Tag Archives: DIY

A Quirky East London Pub Wedding with a Nod to the 1940s: Becca & Dan

For Becca & Dan, a formal wedding was never on the cards. “We wanted the day to be about our guests not all the attention on us,” the bride wrote. “There were no formalities, just tea & cakes followed by pie & mash then a good all knees up in an east London pub with Billie Holiday playing & a free bar all night!”

Becca got ready at Zetter Townhouse, a really stylish house with quirky vintage decor & stuffed animals. It proved to be the perfect place for some pre-ceremony snaps with her bridesmaid and really set the tone for the rest of the wedding day.

The bride wore an unusual and beautiful Delphine Manivet wedding dress with nude Kurt Geiger shoes and a vintage headpiece. For the couple’s portraits in a local park (with their dog – I love this!) Becca added a fur trimmed coat.

After a ceremony in Hackney town hall, the lucky wedding guests were treated to a good old fashioned party with a nod to the 1940s at The Crown Pub in Victoria Park, East London.

The couple booked Joanna Brown to capture the fun. “Jo was truly brilliant,” Becca continued. “She understood what we wanted and put us at ease straight away. We knew we’d picked the best girl for the job and she captured our day just perfectly.  We really feel that if you weren’t there on the day, our photos really tell the story of our wedding.”

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Roo’s Favourite Finds: The Tattered, The Broken & The Not So Shiny…Plus How to Haggle

This month, the fabulous Roo shares her ideas on what to do with less-than-perfect charity shop finds. I love love love her diy fix-up ideas so much and I know you guys will too.

Over to you Miss Roo…

♥   ♥   ♥

Now, even after seeing what treasures can be found if you look hard enough in the right places, you would be forgiven for presuming the following formula:

 Charity shops = tat

… Because, quite frankly, quite a lot of the time it’s proven to be true. Whether you’re a tried & true charity shop scavenger or a recent disciple following this series, you’re sure to have had a “dud” run, and that can be disheartening. When you’re perusing for the fun of it it’s not so bad, but if you’re committed to the cause for the sake of your wedding it’s easy to get blindsided by the dud run and head home feeling dejected. This month I’d like to focus on spotting the potential in otherwise “useless” items: the tattered, the broken, and the not so shiny.

On the whole, I would identify myself as someone who is creative, with an active imagination – yet despite being able to conceive of good ideas, I often find myself falling short when it comes to executing them, due to a distinct lack of “know-how”. This, among a menagerie of other reasons, is why the Internet is such a useful tool to have at our palms. Blogs such as Tokketok and Mermag boast incredible tutorials that take everyday items and transport them into the world of the fantastical – widening the scope of possibilities for objects that we’d otherwise overlook, or “make do with” – like these beautiful monogrammed glasses, just when you thought plain ones would suffice.

Photography Credit: Merrilee Liddiard, full tutorial at Mermag

Many online tutorials are a breeze (almost so simple that you wonder, why didn’t I think of that!?) and some are a little more intermediate, but a task that is too tasking for one person is less tasking when halved – which is where your bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, children or betrothed can come in handy. Some of my most favourite weddings featured on wedding blogs everywhere are the ones where I read the words “everyone chipped in!” because really, there’s nothing more celebratory and wonderful than everyone you love claiming a share of your big day. So, if you’re reading this and thinking but I’m the kind of person who glues their fingers together, do not despair. Bear with me, and I promise by the time you reach the end of this post, your creative lusts will be hooting.

Over the past couple of months we’ve tried terrariums and collected clothes, and this month I had the bright idea of looking at turning “trash” into treasure.

Photography Credit: Ramsey Amaoot

Now since I can tell that you’re wondering, I’ll tell you: the thought came to me following two separate, poetic incidences. Lamb and I have been on the hunt for furniture for our room over the past couple of weeks, so my charity shop trawling has extended to charity furniture shops. We’re fortunate enough to live next door to a YMCA furniture store, and regularly keep our beady eye out on the street outside for their delivery van. The only downside is that our obsession with second-hand furniture shopping has lead to us trawling the Internet for new places to leaf through, and this has been a little too time consuming when trying to juggle work/university on the side… oops!

Unfortunately, our search for more furniture shops run by charities has proved a little fruitless in and around our local area – despite this, we’ve managed to find some really wonderful flea markets dotted around Brighton, and this month I’d like to shift our attention to flea markets as well as charity shops as great sources for all manner of wedding paraphernalia. As usual, we’ll take a look at my favourite finds of the past month, and leaf through some tips I’ve jotted down along the way.

My secondary source of inspiration for this post was the stumbling across an absolutely phenomenal tutorial by Jason Hull. Remember how I said in my last wedding-y post that Pinterest was an outrageously effective way of finding and documenting ideas and inspo? If you didn’t believe it before, then I pray you believe it now – Pinterest boasts a whole host of “pins” dedicated purely to tutorials, focusing on everything from hair/make-up to homemade fashions; from home décor to party favours. It was whilst simply perusing the people I was following that I found the most delightful thing… vintage camera nightlights.

Photography Credit: Jason Hull

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DIY Tutorial: Piano Keys Slogan Garland – A Great Alternative to Wedding Bunting

Today’s super cute DIY tutorial comes from reader Klaire of Paper Me Happy. The piano keys theme could be a great alternative to bunting at your wedding. Alongside her husband, Klaire makes gorgeous paper flowers – the perfect alternative to the real deal. “We create alternative wedding flowers for alternative couples, fusing ancient origami folds with contemporary prints and patterns and vintage novel pages,” she explains.

Over to you Klaire…

I’m very excited to be sharing today’s DIY piano keys garland project with you. Mine is currently pride of place abreast my mantle piece but think it could look equally cool at a music-loving couple’s wedding. For my garland, I’ll be using the slogan ‘Baby, Let’s make sweet music’ but in my PDF artwork I have included the full alphabet and numbers, so you can craft whatever slogan you fancy. You can download the PDF with the template for both the piano keys and letters from here.

Supplies Needed

♥ The letters for your chosen slogan printed out onto standard printer paper
♥ Enough piano key pages to accommodate your chosen slogan (each page fits approximately 4 letters)
♥ Masking tape
♥ Scissors or a scalpel blade
♥ Metallic ruler
♥ Paper glue or spray mount
♥ Blu tack, double sided tape or pins (for hanging the finished garland)


Step One: Cut out all of the letters of your chosen slogan and around the outer edge of the piano keys artwork (you don’t have to cut inbetween the individual keys just yet).

Step Two: Next, place the piano keys pages face down and side-by-side on a flat surface. Ensuring they are correctly aligned, use a bit of masking tape to fix each page to the next. Once they are all attached to each other, stick a continuous length of masking tape along the top edge of the garland – this help’s to strengthen the garland as it could become quite flimsy once fully cut and also marks the point to stop cutting through the individual keys.

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“Less is More & Keep it Simple”: Michelle & Kyle

Michelle & Kyle we’re married in Savannah, GA. The outdoor ceremony was held in a public park, Oglethorpe Square, and their reception was at the amazingly named (and coloured!) The Olde Pink House Restaurant.

“If you allow yourself to get pulled into today’s wedding etiquette, you can really drive yourself crazy,” Michelle began, when I asked her if she had any advice for the newly-engaged. “We ignored all the rules and threw caution to the wind, and just chose what we liked and what represented us well. We both love vintage things – ideas from the 1930s or 1940s or just something that is banged up and broken in, ‘well loved’ as we like to call it. We also played on our love for tattoos and nature. We both have been getting tattooed for years and wanted to incorporate our art into the day in a natural way. It’s part of who we are.”

“Getting married outside was just a given, rain or shine,” she continued. “We had Jarrod, a friend of mine since childhood officiating the wedding. This made it really special. We also had family travelling in from Maine, Illinois and Florida.  For our portraits we went with our wedding photographer Jeremy to a hotel, abandoned hospital and cemetery which are all supposedly haunted!”

“Our motto was, ‘Less is more and keep it simple’,” the bride concluded. “The largest part of our budget was the photographer (Jeremy Lawson rocks and is worth every penny!), the musicians and the food.  We had booked a horse carriage but decided the $350 could be put towards something else. It went towards the music, and we are so happy we made that choice. Having a violinist and guitarist really set the mood for our wedding. They were fantastic!”

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A Vintage Tepee Wedding: Gemma & Giuseppe

There’s quite a story behind Gemma & Giuseppe’s gorgeous wedding, and one that I hope might ease any of you stressing about your wedding venue (I know Roo had a bit of a similar drama last month, she’ll be writing about it for you soon).

“Our reception took place in tepees, at Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge (who, p.s. were AMAZING)” Gemma explained. “We had always wanted a tepee party, but our original venue to pitch them fell through with just 8 days to go! Oatlands Park Hotel came to our rescue and then some. They turned everything around so brilliantly – nothing was a problem, and they accommodated everything from the tepees to my 100 vintage teacups for the arrival champagne. After it all went bottoms up, major panic ensued for approximately half a day before I gave myself a stern talking to and set to work! I have to say that despite all of the last minute worry, the day went like a dream, and it just goes to show that even the biggest disasters don’t mean that your special day is ruined!”

However there’s no telling that there was any drama when looking at their fabulous photographs from Robbins Photographic. “We found photographer Lee over a year before our wedding, and as soon as we sat down for a coffee and a chat, we knew instantly that we’d met our photographer. Photography was one of the most important things for us. After all, it’s a record of your day and something you will look back at for years to come. To say we are both chuffed with the results is an understatement! Lee perfectly captured the fun and laid back vibe of our day (not to mention the fact that he totally got my personal hatred of anything posed to within an inch of its life, and/or the compulsory group shots!). From our ‘couple’ shots to all of the little DIY details, Lee covered it all and then some. Even our guests commented on how great he was (and that was before he won them over with his photobooth box of tricks!).”

Even though they didn’t have much time, the couple were able to really put their own stamp on their reception tepees, and even the ceremony was filled with personal touches. “I was determined to make sure that every detail of the wedding was ‘us’. Even though we chose a church ceremony (traditionally very formal), we made sure the atmosphere was relaxed and fun,” Gemma continued. “The vicar was more than happy for our string trio to play modern, well-known songs, to make sure the music was personal to us all the way through the ceremony. We also made 100 flags for our guests to wave when we walked back down the aisle as man and wife. I loved it! They were really easy to make – we bought some good quality stiff paper, a load of pop-cake sticks, and set to work with a few pairs of wavy-edged scissors and a hot glue gun!”

 “Our party tepees were also littered with various bits and bobs we made ourselves. Giuseppe did a sterling job of making a job-lot of beards and red lips on sticks (which went down a storm with our guests by the looks of the photos!), my Dad made our seating plan frame out of polystyrene and gold spray paint, my Mum and I spent a whole day hand-painting lanterns from Ikea to make sure they went with our colour scheme, and I had a lovely old time thinking up all manner of ideas to transform the blank canvas of the tents. The list is pretty endless, but if you can manage to do it yourself you can create an atmosphere which is totally up your street for a lot less money than you think.”

“There were so many different themes or styles I loved, and I’m sure Giuseppe tore his hair out on more than one occassion every time I discovered something else or changed my mind! So in the end we had a little bit of everything that makes us ‘us’! Let’s be honest, our wedding was full of contradictions. We just threw everything into a big pot and gave it a good old stir…and thankfully it worked! I won’t lie, it was hard work. I was more of a hectic bride than a blushing one! But all of the little things we did were definitely worth it. Our main aim was to avoid having a traditional ‘do’, so we simply saw our wedding as the biggest celebration bash we would ever throw.”

The bride wore a stunning blush vintage wedding dress from Fur Coat No Knickers and some statement Beatrix Ong shoes. “I always knew that I’d end up with a vintage dress, and annoyingly I had visions of it being a champagne/blush coloured dress. Not easy when most dresses are either white or ivory! Amazingly, after only one week and two visits to the girls at Fur Coat No Knickers, I’d found my dress! I made quite a few changes to it – we added more tulle to make the skirt bigger, changed the neckine from straight to sweetheart, replaced the waist sash and added some silk flowers to the back. I also quickly discovered that a long veil just wasn’t me (I felt like I’d aged 100 years!), and that a birdcage veil was much more my style.”

“This was all no problem for the girls at FCNK, who sourced all manner of flowers, feathers, and vintage jewels to make various creations until we hit upon the right one! I’d recommend  Fur Coat No Knickers to anyone – the girls, Emma and Laura, are incredible, we always had a laugh when we went. They were both extremely helpful in coming up with ideas to fit in with my style, as well as totally understanding any changes I wanted to make to the dress. I was made to feel extremely special every time I stepped through the door, and my dress fittings became one of the most memorable occassions in my wedding prep history!”

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A Retro, Kitsch & Cherry-Themed Southend-on-Sea Wedding: Heidi & Jim

You can’t help but fall in love with Heidi & Jim’s Southend-on-Sea wedding. The cherry theme is just so cute and perfect for a retro, quirky and kitsch seaside wedding. “Our inspiration was most definately ourselves, our loved ones and where we live, sunny Southend-on-Sea!” Heidi explained. “We wanted a wedding that was totally personal to us, that involved everyone close to us as much as we could and that was totally full of fun and unstuffy. We knew we wanted good food and a venue that was ours, where we could do what we wanted, decorate it how we wanted, drink the drinks we wanted and eat the food we wanted!”

“We wanted to incorporate the seaside and beloved beach huts and achieved this through our wedding photographer Sam Gibson‘s wonderful photos and the beautiful view from our favourite restaurant, Toulouse, where we had a four course meal before our after-party at Red Brick Barn, Rochford. We wanted as much as possible to be homemade, thoughtful and unique and to give those close to us the opportunity to do something they love doing towards our big day.”


The bride wore a Vivien of Holloway circle dress and cute cherry Vivienne Westwood/Melissa shoes. Her incredible headpiece was actually homemade by the bride and was inspired by a very expensive (and way out of budget) Piers Atkinson piece.

The couple decorated Red Brick Barn themselves with handmade bunting, vinyl cake stands and bowls bought on eBay and hundreds of coke bottles with flowers in them. “We would just love to say how much of an amazing time we had,” concluded the bride. “We would hugely recommend doing everything yourself. Yes, it’s hard work but the result is amazing! It’s so easy to get swept along into a carbon copy package wedding with no personality or originality, but break that mould and do what you want! If other people don’t like it that’s their problem not yours.”

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We had some wind and a spot of rain but it all added to the character of the day and without it we wouldn’t have had the beautiful rainbow! Now that’s something you can’t choose out of the bridal magazines!”

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