Tag Archives: DIY

Laurel and Ryan’s Handcrafted, Alice-Bright, Alice in Wonderland Wedding Shoot

Laurel and Ryan’s DIY pre-wedding shoot took place in Ryan’s parent’s back garden (which just happened to have a few acres of land behind it!) I utterly adore the acid neon brights fused with an Alice in Wonderland theme, all of which was created by the bride & groom themselves. They bought the cupcakes from a grocery store and created all of the flower centrepieces themselves, again from store bought flowers.

The bouquets and boutonnieres were professionally made, but for the most part the entire photo shoot was their own unique vision and craft.

Killer!

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Sammy & Ian’s Modern Romantic London Wedding

Sammy & Ian went for a quirky, modern and London theme for their Soho wedding. Being a costume designer, the bride made her own dress based on the late 50’s early 60’s silhouette of tight and knee length, with a bit of Vivienne  Westwood influence. “It was made from red silk Dupion, and the corset was white duchess satin with red silk ribbon stripes sewn on top,” she explained. 

Sammy also designed Ian’s unusual and fabulous suit which was made out of venetian wool and was based on a 1960’s design.

The couple hired a red London bus to take their guests from Marylebone town hall, where their ceremony took place, through London to Century on Shaftesbury Avenue for their casual and fun reception. They didn’t want a sit down traditional meal and so instead had barbecue style finger food. They drank raspberry champagne cocktails and pink punch.

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Leigh & Brian’s Incredible Cemetery Wedding

I featured Leigh & Brian’s ridiculously awesome engagement shoot back in June – you’ll remember it, it was the one with the bed in a river! So, you can imagine my excitement when their photographer Hollie sent me the couple’s  recent wedding – they got married in a cemetery! The bride is a writer herself and so she wrote me a bit of an essay on their amazing wedding. It’s ace though so I wanted to share all her thoughts here with you.

“Oh my lord, where to even begin?  It was all just awesome, and our friends, family, and planners really thought of everything, from the “‘Till Death Do They Part”, Day of the Dead-themed engagement party, to the tombstone-shaped chocolates my mom made for our out-of-town guests,” she began. “We had such a great time, and I think everyone really enjoyed our crazy cemetery wedding.”

“I think we’re Rock n Roll because we did something that meant a lot to us, even though we knew we’d probably get some raised eyebrows.  And I also think we’re rock ‘n roll because we were able to pull off a completely unique event while still keeping our guests in mind — even though we were in an unconventional location, we made sure people were comfortable, and that they had refreshments, fans, and plenty of seating before and during the ceremony.  We had shuttles to take people to and from the ceremony site, and transportation for people inside the cemetery, if they had difficulty with the stone pathways.  Basically, we wanted to do it our way, but we didn’t want to do it at the expense of everyone’s comfort, and I think we did a good job of making our cemetery wedding a blast for everyone.”

“Overall, we went with a “vintage Savannah” theme; we wanted something unique and personal, but we also wanted to incorporate a lot of traditional Southern elements.  The location was definitely traditional and Southern – the ceremony was held on Lion’s Field in Historic Oakland Cemetery, in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta.  Oakland is Atlanta’s first city cemetery, and was designed in the Victorian garden style; it’s a beautiful place, with old stone pathways, gorgeous mausoleums, elaborate statuary, and plenty of trees and flowers.  The field where we were married is actually hundreds of unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers, and has three enormous old magnolias shading part of the area.”

“We did a ceremony in the round, which meant the chairs were arranged to circle where Brian and I stood, with four aisles between the chairs; each aisle was marked by a pair of urns filled with hydrangea, dusty miller, and Spanish moss (to go with the Southern theme; all our bouquets had the same flowers, but with added gardenia, so they smelled unbelievable).  They erected iron gatework around the ceremony area, and covered that in vines, moss, and candles; we also had a refreshment table under one of the magnolias (where they served our signature drink, a lime, cucumber, and mint blend we called the “Bobby Jones” — Bobby’s grave is in the cemetery), and they hung a chandelier filled with candles in the tree above the bar.  Buses were taking people to the ceremony site, and because some guests would be getting there early, we had passed h’ors d’ouerves and robin’s egg blue silk fans on every chair, with a little note attached, telling everyone to stay cool.”

“After the ceremony (which was performed by a judge friend of ours), we’d arranged guided tours of the cemetery for anyone who was interested in seeing more of the place (it’s enormous, with 70,000 people buried there, and I didn’t want people feeling like they’d only seen a portion of it) — I’d coordinated the tours ahead of time with the Oakland director, and had people mark on their RSVP cards if they wanted to participate.  On our wedding day, the cemetery docents surprised us by dressing up in Victorian period costumes (which was awesome!) to lead the groups around the grounds; afterward, we heard rave reviews about the docents, and how interesting the tours had been.  People who didn’t go on the tours were taken straight to the reception location. where a cocktail hour was being held; meanwhile, we and the wedding party traipsed through the cemetery, taking roughly one million photographs.”

“We held the reception at the Wimbish Mansion in midtown Atlanta — it’s a gorgeous old stone home just sitting in the middle of the city, and it has a fabulous ballroom from the 1920’s, which we loved.  We wanted to tie in the cemetery theme, but without being too obvious about it, so we used the Bird Girl of Savannah — she was the little girl statue that used to be in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery (the one that was made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), and we had a copy of her for the centerpiece of the buffet table.  The (amazing) food had the same Southern influence – there was the standard prime rib and whatnot, but we also had fried chicken and a mac and cheese bar, plus a ton of vegan options (including a vegan groom’s cake that people went crazy over).  For the father/daughter dance, we chose an old song from my dad’s favorite movie, and I surprised him with a fake mustache (I wore one, too), a top hat and cape, and dressed him up as an old-time movie villain, which he loved – he kept the get-up on for the rest of the night.”

“More fun reception touches included the photo booth, which we filled with vintage hats, mustaches, and other props (we got our mustaches and glasses-on-a-stick from MaroDesignson etsy).  Instead of having a guest book, we had a vintage framed chalkboard in the booth (which was purchased from RevivedVintage, also on etsy), so guests could be photographed with their personal messages to us.  For the bouquet toss, I made a bouquet out of scratch-off lottery tickets, and attached a penny to one of the ribbons — we announced that the toss was for anyone who wanted to get lucky, and it was actually caught by one of the groomsmen, who was so excited that he ran a victory lap around the ballroom immediately afterward.”

“Finally, when it was time to go, everyone was given a plastic egg filled with birdseed for our exit toss — for these, Brian and I bought a ton of plastic white Easter eggs, spray painted them (and a good portion of the driveway; oops) blue, then added brown “spots” with a spray bottle of thinned paint.  Everyone tossed the birdseed at us as we came down the stairs outside (I was still finding birdseed in my hair two days later), and the night finished with Brian and I leading a parade of guests down Peachtree Street and back to the hotel for a little post-partying, behind a (very tolerant) younger guest who carried a “Just Married” flag.  We walked into the hotel bar, and the people there gave us a standing ovation; it was the perfect ending to an absolutely perfect day, and now I totally want to do it all over again.”

Yep, totally awesome huh!? I love these guys!

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Free Wedding Photography Contest Winners – Gaelyn & John’s English Country Picnic with a Mexican Flair

I have been waiting over a year to see Gaelyn & John’s wedding – a year! Long term readers of Rock n Roll Bride may recognise this couple as the lucky pair who won free wedding photography by Love me Do Photography from a contest I ran back in October 2009. It was one of the closest contests I’ve ever ran but needless to say, I know these two totally deserved to win! And now I get to share their awesome wedding photographs with you today. EXCITED!

The theme for the wedding was “English country picnic with a Mexican flair”. The couple described their vision perfectly in their winning entry and it’s so awesome to see it come to life now! “I like to refer to our wedding as English country picnic with a Mexican flair,” they explained. “A ‘marriage’ (if you will) of both our backgrounds. There will be gingham and tea as well as hand cut papel picados (Mexican paper banners) by yours truly, and tamales from a small family run bakery.”

The wedding took place at John’s parent’s 1920’s beach cottage in Carpinteria California. “We have shared many good times there and really love the place and thought it would make an amazing location for both the wedding and the reception,” explained Gaelyn. “We love that it is beautiful, intimate, charming, vintage and rustic. The small beach town has another well known original beach cottage down the street that is a vacation house known as the Linden house, we rented it for myself and my bridesmaids, and took a few photos there as well.”

“Our personal aesthetic is that we tend to like things that seem to have a history to them or an evidence of hand, we are drawn towards vintage and craft but like for things to still feel modern. Our wedding was very collaborative and hands on. We have so many talented friends and family, and we really wanted to showcase their talents as well. They helped do everything from the flowers, silk screening invites, baking desserts, building our website, embroidering our groomsmen’s pocket squares, sewing…the list goes on and on. It really was amazing to have them all involved. It really was great to look out on your big day and not only think “hell yes, this looks awesome” but also be reminded of all of the amazing people who have supported you along the way.”

“I designed the invites, save the dates and thank yous myself. I had a friend silkscreen the art side, and then I had custom rubber stamps made for the info side, and sealed the envelopes with a red heart wax seal, and hand addressed them myself. I spent countless hours spray painting things white ( you really can make anything look good when you spray paint it white!) For example, countless empty pickle jars (I cant explain John’s love for pickles and I wont even try, but lets just say I was able to save up A LOT of pickle jars), when spray painted with a candle inside they looked like porcelain, I also painted an ugly wood/brass 70’s chandelier to hang in the tree, some photo frames, an old mirror I found discarded on the streets of SF, mismatched crystal candelabras (made them look entirely new and modern) etc. It was a great cheap way to not only tie things together, but really make use of things, that one might otherwise overlook.”

“I pulled fabric over embroidery hoops and hand painted our wedding crest logo as well as each of our silhouettes, it looked great as decoration hanging on the front fence at the wedding and made an awesome keepsake. I also hand cut the papel picados (Mexican tissue paper banners) that hung at the front of the house myself with two love birds and our wedding date. We did the entire wedding ourselves, it was a lot of hard work, but in the end we loved ever detail and wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

The bride wore a vintage dress from Timeless Vixen Vintage on etsy which she bought for just $380! “I started looking really early on, knowing that I wanted vintage, and that finding what I wanted, in my size, might take some time,” she continued. “Surprisingly I found the dress right away, it was just what I wanted and the measurements happened to match mine exactly. I bought it, without the option of trying it on first, crossed my fingers and waited for it to arrive. Amazingly enough, the dress fit like a glove and didn’t even need any alterations!”

What a fabulous wedding! I am so pleased that Carina & Amanda from Love Me Do Photography and I were able to help these guys get the awesome photographs they deserve too. Enjoy the photos! Do I have the best readers or what!?

Gealyn & John run their own video company, What We Do Films, be sure to check out their adorable video (after the jump) which they played out at their reception. What an awesome idea! 

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Sheila & Austin’s Small & Intimate Peacock Themed Destination Wedding

Mis-matched jewel tones and a peacock theme were the order of the day for Sheila & Austin’s small and intimate wedding. The couple  found the planning of their destination wedding in St. Petersburg difficult and enlisted the help of the bride’s Mother with all the organisations but really put their hearts and souls into creating the prefect wedding.

There were mishaps and hilarious moments but at the end of the day Sheila told me that none of that mattered as they were just so pleased to be getting married. “Don’t sweat the small stuff when it gets close to the wedding,” she told me. “That being said if you have the time customize your wedding, for me it was a great creative outlet. We handmade everything except for the food really. The hardest being we hand made our beach reed, peacock centerpiece wreaths. Luckily I only needed 6! As far as centerpiece tools I got the peacock feathers from eBay and reeds from TJMAX. Just dismantled other decorative house pieces. And my menu holders were picture frames. Really look everywhere for inspiration!”

“Basically we did things our way. We had non-traditional readings, video game music for ceremony music (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collection), sneakers for the grooms, a blue prom dress as a wedding dress, only 56 people attending (did an earlier dance for all our other friends), DJed it ourselves, had a honeymoon registry, had people RSVP via online (greener and cheaper!), designed everything ourselves & honestly didn’t give a care what people thought! But everyone loved it because it was us, and they were here to support us. And we were so happy to have done it.”

“Really as I see my other friends in their wedding processes, and it was a piece of advice someone gave me, all I have to say is this is the one party that you throw that is about you and your husband not everyone else. Have fun, don’t feel ashamed for your tastes & just have a blast!”

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Lauren & Tim’s DIY, Budget-Friendly Seaside Wedding

“We both decided that although we wanted our wedding to be amazing, we weren’t going to spend a stupid amount of money on it,” explained bride Lauren when I asked her about her big day. “We weren’t prepared to pay more just because it was labelled as a “wedding product”.  Plus, most of the wedding-related stuff that’s available isn’t really “us”.  I bypassed the usual wedding dress shops and went straight to the high street, and found everything exactly as I wanted at a price I was willing to pay.  Tim wore a suit he already had from Next because none of the hire places had slim fitting suits.  We wanted invitations with skulls and studs and splattery writing but didn’t want to pay a professional to design and make them for us, so I did it.”

“Neither of us wanted to do something just because it was expected.  I didn’t want bridesmaids (ALL of my friends are awesome, not just those wearing matching dresses), we got married on a Thursday (much cheaper!), my Mum walked me down the aisle as I don’t know my Father, we had a unity candle (which is something our registrar had never heard of…?), we didn’t have a receiving line…  We kept the traditions that we liked, or that family requested, and ignored everything else. We didn’t get caught up in the idea of the day being perfect, and of me being a pretty princess for the day, and prepared ourselves for the fact that in life, things go wrong, and weddings aren’t any different.  When things went wrong (venue closing down with five months to go, registrar taking ill on the morning of the wedding and the replacement not having copies of our readings, etc) we took it in our stride.”

“It didn’t occur to us to change the way we look for the wedding.  There was no way I was going to dye my hair, take out my lip ring or get contact lenses (no disrespect to anyone who does this – each to their own), and Tim wanted to wear all black despite it not being a “traditional” way for a groom to look.  We wanted to feel like us, and for the day to reflect us and our tastes.  I guess we’re just naturally Rock n Roll!”

Lauren & Tim really did keep themselves at the centre of their wedding plans. As she explained, they didn’t do anything just becuase it was expected at a wedding. I love their attitude and I love their wedding!

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