Tag Archives: DIY

A Gothic Masked Ball: Debs & Sean

Sean & Deb’s masked ball wedding took place at the beginning on November at Brownsover Hall Hotel, Brownsover, Rugby. “We stumbled on the venue by accident after previously reserving two other venues”, the bride told me. “We were on our way up to my parents for christmas and made a detour to see the hall – it was amazing! Gothic, yet romantic. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw the giant Elk’s skull in the entrance hall!”

The venue fitted their wedding theme perfectly – slightly gothic and masqueradey (I’m pretty sure I just made up that word) with a 1920’s/30’s vibe.

“We were never going to have a conventional wedding – it’s just not us,” Debs continued. “Our original idea was to have a viking themed wedding, but we knew that we would have to agree on something that guests would be happy to take part in (and I really couldn’t see my Dad wearing leather and horns to walk me down the aisle!) I am obsessed with the 20’s/30’s/40’s, I think I must have been a wartime wife in a past life so when Sean presented me with my 1920’s engagement ring everything just seem to slot perfectly into place.”

“The 20’s and 30’s were so glamourous, it would give guests the perfect opportunity to dress up without feeling uncomfortable. We decided it would be like a country house party with a touch of romantic gothic…and then we decided we wanted to make it mysterious so added the masked ball element to the day and night. We just had to have the ceremony in masks! One of the best men did phone up one night though and said he had been thinking and the wedding would be like the upper deck of the Titanic in the day, and the lower deck in the evening….he wasn’t far wrong!”

Asking the guests to dress to fit their theme was something the couple thought long and hard about as they knew it would make their wedding really special. “I know some guests found it difficult knowing what to wear, so after a conversation with Sean’s Mum stating his gran was coming dressed as a goth, I knew I had to try and help those who were struggling,” Debs laughed. “I did my own blog, updating it everyday for the three weeks running up to the wedding, suggesting outfits, accessories, make up and inspirations. It worked! The wedding wouldn’t have been half as good without all the effort our guests made with their outfits. When I walked down the aisle and everyone had their masks on I was awestruck, and after the ceremony, when we were greeted by all our guests I turned to Sean and said ‘It really does look like a 1920’s houseparty…the guests look incredible’.”

Debs wore a dress made for her by Liliia. Having a custom made gown really doesn’t have to be an expensive option is you do your research. After the ceremony the bride crowd-surfed over the guests (in her full wedding attire) which certainly made for some much more Rock n Roll photographs than the traditional confetti shot!

Despite the opulent outcome, the wedding cost the couple less than £6000. “So much of our wedding was DIY as we wanted to put our stamp on it as much as possible. We are quite quirky and artistic so we did have loads of fun dying tags with tea bags, making button holes with feathers, drying out rose petals for months on end…plus we got to spend lots of time in antique shops, vintage stores and car boots which is a favourite past time! I would warn DIY brides that handmaking everything is very time consuming, but worth every second! I think another important factor is the venue. Be aware of your budget and barter! Also, we wanted a venue that looked authentic throughout so we wouldn’t have to spend too much on decorating the place.”

“We knew we wanted 20/30’s events for the table names so I decided to do a little explaination as well so guests knew how they were relevant to the wedding. The keys and luggage name tags added a touch of gothic to the tables. We made the confetti cones out of stained music sheets and we dried all the rose petals ourselves (donated by friends and family throughout the summer!)”

I adore this couple and this wedding don’t you? I’m so excited to share it with you today so thank you to the amazing Sassy of Assassynation for sending over her photos this week. Of Sassy, the bride said, “I found Sassy by accident on a bridal chat room and from the moment I met her I knew she was the photographer for us. She was totally on our wave length and we booked her even before we had found a venue and named a date! I would truthfully have chosen a wedding date based on Sassy’s availability as we were so confident she was the photographer for us!”

They also had Frank of Sassy ‘n’ Frank on board to shoot their fabulous wedding video…

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A Homemade Back Garden Wedding: Philip & Katie-Jane

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Philip & Katie-Jane had a handmade wedding in the bride’s parent’s back garden. They hired a tipi and decorated the whole garden with the things they love – creating a really magical looking space. They even converted the shed into ‘The Poppy Red Shed’ (Poppy Red is a bar in Birmingham which the bride and groom first met) which they stocked with local ales, spirits and liquours.

“With the bride being in fashion (Senior footwear designer for KG for Kurt Geiger) it was always going to be different kind of wedding,” the couple told me. “We wanted to make sure there was less formality and more personality. Using personal inspiration and the bride’s vision we focused on what the guests would experience and how that would make us feel. The sun came out as soon as the wedding couple stepped into the garden and the day just got better and better.”

There were so many DIY elements of this wedding, as the couple continued to explain, “All the invites were handmade, handkerchiefs stamped with the details wrapped in a doilie posted with a portrait stamp of the bride and groom. We also made the teacup chandelier hovering over the top table. The cake table was brought together by several guests bringing their own cakes to share although the main wedding cake nearly got eaten before it had even been cut!”

“The bride made all the ‘winecup’ favours herself, a wineglass stem with a teacup on top. The women guests (and some men) were in awe and the race was on to ensure they all got to take one home. The pewter tankards were a massive success, again collected from car boots, family and friends. It took the men about 10 minutes to get them and that was it for the rest of the night. We had a flipcam passed round the tables and it was one of the happiest hours ever after the wedding watching all the guests enjoying the food, drink and each other.”

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Katie-Jane wore two dresses – the first by Vera Wang and the second, a vintage gown from Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. She also wore Miu Miu shoes and vintage jewellery.

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A Black Wedding Dress, A Traditional Church Wedding & A Burlesque Themed Reception: Scarlet & Craig

Scarlet & Craig’s wedding wowed me as soon as I spied that dress. I was so excited to be able to share this incredible Goth extravaganza and luckily for you lot, so were the newlyweds. In fact Craig’s reply when I emailed him back saying ‘Yes yes, hell yes (ps your wife is hot)’ was something along the lines of ‘OMG so excited that you’re going to feature us!!! Squeeee’.

“I’d never really thought about my wedding day growing up, so when Craig proposed on a trip to Amsterdam (with a tattoo that simply said ‘Marry Me’ on his wrists!) I was thrown into a bit of a panic!” Scarlet explained. “But as soon as we started planning we knew we wanted to do things our own way. Luckily we found Rock n Roll Bride, which made us realise there really are no ‘rules’ for a wedding, and then we just went all out! We didn’t start out with one, but as we went along we developed a kind of pink and black gothic fairytale theme, pink being my favourite colour, and black being Craig’s!”

“We didn’t have a huge budget, and didn’t want to waste money on things that people ‘expect’ to have at weddings which arent really necessary (for us, flowers were one of these things!) It took some convincing my parents that the bridesmaids would look great in £35 high street dresses and Primark shoes, and that the best men didn’t need buttonholes! Wherever possible we enlisted the help of friends and family, from the dress to the cake to the reception decor and catering. I’m a make up artist so I did my own hair and makeup, and I let the bridesmaids have free reign with their looks as I didn’t want them to look to ‘matchy’.”

As I said above, Scarlet’s dress was what really caught my attention when I first saw this wedding…and it turns out I wasn’t the only one! “The theme for the wedding really revolved around my dress, which was designed and handmade by the amazingly talented Kim Denman,” the bride continued. “I knew straight away that I would never find anything in a bridal dress shop, so didn’t even bother looking! Kim is a family friend who is based in LA, but also has a house in Hastings. I approached her about making the dress, and after an initial brain storming session, we decided on a kind of 50’s underwear themed colour scheme of dusty pink and black, with plenty of feathers, beads, and netting thrown in! Oh, and a massive stuffed pink bow on the back! I travelled to Hastings several times for fittings, but unfortunately didn’t get to accompany the dress on it’s trips to LA and back! Several times during the fitting process I wondered whether I’d taken it too far (my Mum was particulaly against the idea of a black dress) but in the end everyone loved it, even our most conservative guests and (suprisingly) our Vicar!”

After a ceremony at St Mary’s Church, the reception as held at The Suffolk Barn. “We instantly loved the idea of having the reception in a barn, and wanted a venue where we could create exactly what we wanted. Luckily we found the amazing 14th Century Suffolk Barn in Hawstead. The owner only allows a handful of events to be held there each year, and it has pretty much been left with all its original features, meaning it was a blank canvas for our ideas. My Dad is a production designer for film and TV, and without him, we could never have created anything so magical as our reception decor. From the fairy lit trees guiding the way to the entrance, to the handmade globes of foliage and pink ribbon hanging from the ceiling, to the enormous gilt frame that made our stage look absolutely surreal, he worked so hard (along with my brother and cousins) to make the venue look like something from a fairytale! The colour theme from my dress popped up everywhere: the beautiful cake made by my extremely talented cousin Maddie even had the lace design from the dress incorporated into it.”

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DIY Tutorial: Owl Wedding Lanterns

Today’s tutorial isn’t one you might expect to be wedding related and it’s certainly not one that everyone’s going to want to try and create, but I just loved Kat Cameron‘s owls so much I had to share! I don’t know about you, but these really made me smile.

Over to you Kat, Wit Wooooo!

My whole wedding was owl themed. It all started when I drew two owls on a tandem bike for our wedding invites. I’m a bit of a bird geek and the owl theme continued and appeared as labels on wine as well as a limited edition print for each guest. My wedding was tiny with only 22 people, and we had a fantastic time in at the game reserve for 3 days of natural heaven.

Supplies Needed

2 types of metal wire -1 thin and flexible, the other thicker but also flexible
1 pair of pliers
Small coloured beads of your choosing (make sure they can be threaded onto the thin wire)
Wallpaper glue
Newsprint or tissue paper

Method

Step 1: Start by forming the outline shape of the owl, and joining the two ends of the wire by twisting a length of thin wire around both, securing them together.

Step 2: Attach a wire circle to the owl form, creating a 3 dimensional body and head. The number of “wire body circles” depends on the height of your owl. For mine, which was small, I created three.

Secure each ring to the owl frame with the thin bendy wire. Create “supports” by linking up the circles with other pieces of wire that run vertically, from the head down. You can create as many circles and supports as you like, the more you have, the more sturdy your owl will be. You can see in the larger owls made for my wedding that the body form had more wire structuring.

Step 3: Create the eyes by spiralling the ends of a length of wire and attaching it across the front of the owl’s face.

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A Beautiful Handmade French Wedding: Sophie & Julien

Sophie & Julien’s family-central wedding was held in the Cote d’Or region of Burgandy, France, in a house build by Sophie’s Grandfather. The ceremony took place at the local town hall and the reception at the family home.

“The wedding was from start to finish a family affair,” Sophie explained. “The house was spruced up for the occasion with my Mother being the driving force behind all the sanding, painting, repairing etc.  Julien’s Mother came out to help as well as my Sisters, Cousins, Brother’s in Law etc!  My Sisters and I spent months looking up ideas and images on various blogs with all details being put to parents, friends etc.  The lanterns came from a friend of mine in Montreal who does decoration for cinema.  She had to create a wedding scene so I bought them off her and added them to the suitcases of various family members who were in Canada visiting to take to France.”

“Our biggest motivator was that the wedding would be fun, elegant relaxed as well,” the bride continued. “We wanted the atmosphere to be happy, friendly and warm – like our families!  Having the reception at my family home in Burgundy was very special…the house was built by my great, great Grandfather and so it is steeped in family memories.”

“The decoration was all hand-made and here are some of the things we did…My Sisters sewed metres and metres of bunting and collected bits of lace which they used to decorate the pear tree under which we got married. My Dad and Julien’s good friend put up all the lighting and lanterns, my close friend and my Brother’s in Law created wreaths and put up hundreds of fairy lights in the trees. We washed and wired loads of jam jars which were hung from trees as candle lanterns.”

“Julien and I designed the invitations and place cards which we had screen-printed in Montreal. Julien’s parents made endless trips to supermarkets, cheese shops, stations, DIY shops to get weird and wonderful provisions, we collected old doilies, lacy tablecloths which we set up on outside tables and chairs for general lounging and smoking. My Sister and her boyfriend helped us find some old frames in which we added some old maps as backing board to our hand-written table plans, they then hung them outside from the arbour we have in the garden – they looked amazing!”

“We bought over mini packets of almonds cooked in maple syrup as favours. My friend and my Step-Mum weeded the driveway, made countless cups of coffee and tea as well as litres of Kir made with local cassis. My Mum made about 12 quiches and other goodies for our next-day brunch and she also made tweaks to my wedding dress, made the vintage lace into a shawl, hand-knitted a alpaca shawl for when it got cold and generally was a superstar! I think I have gone on long enough, needless to say it was a massive group project and it all went without a flaw!”

Sophie’s dress was Custom Designed with Canadian Designer Véronique Miljkovitch. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted a dress that was different and initially I was sure I would find a vintage dress. I found my dress almost accidentally – my Mother was in Montreal visiting me for a couple of weeks and Julien managed to get her to take me to a local designer who is a friend of a friend.  The idea was that I would unknowingly pick out a dress for my birthday present…little did he know that on this surprise shopping trip, I ended up finding my wedding dress!”

“I tried on a dress that was beautiful and my Mother and I instantly could imagine it as a wedding dress.  We asked Véronique the designer whether she would be interested in custom-making it in off-white with a few tweaks here and there and she agreed!  From then on it was a series of secret visits, fabric hunts, fittings. Véronique’s dress was perfect and incidentally has a vintage feel to it!  I decided not to go with a veil but I completed the look with a piece of vintage lace around my shoulders (I found it in a second-hand shop with my Mother in Montreal during another visit a year later!) and shoes that I already had by Mine de Rien.  My beautiful jewellery was created by my sister Dominique with gold chain, non-dyed sapphires and quartz.”

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A Halloween, Day of the Dead & Bonfire Night Themed Wedding: Jennifer & Ian

Jennifer & Ian were married on Halloween so their day had a distinct theme to fit the time of year. “We wanted the wedding to have all the components of a ‘normal’ wedding but be personal to us,” the bride told me. “We both love Halloween, Day of the Dead and bonfire night and so decided to incorporate all three into a super-theme!”

“We wanted to make as much as we could ourselves, and to make the day as relaxed and enjoyable for everyone else.,” she continued. “We wanted a bonfire with jacket potatoes and toffee apples. The rest of the wedding was built up around that.”

“I made most of the decorations myself, but had some help from my friend Sharon and my Mum on the tissue paper Mexican picado’s. They were very time consuming to cut as the designs I chose were very intricate! But they were well worth the effort as they transformed a traditional bland-ish room into a Mexican festival!”

The couple booked Hannah Millard to photograph their wedding after seeing her featured on Rock n Roll Bride. “Hannah was absolutely amazing, she breezed in at the crack of Dawn and it was like I had known her for years,” Jennifer said. “After talking to her over emails I knew we would get on as we share the same ideas and principles on photography and weddings! What I didn’t expect was for Hannah to integrate with everyone else so easily, and to be a constant reassuring comfort to me throughout the day. She was so unobtrusive and took spectacular shots of our day.”

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