Tag Archives: DIY

A Farm & Festival Wedding: Roisin & Paul

Roisin & Paul’s Somerset wedding makes me ache for those long Summer days again. The Apple Orchard at Brook Farm played host to their August nuptials – a celebration of love, life and all things good. The couple opted for a humanist ceremony led by Alison Orchard, “She was so crucial to the success of the ceremony, which was such an emotional and wonderful experience,” the bride told me. “I think lots of people thought it might have a been a hippy-dippy, tree-hugging, fingers down-your-throat service, but instead found it was a lovely and romantic experience. We wrote our vows and kept them quite similar to the traditional ones. We sang, ‘A little Help from My Freinds’ by the Beatles and I cried all the way through it.”

After the moving ceremony, came cocktails and games on the lawn and in the marquees hired from Abbas Marquees, “This was very much a DIY wedding,” Roisin continued. “All of my friends and family got involved which made it a lovely and personal wedding, along with being quite a lot cheaper. We picked stones from the beach for name places and brought ‘Brighton rock’ as favours. I also made lots of little clay hearts.”

“Our theme was, ‘Festival’ which was fitting as the site of the farm is less than a mile from the Glastonbury Festival site. My bridesmaids and the Best Man were incredible. It was quite an organizational feat and they took it totally on board. In fact we had a ‘hand-over’ on the Thursday evening. They then became in-charge and only came to me if they really needed to. This made me be able to really enjoy the day and not worry about all the details that had been prepared.”

“My sister organsied games in the field of ‘Welly Wanging’ and ‘scissors, paper stone’. It was one of the highlights of the wedding! It was a really relaxed affair, full of love, romance and fun. People dressed how they wanted to and children were very much allowed to run around and have loads of fun. At my hen-do, the girls hired a hoola hooping instructor and we learnt a routine that we performed at the wedding. Everyone loved playing with the hoola hoops and it added to the festival feel.”

“My favourite ‘home-made’ bits were the clay hearts that we made and put in the orchard. We just bought heart shaped biscuit cutters, rolled out the clay and hung them from the trees using ribbon. It made the ceremony feel so magical.”

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DIY Tutorial: No-Sew Felt Gift Envelopes by Princess Lasertron

As someone who pretty much sucks at all things crafty, I was super excited when this no-sew-super-cute-but-super-simple DIY tutorial landed in my inbox from my Sister From Another Mister, Megan of Princess Lasertron. Even I could make these babies!

Wouldn’t these just be the cutest way to wrap your Christmas gifts this year?

Take it away Mrs…

This is an easy no-sew (barely) felt envelope that I designed to hold a small note and gift for, say, a bridesmaid or flower girl or any special friend. With the template provided, you can use you imagination to make the project as I’ve designed it, or you can use more masculine colors or simpler buttons and stitching to serve as gift packaging for men, children, or anyone else on your gift list. (They are the perfect size to hold a gift card!) It’s a simple but fun project that is open to lots of extra personalization and creativity.

None of the materials are hard to find. Most of the felt projects I do require felt yardage, which has to be purchased in large quantities by-the-bolt, but small 9×12” sheets of felt from any craft store are ideal for this small gift envelope. The closure is a simple button–any kind will do–and beyond that, all that is needed is scissors and fabric glue.

My motto is “Make it Pretty,” and the attention to detail, careful finishing techniques, personalization, and love I put into everything I make has made my bridal design company Princess Lasertron a worldwide success. I design and create felt flower bouquets, dresses, and accessories for fabulous brides using wool felt yardage and hard-to-find vintage notions and trims, but I designed this lovely little gift envelope to be easy to make with materials you can find at any hobby or craft store. Just add your own love, personality, and magic and your gift envelope will be perfect. (And remember, Make it Pretty!)

Supplies Needed

9×12” square of felt (the standard size sold in any craft or hobby store)
Fabric glue (I use Fabri-Tac)
Printable envelope template which can be downloaded here
Marker pen
Button (Shank buttons work best…those are the ones with a back hook rather than holes)
Scissors
Needle and thread

Method

Step 1: Print and cut out the envelope template. Trace it onto your felt with the marker. If you have disappearing ink for fabric, that is great, and if not, you can just carefully cut inside the ink line.

Step 2: Cut a rectangle of scrap felt the same length as the inside of the envelope–the width doesn’t really matter. It’s going to be an inside pocket, so make it a bit wide, but 1-2 inches should be sufficient.

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A Vintage Nautical Wedding: Liz & Tom

Liz & Tom injected a subtle nautical theme into their October wedding. “In our first few years as a couple I used to call Tom the one-armed fish man,” Liz laughed. “Our venue was The Bull Hotel in Bridport, a harbour market town, and we both want a scrimshaw anchor tattoo (haven’t done it yet but the plan is to have one for Christmas). So we flooded our wedding with vintage nautical touches and plenty of rum. Rock n Roll Bride was the only wedding blog that I read as I planned my wedding. It was from reading what other Rock n Roll Brides had done for their big day that we had the confidence to go our own way.”

Liz wore her Aunt’s 1950’s Nottingham lace wedding dress which she had customised by Laura & Emma at the fabulous Fur Coat No Knickers. “A year before we got engaged my Auntie Hannah gave me her 1950’s Nottingham lace wedding dress that she’d worn at her wedding in 1959 and my Mum also wore to her and Dad’s wedding in 1964,” Liz wrote. “She said she’d never need it again and ‘you never know, you might wear it one day if you ever get married.’ A year later, on holiday in Vancouver and the day after my birthday we did get engaged. So I took the dress to Emma and Laura a to work their magic on it. It is Nottingham lace over a very pale pink netting so even though I’m not particularly a ‘pink’ kinda girl I decided to embrace the colour and Laura and Emma added the pink silk sash.”

As the couple have attended many weddings in the past, they knew that the ones they enjoyed most were those that were relaxed, informal and more about the couple than the ‘need’ to do a wedding in a certain way. Liz continued, “As soon as it came to planning ours we were adamant we wanted a day that felt like a big party – relaxed, informal, fun…with great food! The Bull was our hotel bolt-hole. A boutique shabby vintage vibe of a place with great food, lovely staff and the type of attitude we loved – relaxed, informal but excellent in everything. From booking The Bull, the rest of our wedding fell into place.”

“From the start of our relationship as teenagers we’ve filled our lives with antiques and vintage finds so it was to all things old we turned to ensure we had the touches that friends and family would recognise as being very ‘us’. As a lot of our guests were staying at the hotel with us we booked it for the whole weekend and invited everyone to The Stable at The Bull for pizza, pie and cider on the Friday night. The Friday shindig had everyone relaxed and talking to each other so that when Saturday afternoon came they all felt like old friends.”

“Without bridesmaids, a best man, a cake to cut and lots of formal photos we concentrated on giving our guests plenty to drink, delicious food to eat, and personal touches to ensure they felt relaxed and at ease. Whilst we weren’t originally planning speeches my oldest friend Katie said a few words about me, Tom (a man of very few words) gave a beautiful speech thanking our friends and family who had come together to make our day possible, and finally Tom’s mum unexpectedly stood up and raised a toast to my dear departed Dad and Uncle. Everyone then hit the bar and the dancefloor to drink and boogie till the early hours. In our guest book that we read on honeymoon so many people commented on how it had been the most relaxed, fun and personal wedding they’d ever been to.”

“To us Rock n Roll is about going your own way. Not being tied to convention or rule. We did have touches of wedding tradition – a white dress, wedding favours, speeches – but overall we concentrated on making a day that was true to us.”

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A Rockabilly, Psychobilly Wedding: Claire & Lee

I love weddings like Claire & Lee’s. Not just because the rockabilly theme is awesome, but because they put their heart and soul(s) into creating a wedding that reflects how they are in everyday life.

“We’re both very much in to the whole rockabilly and psychobilly scenes and have been for quite some time, so it only seemed natural to extend this to our wedding day,” Claire told me. “One thing we set out to do from the very beginning was to make our wedding day for us. It seems all too often that people try and tailor their wedding day around their family and other guests, where as for ourselves we tailored it around us and guests had to fit in; which they did wonderfully.”

“We sourced everything ourselves to fit our style perfectly; the clothes, cars, venues, music and decorations had to be just right; and although at times it was a nightmare of a challenge to get every thing perfect (antique teapots are notoriously hard to find) we managed it and wouldn’t have changed anything for the world.”

The wedding ceremony was held at Manor by the Lake, Cheltenham. After a moving service the couple were greeted by Morris Dancers as they departed. “As Lee is a Morris dancer he had his side (The Gloucester Morris Men) waiting outside of the venue ready for when we walked out as husband and wife, their sticks raised in an arch for us to walk through. They then preformed a few dances for us, including Ladies Pleasure, a one man jig, for Claire. Lee also joined the side for one dance.” The couple were then whisked off to their DIY styled reception at The Lower Lode Inn, Tewkesbury in a 1959 Black Cadillac.

“All of the decorations for the reception I made myself, including 80 meters of bunting and the green and purple polka dot table cloth centres,” Claire continued. “The bunting ran diagonally across the room and was coupled up with strings of fairy lights, which came together to form a heart on the wall directly behind Lee and I. The table decorations were antique tea sets, with flower arrangements in the teapots and the tea cup and saucers had floating tea lights in them. There were also cut glass candle stick holders and candles which we collected ourselves.

Both the bride and groom wore two outfits, one for the ceremony and one for the reception. Claire changed from her Fairy Goth Mother corset and a skirt (made by a local seamstress to which Claire added – by hand – 500 pearls!) to her Forever Unique reception dress. Lee switched from a black 1950’s sharkskin suit (made in Las Vegas and bought on eBay) to a silver sharkskin suit which he found at Moss Bros of all places!

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A Psych-Folk-Horror Themed Wedding: Ali & Dan

Ali & Dan, who won free wedding photography with Laura Babb through a feature on this little wedding blog of mine, were married in November. With Dan being Scottish, they originally thought about having their wedding in the far North of the country (the area where he’s from) but it turned out the logistics were impossible. However they luckily found their perfect venue in Folly Farm, Bristol.

“We trawled around plenty of places with the help of the internet, and even booked another venue at one point – but when we found Folly Farm we knew it was the right spot,” Ali told me. “We completely lucked out with the weather on the day, it was hard to believe it was November – but as we fell for Folly Farm’s vantage point and woodland walks on a dreich February morning, we knew it would be beautiful no matter what. We will shortly be leaving the UK to spend a few years working in Philadelphia, so the wedding also gave us a chance to say goodbye to our closest friends and family.”

Although the couple didn’t really want a theme per-say, the day ended up just being a perfect reflection of them as a couple. “We wanted to include the things that we love: great music, the handmade, plenty of colour, nature, the outdoors and each other,” Ali continued. “We were enthusiastic planners though and our non-theme gradually evolved into something we decided to call ‘Psych-Folk-Horror’. We’ve been into folk music and particularly psychedelic folk for a while, so that was always going to be part of the musical element of our day.”

“The tipping point into full-blown theme though was when Dan gifted me “The Owl Service” by Alan Garner, a Folk Horror classic from 1967. After I read it, it became the inspiration for the invitations, RSVP cards and orders of service I designed. Folk Horror as a genre is inspired by nature and we made sure there was plenty of nature and wild things in the decorations. The woods at Folly Farm provided an amazing backdrop, with owls calling in the nighttime, deer and badgers. We let things get a little weirder later in the evening by projecting an animation we made in our living room of our RSVP cards coming to life, followed by the 1960’s TV series of The Owl Service.”

“Our inspiration primarily came from wanting the wedding to feel homely – part of us and the way we live together. That doesn’t sound very Rock n Roll in itself, but we tried really hard to cut out the rubbish and keep our own identities – hopefully whilst maintaining our usual sense of humour. It was very important to us that everything had some meaning for us. We collected lichen covered twigs and driftwood from a beach near Dan’s home in Scotland, teasels from Dan’s mum, and leaves from London’s parks (we’ve both developed a discerning eye for a good leaf!). We’re scientists by day and we wanted to include this too, hence the assortment of lab glassware. There were also things that we live with every day, such as blankets, cushions, bike bits and strange mix of ornaments.”

They even made their own ‘leaf bunting’ which, although looks simple, did take a lot of collecting, drying out and stringing of leaves to make happen! “We love the handmade and hand crafted, especially when those things are made by people we know.”

“We had a number of friends and family stay at the farm on Friday night before the wedding, who pulled out all the stops to help us with the decorations; tying leaf bunting, arranging teasels in conical flasks and piling up leaves and twigs late into the night. Dan’s Grandma is a weaver in the highlands; although she sadly could not make the journey south for the ceremony she made our cake and we used a number of her woven rugs for the ceremony.”

“I’ve always had a habit of ‘making’ and in recent years that’s predominantly been knitted things. The first bit of the wedding I made was my gloves, before I had any clear idea of what my dress would be like. The wool was an inspired gift from Dan, which I’d been saving for something special. I then moved onto shawls for my bridesmaids and a jumper for my page boy who is very fortunately fond of owls. I ended up designing Dan’s socks because I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, and I was really pleased with how they turned out. All these things were knitted in Alice Starmore’s yarn, whose colours are inspired by the Scottish landscape – specifically places where Dan grew up and we’ve both shared some of our happiest times together. We couldn’t get all our guests up to the remote Highlands, but we did manage to carry them with us during the day.”

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A Rustic-Glam French Wedding: Daniel & Caroline

Daniel & Caroline were married in Chateau Puits es Pratx in Ginestas, in the south-west of France. The gorgeous surroundings provided the perfect backdrop to their rustic wedding.

“The Chateau is only a few miles from Dan’s dad’s house in a nearby town, so it is an area of France we have visited often and know well,” the bride told me. “We knew from the off that we wanted our friends to help us celebrate our wedding in this beautiful place and the Chateau fitted our requirements perfectly – cottages on site, and a self-contained venue for a long weekend of fun! We wanted the weekend to feel like a party in a stunning venue, with good company, great food and endless wine. Simple!”

“I worked closely with the team at the Chateau to organise the day. We met her twice, but most of the planning was done my email – the food, the flowers, the decor, everything. My theme was French rustic-glam and I sent her mood boards of my inspiration, details of what I was making and collecting, and she used her talents to pull it all together. As it was a celebration for our friends and family as much as ourselves, we wanted them to be part of weekend as much as possible. Our friend Hilary is a broadcast journalist and acted as the celebrant, which was very special. Other friends did readings and we made everyone sing a rendition of Stand By Me.”

“Our only near-disaster was the wedding tree, which formed the central part of the ceremony. I’d had it printed in England before we left, but didn’t realise it had been damaged until about three hours before the ceremony. Luckily our coordinator has a degree in Fine Art, immediately picked up her pencils and drew the most beautiful tree as a replacement. I was very, very touched. The tree was framed and placed on an easel for the ceremony, pencils attached with lace. We put our thumbprints on the tree during the ceremony, as did our parents, with the guests adding theirs during the course of the day.”

It was important to the couple that their friends and family were as involved as possible with their day. “My mum stitched a swag of fabric for the arch we married under, which was fastened with bunches of flowers and a chandelier I bought on eBay,” Caroline continued. “Vintage paper parasols – again, sourced on eBay and flea markets – were provided for the guests. I drew the chandelier for the Order of Service cards which were designed and printed by my twin sister, Kelly.”

“When I walked into the courtyard for the wedding meal I was blown away by how beautiful it looked. The team at the Chateau had made it look incredible. Jugs and glass bottles filled with flowers sat on each table, and the lighting was stunning. There were candelabras hanging from the trees, fairy lights woven through the branches and Chinese lanterns strung high above the tables. I drew a lot of my inspiration for the table decor from the local area, and I was keen to use mini-blackboards, like in the markets. I found some pretty fabric-trimmed ones from Gisela Graham which were placed on mini-easels for the table numbers. Ironically, the French soap favours were bought at my favourite shop, RE in Corbridge, and not at the local market in France as planned! They too perfect to resist.”

Food and wine was a big part of the weekend so the couple decided to provide two meals on the wedding day. “The first was a pre-wedding picnic which was held in the garden at the Chateau. We brought charity-shop sourced blankets from the UK and bought picnic baskets from the local market in Olonzac which were filled with home-made quiche, cheese muffins and salads, served with wine spritzers and jugs of beer. The parasols were put to good use by lounging guests as it was very hot in the midday sun. Other guests played boules and splashed in the pool. It was everything we had imagined – good friends having a good time together.”

“The wedding meal was a buffet spread of suckling pig followed by a ‘buffet of desserts’ presented on vintage cake stands and mini blackboards I bought from a little shop in Seahouses, Northumberland.”

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