Tag Archives: DIY

A Restoration Wedding: Neil & Becky

I really love reading wedding stories from the groom’s point of view. Most of the submissions I get are written by the bride, but there’s something so utterly adorable about hearing about a wedding from the boy’s point of view…

“Our theme was always going to be eclectic,” Neil told me. “Bringing together all of our loves for the big day celebrating the people we are. We have a number of classic American cars, an old house and various other projects,  so restoration, progress, dressing up something old to really show off its beauty is what we do. I am told that is exactly what we achieved in the barn, working with what we had rather than against it. As for an actual theme, I guess it would be like some kind of redneck hicks doing Darling Buds of May in true Kentish country style.”

The bride traveled to the wedding in a VW camper van while the groom and the guests were treated to a ride in a steam train!

“We aimed to do as much of the work ourselves with the wedding,” he continued. “The barn was hired as a shell that needed completely dressing from scratch. The hired canteen style tables were covered in metres and metres of Ikea ‘Sofia’ striped red and white fabric. This was to help fill the huge and overwhelming space and create a centre piece, that also tied in with the ribbons stitched into the invite designs.”

“The tea tins were sourced over several month on eBay while Becky hand cut almost 100 moustaches and stuck to the stripey straws to be our table decorations with the sunflowers.”

“I am a font junkie, so we imported some vintage neon sign letters from the US in order to have the ‘YES’ word wrapped in ivy over the top table. We incorporated the design into our invites which I also made myself.”

“The napkins were linen glass cloths from Ikea for 19 pence each. They had the woven stripe through them and then a ‘Becky & Neil – Tie the knot’ label sewn into them by us. Weirdly loads of guests must have kept theirs as we only have a few left over.”


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60’s Girl Bands & 50’s Rock n Roll – A Vintage North London Wedding: Laura & Daniel

Meeting through a love of 60’s girl bands and 50’s Rock n Roll, it was inevitable that the wedding of Laura & Daniel would be made for this little blog of mine. Combine this with a penchant for vintage clothing and you’ve just about created the perfect Rock n Roll Bride wedding.

“It seemed natural for us to reflect the way we met in our wedding,” Laura told me. “I’m an artist, designer and one half of 50’s Rock n Roll DJ duo The Truckin’ Laura’s, and Daniel is guitarist in The Special Needs, so music was a big part of the wedding. I walked down the aisle to a piano version of ‘Sea of Love’ by Phil Phillips played by our friend Galia. Our friend Anna and her all singing all dancing Ronettes played a beautiful ukelele version of Phil Spector classic ‘Be my Baby’ at the end of our ceremony which set the tone for the day perfectly. Another really special moment was Daniel singing The Tempations ‘My Girl’ after his speech and all our guests joining in with the chorus. After our first dance to The Ramones ‘Baby I Love You’ our DJ friends took turns on the decks and kept the guests dancing all night!”

“We wanted to create a fun, down to earth day with lots of heart and some personal touches”, she continued. “As we didn’t have a huge budget we enlisted the help of our incredibly talented & kind friends and family! Everything from our cake, to the flowers, decorations and all the wonderful food (including some particularly cute pink coconut mice) were made by us, our friends and family. It was a huge amount of work but worth every moment. We felt so honoured to have so many people involved in making the day so individual and special.”

“For our table names we took our two carved Liger cake toppers (our favourite animal) and photographed them in the places around the city that were special to us. Each location was used as a table name and the photographs were placed in frames on the table. Guests really enjoyed chatting about them, especially the ‘Tufnell Park Kebabs’ table!”

“The day not only reflected our love for each other but also all the amazing creative people we are lucky enough to have in our lives. In honour of Daniel’s Polish heritage the guests toasted us with traditional double vodka shots when we entered the reception which was blamed for a lot of rowdy behaviour later in the evening. Rock ‘n’ Pole!”

Laura’s vintage dress was bought from Elizabeth Avey in London. “It was the first place I went with my Mum and we came away two hours later with my perfect frock,” Laura explained. “I always wanted a 50’s lace dress, but hadn’t considered anything backless until I came across this beauty. My friend Lizzie who owns Mishka Vintage gave me my jewellery and very kindly let us get ready for the day in her beautiful shop.”

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A Handmade South African Wedding: Megan & Peiter

South African weddings are blowing me away at the moment. I’ve been featuring so many beauties from this fabulous country recently, I feel very lucky indeed! Well my luck was very much in when Megan & Peiter’s beautiful wedding landed on my lap last week.

The wedding was held outdoors at Kleinkaap Pretoria, a boutique hotel in Centurion, Gauteng. “I wanted to do everything!” Megan laughed, “and everything had to have a significant meaning so all my vendors were our families. Everything from the bunting to the match-books we handmade and actually (sorry for the cliché) made with thought, consideration and love. To me the fun part wasn’t only the actual wedding it was getting together with friends, family and a great bottle of wine to stick match-books together.”

“The process of creation is so beautiful and I wanted to stuck in all of it,” she continued. “I myself wanted to be part of it all, not up in my room getting pampered but hanging the bunting myself, making sure everything was perfect. In the end it was perfect because we could share that experience with so many amazing friends and family. My friends and family make me Rock n Roll, we did it together.”

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A Handmade Informal Tipi Wedding: Katie & Will

Don’t gorgeous handmade weddings like Katie & Will’s just make you go weak at the knees? So much of what went into their amazing wedding was hand crafted by the couple and their friends, making the day a really special one.

Katie explains, “I didn’t want a traditional bouquet and so inspired by the web, I opted for my Mum and Mum’s friend to make a bouquet out of brooches and rings that I found on market stalls where we lives in Spain. It looked amazing and is something I can keep forever. To match the brooch bouquet, My Mum made Will’s buttonhole out of pieces of lace and a satin brooch.”

“We bought an authentic US Post box to use for the wedding cards,” the couple continued. “This came from eBay and was in a sorry state. Will restored it to a beautiful condition by removing all the old paint and resprayed it in cream gloss. He then stenciled ‘Mr & Mrs Dorling’ onto the side using some homemade stencils and paint from his hobby supplies.”

“To make the cake personal we bought two plain wooden cake toppers from Goose Grease on Etsy. Again, Will painted these using acrylic paint to match the outfits we were wearing on the day. He knew what his suit looked like but as Katie’s dress was a surprise so she gave him a colour palette to work with.”

“We opted out of having a table plan as we wanted a relaxed feel to the day. To make sure people had fun during the meal we made a selection of moustaches on sticks for people to play with and take pictures. We printed a selection of 5 stencils online and used thick black card as the moustache. We trimmed around the stencils making 2 at a time -100 in total! When all the moustaches were cut out we glued them to the sticks in batches – wooden kebab skewers bought at supermarket with sharp points trimmed off. These were presented to guests tucked into a folded napkin with a copy of the ‘Heads Up’ order of events sheet.”

“We also handmade some signs directing people to ‘The Wedding’, the ‘Loos’ and the ‘Favours Buffet’. These were made from some free MDF sheets left outside a woodwork shop in Brighton, painted purple using home emulsion and the text was stencilled on then brought out using a cream chalk pen bought online. Instead of a Guest Book we thought we would get one pun in relating to the earlier wedding of Will and Kate. We bought a souvenir apron crossing out the wedding date and adding our own. Guests then signed the apron with their message.”

Katie wore an incredible dress by Jane Bourvis who has a shop on Portobello Road, London. It was made of vintage lace from 1910. She also wore a 1970s white Marabou bolero jacket was bought from a vintage wedding fair.

“Katie managed to get halfway through one bridal magazine before deciding that the options she saw were very samey and not for us and so she immediately turned to the web for inspiration,” the couple continued. “Katie took a lot of inspiration from blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride and Ruffled which gave us the initial ideas that we could do whatever we wanted on the day and not to be restricted by traditional formalities. We found our wonderful and unique photographer Joanna Brown on Twitter and other suppliers via the web.”

“We must add that the photos taken throughout the day by Joanna were perfect and provide a real story, capturing the events of the day. We love her style especially the way she photographs people in a really natural way whilst they are enjoying themselves. Another skill of hers is to pick out the finer details and touches so that they aren’t forgotten.”

“Overall we wanted the day to be super relaxed, fun, and a really nice party – a wedding without the formalities. Where we chose to go down a slightly more traditional route, i.e. the venue for the wedding, we tried to pull it back into theme using variables we had control over such as the music. We wanted the reception venue to be different and the Tipis supplied by Beautiful World Tents are out of this world. When they are dressed with all the twinkling fairy lights they look stunning and were a huge focal point on the day. Most guests had not seen anything like them and the setting on the side of the lake at Duncton Mill was perfect.”

“Our day was rounded off staying at the ‘Old Railway Station‘ down the road from our venue. This unique accomodation has converted Pullman railway carriages as guest rooms resplendent with many original art deco features. Breakfast was served in the old ticket office. We will definitely be making a return visit.”

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A Vintage-Inspired Mountaintop Wedding: Roxanne & Braxton + WIN Her Twigs & Honey Veil

Roxanne & Braxton’s beautiful mountain view wedding took place at Meditation Mount, Ojai, CA. Photographer Lydia Hudgens was there to capture the day.

“We wrote the ceremony ourselves and our friend John was our officiant,” Roxanne told me. “We had some friends perform readings from favorite writers of ours – Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Paul Eluard, etc. Another friend, Rob, provided the processional & recessional music on guitar, accompanied by Braxton’s cousins Kati and Madi. We walked down the aisle to Joanna Newsom’s ‘Bridges and Balloons’ and finished with Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel.’ It was so lovely and just what we wanted; Meditation Mount was an amazing place for a ceremony–the view of the surrounding valley is epic, sublime.”

The reception was held at Little House, a community centre in Ojai, CA, and the whole wedding has a real community feel. “For the duration of the wedding weekend we’d rented a ranch down at the end of a remote canyon to stay at with a large number of friends,” the bride continued. “It was so relaxing to escape there as the day approached and spend time hiking in the mountains, swimming in the river, and chatting and cooking together. We didn’t have a wedding party so this was a way we could spend time with our friends and help them have a bit of a vacation as well.”

The bride wore a dress made by her Mother from an original 1930’s pattern with Melissa shoes and a headpiece from Twigs & Honey. From her outfit, to their decor ideas, the wedding had a subtle vintage theme.

“We didn’t have a theme as far as colors, but I did develop a fascination with 1910s, 20s and 30s postcards featuring a fede or gimmel (hands shaking). I collected a number of these and scanned and printed them for guests to write on for our guestbook; we also used some of these images for our website and postcard invitation. This led to a number of other hand themed things – my earrings were tiny silver madras hands holding sparrows holding pearls, and my mother wore a vintage hand brooch on her dress, and we had some hand shaped vases. We also had a shortened version of a hand-fasting as part of our ceremony.”

“Anyhow, the rest of the decorations were haphazard and came from what was on hand or easily accesible… I collected vintage tablecloths from family as well as antique and thrift shops, we bought candles at the 99 cent store, we used compostable bamboo plates and flatware in lieu of renting, we purchased parasols and paper lanterns and used live plants for the centerpieces and other floral arrangements. The centerpieces were planted in my Mother’s teapot collection. We also asked guests to dress for a 1930s garden party, and many of them did!”

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A Simple & Intimate Concert Hall Wedding: Valerie & Craig

“For us, we wanted our wedding ceremony to be kept simple – no flashiness and relaxed,” newlywed Valerie told me, “which is just the way we are. We wanted intimacy and for it to be very personal which I think was reflected in our music, readings (the lyrics of the Adam Sandler tune from the Wedding Singer and an extract from the Irrational Season, Madeleine L’Engle) and having our little boy with us. However, we definitely wanted a big party afterwards to celebrate.”

The ceremony was held at The Recital Rooms, Candleriggs, Glasgow and the recopetion that followed was at The Old Fruit Market, a concert hall also in Candleriggs. “There was a large visual and atmospheric contrast between our ceremony and reception but both were reflections of us as a couple,” the bride continued. “But we’re also an outgoing couple, for whom music and dancing is part of who we are.”

“The themes that ran through the wedding were peacock feathers and colours (greens and purples) so they featured on my hairpiece, the boutonnieres, page boys, flowergirls and bestmen outfits, the favours and place names. When we found our venue we wanted to stay in keeping with the rooms we used themselves. The ceremony room was a plain white room with art deco windows and draping at the head of the room. The lighting gave it atmosphere and these were subtly in our wedding colours. The only other decorations we used were the papal picado banners (found on Etsy) along the walls. For the reception room we wanted to keep with the rustic character of the room and I feel that everything from the flowers to the favours reflected that. For example, our placecard holders were simply made from branches from the tress in our garden and I made the favour CD holders out of hessian material for that natural feel. The Old Fruit Market is grand without being imposing and we felt it really matched what we wanted to create the party atmosphere for our wedding.”

With the reception being held in a concert hall, clearly music was a big consideration for the couple. Valerie explained, “The music for our wedding was always going to be really important to us, music is a big thing for both of us (even if our tastes can widely diverge at times) and we chose everything from the ceremony music to playlists for after the ceremony and during dinner. Friends of the Stars and James Summerfield played at the ceremony. Anna (from Friends of the Stars, the band that Craig sings and writes with) and James sang an acoustic version of Islands in the Stream for me to walk up the aisle to. It was lovely to have them sing for us as it made the ceremony feel so personal and intimate from the very start.”

“For the reception, our friend Kev Kiernan, DJ’d. We knew he’d rock it because of his wide and eclectic style of tunes. I’ve known Kev for years and have spent many nights dancing to Kev’s DJ’ing at house parties into the wee hours. He played everything from 60s funk, early 90s house and country tunes…And then of course, we had Elvis.”

“We knew early on that by choosing to have an Elvis, it couldn’t just be any Elvis. He had to be amazing for us to pull off this old wedding cliche. We did our research and pulled a blinder when we found Paul, a twice UK tribute winner no less. We chose the playlist of songs that he would sing too. He came out to the Space Odyssey 2001 theme and then went straight into See See Rider. The crowd literally went wild.”

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