Tag Archives: DIY

Hearts, Clouds and a Massive Party: Brandon & Tiffany

“A friend of mine described our wedding by saying it was ‘kind of like the Hangover, only without the tiger’.” newlywed Tiiffany explained. “Brandon and I planned the wedding purposely during our favorite holiday – Halloween. Our wedding venue was in the middle of downtown Orlando, which has a HUGE Halloween street party the weekend of Halloween. It’s loads of fun, and I knew that everyone would want to party on the streets after the wedding. Well, my maid of honor partied a little too hard, and we ended up in the emergency room the night of our wedding. Haha. I love her!”

Brandon & Tiffany were married the day before Halloween at Sak Comedy Lab. As you can see, they wanted a real party atmosphere for their wedding and so threw the rule book out the window when it came to deciding what they wanted.

“My goal for this wedding was to throw a bad ass party, without breaking the bank,” Tiffany continued. “I wanted a wedding that was completely different than anybody else in my family had ever done. Unfortunately, my mother was not a big fan of our ideas, which made the journey of wedding planning a little hard. She was absolutely against the idea of having the ceremony in a place other than the church, and hated the fact that we were having pizza. I tried to tell her that this day was about Brandon and me, but it was tough for her to accept it. In the end, she ended up having a great time like everyone else did! I wanted to prove to her that we didn’t have to have an expensive, traditional wedding to have a great time. Anyways, I’m not the type of person who would go into debt for a wedding. I want to enjoy my marriage and not have to worry about paying off a wedding for years to come. Thank goodness Brandon and I are pretty crafty people, we save loads of money by DIYing everything.”

“Our theme was ‘clouds raining hearts’. All of the groomsmen wore hand sewn clouds and the bridesmaids wore hearts in their hair. It was mostly Brandon’s idea. And he did most of the sewing!! All of our guests also wore hand sewn stuffed hearts as boutonnieres. and the bouquets were also composed of hand sewn stuffed hearts, attached to floral wire and put together by twine. The whole wedding was just an explosion of hearts!”

“We didn’t want the wedding to feel stuffy and serious. Brandon wrote the ceremony script, which was pretty hysterical. We had a part during the ceremony where we had ‘vows’ for our guests to promise to us. We embarrassed our parents by having everyone sitting around them give them high fives during the ceremony. We made everyone laugh during our vows, which were super kitschy but I absolutely LOVED it. I wouldn’t have done the wedding any other way.”

“We had so much help from family and friends, and without them, our wedding obviously would not have been the same. Brandon, his groomsmen, and his family did all the decorating the day of the wedding. Brandon didn’t even have any instructions from me on how to decorate the place. He wanted me to trust him with this task and I must admit, I was terrified. But it was so perfect that I cried the second I saw everything. He read my mind. He always does that.”

“Even though we had pizza as our ‘wedding breakfast’, my family insisted on helping out with making traditional Filipino food and other appetizers for our guests. My cousin Becki and my aunt Lucy were in charge of the food and O.M.G. everything was amazing. We even had trays of sushi that my family made! We had so much food that most of our guests took home leftovers and we were even able to leave a few to-go boxes to be given out to the homeless. It was such a memorable night, and I seriously want to thank everyone who shared this special day with us. You are all lovely and perfect!”

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An Urban & Eclectic Community Wedding: Stevie & Nick

Stevie & Nick’s eclectic city wedding took place in Mile End, East London. The bride described the day to me as “eclectic retro community chic,” with so many of their friends and family pitching in to help. “So many people said ‘that’s how weddings used to be’ and ‘this is how it should be, family and friends mucking in’. It meant a lot to us that this was how we did it – it wouldn’t have happened without all of the support we received.”

The wedding day started with the ceremony at Bromley Public Hall and concluded with a rockin’ party reception at The Victoria Pub, “Old man pub heaven” as the bride described it! “They’d never hosted a wedding before, but we were there for a jumble sale and afternoon pint and fell in love with the place,” she explained. “We started chatting to Jo and Martin, the amazing couple who own the pub with their son Alfie and couldn’t believe how genuinely excited they were by it. It made me realise that experience of weddings only gets you so far – real passion and enthusiasm was a lot more important in the end. When we wanted to bring in our own flowers, cakes and decorations – including nailing things to the wall – they were all for it!”

Stevie wore a short wedding dress which she bought on lightinthebox.com. “I know this website received mixed reviews, but it was the only place which had the style I wanted for the budget I had,” she explained honestly. “It worked for me and I would recommend it to anyone how has an eye for a bargain. Visiting weddings shops didn’t even enter the equation! I found this far less stressful. I didn’t try on any dresses or partake in the crazy wedding industry world for a second – people thought I was really weird for wanting to avoid the meringue monstrosity outlets.”

The couple brought their own cake, flowers and decor items and dressed their reception themselves (well with help from a friend on the morning of the wedding). This way, they were able to have the pub exactly as they wanted for a fraction of the price. “Our cake was made by my food-obsessed bridesmaid and usher. They were mini Victoria sponges filled with lemon curd (Nick’s favourite) with a big cake topped with little handmade versions of us. They came on vintage cake stands and looked amazing. Who needs 14 tier fruit cakes? No one eats it and it costs a fortune. These were made with real love and every one got eaten. Our 1950’s waitresses handed them round to the guests at their seats like a little (drunken) tea party!”

“We also bought all the flowers wholesale from Covent Garden Flower Market the day before the wedding (at 5am. Ouch.) Two of my incredible bridesmaids then spent the entire day putting them together. Everything was a surprise for me – including my bouquet. For a control freak like me, it was amazing. I only found out later that 3 bouquets had got stuck to the back of the fridge they were stored in, meaning lots of emergency flower re-arranging on the morning! I didn’t even notice!”

“The rest of the reception decor and props came from Deptford Market, every charity shop in Essex and Kent, eBay and our house. We were engaged for 18 months and we spent the whole time collecting little bits here and there. The whole family was involved. My sister put together the most amazing candy buffet using cut glass cake stands, jars and vases from my home. My childhood friend made 20 metres of blue and white bunting to go across the garden and Nick used our collection of second hand photo frames to put together a little photography exhibition of photos since we met. The gingham tablecloths were made by my Mum and we all sat around making our birds nest favours the day before the wedding.”

“No one in my family does big weddings,”Stevie concluded. “They either elope, or live quite happily without getting hitched. I had no family pressure so we were really able to do what felt right. Both of us were brought up going to jumble sales, hunting for bargains and being suspicious of anything which demanded a whole heap of money. I guess what made it different was that the idea of ‘impossible’ didn’t exist. We had a London wedding with 70 all day guests, 30 more in the evening, 7 bridesmaids and 7 ushers, beautiful food, drink and decoration all for around £7000. If we wanted something, we made it happen. It was really hard sometimes but we knew it was what we wanted.”

“Being Rock n Roll for me was about ignoring the ‘advice’ we read in magazines and pig headedly carrying on! No one believed me that a Victorian pub could be transformed into a sit down dining reception venue, but I knew it could. You can have the wedding you want on the budget you have, it just takes a lot of love and support from everyone around you and anything is possible.”

This is all just so utterly gorgeous! And did you spy Stevie’s nails? LOVE!

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A Fashion Forward London Wedding: Courtney & Charles

Courtney & Charles were married at Marylebone Town Hall followed by a reception at The Union Club in Soho, London. The fashion forward bride wore a short wedding dress by David Fielden and incredible gold shoes by Charlotte Olympia. Not only do I love that she had a bridesman as well as bridesmaids, but I’m going gaga over his shirt and bow tie combo, made in the same Laura Ashley fabric as the girls. Doesn’t it look fabulously chic?

“Being in London, the whole day felt really informal and fun,” Courtney explained. “We didn’t want a load of wedding protocol getting in the way of a good party. A few days after the wedding we had a post-wedding shoot in our wedding attire, at some of our favourite spots around the city.”

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A Casual Wedding At Home: Ann & Tim

Ann & Tim had just the kind of wedding I’d love to have had if a) the UK marriage laws weren’t so damn strict and b) if I lived in a blue house. With the ceremony being held on their driveway and the reception in their back garden, this is the perfect casual backyard wedding. The couple actually met at their house, at the house party of a mutual friend who owned it before them. Having the wedding here really brought their story full circle. The matchmaker, even spoke at the wedding.

“They wanted the whole thing to feel like people were at home,” wedding photographers Sarah & Adam of InTandem explained. “The home was built in 1940 and the original owners of the house who sold it to them also had their wedding reception there. Back then it was just a big white farm house, but Ann & Tim repainted, re-leveled, re-landscaped, and even built the flower boxes themselves. It was DIY to the extreme, and their love for authentic vintage came through in their decor.”

Other DIY elements included the chalkboard signs and the jars and bottles for flowers were bought throughout the year. “We went to every thrift store in Austin and more, with a $2 or less rule,” Ann explained. “We splurged on the cake toppers (which cost us a whole $5!) which we found at an antique mall. I also strung about 6 miles of doily garland, but most of it couldn’t be used because of the rain.”

“We really wanted everyone to feel at home during the whole thing. Next to the gift table was a pot of hot coffee, and the the football game was playing in the living room. The ceremony was very casual, with many of the guests standing with drinks in their hands. We wanted it to feel like a picnic.”

Even the unexpected rain fall didn’t stop these two having the perfect day, “This summer Texas saw a terrible drought, with literally NO rain for the whole hot summer,” Sarah & Adam concluded. “Their wedding ended up on the first rainy weekend to break it. They said they never took the rain seriously until the day before their wedding when they had a worried moment, and worked together with friends and family to rain-plan their wedding. It was too late for a tent, so they set up the blue tarp over the tables in desperation. They set big concrete blocks in the super muddy areas and filled the gaps with hay at the last minute.”

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A DIY Wedding with a Mountaintop View: Larry & Chelsea

Have you ever seen anything as beautiful as Larry & Chelsea’s mountaintop wedding? Just look at that view! The lucky couple we’re married at the bride’s parents home (OK I’m now officially jealous) and although it doesn’t look like it, they had a small budget to work with.

“Although we had financial limits, hand making everything not only saved us money, but it made everything much more personal and special,” Chelsea told me. “I will cherish every hilarious moment I spent crafting and to finally see all our hard work come together was awesome. I never thought I could pull it off and I got it all done in time and I am damn proud of myself!! The essential item to a DIY wedding? Get a dang glue gun girl…Oh and start early!!!”

The bride wore two dresses, the first, from David’s Bridal for the ceremony, and the second, a one of a kind custom made dress by Deborah Lindquist.

“I don’t think we had a specific theme in mind, we definitely wanted to incorporate Larry’s love for skating but we just wanted everything to have a romantic old school vibe to it,” Chelsea continued. “My husband and I are old souls and our love of things with throwback flair came out a little bit. We still wanted it to look like a wedding though so I think that it made all the fun things pop. So we kept that in mind when picking everything out. We got lucky last minute on our cake table. My stepdad had planned to make a distressed and rustic table but didnt have the time with all the last minute stuff. He ended up working a job where the property owner was getting rid of a 1922 Wedgewood Oven. The thing weighs a ton but we got it moved in time. My husband then spent several hours grinding rust off of it and we realized that it was manufactured on our wedding day 90 years ago!”

“Skateboarding has been my husbands first love for the last 20 years, and if it hadn’t been for a taste of the good weather and skatespots in southern Cali, I never would’ve met him. In fact he used to give skateboarding lessons to little kids at one of our big local parks and he conned me into a date by having a 6 year old ask me out! What a cheat. I ended up taking a ton of his old skateboarding magazines and used a scalloped puncher to create all the paper flowers in the wedding. His boutonniere was a flower that I made out of an old photo of a Rob Roskopp Santa Cruz board that I found. It took forever to make everything but it turned out awesome. We also used a board deck as our guestbook which is now mounted up on our living room wall. Who really ever looks at the guestbook every again?”

“I think the most Rock n Roll thing is being true to yourself despite the norms or cliches,” Chelsea concluded “Never compromising your day for what others think it should be. So many people give into the hype and structure of what a wedding should be like. Between the stacks of magazines and where to seat your crazy Uncle its really easy to lose yourself in the process. Truth of the matter is that you found the one amazing person to commit to you through every crazy moment of forever. Who cares if the dress isnt white or if your first dance song was “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin. Your day should scream ‘you!’ and no Mom I will not be covering my tattoos!”

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A Movie, CMYK & Zombie Themed Wedding: Elizabeth & Steve

As keen movie fans, the theme for Elizabeth & Steve’s wedding was easy to choose, especially when they realised they could have their ceremony at the amazing Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida.

“When we got engaged, we knew we wanted the whole day to be a big fun celebration, and our first thought for a venue was Tropic Cinema,” Elizabeth explained. “It’s an amazing volunteer run theater in Old Town Key West, and we are huge movie buffs. We even had our 2nd date there. When we contacted them, they were ecstatic to be a part of our big day as they had never hosted a wedding there before.”

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Their brightly coloured scheme also suited the venue perfectly. “Instead of fighting the existing color scheme, I ran with it and used the CMYK theme in all our stationery and decor,” the bride continued. “Lori, the event manager at the Tropic was floored when she saw that we used their colors. Plus, you can’t really have a better setting for a colorful wedding than Key West!”

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“Our wedding had a definite movie theme with an island twist, but overall, we just wanted it really fun and playful. We had to throw some zombies in there somewhere of course too, as we’re huge zombie dorks. Also everybody kept asking us about the Domo cake toppers. Steve won me a Domo plush at Universal’s Islands of Adventure right after we got engaged, and he quickly became our mascot…. I bought the figurines from an online comic store and made all the little accesories out of polymer clay. Who knew they would be such a hit!?”

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The couple put their own stamp on their day by DIYing as much as they could. Elizabeth found the tutorial for the paper roses on youtube and spent 10 months in the run up to the wedding hand making them all. That’s dedication for you!

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