Tag Archives: DIY

‘Caravan Of Love’ Engagement Shoot at The Photography Farm: Heather & Rob

Before my shoot at The Photography Farm, the ‘farmers’ (as they’ve become affectionately known) were treated to a beautifully styled engagement shoot with Heather & Rob. The couple have booked Lisa to shoot their wedding in April and very bravely agreed to have their engagement shoot at Photography Farm. They told Lisa of their love of camping so the styling team ran with that theme! Hazy Days lent them ‘Sandie’ the caravan, Paper Pom Poms made some well…paper pom poms and Hannah of The Tea Set brought everything together!

“Its hard to express how amazing this whole experience was.” Lisa writes. “Photography Farm had been in planning for so long with me and Jayne talking about nothing else and obsessing over caravans and tractors. When it finally came round, I think a combination of the great photographers and brilliant team that took part, the beautiful light and the way we were looked after by the staff at the Farm made the whole experience quite magic.”

Aren’t these just beautiful shots? Oh Heather & Rob you are such gorgeous creatures!

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Professional Make Up Tips for DIY Brides

Hi Kat,

Firstly, I wanted to say that out of all the blogs I visit over various genres, your’s is the most consistently updated and therefore interesting blog I’ve come across.

My predicament is that me and my future husband are planning our wedding from London to take place in our home New Zealand. We are flying back there in February to get married on the beach with our closest friends and family.

My hope is to do my hair and make up myself. This will require deciding on a look (I know I want bright red lips!) and buying the products that won’t sweat off in the summer sun (it will be the middle of summer when we get married.) My makeup skills are amateur at best, and I’d like to know how to strategically paint myself pretty!

I’d really appreciate if you could give any tips of good long wearing products, what to avoid and options for learning to apply.

I’d really appreciate your advice,

Ruth xxx

Well there’s one lady I knew I could call on to help Ruth with her dilemma – my bestie, make up artiste extraordinaire, Elbie Van Eeden!

♥  ♥  ♥

When Kat emailed me about doing a post on DIY hair/make-up brides, I knew that it will be a tricky subject. I strongly believe in the difference it makes to have a professional take care of your hair and make-up on your wedding day, in both technique and products.  Photographers are now even more keen on using hair and make-up artists in engagement shoots, just to make their work easier when it comes to retouching.

But I know some brides get married abroad, or won’t be able to afford a hair and make-up artist. A lot of brides would consider going to a department store for make-up trials.  Whilst it is a good idea, and you often get the money you spent on the lesson off any product you buy, unless you know that the brand works on you, it could be a frightening experience.If you’re scared about being bullied into buying products from one make-up range at a store, book a consultation/trial with a independent make-up artist. That way you know you’ll have an unbiased opinion about products, and you could buy the products at your own time, once you’ve seen the results. They will be able to teach you about different techniques, what NOT to do, which brushes to use, and how you could use the make-up after your wedding day.

It’s also a good idea to wear the make-up all day, to see it in different light, and to see how long it stays put before committing to buy anything. If you book a trial, feel free to bring someone with you (preferably someone with a good eye for make-up and hair) so she could help you remember and assist you on the day.

The best make-up products are often expensive, but things like foundation and concealer are worth investing in. You’ll be having your photo taken all day so you don’t want any ‘cakeyness’, or even worse, a ghostly appearance on your photos! There are too many women out there with the wrong colour foundation – make sure you don’t make that mistake on your wedding!  Once the wedding’s over, you could still use it, even if it’s just for a night out, if you’re not a ‘make-uppy’ person.

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An Eccentric Mid-Century Museum Wedding: Jeff & Andy

Jeff & Andy had a Jewish wedding at The Legendary Park Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles which turned out to be a very special venue for Jeff’s family. “After we had signed the contract with the venue, we found out from a relative that Jeff’s great-grandfather lived at the Park Plaza, when it was an Elks Lodge, for a short time in the 1940’s.”

“We decided to include three pre-ceremony traditions that we didn’t know about until we started researching all the traditions around a Jewish wedding,” the bride told me. “For the men, Jeff had a ’tisch.’ We did our own interpretations of the traditions, so Jeff and the men gathered in a room to have some drinks and discuss the nature of love and marriage, as well as roast and laugh with Jeff about the past and the future. Meanwhile, the girls had ‘kabbalat panim,’ where the bride is treated like royalty, and I was serenaded by my friends. Finally, the men rejoined the women for the ‘bedeken,’ which is the veiling ceremony. This happens about ten minutes before the actual ceremony. Our parents offer blessings, and then the groom puts the veil on the bride.”

The couple wanted to add their personal stamp to their day as much as they could.  Their venue was pretty dramatic and gorgeous all by itself so they didn’t really need to create any decor items, yet they certainly put their DIY energies elsewhere! “We are both creative people with significant creative vision with a great love for throwing a well-planned party,” Andy wrote. “To that end, we took it on ourselves to create just about everything that we could. Many DIY weddings have a lot of emphasis on decorating a venue, but our venue was already a gorgeous historic building that was kept in great condition, so we spent our creative energy on personalizing the event.”

“We started by designing a logo for our wedding. Something that would end up on all our invitations, paper goods, programs, photo-booth pictures, thank-you notes, etc. Once we had that, Jeff designed the invitations and reply cards. The reply cards were blank on one-side and we encouraged all invitees to write or draw something on that back, that we later incorporated into a gallery displayed at the wedding.”

“We love dating and exploring our city and we love miniatures and we were determined to figure out a way to incorporate both,” she continued. “By far our most ambitious project, something that we definitely worked the hardest on, was the twenty, individual, terrariums for the centerpieces of each table. Each one was a different diorama, in a different glass container, of one of our favorite places. This entailed scouring every Ross, Big Lots, and Wal-Mart for cheap, apothecary-style jars and vessels, that were big enough to be the focal point of a ten-person table.”

“The actual dioramas were a collection of toys, model train people (eBay, train stores), dollhouse furniture (which for some strange reason we had a lot of), and single bottles of booze for the bar-themed dioramas. The centerpieces were placed on 16” circular mirrors and accompanied by a museum-style description placard in a clear acrylic frame. The centerpieces were our biggest challenge and the DIY element of our wedding that we were most proud of.”

“Finally, months before the wedding, my dad found a film-reel from his 1954 Bar Mitzvah! my Dad had the footage digitized and we got a friend to edit a loop of the people dancing, hook up a projector, and we projected the footage behind our DJ when our dance floor opened. The effect was magical, and felt like it added a whole room of family and friends dressed perfectly to match the vintage-vibe of the venue.”

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An Elegant & Contemporary Yacht Club Wedding: Hannah & Steve

“We have always been passionate about music which was a key inspiration for us,” newlywed Hannah told me. “We also wanted it to be a relaxed party atmosphere to reflect our laid back personalities. We started this off by designing and making contemporary informal invitations which used some photos from a photo booth to tell a mini story, we also designed a modern logo which we then used on all of our stationery.”

“Music was a constant on the day; it began with a gospel choir that we had arranged to sing in the church, I walked in to ‘Lovely Day’ and we exited to ‘Walking on Sunshine’. We then had a jazz duo play during the canapés and organised a chilled playlist for the time that we were having dinner. After dinner we had hired the Forgers to play some of our favourite rock, pop and indie songs and made our own DJ set to play for the final two hours.”

“In terms of detail, we bought from eBay a number of vinyl collections and vinyl labels and then picked ones which were relevant to each guest to use as their table setting. We printed the logo onto the labels and then wrote the names of each guest. The groom’s brother (Matt) helped to create a music quiz for each table which had pictures of famous album covers and musicians for guests to guess during the meal. We then collected these and gave a prize for the table with the most correct answers. The tables were named after bands we have seen at gigs and we used the laminated gig tickets to identify the tables. On the tables we also left blank CDs for people with cameras to send us a copy of their pictures. We printed instructions and our address in the inlay along with the logo that featured on all of the stationery.”

The wedding reception was held at Greenwich Yacht Club, London near to where Steve proposed in Greenwich Park. Hannah wore an elegant Jenny Packham dress with a veil that her Mother hand made.

Other details which certainly deserve a mention include their cheese-stack cake which they put together themselves, “making a ‘cheese’ cake was a challenge – a key lesson we learnt was to get some dowling rods (which you cut down to the thickness of the cheese) and cake boards to support the cheeses to make sure that the heavy hard cheeses don’t squash the soft ones,” and the Ferrari Limo which they hired to make sure they arrived with some impact!

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An Elegant & Funky Downtown Wedding: Shavonda & Naomi

Shavonda & Naomi both wore white for their elegant but funky wedding in Sacramento, CA. Shavonda actually wore two dresses – the first, a customised gown from WToo (loving the short front!) and for the reception a sexy short number from BCBG Max Azria. Naomi’s suit was a mix of trousers from New York & Co, a vest from Bebe and a shirt from Express.

The wedding was held at Beatnik Studios, an amazing studio space in downtown Sacramento.

“Our wedding was completely and utterly ‘us’,” Shavonda wrote. “The things we agreed upon when we first began the planning process was that we had to have the following criteria: 1. Our wedding must be reflective who we are as a couple. 2. No churches, chapels or traditional wedding venues such as country clubs, ballrooms, etc. 3. We wanted our guests to have a different experience and didnt want them to feel like they’ve already been to our wedding a thousand times before. 4. We wanted to honor and incooperate our support for the LBGT community in as many ways as possible.  5. No weekend wedding. 6. No seating arrangements, sit-down meals, or buffets. 7.  It had to be FUN!!”

“I think we did a really good job of making sure all of those criteria were met.  We ended up with a purely Shavonda & Naomi experience.  Every detail that went into planning our wedding kept our guests in mind.  We asked everyone what their favorite and least favorite parts of weddings are and then we made sure to include and avoid those things. We took all of our photos prior to the ceremony so that there was no awkward time in between the ceremony and reception.  This also allowed people to start eating right away.  We also made sure that guests were greeted with wine and champagne as they arrived so they could unwind after work since our wedding was on a Thursday night. We didn’t have seating arrangements so guests were welcome to wonder and mingle among themselves.  We also included them in our ceremony by have a ring warming so they could bless our rings and feel as if they are a tangible part of our marriage.”

“We live in California so having a taco truck was a must! Plus everyone loves street tacos and they were a huge hit with our guests.  We made sure to have plenty of alcohol so there was beer, wine and 3 different cocktail options.  As an interior design student, the decor and aesthetic of wedding was incredibly important to me.  We wanted things to be very streamlined and modern so we only used one type of flower throughout the venue other than the florals in my bouquet.  I wanted my girls in cute cocktail dresses and awesome accessories.  I gave them 7 dress options to choose from and though they all live in different cities and states, they all chose the exact same dress!  I didnt want them to carry bouquets because its too expected so we went with clutches instead.”

“My dress was my design as well.  I found a style that I liked from WToo and edited to my specifications with the help of the designers at the bridal shop.  I wanted to wear designer jewelry, but knew I could never afford it, so I borrowed it at a fraction of the cost, only $40 for the week from Bag Borrow or Steal!  My wife’s ensemble was much more difficult because she didnt want to wear a man’s suit so it took us a while to piece together her wedding day garb.  In the end our wedding day was full of love, beauty and creativity.  From the venue, to the taco truck, to the attire, to the photography, I’d say our wedding was a breath of fresh air when compared to your traditional wedding.  I’d say that’s pretty darned Rock n Roll!”

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A Relaxed & Low Key Portrait Session: Leesa-Marie & Stew

Leesa-Marie & Stew wanted a relaxed and low key wedding with just their closest friends and family in attendance. They were hitched in Southampton, and after their ceremony they wondered round Ocean Village and Mayflower Park for their photos with Amy Radcliffe (they didn’t have their ceremony or reception photographed but wanted to portraits to remember their day.)

The bride wore a short dress by Honeypie Boutique, shoes from New Look and a veil by Field and Fallow.

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