Tag Archives: DIY

Wedding Stationery…to Buy or DIY?

What is it with girls and stationery? Ever since school I remember getting super excited as September drew near…not to be going back to class, but to be allowed to buy new stationery for the year ahead. I’d spend hours wondering around WH Smiths and Paperchase, fingering every little brightly coloured item, searching for the perfect kit that was both practical and exuded my ever-changing sense of style.

I think for girls this long-term love affair is why we see wedding stationery as such an integral part of our wedding day. It must be just right, it must be personal and it must look like a lot of thought went into it. In this budget-conscious climate, a lot of brides to be choose to DIY their stationery. Whilst there is certainly nothing wrong with this (hell, I DIY’ed the lot!) I wanted to ask an expert in this field to chat us through the importance of wedding stationery as well as highlighting the pros and cons of DIY vs buying your stationery…without simply writing the usual wedding-supplier-self-promotion-patter of “your stationery will set the tone for your whole wedding day” crap that you read everywhere else. Enter Lucy Ledger of the awesome Lucy Ledger Designs

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Stationery is often overlooked when considering the wedding budget; in fact it’s usually the first thing to go. The DIY option is often quite appealing in a quest to save a bit of money… but are you really saving …and more importantly; are you overlooking a potential key part of your wedding? In this post I will pass on my thoughts as a former bride to be and as a designer in the industry and I welcome any feedback or experiences you have to share.

The wedding world and its preconceptions seem to have a strange effect on us all. As soon as I was engaged I started to think about my stationery. Being a creative type, I decided to go the DIY route and found myself inexplicably thinking of pretty invitations with crafty bits on…I woke with a shock from this ‘mainstream’ wedding coma after finding myself in a craft shop looking at fake holly leaves. It was all a bit mad – what was I doing? This wasn’t ‘us’! Then it struck me… the stationery was the perfect opportunity to tell everyone about who we are and what we love! It can be ANYTHING we want – there are no rules!! That’s when it got exciting.

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Leslie & Ben’s Rowing Club Wedding

Leslie & Ben’s rowing club wedding shows perfectly why I adore my readers! Such utter gorgeousness without conforming to anybody else’s idea of what makes a wedding…plus the whole thing was DIY. I approve!

“We called in a lot of favours to make the day; partially because we had a limited budget, but also because by using friends the day would be more special.  Luckily we have a lot of talented friends who include a graphic designer (who did our invitations), a chef (catering), a musician (band), ex-florist and so forth.  The favours, peanut butter fudge, I made myself 4 days before. It was all gone before the main course at the sit down dinner, so I’m guessing no one minded it was made by the bride!”

“The venue decorating was DIY by a friend…we found out on the Thursday that we weren’t allowed into the venue on the Friday to decorate as they had another booking.  I had been worried about that the whole time, so had minimal decorations in mind, just flowers, and a few other bits and pieces.  So late Thursday night, I called my friend Gary who happens to be my event assistant at work and bribed him with a Gaucho in exchange for decorating.  So he cancelled his plans on Saturday and went and did some diy decorating for us.  And it was all perfect.”

“Ben also joined the wine society and we had months of wedding wine tasting before we decided on what to get and brought it all in ourselves (the venue has very reasonable corkage for a London venue). We take our wine very seriously and wouldn’t settle on a wine list, so it was very important to find somewhere we could choose our own wine. And god it was good.  We bought way too much, Ben fully expected to bring some home.  I expected to run out.  Our friends and family did not disappoint on the drinking front; it was just the right amount to see us through the day without a drop to bring home.”

When I asked the bride why the felt their wedding was Rock n Roll, her answer just made me love them even more! It’s all so true. “I didn’t plan a wedding.  I planned a party that we happened to get married just before and dressed up for.  I never wanted a wedding in the “traditional” sense.  We wanted a wedding, followed by a slap up meal and a big party in the evening.  I had family come from all over the world – The States, Australia, Kuwait – to be with us, so we kept the wedding and meal (4 course feast) as family only, with a couple of friends thrown in: mine who had delayed their honeymoon following their August wedding so that they could come from The States, as well as a few of Ben’s close friends as I have an enormous family and he has a tiny one.”

“We wanted a wedding where everyone could have fun, and wasn’t just a spectator on the sidelines.  The Father of the bride speech happened when it was only family which was great as he knew everyone, everyone
there knew what a tough year we had so no explanation was needed and so forth.  So no speech that alienates a lot of people, or bores them as they have no idea what’s happening.  The evening guests had the groom and best man’s speech, it was all friends, so was perfect.  They were short and sweet.”

“I think this sums it up.  We have had so many people tell us it was the best wedding they had ever been to, because at the end of the day it was fun.  Within half an hour of the evening guests arriving, we had everyone on the dancefloor, and they didn’t leave it until the venue made us stop well after midnight!”

“The best piece of advice I was given, sadly not sure who from…don’t try to please anyone else when wedding planning.  Stay true to yourself and plan the best day for you.  We did and we had an utter blast.  And people won’t like what you do.  My mother HATES our wedding invitations – they’re based on steampunk – but we thought they were the coolest thing ever.  So what!  We love it and that is all that matters.  Don’t be swayed by others opinions.  Or by the whole bridal machine.  And ENJOY it all.  I do event organising for work, so approached it all in a functional way as it is what I do.  I wish I had had more fun with it, rather than make spreadsheet after spreadsheet after spreadsheet.”

Good advice Leslie!

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Laura & Andy’s Classy, Rockabilly, Back to the Future Inspired, DIY Wedding

Laura & Andy’s rockabilly wedding is pure class. Shot by the wonderful Chloe Browne of Caught the Light, the day exudes 1950’s elegance and styling…with a big fat Rock n Roll twist!

“We did things differently by really letting our personalities and our interests shine through our wedding preparations,” began the bride. “Both ourselves and our friends are immersed in the music dancing and lifestyle of the 40s and 50s Swing and Rockabilly scene.  It was inherent that I would wear a 50s style dress rather than a traditional wedding dress, that the details of our wedding would be centered around our love of vintage music, pin-up fashion, jive and jitterbug dancing, traditional tattoos, classic Chevy pickups!”

“Everything to do with the day reflected our day-to-day interests as well as some personal obsessions (particularly a certain Michael J Fox film from the 80’s!) Rather than having a ‘theme’ our wedding day reflected us -eclectic, unconventional and fun-loving and we wanted it to go with a swing!”

“We wanted an on-budget, hand-crafted rock’n’roll wedding where everyone we love best in the world could come and share the fun of seeing us get hitched followed by an awesome party. In the evening we truly ‘Rocked Around The Clock’ with my Great Aunt and Uncle showing us kids how they danced it the first time round which was awesome!”

“I knew from the get go that I would be wearing a 1950’s style wedding dress but still enjoyed the rites of passage of trying on some meringues beforehand. My Bridesmaid Hollie had nicknamed me ‘The Anti-Bride’ after every white dress I saw myself in left me in peals of laughter. I just felt like I was in fancy dress which I didn’t want. I just wanted to feel like me. I had my heart set on a coloured dress – and the inspiration for the peach colour came from the dress that Marty McFly’s ‘mother’ wears to the prom in ‘Back To The Future’.  ‘BTTF’ is our favourite film and not only was my dress an homage to it, but also our first dance was ‘Earth Angel and then straight into Johnny B Goode’ as an in-joke between us.”
 
I just have to interrupt right about here and say that the Back to the Future references make me love this wedding even more! It’s also my favourite film of all time and Gareth & I walked back up the aisle to ‘The Power of Love’ from the film. Anyway, sorry about that brief interlude…back to the task at hand…

“My dress was custom made by Caroline Arthur and my petticoat was custom made to match the colour of my dress by a Annabella Designs on folksy. Hollie had also had a lady on etsy make me a custom garter in leopard print and silver skull detail that I unwrapped on the day. It was so very ‘me’ and I was really touched.  I was originally planning to have the Heart Vivienne Westwood shoes but when I saw the cherry version I actually let out a small scream and hugged the sales assistant in Liberty! They cherry shoes then inspired the design of the bridesmaid’s hats which I made from millinery items bought from MacCulloch and Wallis.”

“I was insanely happy to find the ‘My Pretty’ Jewellery collection from Tarina Tarantino when I was planning my outfit as I have a life long obsession with The Wizard Of Oz. I was really torn between The Wicked Witch Of The West version but saw sense and went with Glinda The Good Fairy pearls and matching bracelet.”

“The Bridesmaids and I each wore over sized heart rings, custom for the wedding by Clutterfly Jewellery who make Rockabilly inspired jewellery. It was the perfect answer to my ‘Something Blue’ – but with added glitter. The bridesmaids had matching red glitter heart rings declaring their love of ‘TEA’! This matched our vintage teapots and teacups dotted around the mansion and reminded me of the brilliant vintage tea–hen-party they had thrown for me!” 

The couple decided to buck tradition and had the groom arrive in style at the ceremony in a Chevy. “As myself and my bridesmaids had a beautiful large Bridal suite to get ready in at the Mansion, we decided to turn tradition on its head and have the groom turn up in a vintage car – a mint green 1950s Chevy pickup,” Laura explained. “I will always remember hearing the engine revving as it pulled up outside and feeling insanely excited that the ceremony was about to begin!”

Both the Laura & Andy are designers and met during their Design Degree at University. Therefore, in order to make everything super personal, the couple decided to hand make most of the wedding decor and details with help from their friends and our family. The group worked hard and created the tissue paper pomanders. the cake and crocheted cake toppers, the cd favours, the guest book and the family photo board. “Other goodies at the guest table included 40s style hand-held fans to help guests cool down after a jive on the dance floor and vintage pressed glass bowls filled with marshmallows, bon bons and other sugary treats.”

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Helen & Dan’s Good Old-Fashioned Coronation Street, 1940’s Tea Party Wedding

Cute, quirky, British weddings are my utter favourites to feature. There’s so much originality and such fabulous ideas floating around this industry of ours, and it really really excites me! I was lucky enough to meet Heather, the photographer who captured this beautiful wedding, at the Unveiled Photography Conference that I spoke at in July so I’m so excited to see that she’s put what she learnt in to practice with this killer wedding.

Helen & Dan were married in September in Rye. Their theme was “a good old-fashioned Coronation Street party/1940s tea party feel”. Originally the couple had planned to have an Alice in Wonderland theme, however after the film came out, and the whole world went Alice mad, they decided to do something different and more unique. “My mum is a magpie for nice bits and set about scouring the length and breadth of Lancashire’s charity shops for table decorations, the cups and saucers, the teapots and the candelabras” began the bride. “Dan’s nan volunteers in a charity shop, so she managed to pick up some lovely pieces too.”

“The outfits were the thing that I was most concerned about and probably spent the most time ruminating over. I KNEW it had to be a retro/1940s feel but the shops were all a bit full of conventional, uninspiring things. I scoured the internet and, thankfully, found Claire Pettibone, an American bridal designer. Her stunning gowns are stocked at Blackburn Bridal in London. Once I had the dress, it felt like everything else fitted into place.” With her dream dress, Helen wore Irregular Choice shoes and a hairpiece by Orelia.

Helen continued, “Neither Dan or I are religious, and we were both paying for the wedding ourselves, so we knew we wouldn’t be going down the traditional route! No older family members to please. Our readings at the ceremony reflected our desire to do things differently, and we had ‘To Love is Not to Possess’ by James Kavanaugh and the Doctor Seuss ‘Wedding Vows’.  My older sister and her son read the Doctor Seuss piece, to much laughter from the congregation, and Dan’s mum read the To Love… piece.”

“We’re both really big Blur fans, so it seemed appropriate to walk up the aisle to ‘Tender’. Dan came to the doors of the wedding chamber and met me so we could walk down together. I was so happy to see him when the door opened! My friend said he knew I was nervous when he saw my dress hem “trembling”! Our exit tune was ‘Celebrate’ by Kool & the Gang, and our first dance was ‘To The End’, again by Blur.”

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How To…Make Your Own 1960’s Inspired Mod Floral Hair Wreath (Tutorial by Elsie Flannigan)

I heart Elsie.

I’ve been following her awesome crafty blog, A Beautiful Mess, for the past year or so am not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of an super fan. Elsie got engaged to Jeremy in August and so secretly I was hoping she’d share all her wedding planning and DIY ideas on her blog. Last week I received an email from Elise and her sister Emma telling me that not only have they started their own wedding blog, Le Wedding Party, but that Elsie would like to share some of her amazing DIY tutorials on Rock n Roll Bride! Eeek…I am so excited that she even knows my little blog exists, let alone that she wants to share her stuff with us!

I hope you enjoy Elsie’s awesome 1960’s headband tutorial, and if you do be sure to let us know because there are many more where this came from if you want them!

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I adore mod 1960s styling! One of my favorite collections from this era is enamel flower brooches. I love the colors, shapes and seemingly endless variety that exists in the vintage universe.

Supplies needed: 7 to 12 Vintage Enamel Brooches (I purchase these anytime I am vintage shopping as well as on Etsy and eBay), elastic, scissors.

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Casey & Richard’s Sunny, Seaside, Sailor Wedding

My original plan today was to head out into my garden and take some snowy snaps for Photography Friday…however as I stared blankly through my kitchen window I had second thoughts and realised that it’s flippin’ COLD out there and you know what!? I’d rather stay here, wrapped in my slanket (blanket with sleeves – oh yes that is Rock n Roll!) For some further justification, I’ve got an amazingly SUNNY wedding from South Africa to share instead. This should warm your cockles…

Casey & Richard tied the knot on the 15th May 2010 (sunny!) They had the fabulous We Love Pictures there to capture their stripey seaside shindig. “We chose an old sugar baron’s estate cottage as our wedded haven – our family and friends descended from near and far to prep for the day and celebrate the occasion,” explained the couple. Dressed in a tea-length 50s Audrey Hepburn style frock with simple pumps to match, Casey traipsed to her husband-to-be thorough a thicket of coastal lushness. “Our crew were seated and standing in a clearing, aptly named  ‘The Glades’ – shielded by sunhats and paper parasols”, they continued. “The scene was decked out with paper daisies, white ottomans, picnic blankets, deck chairs and a tree draped in white with ribbons hanging down.”

“The pre-drinks consisted of wicked refreshers with names like ‘ pink polka dot bikini’ and ‘blue lagoon’. After ‘tying-the-knot’ in true sailor fashion – signifying our union – we paraded to the beach through a cacophony of streamers and screams. Guests enjoyed yoghurt lollies as we gathered round our sandcastle for the obligatory group snap. Table settings with flags, each grouped around a sandcastle, indicated basket-sharing teams for the picnic which followed. We took our wedding snaps on the beach, guided by a giant bunch of red and white balloons. Those were my favorite moments – mad wind and beach swept happiness.”

“Our guests engaged in a stripey seaside themed photo booth before we set down to our alfresco feast – a picnic and then fish braai under cloud-breaks of swing tunes and jazzy electro melodies. A tower of giant meringues were sparkled alight before we cut our stripey red and white wedding cake. The sweet table was ravaged, only two petit fours remained from a sizey spread of sweet offerings. The party set off with a bang in our transparent bunting flagged tent – and we entered the wee hours with a shebang and shoo-wop. It was certain, we were better together.”

See, how much better is reading that than seeing more snow photos?!

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