Tag Archives: DIY

Michelle & Trevor’s Rainy, South African, Homemade Wedding

“It’s like raaaain, on your wedding day…”

While a wash-out may be some couple’s worst nightmare, Michelle and her fiance Trevor certainly made the most of their rainy South African wedding…in fact they rocked that rain like I’ve never seen before! The wellies, multiple white umbrellas and incredible backlit portraits made me always wish my wedding had been so damp!

The wedding was held at the bride’s parent’s wedding venue, Willowvale Weddings. “6 months before our wedding date the reception hall was just a cow shed,” the bride told me. “In those 6 months my parents bashed and built the most fantastic space. There was still paint drying on the day – nothing like a bit of pressure!”

Continuing on from the ‘DIY’ venue (which is now open for all weddings) the day had a handmade and homespun feel. As Michelle explained, “We didn’t want the usual cookie cutter, draped-hall wedding, I was quite happy to elope but Trevor convinced me that I’d be happier if I shared the day with our closest friends and family (he was right). So we tried to make it as unique as possible, my Mom made my dress from pictures of dresses I sent her and it was EXACTLY what I wanted.”

“Our guests sat on hay bales for the ceremony, we didn’t have hymns (each of our sisters read a blessing instead) and we had a handfasting ceremony within our Christian ceremony.  Our men and maids didn’t matchy matchy.  We had a fingerprint tree instead of a guestbook, our table flowers were arranged in giant teapots, we both made speeches (he read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit about being made real and made me cry), our friends collected baby food jars for us to put candles in everywhere and the bunting made everything more fun!”

“Following wedding blogs gave me the guts to stick to my guns about some things (and made me realize that other things are just unimportant!) As well as helped me to show my Mom visually what I was trying to achieve from 9000km away!”

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Anne-Marie & Jonny’s Ad Hoc, Budget & Vintage Wedding

Anne-Marie met Jonny at a gig 5 years ago, “I was 35 and old enough to know better. He was 23 and had no excuse,” laughed the bride. “Within a year we’d shacked up together and had our first child, with a second one following 19 months later. We got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2010 (lots of fireworks!) and married on my 40th birthday and it was better than any present could ever be.”

The couple planned their wedding on a shoestring, making as many beautiful details themselves as they could. They also had a lot of help from their friends and families. “We wanted to get married in the same way we live our lives, e.g. low-fi, low-budget, and surrounded by lots of lovely, creative friends and family,” Anne-Marie continued. “Everyone collaborated to make the day happen: my friend Frances made the cakes for the champagne reception at my house, my friend Sam made yards of bunting, my sister Lisa made the ‘AMP & JOHNNY’ sign and the little swallows and fabric baubles that decorated the hall for the party, lots of people DJed and my friend Soshanna made the most exquisite sugar-flower-strewn, three-tier wedding cake I’ve ever seen.”

Their day was casual and perfect for them, “We didn’t really have a theme: in fact we barely thought about it until we realised it was less than a month away. It was then a mad dash to arrange everything. The invites (coming from the US) were held up at UK customs and didn’t arrive until a week before the big day! For the reception I wanted a village hall feel, with lots of bunting and a cake display, but that was the only bit that was planned. Otherwise it was just… ad hoc vintage.”

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Taxidermy Elephants, Dinosaurs & A Vegan Ethos – Alix & Shawn’s Natural History Museum Wedding

Alix & Shawn were married in the Natural History Museum Los Angeles, and it was this unusual venue choice that really shaped their day. “Our wedding was a combination of historical vintage and handmade, ” the bride told me. “The Museum set the stage to transport our guests to a different time and space altogether. They were surrounded by dinosaur bones, wild animal dioramas and a beautiful historic marble building.”

“We encouraged vintage attire and had a range of time periods from the 1920’s even up till the nineties. I had my dress made and based the design on a modernized frontier style with lots of ruffles and lace. Since it was pouring on the day, I also wore a black velvet cape I made long ago. All my bridesmaids wore black dressed of their choosing, with more ruffles and lace. The groomsmen stuck with the historical theme and wore long frock coats. Shawn also had his suit jacket custom made.”

“Since the museum itself is so beautiful, we went simple on the decor, using a combination of glass jars, succulents, vintage hardware and photographs. For invitations, I made little books filled with images animals from Victorian prints that told the story of Shawn and I. I also sewed little stuffed animals for all our guests as gifts. It took months, but was so satisfying to see how much people loved them. It felt so much more meaningful to give people something that I had really cared about rather than a little trinket they would just throw away.”

“Shawn and I are both vegan and it was really important to us to have a completely vegan wedding. Our caterer was awesome and made some really amazing dishes that were complimented on by many of our non-vegan guests. Also, I made 8 vegan cakes with help from some friends the day before the wedding. When I told people I was going to make the cakes myself, so many people, family included thought it was a crazy idea, but it was one of the most enjoyable parts of all the wedding preparations. Not to mention, all the cake was eaten, with many guest having 2 or 3 (or 5) slices. Keeping everything vegan also meant we had our clothes custom made so they weren’t made of silk or wool.”

“Our wedding was Rock n Roll because we just went all out. We didn’t hold anything back or worry about what people would think. We handcrafted everything to be the most fun we could think of an didn’t pay any mind to whether that was the way people thought it was supposed to be. It’s not that we ignored tradition, but we made tradition our own. We were married in front of taxidermied elephants! We got married and then had a mondo dance party. I think any wedding that ends with shirtless men dancing is pretty damn Rock n Roll.”

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Melissa & Jon’s Alice in Wonderland, Camden Wedding

“The theme of our wedding ended up as a sort of mish-mash of Mad Hatters tea party, 1940’s/50’s and Camden weirdness (Camden is an area of London known for it’s alternative culture – great for people watching!), which fitted our personalities perfectly” newlywed Melissa told me. She married Jonathan at Islington Town Hall and afterwards had their reception in a hotel in Camden, where they first met.

“My inspiration firstly came from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland,” Melissa continued. “Jon and I went to see the film when we were dating and I fell in love with it, I’d always been a fan of the book as a child but the film had me hooked. As soon as Jon proposed I knew I would want a touch of Alice involved somewhere within the wedding, the only difficulty was going to be fitting the theme around our tiny budget.”

“We’re not one for tradition and we tend to follow our own rules in life so we thought ‘well why should our wedding be any different’  Although the venues were booked around 6 months in advance everything else was left to the last minute, our decorations and centre pieces were DIY and we had an awful lot of help from our bridesmaids.”

“I totally recommend making centre pieces yourself and decorations. It saves so much money (which was crucial for us as we were on an amazingly tight budget) and gives the wedding a real personal feel. I really couldn’t have done any of it without the support and help of my family and bridesmaids.”

The bride and her bridesmaid’s all wore dresses from Rock n Roll Bride favourite, Vivien of Holloway and Melissa wore (another Rock n Roll bride favourite!) those Vivienne Westwood/Melissa heart shoes.

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Shane & Lisa’s Budget, DIY and One-Hell-Of-a-Rock-n-Roll-Party Wedding

With a budget of less that $6000, Shane & Lisa had to be very creative and clever when it came to planning their wedding. Luckily they had a lot of support from their friends & family and they really got into the DIY!

“Everything about the day was beautiful but what really made it sparkle was all our friends and family”,  Lisa told me. “I am so very thankful for them. My family and friends had all mostly come from out of state and immediately started in on making the cake, helping with food prep and cooking, cleaning, decorating, grilling, and cleaning up  (they kicked me out of kitchen during reception because apparently the bride is not allowed to load her dishwasher in her wedding dress.)”

“The biggest inspiration I had was from us and our family,” she continued. “We wanted our wedding to reflect who we were  as individuals, as a couple and as a family. Together we have 4 children, I have 3 girls and he has 1 boy. So it wasn’t just us making a commitment to each other, we were making a commitment to our children too. It was important to me to keep our true selves in this day. We are a very creative, musical, full of life family so every piece of our wedding meant something that was about us. From the guest signed poster (picture courtesy of our fabulous photographer Margie who did the family picture shoot) to the beer ceremony, which had a Bud Light Lime because that’s our compromise beer (I drink Bud Light, he drinks Corona) – even the lanterns had meaning.  We did it OUR way, it came from with in, with heart and soul bared and you can’t get much more rock n roll that. Of course the groom in a Motorhead t-shirt and Docs, Bride in black spiked 4  inch heels walking down to Type O Negative “Love you to Death”  pretty much seals the deal on Rock n Roll.”

“My oldest daughter (18) walked me down the aisle, with my two youngest leading the way.  It was important to me that she be the one to “give me away.” We have been down many roads together and her approval on this was important to me, her toast later in the evening showed me that and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”

“Most aspects of the wedding were DIY. We were on a very tight budget and I was very much into making our wedding personal.   I made the invites with maps and info, the brooch bouquet, the ring box, the hand fasting cord, the veil, the hair pieces, the cake design, decor and cake stand (we saved a log from being mulched), the cootie catcher (paper fortune tellers) programs. The decor was all items we either had or could use in our home after and some homemade such as the spaghetti jar lanterns hanging on the porch. The food was all prepared by myself or my wonderful family and friends and we wrote our own vows.”

This is such a fabulous wedding! Both sweet and punk rock at the same time. I love it!

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Anthony & Collette’s Laid Back & Timeless Wedding

Anthony & Collette were married at South Farm in Hertfordshire. They wanted their day to be laid back and timeless, so a matchy-matchy or strong theme really wasn’t for them. “We took our inspiration from a few different sources,” the bride told me. “We wanted it to be quite understated but not boring.”

“We didn’t so obviously want to have a things match or have a recognisable theme.  We did, however, want everything to complement each other. Kind of like how my wedding ring and engagement ring contrasted but complemented each other – a traditional white diamond engagement ring with a black diamond ‘eternity’ wedding ring.”

Collette wore a dress by Temperley which she found in the flagship store in Notting Hill, London. It was ready to wear but she had the sleeves shortened to suit her more. She accessorised with Chie Mihara shoes which she had sent over from Spain (as she couldn’t get the colour she wanted in this country) a hair clip from Anthropologie in Kings Road London and a beaded Vintage bag from antique fair held at Hammersmith Town Hall.

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