Tag Archives: DIY

A Black & Red, 50s Rock n Roll Wedding: Hannah & Lewiss

Hannah & Lewiss’ small and sweet wedding was held at St Fagans Castle, the National History Museum of Wales. For their evening party they moved to the trendy Jolyons at No.10, a boutique hotel in the heart of Cardiff. The venue choices were important to this couple and they both wanted places that stood out. Hannah explained, “We both didn’t believe in long engagements so we set a date for 9 months after we got engaged. Finding a unique venue was important to us, but this was harder than we imagined. Living in Cardiff, we wanted somewhere in South Wales but it seemed to be flooded with chain hotel venues or vast historic buildings which were too big for the small wedding we had dreamed of. After overlooking it a couple of times we went to visit St Fagans Castle. St Fagans is the National History Museum of Wales, an outdoor museum full of historical buildings from all around the country. The Castle is a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan Manor House set in the most fabulous gardens. Even though it wasn’t what we originally had in mind, we knew straight away it was perfect. Also it’s in the area where Lewiss grew up and his parents still live, so it being local meant a lot to him.”

For their wedding theme, they oped for a subtle 50s theme, but really, they just included anything they loved. “The last thing we wanted was a one colour themed cookie cutter wedding”, Hannah continued. “We are both really creative so we did pretty much everything ourselves. Not only did this help us stamp our personality on the whole day, but it worked well with our smaller budget too. We started off with quite a strict theme idea, but over time, we stopped thinking about it too much and just let our natural style and quirkiness shine through. I love the classic look of the 1950s so that inspired what I wore as well as some of the decor; we went for a simple black white and red approach. I was very specific about what decorations I wanted so ended up making a lot of it myself. I did a lot of sewing with the table runners and tablecloths, and we designed and printed the stationary ourselves. We both LOVE rock music, I’m all about 1970s classic rock, and Lewiss is obsessed with 1980s metal, so we threw a bit of that in too with the table names and some of the decorations. We filled the day with music we love; I walked down the aisle to Joe Satriani, we signed the register to Led Zeppelin and we walked out of the ceremony to Creedence Clearwater Revival. During the day reception we had on Free and more Led Zeppelin while everyone was enjoying their lunch and our DJ in the evening loved British Punk music so we danced to a lot of The Clash which was amazing!”

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A Backyard Pool Party Wedding: Kate & Doug

Kate & Doug’s backyard wedding took place in Kent, in June. Kate designed her own dress, hand-crafted the decor and played in a band with her husband at the reception! She told me all about their magical day. “We have been together for 10 years so we really wanted to have a proper big wedding to cement our relationship and have a blast with our friends and family. I really wanted to get married in the garden of England, Kent, where I grew up and have a proper English country wedding. So we started looking at venues and found Ratsbury Barn, a beautiful 17th century Kentish barn in Tenterden for the ceremony. Then, my Mother’s boyfriend who lives down the road very kindly offered to let us use his amazing place for the reception! We got a marquee and extended his pool house area, it was perfect.”

“I had our good friend Adam who works as a designer at Penguin books help me design a fun tea towel wedding invitation with a matching rsvp postcard”, she continued. “I really enjoyed designing it with him and we were so happy with the result, we love the fact our guests got to have a little pre wedding favor to get them in the mood for the big day! We went with a red white and blue colour scheme to tie in with the Queen’s Jubilee which was the weekend before our wedding.”

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A DIY Farm Wedding with the Ceremony on a Dam: Bobby & Gitte

There are certain weddings that make me smile from ear to ear… OK well yes, all of the weddings I feature are flippin’ awesome but there are some that just have that extra something. I think in this case it’s the bride & groom themselves. I want to be BFFs with Bobby & Gitte please!

For their May wedding the couple knew they wanted to do something different – something low key and fun. They spent just £2500 pulling off the event. The ceremony was held on Claerwen Reservoir Dam in Rhayadar, Wales. Although not the most practical of choices, they wanted it there for sentimental reasons. The reception was on a friend’s farm in Ballingham, Hereford. “It took us a few days to get the venue together, as there were literally cows and horses – and their muck – in it prior,” wrote Gitte. “But once we saw it we had our heart set on it, and didn’t stop until our hands were dirty and we were happy.”

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A Whimsical Alice in Wonderland Wedding: Kristi & Ben

Our Labor of Love, Sharkpig, The Flashdance, Smilebooth.… oh boy did Kristi & Ben have the dream team behind their San Francisco wedding! With an Alice in Wonderland theme and a ceremony at the Golden Gate Park, they really did go all out to make their wedding day extra special. The reception was held at RF-80, a studio space in the city.

“Our inspiration was the eclectic city we live in combined with a love for all things imaginative”, began the bride. “We wanted a wedding that wasn’t cookie cutter and that reflected both of our personalities. There were a lot of DIY elements involved. I scoured wedding blogs for my ideas. I also got inspiration from magazines and store windows. I would recommend figuring out what is doable within your timeframe or it can all get overwhelming. Enlist your friends, buy or make some cake, pop open some champagne and get crafting. It saves you money and gives such a personal touch to your wedding. I’d also advise other no not listen to the masses, they will scowl at your ideas, mostly because they’ve either never seen anything like it before or can’t get the proper visual. It’s your day, do what you want.”

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A Warehouse Wedding: Leslie & Ian

These punk rockers really shook up my inbox when they crash landed into it last week. Leslie & Ian were married in March at Cluster Studios in Denver. “Ian and I wanted to throw an amazing party for our friends and family”, the bride wrote. “Nither of us are religious at all, and wanted to customize everything about our wedding. We wrote our own ceremony and had his friend Cory be our officiant (he picked up a badge that said ‘clergy’ from somewhere and hooked it to his chest, haha, it was perfect!). We had food trucks come rather than traditional catering. We wanted it to be more like a party then anything formal. I rocked a mohawk, which was pretty sweet. Plus, we were in a warehouse in the middle of nowhere (this meant no closing time, we partied straight through till dawn, and no noise or smoking requirements). We had comfy furniture, so people could sit and catch up. We also had high top tables, an outside area with heaters and a sweet bar area. It was awesome to have a laptop hooked up to a killer sound system, so we could listen to what we wanted to rather then the cheesy stuff some DJ’s play. There is always someone who wants to play DJ at a party anyway, so a lot of the the time people were just rifling through my extensive music collection and playing whatever they felt like.”

Leslie designed her own wedding dress and had it made by Guillermo Couture. In fact the DIY didn’t stop there, with the couple decorating, catering and organising pretty much everything themselves. “Make sure you plan way way way ahead!” the bride advises. “Everything you do yourself takes a lot more time than you think it will. The flowers were a bit of a hassle because they had to be fresh, and we had a lot. It took ages to prepare them correctly, move then form the house we rented for the bridal party to the venue, and to arrange them! Doing things yourself makes your wedding absolutely perfect though! I am so lucky to have amazing friends who were willing to help the few days before moving furniture, going to Walmart for random bits and pieces, staying up late to make sure everything was done the night before, taking multiple cars to pick up glassware, booze, etc.”

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A Fancy Dress Glastonbury Festival Wedding: Alice & Matt

After dating for four and a half years, Matt proposed to Alice on the long drive home from Glastonbury Festival in 2011. So needless to say, the couple decided they wanted a festival themed wedding… or more specifically a homage to their favourite festival. “It had been an amazing weekend of music, love and cider-fuelled reveling,” began the bride. “It was pretty much an unspoken agreement from the off that our wedding would be an homage to Glastonbury. The festival has played a massive part in both our lives and running around in the mud, dressed like loons, dancing until dawn is high on our favourite things to do list. As soon as we’d verbalised the words ‘festival’, ‘camping’ and ‘fancy dress’ the thought occurred that it might be worth a punt asking the Eavis family (who own the land Glastonbury Festival is held on) if they would consider letting us use Worthy Farm. The family are great friends of my parents and scrumptious people. Amazingly they were really excited about the idea and more than happy to help (although they have since decided they don’t want to host further weddings – we might have put them off for life…eek!! – that’s not their bag).  Glastonbury was having a year off so we chose to wed on Saturday 23rd June, a date which anyone who knows anything about Glastonbury will know understand to be highly significant!”

Alice wore ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham. She originally wanted to try and find it second hand but it proved impossible. “I fell in love with the Jenny Packham Eden dress”, she continued, which was way beyond our means. But after much agonising and many months of searching for second hand ones I came up empty handed and decided to bite the metaphorical budget-busting bullet. If Matt’s reading this, you should know I haggled like a trooper and managed to make significant savings and freebies along the way!”

With her perfect gown she wore a beautiful cathedral length veil (FYI, I don’t see enough full length veils these days, where are all my veil-donning readers?) and a homemade headpiece. “The veil was chosen partly due to being fabulous and creating the effect of a train I wanted and mostly down to it’s name. As soon as we discovered the veil was called ‘the golden shower’ and my bridesmaid Jess fell off her stool laughing, we proclaimed it was the one. Some things are meant to be! I also found a fabulous Jenny Packham headdress which I also fell deeply in lust with, but at £450 and with an increasingly agitated groom, I decided it was a step too far and to try and make my own version. My Mum came to to the rescue using a £12.50 Accessorize sequinned headdress as a base to which she added years worth of broken jewellery and a marquisite brooch to create a one of a kind look-a-like.”

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