Tag Archives: DIY

Film Wedding Photography – Sophie & Robert’s Quirky Vintage Countryside Wedding

There’s something about film photography. Something magical. Our wedding was shot on film in fact, and while at the time this wasn’t even a conscious decision (digital wedding photography wasn’t as popular then – wow I sound like we got married in the dark ages!) it’s a choice I’m pretty happy we made. There’s just a certain quality with this format, that no matter how hard it tries, digital images simply can’t compete with.

So when photographer Ashton Jean-Pierre sent me Sophie & Robert’s wedding last week, shot 100% with film, I jumped at the chance to share it with you.

“I grew up wanting to be different and loving quirky & unusual things,” newlywed Sophie told me. “I just don’t have a thing for traditional weddings and get excited whenever I see an alternative wedding on the internet. I knew that was what I wanted after getting engaged.”

“Robert and I knew we didn’t want to look traditional. Although I initially wanted to wear a vintage dress, I ended up falling in love with the quirky David Fielden dress! It was, in fact, the first dress I tried on and only took me 8 more dresses to decide it was the one for me. The back of the dress was initially short and I asked the dressmaker to make it longer as I wanted it to look a bit dramatic. Robert absolutely loves vintage-looking suits, so he got a beautiful bespoke brown suit made at Dress2Kill and it suited him perfectly! He also got this fabulous pink & cream striped bow-tie from Hackett.”

The couple wanted to put their personal stamp on their wedding, and so took it upon themselves to DIY wherever they could. “Due to my creativity, I wasn’t frightened to make my wedding ideas come real,” Sophie continued. “The unusual table plan display and the confetti cones were among the things Robert and I made. I also ordered favour badges, which went down well with our guests!”

“My lovely Mum made the pink/cream/light brown bunting and and the confetti cones were made by myself and Rob. We got the vintage vases & containers from charity shops and family members.”

“The other decorations came from Etsy – Pom Queen, FunOnAStick, Victorianstation – and Folksy – The Lime Garden.  I got the paper mache table numbers off Lainesworld.co.uk and sprayed them with gold paint! The invite, RSVP postcard,  menu and order of service were designed by myself, and Rob and I created the unusual table planner!”

And as I imagined from seeing Ashton‘s incredible images, the photography was also very important to this stylish pair. “As I am a photographer myself, choosing a wedding photographer was going to be a very easy task! Actually, Ashton was the only wedding photographer I considered hiring as we are friends and I absolutely love his style. We both have a thing for vintage things & alternative weddings and prefer to use film, so he knew exactly what I wanted. He was fabulous on our wedding day!”

Beautiful! I’m laying my blogging claim to all of Ashton’s weddings from here on in. I love his photography SO MUCH. Who’s with me?

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Tess & Ray’s Dream-Like Backyard Wedding

Tess & Ray’s backyard wedding is pretty much what my dreams look like. Tess told me all about it and I swooned over every detail, “From the very beginning Ray and I knew that we wanted our wedding to be relaxed and FUN, but most importantly something we could be proud of.   We wanted to stay true to ourselves and not worry about any kind of fuss or frill.  We wanted to make our dream a reality without breaking our backs trying to pay for it.”

“About 9 months into planning we came to the realization that we could no longer have our wedding at the venue we had originally booked – so with 3 months to go before the big day, we were left without a venue.  Luckily for us, my wonderful in-laws have a beautiful backyard and we decided to take the leap into planning our brand new backyard wedding – a much different affair than the one we had been planning for the previous 9 months.”

“To say it was easy, would be a lie.  We could not have put everything together without the help of our amazing families and friends.  From my husband and his family tirelessly working on the house and yard for weeks to my family endlessly running errands for us to getting everyone together for pizza, beer, and bouquet making the night before the wedding!”

“I had a good idea of what I wanted our flowers to look like and knew that with the help of my bridal party and family, we could pull them off ourselves.  I ordered the flowers wholesale online from fiftyflowers.com and bought a few additional rose bouquets from Costco the day before the wedding.  Best decision ever.  We saved a fortune and had a ton of fun doing it!  Over the course of our engagement I scowered etsy, eBay, and antique stores for vintage tins, glass vases, and glass cake stands for our centerpieces and the dessert table.  My dad made an awesome swing that we hung from a tree in the front yard, he also made our wedding sign, and put together – with help from my brother-in-law the hanging rose/vase arch that we were married in front of.”

“Instead of having a formal rehearsal dinner, our immediate families and bridal party all got together and set everything up together the night before the big day.  We ordered pizza, hung lights, set tables, and told stories.  The amount of work that my husband and his family put into the yard was so incredible and it looked perfect!  It was the best rehearsal dinner for us.  Putting the bouquets and centerpieces together with my sisters, my bridesmaids, my mom, and my mom in law the night before the wedding was a wonderfully calming experience for me as the bride, and made me realize how lucky and loved we are.”

“The other best decision we could have ever made was having a pig roast (sorry to all you veggies out there.)  My husband had said several times, in the beginning stages of planning, that he wished we could have a pig roast.  With our initial venue, it wouldn’t have been a possibility for us.  When plans changed months later, we revisited the idea and after doing our research we found that it was much easier (and cheaper!) to do than what we had initially thought.  We found an amazing company, Double D Pig Roasts, who literally started roasting the pig in a trailer in the driveway at 6am on the morning of the wedding.  They were incredible to work with, no fuss and down to earth, and the food was so seriously delicious!  We saved a fortune having the pig roast and it truly was a totally wonderful experience!  My cousin works at the bakery where we got our beautiful and yummy cake, Naples Bakery, and my mom got us the adorable and delicious pink macaroons from Vanille.”

“I had seen my ceremony dress at Silver Moon in Chicago a few months before Ray and I got engaged, and thought “I will wear that on my wedding day”.  About 6 months later, after literally having dreams about it, and very much doubting it would still be at the shop, I went back and miraculously – there she was!  And she fit!  It was meant to be.  My mom and I found my reception dress at All Saints Spitafields.  We weren’t looking for a dress at the time, but I fell in love, and decided that it was the perfect dancin’ dress.  I didn’t break the bank on either of my dresses and I love them even more for that reason! I also found an awesome etsy seller, Pixel and Hank, to custom make one of her veils in a blush pink tulle that would match the color of my dress.  It turned out perfectly!  The flowers in my hair were pink peonies cut from my parent’s garden the morning of the wedding, given to me by my mom.”

“I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to each wear a different dress, and I knew I wanted to try to keep the dresses as affordable and re-wearable as possible.  Over the course of a few months I picked out several dress options for each girl and let them pick the one that they liked best!  A few of the girls picked out their own dresses too!  The groomsmen were told a color scheme of black, white, and grey and to wear whatever they wanted – they looked awesome!”

“Planning a wedding is a funny thing, it can feel so wonderful and so stressful at the same time – and at the end of the day – it truly does all come together and is just the best day ever!  Our wedding was just the way we wanted it, imperfections and all, and looking through the pictures I feel the same happiness that I felt that day.  It was a whirlwind of joy, emotions, togetherness and love.  We were able to feel how much the people in our lives loved and supported us as individuals and as a couple – and we could not be more grateful to have had the pleasure of experiencing that feeling…and on top of it all we had SO MUCH FUN!”

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Married by Elvis in Vegas – Michelle & Shane’s True Romance Wedding

Michelle & Shane were married by Elvis in Vegas – doesn’t get much more Rock n Roll than that does it?! After a long distance romance and a super romantic proposal involving messages in a bottle predicting that they’d both be married by Elvis in Vegas (!) they couple wed in the way they knew they should…

“The wedding was amazing,” Michelle wrote. “We had about 50+ friends and family that flew in from all over the country to be there for it. We decided that instead of going to an Elvis wedding chapel, that we would rent the 2,500 sq foot party suite “The Stardust Suite” in the Orleans Hotel & Casino. People usually rent it for parties & wedding receptions but we figured we would just order Elvis to come there and do the ceremony. I looked into the chapels & it seemed like most of them would only let you have a certain number of guests & the weddings sure don’t last very long. Doing it the way we did, we got the room (which was big & very nice with an amazing view of Vegas) for 6 hours.”

“We had an open bar until midnight! We decided a long time ago,that our love was a true-blue True Romance …a lot like the film “True Romance” (except I wasn’t a call girl!) …but we both love the line where Alabama says “I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and things seemed to be getting so shitty. And he’d say, ‘that’s the way it goes, but don’t forget, it goes the other way too.’ That’s the way romance is… Usually, that’s the way it goes, but every once in awhile, it goes the other way too.” That’s how we both felt…it finally went the other way & we had found each other in this crazy world.”

“We knew that we wanted the beautiful theme song to that movie to play as I walked down the aisle, if you’ve seen the movie you probably know the song! It’s called “You’re so cool” by Hans Zimmer & I walked down the aisle to it to meet my “Clarence”. The Elvis was fantastic, he was SO nice. I recommend him very highly! The ceremony was a perfect mix of silly-fun, and at certain times, serious. My son was the ring bearer…and that was the only time I cried! And as you can see in the photos, my Daddy walked me down the aisle. That was very important to me too.”

“Even though I always dreamt of a Rock n Roll Elvis wedding, I still wanted some of the traditional aspects in there. The people closest to me joke with me a lot about how I’m a tattooed rockin’ roll girl, but the truth is, I’m really an old fashioned June Cleaver wannabe! I guess the same thing kinda happened with my dress. I originally purchased a gorgeous 1950’s red dress and I was all ready to wear it, when I saw ivory, tea length dress among all the long white gowns at Wedding Wonderland…and OMG, it was GORGEOUS! It looked like a vintage dress to me, but it wasn’t! So, I tried it on ‘for fun’, because I also certainly could NOT afford the dress! I couldn’t believe it..I really kinda almost cried I loved it so much and I never thought I’d even want a ‘real’ wedding dress!”

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Jo & Oli’s East End Knees Up!

When I asked Jo & Oli to descrive their wedding, they simply called it an “East End knees up!” I love that and think the description cetainly matches the party vibe of their wedding photographs from Rosie Parsons.

“We knew that we didn’t want a hotel reception (we couldn’t have afforded one anyway!) because we wanted to put our stamp on our day: we wanted it to be really about what we like: tea and cake; Rock n Roll; dancing and cocktails!” Jo explained. “I dragged my Mum around every hall in the East End of London before deciding on St Peters in Bethnal Green. It had so much character whilst being a blank canvas at the same time. It was really important to me to get married in the East End as I grew up in Stepney and we now live in Bow. The hall was within walking distance of the hall and traffic was quite bad along Valance Road that day so Oli and I got to ride to the hall in our Morris Minor and chat to our guests as they walked along!”

The ceremony was a very special party of the day and took place at St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church. “Oli isn’t Catholic so it was really important to me to make sure that the ceremony was as relaxed as possible while still being prayerful,” Jo explained. “I’ve know Father Tony for a while and knew that he would be able to put Oli at ease as well as perform a ceremony that would be personal and meaningful. Father Tony sat us facing our guests which made the ceremony more intimate and something we could really share with out family and friends. The ceremony was perfect and Rosie really captured our happiness as we left the church. We decided not to spend money on decorating the church due to our budget and the fact that it’s such a beautiful church, so full of character.”

“A lot of what we achieved was due to the help of family and friends, everything from the bridesmaid’s dresses made by Oli’s mum to the flowers by my bridesmaid’s mum to the catering and cocktails by my dad’s friends at Drinks Fusion. The search for the perfect dress was the most fun part of the whole preparation. I knew that I wanted a short dress because I wanted to be on the dancefloor all night: I’m really clumsy too so just knew that I would tear a long dress. As it turns out I somehow managed to slightly tear the scalloping at the bottom anyway – Oli’s mum to the rescue! I went to Melanie Potro with a specific idea about what I wanted and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with my dress. Going to see Melanie for fittings was so much fun. It’s so exciting seeing your dress being made from scratch, choosing the silk and lace and making the decisions. Melanie even out a little blue bow on my petticoat!”

“Oli and I love to go for afternoon tea (you can’t beat the Dorchester!) and thought that it would suit the hall which had an art deco feel. The vintage china was amazing – our caterer Jason spent a lot of time searching for the best in terms of quality and price – and was a real talking point with our guests as they arrived.”

“Oli and I had our own table which we felt was a bit different, although our nieces pulled up their chairs and joined us! The table names were made up of the record sleeves of our favourite singers and we had our favourite 50’s music playing throughout the afternoon tea. In the evening we had a huge buffet that quickly became the talking point of the evening as was the cocktail bar. Our guests drank over 400 cocktails!”

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Jill & Justin’s Nature-Inspired Music Lovers Wedding

Jill & Justin are both huge music lovers and so they wanted this to be a big part of their day. “We love anything from jazz to punk to french new wave, and we knew we wanted music to be the theme in our wedding,” Jill explained.

“This was reflected in our wedding invitations, our table numbers, our choice in the amazing jazz band we got, our favorite DJs and the favors for our guests, which featured lyrics by the Beach Boys.”

The wedding was held at the John James Audubon Centre, a nature museum in Pennsylvania. This theme was also reflected in their day – from the bride’s amazing flower crown to the owl that was there to say hello!

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Steve & Shelley’s Post-War Britain, DIY Wedding

Steve & Shelley’s Isle of Wight wedding had a post-war vintage and DIY theme. The couple were keen not to spend a fortune on their day and the theme really evolved quite naturally and organically from this idea. “We were conscious we did not want to spend a fortune on our wedding and the theme of ‘Post-War Britain’ fitted in nicely with our DIY wedding,” the bride told me. “Everything was done on a budget, a lot sourced from eBay, friends and family helped to make bunting and paper chain hearts for decorating the reception venue.  Our favours were Thorntons chocolates wrapped in brown wrapping paper with blue butchers twine (eBay again) and a parcel tag attached with the guests name as a place card. I handmade the invitations which were a shimmery Union Jack postcard style with the invitation wording as a telegram, on the invitation we requested that guests attend in their interpretation of post-war Britain dress, and gladly the majority of guests did so!”

“The Orders of Service were also handmade, inspired by the ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’ poster campaigns from World War Two.  We had a simple non-religious service which included a reading from “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams.  The chapel was simple and perfect for our day, and we were the first wedding there in four years! We exited the chapel to a church organ version of Frank Sinatra’s Love & Marriage.”

“We had martini glass style table centrepieces (from eBay again) on the tables at the reception, filled with white and red roses.” Shelley continued. ” We decided on table names rather than numbers and chose British personalities from the 40’s & 50’s including Elizabeth Taylor (the ‘top table’), Vera Lynn, Diana Dors, Winston Churchill & Norman Wisdom!  For the table plan I used a Union Jack flag bought from Sainsbury’s (around the time of the Royal Wedding, we were lucky that everywhere was selling all things Union Jack!) mounted onto card, with the relevant personality’s photos next to the guests seated at each table.  We also had ration card style menu’s on the tables.  Upon arrival at the reception venue and throughout the meal, we had Glenn Miller Band playing in the background. The evening buffet consisted of a candy buffet of traditional sweets, and a british ‘afternoon tea’ – scones, jam & cream, sausages on union jack sticks and sandwiches.”

“We didn’t want a traditional wedding. Steve loves his classic cars and I love the 40’s and 50’s fashion, so we went for Post-War Britain, an era where things were very much do-it-yourself and on a budget and the fashion was beautiful and women really looked like women!  In all, we spent just over £2000 on our wedding, and we managed this because we hunted high and low for the best deals and friends and family helped wherever they could.  No one seems to believe us when we tell them what we spent – but believe me it really can be done – it just takes a lot of time to source the bargains.  Plus, Rock n Roll Bride was a big source of inspiration and ideas!”

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