Tag Archives: DIY

Tim & Jodie’s Natural Science and History Museum Wedding

Tim & Jodie were hitched at The Natural Science and History Museum in Denver and I am more that a little bit in love with them and their wedding. Not only becuase Jodie looks fabulous and the venue is a beaut, but becuase the idea behind their wedding was to celebrate more than just their love for one another…they celebrated their love for everyone!

The couple explained, “We both agreed that the wedding was just as much about our friends and family as it was about us, so almost every detail was considered with our guests in mind. We looked at the wedding as our chance to throw an unforgettable party, and we definitely succeeded. It’s hard to put my finger on one particular detail that made it so great, but we heard, “Best. Wedding. Ever.” over and over again from guests, staff, and even the off-duty police officers who were working security. We tried to stick to a few basic tenets (emphasis on the “tried”) and they included: Don’t overthink it. Don’t worry about “the rules”. Don’t do anything just to impress someone else.  Do have fun.”

“Regarding the rules, we did little “by the book.”  Even our ceremony was far from traditional.  Our officiant was Tim’s former boss from Twist and Shout, a long-haired hippy named Paul.  Paul is, as he says, ordained through the powers of the internet, and our ceremony was not religious in the slightest bit.  Rather than having a reading from the book of [insert bible book here] we chose to have a reading from “the book of Starship.” Before exchanging vows, Tim’s brother and Jodie’s college best friend took turns reciting the lyrics to Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.  Besides being one of Jodie’s karaoke standards, the song had the right amount of familiarity to make people smile and feel “in” on the joke, and yet the lyrics to the pop tune took on a new meaning in the context of a wedding ceremony.”

“We have a lot of gay friends and are both keenly aware that they are denied the right to engage in a legally-binding ceremony such as ours, and we wanted to be mindful of that and have our wedding be as inclusive as possible.  To achieve that goal, we registered with the Human Rights Campaign’s marriage equality advocacy division as part of our bridal registry, and it was great to see so many people donating money to their cause on our behalf.  And, in another break from tradition, we asked our officiant to read an excerpt from the court decision early marriage equality case – Goodridge v. Dept. of Health. The judge’s decision considered marriage as fulfilling yearnings for security, safe haven, and a connection that expresses our common humanity.  Tim’s a recent law school graduate, and focused much of his studies on the rights of sexual minorities.”

Jodie wore two dresses. The first, a sexy body-con number by The Row and the second a sheath dress by Dolce & Gabbana – she bought both on sale at an outlet mall! “I consider myself a pro bargain hunter – both dresses combined cost me less than $500,” she continued. “I never imagined that I would wear anything remotely resembling a wedding dress in color or design, but both of these dresses jumped off the rack at me. Plus, I liked the touch of slut factor in the tight short dress by The Row. Neither of us wanted to break the bank on items we would never wear again, and so we both went for pieces that didn’t scream “bride and groom”. I will wear all items again and again. The second pair of shoes were the ubiquitous Vivienne Westwood jelly heels. The pearl necklace was Tim’s mom’s necklace that she made herself by adding pearls to throughout the years as her budget allowed. She passed away in 1998, so there was no doubt that it would be worn at our wedding in her honor. I made the red and turquoise beaded necklace, again, because I am a cheap date.”

The unusual wedding cake was also a talking point at the wedding. I’ve personally never seen anything like this but I think it’s a great (and funny!) idea for those on a budget, “The cake was another expense that we thought could easily get out of hand. We thought about all the weddings we had been to where guests don’t even touch (sometimes don’t even see) the cake, yet the couples had probably spent a fortune on them.  In order to avoid this happening at our wedding, Tim came up with the idea to screenprint an image of one of those fancy cakes on top of a sheet cake from Safeway. We ordered three sheet cakes, each with a variety of fillings and frosting, and called it a day. My sister picked the cakes up at her local grocery store, and happened to know the woman working behind the counter…she gave my sister a discount. We were charged $10 each for three cakes.”

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Olga & Jo’s Two Day Russian/British Fusion Wedding

Olga & Jo’s Rye wedding makes me super happy! I chatted to the bride all about it – their style ideas and how they integrated both their cultures, Russian and English, into their super cute wedding.

She explained, “As soon as Jo and I had moved to Brighton, we knew we wanted to mark our wedding day by celebrating it by the beach. It is a Russian tradition to celebrate a wedding over two days so that with family and friends, and their children, there can be one formal and one informal day. With my family being from Russia we wanted to keep to this tradition and felt an English seaside was perfect for catering for both days and the number of people who would be travelling far for the occasion.”

“Having searched unsuccessfully in Brighton for our perfect location, we stumbled across The Place At The Beach Hotel in Camber Sands which looked just right. Having visited the venue and seen the beach across the road, the accommodation for our families and friends and a spacious garden with a BBQ, we knew it had everything we wanted for our two days.”

“As a theme, we chose ‘mods against the rockers on the beach’, not only for our love of the 60’s style and music, but with the mods logo being red, blue and white, this perfectly symbolised the colours of Jo and I – the colours of the British and Russian flags. Having been influenced by rockabilly Brighton since we’d moved there, we had to add a bit of rock to our special day!”

“The marriage ceremony took place in the beautiful and historical Rye Town Hall. Following which guests were encouraged to walk around Rye’s old town centre headed towards the traditional London routemaster and our beautiful car Chevrolet Bel Air. Transported by bus, the party headed to the beach to enjoy the glorious weather and a picnic on the dunes. Guests ate blinis with caviar, oysters and scotch eggs, all accompanied by Pimms and beer from our friend’s brewery – Meantime. The delicious food was seasonal and locally sourced, highlighting what a special spot everyone was in. After the beach, everyone moved to the half-opened marquee, set up outside the hotel, where in accordance to Russian tradition there was a selection of platters for starters, and main courses, for guests to share and enjoy together. Of course lots of bottles of Russian vodka were on hand, and consumed, to toast the new bride and groom!”

“Throughout the venue, the decorations were subtle with the hotel already suited to our English-Russian wedding beside the British seaside. Flowers were designed by my Mexican friend, a florist, who perfectly arranged the colourful table decorations in popcorn boxes with a corn on the cob sticking out of each arrangement as a feature. My wedding bouquet was made up of beautiful blue hydrangeas, red dahlias, white freesias and little red apples suggesting the autumn season on the horizon.Tables were named after English seaside towns, with the table plan revealed on a framed vintage map of the UK that had been bought in Brighton. The name places were marked by a collection of pebbles collected by Jo and me from Brighton Beach which each person’s name marked in English and Russian. As wedding favors we had rock sweets with personalised labels as a memento of our special day.”

“As speeches commenced, my English friend Lieran, who speaks perfect Russian helped to translate and then explain the silly, but highly amusing, games that guests played in keeping with the Russian tradition.

As the evening set in, the American style surf Bikini Beach Band commenced, playing some of the famous music from the 1950’s and 1960’s, getting everyone on their feet’s to dance. Anyone not on the dance floor was distracted by the nearby cardboard cutout of a seaside couple, with guests putting their heads through the holes in order to have a photo taken on Brighton Pier! The first dance was to the Beach Boys song “God only knows” and then the bride sang Johnny Cash “Ring of Fire” with her friend to surprise the groom. The party continued into the night with the famous 60’s hits played off vinyl records Jo and I collected over the years.
For those who weren’t tempted by the four flavors of homemade ice-cream, out came the cake, ordered from the very special Brighton cake shop – ChoccyWoccyDoodah, which was a rockabilly themed skull with the appropriate sign ‘Till death do us apart’.”

“The second day was a traditional English BBQ and afternoon tea party with garden games available like croquet, darts, giant domino, skittles and tumbling tower! So many factors of our wedding we found by chance but perfectly fitted Jo and I and what we wanted from our wedding. Every part was rooted in the traditions of both England and Russia and brought our Russian and English family and friends together to have fun throughout the weekend, even though for most of the day they couldn’t understand each other!”

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“Under The Boardwalk” – Aimee & James’ DIY, 1950’s Carnival Wedding

Aimee & James were married on The Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Ca. The day was a 1950′s inspired vintage one with a carnival vibe. The bride wore a custom made dress inspired by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and amazing blue shoes by Moda in Pelle. The couple were engaged in Paris. James proposed on new years and the stroke of midnight.

“We wanted to have a 1950’s vintage carnival theme wedding because we were having it at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Ca. Due to the rich history of the location, we were not short on ideas for how we would bring the nostalgia of the times through. We wanted to almost transport our guests back to a time when family values and marriage were really celebrated. For me the idea of marriage is an old-fashioned concept, but one that should be pursued if you find someone that makes your heart sing.”

“The entire wedding was DIY,” explained the bride. “Most notably were the carnival games. What would a 50’s carnival be without games? One of the groomsmen was very generous with his time and volunteered to make the carnival games as a gift to us. We had a hat toss, bottle toss, beanbag toss, ping-pong toss, and a photo wall. The beanbag toss and photo wall were probably the most involved games with regards to execution.”


“The photo wall was a freestanding wall with 3 holes of various sizes cut out and lined with frames. Photos from the bride and groom’s sibling’s, parent’s, and grandparent’s weddings were framed and placed on the wall. A photographer friend of ours took professional photos of our guests and let’s just says that it was a good thing this booth was set up next to the bar.”

“The flowers were a big deal for me. I did not understand why flowers could be $3000 – $5000,” she continued. “That would have been a 3rd of my budget. I was looking through my wedding porn and I came across an article in Martha Stewart Weddings, which is by far my favorite wedding magazine, where the bride’s flowers were made out of paper butterflies. I loved the idea! Butterflies didn’t make sense for me, but it opened my mind up to the idea of other possibilities. I liked the idea of paper flowers, so I started looking for different patterns. The ones I settled with were crepe paper roses and tissue paper flowers for the bridal bouquets. I used pipe cleaner for the stems and covered them in flower tape.”

“Then I had the idea to have the jewellery flowers when I was at the groom’s parents’ house. His mother makes handmade jewellery out of jewelry she finds in stores and cannibalizes it to make it unique. She has tons of left over pieces that are too large to use in her creations, so I got the idea to have her make flowers out of them. She really got creative by gluing them in tiers and adding crystal accents. We then took wire and glued them to the wire to make the stems and covered them with flower tape.”

“Our centerpieces were also different. They were handmade paper flower pomanders by the bride, groom, wedding party, and family.

We put them on top of acrylic candelabras lit with LEDs. We used one type of flower to make it easy (tissue paper flower) and made hundreds of them every day for 4 months. I am still finding slivers of red tissue paper in my living room. I had the idea for acrylic candelabras but could not afford them. Then it occurred to me that my friend works in plastics and I asked if he could do it, so he designed it for me to be in a baroque style with a slot for an LED tap light at the base to light it up.”

“The one thing we take from this whole experience was that the elements that really made it different were the most important to us and ultimately what we received the most nay-saying about leading up to the wedding were things we received the most complements on afterward,” Aimee concluded. “People would ask me about elements of the wedding like my shoes and I would tell them they were going to be a bright blue and people would kind of look at me with this odd stare and say, “huh”. Then when the photos went out the one thing that everyone commented on was how beautiful the shoes were.”

“When we started talking about paper flowers people didn’t really get it. I think a lot of people didn’t think we knew what we were doing. To be fair, we didn’t always know what we were doing, but we knew that it was going to be amazing and it was. We have been told that our wedding was the best wedding that some guests had ever been to and is a benchmark for all future weddings in our community of friends and family.”

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Rob & Justine’s Beeeautiful Art Retreat South African Wedding

You’ll know when I’m really excited about blogging a wedding because I’ll sneak peek a photo on facebook and twitter as soon as it hits my inbox. It’s almost unfair for me to keep it to myself! That’s exactly what I did when Rob & Justine send me over their beeeautiful wedding…and actually, beeeautiful is literally the only way I can describe what I saw accurately. Love love love…

The couple were married at Hillhouse – a quirky converted Barn that is used as an art retreat, which has the look and feel of a dolls house – in South Africa. “Rob and I met a photography gallery and almost instantly clicked,” Justine told me when I asked about the proposal. “I liked that he loved animals and the environment and he loved that I was edgy and confident (his words). We were engaged six months later. Rob proposed in a beautiful vintage Victorian Era locket, I opened it and he had written ‘Will you marry me?’ in it.”

“In South Africa and especially Durban, there isn’t a market for quirky, different weddings,” the bride continued. “People seem to stick to the basics. We were adamant that we wouldn’t do that. It was hard to convince certain family members of our vision especially the ‘vegetarian’ bit.  We knew that the only way we were going to get the wedding we wanted, was to physically source and make everything ourselves. Every Saturday morning we went to the local charity shop and cleared them out of teacups, plates and vases. Rob and I even co-designed our gorgeous wedding invites even though neither of us are graphic designers. Rob was as much a part of the design of the wedding as I was, so it wasn’t a completely feminine wedding like some tend to be. Our venue wasn’t a wedding venue but an art retreat, our caterers wernt wedding caterers but an Eco friendly restaurant and our photographer wasn’t a wedding photographer. I think these elements brought such diversity and made our wedding, the absolute perfect day that it was. ”

“Our wedding was our art piece. Rob, being a designer and myself, loving design, we managed to create such a wonderful wedding day, something we are so proud of. Rob and I collected everything used at our wedding from charity stores. We chose every teacup, every plate, every vase, every book, every piece of cutlery. We chose each piece of material for our napkins, Robs mom sewed each one. Rob designed all the signage and I sewed and designed all the decor and we completely poured over every detail. Both being vegetarian, we decided to go that way and after the wedding, so many people commented saying it was ‘the best food, (not just wedding food) they have ever had.’ Rob hand made the portico that we got married under and the badminton net that provided hours of fun for our guests.”

“We wanted our wedding to be eco-friendly, to go with the theme of recycling, helping others, being kind to animals and the environment. When designing the wedding, we were going for the look of almost ‘a vintage attic with a modern edge.’ Our entire wedding was DIY as its always the little touches that make a wedding great. Rob made 12 signs for the road on the way up to wedding. It gets peoples attention straight away. I sewed about 50 felt hearts, stuffed them and put them on sticks. This brought little dashes of colour on the grass and people loved using them for photos. The hearts also matched my Vivienne Westwood shoes.  Rob made the badminton net structure and then I hung ribbons with little hearts on for the net. We put old vintage racquets in a trunk which added another great element. We hung the left over ribbons with hearts in the surrounding trees.”

Don’t you just adore it? Justine concluded with a great piece of advice for you guys too. Read and absorb it people! “A personal wedding is a good wedding, despite your budget, you can make your wedding beautiful as long as it true to yourselves.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

(Be sure to check out their gorgeous video…and prepare to cry – it’s beautiful… after the ‘jump’) You can also see their engagement video here)

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Jo & Johan’s Eclectic Cocktail Party Wedding

Jo & Johan and we were married on the 25th of September in Brisbane, Australia. Their wedding was an eclectic mix of their own personal styling ideas.

“The wedding planning for me was a process of questioning absolutely everything that was the ‘norm’ when it comes to weddings,” Jo told me. “We kept the traditions that had value to us, but completely reinvented or simply discarded those that we felt were unnecessary. One of the very first decisions I made was that I knew I didn’t want to have a traditional bridal party. Instead, we asked all our guests to wear black and white, then our bridal party and immediate family members wore colour – that way they stood out as important, without having to be matchy-matchy. I’m so glad we did it, it was one of my favourite things about our wedding.”

The couple wanted an intimate and special chapel ceremony and so chose Broadway Chapel. Their criteria for their reception was to have a rockin’ cocktail party – not in anyway a traditional wedding reception – but finding their perfect venue was quite difficult, “We knew we wanted to have a cocktail style reception, because we wanted it to be casual and social. We finally found a converted warehouse called Lightspace which we fell in love with – and we were their first ever wedding!”

Jo’s dress came from Bridal on James and it was the very first dress she tried on. “The dress originally came in standard white and ivory, but the ladies there were brilliant and helped me source the perfect colour fabric,” the bride continued. “I’ve known pretty much all my life that I wouldn’t get married in a white dress, and I couldn’t be happier with what I ended up with! In fact, I tried on two other dresses that day, but that was it – I didn’t even bother looking elsewhere. It was quite liberating!”

Jo asked her bridesmaids to wear different dresses (I love this look!) and she tied their styling together with shoes from Novo (same style, different colours) and those awesome Chanel temporary tattoos. This idea RULES!

The couple wanted to make sure their reception décor and styling was perfect and so did a lot of the work themselves. “Decorating and event coordinating, I knew I had to put people I trusted in charge or I would just lose my mind with stress. Fortunately I have wonderfully creative, and generous friends who were there with me every step of the way. We had decided that I was going to walk down the aisle to “The Crane Wife 1 & 2″ by The Decemberists, so we decided that we wanted to use origami cranes as a bit of a motif for the whole wedding. Some friends and I all got together and made the origami cranes that hung from the ceiling at the reception, and from the pews at the ceremony, and one girlfriend made the beautiful origami flowers which adorned the reception venue. Our beautiful cake was also made by these girls at the last minute when my cake maker bailed on me. I also bought a lot of my diy decorating bits from Etsy. We didn’t have any flowers at the wedding (yet another tradition which felt pretty pointless to me), but I did carry a white rose (my mum’s favourite flower.)”

“One of the major money saving ventures that we made was to create a wedding website instead of posting out invitations. I did all the graphic design (in fact, I did the graphics for everything – the save the date cards, the order of service etc) and Johan did all the coding to make the website work. It was a really great way for us to combine our skills, and it meant we could have more contact with our guests, and were able to make the website really personal. A lot of both sides of our families live overseas, so we had sections on “getting to know” us, our family, and our bridal party – as well as all the important wedding details, and an RSVP section (which we loved, because nearly everyone RSVP’d within the first week!). The website was definitely another of our favourite things from the wedding.”

“Johan and I both have musical backgrounds, so when it came to the idea of a first dance, we decided instead to do a ‘first song’. We did our own version of Angus & Julia Stone’s ‘The Wedding Song’, and kept it a complete surprise (except to my matron of honour and her husband who we practiced in front of). It was such a special moment. Looking back on our wedding now, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing – I’m so glad we didn’t bow to traditions that didn’t mean anything to us. We have absolutely no regrets!”

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Sarah & Jason’s Perfect-for-Them Wedding

One of the (many) things I love about Rock n Roll Brides is how different you all are. You are diverse and fabulous in you own unique ways and that makes me so happy! I love the way I see you all bring who you are to the table, to create the perfect wedding for YOU. It’s great to get inspiration from wedding blogs like this one, but at the end of the day it’s you + your fiancé who should create YOUR perfect wedding.

Sarah & Jason did just that.

“What made us Rock n Roll, was that from the beginning, we just couldn’t picture us having a traditional wedding. We felt like it would have been fake for us,” began the bride. “That’s fine for some people, and we don’t begrudge anyone the right to the kind of wedding they want, but we wanted something that was all about us. There are very few things I love more than being the center of attention, so it was really important to me that our personalities were on display from beginning to end. From the black envelopes our invitations went out in, to the amount of glitter on the tables, everything was picked and placed specifically by us. We had a vision for what we wanted and what we didn’t care about, and we met with very little resistance from anyone. We weren’t planning a “wedding” so much as planning our dream party.


“Planning our wedding wasn’t the joyous event a lot of people make wedding planning out to be. My sisters and mom had moved out of state, so I was on my own a lot,” Sarah continued. “I was planning a wedding in Bakersfield, while living in LA. It was really overwhelming, and I was lucky that my bridesmaids were helpful in any way they could be. I stressed out about it a lot, and then just decided that as long as everyone had fun, as long as our wedding was full of love, nothing else really mattered. We had a small budget, that we mostly funded ourselves. I learned that we didn’t need all the stuff the bridal “machine” pushes on brides. We spent our money on things that were most important to us, and cut corners where we could. Little touches, that speak to your personalities, make a big impact.”

Be sure to check out their beautiful wedding video after the ‘jump’ too.