Tag Archives: DIY

Holly & Michael’s Heart of San Francisco, Fashionista Wedding

It was The Great American Music Hall that played host to Holly & Michael’s wedding. It was the couple’s love of a good party, Rock n Roll and quirky fashion that inspired their day. “The team behind Union Square’s uber chic Shotwell Boutique, Holly Kricher and Michael Weaver are style savants who’ve worked their way into the hearts and minds of San Francisco’s fashionistas in a very short period of time,” explained photographer Christina about the couple, “So, it makes sense that their wedding thoroughly reflected their fashion-forward sensibility.”

“Having the reception at The Great American Music Hall not only complemented the bride and groom’s vintage aesthetic, it created the feeling of being at a glitzy nightclub rather than a formal wedding. Instead of assigned seating, the couple opted for a cabaret-style set up for both the ceremony and reception. When those tables filled up, guests could get a bird’s eye view of the action from the balcony upstairs.”

This fashion forward bride wore a dress by Morgane le Fay and Christian Louboutin shoes. She opted not for a tradition bridal jewellery, instead favouring a custom made gorgeous statement necklace, bracelet and earring set by Erickson Beamon. Both Holly and her Maid of Honour carried bouquets that were illuminated with a blue light. The result was very dramatic as they walked down the slightly dimmed aisle.

The couple thought about all of their details carefully and as well as DIYing a lot, had set designer Courtney Atinsky on hand to help them transform their vision into reality. Instead of flower petals, the “flower girls” threw small cloth butterflies down the aisle which they purchased from Micheal’s. They also wore black leotards with tutus.  The favours included vintage-style costume jewellery, such as brooches, rings, and earrings, doubled as table decorations.

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Kennon & Bob’s “Double Rainbow” DIY Wedding

Kennon & Bob’s “double rainbow” wedding is a perfect example of why less than perfect weather doesn’t have to spell a disaster for your wedding or your wedding photographs!

The wedding was held at South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago – the same venue that The Obama’s held their wedding reception! The couple also loved the venue because all their rental fees are given to support arts and cultural programming in the area. “If you asked our family and friends, they’d say that we’re Rock n Roll because we have tattoos and piercings, aren’t traditional or religious, go a lot of concerts and love to throw parties,” the bride told me.  “Ok, we agree.  We just didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding.  We wanted nothing to do with dowries, religious figures or treating women as possessions. We wanted to share our beliefs in marriage — love, respect, equality, friendship — and to throw one hell of a party!”

“My goal for the “theme” was to have it look like anthropologie threw a wedding.  I gush every time I’m in that store and I wanted to replicate the mix of vintage, quirky, green and modern elements in everything from the cake to the centerpieces to my dress. Bob and I are incredibly goofy, so it was a pretty fun, casual affair in an extremely gorgeous venue. Our poet/geologist/apple-farmer/rooftop gardener friend Dave married us in an Ethical Humanist ceremony that we all wrote.  Music was a HUGE part of our wedding — Esperanza Spalding to Howlin’ Wolf.  We planned everything ourselves — the groom helped A LOT! We made out own DIY invitations, programs, menus, seating chart, donation cards, family photo collage — this was a really fun and long process; I visited dozens of paper shops and online sources looking at design ideas; purchased most of our materials at Paper Source, Michael’s, and Target (design paper, envelopes, stamps, ink.)”

Kennon’s tea length dress was Jessica” by Renella DeFina. She wanted the vintage look for her gown and not only found it on sale at Kasia’s Bridal, but she was able to get a further discount on it because she offered to donate some canned goods to the store’s Thanksgiving food drive!

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A Day in the Life of…The Green Parlour + Lovely DIY Flower Ideas

Hello! New feature alert everybody!

Last week I was invited to visit The Green Parlour, located in Pangbourne, nr Reading, Berkshire. The flower shop is owned by a girl I actually went to school with, Emma Sampson. Having not seen her for 10 years (!) and having a bit of a penchant for pretty blooms, I jumped at the chance to go and have a play. The idea was to do some quick DIY tutorials to show you all how to make your own bouquets, buttonholes and finally a cute flower crown. However much gossip and laughter meant that the photographs I took weren’t the best to illustrate what we did! Whoops…

Emma has written up a very helpful step by step guide for the bouquet and the buttonhole though so I do hope you enjoy these despite my rubbish photos. Why not have a go yourself? (and send me your photos afterwards too please!)

I was also so in love with my flower crown. I’m very sad that it died. I might have to invest in a faux flower crown (WhichGoose on etsy have some amaaazing ones!) so I can feel like a festival hippy chick on a daily basis.

A rustic & vintage inspired bouquet

Flowers used for the bouquet
Pepita spray roses
Hypnose roses
Thlaspi (also known as field penny cress or in our shop Mr. funky funky)
Populus eucalyptus (we used the leaves and the berries)
Muscari (aka grape hyacinths)

You will need
Ribbon, lace, material
Pin or a brooch

1. First things first, make sure all the roses are de-thorned otherwise you may end up with a few bouquet battle scars.

2. I always like to use a rose at the centre of my bouquet as it gives a really lovely focus point as you look at the bouquet from above. We chose to use Pepita spray roses as our first and central flower to give a lovely relaxed dome.

3. Hold the central rose in your non-writing hand about 10cm down from the flower head.

4. We wanted something garden inspired and surrounded the rose with Thlaspi (the green fluffy stuff) you don’t need the whole stem, break bits off and en-circle the central rose – it doesn’t have to be too neat, as long as its about the same height as your central flower.

5. I couldn’t resist the Muscari (the blue buds) for the next bit – they smell just like sweets – just in the same way that we put the Thlaspi around the rose you want to do the same with the muscari so that there is a little ring of the blue flowers poking out in all directions.

6. Now to really start to create a ‘dome’ take 3 Hypnose roses and place around the muscari at a slightly lower height – this will make a triangle around the bouquet and you can fill in the gaps with any type of foliage you like – we went for Populus eucalyptus for its amazing berries.

7.    Carry on the same steps as above, slightly lowering the level of your flowers and adding in anemones, more roses, anything you fancy, until they almost touch your hand.

8. Have someone on hand to help you tie your bouquet together – a standard garden twine is just perfect for this job!

9. Choose your ribbon – I especially love the lace look at the moment – and wrap around your bouquet attach bows, more ribbon, buttons, old brooches anything you like

10. Voila! Get someone else to hold the bouquet so you can see how lovely it looks – pop in a vase ready for your big day.

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Michael & Chloe’s Seriously Bad Ass Festival/Circus Wedding

Michael & Chloe got married in the Circadia Circus Tent at Woodford Folk Festival, Australia. I think that’s all I have to say to let you know that this wedding is seriously bad ass and awesome right?

The bride wore a handmade dress and Wellington boots (festivals are muddy!) and the entire wedding was organized by the ‘Circadia’ team. The couple didn’t have bridesmaids, groomsmen or flowers, but they had a cake organized by Michael’s sisters (and a sweetie table, again organized for them by their family!) Bogan Bingo – a 90’s hair band doing a “bogan” version of Bingo – entertained the guests before the wedding began.

“Like so many Love Stories, ours starts with a boy doing something stupid and painful while trying to impress a girl,” began Michael, the groom. “It was late 2007 and I had only met Chloe a few short weeks earlier, having rejoined my friends at ‘Bound’ – the Acrobalance Troupe I had helped start while at Uni. In those few short weeks on the Southbank lawns however; between shoulder-stands, flying, and cartwheel practice; I found myself inexplicably drawn to Chloe’s company and I hoped – prayed! – she felt the same. On the particular evening upon which our story starts we were practicing tumbling. In true misguided machismo, I set out to impress her by leaping off a concrete bollard to the grass below before dropping forward into a commando-roll. Unfortunately ambition exceeded ability – my leap was too long; my roll mistimed – and my collarbone and shoulder connected with the ground with a resounding ‘crack’!”

“I lay there cursing through gritted teeth under the weight of a dislocated shoulder, broken clavicle, and badly bruised ego. And as my eyes refocused from the pain, I saw her blue eyes above me, filled with concern, pity, and something that looked just a little like laughter… Later that night after Chloe had reset my shoulder and helped me to re-mobilize the joint in the water of the Southbank lagoon, we shared our first kiss. It was way more sexy than that sounds. Because both of us were only recently single when we met, we had promised each other we wouldn’t get ‘too involved'; although we were practically inseparable until I headed away to the Woodford Folk Festival that New Year’s to take part in the Fire Ceremony. There Woodford, bathed away the hurts of old wounds, as Woodford always does, with rain and with fire. I realized what a silly promise we had made and on the 1st of January, 2008 as the Fire Event’s lighthouse burned and tumbled, I called her to say the words my heart had known since that first moment at training, “I love you Chloe”.”

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Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish Fusion Wedding

Just wow. Like seriously, wow.

That’s pretty much all I said for 5 minutes when Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish fusion wedding hit my inbox this week. I almost don’t know where to begin telling their epic wedding story, luckily for me the bride explained it a lot better than I ever could. The couple actually had two weddings – the first in Japan in July 2009 and the second (pictured) in Scotland in September 2010.

“My new Hubby and I actually got married in Japan (where we live) in 2009.  We went to the city office and signed lots of forms to update my alien registration card, change his official address and get hitched.  Which one of those forms was actually my marriage certificate I still don’t know.  I wore my mothers 1970’s full length purple embroidered waistcoat over my purple cord flares and after we went to the crazy Japanese arcade on our street and had photos taken in the hello kitty photo booth.  Much fun yet somewhat lacking in romance.  We thus decided to come home to Scotland and have another celebration with my family, which we did in September.  Planning my wedding from Japan was hard to say the least, especially as I wanted something a little different from the norm, and the whole thing became more of a disappointment as I spent hours trawling through ugly dresses, bland invites and over the top bling, until a good friend with similar problems directed me to your site.  From then on I visited your site nearly every other day to remind myself that there were options other than white wedding package A, B or C and so in turn I am sending you my wedding in hope that it may help other brides in the UK realise the same and give them a wee break from the monotony of the wedding industry.  I hope you like.”

“I came home to Scotland in 2009 to start looking for a wedding venue as I knew that it would be my only chance to see somewhere before I actually returned to get married. I wanted to have a rustic wedding in a barn or something similar but Kiichiro insisted that if he was bringing his family from Japan they were not going to sit in a barn.  He then threw down his one condition, that we get married in a Scottish castle.  Thus my Mother, two of my sisters and myself packed ourselves into a car and went on a road trip from Glasgow through Inverness and up into the highlands visiting every castle on our way.  The castles were GORGEOUS but most were way out of our budget and the ones we could afford were never quite right.  We returned to my sisters house in Ayr two days later more than a little dejected.  My eldest sister then suggested that we go and look at a castle a few miles down the road that I had never heard of so we all, rather grudgingly, got back into the car and drove the few miles to Blairquhan Castle.  As we turned on to the three mile drive my spirits lifted a little.  The river Irvine shaded by huge mossy trees was running alongside the road that was covered in confused pheasants (they obviously weren’t used to cars on their road) and at the end of the road the imposing face of Blairquhan showed itself.  This is no fairytale castle this is a big Scottish “don’t even think of attacking me” castle. Perfect.  Add to this the huge front lawn, boating pond complete with ducks and geese, walled garden and acres and acres of forest and we had the perfect venue.  They had even converted all the old stable buildings into holiday cottages so all my friends and family came for a wee three day break over the wedding weekend.”

Pheigi was decided underwhelmed by traditional wedding dresses so decided to make her perfect gown herself instead. “I went to try on wedding dresses with my best friend imagining we were going to have that movie moment where I would find “the dress” and we would both cry,” she told me. “We did cry…with laughter as I looked friggin’ ridiculous. Most of the dresses were as wide as I am tall making me look like a sequined taffeta square.”

“I am originally from the Isle of Lewis famous for its tweed and I am milliner who works almost exclusively with the lovely fabric so it made sense that my dress too would be woolen.  And so I set about making my brown and green steampunk-esque mermaid, corseted, bustled, leopard print lined wedding gown.  This was the first dress I have ever made and I couldn’t find a pattern I liked so I made it up as I went along.  I am sure a seamstress would have kittens if she looked closely but I was happy with how it turned out and on the wedding day outside in Scotland in September I was very happy to be wrapped up in tweed.  The fabric was woven for me by Callum Maclean of butt of Lewis textiles who was very helpful in offering me tweed and wool samples to make sure I got exactly what I was looking for.”

“My gold Celtic headband was my something old as it was the headband my eldest sister had made for us to wear as her bridesmaids.  I had originally decide that I wanted to wear a top hat but looking around I could find nothing I liked and those willing to make one for me were all very expensive so I decided to make my own.  Instead of a hat I went with an olive green birdcage veil with massive pheasant and peacock feathers which matched the colour of my tweed and my Mother’s outfit perfectly (I also made her a matching hat).  The lack of variety I encountered while searching for my wedding outfit frustrated me so much that I have spent the last year and a half teaching myself millinery and very recently opened a shop on etsy selling my tweed pillbox hats and alternative bridal veils.”

In honour of his wife’s Scottish heritage, Kiichiro wanted to wear a kilt. “Kiichiro decided early on that he wanted to wear a kilt so we sat down with a tartan sample book and to my delight he chose my family tartan (Ancient Macdonald of the Isles muted hunting) with a charcoal tweed waistcoat and jacket to match” continued the Pheigi. “We had the whole outfit made by Philip King in Aberdeen.   My sister Morag knitted his kilt socks.  His Brogues (shoes) came from ebay as did his amazing Tibetan goat sporran.  His plaid brooch was form pewtermill crafts.  His kilt pin was red deer antler as was his sgian dubh both from Comrie Crafts.”

The outdoor ceremony was a very meaningful one. Pheigi explained,  ” I do not belong to an organised faith and my husband is Buddhist, so the choice of Church, registry office or humanist ceremony didn’t really fit. We were already legally married so I decided to write the ceremony myself and my sister Eilidh acted as officiant on the day.  I based the ceremony on the Celtic Scottish tradition of hand fasting so we got married under a HUGE tree with our family and friends standing in a circle around us.  Instead of bridesmaids I had my 4 corners to represent the elements, my best friend and nephew read poems, my uncle gave us a blessing in Gaelic (my family’s mother tongue), my Aunt (married over 40 years) welcomed us to married life and held the broomstick for us to jump over and enter married life before we welcomed our guests with a dram from our wedding quaich. After the wedding we surprised our guests with a band of hairy drummers who led them from our tree to the walled garden of the castle where we played games and ate canapés while drinking sparkly on picnic blankets.  As it was cold I had set up a tea bar offering herbal and Japanese tea for people to keep warm.  We had a sit down meal in the castle where myself, my mother, the groom and the best man (who doesn’t speak English) gave speeches.  Our first dance was a swing dance to Hey sailor by the Detroit Cobras.  My friend officially opened the bar by reading a poem about the SS politician (the whisky filled boat that sank off the coast of Bara and led to the film Whisky galore).  We had a traditional Scottish Ceilidh then played with sky lanterns and sparklers.”

To keep thing personal, the couple wanted to DIY a lot of their reception details. “I did so much by myself and on the day it was a little heart breaking to see that most people don’t notice all the tiny details that you put in.  I noticed them however and it made my day better,” the bride continued. “Doing everything by yourself is hard work and can be really stressful.  The night before the wedding as I was trying to cover seats, make flowers, arrange tables and welcome my guests the word fun was far, far away. However my favorite memory of the day was a DIY moment.  At 6am on the morning of the wedding Kiichiro came and woke me up to go and decorate our wedding tree.  This tree was on a small lawn through a little piece of forest.  The branches were huge and came all the way down to sweep the floor making it feel like you were standing under a huge leafy umbrella.  It was so big that all our 80 guests could happily stand in a circle and still be enclosed in our green bubble.  We decorated it with ribbons, origami cranes on thread and candles hanging in jam jars.  At 6am as the mist was starting to lift off the grass and the sun was so low in the sky you had to squint I remember standing under my massive tree, ribbon in hand, and watching the sleepy faces of my sisters and mother wander out of the forest to help us.”

Finally, the bride summed up to me why their wedding was perfect for them. “I didn’t choose to have a different wedding.  I don’t want to be different for the sake of being different.  I just didn’t like any of the wedding stuff that was out there.  I found the whole wedding process to be disappointing and frustrating as I flipped through wedding magazines and websites and found absolutely nothing I liked.  The few things I did find I couldn’t afford.  It broke my heart.  Not for one second did I consider the white wedding just for ease.  In one way I had it very easy.  My family was awesome.  No one questioned any of my decisions.  No one made negative comments and during the day no one person (within my earshot) asked “what the f**k is going on?”.  Without their help there wouldn’t have been a wedding.”

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Sara’s Urban Bridal Shoot

Sara’s bridal shoot makes me heart sing! Motorbike, cute doggie, ink, vintage brooch bouquet…oh yes I certainly approve of this! Sara told me all about her inspiration for her shoot with Sweet Caroline Photo,

“My dress is from Pronovias and I got it from a bridal boutique in Salado, Tx called Coccinella’s.  My necklace was actually found at one of those crazy bridal extravaganzas from Stella Dot.  I saw it there, tried it on, and decided within 5 minutes that it was THE necklace! My shoes were none other than Irregular Choice!  Love them!  I really wanted something fun, quirky, and comfortable…and flat, as my fiancé is only about an inch taller than me! My bouquet was made by myself and my fiancé, Barrett.  I took a bunch of my old jewellery and hair pieces that I used to wear ALL the time and I haven’t been able to part ways with and wired them all together.  I also asked my stylists and receptionists at my salon to give me some of their old jewellery because I really wanted a piece of them with me during all of this.  They gave me a lot of pendants, rings, earrings, etc, and I love being able to look at it and see pieces of the people that have become my family.”

“As for location, as I said several times, I didn’t want to be in the middle of a field with a bunch of grass and trees because that just isn’t me!  I love cities and urban living and wanted my photos to reflect my love for those quirky little places you find around Austin. I loved the recycling plant idea with those huge piles of twisted metal!  My inspiration for my entire wedding look just came from my love for pin up girl looks along with the very intense desire to not look at my wedding photos in 20 years and say “Oh my gosh!  What was I thinking wearing that ______ (insert crazy, over trendy item here)!” I truly wanted a look that was me, just prettier!”

Don’t you just love it?