Tag Archives: DIY

Regula & Bruno’s Afternoon Tea Party Reception (Part Two)

Remember Regula & Bruno’s spooky Rye wedding? Well they’re back, not once but twice today! I’m kicking of this Wednesday morn’ with the Belgian leg of their wedding and this afternoon I’ll be sharing their creepy wedding portraits taken at an abandoned fairground! Originally from Belgium the couple were keen to have a tea party reception in their home city for all their friends & family that didn’t come over to the UK for their ceremony.

Writer Regula told me all about their tea party. “We knew what we wanted to do for our wedding reception immediately. Because we were getting married in England we wanted our friends from Belgium to feel like they were in the UK. We decided we were going to do a wedding afternoon tea.”

“The biggest task of all was making our wedding tea invitations, both of us being graphic designers we had an image in our heads of how we wanted it to look. We combined these visions and worked on the designs for over 6 months only to get them ready just in time. Our invitation was actually a folder filled with a number of cards people could discover as they opened it, in each invitation we sowed a customised teabag. We also made a wedding blog with our digital invitation so people could check the blog for details if they didn’t have the actual invitation with them. We put some homemade video’s on it of us assembling the wedding invitation packs, together with some 1940’s video’s of how to prepare the perfect tea. We had information on it explaining people what afternoon tea is all about as most Belgians don’t know a lot about the custom.”

“For our venue we chose a bar/gallery in Antwerp owned by friends, Bruno designed their logo website and front of the building and was given full creative liberty so we knew the place was perfect to be our venue. Bruno’s illustrations were still up on the walls from his exhibition so the wall’s were all ready decorated with our things. Since it was our friends bar we were allowed to do what we wanted with the place. We unscrewed things and took them out and cleared everything we didn’t need. The furniture in the bar was all vintage or DIY, perfect for our vintage theme.”

“For the decoration, we collected vintage crockery and bell jars for a year, and by the end of may our  house was full of boxes. We made bunting, posters, cards, labels… from making decorations to hanging them up, also the catering we did ourselves. Most of the food we brought home with us from the UK the rest was made by us. Then we had to do all the things that you have to do for getting a bar that has never seen a wedding into wedding-land.”

“We decorated the tables with vintage teapots, sugarbowls and milk jugs. We attached a red balloon to every teapot like it showed in the design of our menus. We put bell jars on tables, each containing things from our house including the little doll’s dress I’ve treasured whole my life and inspired my wedding dress. We had little pots of jam with a cotton cover we stamped our wedding logo on. We scattered around pictures of me and Bruno which me made to look vintage and we had rock candy made with our names and logo as wedding favours. On the tables we put paper spoons with table conversations and we customized bubble blowers with our design. It was so much fun seeing people blowing bubbles and enjoying themselves with looking at our photograps. Mind you after the party all the bubbleblowers, decorations and most of our pictures were taken home by our friends.”

“We had paper cups with our logo to drink from, for the toast outside, as we only found out last minute that there weren’t enough glasses. For the reception we wanted everyone to drink their wine and beer out of the old teacups. Mind you, we were very surprised everyone did so. For our buffet we had all the English classics like scones, sandwiches, cakes, cookies and even real clotted cream which our lovely photographer brought with her from the UK. We had a British cheese selection and cupcakes, sweet and evil but mostly loads of them. Our beautiful wedding cake was made by the lovely Becky from Consumed by Cake. Being a food blogger my cake was a big thing! It featured two swallows flying to a heart. A classic 1950’s sailer tattoo image.”

“We had a British candy buffet for people to fill bags to take with them and a glass dispenser with the homemade lemonade I made in the morning and one with Pimms. Instead of a DJ we had an Antwerp street musician playing his old piano in the most melancholic way.”

“This guy composes his own songs and plays them from the heart. He plays in the streets of Antwerp and pushes his piano around the city by hand. I had him in mind to play at our tea party but sadly didn’t see him the months before the wedding. The day before we left for the UK for our ceremony I heard his music and tracked him down through the sound. I was so excited I found him and asked him to come and play.”

Don’t you just love it?! Be sure to come back later today for part three of the Regula & Bruno saga – their wedding photo shoot in an abandoned fairground!

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An Informal Picnic Wedding with a Touch of Vintage: Michelle & Jodie

Being a wedding planner herself, newlywed Michelle knew exactly what she wanted for her British Summertime wedding to Jodie. In the 18 months of their engagement she spent hours crafting and painstakingly putting together their  vintage and craft themed day. “I wouldn’t change a thing!” she explained. “We had so much fun planning the day, we did everything from choosing the playlists to writing our vows and designing the picnic menus.”

“Being a planner I wanted to make sure our wedding was different from all the weddings I’ve been involved with, ensuring that the day reflected us and our love of all things vintage.  The first thing for me was that the day needed to be informal, a family event. I remembered having big family picnic in the park when I was little and how happy everyone was, laughing, drink and playing games in the sunshine, and that was the feeling I wanted our guests to have. Jodie introduced me to Babycham a few years ago and since then it’s become one of our favourite tipples, so it was only right that we have a Babycham reception complete with original Babycham saucers and mini bottles with cute stripy straws.”

“Our wedding breakfast was a yummy picnic, with sweet course of afternoon tea cakes and goodies,” she continued. “I’d collected over 500 pieces of vintage china, which we used at the tea. All the produce was sourced from local farm shops and suppliers, and then put into beautiful vintage hampers that I had collected over the years. Each hamper was finished off with a flower arrangement in a vintage tin and a table name (all were places close to our hearts) in the style of vintage beer mats.”

“The evening was all about having fun, with a vintage ice cream trailer, personalised with Mr & Mrs Miles, retro sweeties in ornate jars, a swing out carousel and vintage board games.  The guest book was a type writer, where we asked guests to type us a message and hand it on the wishing tree (a hat stand lovingly decorated by Jodie). We hung pictures of Jodie and I from our engagement shoot in Bath, to bring some of his home town to the wedding.”

“The car park had homemade flags of our home towns too. There are so many more details that I loved, the for your tears of joy vintage hankies that I collected and people help themselves to at the ceremony (lucky really as it was such a tear-jerker), the lace jars, face frames, haybale covers with vintage fabric collected from markets, the floral arrangements in birdcages, lanterns and vintage tins, the paper pom poms and lanterns that hung between the barn and stretch tent…. there’s just too much to mention.”

The majority of Michelle & Jodie’s wedding was homemade by the pair – from the decoupage pegs, to the paper pom poms and face frames.

Gorgeous huh?

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An Outdoor Ceremony & A Summer Fete Themed Wedding: Emily & Oliver

Emily & Oliver were legally married at Brighton Town Hall with only their immediate family in attendance. Then two days later they celebrated with all their friends & family Ridge Farm in Surrey. They started the day with an outdoor ceremony (not currently legal in England, hence the register office ceremony.)

“I first went to Ridge Farm a couple of years earlier to a music festival called Firegathering organised by a friend of my sister, they had got married there themselves,” Emily told me. “It came to mind as a venue to look round and when I took Oli he feel in love at first sight.  A big advantage was we could have the venue for 4 days!  We have always enjoyed the day after a wedding as the much as the wedding day itself, all ice has been well and truly broken and its just fab to carry on the party when you have all your loved ones together.”

Ridge Farm has 11 bedrooms, plenty of land to camp on, a huge bonfire site (great for late night chats), there is a pool house which is covered for the wedding breakfast and then uncovered the following day so that we could have a very informal BBQ and pool party.  The venue has amazing rock history and used to have a studio on site, the walls in the house are covered with albums that have been recorded there – artists include Sade, Ozzy Osbourne, James, Pearl Jam, Roxy Music etc.”

“The Ridge Farm ceremony was performed by Peter at Light on Life,” Emily continued. “We knew that Ridge Farm was the venue for us and they do not have a license to perform legally binding marriages, we didn’t want to spend the day traipsing round the countryside, so decided to have a very intimate ‘legal’ wedding with immediate family and a ceremony in the Orchard all our guests could enjoy.”

“Peter wrote a bespoke ceremony for us and ran with all my partner’s crazy ideas such as parents making and exchanging family flags/pennants during the ceremony.  We hired some fete style games such as a coconut shy and splat the rat for people to enjoy/mingle round over the two days – it was Peter’s idea to cut a red ribbon after the ceremony to declare the ‘fete’ open.”

The festival and fete theme of the wedding was brought together by some subtle and cute details. These included bunting from Beautiful Bunting, a tent from The Arabian Tent Company and fete games hired from Carousel Events.

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A Handmade Campsite Wedding: Maria & Chris

A campsite in Wales played host to Maria & Chris’ fabulous wedding. With the help of their friends & family the couple pulled a lot of the wedding together themselves. The flowers played a huge part in the styling of their day as Maria explained, “For the flowers I wanted it to look as though we had picked them all from the fields that morning and used whatever we had lying around to put them in.  We had been collecting vintage china for some time and used the various jugs, bowls and cups & saucers for the flowers on the tables.  The campsite also had some rustic enamel jugs that we used too.  Some of these Flowers I had ordered from the florist (Peonies, Cornflower, Lavender, Margharites etc) but the rest my Mum, her neighbour and my Auntie’s had brought with them from their gardens!  The Tipi was decorated with ribbon and Ivy from my Parent’s garden too.”

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“All the table decorations were put together by my Chris’ Mum and one of my Bridesmaids,” the bride continued. “It was late Friday, the night before the wedding and it was flower chaos! In the end it was all hands on deck and friends and family were all stepping in to help.  Chris’ Mum also made 60+ stunning little bead & wire dragonflies to sit in the table decorations. I also had three silver butterflies that were a pair of earrings and a pin that belonged to Chris’ Grandma. She sadly passed away two years ago and by having the butterflies in my bouquet it was my small way of having her near all day.”

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“We also used bay leaves and white roses that my two Granddads (who are no longer with us) had grown, in the table decorations – so the flowers became a very personal thing!”

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The relaxed wedding didn’t really have a specific ‘theme’, the couple just wanted to pull together all the things they loved for their day. “We have always loved retro, vintage and homemade – long before it became fashionable again! So our inspiration was really always around us – homemade items created by friends and family and secondhand items that had a second lease of life (we left the vintage china at Fforest Farm to be reused at other peoples weddings!) Our inspiration was also the wonderful Fforest Farm and the countryside surrounding it.”

The bride wore a stunning Cymbeline dress which the bought online. “I originally was going to hunt down a vintage dress and after trawling the internet had made a list of specialist shops to visit in London.  Then  was on the internet one evening at my parents when my said ‘try eBay for a dress’ – I said that I had given up looking but my mum was insistent and there waiting for me was my dress to be! So – I purchased my dress from a very lovely girl on eBay! She originally bought the dress from Paris and it was made by Cymbeline, my Mum took the top in slightly but other than that it was perfect in every way!”

Can I also just draw your attention to this cake!? It was made by the bride’s Mum and both she and the bride crocheted the flowers and cake topper. How cute?! “The knitted and crocheted flowers were my idea,” said Maria, “and my Mum added the Mice and the mini version of our dog Poppy! I crocheted a few of the flowers but my Mum knitted & Crocheted the majority – she’s far more talented than me!”

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A DIY Fashion Shoot Using The Rock n Roll Bride Planning Notebook!

A photo shoot featuring the Rock n Roll Bride planning notebooks!? Oh yes that’s one sure-fired way to get my attention!

“We styled the whole shoot ourselves using items from eBay (and of course the Rock n Roll Bride notebook,” photographer Jaye of  Tux & Tales Photography told me. “We decided we would do a few styled shoots ourselves on a shoestring budget. I think it is a great way to show brides that they can have a fun and fab style with a little pocket change and a lot of elbow grease. I hope you enjoy my ultra-rad millinery. Picture me sitting on the living room floor, feathers flying everywhere whilst my cat tries to run off with the hat in his mouth every time I turn around to get another feather. The bouquet I made myself out of crepe paper. Boo (our model) is a burlesque performer so she did her own hair & make up!”

“As for inspiration – we were really dedicated to a shoot which was going to demonstrate the beauty of the North,” Jaye continued. “Although we  had a brief stint in Essex, we are really Northerners at heart and I wanted to do something fun and sassy that shows Yorkshire at its best. The photos taken in front of Drax (the coal fire plant) are particularly special to me. People often complain about the North of England being ‘too industrial’ but that is exactly what we love about it. There is something so optimistic about industry. The big factories are where hard working people go to create the fabulous things we use and eat every day.”

“We stopped and took the pictures with your amazing little planner when we were on our way to the power plant shoot. We were at a park near our house and there are a few really rad, grotty little buildings which we thought made a pretty Rock n Roll backdrop. Ever the northern lass, Boo only needed to be told ‘act like a rockstar’ and I just had to be around to press the button!”

The Rock n Roll Bride planning notebooks and wallplanners are available to purchase exclusively through notonthehighstreet.com. For prices and further info, clicky here.

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A “Totally Neat, Totally Sweet” Music-Themed Wedding: April & Rich

“Some people described our wedding theme as Rockabilly, but the only rockabilly music was played at the ceremony,” newlywed April told me. “We are punk rockers at heart, but listen to a wide variety of music in the rock genre.  We thought it would be very difficult to do a punk rock wedding and still keep it somewhat formal.  (Rich’s family is Catholic and I am not religious in any way.  We didn’t want to horrify his grandmother!)”

“We chose Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent and Wanda Jackson for ceremony music.  I walked down the aisle to “Rose of my heart” by Johnny Cash.   I had “rose of my heart” engraved in Rich’s wedding ring.  It was a surprise and when Rich saw it after the ceremony, he got tears in his eyes.  It was one of my favorite moments of the day.  My grandfather died exactly 3 weeks before the wedding.  He was a Johnny Cash fan, so this made it even harder to keep my emotions in check while walking down the aisle.”

As you can see, music played a big part in April & Rich’s wedding. In fact a lot of the significant times in their relationship were down to music too! “Rich and I met on April 7, 1997 at a high school dance,” April continued. ” I was about to turn 16, and he was just a baby at age 14! I was a sophomore and he was in eighth grade.  I was seeing someone else at the time.  It was a very on and off relationship, and I was always miserable.  And full of angst! Rich was always trying to cheer me up.  We talked on the phone for hours every night.  I still remember the day that he told me that if I ditched Brian and started to date him and listen to Reel Big Fish, I would be much happier!  I took his advice, and the next two years were some of the best of my life”

“We both love music and started going to shows when we could.  The first punk rock show we ever went to together was the Casualties.  We went with Amy (maid of honor) and had the best time.  (Of course, we snuck out of the fire hall to make out in the dug out for a while.)  The first big concert we went to was the Cherry Poppin Daddies, Green Day and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in 1998. We met and had our picture taken with Dicky Barrett from the Bosstones.  We displayed this picture at the wedding. Rich was really into ska in high school.  I went on a trip to NY and bought him a hat at Moon Ska Records.  He still has it.”

Obviously the wedding playlist was a vitally important part of the wedding to this couple and they spent a lot of time getting it perfect. “When coming up with the wedding playlist, we originally wanted to choose 1 song from each band we have seen live together.  But, we couldn’t find any appropriate Casualties songs!  We played 1 song by The Donna’s, my all time favorite band.  We went backstage with the Donna’s last year.  I was so excited and told my friend, ‘All I wanted to do in high school was meet the Donna’s and marry Rich Thompson! Dreams do come true.’  When we were in high school, Rich used to sing the song Totally by Screeching Weasel to me.  We used lyrics from this song on our save the date cards.  ‘Totally neat, totally sweet, totally knocked me off my feet.’  Rich’s Mom had our cake knife engrave with ‘totally neat, totally sweet.’  Rich and I both love Rancid.  We played ‘Radio’ (‘I never fell in love, til I fell in love with you.  Never knew what a good time was, til I had a good time with you!’)  We also played ‘Who would’ve thought’.”

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