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DIY Devotee

This week it’s a short but sweet collection of paper and lace DIY’s from around the interweb showing just how versatile these budget beauties can be 🙂

I’m totally in love with the lanterns as a slightly more modern take on poms – I can see these looking very contemporary with clean styling and a colour palettes of toning brights…

*Orange Yellow and Peach lanterns, Martha Stewart, Doily Bunting, EmmalineBride.com, Doily Table Runners, EmmalineBride.com.

For a more rustic affair, I’ve picked out two different takes on doilies. First up, the traditional lace kind, sewn together to make runners – a really rustic vintage addition to tables, particularly long trestles, although I can totally see these re-worked for a round table set up too.

And for what must be the cheapset bunting ever, that still looks really sweet and could be made in any colour, how about using paper doilies strung together in this super simple DIY?

Are you DIY-ing this weekend folks?

Yours Truly,


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Clean, Scottish and Stylish… Part 2

So it’s time to share part 2 of this stunning wedding, crisp, clean and very cool. We love.

And in this part you get to see the second dancing dress, (with cool shoe change too!) all the reception finishing touches and some simply beautiful photography.

Bring. It. On.

Stylish Photography

Our photographers were Christina and Jay from Elemental Weddings We had spotted them from another wedding they had photographed at our venue and booked them on the spot.

We had an engagement shoot last August so we could meet them before the wedding and feel a bit more relaxed about the photos.

We needn’t have worried as Christina and Jay are amazing and we cannot recommend them highly enough. They made us feel immediately at ease and you can tell how passionate they are about their work.

Reception in a Cow shed!

The reception venue was Kinkell Byre just outside St Andrews which is basically a posh cow shed! It was one of the first venues we saw and we knew it was the one for us – the stone work and oak barrels have rustic charm and the view over St Andrews Bay is one of my favourites.

Sandy who owns Kinkell Byre was so helpful with many aspects of arranging the day. Stevie at i-light productions arranged the lighting and spent considerable time with us making sure our cakes and centrepieces were properly lit. His work really brings the venue to life.

For the centrepieces, we had spotted large volcanic looking bowls which we wanted to plant up with a variety of succulents and tillandsias. We did this a few weeks before the wedding (again it was useful that Steve’s dad is a gardener!) We also had several white cascading phalaenopsis placed on the oak barrels.

Our caterer was Tania Dixon from Ginger Snap who also sourced all the cater hire and was very professional, and the food was excellent. We had an evening buffet of Simple Simon pies who are located in Biggar.

Decor Designs

I had sourced silver birch trees on e-bay in January. I had visions of lovely leafiness but the reality was they looked pretty stick like for quite some time! Thankfully the warm spring weather did it’s thing and we had leaves on our sticks on the day.

I had spent the evenings making a ridiculous amount of pom poms (120 to be precise) which we were going to hang from the beams in the byre. When we actually saw the byre again in the flesh we realised this was not going to be an easy feat as the beams were far higher than we had anticipated. As I’d made and ‘fluffed’ the poms, Steve had the job of climbing a very tall ladder and throwing nylon thread over the beams to hang them. We decided it was better to have the groom in one piece than more pom poms hung!

Our save the dates and invitations were made by a friend of Steve’s who owns a series of vintage printing presses. Some of the fonts on our invitation are over 100 years old and the volcano block print featured was hand cut for us.

I started making the pebble place names in October with pebbles collected from Elie beach. Our tables were named after volcanoes we have either both or individually visited; Eyjafjallajökull, Mount Fuji, Pacaya, Tungurahua, Villarrica, Popocatéptl, and Ixtaccíhuatl.

A Cake Table

We had looked into various options for wedding cake all of which seemed crazily expensive. One Saturday in St Andrews we noticed a new cake shop that had opened called Bibi’s Bakery and we met Jenni. She is the most lovely lady and was so enthusiastic about ideas that we had. I knew I wanted to have a cake table with a selection of cakes for our guests to choose from rather than dessert.

We had a tasting session and chose several large sponges: Raspberry and Vanilla, Chocolate, Earl Grey, Coffee chocolate, Lemon, Chocolate and Pear, Chocolate peanut butter and animal cupcakes for the kids (penguin, polar bear, tiger and dog!) The cake domes were sourced online. The silver knife and cake server were both given to me as gifts for my 30th from my close girlfriends.

I had also sourced online very big round balloons which we filled with helium and tied with bakers twine – some of our guests had a lot of fun with those later in the night! During the tying process Stevie accidentally let go of one of the balloons and it floated way up out of reach into the rafters. Sandy (the byre owner) thought it would be fun to shoot it down but thankfully it was retrieved without a gun shot being fired!

Swinging Fever

Callanish provided our evening entertainment with a selection of celtic and contemporary music and we can’t recommend them enough. They also left their sound system so we could plug in our ipod for later.

For our first dance we had secretly attended swing dance classes for a few months last year. Usually when we were on our way to class someone would call (usually Steve’s mum) and I had to make something up (usually that we were on the way to the supermarket). Needless to say, now when we are actually on the way to the supermarket she doesn’t believe us. We attended a swing dance aerial’s workshop and latterly arranged a private lesson with Ben and Helen who don’t normally choreograph dances but since we knew a few moves they arranged something for us including a couple of the knicker flashing aerials we had learnt! The music was At the Woodchoppers ball.

Alison Kirk in Perth was where the shorter of the two bridesmaids dress’ was from. It was a teal Dessy dress and I loved the 1950s shape so much so that I opted for the same style in white for my surprise 2nd evening dress – in snow white. The staff at Alison Kirk were so lovely and Laura who did the alterations was fantastic. The high spike heels did prove problematic when walking across grass to the ceremony and of course these shoes were not made for dancing! So the shoes of choice for the evening were grey and red converse all stars (girls slim fit).

Scandophile Favours

For favours, we decided as Scandophiles to celebrate Walpurgis Night (30th April) by setting off wish lanterns at the break in the dancing. The pebble place names were also taken home by our guests as a memento.

Advice from a Bride

For quite a bit of the day it was pretty surreal and the best way I can describe it is like being in a film. I thought I would feel very nervous walking down the ‘aisle’ and also thought I would cry saying my vows as they were very honest and heartfelt, but I actually felt very strong through the whole experience.

Our wedding didn’t really follow any theme other than things we like, although I suppose there was a strong volcanic element! To be honest it was our guests who made the day so special – we only had 50 guests but everyone was either close family or friends who we really wanted to be there.

Things will always happen that change your plans for one reason or another. My close friend who was to be a bridesmaid fell pregnant and was due to give birth a week after our wedding. She had to step down as bridesmaid on her midwife’s advice and it was touch and go whether she would actually make the wedding at all. I was overwhelmed when she managed to not only make the wedding but dance the gay gordons and party until well after the meal. It’s moments like that that make you realise what good friends you have. The effort our band made into making our ceremony very personal to us by agreeing to form for the day and learn and arrange songs for us meant so much and really made the ceremony.

The day passed so quickly and advice given to us was very true – that you need to take a step back every now and again through the day and take it all in. The times the two of you have together alone are also very special and one of my favourite parts of the day was having some photographs taken with my husband just after the ceremony.

Source things online and DIY if you can – it saves a remarkable amount of cash.
Stick with your instincts. Your head can be turned by lots of beautiful weddings on wedding blogs which can make you feel inadequate. Remember the day is about you and your husband and a party with friends. Keep it personal and it will work.

Photography – Christina and Jay from Elemental Weddings

Venue – Kinkell Byre

Entertainment – Callanish

Second Dress – Dessy at Alison Kirk

Swing dance classes – Zoot Swing

Lighting – i-light productions

Caterer – Ginger Snap

Pies – Simple Simon pies

Cake – Bibi’s Bakery

Wedding Car – 1960 Mercury Montclair owned by Jim at Rock and Roll Motors in Bo’Ness!

It’s going to be a long time until another wedding knocks this off my top spot!

Tell us your favourite bit…

Yours Truly,


You can find Elemental Photography on The Love Lust List, however, all real weddings are chosen on individual merit and no part of this post is sponsored.

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Windswept Beauty and the Mermaids… Part 1

Since I first saw this wedding I have wanted it. Coveted it.

For months we waited patiently while Cara and Nye bonded with their new arrivals. They knew it was perfectly us. We knew it was perfectly them. And for no-one was it more perfect than Sophie and Glenn.

Sophie and Glenn were married on 17th August 2010 at Crear, in Argyll Scotland.

I think this is the most perfect wedding I have ever laid my eyes upon.

Feathery Gorgeousness

I didn’t want a traditional white wedding dress as although I did try some traditional white ones on, none felt right-so I scoured the internet for an evening dress (Glenn and I met on an internet dating site, I sourced most of my wedding from the internet!)

After many attempts I eventually found the Tadashi feathery Gown on the Bloomingdales Website in America, and loved it at first sight- But as nowhere in England stocks Tadashi Shoji (A Japanese Designer) I had to have it shipped from a store in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, slightly risky but luckily it was a risk worth taking! (It also went on a round-the-world trip after getting caught up in the Ash Cloud but luckily arrived in time to get it altered to fit!)

Gemstone beauties

I searched Etsy, the online craft/arts store, and discovered Melanie in Massachusetts , who trades under the name ‘LittleLuxury Boutique‘ she handcrafts unique jewellery using beautiful gemstones.

She handmade me a bracelet and matching drop earrings which she describes as ‘soft brown, champagne and beige gemstones, with metallic-lustered teal peacock freshwater pearls for a bold and beautiful accent of color against a neutral backdrop. Gemstones include: andalusite ,champagne citrine, gold rutilated quartz and green topaz’.

I also wore a Pearl and Ivy vintage inspired feathered headband, which had vibrant blue and green tones, offsetting t the neutral champagne colour of the dress.

Blue Balls

My shoes were a pair of Vivienne Westwood Melissa Globe Shoes, neutral/champagne colour with an oversize bright blue globe balanced on the top!

(Heeled slingback shoes featuring peep toe design).Very comfortable, scented rubber-good enough to eat,fun, reasonable cost, can wear again and wow factor all rolled into one!

Windswept Beauty

I did my own makeup, using Bobbi Brown products.

I booked the hairdresser over the phone She was a local girl, who I hadn’t met, (but who had been recommended!) However… she turned up with green festival dreadlocks, a hangover and had obviously trained at the Edward Scissorhand School of Hairdressing… All I can say, is I’m very grateful it was a windy day and the ceremony was outside as my hair was atrocious! (Oh and the satin ribbon blew off my dress in the wind too but c’est la vie!)

Eyes like the Sea

Glenn wore a soft brown suit with off-white shirt and silk champagne tie. He wore the buttonhole I made for him (champagne ostrich feathers and a peacock feather) complimented perfectly by his eyes.

(Bit cheesy I know – but he has eyes the colour of a stormy Irish sea, which was the first thing I noticed about him when we met – awwww.)

Maid Bargains

The young bridesmaids (who were my daughter Poppy and Glenn’s daughter Leah), fared slightly better! Despite the hairdresser being possibly the worst hairdresser in Scotland, I remained remarkably calm-probably because I knew there was no-one in a thirty mile radius who could have stepped in to help, so just had an extra glass of sangria (or two!)

The young bridesmaids (flower girl?) dresses were Nicole Farhi prom dresses, which a local dressmaker miniaturized for me to fit our two young daughters. (I found them on Ebay for 50 pounds the pair though originally they were 500 pounds each!!) I didn’t have a traditional colour scheme- as in one or two colours, instead, I chose a neutral base- champagne/ bronze/, cappuccino/ vintage coffee, and added complimentary hues/tones in teals/ purple/lavenders.

It was more about tones, soft hues with flashes of colour –actually inspired from the landscape/seascape in Argyll –the first time we saw Crear for the first time the year previously in Autumn, the sea, the heather, the hills.

Groomsmen (my brother Hamish gave me away, and Glenn’s brother John was best-man) wore suits/ties of their choice and wore one of the feathered buttonholes I had made to tie them in.

Creating at Crear

The venue is called ‘Crear, space to create. If we couldn’t create it ourselves we sourced it from an artist who could!

We hung up over 40 paper pompoms in the venue (which I sourced from Etsy, (Portland Oregon this time!) I had spent the day before the wedding making them up as they all arrived flat packed and needed frilly-ing up!

Fantastical, Unique Photography

Cara and Nye, aka Lillian and Leonard were our Photographers. We saw photographs they had taken at a previous wedding at Crear, so hunted out their website and just knew that they were perfect for us. Also their reportage style of photography was ideal, as neither of us like posed formal shots, and were trying to avoid the typical wedding photos.

On the Wedding day itself (and subsequently) Glenn and I were bowled over by Cara and Nye; their delightful company, honesty, (diplomacy and tact!), sincerity, talent, calming influence, professionalism, creativity, hard work and effort. We are both overjoyed with the photo’s needless to say!

Photography – Lillian and Leonard

Venue – Crear

Gown – Tadashi Shoji

Bracelet and Earrings – ‘LittleLuxury Boutique

Feathered Headband – Pearl and Ivy

Buttonholes – Brides DIY, made of Fishing feathers.

Piper – Iain Campbell T 01546 603152.

Poms – Etsy

Despite every ounce of chic, unique and DIY style you see here, it is nothing compared to tomorrow’s instalment.

There will be mermaids, and they are so beautiful you will DIE.

Yours Truly,


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Planning Punts, Pies and Poms… Part 2

Welcome back and consider today’s wedding your daily dose of sunshine. Perfect for planning week this bride created stunning DIY decor and the reception food, entertainment and vibe were exactly what they wanted. A real ‘their day their way‘ wedding mixing traditional elements with a relaxed bohemian reception.


Relaxed Photography

Our photographer was Simon Carr.

We knew that Simon was the ideal photographer for us as soon as we sat down with him for a chat and saw some of his previous albums which were incredible. We loved his relaxed and natural style and his stunning photos really reflect the atmosphere of the day.

Neither Andrew or I like being in front of a camera, and he managed to put us both at ease. Needless to say, we absolutely love the results.

Flower Fabulous

The chapel itself didn’t really need decorating, so we opted for a single large statement arrangement near the altar.

For the marquee, we used a mix of soft flowers in shades picked out from the fabric that we used for the napkins and bunting, all arranged in jam jars that we collected (or pinched from our neighbours’ recycling boxes) over the months leading up to the wedding.

Although I knew roughly what I wanted for the marquee, our florist, Jamie Aston, really brought those ideas to life and they surpassed my expectations on the day.

Custom Cake

Andrew’s mum made our delicious cake, which was inspired by one we found in a book by Lindy Smith. The layers were lemon, carrot and chocolate sponge, so there was something for everyone.

The cake topper was custom made for us by Hillary from “Bunny With a Tool Belt” on Etsy, and is now a lovely memento of the day.

Giving Favours

We were inspired by previous weddings that we’d been to to make a contribution to a charity as part of the day. We opted for Oxfam Unwrapped wedding favours which let us give each guest something worthwhile, and to some extent to match a gift to the guest.

Lantern Lovely

One thing we realised about having a marquee is that it involves a lot of extra work. We were there for most of the day before and after the wedding, and only got everything ready with the help of our amazing friends, family and suppliers.

We opted for a traditional canvas marquee from Simpers, which set the tone for a more rustic style for the reception. We picked up on this by keeping the tables fairly plain, using plain muslin which we folded to create simple table runners – very affordable compared to hiring linen. We decided to use yellow alongside the green for the reception, and I found Heather Bailey’s ‘Pop Garden’ fabric range which I used to sew bunting and napkins for each guest using all of the different designs rather than trying to be too co-ordinated.

Our main decoration came from coloured paper lanterns and poms which we strung across the marquee. My thanks go to Rock My Wedding and Jung Lee’s fantastic book for those ideas. I’ve got our friends to thank for how well they turned out though, as we had to dash to our rehearsal and leave them to hang them!

As it was mid-summer, we didn’t need to worry too much about lighting, but for the evening we used a mix of mercurised glass candlesticks, tea lights and tiny LEDs in a few of the paper lanterns that we suspended from the ceiling to offset four uplights in each of the marquee corners. The path from the marquee to the gate was lit with candles in paper bags which looked so pretty after dark.

As a conversation starter we created mini play-doh games inspired by the board game Rapidough. We stuck a little sticker inside the lid of each pot of play-doh with a couple of modelling challenges written on each one. Unfortunately the pen rubbed off a few resulting in a “fetish penguin” among others! The best model of the day was an immaculately modelled computer with keyboard, mouse and all.

Instead of place cards, we made created tags which we hung from the chairs with ribbon. Our guests had a choice of meal, so we rubber-stamped a picture on each tag to remind our guests of their pie choice.

Food and Games

Instead of the standard wedding breakfast fare, our caterers were Pieminister Pies. Pieminister is an institution in Bristol, where we live, so it was great to have them come all of the way to Cambridge. We were able to give our guests the choice of four delicious pies which were served with mash, peas and ‘groovy’. We didn’t worry about starters, and instead opted for substantial canapes, which were all sourced from independent suppliers, including the amazing ‘bread egg boxes’. Pieminister’s team went above and beyond to make sure that the whole evening ran smoothly.

We set up a volleyball net which was incredibly popular after dinner and meant that lots of our guests could get involved in the same game.

We also booked the brilliant band Happy Hour, who got everyone on the dance floor once the sun had gone down. I can’t recommend them more highly.

They also learned “A Crazy Little Thing Called Love” for our first dance – Andrew and I went to some swing dance classes before the wedding so that we had a few moves, although I hadn’t really anticipated how difficult it would be to dance in such a full skirt!

Advice from a Bride

So, my only advice would be not to worry about keeping everything too themed or matching and simply do what feels right at the time. Also, enjoy planning all those little details – you’ll miss it when it’s all done!

Photographer – Simon Carr

Ceremony – Trinity College, Cambridge

Marquee – Simpers

Cake Topper – Bunny with a tool belt on Etsy.

Pies – Pieminster, Bristol.

Canape Boxes – The Thoughtful Bread Company

Band – Happy hour

Poms – DIY (Pom tutorial on Rock My Wedding here.)

Gorgeous, gorgeous marquee. I’ve got a real thing for hanging decor at weddings – it’s so effective and pretty and this zingy colour palette just makes summer jump of the page right at you.

Are you making poms or using hanging decor in your planning?

Yours Truly,