Tag Archives: DIY

A Handmade Campsite Wedding: Maria & Chris

A campsite in Wales played host to Maria & Chris’ fabulous wedding. With the help of their friends & family the couple pulled a lot of the wedding together themselves. The flowers played a huge part in the styling of their day as Maria explained, “For the flowers I wanted it to look as though we had picked them all from the fields that morning and used whatever we had lying around to put them in.  We had been collecting vintage china for some time and used the various jugs, bowls and cups & saucers for the flowers on the tables.  The campsite also had some rustic enamel jugs that we used too.  Some of these Flowers I had ordered from the florist (Peonies, Cornflower, Lavender, Margharites etc) but the rest my Mum, her neighbour and my Auntie’s had brought with them from their gardens!  The Tipi was decorated with ribbon and Ivy from my Parent’s garden too.”

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“All the table decorations were put together by my Chris’ Mum and one of my Bridesmaids,” the bride continued. “It was late Friday, the night before the wedding and it was flower chaos! In the end it was all hands on deck and friends and family were all stepping in to help.  Chris’ Mum also made 60+ stunning little bead & wire dragonflies to sit in the table decorations. I also had three silver butterflies that were a pair of earrings and a pin that belonged to Chris’ Grandma. She sadly passed away two years ago and by having the butterflies in my bouquet it was my small way of having her near all day.”

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“We also used bay leaves and white roses that my two Granddads (who are no longer with us) had grown, in the table decorations – so the flowers became a very personal thing!”

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The relaxed wedding didn’t really have a specific ‘theme’, the couple just wanted to pull together all the things they loved for their day. “We have always loved retro, vintage and homemade – long before it became fashionable again! So our inspiration was really always around us – homemade items created by friends and family and secondhand items that had a second lease of life (we left the vintage china at Fforest Farm to be reused at other peoples weddings!) Our inspiration was also the wonderful Fforest Farm and the countryside surrounding it.”

The bride wore a stunning Cymbeline dress which the bought online. “I originally was going to hunt down a vintage dress and after trawling the internet had made a list of specialist shops to visit in London.  Then  was on the internet one evening at my parents when my said ‘try eBay for a dress’ – I said that I had given up looking but my mum was insistent and there waiting for me was my dress to be! So – I purchased my dress from a very lovely girl on eBay! She originally bought the dress from Paris and it was made by Cymbeline, my Mum took the top in slightly but other than that it was perfect in every way!”

Can I also just draw your attention to this cake!? It was made by the bride’s Mum and both she and the bride crocheted the flowers and cake topper. How cute?! “The knitted and crocheted flowers were my idea,” said Maria, “and my Mum added the Mice and the mini version of our dog Poppy! I crocheted a few of the flowers but my Mum knitted & Crocheted the majority – she’s far more talented than me!”

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A DIY Fashion Shoot Using The Rock n Roll Bride Planning Notebook!

A photo shoot featuring the Rock n Roll Bride planning notebooks!? Oh yes that’s one sure-fired way to get my attention!

“We styled the whole shoot ourselves using items from eBay (and of course the Rock n Roll Bride notebook,” photographer Jaye of  Tux & Tales Photography told me. “We decided we would do a few styled shoots ourselves on a shoestring budget. I think it is a great way to show brides that they can have a fun and fab style with a little pocket change and a lot of elbow grease. I hope you enjoy my ultra-rad millinery. Picture me sitting on the living room floor, feathers flying everywhere whilst my cat tries to run off with the hat in his mouth every time I turn around to get another feather. The bouquet I made myself out of crepe paper. Boo (our model) is a burlesque performer so she did her own hair & make up!”

“As for inspiration – we were really dedicated to a shoot which was going to demonstrate the beauty of the North,” Jaye continued. “Although we  had a brief stint in Essex, we are really Northerners at heart and I wanted to do something fun and sassy that shows Yorkshire at its best. The photos taken in front of Drax (the coal fire plant) are particularly special to me. People often complain about the North of England being ‘too industrial’ but that is exactly what we love about it. There is something so optimistic about industry. The big factories are where hard working people go to create the fabulous things we use and eat every day.”

“We stopped and took the pictures with your amazing little planner when we were on our way to the power plant shoot. We were at a park near our house and there are a few really rad, grotty little buildings which we thought made a pretty Rock n Roll backdrop. Ever the northern lass, Boo only needed to be told ‘act like a rockstar’ and I just had to be around to press the button!”

The Rock n Roll Bride planning notebooks and wallplanners are available to purchase exclusively through notonthehighstreet.com. For prices and further info, clicky here.

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A “Totally Neat, Totally Sweet” Music-Themed Wedding: April & Rich

“Some people described our wedding theme as Rockabilly, but the only rockabilly music was played at the ceremony,” newlywed April told me. “We are punk rockers at heart, but listen to a wide variety of music in the rock genre.  We thought it would be very difficult to do a punk rock wedding and still keep it somewhat formal.  (Rich’s family is Catholic and I am not religious in any way.  We didn’t want to horrify his grandmother!)”

“We chose Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent and Wanda Jackson for ceremony music.  I walked down the aisle to “Rose of my heart” by Johnny Cash.   I had “rose of my heart” engraved in Rich’s wedding ring.  It was a surprise and when Rich saw it after the ceremony, he got tears in his eyes.  It was one of my favorite moments of the day.  My grandfather died exactly 3 weeks before the wedding.  He was a Johnny Cash fan, so this made it even harder to keep my emotions in check while walking down the aisle.”

As you can see, music played a big part in April & Rich’s wedding. In fact a lot of the significant times in their relationship were down to music too! “Rich and I met on April 7, 1997 at a high school dance,” April continued. ” I was about to turn 16, and he was just a baby at age 14! I was a sophomore and he was in eighth grade.  I was seeing someone else at the time.  It was a very on and off relationship, and I was always miserable.  And full of angst! Rich was always trying to cheer me up.  We talked on the phone for hours every night.  I still remember the day that he told me that if I ditched Brian and started to date him and listen to Reel Big Fish, I would be much happier!  I took his advice, and the next two years were some of the best of my life”

“We both love music and started going to shows when we could.  The first punk rock show we ever went to together was the Casualties.  We went with Amy (maid of honor) and had the best time.  (Of course, we snuck out of the fire hall to make out in the dug out for a while.)  The first big concert we went to was the Cherry Poppin Daddies, Green Day and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in 1998. We met and had our picture taken with Dicky Barrett from the Bosstones.  We displayed this picture at the wedding. Rich was really into ska in high school.  I went on a trip to NY and bought him a hat at Moon Ska Records.  He still has it.”

Obviously the wedding playlist was a vitally important part of the wedding to this couple and they spent a lot of time getting it perfect. “When coming up with the wedding playlist, we originally wanted to choose 1 song from each band we have seen live together.  But, we couldn’t find any appropriate Casualties songs!  We played 1 song by The Donna’s, my all time favorite band.  We went backstage with the Donna’s last year.  I was so excited and told my friend, ‘All I wanted to do in high school was meet the Donna’s and marry Rich Thompson! Dreams do come true.’  When we were in high school, Rich used to sing the song Totally by Screeching Weasel to me.  We used lyrics from this song on our save the date cards.  ‘Totally neat, totally sweet, totally knocked me off my feet.’  Rich’s Mom had our cake knife engrave with ‘totally neat, totally sweet.’  Rich and I both love Rancid.  We played ‘Radio’ (‘I never fell in love, til I fell in love with you.  Never knew what a good time was, til I had a good time with you!’)  We also played ‘Who would’ve thought’.”

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A Quirky, 1950’s & DIY London Wedding: Rebecca & Morgan

I fell in love with Rebecca & Morgan’s quirky wedding as soon as it landed in my inbox and I’m honoured and super excited to share it with you today…especially because they used some of my favourite suppliers (including Lisa Jane Photography and Vivien of Holloway) and well as some of the DIY project that I’ve posted on my blog. Yey!

Rebecca told me all about their fabulous wedding. “Morgan and I grew up only 8 miles apart and even went to the same secondary school; in fact he was in my sister’s year in school. However we didn’t meet each other until April 2009, believe it or not he sent me a facebook friendship request, we went for a date and a crazy year later I asked him to be my fiancé. I even commissioned a ring from the quirky designer Amber France as a surprise, he said yes (sigh of relief on my side). Our daughter Efa was born and things went on the back burner and then 7 months later on my birthday he gave me a beautiful blue opal ring, it was like a green light!”

“So we started chatting about our ideas and planning. We’re both artist so we knew our wedding would be different and would have to truly represent our characters and what we love in life. We had originally planned to have the wedding in 2013 and Morgan wanted to have it in North Wales where we’re from but things had been hard of late and I couldn’t justify spending all that money just on one day. We just had to make the difficult decision to leave London, which meant leaving all our friends and our way of life behind, so I suggested to Morgan let’s get married before we go. In the end London was where we met and where Efa was born and that was the start of our 7 weeks to plan a wedding.”

“We both wanted something fun, relaxed and most importantly something that was us. We choose our local Town hall for the ceremony and got married on a Friday. Morgan chose his local pub for the lunch, Pembury Tavern and I found The Royal Inn on the Park and rented the private room upstairs for the evening party. It was all based in the borough of Hackney where we use to live. We had a strict budget so DIY was a must but being creative types and having arty friends to get involved made it fun not a chore.”

“We did so many DIY decorations but our favourite projects were the recycled paper flowers that I got from Rock n Roll Bride. I made 57 of them and even used old vintage flower arranging books to make them.  I also enjoyed making the felt flower button holes/brooches for the wedding party; I made Morgan a sunflower to match my bouquet. Plus the badges we gave as favours, Morgan and I spent hours making around 250 badges from vintage photography, anatomy, flower arranging books which Morgan uses for his art. He purchased a badge machine couple of months before for our etsy shop DyfalDonc and it just made sense to use it for the favours.”

“I knew I was never going to wear a traditional wedding dress, I never wear white or cream and I love colour, so I choose cobalt/royal blue. I spent hours searching on the internet for a dress and end up buying my shoes first from Irregular Choice, I was in love. With the 50’s style in my shoes I knew I had to find a dress to match and went to Vivien of Holloway. After trying on a couple of dresses, even one in ivory for my Mam but not liking any, my friend Nia found it hanging on the rack hidden between other dresses the only halter neck circle dress in blue, in my size. Happy days.  She even bought it for me as my wedding present. I added French blue and royal blue petticoats underneath, made a forget-me-not felt brooch, bought a chiffon ivory bolero from Sew Cool Creations on ebay and vintage porcelain forget-me-not flower earrings at a bargain price of £2. To finish the look my friend Roxi who is also a burlesque dancer did my hair and make-up and created my wonderful headpiece.”

“We didn’t have a strict theme but we would say our wedding was 50’s, Sunflowers, Italian dinning, Badges, Vintage, Blue, Scrabble, Beer Mats, Cakes, Reggae, Welsh maps, Yorkshire puds, Curly Wurly’s, Moustaches, Retro, Bunting, Yellow, Ska and so much more.”

“The advice we would give to other bride and grooms-to-be that are planning a quick wedding on a strict budget is to make lots and lots of lists!! DIY is the way to go and get yourselves a good photographer. We’re so grateful to Kat that we found Lisa Jane Photography on Rock n Roll Bride; she’s a lovely person and a fantastic photographer. Thumbs up all round.”

“We had a brilliant time planning and organising and creating for the wedding, from the cake and sweet table, to searching for the vintage and retro fabrics for our bunting, to spending hours making our playlist for the evening party to designing our invitations. But at the end of the day it’s our friends and family that make it extra special so we just want to say thank you to them for sharing it with us.”

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A Gypsy Rocking Dancing Celebration of Love: Cole & Mike

Cole & Mike were married at The Mercury Cafe in Denver which is is actually they first met. When I asked the couple how they’d describe their wedding they replied, “A gypsy rocking vintage dancing celebration of love!”

“I don’t know if we could ever NOT do things differently, but with our wedding, this was especially important,” Cole continued. “The venue itself created a unique atmosphere. It’s this gorgeous ballroom above a local-healthy-organic-delicious cafe, and they have dancing there almost every night of the week. The place is strung with lights all over, and the walls are painted with gorgeous murals. The whole place is a bit bohemian and romantic, and in a lot of ways it dictated the style we went with-a very eclectic and romantic theme. The only thing that was really consistent throughout was. . . peacocks.”

“We had peacock feathers and peacock colors counteracting all the red tones in the room. I started collecting glass bottles a year before the wedding, and I had quite a mix on the tables, which I loved. Our family friends made these amazing peacock-fan candelabras  for the altar too! It’s funny, because we didn’t think of ourselves as ‘Rock n Roll’ until we started thinking about our outfits.”

Cole wore a stunning black and ivory Ian Stuart gown but it was actually the third one she purchased (third time lucky hey!?) “I didn’t feel comfortable wearing a white or even off-white dress. I knew I wanted something black and ivory, but I didn’t find anything I wanted. I actually purchased two VERY cheap dresses that weren’t quite right before I found this one. Only problem? I tried it on without checking the price. Yowza! Luckily, the sample was much smaller than most and was very close to my size. I inquired at the bridal shop, and they told me they would sell me the sample at 60% off. My Dad, who had cried when I tried it on, offered to buy it for me. I was so touched, and I cherished every moment I wore the dress!”

“The funny thing is, Rock n Roll Bride convinced me to get my dress!” she continued. “While I was still debating whether I should get it, I was searching for pictures of other brides who were wearing it. Lo and behold, Rock n Roll Bride came up! The bride was soooo gorgeous and so glam in that dress, I fell in love all over again! So thank you!”

The couple chose a friend who officiate their ceremony which they felt made this part of the day even more special. “We’ve known him since before we knew each other, and he’s been through a lot with us. He was incredible. He stayed with us leading up to the wedding, and that gave us time to talk about relationships, marriage, and what we expect in our shared future together. We wrote our vows with him, and he really captured the essence of who we are as a couple, as well as the expectations we were both bringing to the altar. My advice would be to choose someone who really knows you as a couple to do this job. I think it makes all the difference.”

“We had the most. incredible. ceremony. ever. My made of honor, who happens to be an AMAZING vocalist, sang several songs throughout, accompanied by my longtime family friend, Dan. My bridesmaid Lara did a reading by Kahlil Gibran, and my brother did a reading by Madeleine L’Engle, who was one of our favorite authors growing up.  We have a very emotionally-open family and circle of friends, and the love and warmth in the room was so raw and present. Maybe it’s because we’re all ‘creatives”, but I feel like this was one of the most emotionally honest gatherings I’ve ever been to. It was breathtaking to feel that kind of love and support so open and free.”

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A Weekend-Long Family Festival Wedding: Emily & Stef

If you’re a blog addict like me you may have seen some of the following images from Emily & Stef’s incredible festival wedding around the interwebs already. Emily is a wedding photographer herself and so a lot of the suppliers they used for their wedding weekend were friends as well as being exceptionally talented wedding industry peeps!

After proposing to Stef, Emily set to work planning a unique and quirky wedding to suit them and their family. Being a wedding photographer herself Emily had seen a lot of things she didn’t want for her own big day. It was important to them to have a wedding that reflected them, was chilled out and laid-back and fun for all their guests. “We had a bright, colourful, happy wedding that was all tied together with buttons,” Emily began. “We have shot weddings together for the past 5 years and wanted to have something that didn’t feel like we were at work. We also wanted an environment that was going to work well for our three children and lots of other little ones who would be at the wedding (about 27!) We both love music and festivals, so we wanted a lovely big party where everyone could relax and have fun. Someone described it as a mini summer holiday. That was the vibe.”

“There was craft, games, cake decorating, a tuck shop, two DJ set-ups, BBQ breakfasts, a sushi brunch, a hog-roast, falafel, a BYO bar, face-painting and balloons. We also really wanted to get married outside and have a humanist ceremony (something important in our lives), so Billycan Camping offered a perfect space for that too. The dress-code for the wedding was ‘please wear whatever you want so that you are comfortable in a field for a weekend but please can all the guys wear a bow tie.’ And people did just that! It was fabulous!”

The couple were legally married on the Thursday before their wedding weekend. You can see more info, photos and a cute video of this day on Steve Gerrard’s and O & C Photography‘s blogs. They photographed this part of the wedding for them.

However the day the couple consider to be their actual wedding day took place at Billycan Camping in Sussex. Emily actually found this venue after seeing this wedding on Rock n Roll Bride! As the wedding had a festival vibe, the majority of the guests camped over the nights before and after the wedding, making the whole thing a big massive weekend celebration!

Emily wore a bespoke dress made with vintage cotton lace from 1976 (the year she was born!) by Mr Christian. In the evening and for the after-party she changed the underskirt and bow from white to bright pink. Stef wore a pink suit from Aubin and Wills, but he had no idea that Emily had planned to add some pink to her outfit in the evening. It just all worked out perfectly you could say!

Almost all of the wedding decor was DIY and they bought a lot of items (crockery, picnic baskets, jars, board games) from charity shops. Emily explains, “I made lots of things before the weekend from corsages and ribbon wands to ceremony programmes and the guest book. Then on the the Friday I showed a few guests how to make the big paper flowers hanging in the yurt and they spent Saturday morning making them. We had a craft area so all the guys could make a bow tie (I really wanted all the guys to wear a bow tie!) and the ladies could make a pretty hair accessory or a corsage. My friend Charis and I made everyone a pinwheel corsage from felt and a button. There will be lots of DIY inspiration on our new lifestyle site New Homely over the next few weeks.”

“We had a do-it-yourself wedding with friends and family giving a huge amount of their help instead of traditional wedding presents. This is exactly how we wanted it to be but it’s not for the faint hearted. You have to really want a wedding like this as it takes a huge amount of planning, logistics (we hired and organized everything ourselves from the hog roast company to the main yurt, even the generators, everything apart the cake table, which we hired from Billycan Camping.)”

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without the amazing help from Paige of Paige One Events and Charley of London Bride. Paige helped me so much with making phone calls and sending emails, creating timelines and spreadsheets (with a three children under 5 this was tricky for me to do all by myself!) Both Paige and Charley were amazing on the day making sure that everything ran smoothly and co-ordinating all my friends and family so that everyone could join in and help to create the weekend of our dreams without me having to worry about a thing.”

Their wedding was photographed by the fabulous Polly Alexandre, someone who’s work both Emily & Stef have admired for a long time. “We had a first look before the ceremony by a lake near Arundel Castle. Completely amazing and perfect walking up to meet my husband-to-be through long grass in my flip flops, tapping in him on the shoulder and him turning round and seeing me for the first time in my dress. Amazing and intimate. It gave us some really special time together that we knew we wouldn’t get later with our three young children and lots of family and friends. Polly photographed it beautifully and we also took the opportunity to do our couple portraits then too, so that after the ceremony we could just go with the flow.”

The couple also employed The Wedding Reporter to come and write their wedding story for them. If you want to read more about how the day went and what it was like to actually be there, then be sure to go and check out her report on her blog (part one and part two.)

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