Tag Archives: DIY

Anna Lee & Jeremy’s Vintage-Inspired DIY Wedding

Anna Lee & Jeremy were engaged and married within 3 1/2 months. After Anna Lee moved away to teach in Rwanda, the couple realised they couldn’t live without each other and set a wedding date before she’d even come back. Even though they we’re technically already engaged, when Anna Lee returned after 10 months, Jeremy proposed properly and did so in the car park of their favourite restaurant because he couldn’t wait one second longer!

Anna Lee told me all about their vintage-inspired DIY wedding. “I think I would describe our wedding as DIY vintage and it wouldn’t have been possible to put together a wedding on a budget in 3 months without the help of my awesome family and friends. The only “vendors” we hired were the DJ and photographer. I hit up every craft store, thrift shop, and dollar store in the area.  My Mom, sister, and I made everything: the invitations and programs, bridesmaid’s bouquets, boutonnieres, and decorations. I created the mothers wrist corsages out of fabric hair pieces from Forever21. The only flowers used were babies breath, purchased from a local grocery store. Instead of large floral arrangements at the reception, I bought manzanita branches online, spray painted them black, and attached tissue paper flowers and moss. A local landscaping nursery let us borrow two small trees we set up inside to soften the reception hall area. We saved a ton of money on flowers this way!”

“Each of our centerpieces featured old wedding photos of our family members and it was very special to be able to include them in this way. My Dad built a wall covering to go over an ugly door at the entrance of the reception and we attached old mirrors and white cabinet doors to it for a unique backdrop. I painted several old chairs from my great-grandparents house and placed them around the reception hall to add to the “vintage” feel. My Dad also built the ceremony arch and enlisted the help of several family friends to help us set up everything on the wedding day. Our beautiful event lighting was a gift from family friends that have a business in landscape lighting and it completely transformed the reception area!”

With time not on their side, getting a dress custom-made was out of the question for Anna Lee. Instead she found one on sale and customised it herself. ” I wanted a dress that was different from any dress I’d ever seen, but since we were engaged and married within only 3 1/2 months, ordering something specially made for me was out of the question. After searching a million bridal shops, I found a last season 2BeBride dress that was half price! I made the black sash out of ribbon and netting that had actually been tied around one of my shower gifts – it was exactly what I was looking for and it was FREE!”

Anna Lee & Jeremy planned the perfect wedding for them and they wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. Just goes to show that a little bit of imagination and a whole lotta love and you can create the wedding of your dreams in no time at all! “During the wedding planning, it was easy to feel stressed out about completing all the DIY projects and stay within the budget,” Anna Lee concluded. “Wedding blogs like Rock n Roll Bride were such a inspiration in trying to pull everything together! We didn’t want “the norm” for weddings in our area and several people who heard some of our ideas before the wedding seemed a little shocked because it wasn’t what they were used to. But I’m so glad we didn’t change anything because it was perfect for us, and after the wedding many of our guests couldn’t stop talking about how unique and special the ceremony was.”

“A DIY wedding is a whole lot of work, but completely worth it! Our wedding really felt like a personal event, not put together by random vendors but truly a time of celebration with family and sweet friends.”

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Alison & Aaron’s Riverside Retreat Wedding

Alison & Aaron’s beautiful June wedding was held at Rancho Cicada Retreat in Plymouth, CA. The bride wore a gorgeous blue number by Jessica Hinel Designs and shoes by Seychelles.

The Groom arrived to the ceremony by in style – by boat – although the bride only heard about this afterwards. The ceremony took place under a chupah that was originally a bedspread that 13 other couples in Aaron’s family have gotten married under which made the whole thing even more special. The service was officiated by Alison’s brother and Aaron’s cousin and they had their closest family and friends create their own blessings in place of the traditional 7 blessings.

“Our friends and family did so much,” Alison told me. “We provided 4 uncatered meals – our friends and family cooked/prepared them all. They did all the decoration, put the chupah up, made our cake, organized the Friday night talent show, bought and arranged all the gorgeous flowers, made my dress, did my hair, tied Aaron’s tie, drove shuttles and so much more. Our wedding could not have happened without them!”

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Millet & Hendrick’s Hand Picked, DIY Wedding

Millet & Hendrick’s wedding was held at Sonya’s Garden Country Bed & Breakfast, Tagaytay City, Philippines. With a sister who’s a wedding planner and events stylist, the bride (who is a fashion stylist herself!) was certainly in good hands when it came to creating the perfect day for her and her fiancé.

“I followed my instincts and searched all the details,” the bride told me when I asked for her main inspiration. “We didn’t spend much, but the overall effect was satisfactory to me and my husband. The guests went wild when they were advised that they can take home the centrepieces!”

Millet hand picked and put together all the flowers – from the bouquets to the centrepieces, “I like how unconventional the Parrot Tulips looked, so I had them on my bouquet. The Mom’s wore Paper Roses bib neckpieces, the Principal Sponsors wore Alstroemeria neck pieces and the Female Sponsors had fresh Carnation belt accents” she explained.

“Sourcing everywhere is key – from Flea Markets, to big and small stores, to Google!” continued Millet. “I am fond of Desserts so I wanted a table full of Desserts galore. I shared what I enjoy seeing and eating with this event. It was a fun feast where my husband and I showcased our talents.”

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Offbeat & Alternative Floral Inspiration

“We had the idea for a Rock n Roll themed stylized wedding shoot and one of our former client was perfect for it!” explained photographer Jessica. “MJ is a local tattoo artist and amazing painter. We set up in an apple orchard on a fall day and had a mix of vintage glass, flowers, instruments and an old radio from the 1930’s. The shoot was styled by our assistant and partner-in-crime Brooke Biette and flowers were provided by the amazing Judy Bourgeois of Flora Fauna. The bottom of the bouquet even had a record that was melted down to go around it.”

“The couple began the shoot in a vintage wedding dress and suit in the orchard and as it got darker their craziness came out and they changed into a long black dress and black tux with chain belt and red sneakers.  They were rocking the poses too!”

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Teresa & Mat’s Colourful & Fun, Vegan Wedding

Teresa & Mat had my favourite style of wedding – colourful, fun and not-too-serious. In fact as soon as I saw these gorgeous images a big fat grin spread across my face and I can’t wait to share that feeling with you all too.

To keep the day personal, the couple were married in Teresa’s parent’s back garden. The reception was held at Red Brick Theater, Adel, IA.

Teresa wore a dress by Amanda Archer whom  she found on Etsy. “I found her a year before our wedding, fell in love with her dresses and I could not wait to ask her to make mine,” Teresa explained. “There was one problem, she lived in Portland and we lived in Chicago. Amanda was amazing to work with. She sent me swatches of fabric and took my measurements over email. She made the dress in Portland and I waited anxiously at home.”

“About months before the wedding I received an email from Amanda saying they were relocating to Chicago!! It was such an amazing turn of events. A month before the wedding I went to Amanda’s studio and tried my dress on. It fit like a glove. I don’t know how she made it just perfect for me without even meeting me, she’s just that amazing. I also had Amanda make my birdcage veil, an item I am so glad I went with. I love my husband, but I still have a secret crush on my dress.”

With her perfect dress Teresa wore flat, yellow, vegan shoes from BCBG and a veil, also made by Amanda Archer.

“Our wedding was complete vegan. We come from a background of animal rights and so do most of our friends. We found is completely necessary for our wedding to be vegan. Displaying our love for one another is a commitment we hold deeply, but so showing our respect for non-human animals. My dress and my husbands suit where made without the use of animal materials. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen all wore vegan attire as well. Our wedding cake, cupcakes, and root beer floats were all vegan. The soy Ice Cream for our wedding came from Chicago Soy Dairy!”

“Mat and I actually met through music,” the bride told me. “We met one night after an Earth Crisis show. I mean how much more vegan straight edge can you get then that. When it came to our wedding we wanted it to reflect who we are and who our friends are. We encouraged people to show off their tattoos and bring ipods full of their favorite songs. Picking out music for our wedding was probably the hardest part. It had to be just right and represent us as a couple. We hired a four string quartet and bought them sheet music, so they could play songs we loved such as; Baby Elephant Walk (ha!), All of My Love by Led Zeppelin, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison, and the opening song to my all time favorite hardcore CD; Reflections by Trial.”

“It was not just the music that made our wedding different. The people we wanted to be in the wedding and help out with the wedding had to hold our beliefs. We asked our good friend Carey to marry us, a vegan straight edge icon (She may hate me for putting that.) We hired Matt Miller and Reagan Powell to photograph our wedding. We chose Matt because we felt his style best represent our outlook on life. We wanted unique photos that also showed what a beautiful and amazing day it was.”

“Is there anything else you would like to add?” I asked…”CANNONBALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” she replied.

Haha I love it!

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Anthony & Stephanie’s Sydney Harbour Wedding

Anthony & Stephanie were married in November in Sydney and had the wonderful and exceptionally talented Jonas Peterson to shoot their wedding. When Jonas emailed me to let me know he had a new wedding to share with me he didn’t have to ask me twice if I wanted to blog it or not! Regular readers will know I am a big (massive, enormousness) fan of Jonas and his work so it’s an absolute pleasure to feature this gorgeous wedding on these here pages.

The ceremony took place at St Peter Chanel (“oh yes I had a designer’s name in the title of MY church HA” laughed the bride) in Woolwich, Australia. After the ceremony the guests were treated to a boat ride across the Sydney harbour to Aqua Dining – a restaurant with the quintessential Sydney view – for the reception.

Stephanie excitedly told me all about their perfect day, “Just that it really was THE most magical day. Especially the weather. Sydney’s weather had been really crapola the week leading up to the Sunday. After stressing about it for weeks prior, I resolved that the weather would be what it would be. And it was what it was….TRULY AMAZING.”

“On the day the girls and I arrived early to the church….(um who does that? The one time you CAN be late and I was 15 mins early) the sky was blue and there was not a cloud in the sky. The ceremony was just the right length, not too long and stuffy as church weddings can, be but also not so short you left the guests wondering when exactly during the mass you said ‘I Do’. As we are both musical theatre performers, we had our pick of singers. Friends we had worked with, admired close up and from afar. All the music was arranged by superstar musical director extraordinaire Max. Our good friend Amy sang “Love Is a Big Deal” as I walked down the aisle and a beautiful rendition of “My Romance”. The whitest black man I know, Cameron sang a John Legend song “Stay With You” as we signed the registry and then the icing on the nuptial cake were his lead vocals during the recessional. A Stevie Wonder classic close to our hearts, “As”. The biggest surprise set up by my husband was the support choir singing back up for Cameron. All of our dear friends who were singers stood up and sang joyously as we exited our designer church in full voice. It was the most glorious, reverent, romantic sound I have been privileged to hear.”

“It was then treat time for our guests. You know that lengthy, awkward time between a wedding ceremony and the beginning of a reception? Sometimes people go to the pub in their finery, others head back to the hotel room to kick off their shoes for a sneaky nanna nap before the drinking starts. Not at our wedding you don’t. I liked the idea of everyone travelling to the reception together. I think it keeps the whole day bubbling along and you can get to know some of the other small, select and privileged few that were invited (HA). So what did we do? Not cab charges I hear you gasp? Not a red, open-air bus for our friends and family did you say? Oh heavens no. We hired a lah-di-dah boat to transport our wedding guests to the reception, combined that with shut-up amazeballs weather AND free-flowing alcohol all on the most famous harbour in (I think) the world. Now tell me you don’t want to be a guest to THAT wedding!”

“My bridesmaids were the absolute bomb. Nicola (MOH) was a craft queen machine, she & Jay spent countless hours glueing and cutting out paper for the place settings whilst pluggin me with wine, theyhelped me shop for all the bridesmaids accessories, all 3 gals Nicola, Jay & Nikki audibly ‘oohed’ and ‘aahhhed’ at my dress fittings. Nic made a speech at my wedding that made me laugh and cry and her greatest feat was organising the most fabulous girly Hen’s weekend away in wine country Hunter Valley NSW. For myself and 10 other girls that we SWEAR we are going to uphold as tradition every year. Legend.”

“Ant and I are actors, so immediately people think that we are going to be “out there” and have crazy wild nudie runs during the reception. As appealing as that sounds, we are simple folk that like to put our own stamp on things. Many people get caught up in the details of their wedding day. Everything has to be ‘perfect’. Don’t get me wrong I’m as much a perfectionist as the next asian bride but I believe that your wedding day is about you and your soulmate, sharing a pretty important lifelong commitment to each other in front of the people you care about the most.”

“Our photos weren’t particularly “traditional” as weddings go, we just had fun and the brilliant Jonas cleverly documented it all. He really captured the essence of the day and the personalities of each and every person he snapped. It was pretty Rock n Roll for us. I feel like we manifested the things we wanted on the day, great weather, precious company, mouth-watering food and drink and copious amounts of love. We put it out there and got it all, right down to the last detail.”

Ready to swoon at the rest of the photos? Check them out after the ‘jump’…

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