Tag Archives: DIY

A Heavy Metal, Karaoke Party: Julia & Steve

Julia & Steve found their photographer Hannah Millard after seeing a feature on her on Rock n Roll Bride. It’s always so extra special to me to share weddings that my blog has ‘helped’ in some way and I’m really excited that this gorgeous couple were able to get such great wedding photographs because of Rock n Roll Bride. Happy face!

Hannah clearly agrees. “Woahhh,” she writes. “This wedding was just… wow. I mean. Just… OK, I’m having trouble putting it into words, it was just pure Rock n Roll. Julia & Steve are an awesome couple and they definitely know how to party. There was vodka and tattoo artists and rock band karaoke and Julia’s brother DOVE INTO A CAKE. It was amazing.”

The wedding was held at the University of Nottingham, where the couple had met when living in halls, almost exactly 10 years to the date of the wedding. It was also where Steve proposed in December 2010, by the frozen lake, so needless to say the location was a very special one to them. “It was awesome being able to hold the reception back in one of the halls of residence, as everyone was able to stay in the student rooms so it was just like old times for us and our friends from University,” Julia told me.

“Although our wedding followed the traditional format for the day, we just tried to make everything as personal as possible – we saw the day as the biggest chance we would ever get to celebrate with all our friends and family, and we just wanted the day to reflect all the various aspects of our personalities,” the bride continued.  “We also wanted to make sure that our guests felt relaxed and able to wear whatever they wanted, drink and eat as much as they liked and go a little bit crazy! We were very lucky in the sense that our families are both open-minded and so we didn’t have any pressure on us to do things by the book or in a certain way.”

“We took inspiration from a variety of places – ideas from festivals and award ceremonies we’d been to, plus Day of the Dead and skull themed websites and blogs. I think what maybe made us Rock n Roll was that we didn’t have a formal feel to the day, and tried to create an ‘anything goes’ atmosphere so that people could just have a really good time.We tried to focus our budget on things that we actually wanted at the wedding and things that would contribute to a big party atmosphere rather than things like chair covers, posh cars and silver service food.”

“We did as much as we could ourselves and cheaply – from making decorations to buying things from Etsy to getting a close friend to drive me to the ceremony instead of hiring a car. And by the end of the night there was stage diving a-plenty and crowd-surfing across the dance floor (by both the bride and groom, plus guests), which turned the disco into a pretty Rock n Roll affair! We are really lucky to have such amazing friends and family (some of whom are into the rock and metal scene, many not at all) who all really got into the spirit of the day.”

Putting their personal stamp on their wedding was clearly very important to the couple, and they also wanted their friends & family involved where they could be. So, the weekend of the Royal wedding, they hired a cottage and had a big ‘wedding DIY party’ to make all the decorations and favours.

The entertainment was one of the most important things to this couple. On the day, the couple hired a temporary tattoo artist to inject something different into the day – that’s not something you’d usually see at a wedding but I bet the guests were queuing up to have a go! They also had a rock karaoke band called One Night Standeoke who played in the evening.

“As the wedding had a ‘Rockstar’ theme we thought it would be awesome to let people unleash their inner rockstar on stage (especially me, as I love rock karaoke and will use any excuse to get up and sing),” Julia remembered. “It seems we had more people with inner rockstars at our wedding than we thought, including aunts and uncles who leapt at the chance. The DJs were friends of ours who are rock/metal DJs that we met through our involvement with Download Festival (where we had out joint hen and stag do’s!) and who were fortunately happy to play our whole, long range of song requests, from thrash metal to power ballads and Lady GaGa. The band and DJs were all awesome, and really helped create the party atmosphere we wanted.”

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An Upstate New York Wedding with a Bun in the Oven: Faith & Chris

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Faith & Chris were married at Camp Brockway in Pratt’s Falls, NY. The theme of the day revolved around birds, but more than that it revolved around the love and the fact that the two of them were committing their lives to each other. After a touching outdoor ceremony, the couple enjoyed some time having their photos taken by Love Me Do Photography.

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“My favorite part of the day was probably when we were taking pictures with Love Me Do,” wrote Faith. “It was such a nice way to spend those last betrothed moments away from all the matrimonial madness just posing for portraits in the woods with each other. It felt so natural and I think the photos really show that.”

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“I guess I’d just like to add that I’ve always wished for Prince Charming to come sweep me off my feet and give me the wedding of my dreams. Some things really are worth the wait and after our incredibly long courtship and year and a half engagement, the pay off couldn’t be sweeter. Chris and I both feel like the luckiest people on earth and are so excited to be starting our family with the love and support of all of our friends and family. August 20th was the most special day we’ve ever shared and are so grateful to everyone who helped us make it so memorable, especially Momma and Poppa Tyler.”

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An Upcycled, Recycled & Indie Wedding: Mel & Carl

The bride’s love of all things indie, unusual, hand made, recycled and upcycled was the catalyst to the theme of this creative wedding. After a hand-tying ceremony, where their friends and family all added a strip of fabric to their hands, Mel & Carl invited their friends & family to a laid back and family-central wedding reception.

A number of the wedding attendees helped to set up the wedding beforehand hanging decorations including the ‘lollipop tree’ (lollipops bought from Etsy hung from a willow tree), vintage fabric bunting, origami birds, vintage toys and games, wildflowers and Victorian birdcages (be sure to check out all the amazing details in the gallery below!)

They even had a homemade candy buffet ‘staffed’ by their son and homemade super food cookies, popcorn and wasabi peas served in newspaper cones which were homemade by Mel.

The bride wore a dress found on eBay £80 which she pimped with the help of her best friend Sarah. The applique swallow was an antique beading decoration found at a flea market and the flowers and beads were also vintage, sourced from Kempton Market. They also added turquoise cord to match the brides shoes.

Mel’s bouquet was designed by Jen of The Ritzy Rose. She wanted it to match the electric and unusual vibe of the day and so none the individual pieces really ‘matched.’  They added dinky toys and animals to mirror Mel’s love of vintage toys. The bride’s beautiful and unusual necklace was bought from Andra Aitken of ‘Pejolu‘ on Etsy.

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A Reclaimed, Relaxed & Fun London Wedding: Caroline & Lewis

Caroline & Lewis wanted a relaxed and fun London wedding which would reflect their loves and inspirations – reclaimed items, Caroline’s love of fashion and vintage and quirky DIY elements all played a massive part in their wedding.

“The whole day felt so perfect, not in the sense that everything went to plan, but it felt good that all our hard work was finally coming to fruition,” Caroline told me. “Amazingly we didn’t feel nervous at all, we just felt excited. It gave me a huge sense of achievement knowing that I made my own wedding dress, made the bouquets, the cake, the invitations and all the decorations. I’m not saying that I did a better job than the professionals, but it was fun to have a go and it keeps costs down. You don’t need a massive budget to have a London wedding. There are lots of pubs, bars and restaurants that would jump at the chance to host a wedding and don’t charge a hire fee.”

“We wanted the day to be relaxed and fun with a few quirky surprises.” the bride continued. “The hardest thing was finding venues that didn’t feel too formal and were within our budget. The decorations and other details were the fun part. We didn’t have a particular theme, era or colour palette, we just collected things that caught our eye. We scoured wedding blogs for inspiration and then worked out how we could recreate them on a budget. We hired a lovely vintage ice cream van instead of having a sit-down dessert. We kept it a secret, so watching our guests faces as the little Honda ice cream van pulled up outside was priceless. Our main aim was to have an intimate ceremony that was personal to us, followed by an amazing party for our closest family and friends.”

As a fashion designer it was important to Caroline that she found her perfect dress…or two dresses actually. She wore a 1930’s dress which she customised herself for the main part of the wedding and a vintage floral dress which she found on Etsy in the evening. To her day dress she added a belt which she bought from New Look for just £1.50 and a floral crown which she made herself with guidance from her florist.

“My mum made her own wedding dress so I thought it would be nice to follow in her footsteps,” she explained. “The original 1930’s dress was bought for £95 from Annie’s Vintage in Angel, the dress then sat in a brown envelope for the next 6 months whilst I hunted for a suitable lace. As the dress was vintage, it was slightly off-white so finding a lace in the same colour proved very difficult. I tried to find another vintage lace dress that I could deconstruct, but it was difficult to find anything that had enough fabric. I finally found a French Chantilly lace in Macculloch & Wallis 10 weeks before the wedding. Many hours were spent sat behind a sewing machine, cramped in a tiny box room in our London flat. Listening to people gasp ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe your dress isn’t finished yet!’ just added to the pressure so I just pretended it was all finished if anyone asked. The final hand stitching on the dress was actually done on the morning of the wedding, I found it quite therapeutic.”

I simply love love love the Oreo cake! It was also made by the bride and her family the day before the wedding. They even added a cute bird cake topper from Etsy to complete the look. “We made the cake the day before the wedding from Oreo biscuits. The biscuits are kept in place with chocolate icing. The whole cake took about 25 packets of biscuits to make. The smell of the biscuits and chocolate icing was divine but I had to resist temptation until the wedding diet was over!”

“I believe that you can do anything if you set your mind to it,” concluded the newly-married Caroline. “The best thing about our wedding was all the DIY touches, they’re the things that give the day some personality. There are tutorials online for just about anything so I just gave it a go and hoped for the best. I really enjoyed being busy on the morning of the wedding, it was a welcome distraction and prevented any nerves from creeping in.”

Simply wonderful. I know you’re going to love this one guys! What a cool couple….

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An Unconventional Japanese Beach Wedding: Chaco & John

I love Japan. It’s one of my favourite places in the world (we had out honeymoon in Tokyo) and I hope to go back again someday. So when I spied Chaco & John’s wedding at Riviera Zushi Marina in Kamakura and reception at Zushi Beach, I emailed their photographer Chennergy immediately and asked to feature it.

John proposed at the worlds busiest road crossing, right in the middle of Shibuya, Tokyo. Check out the video here – it’s the cutest!

“My inspiration for our wedding theme was my Dad loving Rock n Roll and since both our names are John, or Johnny I thought it would be appropriate to rock to Johnny B Goode,” John explained. “I also am a big fan of the youtube video JK wedding, and the scene in Back to the Future where Michael J Fox rocks out to Johnny B Goode at the prom scene. We also had an 80’s feel, since we both love the 80’s. The 80’s sunglasses and recession song being “Nothing’s Gonna Stop us now” by Starship.”

The shack where their reception was held is only constructed for the summer months, so just like the proposal I guess, the couple had to coordinate and plan the wedding a long time in advance “We booked the venue a year in advance,” John continued. “The floor was sand and was just a great feeling to have a party there.”

“Instead of having a traditional reception, which is a bit costly and boring, we went straight to the after party at the beach. We changed our outfits to a Hawaiian theme. I wore an all white Hawaiian wedding aloha shirt, with a fresh Maile lei brought over by my older brother who lives in Hawaii. I also bought Hawaiian accessories (shark bone necklace) online. Chaco wore a white BCBG lace and a simple leaf and white plumeria flower head lei.”

“Our decorator sewed the table cloths and decorated the tables with herbs and wild flowers, she learned how to create a table setting just for us, because she teaches children for a living and was just a friend who had never done anything like this before. All of our friends pitched in with their skills and talents to make the wedding a reality! We had blues, aquas and yellow wild flowers. Yellow for full of life and blues for tranquil and peaceful ocean. The sea was a big part of our theme since we had our wedding in a glass chapel on the sea, with blue carpet isle lined with seashells.”

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A 1950’s Rock n Roll Wedding: Laura & Neil

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Laura & Neil 1950’s Rock n Roll wedding was inspired by the thing that brought them together – music. They explain, “Music was the thing that brought us together – Neil’s Dad played the Cavern in the early 60’s – and we’ve both always had an interest in classic Rock n Roll.”

“We definitely enjoyed searching – Laura liked sourcing her own dress on the internet and having the bespoke accessories made to personalise the look. We didn’t want to look like anyone else and we didn’t want the wedding to be traditional. We choose Sassy of  Assassynation as our photographer because of her unusual and unique style.”

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“Guests were greeted with vintage gramophones, radios, antique tins and Rock n Roll and motown music,” they continued. “We placed framed pictures of classic films and 50’s movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe all around the venue and we decorated the outside area with vintage bunting. Laura walked down the aisle to Brian Fallon’s (The Gaslight Anthem) version of the Johnny Cash classic ‘I Walk The Line’. Guests found out the seating arrangements from a poster Neil created in the style of a 1950’s Rock n Roll bill and our tables were all named after classic hits such as ‘At Last’, ‘Be Bop A Lula’ etc.”

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“Our centrepieces were stacks of classic 50’s and 60’s crime fiction novels with vases of fresh red roses and every guest had a little record sleeve with our faces on it that Neil had created with a cookie inside, wrapped to look like a record.”

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“The Black Cat Trio were a really cool band and Neil lost over a stone dancing to them!” the bride concluded. “Sassy made us both feel really comfortable and had some amazing ideas that we would never have thought of. But Neil would have liked her to have air con in her car! We had the best day of our lives with all of our friends and family and we were so pleased that we did it our way. With the photos, it will be a day we can look back on for the rest of our lives.”

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