Tag Archives: Charity Shop

A DIY Thrift Store Explosion: James & Renee

James & Renee’s eclectic thrift store explosion of a wedding was a real DIY effort from the couple and their friends & family. The bride, who couldn’t stand the thought of a “boring, traditional wedding” explained her vision to me, “I could not stand the idea of a boring traditional wedding and reception with only two colors & every table was the same so I did everything my way. No one understood my vision until we set up the morning of the wedding & it all came together.”

“I spent all my time at thrift stores and swap meets picking out anything I liked whether it was a beautiful vintage fabric, a teacup with a winking face on it, or a floral painted ceramic cat. I love anything with a sense of humor & that’s interesting to look at. I’m so thankful we stuck to our vision & managed to pull off a vegetarian wedding with no DJ, dance floor, alcohol (subbed in vintage glass bottled sodas), wedding colors, or real flowers because to have everyone not only ‘get it’ but to say that they absolutely loved it & were so impressed I will always truly cherish. The look of surprise on everyone’s face & the high praise & compliments mean so much to us because this was such a labor of love and there was a piece of us in every little detail.”

The ceremony was held at the beautiful La Mesa Community Center Gardens, with the DIY reception following at Nan Couts Cottage. “Making everything is a lot of work but I’m so thankful we did it,” the bride continued. “It made it all so personal. Some of my fondest memories are the Sunday’s that myself & the females in the family would spend together making things for the wedding.”

“One Sunday we made a couple hundred feet of bunting & I had two aunts cutting out all the triangles, a cousin ironing them, & I sat at my sewing machine for a few hours sewing each one on & meanwhile my grandma was making pinwheels and another cousin was making the props for the photobooth. It was not only crazy efficient but a fun way to spend a Sunday and get creative minds working together.”

“The dessert trays were thrifted plates & tea cups stacked together & held together with epoxy glue. So quick & easy to make! I painted our cake toppers that were little wooden dolls purchased on Etsy. Each flower was made by hand by wrapping crepe paper around green floral wire, held together with tape & glue. The flower balls were made by making the flowers shorter stemmed and sticking them into a styrofoam ball. We made the chalk boards for the photobooth by spray painting chalk paint on the glass of an old picture frame. I also made about a hundred flower pins by sewing together different fabrics cut into flower shapes with a button in the center glued onto a bobby pin for favors for the ladies & used plyers to flatten out the edges of vintage bottle caps & glued pins on the back for the guys.”

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Roo’s Favourite Finds: Terrariums

Roo is pretty awesome you know. So she called me last week with an idea for a blog post which I loved so much I asked if she’d like to make it a monthly addition to the blog. Which I’m pleased to report she did.

As a bit of a charity shop/thrifting fiend, Roo’s idea was to share some of her favourite charity shop finds as well as showing you how she is using said finds in her wedding. These posts are going to be the perfect antidote to a wedding industry that tries to convince you that you have to spend a bomb to have a beautiful wedding. All you really need is a little imagination and not a lot of cash. Hurrah!

I just know you guys are gonna love this…

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When I say I love charity shops, it is purely with conviction and entirely without shame. I don’t know when it started, but I do know that having a very vintage-savvy mother helped in launching the love affair. My first charity shop-owned item was bought for me by her; a pair of calf-high, low-heeled tan boots costing just £3, from a very unknown shop in our suburb that supported the local Christian community. I wore those boots with everything, all the time; eventually, I wore those boots until they literally caved in on themselves. I don’t think I could say that those boots got me addicted, but seeing my mum come home with vintage suitcases full of antique lace and fabric samples certainly stirred my interest. I’m twenty-four now, and the stirring continues – dizzying, you might think, maybe even nauseous, but I’ve never stopped loving or being excited by it. I’m so pleased to share my best finds of these upcoming, pre-wedding months with you – not to mention a few “how-to” guides on finding your own dream buys. But first, a little prequel…

When I was twenty years old, going on twenty-one, I lived in Exeter for a brief period and fell in love with an antique shop called Otto Retro. I spent hours haggling with the owner (or, more accurately, she spent hours haggling with me – she would never let me pay full price for anything) and I ended up furnishing half my bedroom with some truly amazing pieces – take, for example, this desk and chair set – complete with globe, Anglepoise lamp, bird cage (plus mechanical birds) – all for £120.

With each visit, my interest in antiquing was sent skyrocketing, but after I peaked, I started to feel like I wasn’t getting enough out of it. Antique shops as a rule are independent stores, and I will never stop supporting independent stores and their respective owners, but I started to draw the conclusion that I would be far more satisfied supporting a larger/wider demographic – i.e. the target groups of charitable foundations. I am totally supportive of independent sellers and would choose them over the high street 80% of the time, but I can’t shirk the pure and simple fact that for me, nothing beats the feel-good ethic of charity-shop-shopping (charity shopping? I’ve never worked out the right phrase).

I was once described by a friend as “bargain-bin chic”, mostly because every time someone complimented me on my new jumper/shoes/handbag I’d say “oh, this old thing? It’s only from Scope”. Only? Only!? The charity shop veteran that I am today is disgusted by my conduct, because as you will learn (if you don’t know already) it is highly rude to be so dismissive of a good piece of tat.

I’ve always been overly fond of homeware – china, blankets, lamps, houseplants, and so on, etc, etc, and recently my thrifting focus has shifted from threads to trinkets. I do still look for clothes, but since we started planning our wedding I’ve become horrendously obsessed with picking up bits and bobs that we can use as table decorations. One of my very most favourite weddings featured here ever is Alix & Shawn’s Natural History Museum Wedding; for so many reasons, but the most relevant to our topic right now were their terrarium table decorations.

Photography credit: Liesl from Photo Pink NYC

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Debs & Richie’s Budget Friendly, Crafty & Vintage Wedding

When photographer Emma Case emails me with “eeek’s!” and “wooohoo’s!” when talking about her latest wedding I stand by and prepare myself for greatness. I am SO EXCITED to share Debs & Richie’s wedding on my blog as not only did I blog their fabulous engagement session just before Christmas, but they used Rock n Roll Bride as inspiration for their awesome vintage wedding.

“When Richie & I got engaged we did not have a clue what we wanted our wedding to be like, all we knew was that we wanted it quite small, with only close family and friends, good food, good music, and wanted it to reflect on us as a couple as much as possible.  Our budget was small and we began to panic! How are we going to manage to create a wedding on such a small budget, that’s when I turned to the Internet and found a number of wedding blogs (Rock n Roll Bride was one of the first) that gave me loads of inspiration on how different weddings can be, and how much of your own personality you can add to your special day!  I became obsessed with the blogging world, I had bookmarked hundreds of images made folders upon folders and my inspiration began to expand.”

The couple’s budget was small but they totally rocked it! By being creative, by DIYing everything, thrifting and visiting charity shops, they were able to craft the vintage wedding of their dreams!”Having a small budget I knew that alot of the work would have to be done by myself and with a little help from friends and family,” continued the bride. “So I began my journey of crafting everyday, I would craft on the underground, in work on lunch breaks, as soon as I came home from work, my weekends off, visits to friends and family, my whole world became the wedding.  Being in a creative job there are loads of talented people, and I had people in my work making my wedding cake, the invites and arranging my wedding bouquet.  I also used my work colleagues contacts to get the flowers cheaply at the market for then me and my sister to arrange them late into the night before the wedding.”

“We wanted our day to be as relaxed as possible (this isn’t always easy and does not happen when you have a small adorable son though!!)” she continued. “We wanted the decorations and small touches to reflect our love for vintage, we love vintage clothes, vintage furniture, vintage accessories.  I love the beauty and history behind old items, I love that they have a story behind them.  That someone has loved these objects and that they are getting passed along to make new memories, in this case our memories for our wedding day.”

“For my degree show I studied photography for my last part of my final and photographed tea cups, I had a small collection started and I love the beauty of the china tea cup and how they were all different!  So I was on a mission to collect as many as I could, as these would be my favours by melting wax into them and making them into sweet candles for guests to take away.  Everything was hand crafted by myself from the favours, to the felt love heart badges guest wore, to the pom poms and flower garlands that hung in the hall.”

Debs loved collecting all the little bits and pieces in the run up to their wedding. Her vision was an eclectic mis-matched one, with the reception tables full of items they had collected themselves.

Debs wore a vintage dress which she found in a charity shop for just £15! She even got to meet the original owner of the gown and she her wedding photographs! What a magical moment that must have been!

She explained, “Having 6 months left before the big day I had still no clue what I wanted my dress to be like, all I knew was that I wanted it to be different and my favourite word again Vintage!!! Someone had told me about a small charity shop in Govan (Glasgow), which is not renowned for being lets say…. stylish, but I knew with an older generation, there would be a few treasures in the shop.  The shop was called Magpie’s Nest which was a prefect name for me! I was amazed by the selection and quickly filled my bags with teacups, I got talking to the lady behind the counter and asked if she specialises in wedding dresses or knew any places as there were a few wedding dresses hanging up! We got talking and she went into the back and came out shortly holding a beautiful dress, I knew that this was the one that I was getting married in!  It was tiny and asked to try it on, in a small bathroom I squeezed it on and to my disappointment I could not get the back up, but I knew that I wanted it and thought there must be a way to get this dress to fit.  It was elegant, long shelves for the winter and was simple so I could accessorise.  My beautiful dress came to the grand total of £15 and as she packed it away in a Farmfoods bag, I skipped down the road with the biggest smile on my face, greeted by Richie saying what’s in the Farmfoods bag? and I said “my wedding dress!!!”

“I really would like to give a big thanks to Sarah from Magpie’s Nest in Glasgow without her help, I would not have been able to get as much as what I got for the wedding. I went nearly every week to her shop and there were times when I got to go into the back of the Charity shop to the ‘unseen’ and rummage until my heart was content.  Sarah does a brilliant job for her charity and believes in pricing the goods that come into the shop fairly (not west-end prices), so locals can afford to buy and therefore helping to regenerate the local community.  She also knew the woman who handed in the wedding dress and arranged for me to meet up with her. She told me the story behind the dress, that she bought the dress in Watt Brothers in town for 9 Shillings!”

The dress was altered by Dragonfly Dress Design. She added a petticoat (for showing off the Vivienne Westwood shoes of course!) “She specialises in vintage dresses,” Debs told me, “and through her whole  time in the dress business has only ever once came across a dress like mine!  It is a very rare dress from the late 1940’s but with a 1950’s style, as it was very simple and classic.  I also came across dragonfly through Rock n Roll Bride, again a big thank you for helping me source what is so close to home that I would never have known about.”

The ceremony took place at Park Circus in the West End of Glasgow, with the reception being held at Cail Bruich Restaurant in Bridge of Weir. The restaurant not only had a gorgeous scenic view, but vintage and retro touches throughout which perfectly matched their theme.

Finally, Debs & Richie found the fabulous Emma Case through her first ever feature on Rock n Roll Bride. Long time readers of the blog will remember this gorgeous ‘Second Time Lucky’ wedding that I posted back in October 2009 – the first time I was introduced to her work. Who could have known back then that we would become such good friends!? Aww I love blogland!

“I saw this wedding on Rock n Roll Bride whilst researching the wedding and I bookmarked it. I thought that’s the style I want my wedding photographer to have relaxed, capturing a beautiful moment and everyone looking so happy and comfortable.  I bookmarked the photograph that I loved and was in awe with it, but thought nothing of it! (the one with the bride running) I went into work and my friend knew I was looking for an alternative photographer and gave me the name Emma Case to check out.  I went home and I was amazed that the photograph which I loved, was taken by the talented Emma Case, I knew I had to have her and contacted her straight away.  Emma got back and said that the date we were originally planned getting married on, was booked! Arrragh, so without speaking to Richie I took a risk and I asked what dates were available, and the 4th of December was what Emma came back with…That was the date I was going for, so I could get my prefect photographer, and can I just say she is prefect.  Richie and myself are in love with Emma and Pete, they made us feel so comfortable and relaxed…Our budget was so small, but the one thing we were willing to spend the most money on, was a photographer.  It’s so important to have magical photographs that capture your special day, and capture all your hard work.  I cannot say enough nice things about Emma and her talent and how much more special she has made our wedding day and memories.”

Serious love for Debs & Richie over here!

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Lola’s Bad ASS, Punk Rock Bridals

Lola’s bridal shoot revolved around the amazing skirt she wore. It was originally an 80’s wedding dress that was found on sale at GoodWill for just $10! “Kayrene Kelley, artist and Leather Worker for Leather Girl Kelley, chopped off the top of the dress, dyed it gray, added some pickups and sent it to Arizona for us to work with,” stylist Alexandra told me. “It was truly perfect because a full wedding dress would have been just too pretty for the gritty, Rock n Roll vision I was going for. Kayrene Kelley also sent us some wonderful leather goodies such as cuffs, a corset and a belt. From there, I styled Lola with all of her own clothes and accessories. A lace black bra, white tank top, gray tank top, gloves, earrings, layered necklaces, another corset and Lola’s very own motorcycle vest were swapped in and out to take this bride through all of her different moods – some more feminine and some more casual. We kept the shoes simple and classic by using mostly black shoes owned by Lola.”

“This shoot was born out of a desire to create something different,” she continued. “Everywhere around me in the photography world I saw utterly picturesque bridal shots, full of softness and pastels and vintage loveliness.   And they were beautifully perfect, but they were not me.  For better or worse, I don’t find my inspiration in ‘pretty’.  I’m more comfortable downtown, and what excites me artistically is the opportunity to juxtapose beauty and energy against the harder edges and urban decay of the cityscape.  That’s when my vision gets hopping and things come to life for me.  And so, with a few emails to some like-minded folks – the bad-ass bridal shoot was born.  This year has been all about collaboration for me, and this team had an incredible energy, grabbing onto my original vision and taking it to amazing places.  This was seriously the most fun I’ve ever had as a photographer.”

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A Non-Traditional, Family Central, Urban & Industrial LA Wedding

Shannon & Os are both part-time photographers so their wedding photography was really important to them, they found Australian Annevi who came to LA to shoot their informal wedding. They decided to hold their ceremony and reception in Barbara’s at the Brewery, Los Angeles. The Brewery is known as the world’s largest live-work art colony and offers amazing industrial landscapes and interesting backdrops. So, of course that’s where they decided to shoot all their portraits.

They decided to skip a lot of the traditional stuff they didn’t have a lot of meaning to them so they didn’t have any catering in favour of a more casual Sunday picnic, where the guests brought food, cake and dessert dishes to share. They also abandoned the idea to have flowers as they felt they didn’t really suit them or their industrial setting. The bride wore a non traditional dress, a yellow number from Tahari by Arthur S. Levine teamed with white converse. She used her jewellery as a way to represent the people that couldn’t travel to be at their wedding – her bracelet was designed by her mother, her earrings and necklace were from her mother-in-law and an antique handkerchief from her great grandmother (price tag still on it: Famous and Barr 25 cents.) The groom dresses in a similarly non traditional fashion – his jacket was from a charity shop, his shirt and jeans were items he already had in his wardrobe and his braces/suspenders where from his father in law. He also wore red PF Flyers “guaranteed to make a kid run faster and jump higher.”

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A Non-Traditional, Family Central, Urban & Industrial LA Wedding

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Shannon & Os are both part-time photographers so their wedding photography was really important to them, they found Australian Annevi who came to LA to shoot their informal wedding. They decided to hold their ceremony and reception in Barbara’s at the Brewery, Los Angeles. The Old Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery is known as the world's largest live-work art colony and offers amazing industrial landscapes and interesting backdrops. So, of course that's where they decided to shoot all their portraits. They decided to skip a lot of the traditional stuff they didn't have a lot of meaning to them so they didn't have any catering in favour of a more casual Sunday picnic, where the guests brought food, cake and dessert dishes to share. They also abandoned the idea to have flowers as they felt they didn't really suit them or their industrial setting. The bride wore a non traditional dress, a yellow number from Arthur S. Levine teamed with white converse. She used her jewellery as a way to represent the people that couldn't travel to be at their wedding - her bracelet was designed by her mother, her earrings and necklace were from her mother-in-law and an antique handkerchief from her great grandmother (price tag still on it: Famous and Barr 25 cents.) The groom dresses in a similarly non traditionalfashio - his jacket was from a charity shop, his shirt and jeans were items he already had in his wardrobe and his braces/suspenders where from his father in law. He also wore red PF Flyers "guaranteed to make a kid run faster and jump higher."

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A Punk Rock Kinda Day

The majority of the weddings and photo shoots I feature are sent to be by photographers or recently married couples, however occasionally I’ll come across a session so damn cool that I have to email the photographer right away and demand to feature it! This was one of those sessions.

I’d followed William Massey‘s work through a group on flickr for a while now yet it was only now that I really stood up and took notice. Philip & Anela were one of those couples that I instantly knew would suit Rock n Roll Bride to a tee – punky, retro, vintage, quirky, cool…they suited all these words that I overuse everyday on my blog.

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