Tag Archives: DIY

Michael & Chloe’s Seriously Bad Ass Festival/Circus Wedding

Michael & Chloe got married in the Circadia Circus Tent at Woodford Folk Festival, Australia. I think that’s all I have to say to let you know that this wedding is seriously bad ass and awesome right?

The bride wore a handmade dress and Wellington boots (festivals are muddy!) and the entire wedding was organized by the ‘Circadia’ team. The couple didn’t have bridesmaids, groomsmen or flowers, but they had a cake organized by Michael’s sisters (and a sweetie table, again organized for them by their family!) Bogan Bingo – a 90’s hair band doing a “bogan” version of Bingo – entertained the guests before the wedding began.

“Like so many Love Stories, ours starts with a boy doing something stupid and painful while trying to impress a girl,” began Michael, the groom. “It was late 2007 and I had only met Chloe a few short weeks earlier, having rejoined my friends at ‘Bound’ – the Acrobalance Troupe I had helped start while at Uni. In those few short weeks on the Southbank lawns however; between shoulder-stands, flying, and cartwheel practice; I found myself inexplicably drawn to Chloe’s company and I hoped – prayed! – she felt the same. On the particular evening upon which our story starts we were practicing tumbling. In true misguided machismo, I set out to impress her by leaping off a concrete bollard to the grass below before dropping forward into a commando-roll. Unfortunately ambition exceeded ability – my leap was too long; my roll mistimed – and my collarbone and shoulder connected with the ground with a resounding ‘crack’!”

“I lay there cursing through gritted teeth under the weight of a dislocated shoulder, broken clavicle, and badly bruised ego. And as my eyes refocused from the pain, I saw her blue eyes above me, filled with concern, pity, and something that looked just a little like laughter… Later that night after Chloe had reset my shoulder and helped me to re-mobilize the joint in the water of the Southbank lagoon, we shared our first kiss. It was way more sexy than that sounds. Because both of us were only recently single when we met, we had promised each other we wouldn’t get ‘too involved'; although we were practically inseparable until I headed away to the Woodford Folk Festival that New Year’s to take part in the Fire Ceremony. There Woodford, bathed away the hurts of old wounds, as Woodford always does, with rain and with fire. I realized what a silly promise we had made and on the 1st of January, 2008 as the Fire Event’s lighthouse burned and tumbled, I called her to say the words my heart had known since that first moment at training, “I love you Chloe”.”

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Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish Fusion Wedding

Just wow. Like seriously, wow.

That’s pretty much all I said for 5 minutes when Pheigi & Kiichiro’s Japanese/Scottish fusion wedding hit my inbox this week. I almost don’t know where to begin telling their epic wedding story, luckily for me the bride explained it a lot better than I ever could. The couple actually had two weddings – the first in Japan in July 2009 and the second (pictured) in Scotland in September 2010.

“My new Hubby and I actually got married in Japan (where we live) in 2009.  We went to the city office and signed lots of forms to update my alien registration card, change his official address and get hitched.  Which one of those forms was actually my marriage certificate I still don’t know.  I wore my mothers 1970’s full length purple embroidered waistcoat over my purple cord flares and after we went to the crazy Japanese arcade on our street and had photos taken in the hello kitty photo booth.  Much fun yet somewhat lacking in romance.  We thus decided to come home to Scotland and have another celebration with my family, which we did in September.  Planning my wedding from Japan was hard to say the least, especially as I wanted something a little different from the norm, and the whole thing became more of a disappointment as I spent hours trawling through ugly dresses, bland invites and over the top bling, until a good friend with similar problems directed me to your site.  From then on I visited your site nearly every other day to remind myself that there were options other than white wedding package A, B or C and so in turn I am sending you my wedding in hope that it may help other brides in the UK realise the same and give them a wee break from the monotony of the wedding industry.  I hope you like.”

“I came home to Scotland in 2009 to start looking for a wedding venue as I knew that it would be my only chance to see somewhere before I actually returned to get married. I wanted to have a rustic wedding in a barn or something similar but Kiichiro insisted that if he was bringing his family from Japan they were not going to sit in a barn.  He then threw down his one condition, that we get married in a Scottish castle.  Thus my Mother, two of my sisters and myself packed ourselves into a car and went on a road trip from Glasgow through Inverness and up into the highlands visiting every castle on our way.  The castles were GORGEOUS but most were way out of our budget and the ones we could afford were never quite right.  We returned to my sisters house in Ayr two days later more than a little dejected.  My eldest sister then suggested that we go and look at a castle a few miles down the road that I had never heard of so we all, rather grudgingly, got back into the car and drove the few miles to Blairquhan Castle.  As we turned on to the three mile drive my spirits lifted a little.  The river Irvine shaded by huge mossy trees was running alongside the road that was covered in confused pheasants (they obviously weren’t used to cars on their road) and at the end of the road the imposing face of Blairquhan showed itself.  This is no fairytale castle this is a big Scottish “don’t even think of attacking me” castle. Perfect.  Add to this the huge front lawn, boating pond complete with ducks and geese, walled garden and acres and acres of forest and we had the perfect venue.  They had even converted all the old stable buildings into holiday cottages so all my friends and family came for a wee three day break over the wedding weekend.”

Pheigi was decided underwhelmed by traditional wedding dresses so decided to make her perfect gown herself instead. “I went to try on wedding dresses with my best friend imagining we were going to have that movie moment where I would find “the dress” and we would both cry,” she told me. “We did cry…with laughter as I looked friggin’ ridiculous. Most of the dresses were as wide as I am tall making me look like a sequined taffeta square.”

“I am originally from the Isle of Lewis famous for its tweed and I am milliner who works almost exclusively with the lovely fabric so it made sense that my dress too would be woolen.  And so I set about making my brown and green steampunk-esque mermaid, corseted, bustled, leopard print lined wedding gown.  This was the first dress I have ever made and I couldn’t find a pattern I liked so I made it up as I went along.  I am sure a seamstress would have kittens if she looked closely but I was happy with how it turned out and on the wedding day outside in Scotland in September I was very happy to be wrapped up in tweed.  The fabric was woven for me by Callum Maclean of butt of Lewis textiles who was very helpful in offering me tweed and wool samples to make sure I got exactly what I was looking for.”

“My gold Celtic headband was my something old as it was the headband my eldest sister had made for us to wear as her bridesmaids.  I had originally decide that I wanted to wear a top hat but looking around I could find nothing I liked and those willing to make one for me were all very expensive so I decided to make my own.  Instead of a hat I went with an olive green birdcage veil with massive pheasant and peacock feathers which matched the colour of my tweed and my Mother’s outfit perfectly (I also made her a matching hat).  The lack of variety I encountered while searching for my wedding outfit frustrated me so much that I have spent the last year and a half teaching myself millinery and very recently opened a shop on etsy selling my tweed pillbox hats and alternative bridal veils.”

In honour of his wife’s Scottish heritage, Kiichiro wanted to wear a kilt. “Kiichiro decided early on that he wanted to wear a kilt so we sat down with a tartan sample book and to my delight he chose my family tartan (Ancient Macdonald of the Isles muted hunting) with a charcoal tweed waistcoat and jacket to match” continued the Pheigi. “We had the whole outfit made by Philip King in Aberdeen.   My sister Morag knitted his kilt socks.  His Brogues (shoes) came from ebay as did his amazing Tibetan goat sporran.  His plaid brooch was form pewtermill crafts.  His kilt pin was red deer antler as was his sgian dubh both from Comrie Crafts.”

The outdoor ceremony was a very meaningful one. Pheigi explained,  ” I do not belong to an organised faith and my husband is Buddhist, so the choice of Church, registry office or humanist ceremony didn’t really fit. We were already legally married so I decided to write the ceremony myself and my sister Eilidh acted as officiant on the day.  I based the ceremony on the Celtic Scottish tradition of hand fasting so we got married under a HUGE tree with our family and friends standing in a circle around us.  Instead of bridesmaids I had my 4 corners to represent the elements, my best friend and nephew read poems, my uncle gave us a blessing in Gaelic (my family’s mother tongue), my Aunt (married over 40 years) welcomed us to married life and held the broomstick for us to jump over and enter married life before we welcomed our guests with a dram from our wedding quaich. After the wedding we surprised our guests with a band of hairy drummers who led them from our tree to the walled garden of the castle where we played games and ate canapés while drinking sparkly on picnic blankets.  As it was cold I had set up a tea bar offering herbal and Japanese tea for people to keep warm.  We had a sit down meal in the castle where myself, my mother, the groom and the best man (who doesn’t speak English) gave speeches.  Our first dance was a swing dance to Hey sailor by the Detroit Cobras.  My friend officially opened the bar by reading a poem about the SS politician (the whisky filled boat that sank off the coast of Bara and led to the film Whisky galore).  We had a traditional Scottish Ceilidh then played with sky lanterns and sparklers.”

To keep thing personal, the couple wanted to DIY a lot of their reception details. “I did so much by myself and on the day it was a little heart breaking to see that most people don’t notice all the tiny details that you put in.  I noticed them however and it made my day better,” the bride continued. “Doing everything by yourself is hard work and can be really stressful.  The night before the wedding as I was trying to cover seats, make flowers, arrange tables and welcome my guests the word fun was far, far away. However my favorite memory of the day was a DIY moment.  At 6am on the morning of the wedding Kiichiro came and woke me up to go and decorate our wedding tree.  This tree was on a small lawn through a little piece of forest.  The branches were huge and came all the way down to sweep the floor making it feel like you were standing under a huge leafy umbrella.  It was so big that all our 80 guests could happily stand in a circle and still be enclosed in our green bubble.  We decorated it with ribbons, origami cranes on thread and candles hanging in jam jars.  At 6am as the mist was starting to lift off the grass and the sun was so low in the sky you had to squint I remember standing under my massive tree, ribbon in hand, and watching the sleepy faces of my sisters and mother wander out of the forest to help us.”

Finally, the bride summed up to me why their wedding was perfect for them. “I didn’t choose to have a different wedding.  I don’t want to be different for the sake of being different.  I just didn’t like any of the wedding stuff that was out there.  I found the whole wedding process to be disappointing and frustrating as I flipped through wedding magazines and websites and found absolutely nothing I liked.  The few things I did find I couldn’t afford.  It broke my heart.  Not for one second did I consider the white wedding just for ease.  In one way I had it very easy.  My family was awesome.  No one questioned any of my decisions.  No one made negative comments and during the day no one person (within my earshot) asked “what the f**k is going on?”.  Without their help there wouldn’t have been a wedding.”

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Sara’s Urban Bridal Shoot

Sara’s bridal shoot makes me heart sing! Motorbike, cute doggie, ink, vintage brooch bouquet…oh yes I certainly approve of this! Sara told me all about her inspiration for her shoot with Sweet Caroline Photo,

“My dress is from Pronovias and I got it from a bridal boutique in Salado, Tx called Coccinella’s.  My necklace was actually found at one of those crazy bridal extravaganzas from Stella Dot.  I saw it there, tried it on, and decided within 5 minutes that it was THE necklace! My shoes were none other than Irregular Choice!  Love them!  I really wanted something fun, quirky, and comfortable…and flat, as my fiancé is only about an inch taller than me! My bouquet was made by myself and my fiancé, Barrett.  I took a bunch of my old jewellery and hair pieces that I used to wear ALL the time and I haven’t been able to part ways with and wired them all together.  I also asked my stylists and receptionists at my salon to give me some of their old jewellery because I really wanted a piece of them with me during all of this.  They gave me a lot of pendants, rings, earrings, etc, and I love being able to look at it and see pieces of the people that have become my family.”

“As for location, as I said several times, I didn’t want to be in the middle of a field with a bunch of grass and trees because that just isn’t me!  I love cities and urban living and wanted my photos to reflect my love for those quirky little places you find around Austin. I loved the recycling plant idea with those huge piles of twisted metal!  My inspiration for my entire wedding look just came from my love for pin up girl looks along with the very intense desire to not look at my wedding photos in 20 years and say “Oh my gosh!  What was I thinking wearing that ______ (insert crazy, over trendy item here)!” I truly wanted a look that was me, just prettier!”

Don’t you just love it?

Sally & Vyv’s Stylish London Wedding

Sally & Vyv’s stylish London wedding took place in November. The ceremony at Islington Town Hall was followed by a party at 06 St Chad’s, Kings Cross.

Sally told me all about their day, “My dress was from a vintage fair at Chelsea Town Hall, I don’t know the designer/era but I was talking to a fab lady who runs a vintage shop in Camden Passage and she thought it might be late 50s.  I didn’t plan yellow but wanted a bright colour and when I saw it I knew it was what I was looking for.  I got it altered by The Lady That Does who is as much fun as she is talented, I spent a good few evenings laughing over cups of tea at her house with her partner – they are both very into their vintage and run swing nights in Walthamstow, but that’s another story… oh yes and he runs dance classes!  I almost forgot that I was there to get the dress pinned they were so much fun!  Shoes were unimaginatively from Topshop.”

“We chose Islington Town Hall as it’s our local registry office and we have been to both official meetings in the council chamber as well as another wedding!  6 St Chad’s came well recommended from 3 friends,  for food, cost and sound system. The first DJ was Paolo Zerbini, Vyv’s brother in law who flew over from Parma, Italy to play a selection of northern soul from his impeccable collection.  Vyv’s friend Stu followed with his characteristic floor fillers and the last couple of hours were covered by Vyv’s friend Ed who made sure no-one stopped dancing until the every end.”

“Our table decorations were crafted by my Mum and brother the day before and tables were named after hills/mountains Vyv and I have climbed together.  The bunting I sent out by post to guests and they decorated them and posted them back in time for me to staple them together.”

“The most important consideration was to make sure it was a relaxed day, so we didn’t want it to be too big and we tried not to over plan.  We dispensed with tradition of just the men doing speeches and let Mums, Dad’s and close friends all say a few words as well as both the groom and the bride! I think what really made it great was having our backpacks behind the bar and changing at the end of the night, to be driven off to the airport with all the guests waving us off!”

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Esma & Emre’s Rock n Roll Boat Party Wedding

Esma & Emre were married in March in Istanbul. Their registry office ceremony was followed by a rockin’ boat party!

Esma wore a custom made dress to suit her exact requirements. The only jewellery she wore was her antique wedding ring, something that had been in Emre’s family for 60 years.

“We are fans of hardcore punk,” the bride told me. “My husband is an ex-drummer of a famous Turkish hardcore band called radical noise. Actually we were sick of conventional outfits and after parties so it is why we decided to 60s touch we rented a 56 Chevy. We celebrated after party on a boat in the beginning there was only typical wedding dance music then we started to play hardcore punk metal songs and our friends started to pogo and to stage dive in front of our older family members which are not familiar with these subcultures. It was full of fun. At the end of the night bride and groom made stage dive.”

“Rock n roll marriage is fun. We bought more than 300 bottles of beer 50 bottles of wine and 20 bottles of vodka and whiskey the party started at 18.00 o clock at 19.30 the entire bottles were empty we had to stop the boat and had to go ashore and buy more booze!”

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Jodie & Virginien’s Fashion & French Inspired Wedding

A bride in lace gloves and two bulldogs dressed up for the occasion? Oh yes, Jodie & Virginien’s wedding makes my heart sing! Photographer Britt said she wasn’t 100% sure I’d think their wedding was Rock n Roll enough for a feature when she sent it over, however I had to disagree straight away. I am loving the cute, quirky touches through out in this day – it’s not all about tattoos and pink hair on this blog!

The wedding was held at Overnewton Castle in Keilor, Australia. “Our inspiration was what we love and who we love!” explained the bride. “We wanted everything to be exactly as we imagined which meant having to make most things our self. We wanted things to be different, unique, but still whimsical and fairytale like. We love Alannah Hill, Disney (yes I know its Corny..but we’re obsessed), diy tutorials, The House of Frankie Stuart fabric shop, Ralph Lauren, and all things French.”

“Virginien and I met at a party in Australia after Virginien arrived for a working holiday only 5 days prior”,  Jodie continued. “We instantly feel in love…Virginien didnt  speak English..but that didnt matter, he still managed to woo me with his French accent…that was two years ago. We were separated for a total of 4 months when Virginien had to go back to France to get a visa to marry me…that was really hard…but we made it through in the end. 20 of Virignien’s family and friends were able to travel to Australia to share in our marriage. Thank you we love them all!! Virginien proposed to me one year ago. I came home opened my room and there were like three big Alannah Hill bags and boxes and flowers. I was so overwhelmed. He had brought me an entire outfit, right down to matching stockings and a hat from my absolute favorite store! I opened the card and it said be ready in your new clothes in one hour. A limo arrived and took us a beautiful restaurant where he later proposed to me with my ring on our soufflé! It was a big surprise!”

“Our gorgeous little animal friends are our beloved pets who we wanted to have a share in our special day. My burmese kitty cat is called ‘Neelix’ and the American bulldogs are ‘Bicardi’ (girl) and ‘Texas’ (boy). My sister and I made their little outfits.”

To match their stylish pets, the couple went all out with their wedding day attire. The bride wore a Swarovski crystal encrusted gown from Bernadette Pimenta Bridal Couture which she altered herself to make it perfect for her. “I made the corset and underskirt – I pulled it apart changed the dress, added tulle, lace, Swarovski crystals, redesigned the skirt and upper bust and all the rosettes the week before the wedding. I changed the dress because  the dress didnt turn out as I had imagined it and it was the wrong colour (fabric stores mistake.) I changed it to make it bigger and lace-ier and make me happier! All the lace and flash tulle was from Tylers Fabrics and The House of Frankie Stuart – these fabric shops are simply amazing!”

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