Consider this my DIY resume. I wanted to show you what qualifies me as a “DIY Bride” by sharing some of the details we DIYed for our wedding. There was no way I could possibly fit everything into one post so here’s the highlights. I will be posting tutorials for some of these very soon but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask!
I wanted bespoke invitations but didn’t want to blow half the budget on paper! I designed all of these myself using my WACOM tablet and then my sister in law helped me do the fine tuning in Photoshop.
My Mum and I hand dried all of our confetti from flowers we picked from the gardens. It’s incredibly easy so long as you have some space, time and patience. Find out how we did it here.
I was incredibly lucky with my dress as my step-mum is a costume designer and generally lovely lady so she volunteered to make my dress for me. My sister in law did my makeup and a family friend did our hair.
I lost count of how many decorations we made. Every detail and decoration was done wither by us or family and friends. We made hung about 10km of ribbon, cut over 1000 paper flowers, sewed 3km of paper circle garlands and hand folded 50 paper fan wheels. On top of this my husband made DIY festoon lighting and my Dad made our beautiful centerpieces which were filled by Jenny Fleur.
We wanted to have garden games with our ice cream dessert but didn’t want to have to pay to hire it so my husband made Giant Kerplunk and Corn Toss. They were so popular and great fun.
I fell in love with a Rosalind Miller cake they posted on Instagram but when I saw it up close in Harrods I was actually underwhelmed. I decided I could do better and so made approximately 200 sugar flowers and leaves which I then hand painted and a friend painted foliage on the middle layer. The layers I baked were carrot cake, victoria sponge and mint choc chip.
I hate all of the conventional wedding drinks but I love cocktails. So we had cocktails! I concocted recipes for 6 different cocktails which included making my own herb syrups, peach lemonade and cherry liqueur. I also made four different flavoured gins over the year – the lychee and lemongrass one was particularly popular. We also had to provide our own glasses at our venue so we designed stickers to make mason jars into favors and killed two birds with one stone.
Our table plan was a complete labour of love – individually weaving ribbon into a wire frame is no easy task. The chalkboard signs were much more simple and it’s really easy to get great results without paying the world for custom signs. My husband made our light up bar sign and I hand embroidered a hoop for our cake.
I’d seen test tube chandeliers on Pinterest and instantly knew I had to have them. Turns out they’re a lot harder to make than you’d expect. My Dad made these by fixing 6 branches together then drilling holes for test tubes. My Mum and sister in law then filled them with wild foraged flowers and the results were spectacular.
I couldn’t believe the prices people were charging for simple things like place cards and ribbon wands. Rather than compromise I decided to do them myself so we made 30 ribbon wands, 100 wooden place card holders, I hand painted and wrote every place card, pimped up a photo frame and cart for our page boy and flower girl with second hand fake flowers and one hell of a lot of hot glue.
I couldn’t have done any of this without my incredible friends and family. My advice to any DIY bride is to play to your strengths and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Know your limitations and always have fun.
PHOTOGRAPHY – Jessica Raphael
FLOWERS – Jenny Fleur
YURT – Cheltenham Yurt Company
HAIR VINE – Lucie Green Bridal
BRIDESMAID DRESSES – Ghost Fashion