Tag Archives: DIY

A Simple & Homely Wedding in Milan: Roberto & Cherie

Italian Roberto & Chinese Cherie planned their Milan wedding from other sides of the world, “Until 2 months before the wedding, we had lived in 2 different countries (Hong Kong and UK) for 16 months, ” Cherie told me. “I had taken a sabbatical to spend time with my family in Hong Kong and the majority of our ideas exchange and planning was done on email or Skype. We found the organising super boring, couldn’t wait to party on the day!”

The couple met in London and so filmed their Save the Date video in the city, and they actually ended up having two weddings (the Italian one pictured and another in Hpng Kong) so it really was a multicultural, multinational affair!

“We decided on some values for our weddings, they were ‘simple’, ‘vintage’, ‘homely’ and most of all ‘fun’, the bride continued. “Our rule-of-thumb was, ‘if nobody would remember it in 2-3 years time, then don’t sweat over it.’ Therefore things like flowers, decorations and cake were at the bottom of our list of importance. We were so overwhelmed by the number of friends and families that flew over to Italy just for us so we wanted to make the whole weekend super fun. They were at the top of our priority list!”

“What you remember from an event is usually the atmosphere, special moments and people that you spend time with, so we made sure it was very relaxed with plenty of time and opportunity to mingle, created some crazy signature moments e.g. our pretentious celebrity red carpet type entrance to the reception in Muse’s ‘Feeling Good’ and got everyone to sing a few songs before dancing!  The rock star personalities were all coming out!”

“However simplicity does take effort,” she concluded. “It is often easier to just do what the world says you should do for weddings, e.g. the bride’s name must come first, the cake must look amazing, you have to do an impeccable first dance etc.  But there is no such thing as you ‘should’ or you ‘must’!  If it’s not important, produces minimal impact or easily forgotten, just scrap it. That’s what we did. Traditions can be changed so focus on a few things that matter to you and make them memorable.”

Continue reading

A Rock n Roll Shoot & Iron Fist Ruby Slippers: Cat & Louis

It started with those ruby slippers. When wedding photographer  Kat Forsyth first laid eyes on the Iron Fist beauties, she knew she had to do a photo shoot styled around them.

“I’m not even a shoe girl, and I hardly ever wear heels, but hot damn, I wanted everything on the Iron Fist website,” Kat wrote. “I couldn’t get the ruby slippers out of my head, so a few weeks later I popped into a shop to see them in person. Well, the only pair left was the display pair, and they were one size too small for me. But they were On Sale. On Sale for one fifth of the original price! So in order to justify the purchase, I decided I would buy them to use in a shoot one day. Photographing them’s just as good as wearing them, right? In fact, better, because it’d be more comfy!”

“So I bought the shoes – and another pair which actually do fit me, and were also on sale (score!) – and left the store resolving to do a shoot based around them. Which I planned in the back of my head for ages, trying to get past the craziness that was last year and the first portion of this year, and then trying to find a dress, and a venue, and props, and a male model…”

“Finally we put it all together; I shot it last month, and here it is. My models were Cat and Louis, who are both in bands – Cat is the lead singer in a Rock n Roll Band, and Louis is the drummer for two bands! They even brought along a few props to play with.”

“The dress was made by Carla from Estienne Carla Photography, who is not only a crazy talented photographer, but an epic dress designer (Carla, you ROCK!!), and the makeup was done by the most fabulous makeup artist, Sam Scaife of Lashline, whom I love and adore! The coke can bouquet was made by an awesome guy named Christopher, who sits on the pavement outside the Woolworth’s on First Avenue Linden, selling his crafts, and the shoes were mine…all mine.”

Continue reading

An Owl & The Pussycat Themed Wedding: Kerryn & Joel

“The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea. In a beautiful pea green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note…”

With The Owl and the Pussycat as inspiration, it would be hard for Kerryn & Joel to go far wrong when planning their cute and quirky wedding. Although the wedding wasn’t overly themed to match the poem, its message resonated throughout their planning and on the wedding day itself. They used it on their wedding invitations, had an owl and pussycat cake topper and Kerryn read the poem as part of her speech. “The Owl and The Pussycat popped up because around the time that we got engaged, I read The Owl and The Pussycat to my 3 year old niece, Amy,” Kerryn told me. “At the last page there was a lovely illustration of the owl dancing with the pussycat in mid air…”

“And they danced by the light of the moon, the moon. They danced by the light of the moon”

“When Amy saw that picture she looked at me very seriously and asked ‘Is that what happens when you get married?’ I thought that was very beautiful and it just stuck with me.”

“Even though there was a lot of planning involved, our wedding just sort of happened the way it did because we were very relaxed and decided to concentrate on being happy”, Kerryn continued. “We have quite specific taste and definitely didn’t want an overly orchestrated, perfectly manicured day. So really, our wedding couldn’t have turned out any other way.”

“We made the jam, we shopped for individual gifts for all the children and my brother made the bunting and the chuppa from a quilt that we’ve kept. The flowers were all unusual roses, more like garden roses than perfectly symmetrical blooms and we had them scattered in silver tea sets.”

Kerryn wore an Abigail Betz gown and emerald green shoes. “I knew that I wanted a combination of a 20s and 50s look for my dress and ruby slippers (they ended up emerald but I loved them!)” the bride explained. “We also asked everyone at our wedding to write us a letter rather than buy a gift so we have very special messages from the special people who were with us that we can keep forever. I never imagined that I would get married so I had no pre-conceived ideas about the perfect wedding, so it was just 100% us that sort of materialized on the day.”

Continue reading

A Music & Literature Themed Wedding: Claire & Scott

Claire & Scott chose an old movie theatre in as the setting for their ceremony, The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Although they hadn’t even thought about marrying in a theatre, after seeing one in Whitby they loved the idea. “We’d originally planned to marry in Whitby, as it’s a special to place to us both,” Claire told me. “Whilst looking at venues there, we were shown a theatre hidden away at the back of the sea front community centre. We hadn’t thought about marrying in a theatre, but we both fell in love with the idea. In the end, we decided that we’d rather marry closer to home in Sheffield, but the idea of marrying in a theatre stayed with us.”

“After an afternoon on Google, Scott emailed every theatre within a fifty-mile radius of us to ask if they did weddings. The Lantern Theatre was one of the few that replied and it turned out to be barely a mile from our house. When we arrived we fell in love with the place. It’s an old 84-seat Victorian theatre with anaglyph wallpaper and red velvet seats. The staff there were so flexible and open to all our ideas. They even bought a mirrorball so that I could walk down the aisle in spiralling light. They served cocktails in teapots, put together a lighting and music programme so that the ceremony ran without a hitch and Keith – the volunteer who ran the bar – even dressed up in a dapper waistcoat and tie.”

After the ceremony the couple and their guests boarded a old London bus to The Countryside Centre. “We chose The Countryside Centre because it gave us a blank canvas to work with,” Claire continued. “There are no staff there on the day itself so you have complete freedom to use whichever suppliers you want. Though there’s a converted barn and grain store, we chose to hire a marquee to make the most of the beautiful grounds and asked our caterers to set up a steak and fish barbecue, which was fantastic.”

The couple chose a music and literature theme for their day. “Literature and music have always been important to us and during the planning it soon became apparent that though we hadn’t intended to have a theme for the wedding, words and music were a recurring motif. Our invites were designed to look like classic orange and white vintage Penguin paperbacks, with library tickets inside for the RSVP (we’d stamped the wallet in which the library ticket sat with the key dates of our relationship). We used the Smiths’ song title ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ as the title of the paperback/invite.”

“Our place settings followed the Penguin theme, with the guests’ names replacing the author’s and a lyric we’d individually chosen for each guest replacing the title. Inside the place settings were CDs with the key songs from the wedding day. The orders of service that were handed out at the theatre were designed to look like vintage Penguin Plays paperbacks, with the title on the cover taken from a Velvet Underground song. Our readings were taken from books, except for one, which was the lyrics of the Pulp song, ‘Something Changed’.”

“During the service, we exchanged copies of our favourite books, around which the rings were tied on a ribbon. Even the confetti followed the literary theme. Using a heart-shaped holepunch, we punched confetti from the pages of our favourite books.”

Continue reading

A Rainbow Rockabilly Wedding: Jennifer & Jon

If you’re a long-time reader of this ‘lil wedding blog of mine, you’ll be well aware that I’m a huge fan of the rainbow wedding trend. I even modeled in an ‘Over the Rainbow’ themed shoot last October. So you can imagine my glee when Jennifer & Jon’s wedding landed on my desk.

The couple wanted a huge party, and with 200 guests and only a $10,000 budget they were determined to not spent a fortune to do so. “We honestly would never have been able to pull of any wedding without our friends and family,” Jennifer told me. “It was truly a DIY wedding with everyone helping out days beforehand by shoveling, raking and baking in the hot sun to make my friend’s ranch into a kick ass outdoor wedding venue. Caitlin & Michael Burns, owners of Rebar Ranch were gracious enough to make our vision come true (or turn our lack of vision into something amazing!)”

Everything from the ceremony to the after-party was personal to the couple. “Our inspiration was simply to have a wedding that represented ourselves completely in every aspect,” the bride continued. “I had to throw out the wedding books in order to stay sane. We just told each other no matter what it would be what we wanted and to not make things to serious. I walked down the aisle with my brothers –  two of the most important people in my life. One of the highlights of our wedding was we wrote our own vows as all the vows we found online didn’t really feel very ‘us’.  It took us awhile but after a few margaritas we incorporated some of our favorite song lyrics into every part of our vows”

“Our theme was simply ‘Party!’ All we wanted to do was celebrate with those closest and have as much fun as possible. Our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to. We danced all night! The band was able to play some Johnny Cash songs as well as their original songs.”

Continue reading

A Budget-Friendly DIY Wedding with the World’s Cutest Wedding Video: Melissa & Robbie

I love Melissa & Robbie’s wedding for so many reasons – her incredible shirt dress (which the bride, a fashion designer, made herself), the yellow and grey colour scheme, the cute recpetion details, their nephew and his ‘Melissa & Robbie’ flag – but most of all I love them because they shared this video with me. It’s a bit unconventional, but I’d encourage you to watch the video first. It was put together by the couple themselves from a collection of mobile phone/home camcorder clips filmed by their friends and it paints such a amazing picture of their wedding…

Told you! Wasn’t that the cutest thing ever?

The wedding was held at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, an eco-friendly nature center in Saint Charles, Illinois. “We had to move our ceremony inside last-minute because the weather suddenly turned cold,” Melissa explained. “I wasn’t thrilled with the room that we had to use because one of the walls was empty and not very attractive. Two of my friends – a street artist from Seattle and a graphic artist from New York City – put their heads together the morning of the wedding and surprised us by creating three pieces of gorgeous artwork (in a matter of a few hours) inspired by our handmade flower arrangements. When we arrived at the venue, the barren wall had been replaced by vibrant pieces of one-of-a-kind art that added beauty and an artistic energy to the space. To me, this was the ultimate reminder that when it comes to your wedding, it is important to be willing to let certain things go and remember why you are getting married in the first place – LOVE! Sometimes when things don’t work out as planned, something even more amazing happens.”

Pretty much the entire wedding was DIY. The bride made her own dress as from the fabric from her Mother’s wedding dress (!!) as well as her headpiece. All the reception decor was collected by the couple or was things they already had in their home. “For me, the most special part of doing things our way and keeping it DIY was making my own wedding dress. My mother had given me her gorgeous late 60s mod style wedding dress, and I (very apprehensively!) took it apart, and completely redesigned it into a more modern style. When my Mom saw me wearing it, her eyes instantly filled with tears. This was one of my favorite memories of our wedding day.”

“From the beginning, we agreed to keep things fun and casual, to do as much as possible ourselves, to stay within a small budget ($10,000 at the very most), and to do thing OUR way,” Melissa continued. “We didn’t want to have to follow any rules or traditions. All we wanted was to create a beautiful, relaxed party with one ultimate goal: to celebrate our love! Our vision was to include the things we both love the most about design: 1960s vintage inspiration (with modern flair), typography, and rustic minimalism.”

You can see more of Melissa’s DIY projects on her blog, Bubby & Bean.

“The venue we chose is a nature center and community urban garden area, so we wanted to blend in elements of nature and eco-consciousness as well. We also wanted to incorporate our colors (yellow and gray) throughout the venue, stationery, flowers, and attire as much as possible. This was an awful lot to include in one wedding, but our mission was to do so in a way that resulted in a cohesive design and a unique event. It was quite a task, but we did it! When we needed inspiration, we did three things that we both love to do: listen to old records, visit vintage shops, and watch our favorite old movies (Hello ‘The Graduate’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’!)”

“We planned our wedding in nine months (and for half of this time Robbie was on the road with his band!) We designed the event from scratch and hand made almost everything. We chose a dear friend to marry us, and kept the ceremony simple, light-hearted and brief. We asked the bass player from the band Robbie works for to be our ‘M.C.,’ and created an easy-going reception that had the energy of a casual party while still emphasizing our love for art, design, and music.”

Continue reading