Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

I love the idea of starting new traditions. I’d love an idea I had to pass down through time. And above all I love vintage jewellery – so these bridal brooch bouquets are a combination of all thesew things – not only timeless, stunning and original, but will pass down the generations.

Anna Hardy recently photographed the wedding of Dawn & John (above), where Dawn had made her own bouquet, and fabric versions for her bridesmaids.

A few weeks ago we told you about MadeNew jewellery who use old brooches, pendants and charms to make gorgeous necklaces, bracelets and accessories. Well, Fancy Pants Weddings have written an amazing tutorial to take you step by step through creating your own bouquet.

There are loads of places to get these old brooches from if you don’t have 50-85 hanging around. Car boot sales are an amazing resource – though it does involve getting up early on a Sunday morning. A couple of visits should get you enough for one bouquet.

I really can’t imagime how brides planned wedding before the internet – just have a look and there are some amazing ideas out there to inspire – In particular, Rock’n’RollBride. Just remember to mix and match to make your wedding day how you want it, to represent your characters, not just a carbon copy of magazines.


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Shoot it yourself – well, maybe not you, but an usher or reliable friend could do it.

A little point-and-shoot camera may not be the best quality, but the people at Shoot it Yourself (as seen on Dragons Den last week) have thought of that. They rent you the quality stuff you’ll need,give you the know-how and top tips for how to shoot the wedding, and they’ll even edit it for you afterward. Hows that for a plan!

There will be no difficulty in getting your groom’s mates to volunteer once they hear about the top of the range Sony Handicams – Just don’t let them drint too much or your Nan may need to take over… It will be great having a video shot in your style, with personal touches and get away from a stuffy montage. You will be much more chilled out with your mates behing the camera that it will be a more natural feel, and makes the day, and the lasting memories better for you!

So what are the Shoot it Yourself top tips for your DIY wedding video? Well here are just 5 for starters:

  1. Don’t waste time on filming details like table decorations or flowers – the photographer will have these covered. Focus on getting fun interviews and personal messages from friends and family, these are what the bride and groom will want to remember 20 years from now.
  2. Make the most of your up close and personal access to the bride and groom; for example you can film them getting ready with their parties in the morning, complete with pre-wedding jitters! They are sure to be more relaxed with you behind the camera, so don’t worry about asking them how they’re feeling or if they have any messages for their other halves before they walk down the aisle.
  3. Have a look for examples of good videos online; there are plenty of good ideas you could organise, like group sing-a-longs, which people always love to get involved in! Weddings do involve a lot of standing around and drinking so take the opportunity to film some comedy action shots!
  4. Why not set up a video diary room at the reception for after the speeches? There are usually a few hours to kill before the First Dance and people are already feeling a bit tipsy. Put the camera on a tripod in a spare room and direct people to leave their tops tips for a successful marriage to the bride and groom.
  5. Filming is the easy part; it’s often editing the video that is people’s downfall! Look to the pros for the finishing touches that will make your video stand out. Shoot It Yourself use the latest editing software to incorporate personalised graphics, contemporary music and special effects to turn your precious day of filming into a YouTube masterpiece.

And if you want to ask guests to contribute towards the cost, add it onto your wedding gift list

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Plants in glass jars

We love this creative and cheap favour idea from Daisy & Ben via Emma Case Photography.

Loads of plants self seed, creating more little plants than you can handle and spreading halfway across your garden, or your parents, or neighbours… Get them to plant up herbs, flowers or any spare seedlings into clean jars of various shapes and sizes and coordinate them by tying a ribbon round the neck. Et Voila!

Image via Emma Case Photography

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We are now in the throws of wedding fayre season. There are so many it is hard to know which will be the best for you…

Many hotels host wedding fayes in low season so you can go and look at local venues and meet local vendors (great to know the vendors are close by and so cutting down on those wedding-miles!)

The great thing about these fayres is that you meet lots of vendors all in one fell swoop, saving you time searching the web or the yellow pages – and the services they provide can also save you time, but at a cost.

What about if you want to make the invites, sew the bridemaids dresses, bake the cupcake tower and arrange the flowers? If you have the time (and are well organised) there is nothing stopping you – but you may want some expert advice on how to go about it and get some inspiration.

Well, there is now a wedding fayre dedicated to all things handmade and will be held in Truro this Sunday 6th Feb. Styled as an afternoon tea event, including bubbly, there will be hourly how-to workshops to give you ideas and expert crafting advice, as well as being able to meet lots of local designer-makers with fresh ideas for making your wedding unique. For more details check out the Handmade Wedding Fayre Facebook page.

And if you can’t get to Cornwall then lets hope we can pursuade some creative types to start expanding the idea to other areas of the country. In the meantime check out some DIY wedding ideas and save time by being super organised with an online wedding to-do-list.

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Here are some ideas for fresh and delicious summer drinks to serve to your wedding guests. These cooling beverages are just as easy to make in small quantities as large – so if you are just having a summer garden party or a large wedding reception, you can get stuck into making scrummy welcome drinks for your guests:

Homemade Ginger Beer – serves 8
1/2 tsp yeast
1 lemon – juice and rind
2tbsp grated root ginger
1 cup sugar
2l bottle

Add all the ingredients to a 2l bottle (an empty lemonade bottle works perfectly – but make sure it has a sturdy lid. many water bottles have short lids which have a tendancy to pop off when the pressure gets too high) and add a couple of cups of water. Shake well until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the bottle to about 2″ below the top, put the lid on really tight and leave the bottle somewhere warm for a couple of days or until the bottle goes rock solid. To stop the fermenting, pop the bottle into the fridge to chill. You will need to be really careful when you open the bottle that it doesn’t fiz everywhere… When you are ready to serve, strain the liquid into glasses with ice and garnish with slices of lime, or sprigs of mint.

If you want to make lashings and lashings of ginger beer for summer adventures, then buy those large waterbottles from the supermarket and multiply the ingredients in proportion to their size. You may need to leave more than 2″ space at the top to allow for more expansion.

Raspberry lemonade
The easiest way to do this is just to crush handfulls of raspberries and add to bought-lemonade. Add a few whole raspberries per glass for garnish.

As usual, my mum is the absolute authority on all things homemade and recipes. Here are two scruptious drinks I remember from my early days…

Basic lemonade
This recipe isn’t fizzy but delicious non-the-less. It makes a cordial that is much easier to transport to the reception venue and then add chilled water & ice.
1.5 lb sugar
1/2 oz citric acid & 1 tsp /tartaric acid  (get them from your local chemist)
Put into a large basin and add 3 pts boiling water. Stir well until sugar has melted
Add juice of 3 lemons + strips of rind from 2. Leave overnight, strain & bottle

You can sterilise bottles & lids and keep the cordial in cool cupboard, but it also stores in fridge for a couple of weeks or in washed-out milk cartons in freezer if you want to make it in advance.

Elderflower Cordial
The smell of the elderflowers in hedgerows at this time of year is overpowering. Pick a few flower heads to make a delicious alternative (a lot cheaper than) ‘Green Bottle’
3lb sugar
2pts boiling water
2oz citric acid
2 medium lemons sliced
stir well until sugar has melted, then stir in 20 large young elderflower heads (shake to release any insects!). Leave overnight, strain & bottle. Storage as per the lemonade above.

To sterilise bottles to keep the cordials in if you are making in advance: Simply wash glass bottles and their lids really well and put in boiling water. After a few minutes place them on a baking tray in the oven to get rid of any germs. Take them out and leave to cool before pouring the cordial in.

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When prioritising what you want to spend your money on for your wedding, little extras such as favours make a nice touch, but can often be just done for the sake of it, spending money on something with little thought. So here are some ideas for thoughful and personal gifts that cost less than £1 per guest:

Sew little fabric bags for each person for them to fill up at a candy bar during the reception (use left over fabric that has been sitting at your mum’s house since you were 5). Sew the persons name onto the bag, or add a luggage tag, and it can double up as a place card. Borrow storage jars of different sizes from friends, or search for them on freecycle, then visit the local cash & carry to fill them with different types of sweets – it makes a really colourful display. (Image above via Amy Atlas Events, NYC)
Time per favour: 15mins
Cost per favour: 5p for fabric, 2p for luggage label, 50p for sweets

Is your mother-in-law-to-be green fingered? Ask her to plant bulbs in little pots for each guest. A couple of narcissus bulbs would be perfect. The plant-tag with care instructions sticking in the soil can double as a name card. You will probably need a roll of sandwich bags available for guests to carry it home without spilling soil everywhere…
When the plant flowers later in the year (and every year after that) they will remember you both and your fabulous day.
Time per favour: 15mins
Cost per favour: 50p for mini plant-pot, 30p for bulbs, 5p for label

Home-made with love: For domestic goddesses, consider a homemade favour. If the thought of a weekend in the kitchen sounds like bliss, then why not make a batch of fruit jam for your wedding guests? Buy mini jam jars from www.freemanharding.co.uk, and add a handwritten label. (Or if you are uber organised, ask friends to collect up all their glass jars for the months before the wedding)
Time per favour: 15mins
Cost per favour: 5op for fruit, 2op for jar tops, 5p for labels

Give a charity donation of  £1 on behalf of every person – print them each a little card telling them which charity. If you have time you could make it one that is specific to them, or theme it around each table. Again, the little card can double up as a name placecard (see a theme developing here?)
Cost per favour: £1

Seed cards – a little book of 10 plantable forget me not seeds – 10 books for £9.99 – from Confetti.co.uk. Or you can get personalised ones – 50 for £39.99 – so if you know you have 100 guests it actually saves you money. If you have 90 guests, or 130, then the extras you could send to relatives or friends who couldn’t make it on the day along with their thank you card. They will feel so loved and appreciate the thought…much easier than sending cake to put under their pillow!
Cost per favour: Max 99p

Mini paper bags and cones are so easy to make – save £’s by making them rather than paying £1 each for fancy boxes and then having to pay on top for the contents… fill them with sweets, confetti, rose petals, chocolate, love hearts… you are only limited by your imagination.
To make a mini paper bag, get a book about the same size as the bag you want, wrap the paper (colourful, or in your theme colours) around the book as if wrapping a present, but leave one end open. Ta Da! Tape a little string/ribbon handle on the inside if required.
Time per bag: 5 mins (max!)
Cost per favour: 2p for paper, 5-10p for handle, 50 for contents…

Try to make the favour personal to you as a couple, or to fit with the theme of the day to make guests remember it, and to show them your appreciation for their presence (and presents!)

What other ideas have you come up with? Or which will you be doing? Leave us a comment below…

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…and make it!

The idea of DIY weddings can counjour up a wide range of images – but from  full courses to online tutorials there are places out there designed to help you create a stylish and top-quality DIY day, from making your own simple favours & invitations to a full blown wedding dress or 4 tier cake.

A tiered wedding cake can cost form £300 to as much as £1000 – If you are embracing your wedding as a chance to learn some more skills then a course in sugar-craft or cake decorating could be for you.

The tiered wedding cake:

Couture cake company Little Venice Cake Company are offering a weekend masterclass for brides (or potential cake-craftspeople) to learn the craft of decorating a 4 tiered cake. The company have designed cakes for Cheryl Cole, Madonna and the Queen.

The course, on 21st and 22nd August, is highly intimate, with just 4 people, and attendees will learn from the founder of LVCC, Mich Turner, how to decorate the cake from start to finish, including decorating techniques. Only the bottom tier will be made of actual fruit cake (the other three being polystyrene ‘dummy tiers’ but if you want to do the course just a couple of weeks before the big day you can request to do the course directly onto rich fruit cakes.

For £650 attendees will be provided with all equipment, refreshments throughout and a nice glass of champagne at the end of the two days to celebrate their fantastic achievements! As well as taking home the cake…


A big trend in weddings currently is for individual cup-cakes rather than a more traditional fruit cake tier: It can be easier to quantify how many you need, they can double up as dessert for a lower budget affair, and can look modern and striking arranged in a tower.

We all love home-made cake, but creating a delicately crafted topping is another matter! Luckily Fair Cake are on hand to give you all the skills you need. Depending on what you have in mind you can choose from ‘cupcake basics’ (make and decorate cupcakes) or ‘roses and buttercream’ (concentrating on the decorating and techniques).

From just £135 for the day including all equipment and lunch (and a dozen cakes to take home).

Other places to try:


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