Tag Archives: DIY

A Two-Day Hindu & Catholic Wedding: Lucy & Vish {Part Two}

After the festivities of their Hindu ceremony, Lucy & Vish woke up on the Saturday morning ready to do it all again – this time in a Catholic church. The ceremony was held at St Patrick’s RC Church, Manchester, with the reception that followed back at St Peter’s Hall.

Their Catholic wedding has very British influences – from high tea to bingo! Lucy wore a vintage wedding dress from Elizabeth Avey. “I knew I wanted a vintage Betty Draper-esque dress, as the 50s is my style era! Elizabeth’s was my first stop, which was ideal as it was only up the road from where I live in Kentish Town. Although I didn’t find the dress straight away, Elizabeth knew exactly what I wanted and told me to return in a few weeks as she was due to get in more pieces. I’m so glad I went back as when I returned she pulled out THE dress, which was an original 50s number, fresh from LA! Although she needed a clean she was in pristine condition for her 60 years! It was originally a drop waist dress but the lovely ladies at Designer Alterations raised the waist to make it more prom style and lowered the neckline at the back, other than that she is exactly as she was the first time around!”

“I am obsessed with tea and cake, so my china tea-sets had to have a starring role, we had a tea-station serving masala chai, home-made cakes and Indian sweets on both days! We were able to supply all our own booze so we had a seemingly endless supply of Prosecco, which I drank from a tea-cup all night!  On the Saturday night, the wedding guests actually drank the bar dry twice which led to our caterers having to go out and buy more booze! This led to many, many drunken guests, which is exactly what we wanted.”

Apart from the flowers, we didn’t really need to do much to decorate the building as the space itself was so impressive. I did make a few meters of Bollywood bunting out of Indian sari material to hang and we used Indian flower garlands to decorate the tea and cake station. My Dad found the vintage typewriter in the garage and spruced it up so we could use it for a guest book. We hired the Neon Light from Neon Creations and Vish also bought a Carrom board, a Indian board-game crossed between drafts and pool which kept the kids entertained for the weekend!”

“Although all the details above were important, we tried not to get caught up in all of this,” Lucy concluded. “Quite a few things went wrong over the course of our wedding days, but tried not to let it get to us as they were only minor glitches that now make for funny wedding stories to be told in the future! The most important thing to us was that all our close friends and family were able to share in our special day(s)!, especially my Grandparents who are both in their 90s and we weren’t sure if they were going to be able to travel to Manchester or not. Thankfully both Nan & Grandad made it and were the guests of honour! We had the most amazing 2-days with all our favourite people so we couldn’t ask for more than that!”

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A Two-Day Hindu & Catholic Wedding: Lucy & Vish {Part One}

This afternoon’s wedding is being split into two parts. I’m not usually a huge fan of the two-parter, but there’s just so much going on in Lucy & Vish’s  weekend-long wedding I did’t want anything to get overlooked! On Friday 28th October they had a Hindu wedding ceremony and reception, and then the following day, they had a catholic ceremony and another reception! First up, the Friday…

The day started with a ceremony at St Peter’s Hall, Manchester. “We always knew we would have a wedding of 2 parts as we wanted to honour both of our cultures and religions,” Lucy told me, “so we chose to have a traditional Hindu Blessing on the Friday followed by a Church wedding on the Saturday, an epic 2-day wedding!”

“The first problem we came up against was finding a venue that could cater for both an Indian wedding and a big party! We needed a space to hold the Indian ceremony and reception, which would let us bring in our own Indian caterers, there are very few places that actually offer this and the ones that did were very traditional, very expensive, Stately homes or big hotels and definitely not the sort of place we had in mind for our wedding! Initially I started looking at marquees, but again, this was a very expensive option and we had the small problem of no land to pitch a marquee! This led me to go down the route of more alternative venues such as village halls, theatres etc, which is how I came across St Peter’s Hall, a former church in the Ancoats area of Manchester City Centre which has recently undergone a huge restoration project by the North West Development Agency. We live in London but decided to get married up North as it was close to both our families, it was just by chance that we found this venue and we liked the idea of an urban city centre wedding as we are a city girl and boy at heart!”

“As soon as we stepped foot in St Peter’s, we both knew it was perfect for our wedding, we instantly fell in love with the space. Inside was still unfinished so it was a little rough around the edges, but we liked the contrast of the unfinished warehouse feel with the beautiful church interior and stained glass windows. It also had an east-facing altar, which was perfect for the Indian ceremony to be performed! In our eyes it really was the perfect venue, but sadly our dreams were almost shattered when we discovered that the building was not going to remain empty for long and that the new tenants were unlikely to be in a position to hire out the space when they moved in at the start of November.”

“The only option was to get married before the new tenants moved in, but this was at the start of May so it didn’t exactly give us a huge amount of time! Could we realistically organise a 2-day wedding in less than 6 months? Everyone thought we were mad, but we decided to just go for it, we have been together for 10 years so we figured that we didn’t need a long drawn-out engagement!  We chose the latest possible date in October which luckily also coincided with Diwali (Indian New Year) which also meant it was a good/auspicious time for a new marriage to take place!”

For the Indian wedding Lucy wore a traditional sari which was a gift from Vish’s parents, “The Indian tradition is that the groom’s family buy the bride’s outfit and the bride’s family buy the groom’s. Vish’s Mum and sister went on a mammoth shopping spree in India to buy all the wedding saris and outfits. Thankfully they have great taste and came back with the most beautiful outfits, I felt like a Bollywood princess, especially when I was carried down the aisle.”

“I was carried into the ceremony on a traditional wedding Doli by my Uncles, my Brother and my Best Man. We actually had this made by Kirti (Vish’s sister’s) builder, Kirti and I decorated it with Indian material and flower garlands. You can’t tell from the photo’s but I was absolutely terrified that they were going to drop me, Thankfully they did me proud and got me to the altar in one piece!”

“As the wedding was held during Diwali the Indian festival of light, we decided that the theme should be a celebration of Love & Light,” the bride concluded. “This actually worked well as both the ceremonies involved elements of light, from taking 7 sacred steps around the wedding fire to the catholic candle ceremony. To keep with the theme we filled the venue with candles, we had tea-lights in jam jars on all the tables and gave personalised candles from mdb weddings and events on Etsy to guests.  We also released fire-lanterns and ended the Friday night with a firework display – a Diwali and Indian wedding tradition.”

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A Simple & Homely Wedding in Milan: Roberto & Cherie

Italian Roberto & Chinese Cherie planned their Milan wedding from other sides of the world, “Until 2 months before the wedding, we had lived in 2 different countries (Hong Kong and UK) for 16 months, ” Cherie told me. “I had taken a sabbatical to spend time with my family in Hong Kong and the majority of our ideas exchange and planning was done on email or Skype. We found the organising super boring, couldn’t wait to party on the day!”

The couple met in London and so filmed their Save the Date video in the city, and they actually ended up having two weddings (the Italian one pictured and another in Hpng Kong) so it really was a multicultural, multinational affair!

“We decided on some values for our weddings, they were ‘simple’, ‘vintage’, ‘homely’ and most of all ‘fun’, the bride continued. “Our rule-of-thumb was, ‘if nobody would remember it in 2-3 years time, then don’t sweat over it.’ Therefore things like flowers, decorations and cake were at the bottom of our list of importance. We were so overwhelmed by the number of friends and families that flew over to Italy just for us so we wanted to make the whole weekend super fun. They were at the top of our priority list!”

“What you remember from an event is usually the atmosphere, special moments and people that you spend time with, so we made sure it was very relaxed with plenty of time and opportunity to mingle, created some crazy signature moments e.g. our pretentious celebrity red carpet type entrance to the reception in Muse’s ‘Feeling Good’ and got everyone to sing a few songs before dancing!  The rock star personalities were all coming out!”

“However simplicity does take effort,” she concluded. “It is often easier to just do what the world says you should do for weddings, e.g. the bride’s name must come first, the cake must look amazing, you have to do an impeccable first dance etc.  But there is no such thing as you ‘should’ or you ‘must’!  If it’s not important, produces minimal impact or easily forgotten, just scrap it. That’s what we did. Traditions can be changed so focus on a few things that matter to you and make them memorable.”

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A Rock n Roll Shoot & Iron Fist Ruby Slippers: Cat & Louis

It started with those ruby slippers. When wedding photographer  Kat Forsyth first laid eyes on the Iron Fist beauties, she knew she had to do a photo shoot styled around them.

“I’m not even a shoe girl, and I hardly ever wear heels, but hot damn, I wanted everything on the Iron Fist website,” Kat wrote. “I couldn’t get the ruby slippers out of my head, so a few weeks later I popped into a shop to see them in person. Well, the only pair left was the display pair, and they were one size too small for me. But they were On Sale. On Sale for one fifth of the original price! So in order to justify the purchase, I decided I would buy them to use in a shoot one day. Photographing them’s just as good as wearing them, right? In fact, better, because it’d be more comfy!”

“So I bought the shoes – and another pair which actually do fit me, and were also on sale (score!) – and left the store resolving to do a shoot based around them. Which I planned in the back of my head for ages, trying to get past the craziness that was last year and the first portion of this year, and then trying to find a dress, and a venue, and props, and a male model…”

“Finally we put it all together; I shot it last month, and here it is. My models were Cat and Louis, who are both in bands – Cat is the lead singer in a Rock n Roll Band, and Louis is the drummer for two bands! They even brought along a few props to play with.”

“The dress was made by Carla from Estienne Carla Photography, who is not only a crazy talented photographer, but an epic dress designer (Carla, you ROCK!!), and the makeup was done by the most fabulous makeup artist, Sam Scaife of Lashline, whom I love and adore! The coke can bouquet was made by an awesome guy named Christopher, who sits on the pavement outside the Woolworth’s on First Avenue Linden, selling his crafts, and the shoes were mine…all mine.”

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An Owl & The Pussycat Themed Wedding: Kerryn & Joel

“The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea. In a beautiful pea green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note…”

With The Owl and the Pussycat as inspiration, it would be hard for Kerryn & Joel to go far wrong when planning their cute and quirky wedding. Although the wedding wasn’t overly themed to match the poem, its message resonated throughout their planning and on the wedding day itself. They used it on their wedding invitations, had an owl and pussycat cake topper and Kerryn read the poem as part of her speech. “The Owl and The Pussycat popped up because around the time that we got engaged, I read The Owl and The Pussycat to my 3 year old niece, Amy,” Kerryn told me. “At the last page there was a lovely illustration of the owl dancing with the pussycat in mid air…”

“And they danced by the light of the moon, the moon. They danced by the light of the moon”

“When Amy saw that picture she looked at me very seriously and asked ‘Is that what happens when you get married?’ I thought that was very beautiful and it just stuck with me.”

“Even though there was a lot of planning involved, our wedding just sort of happened the way it did because we were very relaxed and decided to concentrate on being happy”, Kerryn continued. “We have quite specific taste and definitely didn’t want an overly orchestrated, perfectly manicured day. So really, our wedding couldn’t have turned out any other way.”

“We made the jam, we shopped for individual gifts for all the children and my brother made the bunting and the chuppa from a quilt that we’ve kept. The flowers were all unusual roses, more like garden roses than perfectly symmetrical blooms and we had them scattered in silver tea sets.”

Kerryn wore an Abigail Betz gown and emerald green shoes. “I knew that I wanted a combination of a 20s and 50s look for my dress and ruby slippers (they ended up emerald but I loved them!)” the bride explained. “We also asked everyone at our wedding to write us a letter rather than buy a gift so we have very special messages from the special people who were with us that we can keep forever. I never imagined that I would get married so I had no pre-conceived ideas about the perfect wedding, so it was just 100% us that sort of materialized on the day.”

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A Music & Literature Themed Wedding: Claire & Scott

Claire & Scott chose an old movie theatre in as the setting for their ceremony, The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Although they hadn’t even thought about marrying in a theatre, after seeing one in Whitby they loved the idea. “We’d originally planned to marry in Whitby, as it’s a special to place to us both,” Claire told me. “Whilst looking at venues there, we were shown a theatre hidden away at the back of the sea front community centre. We hadn’t thought about marrying in a theatre, but we both fell in love with the idea. In the end, we decided that we’d rather marry closer to home in Sheffield, but the idea of marrying in a theatre stayed with us.”

“After an afternoon on Google, Scott emailed every theatre within a fifty-mile radius of us to ask if they did weddings. The Lantern Theatre was one of the few that replied and it turned out to be barely a mile from our house. When we arrived we fell in love with the place. It’s an old 84-seat Victorian theatre with anaglyph wallpaper and red velvet seats. The staff there were so flexible and open to all our ideas. They even bought a mirrorball so that I could walk down the aisle in spiralling light. They served cocktails in teapots, put together a lighting and music programme so that the ceremony ran without a hitch and Keith – the volunteer who ran the bar – even dressed up in a dapper waistcoat and tie.”

After the ceremony the couple and their guests boarded a old London bus to The Countryside Centre. “We chose The Countryside Centre because it gave us a blank canvas to work with,” Claire continued. “There are no staff there on the day itself so you have complete freedom to use whichever suppliers you want. Though there’s a converted barn and grain store, we chose to hire a marquee to make the most of the beautiful grounds and asked our caterers to set up a steak and fish barbecue, which was fantastic.”

The couple chose a music and literature theme for their day. “Literature and music have always been important to us and during the planning it soon became apparent that though we hadn’t intended to have a theme for the wedding, words and music were a recurring motif. Our invites were designed to look like classic orange and white vintage Penguin paperbacks, with library tickets inside for the RSVP (we’d stamped the wallet in which the library ticket sat with the key dates of our relationship). We used the Smiths’ song title ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ as the title of the paperback/invite.”

“Our place settings followed the Penguin theme, with the guests’ names replacing the author’s and a lyric we’d individually chosen for each guest replacing the title. Inside the place settings were CDs with the key songs from the wedding day. The orders of service that were handed out at the theatre were designed to look like vintage Penguin Plays paperbacks, with the title on the cover taken from a Velvet Underground song. Our readings were taken from books, except for one, which was the lyrics of the Pulp song, ‘Something Changed’.”

“During the service, we exchanged copies of our favourite books, around which the rings were tied on a ribbon. Even the confetti followed the literary theme. Using a heart-shaped holepunch, we punched confetti from the pages of our favourite books.”

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