Tag Archives: DIY

A Fun Fair & Carnival Themed Wedding: Julie & Jaques

I’ve known about Julie & Jaques’ wedding for a long time because the bride’s sister and maid of honour is one of my best friends, wedding photographer Shell de Mar! I’ve been hearing all the exciting details of the wedding plans for so long and now I’m thrilled to not only see the results but to share them with you guys too.

The wedding took place in Melbourne. The ceremony was held on the rooftop of the Arcadia Hotel and the quirky and cute reception was at Garage Cafe, Carlton.

“We started with a simple ceremony, focusing on just us and our love toward each other. In fact, we love ‘us’ so much that we had our faces everywhere in the crowd, as part of the ceremony program,” Julie laughed. “We decided on a fun fair theme for our reception from quite early on. Before we planned on anything else, we knew we wanted something über fun. And nothing screams fun like a fun fair! So we turned Garage Cafe into a carnival and we were the hosts!”

The couple put a lot of work into their wedding details with personal touches and fun treats for their guests at every opportunity! “We had a candy bar buffet with take-home lolly jars, cupcakes with a big top as the top cake, big tops as table centrepieces and a seating plan and festoon lights and bunting. An ice cream van arrived during dessert time with music on.”

“We also had a photobooth with silly props. Supposedly we are both quite vain (!) so the very first thing that we booked and paid for was the photo booth! We chose In The Booth as our supplier and it was the perfect choice! Our guests had heaps of fun taking silly pictures with fun props. It was definitely one of the highlights for many of our lovely guests.”

DIY and crafts a-plenty was also the name of this wedding planning game, with the bride, groom and their friends and family getting stuck in to create as much as possible themselves. “We did pretty much everything ourselves, with the help of a multitude of friends,” Julie continued. “I designed most things from name tags to bunting patterns to invitations but Jaques came out with awesome ideas once in a while, such as the photo program fan. Many of my girl friends helped fold origami hearts out of colourful wedding magazines donated from previous brides. Jaques and the boys set up festoon lights and other decorations few days before the big day.”

“We wanted to throw an awesome party to celebrate our big day with the awesomest people in our lives,” the bride concluded when I asked about their wedding theme and inspiration. “It was really as simple as that. We love the fact that every wedding is unique, and so we tried our best to show who we are through our own wedding. This meant a fun filled day with heaps of things to keep everyone entertained.”

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A Homemade Whitstable Wedding: Sinead & Dan

Sinead & Dan were married in Whitstable at Beacon House, with a reception afterwards at the groom’s parent’s house. The great thing about Beacon House is that it’s one of the only wedding venues in the UK that’s licensed for an almost outdoor wedding, on the porch of the house, overlooking the beach. However it’s a small venue, hence why like a lot of couples Sinead & Dan moved to another venue for their reception.

Beacon House is the most beautiful house, we fell in love with it and Katrina the owner as soon as we arrived for the first visit,” the bride told me. “We married on the veranda with just 20 of our closest friends and family, with the beach as our backdrop. Instead of an aisle, I walked along the seafront to meet Dan at the top of the stairs, while a guitar and sax played. It was perfect, even if there was a 70yr old man in teeny tiny Speedos sunbathing on the beach while the ceremony took place! Our reception was in Dan’s parent’s garden. We found that a lot of venues imposed a lot of rules, you had to use their caterers, their bar service, corkage charges, end times, car parking etc. Having it at home gave us so much freedom and it felt so comfortable being there.”

The couple made their wedding their own with all the personal touches and details. Most things were collected over the years by trawling car boot sales and second hand shops and were things they already owned. They also found a lot of items on etsy or were handmade by friends. “We wanted a small intimate handmade wedding and an amazing reception – great music, great food with exciting and interesting decor. We are so lucky living in Whitstable, with a close-knit community of amazing businesses, I was keen to source everything as local as possible.”

“We wanted our friends and family to come to our wedding and feel as they would if they were on holiday; relaxed, comfortable and ready to have fun,” Sinead explained. “We had a marquee in the garden, but I was keen to make it less marquee like, so we covered the walls of the marquee in deck chair fabric and dotted some choice 1950s style furniture around. I absolutely loved the detail in the planning, and sourcing just the right things…we served the bubbly in Babycham glasses that I had collected over the year and I used lots of 50s children’s annuals and board games as centre pieces and to decorate the furniture and it just wouldn’t have been right without the ‘Kiss Me Quick, Squeeze Me Slow’ hats for the photobooth.”

“We had sticks of rock and cones of fish and chips as favours with a raffle in the evening! Our friend made us our very own seaside peep board as a wedding present, which provided hours of entertainment. I loved looking around and seeing our friends and family smiling, laughing and taking pleasure in all the detail, the details that me and Dan had so much fun gathering and putting together.”

Sinead wore a Candy Anthony wedding dress and it was the first wedding dress that she tried on! “As soon as it was on I knew I had to get married in it,” she continued. “I always knew I wanted a tea-length dress, that 50s look is just so feminine and pretty. I wanted a huge petticoat underneath, it just felt so much fun and really girly. It was also important to me to have a dress that gave me freedom to move, I wanted to cuddle people and I wanted to dance the night away. The slightly shorter length was perfect for that. I’ve heard about a lot of brides that looked amazing on their day but couldn’t move a lot or sometimes even breath very well – I don’t understand that logic. The Candy Anthony dress also allowed me to create a different look in the evening, I took off the sash and lace overlay. I had a tiny bow belt to put on and a matching pillbox hat, I found a blue cashmere cardigan to put on top. I love my dress so much and the girls at Candy Anthony are so lovely!”

“Someone said to me recently, that they wondered if homemade weddings like mine and the weddings that feature on blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride, put pressure on brides to make everything themselves and find newer and more creative ideas,” Sinead concluded. “I felt quite pissed off about this (particularly as the person works in the industry) because in my experience it was the exact opposite. I think there is so much pressure on brides full stop, but particularly at the beginning when everyone is offering their ideas, hopes and sometimes expectations of your wedding. I felt a certain amount of pressure to do things a certain way – the traditional way. Blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride reassured me and encouraged me to make our wedding exactly how we wanted it. Having the freedom to be able to put our personality into our wedding was incredible and I think forums that showcase these weddings, simply inspire and reassure other brides. It’s not about keeping up with others it’s about realising it’s ok to put your stamp on your wedding and a great place for idea sharing!”

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A Horror Movie Themed Wedding: Catinka & Dennis

Being huge movie buffs, the theme for Catinka & Dennis’ wedding had to be set around their biggest passion – horror films! They were keen to make sure the wedding didn’t end up looking like a cheesy Halloween party though, so they DIY’ed and crafted their way through the planning process.

“The challenge for our wedding was that the horror themed decor should look nice, colourful and stylish but also fit the theme,” the bride Catinka told me. “We made Ouija board placemats and as favours every guest received a survival box with useful stuff in case they ever had to survive a classic horror movie situation. It was filled with matches (to see in a dark basement or to use as a weapon), chalk (to mark your way back), a whistle (to draw attention) and some other stuff like that.”

“We didn’t have traditional dinner but a pizza buffet with pizza boxes (no plates, you know, like at a real movie night). We also came up with a survival training game as most of our family are not massive horror geeks like us! We prepared various tables with written instructions for little games and tasks.”

“The games included jump rope to get in shape (to be able to run away from murders or monsters obviously…) throw balls on cans (in order to learn how to aim) and even had a fishing game with little horror puppets that needed to be correlated to the movies they were taken from. Our guests loved them and it really kept them entertained! We’re not big fans of dancing so we didn’t want our entertainment to be a band”

The evening was concluded with all the guests being served fresh popcorn and nachos and everyone sitting down for a The Bride of Frankenstein. I just love love love this idea!

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A Simple Wedding in the Family Home: Keegan & Vanessa

The backyard wedding of Keegan & Vanessa literally melted my heart as soon as I saw it. I love love love all the personal touches in the photos which came from the wedding being held in a family home. In fact as soon as it landed in my inbox I was dying to share it so I’m thrilled that today’s the day to do so!

The wedding took place on 11th February. The ‘at home’ location made the whole day really intimate and really personal. The groom is actually the brother of Amber, one of the photographers, which again, made the whole event special. The ceremony was small, held in the back garden, with only close family in attendance. Friends then joined for the reception.

The day had a real homespun indie vibe. Everything from the stationery to the catering to the cake was made by either the couple or their family.

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A DIY Brazilian Wedding: Marcela & Paulo

Marcela & Paulo’s Brazilian wedding was a real DIY labour of love as their wedding photographers Frankie + Marília explained, “This bride is a nurse and very busy but she still somehow managed to find time to do everything for their wedding herself. She worked with a dressmaker that her family has worked with for years to come up with her perfect dress. It seems like everyone that has seen these pictures has fallen absolutely in love with it too!”

Marcela and her Mum also made as much of the wedding decor themselves as they could including the table runners and the flowers. “In Brazil, people usually give away little cakes called Bem-Casados as wedding favors,” they continued. “They are usually wrapped in some type of paper or cloth. Marcela ended up not having time to make the actual cakes, but she wrapped them in that awesome blue cloth to match the wedding theme. She even made an impromptu bouquet the morning of the wedding. She decided she wasn’t goning have one, but then decided to wrap a couple of tulips up with a bow and leave them sitting by the cake as decoration – we made her hold on to those for the pictures, that ended up being her bouquet.”

The wedding ceremony was also anything but traditional. The couple exchanged vows quickly followed by each sharing a touching sentiment about one another. “They are both very eloquent public speakers and it definitely moved everyone. Then their family and friends said a few nice words to bless their marriage, and that was it. They had gotten officially married in a courthouse the week before this, and didn’t think they needed any kind of fancy show. They didn’t exchange rings, but somehow it was one of the most emotional weddings we’ve ever shot.”

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A Relaxed Southern Wedding: Anton & Megan

I’m so excited to share the incredible warehouse wedding of Anton & Megan with you today. I just know you’re going to love it! It’s simple, beautiful and just the kind of celebration I’d love to be invited too!

“Anton and I have been dating since my senior year of high school,” Megan wrote to me. “We met in February 2006 at a show his band O’brother played. Neither of us expected to be those people that are highschool sweethearts but now we both feel really lucky to have found each other so soon. We can enjoy being young and married – something that doesn’t seem so common anymore – as we grow old together.”

“I’m certainly the planning, left brain person in our relationship,” she continued, “arranging and attending meetings with vendors and making the 10 phone calls a day that are required when you’re planning a wedding. Anton is the creative, right brain 100%. He made our wedding invitation that is actually a stop-motion video we sent out to our guests (which you can view here). He also created all of our centerpieces – vases filled with synthetic and paper flowers with pictures of us, friends and family from the past years attached to looming bamboo. Everyone appreciated these personal additions, and the pictorial reminder that their presence and support is important in our relationship.”

The wedding was held at The Cotton Warehouse in Monroe, GA. As soon as the couple found it they knew it was perfect. “We looked at a lot of beautiful wedding venues but didn’t really find ‘us’ until we came to The Cotton Warehouse. We were both raised predominantly in the southern United States and wanted to incorporate this, but we didn’t want to play up any artificial elegance or ‘Gone with the Wind’ persona that comes with an antebellum mansion. That’s not the south we know and love. The Cotton Warehouse embodies the simple, sweet happiness that goes along with having the ceremony in a small town, serving whiskey & coke as your signature drink, and dancing with your 79 year old grampa and 100 closest friends to Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA.”

“So I guess our theme was complicated, mixing one part southern, one part Rock n Roll and one part earthy-wooden pieces. Understated, graceful and sometimes silly. Being true to what we like and being happy not to be doing the fancy, stereotypical, ballroom wedding. Enjoying our day our way, and the best party we would probably ever throw.”

Megan wore a J Crew wedding dress and Oxford brogues heels from Modcloth to which she added the blue ribbon herself. With their wedding being in February she wanted to make sure her shoes were not only stylish but practical!

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