Tag Archives: DIY

Melinda & Stu’s Rock n Roll Princess, Castle Wedding

I have a certain affinity with this bride…can anyone work out why?! Cryptic huh? In fact you lot know me so well that I was sent links to this wedding by no less than five readers telling me I had to feature it as they all wanted to know more about this gorgeous wedding. Well, you asked…and I delivered. I’m so chuffed!

Melinda & Stu were married in September at Thornewood Castle, Tacoma, WA. “My husband had always envisioned getting married in a European Castle,” began the bride. “Unfortunately, I knew if we did that we’d have a very lonely wedding with just us and our parents, so we had to set our sights closer to… well, this continent. I didn’t think it would be possible to find what Stu was envisioning in the Pacific Northwest, until I stumbled across Thornewood Castle. The Tudor manor house was originally build in England in the 1500’s, but in 1910 it was moved brick by brick and reassembled on it’s current site on American Lake in Tacoma, WA. We had the ceremony in the sunken rose garden, and the reception in the great hall, dining room, and loggia.”

Melinda wore a stunning Justin Alexander dress (number 8465) which looks incredible on her. A total Rock n Roll princess dress! She continued, “When I was growing up, my Mother used to have a business designing and tailoring custom wedding gowns. I think because I’d grown up around them and the Bridezilla customers she worked for, I shied away from ever envisioning myself as an eventual bride. So when Stu popped the question, I had a lot of catching up to do in terms of even just nailing down what a wedding is actually made of, and what felt right for Stu and I as a couple.”

“My Mom actually was the one to find my dress for me. I had tried on numerous dresses at 4 or 5 different shops and was starting to feel like the right dress for me just didn’t exist.  Every dress I tried on seemed to either try to make me look like a sex-bomb, woodland nymph, or a girly-girl princess – not to say those are bad things to be, but they weren’t me. I wanted something fun, classic, informal, and retro. I was almost to the point of attempting to sew something myself, when my Mom sent me an email full of dress links for me. Right at the bottom was a link to Justin Alexander 8465 and from the moment I saw the dress I knew that it was the one for me, no doubts in my mind.”

With her perfect dress Melinda wore sparkly red, custom made ‘Ruby Slippers’ replicas from Cybertosh on etsy. “I loved the look of wedding dresses with bright shoes, and ruby slippers just seemed right for me. The Wizard of Oz was the first movie I think I ever saw and I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. I think these are probably at least the 10th pair of ruby slippers I’ve owned over my lifetime (although these are certainly the most accurate!)” She made her own veil and head piece and wore heirloom jewellery. To match his bride, who actually dyed her hair pink especially for the wedding (and she’s kept it pink since!) Stu wore a white dinner jacket and pink bow tie which Melinda made herself.

Their wedding party consisted of 4 bridesmaids and a groomsmaid (instead of a groomsman!) They were all asked to choose their own black dress so they would be happy with what they wore, and the groomsmaid surprised them on the day bu wearing a black bow tie!

The reception was a Rock n Rollin’ party with cupcakes and dancing. The couple booked a Jazz band to play them into the night. “The first two things we booked for our wedding that set the tone for everything else were the castle itself, and the Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band. I was amazed that they were local, available on our date, and within our price range. They were one of my favorite things about the wedding. Loved it.”

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Carl & Emilia’s Modern Art, Hipster Wedding

Carl & Emilia’s hipster wedding was held at The Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm, Sweden, which they chose for it’s breathtaking view and because it is one of their most favourite places in the city. “We planned to have the ceremony outdoors in an adjacent garden,” explained the couple. “Instead of sunshine however (which really is not asking to much even in Sweden that time of year) we got rain. Then we got even more rain and after that thunderstorms. Thus, we had to make some last minute changes i.e. move the ceremony indoors, but it all worked out perfectly thanks to our wonderful family and friends who gladly moved around all furniture. In the end the ceremony turned out even better than originally planned!”

The bride’s dress was made in Thailand by a designer called Senada. They saw it in a shop window when on holiday in Bangkok and bought it then and there! While on holiday Emila also found her perfect dancing shoes, Lanvin Ballerinas flats, “They are sill the prettiest pair of shoes in my closet!” she laughed. Her actual wedding shoes were from Swedish designer Carin Rodebjer.

A lot of the reception details were DIY or from non-wedding suppliers which kept costs down and gave the wedding totally unique touches. They also fell in love with etsy and loved how they were able to find things out of the ordinary as inspiration, “The pure joy of carrying a little something that some sweet person living on the other side of the planet has made especially for you – need we say more?!” they said. The bride and bridesmaid put together the bouquets from dahlias that they’d picked the day before and the cupcakes came from a local bakery. The DJ’s were friends of the couple (they out together a playlist of songs so they cold enjoy the dancing too!) The stationery was also made by a friend, “Our super talented and very dear friend Lisa Bengtsson incorporated our love for Polaroid pictures (as well as Emilia’s admiration for bows) and created the most fantastic STD, all of our invitations (there were four different ones with pictures of us two), the menus and the individual seating cards for all our guests (which they got to take home with them as a memory). It all looked fabulous! We have saved copies of it all in a little “memory box” that Emilia’s little sister gave us.”

“Neither of us really had any ideas on how we wanted our wedding to be except that we knew we wanted to throw our family and friends the funniest and most amazing party ever,” concluded the couple. “As is could all feel a bit overwhelming (the choices are endless to say the least) we decided to stick to our original idea of a great party and tried not to focus on whether or not our way of doing things were “wedding appropriate”. In the end we got the party of our dreams! During the course of planning we did read a lot about other people’s weddings (wedding blogs are the best inspiration) and there are two things that really can’t be said too many times: 1) everything may not go according to plan but no one but you will notice since they will be too busy having fun as will you and 2) money spent on a photographer is money well spent. Our photographer Alicia is not only a remarkable photographer but the sweetest and funniest person to be around. Our pictures make us smile no matter what and the slide-show Alicia made out of them is now our new favourite bedtime story. Also, brunch together with your loved ones the day after the wedding is a great way of prolonging the festivities. You never want it all to end, it is that much fun!”

The night ended by everyone going swimming! “Go a little crazy!” they said when I asked if they had any words of advice. “We ended our day with a late night swim. We had a blog were our guests could get hold of all the practicalities. A couple of days before the wedding we told everyone to bring their bathing suits (the Museum of Modern Art lies right next to the water in central Stockholm) and people did! It was the perfect ending! Then  we had a brunch a couple of hours later so we didn’t actually have to end things until the next day!”

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Mo & Chris’ 1940’s Styled, State Park Wedding

Mo & Chris wedding inspiration came from the 1940’s and the fact that Chris is an old Ska kid. The bride explained, “For our clothes we decided we wanted a vintage feel. Chris wanted to stay away from tuxedos and suits and being an old ska kid at heart he wanted to have a vintage swingers kind of style. He gave the groomsmen their flat caps as a gift, they all picked their own colors, and he wore a black fedora with a feather in it. He told them to get grey shirts and black pants. The suspenders were my favorite part.”

Mo wore a tea length dress with amazing purple shoes which actually set the colour scheme for the entire day! “My dress was actually from David’s Bridal and so were the bridesmaid dresses. I was really set on a tea length dress. I have this affinity for the corporate wedding money machine but didn’t want to buy my dress online. It all came down to convenience. My friends were all different body types and some live in other parts of the country so I wanted to make sure they could all pick styles that made them feel dead sexy. We got a discount on the bridesmaid dresses because I bought my dress there. My veil and feather hairpiece were also from David’s Bridal. The sales lady put them in my hair when I tried on my dress and it made my Mom cry so we got them. That was a smart sales lady.”

“My necklace and earrings were a gift from my Sister-in-law. My diamond tennis bracelet was my Grandmother’s. I have a big Irish Catholic family and it’s tradition for the women of our family to wear her bracelet at our weddings. My Aunt Mad loans it to us on the day of the wedding but there’s hell to pay if she doesn’t get it back afterwards! I pinned Chris’ Grandmother’s brooch to the bow on the back of my dress. The birdcage for the cards is another thing that gets passed around our family for weddings.” 

The gorgeous silk ribbon fabric flowers came from JoeNet2 on etsy, “The seller, Annette, was great,” continued Mo. “I told her my ideas and she sent me an envelope filled with color swatches of ribbon for me to choose the colors from. She even threw in a free flower girl bouquet and boutonniere for Chris.”

The decor and reception ideas were all DIY’ed by the couple and their friends & family. Mo explained, “My Dad made his amazing meatballs and my Mom brought munchies for the cocktail hour. My Mom was a HUGE help in organizing set up the morning of the wedding. My Uncle Rich BBQs competitively and offered his BBQing skills as a wedding gift. He BBQed his delicious pulled pork and chicken. Aunt Terry pitched in and made the Baked Ziti with my Aunt Kathy.  I surprised Chris with his favorite chocolate cake from Honey’s Sit N Eat. Friends of ours offered their catering skills to manage the potluck table and keep everything flowing. Another friend offered to bar-tend in exchange for a tip jar. We had our favorite Yards beer selections and handpicked the wine. My Aunt Pat donated the coffee and rolls as a wedding gift. My family loves to cook and so do many of my friends so I had no doubt the potluck would be awesome. The rest of the food for side dishes and desserts was all potluck from my guests. We gave them recipe cards with the invitations so we could build a wedding recipe box to keep.” 

“Chris’ Mom handmade all the table runners and embroidered the napkin holders with our initials. She is crafter by profession so I gave her full reign to decorate the room any way she wanted. She lives in North Carolina so we worked for months over the phone to plan out what she wanted to do. She came up with the all the ideas for decorations. Mums are my favorite flowers because they bloom in the fall! Chris’ brother Bobby made origami birds of all different colors to hang above the fireplace. Apparently they had a hell of a time figuring out how to hang them that morning but I loved how it looked!” 

Imi & Joe’s Hillside Picnic Wedding

Imi & Joe had a beautiful wedding on the side of Lavender Hill. The couple were married in an outdoor ceremony in front of Lake Tinaroo, Queensland, surrounded by all their friends & family. Following the touching service they had a casual picnic style reception in the same location. There were chickens, totem tennis, lawn games and a photo booth. The band that played were fronted by the groom.

All the signs and decor were made by the bride. She wore a dress made for her by the head Fashion design teacher at Sydney Institute college, and went barefoot for the entire day. They also didn’t have any flowers but did choose a giant cupcake for their wedding cake!

Be sure to check out the adorable and touching video made by a friend at the wedding too. I also have to point out, that this wedding may include one of the most stylish and effortlessly cool group of guests ever!

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Jamie & Miguel’s Sleepy Hollow, Dark Wonderland Carnival Wedding

I sneak peeked Jamie & Miguel’s wedding on my facebook page as soon as I got a sniff of how awesome their wedding was going to be. I am now so thrilled to now share the whole cantata (in all its glory) with you today! They certainly haven’t disappointed.

The wedding took place the day before Halloween at Serenity Oaks Ranch, California. The time of year really dictated their theme, with gothic and spooky influences being injected alongside the couple’s own quirky personal taste. What I love about their theme is that there is nothing tacky about their spooky wedding – no Day-Glo decorations or obvious Halloween plastic tat here!

“My initial inspiration was Sleepy Hollow meets a carnival meets a dark wonderland,” explained the bride. “The photographs were really important to me, and when I found Made U Look Photography, I just about died. I love those girls, they’re amazing and knew exactly what I wanted – they’re mind readers!  I also wanted all the guests to wear all black! All I have to say is DIY weddings are totally worth it because it ends up really making your day!”

Jamie’s incredible dress and veil were handmade by her Mother. Every rose and every strip of lace was sewn by hand – that’s some serious love and commitment there, and the result is utterly fabulous! Her Mum now plans to open her own etsy store soon to sell her creations. I hope they will let me know when she does so I can point you all in her direction! Jamie’s perfectly matched jewellery came from Tales of Camelot on etsy. It was an old Theatre piece and reminded Jamie of Scarlett O’ Hara who she loves.

The bride let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses and wanted them to pick something they really loved. Inspired by the 1930’s cabaret look, she found their necklaces at Charlotte Russe. They gave their styling a really “dark” twist which perfectly matched the spooky theme. The bride’s Mum continued her DIY epic by making the girl’s hats from supplies found most at Hat Shadows on etsy.

“My Mom made the table cloths and found all the old china from yard sales and thrift shops,” continued the bride. “I used some of my favourite CD artwork to make the table numbers. I really love the white stripes so I wanted white apples like in their blue orchid video, so instead of using spray paint we did white chocolate! The invitations were done by JK Designs, another etsy store, and I drew up the design to have a tarot card look.”

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Wedding Stationery…to Buy or DIY?

What is it with girls and stationery? Ever since school I remember getting super excited as September drew near…not to be going back to class, but to be allowed to buy new stationery for the year ahead. I’d spend hours wondering around WH Smiths and Paperchase, fingering every little brightly coloured item, searching for the perfect kit that was both practical and exuded my ever-changing sense of style.

I think for girls this long-term love affair is why we see wedding stationery as such an integral part of our wedding day. It must be just right, it must be personal and it must look like a lot of thought went into it. In this budget-conscious climate, a lot of brides to be choose to DIY their stationery. Whilst there is certainly nothing wrong with this (hell, I DIY’ed the lot!) I wanted to ask an expert in this field to chat us through the importance of wedding stationery as well as highlighting the pros and cons of DIY vs buying your stationery…without simply writing the usual wedding-supplier-self-promotion-patter of “your stationery will set the tone for your whole wedding day” crap that you read everywhere else. Enter Lucy Ledger of the awesome Lucy Ledger Designs

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Stationery is often overlooked when considering the wedding budget; in fact it’s usually the first thing to go. The DIY option is often quite appealing in a quest to save a bit of money… but are you really saving …and more importantly; are you overlooking a potential key part of your wedding? In this post I will pass on my thoughts as a former bride to be and as a designer in the industry and I welcome any feedback or experiences you have to share.

The wedding world and its preconceptions seem to have a strange effect on us all. As soon as I was engaged I started to think about my stationery. Being a creative type, I decided to go the DIY route and found myself inexplicably thinking of pretty invitations with crafty bits on…I woke with a shock from this ‘mainstream’ wedding coma after finding myself in a craft shop looking at fake holly leaves. It was all a bit mad – what was I doing? This wasn’t ‘us’! Then it struck me… the stationery was the perfect opportunity to tell everyone about who we are and what we love! It can be ANYTHING we want – there are no rules!! That’s when it got exciting.

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