Tag Archives: DIY

A South African Winter Wedding at A Private Game Reserve: Jaimi & Adrian

Jaimi & Adrian are wedding photographers themselves so when it came to planning their own big day the photography was obviously a very important part for them. “Adrian and I met through a photographic project he did back in 2008 and we fell in love,” Jaimi told me. “He asked me to marry him on a misty morning in October 2009 in the Drakensburg Kzn. We got married on January 10th, 2010 and had a small ceremony at Tala. We renewed our love for each other and had our wedding celebration on June the 24th this year at our special love place … Tala Private Game Reserve.”

“As Adrian has been in the wedding industry for over 12 years now as a wedding photographer. We really wanted our day to be ‘us’ and a bit more rocker than the weddings we shoot every weekend of the year. We took all the ‘stuff’ we loved and piled it onto one day – from the clothes we love, to the passion we have to the fun we wanted for our family. It turned out awesome, it was personal, full of love, non stressful and just super rocking.”

“We had the most intense African storm at about 2pm in the afternoon and we almost thought our shoot would be hindered but we had the most awesome day thereafter, the sky cleared and Sam (our photographer) literally shot us in one location rotating us in a 360 degrees.”

“Our whole playlist scared our DJ, David just a little, but he trusted us and played it anyway and Adrian (not a big dancer) and I (love dancing) ended up being the last couple on the dance floor. Our first dance song was ‘Monuments and Melodies’ by Incubus and everyone just stood around us and we attempted a dance. It was incredible – I felt like it was just us.”

“As mentioned earlier, this was a renewal of our love from a year and a bit back, and we loved every second. We are so glad we had a videographer  (Lauren & Andrew) and Sammi Babe did a super job of the photos. Everything was just an overwhelming blessing having the most important people either side of us and everyone we loved at our long single banquet dinner table. We chose our own wine for the evening and a shooter table. We also had a DIY photo booth that made the party start on a high note.”

“Our theme was all about being us,” the bride concluded. “Adrian and I got together under rough circumstances and got married just 4 days after deciding we wanted to. We just needed this. This solidarity with our family. It was evidence of our love for all to see. Being a winter wedding in South Africa we had a sort of vintage-autumn theme. I did not like the idea of flowers so we did black candles, different height and size crystal candle stands and real autumn leaves across the whole length of gold taffeta table cloths.”

Beautiful…and check out the video too!

Continue reading

A Day of the Dead Art Gallery Wedding: Angie & Adam

Angie & Adam were married at Manchester Art Gallery, a fitting venue as the bride went to Manchester Metropolitan University to study art where she met her future husband. Angie wore a bespoke purple dress made for her by a friend who works in a theatre wardrobe department (currently with We Will Rock You!) They designed it together so Angie got just what she wanted.

The couple chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. They entered their ceremony together. “We wanted to start as we mean to go on – together,” they explained. “We walked down the aisle holding hands and remained holding hands through the service. Also Angie’s a bit of a feminist and didn’t want to be given away.”

The reception had  Mexican/Day of the Dead Festival theme. They continued, “We wanted a colourful festival feel that would make the day fun for all our guests.  Also, we’re both creative people who like to get our hands dirty – so making the decorations was a must for us! Angie’s final exhibition for her art degree was also based around Mexican folk art and the day of the dead festival.”

Continue reading

A Darkly Dramatic Gothic Wedding: Alix & Zach

AZ 461

Some of you may remember Alix & Zach from their gothic tea party engagement shoot. Well I’m thrilled to be able to share their wedding with you today – and guess what, the smoke came with them!

After getting ready at The Rookery Hotel (somewhere which I’ve actually stayed – its a beautiful hotel!) the couple were married at Lauderdale House in Highgate. The reception was held at somewhere that’s fast becoming one of my favourite London venues, The Metal Works in Islington.

AZ 219

Newlywed Alix told me all about it. “We wanted everything to have a very lush, maturely decadent, and darkly dramatic feel.  Our theme was more romantic from a by-gone age than modern Goth. We were inspired by all that is dark and whimsical…a fusion of Victorian vamp, fanciful garden beauty and Old-World luxe tweaked with flavours of Rock n Roll and Carnival/Circus…elements included mismatched French style furniture, vintage silver ware abound with roses and ostrich feathers and candelabras all in a rich palette of blood red, deep plums, black and white.”

AZ 433

“There were many elements that made our wedding a little bit different and very Rock n Roll,” she continued. “I walked down the aisle to Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses – and when guests arrived at the ceremony we had string quartet versions of Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Aerosmith and Metallica playing.  We wanted to incorporate an ancient Celtic handfasting ceremony as a nod to my Irish heritage which our celebrant was happy to do.  We added a paragraph to the program to explain what it was about so it wasn’t lost on the guests!”

AZ 500

As part of their day, the couple went away with their photographer Lisa Devlin for a photo shoot in a nearby cemetery. They brought along smoke pellets and the photos are quite frankly stunning! Certainly worth some time away from their guests I reckon. “We loved doing the photo shoot in a beautiful ivy covered Victorian cemetery – it started to rain and I had to clamber over brambles in 4” heels but it was totally worth it and I cannot believe Lisa managed to get such an amazing smoke effect from the smoke pellets – ever since we did our engagement shoot I feel nothing looks right without a little bit of smoke wafting into view!”

AZ 572

“We weren’t too fussed about doing a first dance as we totally ran out of time to do any choreography/come up with an original idea/figure out something funny to do.  Speaking to The Metal Works venue a few weeks before the wedding they described the time the circus came to the venue. My jaw dropped with excitement as this worked perfectly with the carnival twist that was creeping into the wedding.  So for the first dance to “Without You” by Motley Crue Zach and I twirled around on the dancefloor for about 20 seconds and then the aerial silk performers took over to finish the dance!  It looked great and was the last thing anyone expected.”

AZ 570

“As I am Vegan and Zach is vegetarian it was important to us that the food we had at the wedding reflected that.  We worked with the very Rock n Roll and super talented Jake from Octopus Food on creating a menu that everyone couldn’t help but love because it was just so damn tasty – even if it was completely meat free! It was a bit of a gamble especially for the evening BBQ – but everyone said they loved the food so that was awesome!”

“One of many funny bits of our wedding was when one of the evening guests arrived, dressed in drag as Nancy Spungen, along with his friend dressed up as Sid Vicious!  The dress code for the evening was Rock n Roll Royalty so this was hysterical.  But even better was the look on my Dad’s face!”

AZ 575

The couple DIYed a lot of their wedding with some extra help at the last minute with on-the-day-styling from Josie from Savoir Weddings. “We DIYed a huge amount for the wedding mainly because I couldn’t find in shops or on the internet the things I envisaged for our wedding.  My Mum and Dad made jam using fruit from their strawberry farm in the Cotswolds for the favours along with a ‘love potion tea’ complete with love spell.  My Dad also made the wooden A and Z letters which he painted white, covered in black lace and then attached to black and white striped ribbon to hang – they worked out to cost about £20 for the 2 which was much so cheaper than buying something similar and turned out way more on-theme. I designed the pin badges, programs and flags, with a huge amount of help from my friend & graphic design guru, Colin.”

AZ 647

“We weren’t allowed to throw confetti at the ceremony venue so instead we got the guests to wave flags and streamers.  The streamers were made again by my Dad and me by screwing small metal hooks into wooden cake dowels and then threading black and white ribbon and lace through the hook. I got everyone to collect jam jars which I covered with black lace, these then became candle holders and vases. I wanted to have a guestbook that also doubled up as a decoration so it would catch the guests’ eyes so they wouldn’t leave without signing it!  I cut out some red and white hearts some I covered with some of our favourite bands’ album covers in corresponding colours like Guns N Roses, T Rex, New York Dolls, Black Sabbath etc.  The hearts were attached to bakers twine with pegs so guests could write their message and peg it back on – by the end of the night we had touching messages graffiti-ed all over the hearts and an interactive wedding decoration to boot!”

AZ 591

“The place cards were made from black bracket gift tags which I bought from etsy I then printed the guest’s name and added 2 metal studs for a bit of punk attitude. Finally, I made the wedding cake, and wedding cupcakes –which of course I HAD to baring in mind I own a bakery. We also hired quite a lot too, obviously not many venues provide black tablecloths and black studded plate chargers as the norm!  This bumped the décor cost up a bit but was totally worth it.  We hired the French lounge furniture from Prop Solutions – who were really helpful and eager to work within our budget unlike some other hire companies I approached.  The furniture looked great against the cobbled street in the group shots.  I bought some battery operated fairy lights which we cellotaped into the shade so it could be switched on when it got dark.”

AZ 667

Ahh there’s just so much to take it but I love it. Alix & Zach really certainly have released my inner goth. I love everything.

Continue reading

An Effortlessly Elegant Backyard Wedding: Rebecca & Ben

After a beautifully simple Brooklyn engagement shoot, I would have expected nothing less of Rebecca & Ben than the effortlessly elegant backyard wedding that they had. Married in Ben’s parents Rhode Island back garden, the wedding was a DIY affair.

“I made bouquets with my friends from flowers that grew down the street at Young’s family farm,” Rebecca told me. “I made the flower garlands that hung up around the pink boxer bar. I made all the napkins from Amy Butler fabric. I collected vases and jars at garage sales and streetwise junkyard shops near Brooksville, Maine.”

The bride wore a J Crew dress with nineteenth century jewellery bought from Gray and White, NYC.

Continue reading

A Wedding in the Woods & A Bride Wearing Antlers: Ian & Jo

OK so it isn’t much surprise that I pretty much died when I first saw Ian & Jo’s wedding. The woods! The campfire! The bride wearing freakin’ antlers! Oh my lord I’m so thrilled to be blogging this baby.

“Our wedding was had a subtle vintage 1920’s summer fete theme,” Jo wrote, “We love art, creativity and community. The things that make us human. The wedding was never about me & Ian exclusively, marriage to us means the joining of many, a coming together. It was our opportunity to share our love for each other, and extend it to our loved ones. That day was for all of us. I think that vibe came across.”

The wedding took place at Lord Hyde wood in Watford. “Tony the Farmer next door lent us his field for camping which we shared with his beautiful, pregnant old breed cattle” the bride continued. “We made as much of the decorations, clothing and games that we could with help from friends and family. I would definitely recommend that. Don’t follow tradition, do it the way you want. What exactly is a ‘favour’ anyway?”

“What made the day work was the wonderful family and friends that we have. All of whom threw themselves into the community spirit of the day, getting involved with the set up, the mucking in, clearing up. It was a real team effort and the vibe was one of togetherness and love. Life is good when we are in relationship with each other in an open, honest and loving way. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone and the day shone with magic.”

Jo wore a dress from Jane Bourvis on Portabello Road which she customised with vintage lace and pearls purchased from markets and from Annie’s Vintage. Her incredible headpiece (seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it!) was hand made by bride with help from her chief Bridesmaid, Nicole. “We think there are 4,000 beads all hand stitched and it took about 90 hours to complete. The design was inspired from 1920’s headdresses.”

Aaaah-mazing. Oh and Pete (photographer Emma Case‘s partner in crime) made a video on his iPhone too. Whoooa. Love it.

Continue reading

A Humanist, DIY Wedding in London: Emi & Adam

I’m officially dying over this wedding. Overly dramatic maybe but oh Lordy how beautiful is everything? Emi sure has that ethereal look down. Her Baby Ceylon gown (found on eBay) and vintage veil combo is just perfect…and don’t even get me started on her short evening dress by Jones + Jones and Jeffrey Campbell American Flag boots. Seriously…

The DIY wedding was held at Blo Norton Hall in London (its hard to believe this place is in the city!) The humanist ceremony took place 5 years to they day that the couple met. After the touching ceremony, the speeches were held outside in the beautiful grounds. The informal wedding breakfast was also held outside.

“I don’t know how to put our inspiration into words,” Emi wrote. “The main thing for us is that our wedding was all about everything and everyone we loved.  We wanted it to be a mish mash of vintage and DIY but to keep it beautiful and not too contrived.  So much was made by friends and family, from the bridesmaids dresses, the decorations, the cake, the food and even the flowers.”

“We had originally planned to marry outside on the lawn, but as the day approached the weather was being a little ‘British’ so on the morning of the wedding we moved it indoors to what would later be the dancefloor. We pulled the curtains, lit all the candles, littered the floor with petals and switched on the heart! It couldn’t have been more perfect (and as it was the sun shone all day…)”

“Adam and many of his friends are all musicians, but we actually didn’t want the day to be too Rock n Roll – otherwise it would’ve turned into one big jamming session!  We wanted it to be more like an English garden party, lots of friends, lots of food, lots of love, and croquet on the lawn.  And that’s exactly what we got – oh, and one hell of a party at the end of it!”

Continue reading