Tag Archives: DIY

A Music & Literature Themed Wedding: Claire & Scott

Claire & Scott chose an old movie theatre in as the setting for their ceremony, The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Although they hadn’t even thought about marrying in a theatre, after seeing one in Whitby they loved the idea. “We’d originally planned to marry in Whitby, as it’s a special to place to us both,” Claire told me. “Whilst looking at venues there, we were shown a theatre hidden away at the back of the sea front community centre. We hadn’t thought about marrying in a theatre, but we both fell in love with the idea. In the end, we decided that we’d rather marry closer to home in Sheffield, but the idea of marrying in a theatre stayed with us.”

“After an afternoon on Google, Scott emailed every theatre within a fifty-mile radius of us to ask if they did weddings. The Lantern Theatre was one of the few that replied and it turned out to be barely a mile from our house. When we arrived we fell in love with the place. It’s an old 84-seat Victorian theatre with anaglyph wallpaper and red velvet seats. The staff there were so flexible and open to all our ideas. They even bought a mirrorball so that I could walk down the aisle in spiralling light. They served cocktails in teapots, put together a lighting and music programme so that the ceremony ran without a hitch and Keith – the volunteer who ran the bar – even dressed up in a dapper waistcoat and tie.”

After the ceremony the couple and their guests boarded a old London bus to The Countryside Centre. “We chose The Countryside Centre because it gave us a blank canvas to work with,” Claire continued. “There are no staff there on the day itself so you have complete freedom to use whichever suppliers you want. Though there’s a converted barn and grain store, we chose to hire a marquee to make the most of the beautiful grounds and asked our caterers to set up a steak and fish barbecue, which was fantastic.”

The couple chose a music and literature theme for their day. “Literature and music have always been important to us and during the planning it soon became apparent that though we hadn’t intended to have a theme for the wedding, words and music were a recurring motif. Our invites were designed to look like classic orange and white vintage Penguin paperbacks, with library tickets inside for the RSVP (we’d stamped the wallet in which the library ticket sat with the key dates of our relationship). We used the Smiths’ song title ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ as the title of the paperback/invite.”

“Our place settings followed the Penguin theme, with the guests’ names replacing the author’s and a lyric we’d individually chosen for each guest replacing the title. Inside the place settings were CDs with the key songs from the wedding day. The orders of service that were handed out at the theatre were designed to look like vintage Penguin Plays paperbacks, with the title on the cover taken from a Velvet Underground song. Our readings were taken from books, except for one, which was the lyrics of the Pulp song, ‘Something Changed’.”

“During the service, we exchanged copies of our favourite books, around which the rings were tied on a ribbon. Even the confetti followed the literary theme. Using a heart-shaped holepunch, we punched confetti from the pages of our favourite books.”

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A Rainbow Rockabilly Wedding: Jennifer & Jon

If you’re a long-time reader of this ‘lil wedding blog of mine, you’ll be well aware that I’m a huge fan of the rainbow wedding trend. I even modeled in an ‘Over the Rainbow’ themed shoot last October. So you can imagine my glee when Jennifer & Jon’s wedding landed on my desk.

The couple wanted a huge party, and with 200 guests and only a $10,000 budget they were determined to not spent a fortune to do so. “We honestly would never have been able to pull of any wedding without our friends and family,” Jennifer told me. “It was truly a DIY wedding with everyone helping out days beforehand by shoveling, raking and baking in the hot sun to make my friend’s ranch into a kick ass outdoor wedding venue. Caitlin & Michael Burns, owners of Rebar Ranch were gracious enough to make our vision come true (or turn our lack of vision into something amazing!)”

Everything from the ceremony to the after-party was personal to the couple. “Our inspiration was simply to have a wedding that represented ourselves completely in every aspect,” the bride continued. “I had to throw out the wedding books in order to stay sane. We just told each other no matter what it would be what we wanted and to not make things to serious. I walked down the aisle with my brothers –  two of the most important people in my life. One of the highlights of our wedding was we wrote our own vows as all the vows we found online didn’t really feel very ‘us’.  It took us awhile but after a few margaritas we incorporated some of our favorite song lyrics into every part of our vows”

“Our theme was simply ‘Party!’ All we wanted to do was celebrate with those closest and have as much fun as possible. Our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to. We danced all night! The band was able to play some Johnny Cash songs as well as their original songs.”

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A Budget-Friendly DIY Wedding with the World’s Cutest Wedding Video: Melissa & Robbie

I love Melissa & Robbie’s wedding for so many reasons – her incredible shirt dress (which the bride, a fashion designer, made herself), the yellow and grey colour scheme, the cute recpetion details, their nephew and his ‘Melissa & Robbie’ flag – but most of all I love them because they shared this video with me. It’s a bit unconventional, but I’d encourage you to watch the video first. It was put together by the couple themselves from a collection of mobile phone/home camcorder clips filmed by their friends and it paints such a amazing picture of their wedding…

Told you! Wasn’t that the cutest thing ever?

The wedding was held at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, an eco-friendly nature center in Saint Charles, Illinois. “We had to move our ceremony inside last-minute because the weather suddenly turned cold,” Melissa explained. “I wasn’t thrilled with the room that we had to use because one of the walls was empty and not very attractive. Two of my friends – a street artist from Seattle and a graphic artist from New York City – put their heads together the morning of the wedding and surprised us by creating three pieces of gorgeous artwork (in a matter of a few hours) inspired by our handmade flower arrangements. When we arrived at the venue, the barren wall had been replaced by vibrant pieces of one-of-a-kind art that added beauty and an artistic energy to the space. To me, this was the ultimate reminder that when it comes to your wedding, it is important to be willing to let certain things go and remember why you are getting married in the first place – LOVE! Sometimes when things don’t work out as planned, something even more amazing happens.”

Pretty much the entire wedding was DIY. The bride made her own dress as from the fabric from her Mother’s wedding dress (!!) as well as her headpiece. All the reception decor was collected by the couple or was things they already had in their home. “For me, the most special part of doing things our way and keeping it DIY was making my own wedding dress. My mother had given me her gorgeous late 60s mod style wedding dress, and I (very apprehensively!) took it apart, and completely redesigned it into a more modern style. When my Mom saw me wearing it, her eyes instantly filled with tears. This was one of my favorite memories of our wedding day.”

“From the beginning, we agreed to keep things fun and casual, to do as much as possible ourselves, to stay within a small budget ($10,000 at the very most), and to do thing OUR way,” Melissa continued. “We didn’t want to have to follow any rules or traditions. All we wanted was to create a beautiful, relaxed party with one ultimate goal: to celebrate our love! Our vision was to include the things we both love the most about design: 1960s vintage inspiration (with modern flair), typography, and rustic minimalism.”

You can see more of Melissa’s DIY projects on her blog, Bubby & Bean.

“The venue we chose is a nature center and community urban garden area, so we wanted to blend in elements of nature and eco-consciousness as well. We also wanted to incorporate our colors (yellow and gray) throughout the venue, stationery, flowers, and attire as much as possible. This was an awful lot to include in one wedding, but our mission was to do so in a way that resulted in a cohesive design and a unique event. It was quite a task, but we did it! When we needed inspiration, we did three things that we both love to do: listen to old records, visit vintage shops, and watch our favorite old movies (Hello ‘The Graduate’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’!)”

“We planned our wedding in nine months (and for half of this time Robbie was on the road with his band!) We designed the event from scratch and hand made almost everything. We chose a dear friend to marry us, and kept the ceremony simple, light-hearted and brief. We asked the bass player from the band Robbie works for to be our ‘M.C.,’ and created an easy-going reception that had the energy of a casual party while still emphasizing our love for art, design, and music.”

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A Shabby Chic Wedding with Vintage Touches: Hannah & Andy

“Random but fun” was how Hannah & Andy described their Peterborough wedding to me. They bought as many elements into their day as they could, the only rule was they had to have significance to them and their relationship.

They served their favourite food, bangers & mash followed by individual pots of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They also collected as many random jars and bottles from car boot sales and antique shops as they could in the run up, and kept their floral arrangements simple and inexpensive by placing single roses in them for the centrepieces.

“What we really wanted was for the whole day to be fun for us and all the guests, as often at weddings the time can drag or there can be long pauses between sections,”  Hannah explained. “We hired a magician to turn up after the speeches, two roulette tables with croupiers and a photo booth from Say Fromage so people could take their own pics and take a copy of it away with them.”

Hannah wore a stunning Terry Fox gown with a Magpie Vintage necklace made from genuine vintage pieces.

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A Neo-Victorian, Steampunk Wedding: Jasmine & George

“We are both crafty, artistic and creative,” the pink haired bride told me. “We wanted a mix of romantic gothic, neo-Victorian, vintage and steampunk for our wedding. We really wanted to make it our own and original with still trying to keep a little tradition for our families. We decided we just wanted hints of each. That’s why we decided to DIY as much as we could.”

After an 11 year relationship, Jasmine & George were married in The Greenhouse at The Foundry, NY by groom’s cousin, John Russo. “We got our wedding rings from Gemvara,” Jasmine continued. “My ring has black and white diamonds and his had black diamonds added to it. The inscription says ‘True Love Waits’ after a Radiohead song because we waited 11 years before we got married.”

The reception was held in the main hall at The Foundry. “Our centerpieces were made by us,” the bride explained. “We collected wine bottle corks and dried out lots of red roses upside down on a laundry line at home at least 3 weeks before putting them all together. The tops of the apothecary jars had a black ribbon tied around with a different steampunk and vintage-themed trinkets attached.”

“The cake toppers were from blimpcat on etsy. They were wooden cameos of us that we used on our Save the Dates. All the paper goods were handmade by my maid of Honor including the programs, menus, table cards, our table banner and the wedding entrance sign. She also made the signs that the entire wedding party and parents held up for the photos. We got our wedding invitations made by Royal Steamline.”

The couple also made a huge effort with their outfits, DIYing and accessorising with vintage and steampunk details. “George and his groomsmen had time piece lapels were made by us using mini metal gears, chains, a mini key & a watch face. We had the florist attach the black calla lillies to the pieces we made.”

“The hats that my bridesmaids wore were made by us as well. We bought simple tear shaped hats and added black & red striped feathers, dark red birdcage tulle, time pieces and mini vintage keys. I made my veil/mask with white birdcage tulle and Swarovski crystals. The feather was from Claire’s Accessories that I just clipped on the side. For the reception, I changed my headpiece to a headband which I also made myself. I bought the sequin trimming and a brooch from etsy which I simply put together.”

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A Laid-Back & Family-Central South African Wedding: Daniel & Annette

The beautiful South African wedding of Daniel & Annette was sent over to me by their wedding photographer Bruce of Flyinghorse Photography. Not only do I love the relaxed vibe of this day, but Annette’s short powder blue dress is just perfect!

The wedding was held at Hillhouse, Dargle and was a huge family occasion, with everybody pitching in to help.

“Daniel and I had so much fun planning the wedding, we got a kick out of every little detail and it was our special little project,” Annette wrote. “We didn’t want to spend a fortune on the wedding so we decided to do most things ourselves, with a lot of help from our friends and family. We are both not at all into big white weddings we basically just wanted to do the legal/official bit and then have a big party with all our friends and family. Ideally this would’ve involved something like going to Las Vegas with a bunch of friends. However it quickly became pretty clear that the most important people to us won’t be able to join us on such a crazy adventure, and we couldn’t do it without them so we started to look for something a bit closer to home.”

The ceremony pergola, the stationery, the signage, the flowers, the reception decor and the fire-pits for the bonfires were also put together by friends and family members. “My Mum made all the little hearts for the table placeholders and decorated the hanging wire and barbed wire hearts. She also made the boutonnieres and my garter. My Step-dad was head of the wine and champagne committee. While my Sad and Step-mum, who live in the area, were the local logistics committee. This includes providing tea, gluten-free pizza & quiche and transportation of chairs!”

“Daniel’s family came out from Australia and were here to help an support us leading up to the wedding,” Annette continued. “They all helped out too. We got most of the vases and jars for the flowers from a local glass manufacturer’s outlet store and Daniel and his brother Bevan covered blocks of wood in fabric for all the square centrepieces. I also searched far and wide for meters and meters of polka dot fabric, which we sewed into table cloths, I love polka dots!”

The couple spent a huge amount of time looking for their perfect venue, but they eventually found Hillhouse after seeing another wedding there on Rock n Roll Bride (wooo!) “We were all over the place trying to find a venue that didn’t feel like a wedding factory,” Annette explained. “We even drove 10 hours to Mozambique looking for a casual beach setting after we drunkenly proclaimed that we will get married on that beach the previous year at a music festival! But I somehow remembered the name of a venue I saw featured on Rock n Roll Bride that had become stuck in my head…Hillhouse. The converted shed on a beautiful farm overlooking Midmar Dam didn’t need much in décor, it is filled with antiques and artwork and the rustic floors, fireplace, roof and lighting just added perfectly to the look and feel of the place. The best part is that there are no restrictions and we could make noise as loud and as late as we wanted! From there everything seemed to fall in place.”

“The most important thing to us was that our guests and we have fun, that the music was good and that the food was tasty and gluten free! Turns out we achieved all those things! Firstly, with the most amazing wedding playlist compiled by us with input from our guests via our wedding website. Everything from ABBA to Zeppelin! Secondly the awesome talents of our caterer, Margie, whose meze platters, soups and main courses were both gluten free and soooo delicious! We weren’t really interested in having a wedding cake as we are both gluten intolerant so we went for a ‘Candy Shop’ for dessert. It was a HUGE hit and there was barely a square of fudge left the next day!”

“Finding the right photographer was always really important to us” the bride concluded. “I was starting to give up on finding a photographer that was even remotely cool when I stumbled on Bruce’s photos on Facebook. The photos I saw were from work he had done with a local South African band and we were blown away. We found out that he also did weddings and Daniel immediately said ‘Book him!'”

“In terms on a theme, we really just took all the elements of the things we love – music, tattoos, rustic/vintage décor, 1950s dresses, hearts, art… and threw it all together to make the day a true reflection of ourselves and the things we love. I could never picture myself in a white dress, not even as a little girl. I didn’t consciously set out NOT to have a white dress though. The idea for what I wore came from a blue dress I saw in the movie ‘500 Days of Summer.’ I was playing around with ideas based on this dress, thinking about what it would look like in white, and then Daniel said, ‘Why don’t you just keep it in blue?’ and that was it! I absolutely loved my dress, I loved the colour, the skirt and the fact that I could move around and dance in it. Daniel chose his own style for the boys clothes and even went out and found their own shoes. He also made me order the braces and buckles from the US because we couldn’t find what he wanted in South Africa!”

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