DIY with a Touch of Vintage and a Homemade Floral Dress

Koru Photography

September 27, 2022

Held at Avebury House in Christchurch, New Zealand, Emily and Tim’s wedding was as as fully a DIY as a wedding can probably get. As well as doing all the catering, flowers and music themselves, Emily made her own dress and headpiece (featuring silk ribbon embroidery and lace from her mum’s wedding dress from 1982), her mum’s dress, the bridesmaids corsages and all the decorations! Tim wore his family tartan which only arrived from his cousin in Edinburgh a few days before!

“Someone told me that our wedding looked like something out of a fairytale and that made my day!” Emily told us. “It was very pretty, colourful and had a lot of vintage touches. Sewing is a big part of my life and I wanted to embrace that. I also wanted it to have a soul, and not be a cookie cutter replica of what others did. We didn’t have a first dance or any readings. Our ceremony was a handfasting and my husband received a traditional Sgian Dubh knife instead of a wedding ring.”

The bride walked down the aisle to Not Given Lightly by Chris Knox, and they left together to a rockabilly version of The Wedding March by Brian Setzer. “Our vows were a mixture of traditional handfasting ceremonies, plus a bit of our own twist with Tim vowing to accept Emily’s fabric stash, and Emily vowing to accept Tim’s amateur radio antennas!”

“There wasn’t much that I didn’t make or collect myself, including the jars for the floral arrangements which were a years worth of eating pickles!” she continued when asked about their decorations. “The table flowers were from several markets and a family friend’s garden. I gave them all away to people that night so they weren’t wasted as we were going away on honeymoon the next day.”

In fact, really, the only thing they didn’t DIY was their photos, and they were so happy with who they chose. “I really loved the hour or so we spent with the Tamara of Koru Photography just after the ceremony. We were off by ourselves and could just enjoy the moment and each other before going back to the buzz of all our family and friends. They had also done an amazing job of scouting out the area before the day, so had found some really special spots to take us too, like the blossom trees and fields of flowers. We also came across a flock of seagulls which feature in a couple of the photos!”

The only thing they’d change if they were to do it all over again, would have been to give themselves more time to clear up! “I wish we had booked out the venue the day after so that we didn’t have as much clean up to try and get through the night before”, said Emily. “We could have also done with more time setting up since we were doing so much ourselves… and double the amount of helpers! Doing the catering ourselves saved us so much money, even the lowest budget caterers would have been at least double what we spent on the food supplies.”