Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Victorian Nouveau + Rock n Roll Bride Interviewed!

I saw red tulle, I saw black feathers and I was smitten. Photographer Shannon Grant  set up this wonderfully Rock n Roll shoot with Mary & Matt to showcase some fun DIY styling with a Victorian Nouveau edge. “The bride’s outfit was a DIY affair with a custom made tulle skirt, a black silk dupioni flower sash and different colored ostrich hair feathers,” she explained. “The bouquet included feathers throughout as well. The groom wore black Chucks and had red accents to mirror the bride. We went out into downtown Plymouth MA and had some fun with the photoshoot!”

The lovely Shannon, also emailed me last week and asked if I’d take part in a new interview series that she’s started up on her blog. I was of course delighted to be her first victim and you can check out the interview here

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A Tim Burton-esque, Victoriana Goth, South African Wedding

I’ve got another killer South African wedding to share with you today. Jess & Matt’s amazing individual style and totally out-there wedding may even make you squeal a little bit. This creative couple pulled off a wedding that was nothing short of spectacular in every way!

“We met at Burn (alternative nightclub in Durban) one night,” the bride told me. I spotted him at one point during a night out with friends and told my them that I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I asked my friend, Sam (bridesmaid at our wedding), to play wing girl for me. A little while later she introduced herself to him then said that she knew someone who wanted to meet him (me) so she introduced us and we chatted for the rest of the night.  I fell in love with him from the moment I met him.” 

“Our relationship was quite a strange one, we were on for a few months at a time, then broke up, then got back together and so on….But throughout it all we were always best friends and always living our lives together.  The last time we got back together was  on a new years eve.  The very next new years eve (at a friends house party)  Matt decided to surprise me and at 12 o’clock he asked for the music to be turned down.  In front of the entire party he made a beautiful speech and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”

Despite how incredibly polished their wedding turned out, the couple actually did everything themselves. Both of them are artists and they were blown away by people who offered to help to make their vision a reality. “As we were doing everything ourselves and trying really hard to do it on a budget, from the décor to organising the food. We went to hundreds of different places and met hundreds of new and interesting people.  I found that along the way we met some amazing people.”

“So many people were willing to help, who also had really good advice.  We met people who were genuinely happy to give of themselves for us, who really were strangers to them, I felt so deeply touched by this.  We were so disorganised (as artists generally are) and some of the people we met along the way really worked hard to pull together things for us at the last minute.  Not only were we impressed by the generosity of complete strangers, but our family and friends pulled together and all worked like crazy to help us create our dream wedding.  We still cannot believe the willingness and complete selflessness of all the people involved in this…We made many new friends along the way as well. THIS is what has made this wedding the most special for us (besides actually getting married!)”

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Louisa & Rob’s Music & Car Festival Wedding

“We knew our wedding was going to be slightly different but I guess thats what you get when you try to incorporate cars, music and food, emphasising the feasting and dancing with friends and family rather than the actual ceremony” began bride Louisa. “We both have an affinity with old cars, cars that have been around a while and have a tale to tell so we had no problem finding a wedding car – I had the perfect excuse to use my hotrod, a 1928 Model A Ford. Not wanting to leave his cars out of the fun, Rob decided we should include a mini car show where he and our friends could park up their old cars and in some cases, their beds for the night.”

Yep, that’s right – Louisa & Rob’s guests were invited to their homespun music and car festival wedding complete with the invitation to camp over afterwards. The wedding was a combination of a registry office ceremony, a tea party at the bride’s Grandmother’s house and finally a massive celebration in two yurts, set up in the bride’s Dad’s field.

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Elise & Nick’s Laid Back, Homespun & Festival Style Wedding…With a Piano in the Woods!

“Is that a piano…in the woods?!” I asked photographer Emma Case,  a stunned look on my face. When the affirmative came back I literally let out a little squeal of exhilaration that I was going to get to share Elise & Nick’s wedding with you. Unbelievably, as the couple went with Emma to have their portraits done they came across this unusual yet fabulous prop just sat there. Now I know Miss Emma Case very well and I can just imagine the expletives of excitement that would have come out of her mouth when she laid eyes on that!

The festival style wedding took place at Middle Coombe Farm in Devon – a beautiful cob & thatch farmhouse and cider barn which sits in a sheltered valley surrounded by 200 acres of organic farmland and woodland. With help and support from their friends and family, the couple DIY and crafted their wedding to perfection, “What really blew us away was the amount of effort, love and support we got from all our friends and family,” they explained. “The whole wedding was a DIY affair and everyone pitched in. We made the canapés, and all the decorations. Hundreds of metres of bunting were made by Elise, our mums and Laura – one of our bridesmaids. The cake was made by Elise’s mum and Dad with the iced flowers created by a family friend. Nick’s brother Anthony made welcome and direction signs; their was a family rota for the bar, the girls made the groomsmen’s boutonnieres from greenery from the woods and friends arranged games and provided music and entertainment across the whole weekend.”

“Using Apples with little luggage tags tied to the stalks as the place settings seemed to go down well with guests and fitted the cider-barn setting nicely. We went to a pick-your-own the week of the wedding and hand-selected every fruit. We then asked guests to peg their named luggage tags to their glass so they could keep track of it and reduce the amount of washing up needed to be done throughout the day.”

Elsie wore a gorgeous original 1920’s vintage dress from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company, shoes from Office and pearls that were gifts from friends.

“We didn’t set out with a fixed theme or an intention to do things differently but there we certain elements that we knew we wanted to include from day one,” the couple concluded. “We wanted our wedding to be a relaxed, fun and home grown affair that reflected our values so we ended up with what can only be described as a village fête, tea party, festival shin-dig! The perfect way to celebrate our relationship! It was important to us that the wedding was as environmentally friendly as possible. Middle Coombe Farm was the perfect venue, with acres of organic farm and woodland to stroll through, a solar heated swimming pool to play in, and compost toilets. We used proper glass ware, cups and plates, eat locally sourced organic vegetarian food and drank local ale. Flowers were organically and locally grown and at night the tent and field were lit by solar lights and willow lanterns guests had made during the day.”

Guests were invited to camp over and over 40 of them did so. The field surrounding the venue, complete with druid’s circle, was where they could pitch their tents. This field also played host to the afternoon games and the evening campfire. With guest camping over, they were able to continue the celebrations onto Sunday, providing breakfast and a BBQ lunch for everyone.

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Leigh & Aaron’s Beer & Bike Themed Bash

“We live in a South Philly row home with a garage that houses our bicycles and Aaron’s home-brewing equipment in lieu of a car,” bride Leigh began. “We knew as soon as we were engaged that we’d ride our tandem bike, acquired from craigslist a few years back, into our reception entrance. We kept the bike theme going with a tandem bike cake topper, a Ketubah that was designed for us especially by Chris Soria, and hotel gift bags and DIY thank you notes with tandem bike stamps.”

“For the beer part of our wedding theme Aaron brewed 45 gallons of beer in 5 different styles (He is now setting up his own home brewing company called Franklin Heights Brewing). Our centerpieces used various-sized jars which we collected, filled with wheat and barley (the barley was purchased from Barry’s Homebrew Supply in South Philly), and our florist incorporated wheat into our bouquets and corsages. Aaron grows hops in the backyard that went into his boutonniere and was on display at the bar. We had almost no beer left at the rest of the night – a testament to his talents!”

Leigh’s love of polka dots also crept into the wedding theme in terms of their invitations, her Belle Couture dress and a lot of the other 100% DIY paper details which were put together by the couple and their friends and family at their ‘crafting parties.’ The DIY and community effort didn’t end there though, with Leigh’s necklace being a hand-made gift from a friend and the photo booth which was set up by another friend. Some of their talented musician friends performed a couple songs, all of which was captured on video by several other friends and family who volunteered their hand-held video recorders.

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Emma & Morgan’s Wonderfully Sustainable & Crafty Welsh Wedding

Emma & Morgan’s Welsh wedding has really put a smile on my face today. Everything about the day was personal, was sustainable and was perfect for them. The couple got married at The Hive and Ice Cream parlour in Aberaeron. They actually had two ceremonies through the course for the day. Firstly a smaller and more personal ceremony at The Hive, joined by just close family and friends. Then, once they got to the reception, they had a second ceremony amongst all 120 of friends. Their DIY heavy reception was held in a marquee in “Charlie’s Field” that looked out across New Quay Harbour, Wales – the exact spot that Morgan had proposed!

Emma wore two dresses on the day and in keeping with their sustainable, salvaged and recycled vibe, both were vintage.  Dress number one was from Vintage Vixen, and the second she found on Etsy. Her shoes were a stunning pair of Louboutins, bought for her by her Mum as a special treat for the day! Emma kept her accessories to almost a minimum with her shoes and dresses stealing the show.

Locally sourced flowers, a cake made by the Mother & Aunt of the bride and fabulous and sustainable vintage and second hand finds really made their day unique and perfect for them. “As much as possible we wanted to have a sustainable approach to our wonderful day, but we don’t think that needs to be a conspicuous decision (highlighting to everyone how ‘green’ you are) or compromise your dreams for the day – luckily it meant salvage/reuse/vintage were more than firmly on the table!” the bride told me “As much as possible all our suppliers were local to the area, with the hope the money stayed in, and benefited, the local economy. Our invites were designed by my brother, the card from a UK paper mill specialising in post consumer recycled card and printed by a wonderful friend at her home. We spent a year collecting items from charity shops (people need to know about Oxfam’s online shop!) ebay, etsy and the odd overpriced vintage shop in the east end of London. The tea tins were from ebay – I quickly discovered it’s quite a competitive collectors interest in the UK, so old milk bottle and beer bottles as flower containers also made a great addition to the table centres – slightly less competitive than tea tins, but they too have their hard core followers on eBay!  Food was sourced locally by a local caterer (a delicious veggie buffet proving you can go without meat, but a Welsh, organically reared hog on the roast if you couldn’t resist!) and all our wine was from France minimising air miles on what was the biggest volume of alcohol on the day. Desserts were made by family and friends. We mini-mooned in Wales too, doing our best to support local businesses and independents.”

The week before the wedding Emma spent time with family and friends at a rented cottage nearby the reception venue where they crafted to their hearts content. They created most of the stunning decorations that filled the marquee –  from the brightly coloured felted hearts to the hanging pom poms. Emma’s Man of Honour and her Mum even patiently stitched the fabric coasters that were given as favours to each guest. Every detail was hand created by Emma, her family and friends.

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