Tag Archives: Short dress

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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Carolyn & Julian’s Multi-Coloured, RayBan Registration of Marriage

“My husband and I met on New Year’s day in 2007 after a persistent friend-turned-matchmaker insisted that we meet,” began Carolyn, the bride, when I asked her to tell me the story of how she met Julian. “It wasn’t love at first sight at all, in fact I thought he looked like an obnoxious guy! It wasn’t until we started chatting online and finally meeting up a couple more times, and when he asked “Have you heard of Explosions In The Sky?” (our space-out-heart-tugging fave musicians). It was a done deal. We became inseparable ever since.”

“We had so much in common, it felt somewhat surreal at times. Music aside, we were also big tattoo enthusiasts but I reckon the core of our relationship is really our nonsensical side. We do so many silly things and laugh at ourselves so much that well, it still is funny! I love that the most about us as a couple. Julian works as a tattoo artist and I am a photographer, I think we both compliment each other so well not only in terms of personality but also on a creative level.”

“I’m not a fan of bling at all, so Julian proposed to me with a vintage film camera that you will see me holding in one of the photos. It was to me, the most perfect engagement gift!”

From this perfect beginning, came a wedding that was perfect for them. This event was actually their ‘registration of marriage’ – ie the legal bit. The bride told me that in Malaysia, it is quite common for this to happen a few months before the actual wedding. Instead of a traditional registration ceremony, they wanted to make a big deal of it and so asked their registrar to come to their venue, a funky bar & restaurant called Palate Palette in Kuala Lumpur, where they signed their papers and promised to marry in front of all their friends and family. “Instead of inviting only a few people for our registration, we invited close friends and relatives, it was pretty much like a wedding-on-the-go. It was really special and so much fun!! We even did a mini-walk in where we walked up spiral steps to ‘Today’ by the Smashing Pumpkin’s.”

“What makes our registration Rock n Roll I think pretty much stems from our (nonsensical) personalities and interests. We both love film photography and got our photographer friends to help shoot the event. We got a whole bunch of different coloured Ray Bans for our guests for our photo session, which turned out really awesome! We had several portraits taken of us around the premise which I felt really gave out happy, kiddy feel, simply cause it was colourful. Oh and the surprise for the day (for me), was The Simpsons themed placards!! Obviously, its my favourite cartoon.”

“Another surprise was from my Godmother who prepared a huge board of some of our photos and guestbook, she also went at length to do the flower pieces for each table with recycled bottles. So much love from her I can’t describe!”

The lucky pair get to do it all again next Summer in their actual wedding, I can’t wait to see the photos then.

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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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Adrienne & Christian’s Budget-Friendly, Central Park Wedding

Adrienne & Christian were married in Central Park in a simple but perfect ceremony, “Central Park allows the rental of any place (except for the Conservatory Gardens) for just $25,” explained the bride. “The challenge is that they do not allow you to bring in anything, including chairs, so we all had to stand. It worked out perfectly, though, since we were in a beautiful location that did not need decoration, and we had two friends organize everyone upon their arrival into neat rows with an aisle. Another friend handed out whistles and ribbon wands on the path leading to the ceremony location, so everyone could arrive while making their own music with a smile. Our assortment of slide whistles, kazoos, and siren whistles were from Century Novelty.”

Adrienne wore a 1950’s style dress made for her by her Mum. Originally she had wanted a vintage dress, however after much research she discovered that most vintage dresses were teeny tiny! “I wanted a 1950’s tea-length dress, and scoured the web for weeks only to learn that girls in the 1950’s were TINY!” Adrienne continued. “My budget was under $200, and I found that all of the “XL” dresses were going for closer to $500 on eBay. Knowing that my mom is an amazing sewer, I changed my plans to find a vintage pattern, and found the perfect one for $20. We picked out most of the fabric at a JoAnne’s Fabric upstate, then I picked out some nicer lace at B&J Fabrics in NYC. My mom spent many hours sewing and did a beautiful job, including hand sewn beading across the neckline and subtle hand sewn lace and sequin accents on the skirt. The final touch came from a costumer designer friend in New York, Jess Trejos, who tailored everything to a perfect fit.” The bride also made her own veil.

Can we just stop one moment and share some love for Adrienne’s shoes?! They were the Mono Jane design by United Nude. “I had bought them the previous summer just to wear with everything-they are made from rubber and come in a rainbow of colors. When deciding what to wear for the wedding, I wanted something from my closet so I wouldn’t have to spend any additional money; the United Nude store in NYC seems to be closed now, so I was lucky to have them already! In talks before the wedding, my dad said, “you can’t wear blue shoes with a wedding dress!” and I said, “Sure I can!”

The reception was held at NYC Terrace in the Sky, NYC. The couple kept the decor simple but added personal touches here and there. The cupcakes (coloured to match Adrienne’s shoes) were made by a friend and their awesome personalised cake topper was made by the bride’s brother’s partner who runs a business ususally making creepy dolls called Strange Dolls.

With all of this, we wanted to avoid as much wedding commercialism as possible, and have friends and family contribute wherever they could as their gifts to us (luckily, we have some pretty talented friends)” concluded the bride. “It was cheaper, and much nicer, since everyone felt a part of the day. I was very inspired by the book One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding early on, and did not want to have a lot of wedding “stuff” just because that’s how weddings are done. Even with very hip parents and friends, throughout the process I heard a lot of “you can’t do that at a wedding!” types of comments. I’d like to tell anyone who is dealing with pressure from outside that we had a successful day after making a pre-nup, wearing glasses and blue shoes, not having paper invitations, not having bridesmaids or groomsmen, not having any chairs at the ceremony, and not serving food at the reception. None of that stuff matters, and it’s all about just having everyone you love together for the best party ever. They’ll get over it; it’s all up to what the two of you want.”

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Hannah & Jack’s Rockabilly Party Wedding

“When I was little, I dreamed of having my very own big, white wedding,” began Hannah. “However, when Jack and I decided to get married and started to make plans, it became apparent that even if we’d been able to afford it, we’d both feel out of place at a huge, formal gathering. What we really wanted was to have a great party with our families and mates, a party that just happened to include a wedding ceremony. So we threw ourselves into the planning and tried to make it ours.” And that’s exactly what this Rock n Roll couple did! The entire day reflected them and the things they love.

“I wanted to look like me on my wedding day, not like something that had been churned out of the ‘bridal industrial complex’. My dress was white but printed with black polka dots and strawberries which I bought from Vivien of Holloway when I visited my sister in London. I found my vintage white gloves on eBay. I fell in love with my shoes when I saw them on line and bought them to wear to work as an alternative to basic black but I ended up wearing them to the ceremony as well. My beloved hairdresser of two years, Kat, created spectacular, vintage inspired hairstyles for me and my two attendants. One of my best friends did our make up.”

Hannah & Jack walked down the aisle together to the Star Trek theme which ended up being one of her favourite moments of the day. After the ceremony, the wedding party went to an abandoned warehouse for anything but traditional wedding formals and the day concluded with a reception at The Famous Blue Raincoat, a lounge style café/bar/restaurant in South Kingsville, Australia. “The Raincoat’s style is wonderfully eclectic and funky and my Mother and sister had decorated it with flowers that Jack and I had bought from a market the day before. The ceremony was out the back, in the beer garden. The owner, Kaz, did virtually everything for us for us. She and her fabulous staff were relaxed, friendly, funny and welcoming. Their presence created a really wonderful vibe.”

“Despite our tight budget, the one expense we weren’t prepared to compromise on was the photographer. James was magnificent and Jack and I are so, so happy that we picked him to share our day. Our photos are beautiful. Best of all, when I look at them, I feel as though I’ve been transported back to the wedding. I can remember exactly how I felt when I arrived at the venue and saw all our friends and family, when my dress blew up in the middle of the street and when Jack and I said our vows.”

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Kevin & Shawna’s Budget Balimore Elopement

“We had two requirements for our wedding day: that it be in our favourite season of autumn and that it be just the two of us,” explained newlyweds Kevin & Shawna. “We’re both a little uncomfortable with a ton of people showering us with attention, and we knew we would not be happy with a traditional wedding. It was important that we be able to focus on us and only us…to have that intimacy. Our families were not initially thrilled, and we considered many possibilities of changing our plans because honestly, we were feeling guilty of depriving them of witnessing our wedding day. Yet every time we thought about planning a traditional ceremony and a reception, we quickly lost sight of what we were doing and why. It became more about making everyone else happy, and we were becoming more and more miserable and stressed out, and that’s NOT how we wanted to start our lives as husband and wife. So, we stuck to our guns and did what we wanted! We’re also so freakin’ Rock n Roll that we shot down an after-honeymoon reception idea. We admit we’re being selfish, but we have a lot of stuff going on in our lives, and we want to focus on us and building a solid foundation to our marriage. In lieu of a reception, we’re thinking of throwing a one year anniversary party because what better way to celebrate a marriage than by actually getting through that first year together!?”

The ceremony took place at the top of Federal Hill Park which overlooks the Inner Harbour, “It was very fitting for two history nerds” the bride laughed. “It turned out to be a beautiful day, although quite windy! We had a simple, quiet ceremony under a tree while there were children playing at the playground and high school kids from a nearby school watching and cheering as we kissed! Luke then drove us to a more urban, gritty setting in Baltimore for a short photo shoot.”

Shawna wore a dress she was lucky enough to find on sale at the last minute at a local department store, “I love clothes and more importantly SHOES, but I loathe shopping. I couldn’t find a dress I liked online that didn’t cost a fortune or that I could get in time (I waited until the last minute!), so I grudgingly went to the mall a few days before we were to leave and found the cutest, short white dress I could find off the rack in a department store. Bonus of my procrastination: my dress was on sale and cost $35 AND it was super comfortable.” With this she wore super cute red pumps and a gorgeous yellow fabric flower headband in her hair.

“After we landed in Baltimore, we had an hour to spare before meeting our officiant and photographer,” continued the bride. “I’m not sure if I’m the only bride out there who’s gotten ready for her wedding day in an airport restroom, but I have to be in the minority here! I went into the restroom wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie and wearing no make-up at all and came out a half hour later all dolled up that Kevin did a double-take because he didn’t recognize me at first! And I’m so happy I didn’t waste any time on my hair and let it do its thing and just slapped a headband on my head…the wind was crazy!”

“Our day began at 4 in the morning, and in the span of about nine hours, we drove to the airport that was about two hours away, waited… hopped on a plane for an hour flight, changed clothes and tried our best to make ourselves look good with the airport restroom facilities, grabbed a taxi for a half hour drive to Federal Hill Park, got married, ran around with Luke (our photographer) for about an hour, and after he dropped off us off at the cruise terminal (I told you he was amazing!), we stood in line to board the ship. We then found food!”

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