Tag Archives: DIY

Taxidermy Elephants, Dinosaurs & A Vegan Ethos – Alix & Shawn’s Natural History Museum Wedding

Alix & Shawn were married in the Natural History Museum Los Angeles, and it was this unusual venue choice that really shaped their day. “Our wedding was a combination of historical vintage and handmade, ” the bride told me. “The Museum set the stage to transport our guests to a different time and space altogether. They were surrounded by dinosaur bones, wild animal dioramas and a beautiful historic marble building.”

“We encouraged vintage attire and had a range of time periods from the 1920’s even up till the nineties. I had my dress made and based the design on a modernized frontier style with lots of ruffles and lace. Since it was pouring on the day, I also wore a black velvet cape I made long ago. All my bridesmaids wore black dressed of their choosing, with more ruffles and lace. The groomsmen stuck with the historical theme and wore long frock coats. Shawn also had his suit jacket custom made.”

“Since the museum itself is so beautiful, we went simple on the decor, using a combination of glass jars, succulents, vintage hardware and photographs. For invitations, I made little books filled with images animals from Victorian prints that told the story of Shawn and I. I also sewed little stuffed animals for all our guests as gifts. It took months, but was so satisfying to see how much people loved them. It felt so much more meaningful to give people something that I had really cared about rather than a little trinket they would just throw away.”

“Shawn and I are both vegan and it was really important to us to have a completely vegan wedding. Our caterer was awesome and made some really amazing dishes that were complimented on by many of our non-vegan guests. Also, I made 8 vegan cakes with help from some friends the day before the wedding. When I told people I was going to make the cakes myself, so many people, family included thought it was a crazy idea, but it was one of the most enjoyable parts of all the wedding preparations. Not to mention, all the cake was eaten, with many guest having 2 or 3 (or 5) slices. Keeping everything vegan also meant we had our clothes custom made so they weren’t made of silk or wool.”

“Our wedding was Rock n Roll because we just went all out. We didn’t hold anything back or worry about what people would think. We handcrafted everything to be the most fun we could think of an didn’t pay any mind to whether that was the way people thought it was supposed to be. It’s not that we ignored tradition, but we made tradition our own. We were married in front of taxidermied elephants! We got married and then had a mondo dance party. I think any wedding that ends with shirtless men dancing is pretty damn Rock n Roll.”

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Melissa & Jon’s Alice in Wonderland, Camden Wedding

“The theme of our wedding ended up as a sort of mish-mash of Mad Hatters tea party, 1940’s/50’s and Camden weirdness (Camden is an area of London known for it’s alternative culture – great for people watching!), which fitted our personalities perfectly” newlywed Melissa told me. She married Jonathan at Islington Town Hall and afterwards had their reception in a hotel in Camden, where they first met.

“My inspiration firstly came from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland,” Melissa continued. “Jon and I went to see the film when we were dating and I fell in love with it, I’d always been a fan of the book as a child but the film had me hooked. As soon as Jon proposed I knew I would want a touch of Alice involved somewhere within the wedding, the only difficulty was going to be fitting the theme around our tiny budget.”

“We’re not one for tradition and we tend to follow our own rules in life so we thought ‘well why should our wedding be any different’  Although the venues were booked around 6 months in advance everything else was left to the last minute, our decorations and centre pieces were DIY and we had an awful lot of help from our bridesmaids.”

“I totally recommend making centre pieces yourself and decorations. It saves so much money (which was crucial for us as we were on an amazingly tight budget) and gives the wedding a real personal feel. I really couldn’t have done any of it without the support and help of my family and bridesmaids.”

The bride and her bridesmaid’s all wore dresses from Rock n Roll Bride favourite, Vivien of Holloway and Melissa wore (another Rock n Roll bride favourite!) those Vivienne Westwood/Melissa heart shoes.

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Shane & Lisa’s Budget, DIY and One-Hell-Of-a-Rock-n-Roll-Party Wedding

With a budget of less that $6000, Shane & Lisa had to be very creative and clever when it came to planning their wedding. Luckily they had a lot of support from their friends & family and they really got into the DIY!

“Everything about the day was beautiful but what really made it sparkle was all our friends and family”,  Lisa told me. “I am so very thankful for them. My family and friends had all mostly come from out of state and immediately started in on making the cake, helping with food prep and cooking, cleaning, decorating, grilling, and cleaning up  (they kicked me out of kitchen during reception because apparently the bride is not allowed to load her dishwasher in her wedding dress.)”

“The biggest inspiration I had was from us and our family,” she continued. “We wanted our wedding to reflect who we were  as individuals, as a couple and as a family. Together we have 4 children, I have 3 girls and he has 1 boy. So it wasn’t just us making a commitment to each other, we were making a commitment to our children too. It was important to me to keep our true selves in this day. We are a very creative, musical, full of life family so every piece of our wedding meant something that was about us. From the guest signed poster (picture courtesy of our fabulous photographer Margie who did the family picture shoot) to the beer ceremony, which had a Bud Light Lime because that’s our compromise beer (I drink Bud Light, he drinks Corona) – even the lanterns had meaning.  We did it OUR way, it came from with in, with heart and soul bared and you can’t get much more rock n roll that. Of course the groom in a Motorhead t-shirt and Docs, Bride in black spiked 4  inch heels walking down to Type O Negative “Love you to Death”  pretty much seals the deal on Rock n Roll.”

“My oldest daughter (18) walked me down the aisle, with my two youngest leading the way.  It was important to me that she be the one to “give me away.” We have been down many roads together and her approval on this was important to me, her toast later in the evening showed me that and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”

“Most aspects of the wedding were DIY. We were on a very tight budget and I was very much into making our wedding personal.   I made the invites with maps and info, the brooch bouquet, the ring box, the hand fasting cord, the veil, the hair pieces, the cake design, decor and cake stand (we saved a log from being mulched), the cootie catcher (paper fortune tellers) programs. The decor was all items we either had or could use in our home after and some homemade such as the spaghetti jar lanterns hanging on the porch. The food was all prepared by myself or my wonderful family and friends and we wrote our own vows.”

This is such a fabulous wedding! Both sweet and punk rock at the same time. I love it!

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Anthony & Collette’s Laid Back & Timeless Wedding

Anthony & Collette were married at South Farm in Hertfordshire. They wanted their day to be laid back and timeless, so a matchy-matchy or strong theme really wasn’t for them. “We took our inspiration from a few different sources,” the bride told me. “We wanted it to be quite understated but not boring.”

“We didn’t so obviously want to have a things match or have a recognisable theme.  We did, however, want everything to complement each other. Kind of like how my wedding ring and engagement ring contrasted but complemented each other – a traditional white diamond engagement ring with a black diamond ‘eternity’ wedding ring.”

Collette wore a dress by Temperley which she found in the flagship store in Notting Hill, London. It was ready to wear but she had the sleeves shortened to suit her more. She accessorised with Chie Mihara shoes which she had sent over from Spain (as she couldn’t get the colour she wanted in this country) a hair clip from Anthropologie in Kings Road London and a beaded Vintage bag from antique fair held at Hammersmith Town Hall.

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Joli & Gary’s Amazing Backyard Wedding

Joli & Gary eloped in San Francisco. They had planned to have a big wedding party afterwards with their friends and family at a biker bar in Palm Springs, but then Joli got pregnant and everything changed. So 7 months pregant, the couple had a kick ass celebration in the backyard of their Los Angeles home. They described their  party as a celebration of  “Love, Freedom, Wild, Raw, Family, FUN, Village, Community!” and that’s exactly what it was.

The couple’s friends and family all pitched in to organise the fabulous event, “My Mom and I made the centerpieces from thrift store found bowls and succulent plants from Cactus Ranch,” Joli told me. We had a photo booth made by Gary’s Brother, at the party and so people were asked to leave the bride and groom photos of them. Gary and his Dad (and sometimes my Dad and Gary’s Brothers and best friends) did all the lighting, built a mounted video screen, re-seeded all the lawns, planted flowers and herbs in every available receptacle including Gary’s old Doc Martens, laid walking stones, and built a dance floor on our deck for the event complete with moving disco ball!”

Their friend and photographer Jonas Seaman had similarly amazing things to say about this awesome wedding when he initially emailed me. “Their backyard wedding party was pure balls out celebration. Joli was decked out in a beautiful white cotton hippy dress with a furry sleeveless coat, a peacock feather in her hair, feather earrings, and what I believe was a cross-section of a tree branch dangling from her necklace. Although part of the time she had moccasin boots on, she also spent a good amount of time barefoot with henna designed feet. Barefoot and pregnant.”

“They had a tented dance floor and full bar. They put up hand painted signs pointing to the backyard. They had flowers in a pair of combat boots. They had flowers coming out of old wine bottles and cactus plants for table settings. Even their daughter Charlie’s Barbie Dolls were out partying in a little Jacuzzi. The atmosphere was so fun, so unconventional, and so full of real unfiltered love.”

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A Short Black Wedding Dress – Sarah & Adam’s My Chemical Romance

I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Sarah & Adam’s wedding for an absolute age. You see, I saw Sarah’s incredible black wedding dress many times before the event, when I popped into see my girls at Fur Coat No Knickers in London. Laura & Emma showed the dress to me and told me I’d love the bride that has bought it – that she was cute and tattooed and wearing a black veil to match…and oh boy we’re they right! So without further ado…

“I would describe our wedding theme as American vintage,” Sarah told me. “With pretty carnival fairy lights, sweets and good music. Music was at the heart of our wedding. As My Chemical Romance’s biggest fan I had to walk down the aisle to their music (Desert Song) and we had songs that meant a lot to us throughout the day. From the music guests arrived to including Radiohead and Libertines, to the reading my Mum read during the ceremony (Bob Dylan’s Wedding Song), music playing constantly at the bar and during the meal.”

“We wanted a big wedding with all of our friends and family but it still had to feel personal and intimate, we had a little bit of us in every aspect of the day – from the Lost references, the comic book references and the music. People who didn’t get those little details could still enjoy them but those who understood them got that little something extra from the day and we always felt like the day was ‘us’ through and through.”

“We did all of the table decorations ourselves, tying ribbon around old jam jars and coffee jars to brighten them up and filling them with colourful sweets. We used blackboard paint and chalk for the table names.  We also designed the table plan ourselves. We had empty Coke bottles dotted around the bar with some simple flowers from Camden Market placed in them. I bought an old vanity case from Camden market and wrapped silk flowers and luggage tags to it to use as a gift box.”

Don’t you just love these guys?

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