Tag Archives: DIY

An Eccentric Mid-Century Museum Wedding: Jeff & Andy

Jeff & Andy had a Jewish wedding at The Legendary Park Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles which turned out to be a very special venue for Jeff’s family. “After we had signed the contract with the venue, we found out from a relative that Jeff’s great-grandfather lived at the Park Plaza, when it was an Elks Lodge, for a short time in the 1940’s.”

“We decided to include three pre-ceremony traditions that we didn’t know about until we started researching all the traditions around a Jewish wedding,” the bride told me. “For the men, Jeff had a ’tisch.’ We did our own interpretations of the traditions, so Jeff and the men gathered in a room to have some drinks and discuss the nature of love and marriage, as well as roast and laugh with Jeff about the past and the future. Meanwhile, the girls had ‘kabbalat panim,’ where the bride is treated like royalty, and I was serenaded by my friends. Finally, the men rejoined the women for the ‘bedeken,’ which is the veiling ceremony. This happens about ten minutes before the actual ceremony. Our parents offer blessings, and then the groom puts the veil on the bride.”

The couple wanted to add their personal stamp to their day as much as they could.  Their venue was pretty dramatic and gorgeous all by itself so they didn’t really need to create any decor items, yet they certainly put their DIY energies elsewhere! “We are both creative people with significant creative vision with a great love for throwing a well-planned party,” Andy wrote. “To that end, we took it on ourselves to create just about everything that we could. Many DIY weddings have a lot of emphasis on decorating a venue, but our venue was already a gorgeous historic building that was kept in great condition, so we spent our creative energy on personalizing the event.”

“We started by designing a logo for our wedding. Something that would end up on all our invitations, paper goods, programs, photo-booth pictures, thank-you notes, etc. Once we had that, Jeff designed the invitations and reply cards. The reply cards were blank on one-side and we encouraged all invitees to write or draw something on that back, that we later incorporated into a gallery displayed at the wedding.”

“We love dating and exploring our city and we love miniatures and we were determined to figure out a way to incorporate both,” she continued. “By far our most ambitious project, something that we definitely worked the hardest on, was the twenty, individual, terrariums for the centerpieces of each table. Each one was a different diorama, in a different glass container, of one of our favorite places. This entailed scouring every Ross, Big Lots, and Wal-Mart for cheap, apothecary-style jars and vessels, that were big enough to be the focal point of a ten-person table.”

“The actual dioramas were a collection of toys, model train people (eBay, train stores), dollhouse furniture (which for some strange reason we had a lot of), and single bottles of booze for the bar-themed dioramas. The centerpieces were placed on 16” circular mirrors and accompanied by a museum-style description placard in a clear acrylic frame. The centerpieces were our biggest challenge and the DIY element of our wedding that we were most proud of.”

“Finally, months before the wedding, my dad found a film-reel from his 1954 Bar Mitzvah! my Dad had the footage digitized and we got a friend to edit a loop of the people dancing, hook up a projector, and we projected the footage behind our DJ when our dance floor opened. The effect was magical, and felt like it added a whole room of family and friends dressed perfectly to match the vintage-vibe of the venue.”

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An Elegant & Contemporary Yacht Club Wedding: Hannah & Steve

“We have always been passionate about music which was a key inspiration for us,” newlywed Hannah told me. “We also wanted it to be a relaxed party atmosphere to reflect our laid back personalities. We started this off by designing and making contemporary informal invitations which used some photos from a photo booth to tell a mini story, we also designed a modern logo which we then used on all of our stationery.”

“Music was a constant on the day; it began with a gospel choir that we had arranged to sing in the church, I walked in to ‘Lovely Day’ and we exited to ‘Walking on Sunshine’. We then had a jazz duo play during the canapés and organised a chilled playlist for the time that we were having dinner. After dinner we had hired the Forgers to play some of our favourite rock, pop and indie songs and made our own DJ set to play for the final two hours.”

“In terms of detail, we bought from eBay a number of vinyl collections and vinyl labels and then picked ones which were relevant to each guest to use as their table setting. We printed the logo onto the labels and then wrote the names of each guest. The groom’s brother (Matt) helped to create a music quiz for each table which had pictures of famous album covers and musicians for guests to guess during the meal. We then collected these and gave a prize for the table with the most correct answers. The tables were named after bands we have seen at gigs and we used the laminated gig tickets to identify the tables. On the tables we also left blank CDs for people with cameras to send us a copy of their pictures. We printed instructions and our address in the inlay along with the logo that featured on all of the stationery.”

The wedding reception was held at Greenwich Yacht Club, London near to where Steve proposed in Greenwich Park. Hannah wore an elegant Jenny Packham dress with a veil that her Mother hand made.

Other details which certainly deserve a mention include their cheese-stack cake which they put together themselves, “making a ‘cheese’ cake was a challenge – a key lesson we learnt was to get some dowling rods (which you cut down to the thickness of the cheese) and cake boards to support the cheeses to make sure that the heavy hard cheeses don’t squash the soft ones,” and the Ferrari Limo which they hired to make sure they arrived with some impact!

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An Elegant & Funky Downtown Wedding: Shavonda & Naomi

Shavonda & Naomi both wore white for their elegant but funky wedding in Sacramento, CA. Shavonda actually wore two dresses – the first, a customised gown from WToo (loving the short front!) and for the reception a sexy short number from BCBG Max Azria. Naomi’s suit was a mix of trousers from New York & Co, a vest from Bebe and a shirt from Express.

The wedding was held at Beatnik Studios, an amazing studio space in downtown Sacramento.

“Our wedding was completely and utterly ‘us’,” Shavonda wrote. “The things we agreed upon when we first began the planning process was that we had to have the following criteria: 1. Our wedding must be reflective who we are as a couple. 2. No churches, chapels or traditional wedding venues such as country clubs, ballrooms, etc. 3. We wanted our guests to have a different experience and didnt want them to feel like they’ve already been to our wedding a thousand times before. 4. We wanted to honor and incooperate our support for the LBGT community in as many ways as possible.  5. No weekend wedding. 6. No seating arrangements, sit-down meals, or buffets. 7.  It had to be FUN!!”

“I think we did a really good job of making sure all of those criteria were met.  We ended up with a purely Shavonda & Naomi experience.  Every detail that went into planning our wedding kept our guests in mind.  We asked everyone what their favorite and least favorite parts of weddings are and then we made sure to include and avoid those things. We took all of our photos prior to the ceremony so that there was no awkward time in between the ceremony and reception.  This also allowed people to start eating right away.  We also made sure that guests were greeted with wine and champagne as they arrived so they could unwind after work since our wedding was on a Thursday night. We didn’t have seating arrangements so guests were welcome to wonder and mingle among themselves.  We also included them in our ceremony by have a ring warming so they could bless our rings and feel as if they are a tangible part of our marriage.”

“We live in California so having a taco truck was a must! Plus everyone loves street tacos and they were a huge hit with our guests.  We made sure to have plenty of alcohol so there was beer, wine and 3 different cocktail options.  As an interior design student, the decor and aesthetic of wedding was incredibly important to me.  We wanted things to be very streamlined and modern so we only used one type of flower throughout the venue other than the florals in my bouquet.  I wanted my girls in cute cocktail dresses and awesome accessories.  I gave them 7 dress options to choose from and though they all live in different cities and states, they all chose the exact same dress!  I didnt want them to carry bouquets because its too expected so we went with clutches instead.”

“My dress was my design as well.  I found a style that I liked from WToo and edited to my specifications with the help of the designers at the bridal shop.  I wanted to wear designer jewelry, but knew I could never afford it, so I borrowed it at a fraction of the cost, only $40 for the week from Bag Borrow or Steal!  My wife’s ensemble was much more difficult because she didnt want to wear a man’s suit so it took us a while to piece together her wedding day garb.  In the end our wedding day was full of love, beauty and creativity.  From the venue, to the taco truck, to the attire, to the photography, I’d say our wedding was a breath of fresh air when compared to your traditional wedding.  I’d say that’s pretty darned Rock n Roll!”

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A Relaxed & Low Key Portrait Session: Leesa-Marie & Stew

Leesa-Marie & Stew wanted a relaxed and low key wedding with just their closest friends and family in attendance. They were hitched in Southampton, and after their ceremony they wondered round Ocean Village and Mayflower Park for their photos with Amy Radcliffe (they didn’t have their ceremony or reception photographed but wanted to portraits to remember their day.)

The bride wore a short dress by Honeypie Boutique, shoes from New Look and a veil by Field and Fallow.

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A British Wartime Wedding: Lisa & Ric

After a church ceremony at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Church in Hampshire, Lisa & Ric had a very British wartime themed wedding at Broad Half Penny Down Cricket Club, Hampshire  – the world’s oldest cricket club.

“Life never goes the way you plan it,” the bride wrote. “I always dreamt of finishing uni, finding love, getting married and starting a family. The conventional family – we are not! I am 12 years younger than Ric, and also about 12 inches taller! Ric is frequently away with work and moved me to the south of the country, away from all my friends and family. Oh and how could I forget our 2 year old son – Bear. This was definitely not what I had planned.”

“When Ric finally proposed, I was on cloud 9 and I knew that our wedding day wasn’t going to be a ‘normal’ one. For example – I couldn’t decide what engagement ring I liked, so I have three! We also had a best woman instead of a best man, we ‘high fived’ at the altar instead of the kiss, and our son screamed through most of the ceremony then was racing his toy cars down the aisle with chocolate down his nice white shirt.”

The couple wanted a home made/DIY feel to their wedding. “Ric always jokes about me being a ‘stay at home’ wifey or being a ‘Yummy Mummy’,” the bride continued. “With Ric being in the military, it sometimes feels like we should have belonged to the 1940’s era…and I wanted to become a ‘pin-up’ for the day!”

Lisa wore a Candy Anthony dress, a hat from Jane Taylor Millinery and shoes from Aruna Seth. “I absolutley loved sourcing every part of my outfit and Rock n Roll Bride played a huge part in this. My 1950’s dress was so flattering and gave me loads of confidence with my post baby body! Walking into Candy Anthony was felt like being a kid in a sweet shop. Vicky Trainor‘s Vintage drawer stationery was also a huge inspiration, it’s so so so pretty! Our inspiration for the catering came from our son, his favourite foods include cakes, ice cream and fish n chips. Being from Yorkshire, we of course had to have a grand cup of Yorkshire Tea and I insisted on having Pimm’s on arrival. We made it a bit more glamorous by using The Tea Party‘s gorgeous vintage crockery and cut glass bowls.”

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A Simple Brighton Wedding: Holly & Patrick

Holly & Patrick were married in Brighton. They didn’t really stick to a particular theme for their wedding, they simply included things they love. They wanted to keep the day simple and stress-free, as the bride explains, “We didn’t have a theme, and we didn’t say anything had to be a certain way. My dress was handmade on me, through chatting, drawings and ideas, by my friend Aimee who trained at London College of Fashion. Patrick chose his suit because he was definite that he wanted a ‘mod’ suit. It was all done very organically, and it was perfect. Somebody suggested I wear a long sleeve, high necked dress to cover my tattoos but I declined the suggestion and went for as low a back as possible.”

“I handmade all the invitations and the place names/wedding favours. This was to cut out unnecessary costs and because I love being creative. I used Brighton beach pebbles and decorated them with 3D copper paint with guests names on. As a treat we both also had a complimentary pre-wedding pamper (facial) from Elemis in their Brighton Spa-Pod – which was a gift from our photographers Horse and Carriage Wedding Photography.”

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