Tag Archives: DIY

Becci & Chris’ Funky, Retro, London Wedding

The slinky, sparkly vintage-inspired Topshop (yes really!) dress was what grabbed my attention when I first laid eyes on Becci & Chris’ retro styled London wedding. However when I saw the rest of their day I was utterly smitten. The pair, who never wanted a traditional wedding, were set on creating something within budget and to suit their funky London lifestyle.

I spoke to Becci about their wedding and I’m so thrilled to share their amazing wedding and all their quirky details with you today.

“Chris and I live and love London, so it was always going to be our number one location for getting hitched,” she began. “Budget constraints – and the fact that a meringue dress, tiara and dainty white kitten heels were my idea of hell – meant that we had to be inventive while planning our big do. We wanted something that represented us as a couple, and our personalities, and felt strongly that we wouldn’t follow wedding procedure just because.”

“We decided on Islington Town Hall for our ceremony and quickly fell in love with The Vine as our reception venue. It’s cool retro interior, gorgeous Italian grub, intimate conservatory and super-calm landlord, James, meant it won over Chris and I as soon as we walked in. We work in the magazine publishing industry, so we strongly agreed that our photographer needed to be super talented and super creative. Enter Ian Johnson. After meeting up for a few pints and a briefing, we both knew that we’d got the right man. Ian did not let us down. Despite the time constraints of us marrying fairly late at 4pm, he achieved all the money shots.”

“For the dress I wanted a slinky evening number. Never did I think that, while browsing Topshop’s website, would I stumble across my dream dress – antique silver, sequinned, slight fishtail, deep V front, backless… I was in love. Yes, it was high street but I couldn’t afford anything designer and I received so many compliments from guests thinking it was vintage… I just kept my mouth shut! A veil was never going to suit my style but I still wanted a wow-factor headpiece. I turned to milliner extraordinaire Louis Mariette who understood completely my vision and created something truly special. As for Chris, he wanted a fitted suit with a Mod influence so he took a trip to Jump the Gun in Brighton. For my bridesmaids, I wanted them to look drop-dead gorgeous (no peach taffeta, ta very much). To complement my dress and Chris’s suit, I was after a navy, corseted, strapless style – the All Saints Freja dress came up with the goods.”

“We all stayed at Hoxton Hotel the night before and, on the big day, our wedding cars consisted of a duck egg VW camper van– the bouncy suspension and a bottle of fizz nearly ruined mine and the bridesmaids dresses on the drive to the Town Hall! – and the obligatory cheesy Routemaster. For my flowers, I wanted simple and elegant so I went for a cala lily bouquet and a pared-back white and green theme. Personal touches included haggling over a massive shabby chic mirror at Portobello Road then writing the seating plan on this; and my mum kindly baking glitter-sprinkled heart biscuits as favours for everyone to dip in the yummy dark chocolate mousse dessert (we vetoed a traditional wedding cake as it just wasn’t what we wanted). What else went down well with our guests? Well, our party photo booth from Snappabox had a queue all night, while our ‘Love story’ booklet, complete with cartoon Chris & Bex, brought everyone up to speed on our relationship history.”

“And the final Rock n Roll moments? How about the groom not getting to bed until 6am on the morning of the big day (still a sensitive topic around the Hodgson kitchen table) or us newlyweds heading to East Village in Hoxton for a post-wedding clubbing session. Well, I was wearing Topshop after all…”

Incredible! I am so chuffed to have these guys rocking all over the blog today.

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Shalma & Leo’s 1950’s Inspired Candy Anthony Wedding

Shalma & Leo are what I like to call friends of the blog. Not only did they find photographer David McNeil though a feature on Rock n Roll Bride, but I featured their gorgous A Bout de Souffle engagement session over the summer AND myself and the bride have exchanged regular emails ever since they got engaged about all things wedding! So when David asked if I wanted to feature them …well he didn’t have to ask twice!

“I am so pleased that you think my wedding is Rock n Roll enough for your website,” Shalma wrote. “I would love for you to blog it! I have to say this again, but your blog has been such immense help over the past year. When I got engaged every childhood dream I had of the full Indian wedding just wasn’t an option anymore. To find a wedding site which thrives on individuality and the boldness to do what you want is refreshing and fun.”

Shalma wore a Candy Anthony dress – the first one she laid eyes on! “My dress was the first one I saw in the shop and I knew that was the one,” she explained. “I tried on about 5 before hand (even the leopard print one which is gorgeous) but I kept going back to that one. They also made my fascinator in the same fabric. To keep with the 50’s theme, my Mother in law very kindly gave me her Mother’s vintage 50’s pearl necklace with a diamante clasp. It’s stunning I was really honoured that she wanted me to have it. At my hen party all the girls pitched in and brought me my Tiffany pearl earrings to match.  I was so touched that they all did that for me I couldn’t believe it. Luckily I had the shoes already which made the whole outfit complete!”

However for this Rock n Roll wedding it wasn’t just the bride who stole the show. The super stylish Leo was also certain that he didn’t want to look like every other groom. “Its so difficult for grooms to find something that isn’t your generic penguin suit,” Shalma said. “He also can’t buy anything off the rack so finding somewhere that does cheap tailor made suits was hard.  He wanted a herringbone textured 3 piece suit in a brownish colour. There’s a great website called A Suit That Fits. They are brilliant. You pick the fabric, style, lining, everything and its made to measure.”

The couple didn’t want an obvious theme for their wedding, they just wanted to keep it simple, beautiful and perfect for them. “We both wanted to do things our way. We had a small budget and we’re both very creative so a lot of the design work was done by us. We basically wanted to incorporate all of our favourite things. I made my own bunting and cushion covers out of Indian silks brought from Southall. That was so much fun. I love Southall. I probably made 4 trips there in total and brought yards of coloured fabric, ribbons, jewellery. It was an epic task and so much fun.  Leo designed our invitations and he also designed the cocktail menus. We made a photo guest book using funny pictures of everyone.  We gave the kids little party bags so they had stuff to play with on the day. We painted glass jars different colours which were used for the flowers and candles.  Leo’s sister made our red velvet wedding cake which tasted amazing! We had a playlist on our ipod made up of our guest favourite songs which worked really well. We only had 1 bridesmaid and groomsmen each. My bridesmaid’s wore a dress from Coast which matched my petticoat, shoes from Carvela and the sash was brought from Candy Anthony. The groomsmen wore his own suit.”

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Sarah & Pete’s Classy Vintage-Inspired Wedding

Sarah & Pete’s classy, vintage-inspired wedding took place at Stoke Newington Town Hall and The Tab Centre, Shoreditch. The bride, who originally didn’t even want a wedding dress wore a gorgeous Temperley number that she found in Bicester Village outlet mall just outside of Oxford. “I don’t really like wedding dresses!” she told me. “I was nearly going to buy a nice party dress in a bright colour after trying on quite a few wedding dresses which were just ‘ok’. I then spotted this one in Bicester. It is quite vintagey in style but still flattering (and not tiny weeny sizes like a lot of original vintage dresses!)”  With this she wore a hair piece by Jenny Packham and vintage Gina shoes from Urban Outfitters.

A lot of DIY elements went into the reception decor, including the hand made candles in vintage tea cups which were not only gorgeous, but acted as favours for the guests to take home.

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Laurel and Ryan’s Handcrafted, Alice-Bright, Alice in Wonderland Wedding Shoot

Laurel and Ryan’s DIY pre-wedding shoot took place in Ryan’s parent’s back garden (which just happened to have a few acres of land behind it!) I utterly adore the acid neon brights fused with an Alice in Wonderland theme, all of which was created by the bride & groom themselves. They bought the cupcakes from a grocery store and created all of the flower centrepieces themselves, again from store bought flowers.

The bouquets and boutonnieres were professionally made, but for the most part the entire photo shoot was their own unique vision and craft.

Killer!

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Sammy & Ian’s Modern Romantic London Wedding

Sammy & Ian went for a quirky, modern and London theme for their Soho wedding. Being a costume designer, the bride made her own dress based on the late 50’s early 60’s silhouette of tight and knee length, with a bit of Vivienne  Westwood influence. “It was made from red silk Dupion, and the corset was white duchess satin with red silk ribbon stripes sewn on top,” she explained. 

Sammy also designed Ian’s unusual and fabulous suit which was made out of venetian wool and was based on a 1960’s design.

The couple hired a red London bus to take their guests from Marylebone town hall, where their ceremony took place, through London to Century on Shaftesbury Avenue for their casual and fun reception. They didn’t want a sit down traditional meal and so instead had barbecue style finger food. They drank raspberry champagne cocktails and pink punch.

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Leigh & Brian’s Incredible Cemetery Wedding

I featured Leigh & Brian’s ridiculously awesome engagement shoot back in June – you’ll remember it, it was the one with the bed in a river! So, you can imagine my excitement when their photographer Hollie sent me the couple’s  recent wedding – they got married in a cemetery! The bride is a writer herself and so she wrote me a bit of an essay on their amazing wedding. It’s ace though so I wanted to share all her thoughts here with you.

“Oh my lord, where to even begin?  It was all just awesome, and our friends, family, and planners really thought of everything, from the “‘Till Death Do They Part”, Day of the Dead-themed engagement party, to the tombstone-shaped chocolates my mom made for our out-of-town guests,” she began. “We had such a great time, and I think everyone really enjoyed our crazy cemetery wedding.”

“I think we’re Rock n Roll because we did something that meant a lot to us, even though we knew we’d probably get some raised eyebrows.  And I also think we’re rock ‘n roll because we were able to pull off a completely unique event while still keeping our guests in mind — even though we were in an unconventional location, we made sure people were comfortable, and that they had refreshments, fans, and plenty of seating before and during the ceremony.  We had shuttles to take people to and from the ceremony site, and transportation for people inside the cemetery, if they had difficulty with the stone pathways.  Basically, we wanted to do it our way, but we didn’t want to do it at the expense of everyone’s comfort, and I think we did a good job of making our cemetery wedding a blast for everyone.”

“Overall, we went with a “vintage Savannah” theme; we wanted something unique and personal, but we also wanted to incorporate a lot of traditional Southern elements.  The location was definitely traditional and Southern – the ceremony was held on Lion’s Field in Historic Oakland Cemetery, in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta.  Oakland is Atlanta’s first city cemetery, and was designed in the Victorian garden style; it’s a beautiful place, with old stone pathways, gorgeous mausoleums, elaborate statuary, and plenty of trees and flowers.  The field where we were married is actually hundreds of unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers, and has three enormous old magnolias shading part of the area.”

“We did a ceremony in the round, which meant the chairs were arranged to circle where Brian and I stood, with four aisles between the chairs; each aisle was marked by a pair of urns filled with hydrangea, dusty miller, and Spanish moss (to go with the Southern theme; all our bouquets had the same flowers, but with added gardenia, so they smelled unbelievable).  They erected iron gatework around the ceremony area, and covered that in vines, moss, and candles; we also had a refreshment table under one of the magnolias (where they served our signature drink, a lime, cucumber, and mint blend we called the “Bobby Jones” — Bobby’s grave is in the cemetery), and they hung a chandelier filled with candles in the tree above the bar.  Buses were taking people to the ceremony site, and because some guests would be getting there early, we had passed h’ors d’ouerves and robin’s egg blue silk fans on every chair, with a little note attached, telling everyone to stay cool.”

“After the ceremony (which was performed by a judge friend of ours), we’d arranged guided tours of the cemetery for anyone who was interested in seeing more of the place (it’s enormous, with 70,000 people buried there, and I didn’t want people feeling like they’d only seen a portion of it) — I’d coordinated the tours ahead of time with the Oakland director, and had people mark on their RSVP cards if they wanted to participate.  On our wedding day, the cemetery docents surprised us by dressing up in Victorian period costumes (which was awesome!) to lead the groups around the grounds; afterward, we heard rave reviews about the docents, and how interesting the tours had been.  People who didn’t go on the tours were taken straight to the reception location. where a cocktail hour was being held; meanwhile, we and the wedding party traipsed through the cemetery, taking roughly one million photographs.”

“We held the reception at the Wimbish Mansion in midtown Atlanta — it’s a gorgeous old stone home just sitting in the middle of the city, and it has a fabulous ballroom from the 1920’s, which we loved.  We wanted to tie in the cemetery theme, but without being too obvious about it, so we used the Bird Girl of Savannah — she was the little girl statue that used to be in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery (the one that was made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), and we had a copy of her for the centerpiece of the buffet table.  The (amazing) food had the same Southern influence – there was the standard prime rib and whatnot, but we also had fried chicken and a mac and cheese bar, plus a ton of vegan options (including a vegan groom’s cake that people went crazy over).  For the father/daughter dance, we chose an old song from my dad’s favorite movie, and I surprised him with a fake mustache (I wore one, too), a top hat and cape, and dressed him up as an old-time movie villain, which he loved – he kept the get-up on for the rest of the night.”

“More fun reception touches included the photo booth, which we filled with vintage hats, mustaches, and other props (we got our mustaches and glasses-on-a-stick from MaroDesignson etsy).  Instead of having a guest book, we had a vintage framed chalkboard in the booth (which was purchased from RevivedVintage, also on etsy), so guests could be photographed with their personal messages to us.  For the bouquet toss, I made a bouquet out of scratch-off lottery tickets, and attached a penny to one of the ribbons — we announced that the toss was for anyone who wanted to get lucky, and it was actually caught by one of the groomsmen, who was so excited that he ran a victory lap around the ballroom immediately afterward.”

“Finally, when it was time to go, everyone was given a plastic egg filled with birdseed for our exit toss — for these, Brian and I bought a ton of plastic white Easter eggs, spray painted them (and a good portion of the driveway; oops) blue, then added brown “spots” with a spray bottle of thinned paint.  Everyone tossed the birdseed at us as we came down the stairs outside (I was still finding birdseed in my hair two days later), and the night finished with Brian and I leading a parade of guests down Peachtree Street and back to the hotel for a little post-partying, behind a (very tolerant) younger guest who carried a “Just Married” flag.  We walked into the hotel bar, and the people there gave us a standing ovation; it was the perfect ending to an absolutely perfect day, and now I totally want to do it all over again.”

Yep, totally awesome huh!? I love these guys!

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