Tag Archives: Etsy

A Simple Napa Valley Wedding: Ronnie & Richard

Ronnie & Richard were married at Calistoga Ranch, California. Originally from Taiwan, the couple’s families knew each other and had often joked about setting the two of them up, but they’d never met. It was only when they both moved to America (her to New York and him to Austin, Texas) that they started emailing and arranged to meet.

The bride readily admits that she’s not a very crafty person so DIY was out of the question for their April wedding. She did however fall in love with etsy and used it to source as much as possible for the wedding. “We didn’t have anything handmade ourselves except for the ‘here comes the bride’ flag which Richard made”, she told me. “I am not crafty, but I like the unique touch that comes from handmade products which is why I used etsy so much. I am also very into vintage style clothing and décor. I spent a lot of time researching on the site, searching for vintage wedding dress, bridal accessories, wedding favors and paper goods. At the end, I feel really fortunate to have found things I loved with affordable prices.”

“Before the actual wedding, we had a traditional Taiwanese engagement ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan as well as a courthouse wedding in Austin”, she continued. “Richard and I both wanted a western style of wedding, and because we’d done the other two things, we knew we want to go for something simple and intimate with our families and close friends.”

“The first thing we did was look for a venue. Once we had that sorted we built our wedding around it. Calistoga Ranch is a resort secluded over north border of Napa Valley with spectacular lake and mountain views, a nice wine cave set up, and good catering. The best part is we did’t really need to do much to it.  The scenery itself is so pretty that we decided to keep our decorations simple. We were expecting a lake scene with blossoms in April, so we decided to use the basic decorations provided by Calistoga Ranch with just a little bit more flowers for the ceremony settings. I worked with the local florist, Susan, who used two barrels with large floral pieces and rose petals to define the aisle and the ceremony site. At the wine cave, we decided to use candles with medium-sized floral pieces to add romance.”

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A DIY Country Wedding: Jacob & Sarah

Jacob & Sarah had a DIY country wedding at Harmony Museum, PA.

“Together with our community of friends, we pretty much made everything on our own because we wanted our wedding day to represent who we are,” Sarah told me. “Having the wedding ceremony and reception take place in a non traditional atmosphere also helped to sort of describe where we were coming from, a subculture scene of punk music and tattoos. One of the most important things that we wanted to come from our wedding day was to have a celebration with the people who we love the most. We have a very close group of friends that we respect and hold close and we wanted them to feel like it wasn’t just ‘Jake and Sarah’s Day’ but rather a party for all of us. Immediately after the ceremony, which was fairly short, there was just a big party.”

“For the centerpieces we collected bottles that we found on the railroad tracks and in the woods all around Pittsburgh,” she continued. “Above one of the tracks that run through South Side there was what appeared to be the remains of an old bottling plant, and there we found probably close to 100 very neat old bottles. After many soaks in the bath tub I tied pieces of fabric and ribbons around the bottles to dress them up a little. So, our centerpieces were free!”

Sarah wore a handmade dress by I see You Brightly on etsy with vintage shoes. Her headpiece was handmade by a friend and her jewellery was made for her by Jacob.

Instead of a cake they had a dessert table filled with pie, cookies and other treats bought by their guests.

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A Vintage Rockabilly Wedding: Molly & Sam

Molly & Sam’s beautiful vintage rockabilly wedding was held at The Promethean in Adelaide.

Before the ceremony, the couple met at Cafe Salsa – a 50’s themed beach cafe – for photographs. They also has some shots taken at the skateboard park as Sam and his friends can often by found hanging out there.

“Sam and his mates did some brief skate manoeuvres and everybody prayed nobody took a spill and injured themselves,” photographer Helen told me. “Then it was on to The Promethean for the ceremony and a cool party with groovy music. They walked down the aisle to ‘Rose of my Heart’ by Jonny Cash. The party went on until 5am!”

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“Punk Rock is in Your Soul” – A DIY City Hall Wedding….and a Bride in PINK: Lenore & Ryan

I don’t say this lightly, but Lenore & Ryan’s wedding may be my wedding of the year! I simply love everything about it – from the bride’s incredible pink ensemble, to the family-central cuteness of the whole thing. I’ve also realised that I definitely need to add some more giant bows to all my outfits.

I don’t know about you but I kinda want to live in this wedding…

“Ryan and I met through a LDS church dating site,” Lenore told me. “We both were recently divorced with small children, he has two and I have three.  We dated for a year and then put our family together in a legal ceremony at City Hall.  Latter Day Saints weddings (Mormon) are typically performed at temples and are extremely sacred simple ceremonies without any of the typical wedding flare (no walking down the aisle, etc), but Ryan and I had both been married in the temple the first time around.  We wanted our children to feel like they were included and involved in our families joining together.  We were tempted to hold a large wedding and even planned an event at a local theater, but in the end we decided that in order to preserve the sacred nature of the LDS temple we would be married at the courthouse instead.”

The couple didn’t have a reception and their ceremony was open to anyone who wanted to come along, “The San Francisco Courthouse happens to be a beautiful building,” Lenore continued. “Typically the Commisoners only allow six guests to witness the wedding and they are usually performed in small courtrooms.  It’s a ten minute ceremony – no frills.  You stand there with the commissoner and he or she marries you.  When we showed up in all our pink glory with hoards of children and about forty relatives (I’m from a family of 10, he’s from a family of 8 – typical Mormons!) the Commissoner had mercy on us and married us in the Rotunda in front of all our surprise guests.  We didn’t send out invites, we just posted on our blog and facebook the when and where and people showed up.  It couldn’t have been a more casual and romantic affair, centered on family.”

I know you’re all dying to know about Lenore’s outfit right!? Well she bought a vintage prom dress from etsy and customised it herself. She gathered up the layers of tulle and picked some of them up with clips. She then cut the top off to make it into a skirt, and wore it with a white tee-shirt and a big (awesome) pink bow! She even made her own veil by gathering up a load of tulle and tying it in a bow.

Similarly she bought some plain silver shoes and punk-rocked them up with studs, rhinestones, and broken mirrors. The good news is though that she’s now set up her own etsy store to sell them. Erm I WANT!!!!!

“Mormons dress very modestly:  they have to cover their shoulders and reach the knees.  This makes finding a wedding dress a real challenge,” she explained. “When I saw Lola’s Bad Ass Punk Rock bridal shoot on Rock n Roll Bride I thought:  I can make that work for me.  A fabulous skirt with a simple modest shirt ($12 from Marshalls — a discount retailer).  My mother can sew and we watch a lot of Project Runway together — we knew we could cobble together a dress ourselves.”

“Our wedding theme was ‘punk rock is in your soul’,” Lenore concluded. “We’re Mormons. We’re parents. We’re suburbanites. We’re professionals. And that is as hardcore as any lifestyle.”

“The second time around was so much more fun.  There was none of the pre-wedding day freakout.  We didn’t waste a bunch of money on food for other people.  Nobody was obligated to come and chat with strangers.  No stress.  People get so caught up in the Wedding Machine.  They think they need the expensive dress, the expensive location, the super fancy cake. What brides don’t realize is that two things last:  the pictures and the new family relationship.  Other than that, a wedding is just a day.  It can be done beautifully without breaking the bank.  The only thing we splurged on was our amazing photographer, Rachael McCall.”

I just DIE. I know you guys are gonna love this as much as I do.

You HAVE to click through to the gallery to see more of these babies…

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Under the Spotlight – Dell Cove Spice Co.

Etsy sellers Dell Cove Spice Co. specialise in unique and humorous food-based items that make perfect wedding favour ideas or to use if you’re hand-making any tasty treats for your wedding.

They say, “Our gourmet herbs and spice kits, exotic BBQ rubs, tasty popcorn kits and salts, and cocktail party supplies make your signature drink perfect. Fresh, quality ingredients and recipes you can’t find at the supermarket.”

“Our products are always fresh and fragrant, handmade and hand mixed. For us, food is a way to relax and share the stories of the day, and show affection to those close to us. We live by this simple mantra: It’s good to play with your food.”

Here are some of my favourites from their collection. Mmm now I’m thinking about cocktails and dinner parties with friends…

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A Reclaimed, Relaxed & Fun London Wedding: Caroline & Lewis

Caroline & Lewis wanted a relaxed and fun London wedding which would reflect their loves and inspirations – reclaimed items, Caroline’s love of fashion and vintage and quirky DIY elements all played a massive part in their wedding.

“The whole day felt so perfect, not in the sense that everything went to plan, but it felt good that all our hard work was finally coming to fruition,” Caroline told me. “Amazingly we didn’t feel nervous at all, we just felt excited. It gave me a huge sense of achievement knowing that I made my own wedding dress, made the bouquets, the cake, the invitations and all the decorations. I’m not saying that I did a better job than the professionals, but it was fun to have a go and it keeps costs down. You don’t need a massive budget to have a London wedding. There are lots of pubs, bars and restaurants that would jump at the chance to host a wedding and don’t charge a hire fee.”

“We wanted the day to be relaxed and fun with a few quirky surprises.” the bride continued. “The hardest thing was finding venues that didn’t feel too formal and were within our budget. The decorations and other details were the fun part. We didn’t have a particular theme, era or colour palette, we just collected things that caught our eye. We scoured wedding blogs for inspiration and then worked out how we could recreate them on a budget. We hired a lovely vintage ice cream van instead of having a sit-down dessert. We kept it a secret, so watching our guests faces as the little Honda ice cream van pulled up outside was priceless. Our main aim was to have an intimate ceremony that was personal to us, followed by an amazing party for our closest family and friends.”

As a fashion designer it was important to Caroline that she found her perfect dress…or two dresses actually. She wore a 1930’s dress which she customised herself for the main part of the wedding and a vintage floral dress which she found on Etsy in the evening. To her day dress she added a belt which she bought from New Look for just £1.50 and a floral crown which she made herself with guidance from her florist.

“My mum made her own wedding dress so I thought it would be nice to follow in her footsteps,” she explained. “The original 1930’s dress was bought for £95 from Annie’s Vintage in Angel, the dress then sat in a brown envelope for the next 6 months whilst I hunted for a suitable lace. As the dress was vintage, it was slightly off-white so finding a lace in the same colour proved very difficult. I tried to find another vintage lace dress that I could deconstruct, but it was difficult to find anything that had enough fabric. I finally found a French Chantilly lace in Macculloch & Wallis 10 weeks before the wedding. Many hours were spent sat behind a sewing machine, cramped in a tiny box room in our London flat. Listening to people gasp ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe your dress isn’t finished yet!’ just added to the pressure so I just pretended it was all finished if anyone asked. The final hand stitching on the dress was actually done on the morning of the wedding, I found it quite therapeutic.”

I simply love love love the Oreo cake! It was also made by the bride and her family the day before the wedding. They even added a cute bird cake topper from Etsy to complete the look. “We made the cake the day before the wedding from Oreo biscuits. The biscuits are kept in place with chocolate icing. The whole cake took about 25 packets of biscuits to make. The smell of the biscuits and chocolate icing was divine but I had to resist temptation until the wedding diet was over!”

“I believe that you can do anything if you set your mind to it,” concluded the newly-married Caroline. “The best thing about our wedding was all the DIY touches, they’re the things that give the day some personality. There are tutorials online for just about anything so I just gave it a go and hoped for the best. I really enjoyed being busy on the morning of the wedding, it was a welcome distraction and prevented any nerves from creeping in.”

Simply wonderful. I know you’re going to love this one guys! What a cool couple….

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