Attention DIY enthusiasts! From September 18th – 20th, Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair is taking place at the beautiful Hampton Court Palace and this is one event you are not going to want to miss.
Not only will you be able to buy craft supplies and handmade gifts in the shopping village, but there will be live demos and skills workshops with experts going on all weekend. Kirstie herself will of course be there too, demonstrating and speaking with top makers, designers and crafts people (including Mollie Makes Magazine, Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar, wedding planner Sarah Haywood, potter Emma Bridgewater and Etsy!) in the Super Theatre.
The skills workshops are the perfect way for you to develop your expertise or learn new techniques, and will be taking place on a wide range of topics including yarn and textiles, seasonal, fashion accessories, upcycling and papercraft.
There is even going to be a wedding tent hosted by Hobbycraft which will give you the perfect opportunity to learn some new skills for your upcoming wedding. You’ll have the chance to learn calligraphy, find out how to make your own marbled stationery, and even put together some beautiful floral arrangements!
Every ticket to The Handmade Fair includes one skills workshop*, and each session lasts between 30 minutes and an hour. Content in the wedding tent is the same each day.
Kevin and Jenn wanted their guests to have fun at their wedding… and what’s more fun than a carnival!? The day was held at Oysterville Schoolhouse in Washington State.
“Our wedding was in Long Beach, Washington, which is an odd choice for a couple from Canada”, wrote the bride. “We had camped there the year before and fell in love with quaint town and the kitsch factor. There is really no equivalent in British Columbia. We had initially planned to have the ceremony and reception on the beach, but because the weather is often unpredictable in that area, we moved it to the Oysterville Schoolhouse. The Schoolhouse was actually perfect though as I come from a family of teachers. We couldn’t have been happier with the location.”
“Long Beach is about a seven hour drive from our home in Vancouver so we really wanted our guests to enjoy themselves so a carnival theme seemed to be a natural fit for us. We were inspired to make the reception area as carnival-like as possible, so we spent many hours creating the games ourselves.”
“The carnival marquee, the favours, the pinwheel banner above the schoolhouse, and all the games took quite a while to create, but it was worth it to have something different”, she continued. “We also had a lot of help from our family and friends.”
Kelly and Benjamin knew what they wanted for their wedding right from the start. They wanted an informal day with a festival vibe and lots and lots of colour! “The inspiration for our wedding was just ‘let’s be ourselves'”, Kelly said. “We’ve been to so many weddings over the years that all feel the same; a lot of people try and have this fancy formal affair when it really doesn’t reflect who they are as people.”
“As soon as we started planning, the main focus was that we wanted a relaxed and informal atmosphere. We were adamant we didn’t want a fancy sit down meal instead we wanted a party atmosphere with everyone tucking into burgers and sausages. Everyone that we spoke to after our wedding spoke so fondly of the day and how relaxed and fun it was. There was so much laughter from start to finish, exactly like we wanted. Our budget was just £8000 and we only really spent money on the things that guests enjoy at weddings – the venue, good food and the music!”
I’m totally obsessed with the spectacular location of Holly and Tom’s informal Welsh wedding. They were married in the lighthouse at Nash Point, on the coast of Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales. They chose the location because it was so naturally beautiful.
“We drew inspiration from our gorgeous surroundings, the beautiful beach and the stunning coastline”, said Holly. “Tom used to be a keen surfer so we instantly knew that we wanted the wedding to take place near the sea. We were so lucky that Nash Point has a breath-taking view. The fact that the lighthouse is the only working lighthouse in the country licensed for weddings sealed the deal.”
“We didn’t want anything too formal so I spent hours scouring Pinterest for casual wedding ideas”, she continued. “The first thing we wanted is for the wedding to be like one big party, like a festival, so we hired tipis and set them up in the field next to the lighthouse for our reception. The farmer we hired the field from also let us borrow his hay bales which made for great decoration and seating. We wanted to have a sweet table, a popcorn bar and s’more kits for our guests which we made ourselves the night before the wedding. The finishing touch had to be fairy lights and bunting because let’s be honest they make absolutely anything look pretty and magical!”
Lucy and Sean were married at Fazeley Studios in Birmingham. A bright, white and modern interior, this venue was the perfect backdrop for them to put their own colourful stamp on.
“We’re both music lovers and our favourite bands influenced the table decorations and the music that shaped the day”, Lucy began. “There was nothing too formal or traditional, no pastels and no cutesy bridesmaid dresses! Whilst many venues do a lot of the work for you with their set wedding packages, Fazeley Studios let us run wild and create our perfect day.”
“I would describe our wedding theme as bright, fresh, bursting with clashing rainbow colours and a dose of rock n roll”, she continued. “We had gigantic helium balloons with brightly coloured ribbon lining the aisle – until one of them exploded just before the ceremony! It gave those already gathered a shock and it was a good job I didn’t hear it – I’m terrified of balloons popping! We decided to have them lining the room for the meal instead of in the centre of the tables after that!”
Cherry and Marco had a pagan wedding at Furtho Manor Farm near Milton Keynes. The bride’s grandmother officiated the ceremony.
“All we really knew was that we wanted a handfasting ceremony and we wanted it outside”, began the bride. “We also wanted it to be personal and fun. The rest kind of just fell in to place. We love Mexican food, we love ice cream, and we love being outdoors – turns out so did all of our guests! We didn’t do a lot of the traditional wedding stuff, after the ceremony we just had a big party. It was awesome.”
“We didn’t consciously have a theme either, we just wanted to make the place look magical. I suppose it was sort of rainbow festival-y in a way, not sure how that happened, but it did! You won’t find colours anywhere in my wardrobe but our wedding was super colourful!”
“We also DIYed loads! Pretty much all of our décor was homemade or bought from Etsy. My bridesmaids were brilliant and we had a couple of really funny afternoons making paper pinwheels and other hilarious Pinterest bits. The day before the wedding we had a production line going of us six girls and Marco, all cutting and folding fabric to make covers for 60 hay bales. It was mental and I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. I highly recommend DIY’ing your wedding, it’s way more fun.”