Tag Archives: DIY

A Quintessentially English Country Garden Wedding: Liz & Blake

Liz moved to America from the UK where she met Blake while he was singing in a bar. After dating for a while he proposed while on holiday in Rome.

Although well-traveled, Liz wanted to have her wedding in her hometown of Brize Norton, in her parent’s back garden. She had to rely on her parents, sister and bridesmaids a lot for help during the planning,

“I arrived in the UK 3 days before the wedding and immediately had to go and meet our vicar, after that we had to fight the jet lag to start decorating the marquee,” Liz told me. “I didn’t realise how much stuff I  had collected over the year and when I saw it all piled up in my parent’s dining room I felt really overwhelmed by it all. Luckily my sister and bridesmaid were on hand to keep everything on track we knuckled down and started hanging and arranging.”

The wedding had a quintessential English feel. “I have always wanted to get married in Mum and Dad’s garden, Blake and I wanted our wedding to be casual, colourful and fun,” the bride continued. “I knew I wanted a vintage garden party feel to the wedding and I started collecting stuff. Mum and Dad were travelling around the UK picking up my eBay purchases. Dad would talk to me on the phone and say that his shed had been over taken with all my ‘junk’….”

“My mum has really green fingers so she started planting flowers to bloom in August. When my Mum and sister came over to NY for my hen party they went home with 2 huge suitcases full of stuff I had collected for the wedding – mason jars, oil lamps, vintage table cloths, vintage napkins, homemade bunting and of course my bird cages…”

“I love everything vintage, especially vintage jewelry, I started collecting vintage brooches initially to use as the escort cards. I found so many amazing enamel flower brooches that they inspired me to use them as my bouquet. It took quite a few attempts to get it to look good, but eventually what worked the best was treating each brooch as an individual flower. I attached florist wire to each brooch by simply twisting it around the pin. I didn’t want to ruin any of the brooches, all of them can be taken off the wire and worn as a brooch.”

“Once I had my bouquet together in a vase I arranged it and gathered them all up and selotaped them together. I then trimmed all the ends of wire so they were straight and bent the brooch flowers until I had an attractive bouquet with no holes. I then folded about a yard of 1” ribbon in a concertina pattern about 3” long and sewed it together at one end. I then attached this to the top of the wire stems, just below the flower heads and fluffed it out. I then took the rest of my ribbon and wound it around the rest of the wire stem attaching it with pearl dress pins. My Dad then put some mastic over the sharp ends of wire.”

Liz wore a vintage dress which she found in a shop in Cornwall. “I found it when I was out with Mum. Had no intention of buying a dress but I fell in love with it. My Mother in  law (Kim) then made me the bolero out of the fabric she cut off the bottom of the dress and shortened it. I turned out perfect, exactly what I wanted.”

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Lip Tattoos, Graffiti & Ice Cream: An Anti-Wedding Bridal Shoot

“The inspiration for this shoot really came from a morning cuppa with me and Hayley from Vintage Scoops, who owns a vintage ice cream van,” photographer Shaneen Rosewarne Cox writes. “We became friends via Twitter and discovered that we live very close by. I couldn’t resist a look at her fab ice cream van ‘Betty’ so we met up a few times. One morning over tea and lemon drizzle cake we decided to put together a shoot. ‘Betty’ is such a soft, pretty and summery ice cream van so we wanted to create a shoot that contradicted everything wedding-y.”

“Hayley is friends with Greg and Suzie from Lifestyle Salons and they very kindly let us use their gorgeous salon in Newport Pagnall to get the models ready. They’re very creative and lovely stylist Hayley did such an amazing job on the model’s hair. They both looked incredible!”

“When Hayley and I started to put the shoot together we put a call out for make up artists on Twitter. I can’t believe how lucky we were that Ana Ospina Ruiz (Milena) jumped at the chance. I gave her a very vague spec to just make the girls look colourful. She did such a great job, the lip ‘tattoos’ looked great.”

“Hayley also came across Mr Christian (dresses) at a previous wedding she had worked out and we were thrilled that he was happy to lend us a couple of dresses for the shoots.”

“The shoot took place at Milton Keynes Bus station. They have a legal graffiti wall that is changed every so often and it made for the perfect backdrop.”

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A South African Winter Wedding at A Private Game Reserve: Jaimi & Adrian

Jaimi & Adrian are wedding photographers themselves so when it came to planning their own big day the photography was obviously a very important part for them. “Adrian and I met through a photographic project he did back in 2008 and we fell in love,” Jaimi told me. “He asked me to marry him on a misty morning in October 2009 in the Drakensburg Kzn. We got married on January 10th, 2010 and had a small ceremony at Tala. We renewed our love for each other and had our wedding celebration on June the 24th this year at our special love place … Tala Private Game Reserve.”

“As Adrian has been in the wedding industry for over 12 years now as a wedding photographer. We really wanted our day to be ‘us’ and a bit more rocker than the weddings we shoot every weekend of the year. We took all the ‘stuff’ we loved and piled it onto one day – from the clothes we love, to the passion we have to the fun we wanted for our family. It turned out awesome, it was personal, full of love, non stressful and just super rocking.”

“We had the most intense African storm at about 2pm in the afternoon and we almost thought our shoot would be hindered but we had the most awesome day thereafter, the sky cleared and Sam (our photographer) literally shot us in one location rotating us in a 360 degrees.”

“Our whole playlist scared our DJ, David just a little, but he trusted us and played it anyway and Adrian (not a big dancer) and I (love dancing) ended up being the last couple on the dance floor. Our first dance song was ‘Monuments and Melodies’ by Incubus and everyone just stood around us and we attempted a dance. It was incredible – I felt like it was just us.”

“As mentioned earlier, this was a renewal of our love from a year and a bit back, and we loved every second. We are so glad we had a videographer  (Lauren & Andrew) and Sammi Babe did a super job of the photos. Everything was just an overwhelming blessing having the most important people either side of us and everyone we loved at our long single banquet dinner table. We chose our own wine for the evening and a shooter table. We also had a DIY photo booth that made the party start on a high note.”

“Our theme was all about being us,” the bride concluded. “Adrian and I got together under rough circumstances and got married just 4 days after deciding we wanted to. We just needed this. This solidarity with our family. It was evidence of our love for all to see. Being a winter wedding in South Africa we had a sort of vintage-autumn theme. I did not like the idea of flowers so we did black candles, different height and size crystal candle stands and real autumn leaves across the whole length of gold taffeta table cloths.”

Beautiful…and check out the video too!

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A Day of the Dead Art Gallery Wedding: Angie & Adam

Angie & Adam were married at Manchester Art Gallery, a fitting venue as the bride went to Manchester Metropolitan University to study art where she met her future husband. Angie wore a bespoke purple dress made for her by a friend who works in a theatre wardrobe department (currently with We Will Rock You!) They designed it together so Angie got just what she wanted.

The couple chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. They entered their ceremony together. “We wanted to start as we mean to go on – together,” they explained. “We walked down the aisle holding hands and remained holding hands through the service. Also Angie’s a bit of a feminist and didn’t want to be given away.”

The reception had  Mexican/Day of the Dead Festival theme. They continued, “We wanted a colourful festival feel that would make the day fun for all our guests.  Also, we’re both creative people who like to get our hands dirty – so making the decorations was a must for us! Angie’s final exhibition for her art degree was also based around Mexican folk art and the day of the dead festival.”

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A Darkly Dramatic Gothic Wedding: Alix & Zach

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Some of you may remember Alix & Zach from their gothic tea party engagement shoot. Well I’m thrilled to be able to share their wedding with you today – and guess what, the smoke came with them!

After getting ready at The Rookery Hotel (somewhere which I’ve actually stayed – its a beautiful hotel!) the couple were married at Lauderdale House in Highgate. The reception was held at somewhere that’s fast becoming one of my favourite London venues, The Metal Works in Islington.

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Newlywed Alix told me all about it. “We wanted everything to have a very lush, maturely decadent, and darkly dramatic feel.  Our theme was more romantic from a by-gone age than modern Goth. We were inspired by all that is dark and whimsical…a fusion of Victorian vamp, fanciful garden beauty and Old-World luxe tweaked with flavours of Rock n Roll and Carnival/Circus…elements included mismatched French style furniture, vintage silver ware abound with roses and ostrich feathers and candelabras all in a rich palette of blood red, deep plums, black and white.”

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“There were many elements that made our wedding a little bit different and very Rock n Roll,” she continued. “I walked down the aisle to Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses – and when guests arrived at the ceremony we had string quartet versions of Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Aerosmith and Metallica playing.  We wanted to incorporate an ancient Celtic handfasting ceremony as a nod to my Irish heritage which our celebrant was happy to do.  We added a paragraph to the program to explain what it was about so it wasn’t lost on the guests!”

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As part of their day, the couple went away with their photographer Lisa Devlin for a photo shoot in a nearby cemetery. They brought along smoke pellets and the photos are quite frankly stunning! Certainly worth some time away from their guests I reckon. “We loved doing the photo shoot in a beautiful ivy covered Victorian cemetery – it started to rain and I had to clamber over brambles in 4” heels but it was totally worth it and I cannot believe Lisa managed to get such an amazing smoke effect from the smoke pellets – ever since we did our engagement shoot I feel nothing looks right without a little bit of smoke wafting into view!”

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“We weren’t too fussed about doing a first dance as we totally ran out of time to do any choreography/come up with an original idea/figure out something funny to do.  Speaking to The Metal Works venue a few weeks before the wedding they described the time the circus came to the venue. My jaw dropped with excitement as this worked perfectly with the carnival twist that was creeping into the wedding.  So for the first dance to “Without You” by Motley Crue Zach and I twirled around on the dancefloor for about 20 seconds and then the aerial silk performers took over to finish the dance!  It looked great and was the last thing anyone expected.”

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“As I am Vegan and Zach is vegetarian it was important to us that the food we had at the wedding reflected that.  We worked with the very Rock n Roll and super talented Jake from Octopus Food on creating a menu that everyone couldn’t help but love because it was just so damn tasty – even if it was completely meat free! It was a bit of a gamble especially for the evening BBQ – but everyone said they loved the food so that was awesome!”

“One of many funny bits of our wedding was when one of the evening guests arrived, dressed in drag as Nancy Spungen, along with his friend dressed up as Sid Vicious!  The dress code for the evening was Rock n Roll Royalty so this was hysterical.  But even better was the look on my Dad’s face!”

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The couple DIYed a lot of their wedding with some extra help at the last minute with on-the-day-styling from Josie from Savoir Weddings. “We DIYed a huge amount for the wedding mainly because I couldn’t find in shops or on the internet the things I envisaged for our wedding.  My Mum and Dad made jam using fruit from their strawberry farm in the Cotswolds for the favours along with a ‘love potion tea’ complete with love spell.  My Dad also made the wooden A and Z letters which he painted white, covered in black lace and then attached to black and white striped ribbon to hang – they worked out to cost about £20 for the 2 which was much so cheaper than buying something similar and turned out way more on-theme. I designed the pin badges, programs and flags, with a huge amount of help from my friend & graphic design guru, Colin.”

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“We weren’t allowed to throw confetti at the ceremony venue so instead we got the guests to wave flags and streamers.  The streamers were made again by my Dad and me by screwing small metal hooks into wooden cake dowels and then threading black and white ribbon and lace through the hook. I got everyone to collect jam jars which I covered with black lace, these then became candle holders and vases. I wanted to have a guestbook that also doubled up as a decoration so it would catch the guests’ eyes so they wouldn’t leave without signing it!  I cut out some red and white hearts some I covered with some of our favourite bands’ album covers in corresponding colours like Guns N Roses, T Rex, New York Dolls, Black Sabbath etc.  The hearts were attached to bakers twine with pegs so guests could write their message and peg it back on – by the end of the night we had touching messages graffiti-ed all over the hearts and an interactive wedding decoration to boot!”

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“The place cards were made from black bracket gift tags which I bought from etsy I then printed the guest’s name and added 2 metal studs for a bit of punk attitude. Finally, I made the wedding cake, and wedding cupcakes –which of course I HAD to baring in mind I own a bakery. We also hired quite a lot too, obviously not many venues provide black tablecloths and black studded plate chargers as the norm!  This bumped the décor cost up a bit but was totally worth it.  We hired the French lounge furniture from Prop Solutions – who were really helpful and eager to work within our budget unlike some other hire companies I approached.  The furniture looked great against the cobbled street in the group shots.  I bought some battery operated fairy lights which we cellotaped into the shade so it could be switched on when it got dark.”

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Ahh there’s just so much to take it but I love it. Alix & Zach really certainly have released my inner goth. I love everything.

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An Effortlessly Elegant Backyard Wedding: Rebecca & Ben

After a beautifully simple Brooklyn engagement shoot, I would have expected nothing less of Rebecca & Ben than the effortlessly elegant backyard wedding that they had. Married in Ben’s parents Rhode Island back garden, the wedding was a DIY affair.

“I made bouquets with my friends from flowers that grew down the street at Young’s family farm,” Rebecca told me. “I made the flower garlands that hung up around the pink boxer bar. I made all the napkins from Amy Butler fabric. I collected vases and jars at garage sales and streetwise junkyard shops near Brooksville, Maine.”

The bride wore a J Crew dress with nineteenth century jewellery bought from Gray and White, NYC.

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