Tag Archives: DIY

Sandra & Colin’s Budget, DIY, Bicycle Ride Wedding

Sandra & Colin’s were married on 10.10.10 at The Franklin House, a private mansion in Tucson, Az. Their wedding was a super budget affair and 99% DIY. The couple did it their way and Sandra even had her dog walk her down the aisle (after some family disagreements.)

“Our wedding was 99% D.I.Y. and very low budget,” the bride told me. “We did get our wedding cake as a gift made by Busy B’s Bakery. Colin designed all the programs and invitations and printed them at Vistaprint. We used all biodegradable bamboo utensils (that were wrapped with recycled fabric napkins I made) and sugar cane plates we found online pretty inexpensive Green Party Goods. At the time I was teaching a recycled art class in a middle school. For one of the classes I had the students decorate the plates with edible markers.”

“All the food we prepped and made the day before the wedding as well as that morning by the wedding party and us both. We wanted to keep it really simple and picnic style since it was outside, so we had bread, crackers, spinach dips, bean dip, cheeses galore, pasta salads and sandwiches.  I baked our favors which consisted of vegan banana bread, oatmeal raisin cookies and we got maple leaf cookies from Canada. My husband is Canadian and we wanted to pull in that a little to the mix, as well as the fall theme. From the start of us dating I always baked for him. His favorites were the banana bread and oatmeal cookies. Somehow I think that is how I won over his heart, with sweets. I packaged them in brown bags and tags made on moo.com of our engagement shoot.”

“All of our flowers were purchased locally from the supermarket and the bridesmaids put them together. I made the decorations that were all over the place and together that morning we set everything up. It was a lot of work but totally worth it. His parents were so amazing to us. They rented tables and chairs from a local friend for the event not to mention helped us pull it all together.”

“Since we met on a bicycle ride and he proposed there too, we had to incorporate bicycles. We had our guest bring or ride their bikes over and after the ceremony we went for a little ride downtown.”

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Linsey & Wes’ Totally Rock n Roll Wedding

Linsey & Wes found their photographer Jessica Monnich through a feature on Rock n Roll Bride (yeeey!) so it’s only right that it’s come full circle and I now get to share their awesome wedding too. The wedding took place in February at Mercury Hall in Austin, Texas beginning with a beautiful ceremony in the gardens.

“I was not a traditional bride in any sense (even down to the short dress), so I just kept looking for things that felt like us,” bride Linsey told me.  “We were always going after more of a feeling than a look, which made it hard, but in the end the feeling was achieved and everything just fell into place thanks to awesome friends and family.”

“It was challenging with everyone else’s opinions and being told things have to be done a certain way, but we threw that out the window a long time ago.  Working on a budget that we put together from the beginning, we were also able to get more creative and decide what were the most important things for us on that day – friends/ family felt loved for and had fun and that we were able to enjoy ourselves.”

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Laura & Ian’s Hollywood Glamour Wedding

Three week’s ago photographer Annamarie Stepney was in Reading (where I live) so she popped by to say hello…to my cats. Yeah people never come to see me any more, it’s all about the internet sensations that are Henry & Rachel! Anyway, as we walked Henry round the back garden on his lead (I kid you not) she was telling me all about the wedding she was shooting the next day….at my wedding venue…well in actual fact, what should have been my wedding venue. You see, as soon as Gareth & I got engaged, I knew I wanted to have our wedding at The Forbury Hotel. It’s an amazing venue and I wanted it. Bad. But sad face for us, it was already booked on our day. However I am really excited to see how Laura & Ian’s Rock n Roll wedding turned out at the venue that should have been mine!

The wedding had a glamorous Hollywood theme. With Laura being a hair & make up artist, she sees a lot of weddings in her work, so she was keen that their wedding was really different. “We had a very short think about a theme and instantly came up with old Hollywood glamour!” Laura told me. “We both love old fashioned styles and music. As a hair and make-up artist I absolutely love this era its beauty and artistic flare.”

“It could never have been anything else for us. All our guests spent hundreds on outfits and everyone conformed to our theme! Very well dressed wedding. We thought it was really nice for ladies too, to wear the outfits they always are dying to wear but would usually feel too overdressed or think they might upstage the bride. At our wedding there was no such thing as too overdressed!”

The couple really went all out with their theme, DIYing a lot of the details and hiring a popcorn machine, a photo booth and a 1952 yellow buick convertible (“Which is the car that all our feature stars on the day – Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn etc used as their chauffeurs” Laura continued.) The couple even made their own invites to look like a cinema ticket stub with an ‘admit one’ part for the RSVP.

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Hannah & Carlos’ Full Moon, Movie-Themed Fancy Dress Wedding

Hannah & Carlos’ full moon/supermoon/autumn equinox/fancy dress/movie themed wedding rocks my world. I’m kind of blown away by the whole thing! The couple put so much love and attention in creating their perfect wedding that I didn’t want to miss one detail…so, over to the bride…

“We had a fancy dress wedding, the theme being movies. A big part of Carlos and my time together has been spent watching movies…we love them! We’ve shared many hours snuggled up together, going on journeys through film.”

The ceremony took place on Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand (spectacular!) and the reception afterwards was held at Wharariki Beach Holiday Park which was owned by one of their friends. Carlos went dressed as the Mad Hatter and Hannah wore a beautiful tutu style dress, made for her by her sister.

“Our friends Jade, Dion and their daughter Willow helped make the whole wedding possible. On the day, when we were all ready, they transported us down to the far end of the beach in their jeep, all dolled up just for us. We clambered down onto the beach after a short jaunt through the bush, and then I got into my tutu there. Then we had a short journey through rocks and tidal pools from the sea, onto the big stretch of beach. We arrived together, with our Best Man, Bridesmaid and Flowergirl, all coming down the beach from the opposite end to everyone else. All our guests were waiting at the entrance to one of the beach caves, with an aisle made of flowers and surrounded by colourful flags on bamboo poles. When we got there, Carlos and I walked up the aisle together, totally together, ready to meet our Fairy Celebrant.”

“We wrote the whole ceremony ourselves, with help from our Celebrant and dear friend, Lolly Dadley-Moore. We wrote our own vows, which we each repeated after Lolly. However we both started with a little message, written on a paper heart. That was a surprise to each other. Both of us totally bawled as soon as I started speaking, as did most of the guests. Sigh. How emotional! We were completely connected, eyes blazing hard into each other, with everyone else falling away, disappearing…all I could see was Carlos. All he could see was me. But how amazing to be surrounded, so close, by all our friends and family! I love that everyone was right up close and personal, throughout the ceremony.”

“Afterward, the bubbly was popped and we proceeded to be hugged and squeezed by everyone that was there on the beach, all kitted out in costume, surrounded by colourful flags. It was quite surreal to see all these characters on the beach, like a different world. Like a movie. Perfect.”

“The guests then headed up the beach, carrying the flowers and flags back up to our friend’s campground. Carlos and I headed back down the beach for a few photos with our friend Pete, then Dion and Willow drove us back to the camp. We were trailing cans, rattling around, announcing our arrival. The campground had been totally decorated by our friends in the days leading up to this…Anand set up his Moroccan Tent, friends brought out tables and chairs from the local High School, Ricki let us borrow his huge sound system, Natalia made a dreamcatcher that hung above the dance floor, as well as setting up all the white lycra decorations, the gold hanging stars, the lights…there were fairy lights and black lights and spotlights, borrowed from a range of friends. There were psychedelic wall hangings surrounding the DJ booth. There were drum fires dotted around the place. The place looked so incredible…and it was only to get better as the sun went down.”

“We had a huge potluck meal, provided by everyone. There was a cleaning crew already at work that night, and all the next day. We retreated back to the Moroccan Tent to eat and drink, there were toasts and we were sung to…I cried. Again. And then the moon came up, full and huge and blazing a light so clear and bright all night long…”

“Our first dance was to Nina Simone’s ‘My Baby Just Cares’. It rocked. Then we were treated to a stunning bellydance performance by my big sister and two dear friends – more tears flowed. Then the dancing continued, as we all hit the dance floor for a trance party…our friends DJ’d for hours, we had such a blast! Somewhere in there we cut the cake, but I totally forgot to throw the bouquet…it was such a crazy event, so much going on that I completely forgot!”

“Carlos and I crashed out late late in the night, exhausted and spent. Our little caravan had been set up with gold hanging heart decorations and rose petals were flung everywhere…it was so beautiful. The following day, once the entire thing was packed down and cleaned up, we drove away to spend the night at another beach…staying awake just long enough to open all our gifts, cry some more, then watch the moon rise over the ocean. Waking just in time to see the sun rising in the same spot, we were back to the real world, but married now…united…totally, gloriously, magically happy.”

“My Mum had bought us a beautiful little handmade journal/book and left it on the main table at the reception, by the cake for the whole night. We invited people to write us messages…when we read the book the following night, we were in tears because of all the beautiful heartfelt messages our friends left for us. We will treasure that book forever.”

“Our wedding was so much fun – it was light and colourful, there was much laughter and tears…it was so heartfelt and powerful, everyone noticed that and was moved by that. Neither of us are mainstream conservative people…we are unique, we love to have fun, and we love to dress up. We didn’t have much to spend, so we did everything as cheaply as possible, but that took nothing away from this event – it was AMAZING! I was shocked by how much power we weilded just in being open and expressing our deep love for one another, in front of everyone else that we love. So many friends pitched in to help create this wedding, I am still blown away by that. All of that, for US. For LOVE. Far out.”

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Christina & Sybrina LGBT-Friendly Wedding

Christina & Sybrina were married in their own back garden in Vegas. Christina wore a beautiful dress by Ouma Clothing and Sybrina wore a sharp suit. The couple are pretty active in their local LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and so wanted to use their connections to do it ‘right’ and create a wedding that was perfect for them and their friends.

“We worked very hard in making it a comfortable environment to accommodate our diverse attendees,” the couple explained. “Most of the vendors we used were close friends. We wanted to integrate them throughout the wedding while supporting local small and new businesses. Our close friend, Jeff Hames, even did a mural on our backway that matched the wedding invitations.”

“We tried to stay as true to our queer feminist roots as possible.  We made our wedding our own by only using things we felt comfortable with.”

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Elbie & Derek’s Opulent & Eclectic DIY Wedding

I love Elbie… love love love! She is the hair & make up genius behind many of my photo shoots, including the Mad Hatter Beach Shoot, the Tattoo Revolution magazine shoot and my rainbow hair for the Big Fat Wedding Blogger’s Photo Shoot! Elbie is one hell of a cool chick, so when I heard the she was getting married in South Africa this March I pretty much laid claim to blogging her wedding before she’d even had the chance to tell me anything about it!

Elbie married Derek at Glen Skye, a farm owned by her uncle and aunt in the Eastern Free State, SA. Elbie’s Mum pretty much organised the whole affair as both Elbie & Derek now live in London. She even made her daughter’s dress based on a Dior pattern! I was particularly excited to see how her dress ended up, as we’d had long conversations in the run-up to the wedding about what it was going to look like.

She explained, “My Mom orchestrated the WHOLE wedding for us. We planned the wedding over the internet, she would send me pictures of the dress progress, and I’ll send her drawings of what was in my head.”

“The dress was made by my Mom, after I showed her a fabulous couture gown I liked – she had to design and make it with only ONE fitting of a mock-up a year before the wedding!  She is a little bit magic and we both were VERY relieved when I tried it on for the first time and it was PERFECT! There were about 18 metres of hoop in that gown, but it was surprisingly light! She also made my hairpiece, using beads to make little flowers, and adding gemstones and a piece of a broken tiara that belonged to my grandmother, Elbie Senior.”

With her custom dress Elbie wore shoes Irregular Choice and Doc Marten Dee boots for the evening. The lucky bride also carried a Vivienne Westwood handbag that Derek gave to her as a wedding gift!

“My Mom also made the bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers, the décor, (every table setting was a little bit different, shoe of my great-grandmother were sprayed silver for Elbie-ness- my Mom’s quote ) and they MADE most of the steel ‘props’ with my dad (they do that for a living)” Elbie continued. “The wedding arch and birdcage were made by them, and the groom made the cake stand as well as the princess and the frog cake topper in bronze!!!  The parasol was a last minute addition, a present given to me by my mom-in-law and her 4 sisters.  My bouquet’s flowers wouldn’t open in time, and the parasol worked beautifully!”

“We spent two weeks before the wedding to prepare everything, from making signs to spray-painting hydrangeas (a trick I learnt while working on the Wonderland project.) Oh, and a valuable DIY lesson – never throw anything away.  My Mom is a creative genius who could make things out of nothing. We’ve exhausted ourselves (and my poor father and my then-fiancé), because everytime they thought everything was sorted, we’d come up with a new idea!”

The evening reception was also a special one, with Elbie fulfilling her childhood dream of singing to her new husband, ” When it was my turn for my ‘speech’, my talented brother accompanied me on keyboard so that I could serenade my groom with ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ – by Journey, not the Glee cover!  (there’s a pic of him staring at me in shock/wonderment!)” she told me.

“We had so many people helping us out, borrowing stuff or giving it for free, we really got a sense of community there,” the bride concluded. “We had our relaxed, but opulent wedding. I have never dreamt of a white wedding, and wanted a festive, overgrown, eclectic day.”

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