Tag Archives: DIY

Katelyn & Scott’s Glamorous Great Gatsby Wedding

“The Great Gatsby was my inspiration (minus the abundance of alcohol and affairs!)” bride Katelyn told me. “Our style for our wedding was very glamorous, but not without that 1920’s quirk.  I like to think my style is quirky too, so this was perfect for our wedding day.  Plus, I love fashion and culture from the past!  Now, I could never justify spending as much money on a party as Jay Gatsby, but I still wanted my reception to be as unique and fun.  So, I replaced stuffy details like flowers with more lively ideas like bright peacock feathers, and I picked a beautiful venue (that happened to be brimming with vintage touches!) where everyone would feel at home – The Guild House, Bakersfield, CA.”

“The wonderful thing about our venue too is, unlike Gatsby’s money, ours is not wasted when spent at The Guild House.  Every person working at house is a volunteer, and the proceeds benefit the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic.  The multi-course meal was delicious, and I know Gatsby would have approved!  The overflowing wine was purchased at a local grocer, Green Frog Market, and was absolutely wonderful as well!”

Katelyn wore a Maggie Sottero gown (these will always hold a special place in my heart as I was a “Maggie bride” too!) and carried a vintage brooch bouquet (some were antiques that had been in the family for over 100 years!) instead of a floral one which she made herself. The bride’s Mother made all of the centerpieces, boutonnières and other bouquets from feathers instead of flowers.

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Renae & Albert’s Rained-Off but Perfect DIY Wedding

Renae & Albert were married on 10.10.10 in Australia. Their 5 minute ceremony took place on Renae’s parent’s porch and their reception was held in a renovented old pub in Caboolture Historical Village, Australia. They were supposed to be married at a secluded park and creek at Rocksberg but due to torrential rains, it got flooded so had to be moved. “We could not even get to the suburb let alone the park,” Renae told me. “Many tears were had the day before the wedding but my parents stepped up and offered their place. They actually had a friend’s wedding there the day before ours.”

“We wrote our own vows which included Albert accepting he may come second to our dogs (on occasions) and me promising to look interested when he starts talking about tranestification of lipid analysis of fatty acids. Everyone had a laugh and it really did summarised us and our relationship.”

The bride wore a custom-made dress, made for her my a friend of her Mother. She explains “The first day I got engaged I googled ‘1950 wedding dresses’ and the first picture was the dress I wanted. It was in the UK and there was no way I could get it to Australia. A friend’s Mum offered to make it for me (along with the changes I needed) I think by the end she was not a fan of all the petticoats! I was a bit sick the week before the wedding (it was not the hen night I swear) and lost quite a bit of weight. I tried hard to put it back on (thanks hun for the pop tarts) but the dress still did not fit me as perfect as it once had. I still loved the dress and would not have changed it.” With her perfect gown she added a handmade headpiece, made for her by her sister Lucy and made from an antique brooch she brought in the Barossa Valley SA Australia.

It was important to Ranae that her bridesmaid’s were happy and comfortable. They even got to carry the cutest accessory going – Renae’s doggies! “The girls had a variety of shapes and sizes and I was stressing to get one that suited all. I found a dress I loved and that was it.   They came from a random outlet shops and I brought one for myself. One of my bridesmaids was not keen on the dress or the sizing. I called the supplier and all the stores that stocked the dresses but they were all sold out, so we were going to get them tailored. Luckily the same store had the dresses 6 months later and it was all sorted out. While on honeymoon we were in Laos and we saw another traveller wearing the same dress! The necklaces were from an amazing artist Kurt Halsey and I used some of his art around my wedding (table decorations, order of service, invites etc). I also have a tattoo of his work on my arm.”

“My three dogs (Two Chihuahuas, Pikelet and Biscuit, and Cricket the Daschund) were the girls’ accessories. They had custom black leather collars, decorated with their names in diamantes!”

The couple put a lot of effort into their reception details, DIYing most of it. Renae explained, “I made personalised nametags for everyone that included conversation starters eg. Hi my name is Renae and I am the bride.  If I was a camel would I rather eat ice cream of yoghurt? Albert is a forensic chemist so we had old chemistry glassware on the tables filled with coloured water and assorted beans. We also had a giant 20L beaker that held the order of service memos. We tried to keep it an eco green wedding wherever possible. I did not buy anything that could not be used again. My invitations were made out of recycled beer labels and we gave rosemary seedlings as wedding favours. I hand made hundreds of origami paper cranes to scatter down the isle and hang from the trees. Because of the weather we ended up handing them out and filling assorted glassware with them. We had a Photobooth! It was so awesome and it made the best guestbook.”

“We made a gag prop box and we have the funniest photos. Albert loves tequila and we had a tequila toast. Even our fathers got in on it. Lolly table! Everyone loved it. I had little bags and everyone got to take some home (except us). The wishing well. I have a small collection of vintage containers and wanted to incorporate them. I decided to use my four pack (flour, sugar, tea and salt) and label them. As Albert and myself have been living together for some time we have everything you could need. We thought it would be better for everyone to see where the cash goes so we had: Mortgage, House and Garden, Honeymoon and Shits and Giggles.”

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How To…Dress Your Flowergirls (the Rock n Roll Way)

Credit: Hampton Morrow Photography via We Heart It (Thanks to Meahgan & Vanessa for the info)

Hi Kat,

Thank you thank you thank you for your amazing website!

We’re getting married in August on a farm in Derbyshire and I have got so many wonderful ideas from your site! We are currently DIY-ing bunting and lanterns with many other things on the way! Our budget isn’t grand by any stretch of the imagination but the site has made it possible to know our wedding can still be very us and very unique without the massive price tag!

The theme is village fete – country- vintage ish! Hay bales, bunting, lanterns, wild flowers mis match china, vintage marquees etc! My other half has a vintage 3 piece tweed, I have a 1950’s lace fishtail gown that I love and can’t wait to wear! The bridesmaids are Vivien of Holloway but I’m so stuck with flower girls… Have you ever come across vintage style flower girl dresses? Everything seems so puffy and bridesmaidy (technical terms) and its not really right for the rest of it! Any ideas would be most appreciated!

Keep up the good work, you’re an inspiration!

Nichola xxx

♥  ♥  ♥

What a great question from Nichola this week. However, let’s be honest (and anybody who knows me can vouch for this!) babies. scare. me. Therefore I didn’t exactly think I was the right person to answer this dilemma…but I knew someone who was – the fabulously chic and stylish, and recent Mummy to the gorrrrgeous Reuben, Tiffany Grant-Riley of Grant-Riley Weddings. Oh and can I just take this opportunity to Tiffany for letting me hold her little Reuben at The Designer Wedding Show yesterday. When I said “yeah sure…just so you know this is the first time I’ve held a child by the way” she did look a little terrified. Sorry about that!

Hi Nichola!
Your village fete themed wedding sounds absolutely gorgeous-and you’re right, the majority of flower girl dresses are rather frilly and white to boot. Nothing wrong with that of course, but as you’re a bride looking for something a little more fun and less traditional it can be disheartening when you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Emmaline & Guy’s Two-Day Cross Country Wedding

Emmaline & Guy had a 2 day wedding – the first, a modern urban ceremony, which took place in London at The Soho Hotel and the second, a more classic and countryside reception, at Gayhurst House, Milton Keynes. “We had contemplated getting married close to where we live in London, but Gayhurst was too much of a beautiful location to miss out on, so I think this made us love our civil ceremony at Soho House even more”, explained Emmaline. “Since the hotel opened we have spent many evenings there with friends and because of my job in PR I have been to lots of private screenings in the cinema there too. With just our parents and ourselves, we had a really special day, carrying out all the legalities of the marriage before Guy and I boarded a flight to Dubai for a 5 day ‘mini-moon’, making sure we had time to relax in the sun just before the big day.”

“Because a wedding had never been hosted on the croquet lawn on the grounds before, we had a lot of additional logistics to sort, for example there was no running water for the caterers and in the days running up to the wedding we had to have a bridge erected from a neighbouring field so that the marquee, caterer and furniture could be delivered. Understandably this added a whole other dimension of stress during planning and on the day (especially when the groom and father of the bride were still trying to fix the spurting water supply 2 hours before the ceremony! However looking back, everything worked out so well and this feeling of achievement adds to the feel good factor when we reflect on our day.”


Emmaline’s wedding dress was created by Sarah Treble. She wore this with Christian Louboutin shoes and A Handmade silk hydrangea flower hairpiece to match those on the wedding dress created by Bailey Tomlin. ” The dress really was one of the most important things to me when I thought about the big day – I always had a vision of what I wanted. I spent a year ripping out pictures from catwalk shows and fashion magazines and eventually found Sarah Treble. After our first meeting I was convinced she could bring my dream to life. We then realised Sarah would be moving to Devon, a 7 hour round trip from London which would make fittings trickier than usual, but I just couldn’t imagine anyone else being able to help.”

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Heavy Metal

This rad photo set up was  put together as part of bridal show called Lavish & Fabulous. The show was designed to take bridal shows to the next level by showcasing all of the vendors in themed table top designs. This boutique style soiree allows couples to find wedding resources in a low-key, modern and fun environment.

I was sent the perfect set up for Rock n Roll Bride from this event, entitled Heavy Metal! “Think industrial meets Rock n Roll!” organiser Fearon told me. “O’Hara Metal Products, which is Fearon’s family business, was the inspiration behind this table. A touch of glamour, lots of metal and a wild dress makes this vignette ROCK! Fearon May Events was the creative designer and show producer and worked with some amazing vendors from the Sacramento area to pull it all together.”

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Jon & Evey’s Lakeside Tipi Wedding

Jon & Evey’s wedding certainly verges on the pretty, cute n quirky side of what makes a great Rock n Roll wedding. As I’ve said so many times before, I love seeing how my kind of couples let their personalities shine through their big day and this pair have certainly done that in spades!

This September wedding was held at Cornish Tipi Holidays, a unique venue choice (and a brave one I might add – UK outdoor weddings always make me fret – what if it rained?!) The choice was perfect for them and their English country garden style affair though…and the weather was perfect. “We tried to do most of the organising ourselves,” explained Evey. “We had a blank canvas at the Tipi village so could decorate it in our own way. We used mostly natural items or reused bits and pieces – e.g. corks, old material, children’s books. We spent a lot of time making sure there was enough activities for the children to play with therefore parents = happy.”

The guests were all able to stay on site after the wedding which also worked out great as people could catch up the next day too. The couple organised a BBQ by the lake for everyone. “We all had the same experience staying under canvas, a short walk home and a beautiful lake to swim in the next morning. We organsied a BBQ brunch the next day so we had the opportunity to chat and catch up with people properly,” the bride said.

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