Tag Archives: thrift store

Colourful Woodland Wedding with Dominos and the Notorious B.I.G

Katy and Mark are my new best friends. No, but in all seriousness, their wedding looks like SO MUCH FUN and I think you’re going to fall in love with them instantly. With a loose theme of colour and fun, a focus on it being a carbfest (we’re talking fish and chips for and then Dominos later on) and eclectic and wonderful decor, it’s a super beautiful and inspiring day by all accounts.

“We didn’t necessarily have a set theme,” Katy says, “but I guess if I were to name one, it would be colour. We just did what we wanted, with no set theme or real formalities (bar the ceremony)!”

As Katy has worked in the wedding industry for most of her life, she had a head start on the planning. “I would say that it is amazing how quickly your budget/imagination can run away with you! When we first started planning we did get carried away and it started to resemble a fun fair – yes, with a waltzer and everything – but that didn’t really sit well with our budget. So we started again and stuck to what we needed and what we wanted it to be about: Our close friends and family and food, of course –  lots of carbs! It was a total carb fest!” They ordered yummy finger food from M&S, had a fish and chip van for their main food and ordered Dominos pizza for their evening buffet.

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Intimate and Meaningful Wedding at Home

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Emily and Glenn were married at the bride’s childhood home. She wore her grandmother’s wedding dress and they wanted to make sure everything they did minimised waste. “Our wedding inspiration was to use second-hand, borrowed, vintage and thrift store finds”, Emily explained, “We really focused on re-purposing things for the day. This meant incorporating vintage furniture as seating and using items my father had collected over the last 30 years as décor. Everything was DIY but since we did not want to buy anything new we stayed away from crafting and mostly decorated with old lanterns and vintage furniture. We also borrowed a lot of stuff from friends and family so that we didn’t have to buy brand new things.”

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“Our biggest inspiration was to keep it meaningful. Every element of our wedding represented some connections to our families. I had my wedding ring made from two rings – one which belonged to my great grandmother and the other belonged to Glenn’s mother. My dress and necklace were both family heirlooms. Glenn and I decided to have the wedding at my parents’ home because it was a place that meant a lot to me and somewhere that we both loved being. Having a small venue meant we also had to keep the guest list small, so all our guests were our closest friends and family. Having a small guest list was wonderful because Glenn and I were both able to spend a lot of time with everyone, which was important to both of us.”

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Reclaimed & Revisited DIY Wedding: Josh & Scott

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Before I even saw these photographs I knew I wanted to blog this wedding. Wedding photographer, Adam Lowe, described the event to me as ‘a mega super awesome gay punk dude wedding’ and I instantly knew it would be amazing… and oh boy how right I was!

Josh & Scott were married in October at 400 West Rich, a 100,000 sq foot warehouse in Columbus, Ohio. They did pretty much everything themselves and spent just $3000 making their wedding perfect. “We met through a gay social networking and just got to talking”, they began. “About three months later we were taking turns visiting each other and three months after that Josh moved to Columbus. Josh is a huge Disney fan and we planned a trip to Disney and Scotty ordered an engagement ring. He proposed to Josh in front of Cinderella’s Castle.”

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“We wanted a very organically flowing wedding. The ceremony was short but personal with personal vows”, they continued. “The space we used for our wedding was an old factory that is being converted into artist studios. Being so DIY minded, it just made sense to use it and create a warm welcoming environment on our own. Being vegans and experiencing some bad catered vegan food options at weddings we knew we did not want to depend on a caterer to make the food. Instead we did it all ourselves with help of friends. We are talking 400 tamales, 100 ‘chicken’ wings, 300 cake pops… We also had the majority of our friends and wedding party involved in doing something to help out. We know people in bands, people who are DJs and bartenders. Everyone volunteered their time and took turns helping out and partying!”

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Handmade Huntington Beach Wedding: Mandie & Mike

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Mandie & Mike’s handmade wedding was held at Newland House Museum, the oldest residence in Huntington Beach, built in 1898. They decorated the space themselves and most of the decor was either handmade or collected from thrift stores and etsy. Their awesome ceremony backdrop was made with the help of Mandie’s dad and it was one of the couple’s favourite things in the wedding. I can see why too – it’s beeeautiful!

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“We wanted a wedding that was fun and something that people would remember with a smile”, Mandie explained. “We found a venue that allowed us to use vendors we wanted and I think that had a huge impact on the feel of the wedding. I loved every vendor we used and they really help make the wedding a special day that was very ‘us’!”

“We never really thought too much about a theme”, she continued, “but I knew for sure that I wanted the wedding to be laid back and to incorporate as much of ‘us’ as possible. We liked the idea of making things or finding them second hand because that is what in do in our everyday lives. We pulled from our love of DIY and music to create our day.”

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Flea Market Wedding: Cassidi & Rob

Cassidi & Rob were married at Moorestown Community House, New Jersey. They wanted the wedding to have a flea market vibe with touches of Rock n Roll. “Our colors were charcoal, dusty rose, powered pink, mixed shades of ivory and creams”, the bride explained. “We had a ton of blue mason jars, old bottles, and milk glass. A million doilies in all shades of whites, creams, and ivory. Each table has random little props, some tables had small vintage white dogs, or old skeleton keys, or buttons.”

“My best friend and one of my maids of honor Annie helped me a lot with the planning and styling”, she continued. “She lives in Seattle so there were many late night phone calls about colors and props. We found most of our decor at flea markets around the city. I also had the best ‘dog of honor’ ever… and creepy animal masks. We both like kind of weird stuff were it is creepy yet beautiful so we thought animal mask would be neat. We had little punk rock buttons with the Black Flag and Danzig logo on them but they had our names and wedding date. We also had custom mad-libs at all the tables.”

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Roo’s Favourite Finds: Fabulous Favours

Photography Credit: Caroline Tran via Ruffled Blog

As the rest of you Rock n Roll Brides will be aware, there are certain age-old wedding traditions that we love and want to uphold, whereas others leave us looking a bit glassy-eyed. The beauty of the contemporary wedding is that we’re free to do away with the stuff that doesn’t make sense to us pretty much without question – for us, I naturally just assumed that we’d be forsaking the wedding favour.

Now, I’ve only been to three weddings in my time and I received a wedding favour at just one of them – so you’ll forgive me for thinking that there was no real “meaning” or general substance to the idea. In fact, the tradition apparently dates back to as early as the 16th century, when wedding guests were given what is known as a bonbonniere – a small trinket box that held sugar cubes/confectionary. Sugar was then somewhat of a luxury, and to give it as a gift was indicatory of the bride and groom’s wealthy standing. As time went on and sugar became more of an affordable commodity, the tradition became popular with lower classes of bridal parties – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Although I am a traditionalist in lots of ways, there’s something about this that doesn’t really appeal to me. In my defence, for any hard-core favour enthusiasts, it’s only because I’ve seen some truly tacky examples. Moreover, I felt like a lot of the ones I saw were highly impersonal, and I don’t know why. That was until I saw Alix’s handmade stuffed animal favours:

Photography Credit: Photo Pink, full wedding on Rock n Roll Bride here

These incredibly thoughtful, endlessly original gifts got my brain into gear and we figured that favours could be something we’d get on board with. Now, having quite hectic work/university schedules, I was pretty certain that we wouldn’t be able to create something as bespoke as Alix’s stuffed animals – so what could we come up with that had the perfect balance of creativity, personality (as in, personal to us), and manageability?

When I first moved to Brighton, my parents bought me a set of mini cactus plants. They’ve come with me everywhere, from home to home, and before we decided to get a kitten, I think they were pretty much our adopted children. There’s just something so aesthetically pleasing and comforting about cacti – not to mention that the cactus flower symbolizes a heart burning with love (or so the world wide web tells me). All in all, you could say we’re pretty attached to our mini cacti family, so when our pesky kitten kept knocking them out of their simple plastic pots, I decided to take action and find them some new housing. As ever, I was able to rely on my friendly neighbourhood charity shops:

Pair of eggcups, £1.50 from PDSA

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Roo’s Favourite Finds: The Tattered, The Broken & The Not So Shiny…Plus How to Haggle

This month, the fabulous Roo shares her ideas on what to do with less-than-perfect charity shop finds. I love love love her diy fix-up ideas so much and I know you guys will too.

Over to you Miss Roo…

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Now, even after seeing what treasures can be found if you look hard enough in the right places, you would be forgiven for presuming the following formula:

 Charity shops = tat

… Because, quite frankly, quite a lot of the time it’s proven to be true. Whether you’re a tried & true charity shop scavenger or a recent disciple following this series, you’re sure to have had a “dud” run, and that can be disheartening. When you’re perusing for the fun of it it’s not so bad, but if you’re committed to the cause for the sake of your wedding it’s easy to get blindsided by the dud run and head home feeling dejected. This month I’d like to focus on spotting the potential in otherwise “useless” items: the tattered, the broken, and the not so shiny.

On the whole, I would identify myself as someone who is creative, with an active imagination – yet despite being able to conceive of good ideas, I often find myself falling short when it comes to executing them, due to a distinct lack of “know-how”. This, among a menagerie of other reasons, is why the Internet is such a useful tool to have at our palms. Blogs such as Tokketok and Mermag boast incredible tutorials that take everyday items and transport them into the world of the fantastical – widening the scope of possibilities for objects that we’d otherwise overlook, or “make do with” – like these beautiful monogrammed glasses, just when you thought plain ones would suffice.

Photography Credit: Merrilee Liddiard, full tutorial at Mermag

Many online tutorials are a breeze (almost so simple that you wonder, why didn’t I think of that!?) and some are a little more intermediate, but a task that is too tasking for one person is less tasking when halved – which is where your bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, children or betrothed can come in handy. Some of my most favourite weddings featured on wedding blogs everywhere are the ones where I read the words “everyone chipped in!” because really, there’s nothing more celebratory and wonderful than everyone you love claiming a share of your big day. So, if you’re reading this and thinking but I’m the kind of person who glues their fingers together, do not despair. Bear with me, and I promise by the time you reach the end of this post, your creative lusts will be hooting.

Over the past couple of months we’ve tried terrariums and collected clothes, and this month I had the bright idea of looking at turning “trash” into treasure.

Photography Credit: Ramsey Amaoot

Now since I can tell that you’re wondering, I’ll tell you: the thought came to me following two separate, poetic incidences. Lamb and I have been on the hunt for furniture for our room over the past couple of weeks, so my charity shop trawling has extended to charity furniture shops. We’re fortunate enough to live next door to a YMCA furniture store, and regularly keep our beady eye out on the street outside for their delivery van. The only downside is that our obsession with second-hand furniture shopping has lead to us trawling the Internet for new places to leaf through, and this has been a little too time consuming when trying to juggle work/university on the side… oops!

Unfortunately, our search for more furniture shops run by charities has proved a little fruitless in and around our local area – despite this, we’ve managed to find some really wonderful flea markets dotted around Brighton, and this month I’d like to shift our attention to flea markets as well as charity shops as great sources for all manner of wedding paraphernalia. As usual, we’ll take a look at my favourite finds of the past month, and leaf through some tips I’ve jotted down along the way.

My secondary source of inspiration for this post was the stumbling across an absolutely phenomenal tutorial by Jason Hull. Remember how I said in my last wedding-y post that Pinterest was an outrageously effective way of finding and documenting ideas and inspo? If you didn’t believe it before, then I pray you believe it now – Pinterest boasts a whole host of “pins” dedicated purely to tutorials, focusing on everything from hair/make-up to homemade fashions; from home décor to party favours. It was whilst simply perusing the people I was following that I found the most delightful thing… vintage camera nightlights.

Photography Credit: Jason Hull

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Roo’s Favourite Finds: Finding Clothing Bargains in Charity Shops/Thrift Stores

This month, resident charity shopping guru/icon Roo is talking all about finding clothing gems in charity, thrift and vintage stores. Enjoy darlings!

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The last time we spoke, I was floating on the high of a relatively warm autumn down here in Brighton (I’m not kidding; I went swimming in the sea at the end of October). I’m sad to report that the temperature tables have now rightfully turned, and as a result I’ve been honing my beady eye in on stocking up my winter wardrobe to accommodate for these chillier months.

Now, apart from being a little bit skint a lot of the time, it’s also worth considering that I have a Mother who is a dab hand with a needle and thread. This has meant that I’ve grown up understanding the value of clothes – I won’t breach onto designer territory just now, because that’s a whole different kettle of fish – but I will say that nine times out of ten I’ll step into a popular high street store and be blown away by the lack of quality for the relatively extortionate price tag. On more than one occasion I have been the victim of inexplicably frayed edges, missing buttons, and ripped seams, and altogether I find it quite disheartening. That said, I do like to buy my key pieces – jeans, plain t-shirts, jumpers, etc – from high street stores, because we can all wear these things differently. If I am ever conscious of looking like a clone, I would much rather go for second-hand.

‘Second-hand’ can cover two areas; charity/thrift shops, or ‘vintage’ shops. I am also acutely aware of value for money when it comes to these two areas of retail, obviously through being a bit of a thrifting fiend, and having a sister who owned her own vintage clothing business. I’ve seen more warehouses than I can count; inspected wholesale bundles a-plenty and generally sifted through the crap, and I’m always on to a rip-off. This time around, I’m going to share with you my best new purchases of the recent month, and as ever compile a list of do’s, don’ts, how to’s and why’s, so that you might find your own good quality bargains. We’re going to focus primarily on charity shops, of course, but I’ll also be indicating where tips can seep into the vintage business too, since I feel the line between the two business sectors are blurring.

Finding what you’re looking for

As per your household/decorative items, it’s advisable to work out what you want before you leave the house. Are you going somewhere? Is it a formal do? Fancy dress? Do you need to be weather-conscious (i.e. cardigans vs sun dresses?) It’s worth being aware that charity shops (and vintage shops) set themselves out differently, so knowing what you have in mind is paramount. I’ve never worked out what my merchandising preference is, so I’ll roll with my gut and say that it’s dependant on what I’m looking for. If I know I want a new dress but I don’t mind what colour it is, then I’ll prefer shops that set themselves out by category; dresses, coats, jackets, jeans & trousers, shorts & skirts, and so on. That means that I can look through all the dresses they have at once, and compare my options easily.

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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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A Hippy, Eco & Vintage Styled Shoot

This beautiful shoot with an eco hippy vibe tugs at my heart strings. Isn’t it just beautiful!? I die over the summery details – the coloured glass, the cute props (owls for the win!), the yummy confectionery and the stunning florals.

Photographer  Nikita Gross used digital, Holga and Polaroid photography to capture the whimsical and retro vibe of these shoot…and I’d say she’s done that perfectly! “We used tons of yellows and greens to keep with the natural vibe,” she explains. “All of the decor was found at local thrift stores.  Earlier this year myself and Jen Pritchard of Your Wedding by Jen created Cincinnati’s first Alternative wedding Expo, Love+Bash.  This is one of the table concepts from the show.”

Now excuse me, I’m off to lie in the sunshine and dream of this photo shoot…

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A Kitschy, Quirky, Vintage Wedding

Warning: this post has a hell load of photographs and I ain’t going to apologise for that. I literally couldn’t cut them down! I am so excited about Lindsey & Adriano’s wedding I can hardly contain myself. The gorgeous bride and her musician husband had a beautiful and quirky vintage-themed wedding at Farbridge, West Sussex.

“Our inspiration was easy we just collected things we love and are interested in,” the bride told me. “I love all things vintage because I love that it has history and seems to have so much more personality than many modern things. I find that vintage things were made to last and made with care and skill unlike most things today are made to be disposable and are not designed to last. I wanted our day also to have lots of elements of fun so I came up with the idea of an ice cream sundae bar so guests could be kids again, make a mess and choose whatever topping they wanted! We also bought a kiss-o-meter for a bit of fun, it was from an American site and was from the 60’s. In the reception barn at Farbridge they also had a projector. One of my favourite films is Cinema Paradiso, there is a scene at the end of the film which is called the kissing scene which features lots of kisses from famous old black and white films. We played this scene on repeat on the the projector to add another dimension to the room. We had a wedding cocktail which we served in jam jars and bought some quirky straws too.All these things were good talking points for the guests and added elements of fun and interaction.”

Lindsey wore a vintage dress that she found online at The Vintage Bride. The American site was the first place the bride visited when deciding on what she wanted to do for the wedding and after seeing the beautiful, one of a kind gowns she was sold on the theme. “Finding a dress was one of the first steps I took in beginning to organise our wedding. I first looked on the web and found this site, fell in love with the dress and bought it. A bit risky but the lady who runs the site, Rosie, says that if your dress is not right she will give a full refund which is quite unusual for an online site. So I took the risk. It arrived in a beautiful box tied with a big pink ribbon and it was  quite magical moment to open up revealing my dress for the first time, perfectly wrapped including a lovely lavender scented parcel. It was love at first sight.”

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A Kitschy, Quirky, Vintage Wedding

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Warning: this post has a hell load of photographs and I ain't going to apologise for that. I literally couldn't cut them down! I am so excited about Lindsey & Adriano's wedding I can hardly contain myself. The gorgeous bride and her musician husband had a beautiful and quirky vintage-themed wedding at Farbridge, West Sussex. "Our inspiration was easy we just collected things we love and are interested in," the bride told me. "I love all things vintage because I love that it has history and seems to have so much more personality than many modern things. I find that vintage things were made to last and made with care and skill unlike most things today are made to be disposable and are not designed to last. I wanted our day also to have lots of elements of fun so I came up with the idea of an ice cream sundae bar so guests could be kids again, make a mess and choose whatever topping they wanted! We also bought a kiss-o-meter for a bit of fun, it was from an American site and was from the 60's. In the reception barn at Farbridge they also had a projector. One of my favourite films is Cinema Paradiso, there is a scene at the end of the film which is called the kissing scene which features lots of kisses from famous old black and white films. We played this scene on repeat on the the projector to add another dimension to the room. We had a wedding cocktail which we served in jam jars and bought some quirky straws too.All these things were good talking points for the guests and added elements of fun and interaction."

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