut a piece of lace that is 2 inches smaller than your leg. 

Step 2: Use fabric glue to adhere a cute trim to the middle of your lace piece. I found a tiny daisy trim that I loved!

Step 3: Stitch the garter together with one inch of elastic in the middle. Fold the lace (see photo) to hide the elastic and edge from the back of  your garter. Last, stitch on a pretty bow if you please!

Elizabeth & Simon’s Homemade Vintage Tea Party Wedding

Elizabeth & Simon’s crafty vintage tea party wedding was a DIY effort and the beautiful touches and attention to detail really shows. The couple put a lot of themselves into their day and the bride especially homemade a lot of their wedding details. “Over several months I purchased vintage china and glass wear from various charity shops and Pannier Markets,” she told me. “This was used as the crockery for the tea party and because we’ve managed to collect some really nice pieces and a substantial amount, we’re keen to start a small vintage crockery hire service after our wedding.”

Elizabeth continued, “We made our own wedding favours (traditional sweets in jam jars which we collected). Simon and I made our own colourful sugar heart cubes to go with the tea. My mum made some of the bunting. We had a lot of friends and family with different skills who were able to provide various things for the wedding.”

To plan their day, the couple scoured various wedding magazines and cut out pictures of things they liked to stick in a wedding scrap book. This is a really great idea for collecting all your ideas and keeping your theme on track. “I’m also a fan of all things vintage and often visit lots of little antique/craft/home shops – particularly in Devon,” the bride explained. “From there, the theme of the vintage tea party grew. It’s not necessarily Rock n Roll, but it reflects us and is how we wanted our day to be. It was also made personal to us by friends and family being involved in the day and being able to run the day as we wanted and not being restricted to a hotel regime.”

To keep their theme unique, the couple bought mismatched items from various different sources such as the signage from Cox & Cox, reception décor from notonthehighstreet.com and silver lanterns from a local boutique store. They even had a bicycle ice cream cart to serve guests ice creams as they arrived at the marquee after the ceremony.”

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Sarah & Aaron’s Rustic Vintage Wedding

Sarah & Aaron were married at the bride’s Grandparent’s farm in Lake Ariel, PA. “Our wedding could not have been done as well as it was without the selfless help of our family and friends,” the bride told me. “People were always volunteering their time to help us out in any way they could. And in that way our wedding day was not just about me and Aaron, but a celebration of our friends and family as well. Our community not only came around us in support of our marriage the day of the wedding, but were also a big part in making it the beautiful day that it was!”

Their rustic vintage theme was set by the venue, but continued with the DIY elements the couple put into their day like the fabric garlands and tin can lanterns. “We didn’t want one of those cookie cutter weddings that you go to a store to pick out and purchase every little thing. No printed napkins, no machined decorations–we wanted a hand and a heart to create our wedding instead, ” Sarah continued.

“So naturally, as an artist, I decided to design our wedding! From the invitations to the fabric banners, there was love infused into every piece. I kept the decorations simple to compliment the natural beauty around us. The barn on the property has been there since my Grandmother can remember (this is where she grew up), and is beautiful with age. Once it was cleaned out by some willing friends and family, it’s beauty spoke for itself. All I did was add a few simple fabric banners and tin can lanterns (with led candles of course!).”

“The tent was adorned with more fabric banners, fabric flower garlands and beautiful flower arrangements that filled the antique bottles I found in my Grandparent’s attic.  I also found antique root beer and milk boxes, wheelbarrows, and other things to add to the rustic feel. So as you can see, our wedding was filled with things from the past that stood the test of time–mini testaments to the way things can last when they are cared for. Just like a marriage.”

The ceremony was a very special one, and during the reception the couple planted a tree on their Grandparent’s land. “I really loved the tree planting ceremony during the reception. Aaron gave a wonderful speech explaining its purpose (how like a tree a marriage needs nurturing and love to grow…) It also gave us a few moments “away” from everyone and I got to whisper to him how handsome I thought he looked.”

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