“We live in a South Philly row home with a garage that houses our bicycles and Aaron’s home-brewing equipment in lieu of a car,” bride Leigh began. “We knew as soon as we were engaged that we’d ride our tandem bike, acquired from craigslist a few years back, into our reception entrance. We kept the bike theme going with a tandem bike cake topper, a Ketubah that was designed for us especially by Chris Soria, and hotel gift bags and DIY thank you notes with tandem bike stamps.”
“For the beer part of our wedding theme Aaron brewed 45 gallons of beer in 5 different styles (He is now setting up his own home brewing company called Franklin Heights Brewing). Our centerpieces used various-sized jars which we collected, filled with wheat and barley (the barley was purchased from Barry’s Homebrew Supply in South Philly), and our florist incorporated wheat into our bouquets and corsages. Aaron grows hops in the backyard that went into his boutonniere and was on display at the bar. We had almost no beer left at the rest of the night – a testament to his talents!”
Leigh’s love of polka dots also crept into the wedding theme in terms of their invitations, her Belle Couture dress and a lot of the other 100% DIY paper details which were put together by the couple and their friends and family at their ‘crafting parties.’ The DIY and community effort didn’t end there though, with Leigh’s necklace being a hand-made gift from a friend and the photo booth which was set up by another friend. Some of their talented musician friends performed a couple songs, all of which was captured on video by several other friends and family who volunteered their hand-held video recorders.
Emma & Morgan’s Welsh wedding has really put a smile on my face today. Everything about the day was personal, was sustainable and was perfect for them. The couple got married at The Hive and Ice Cream parlour in Aberaeron. They actually had two ceremonies through the course for the day. Firstly a smaller and more personal ceremony at The Hive, joined by just close family and friends. Then, once they got to the reception, they had a second ceremony amongst all 120 of friends. Their DIY heavy reception was held in a marquee in “Charlie’s Field” that looked out across New Quay Harbour, Wales – the exact spot that Morgan had proposed!
Emma wore two dresses on the day and in keeping with their sustainable, salvaged and recycled vibe, both were vintage. Dress number one was from Vintage Vixen, and the second she found on Etsy. Her shoes were a stunning pair of Louboutins, bought for her by her Mum as a special treat for the day! Emma kept her accessories to almost a minimum with her shoes and dresses stealing the show.
Locally sourced flowers, a cake made by the Mother & Aunt of the bride and fabulous and sustainable vintage and second hand finds really made their day unique and perfect for them. “As much as possible we wanted to have a sustainable approach to our wonderful day, but we don’t think that needs to be a conspicuous decision (highlighting to everyone how ‘green’ you are) or compromise your dreams for the day – luckily it meant salvage/reuse/vintage were more than firmly on the table!” the bride told me “As much as possible all our suppliers were local to the area, with the hope the money stayed in, and benefited, the local economy. Our invites were designed by my brother, the card from a UK paper mill specialising in post consumer recycled card and printed by a wonderful friend at her home. We spent a year collecting items from charity shops (people need to know about Oxfam’s online shop!) ebay, etsy and the odd overpriced vintage shop in the east end of London. The tea tins were from ebay – I quickly discovered it’s quite a competitive collectors interest in the UK, so old milk bottle and beer bottles as flower containers also made a great addition to the table centres – slightly less competitive than tea tins, but they too have their hard core followers on eBay! Food was sourced locally by a local caterer (a delicious veggie buffet proving you can go without meat, but a Welsh, organically reared hog on the roast if you couldn’t resist!) and all our wine was from France minimising air miles on what was the biggest volume of alcohol on the day. Desserts were made by family and friends. We mini-mooned in Wales too, doing our best to support local businesses and independents.”
The week before the wedding Emma spent time with family and friends at a rented cottage nearby the reception venue where they crafted to their hearts content. They created most of the stunning decorations that filled the marquee – from the brightly coloured felted hearts to the hanging pom poms. Emma’s Man of Honour and her Mum even patiently stitched the fabric coasters that were given as favours to each guest. Every detail was hand created by Emma, her family and friends.
Amorae & Jonny- or Jonnorae as they often go by – wanted a very personal wedding…and they certain achieved that by celebrating their self proclaimed “nerdom”! The pulpit that the officiant stood was a throwback to the pipes that Mario traveled down, and instead of a typical unity candle or sand ceremony, they brewed a potion like Harry Potter! At the reception they wanted to pay homage to their ‘nerdiness’ with centrepieces of books, legos and miniature games hidden inside the hand painted faux books. They also held a quiz for their guests to play at their tables called “Jonnorae Geekdom Trivia” (by the way, I love this idea – we did it too!)
The ceremony, held at Lakewood Theater in Dallas, TX was just as bespoke. Instead of traditional vows they played a round of rock, paper, scissors to decide who would read theirs first, and afterwards they both phones to update their facebook statuses to married!
Oh I am EXCITED…like, seriously jump up and down and eat a big cream cake-excited about sharing Jamie & Neil’s wedding with you today. Why the extra enthusiasm you ask? Well Jamie & Neil were the lucky couple who won the contest for free wedding photography that I organised alongside the the fabulous Kat Braman back in January (you can see their entry here)
The couple got married in style on September 18th at the YMCA’s Camp Pendalouanin Holton, MI, a place that holds very special significance for the bride. “The whole wedding weekend from Rehearsal on Friday through Sunday morning took place at the Muskegon YMCA’s Camp Pendalouan,” Jamie explained to me. “Camp Pendalouan has a special place in my heart as I attended girl scout camp there as a child. The ceremony took place at the scenic Boyden Chapel situated on Big Blue Lake and the reception was held in Nikana Lodge. The evening was concluded by a roaring bonfire that could be “seen from space” at the Council Ring of the Great Bear fire circle. The camp setting was just perfect for us since love outdoor adventures. It also gave us extra time to spend with our guests that were able to spend the night in the bunks!”
The entire wedding was an DIY and group effort, and the love and attention to detail really really shows (I am so in love with the car moustache!) Jamie’s Mum grew all the flowers, friends and family members made the deserts, they had a friend officiate and the whole wedding party got involved in the ceremony – and that’s just for starters! (make sure you check out the full list of everyone involed after the ‘jump’) “Following our ceremony we armed all our guests with ribbon sticks, pinwheels, and kazoos and had a parade to the flagpole where we raised a flag bearing our family crest,” they told me. “TSY rounded out the parade playing the Jason Mraz version of “One Love.”
Jamie wore a vintage dress that she’d bought at a boutique Viavi (now closed) for just $15. Some of Jamie’s colleagues helped her to modify the sleeves and the bodice of the sheath dress. With this she wore a Pixel & Hank (who I actually featured here) headpiece, Fossil tights and vintage oxford shoes from Tree & Kimball.
Seriously, words can not express how excited I am that Kat (photographer) and I were able to give this couple the professional photography they deserved. How beautifully captured is it all?
The South African weddings are ruling Rock n Roll Bride right now (did you see this incredible wedding I blogged earlier in the week?) and I get very over-excited when I receive submissions for weddings as cool as Jen & Andrew’s. Their rockabilly-inspired wedding took place at Olympus Stream, Pretoria, South Africa.
“Andy is the upright bass player and vocalist for one of the few Rockabilly bands in South Africa called Reverend Wright and the Mystery Train Gamblers,” Jen explained. “We pretty much live, breathe and eat rockabilly even though it is still so small in this country. We just wanted to be ourselves without having a boring and stiff wedding day. Andy designed all the menu/name tags/invites etc, we stuck to an old school tattoo theme for that, and everything else we just stuck to what I liked, and what shouted Andy & Jen.”
“Martin Rocka played, who are actually a Psychobilly band from Johannesburg, SA, they are my fave band, so it really helped with the vibe. We also had a jukebox, and Dj Ipod, which we loaded with all our favourite songs. We also had the ever so popular Candy Bar, which was such a great hit, we had to chase people away from it so that we could do our first dance.”
This is one of those posts that’s going to have a lot of photographs (hello, burlesque Rock n Roll wedding – there’s no way I could leave any out!) When photographer Marianne Taylor showed me a sneak peek of Sophie & Jonny’s wedding a few weeks ago, I knew straight away that they were right up my street…you’ll see why!
The couple got engaged in Paris on Sophie’s Birthday. “It was a dream come true,” the bride told me “Jonny had booked us into a plush Moulin Rouge themed hotel. We sat on the steps of the Sacre Coeur and drank pink champagne and then he surprised me some more with tickets to the Moulin Rouge that night! I had no idea that he had not only secretly booked the trip but also tickets to The Moulin Rouge. My favourite film and as a burlesque fanatic, this was perfect. At the end of the show, on the red carpet, I was surprised with a box which I unwrapped to find a smaller box. Upon opening the small box and finding my Princess cut platinum ring (perfect!) he got down on one knee in front of everyone and asked me to marry him, to which I screamed and replied yes!”
The Paris proposal and Sophie’s love of all things 1940s and 50’s (she is a burlesque dancer herself) inspired the entire wedding which was a real DIY effort. She sourced the white ostrich feathers for a burlesque theme and the ‘Eiffel tower’ vases herself and set everything up for the reception. She also designed and made all the stationary and paper goods as well as helping out to make the cake. Instead of a guest book they dressed a vintage looking birdcage (found in a boutique shop) with feathers and pearls and had little black and white cards for people to write messages on and post them in the birdcage.