Tips for a hand made wedding!

I want to be clear, we didn’t set out to have a themed wedding >.< but after throwing it around as a joke we realised that it felt right! So we created a brief; ‘Wes Anderson meets the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance from Back to the Future’. This meant it ended up having some strong Life Aquatic vibes but we were definitely also inspired by Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel. The theme was important as we referred back to it in all our decision making plus it helped prevent us from falling down the wedding vortex of what you ‘should’ do! So I actually really recommend building your day around a concept!

Wedding suite designed by the Bride, Jacqueline Colley

Wedding suite designed by the Bride, Jacqueline Colley

We started off with a Save the Date which you can see centre top, the inspiration was a vintage ship’s luggage tag; all our guests then thought we were getting married on a boat! The invite came later and was risogrph printed on ‘Candy Pink’ GF Smith Colorplan paper. At the point of designing it we’d really gotten to grips with the concept of being ‘Under the Sea’ and so it clearly illustrates that. Though a lot of our guests still thought we were getting married on a boat! After the Save the Date I made some nautical flags using felt and wonder web which we bought from Abakhan when visiting Manchester. Firstly I designed them in Photoshop based on the colours we had, then I printed everything out as line templates to follow; cut and stick. Lots of ironing later and we had three large pendants. Nathan finished them with some metal tubing and slim rope! You can see me and my mum sat under the third design below. (weird face as I’m picking me teeth!)

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Next we really wanted some 3D decorations so I got to work recycling our take away pizza boxes and the wrappings from our Who gives a Crap toilet roll into Jelly fish! To make the Jellyfish I cut two cardboard shapes that would then be sandwiched together (4 for each jelly) These were painted on one side. Then I used double sided sticky paper to double side the loo roll wrappers for tentacles so that they could be long and sturdy. They were then cut into long strips both straight and wobbly! The tentacles were stuck to the unpainted half of the jelly fish before the two cardboard halves were sandwiched together with a glue gun! Finally I cut a slot halfway up in the bottom of one half and a slot halfway down in the bottom of the other. Before finally slotting them together to make a 3D shape! Hopefully the pictures below make this a tad more clear! Meanwhile Nathan was sticking together and carving layers of polystyrene to make a 3D Shark! Which he then paper mâché-d before we painted it Jaguar shark style!

Steps to making a cardboard and paper painted jellyfish!

Steps to making a cardboard and paper painted jellyfish!

Recycled jellyfish alongside one of our light boxes by Lord and Duplooy

Recycled jellyfish alongside one of our light boxes by Lord and Duplooy

With all these craft projects going on we decided it was time to take a trip to Leylands to pick up some paint which really cemented our colour scheme. We chose colours that we’d already used in the invites plus colours that complemented the streamers that we’d purchased from Party Puffin to create the ‘Waves’ above our heads, after all we were going under the Sea right?! FYI loads of streamers left so if you need some get in touch! ;)

The Colours! Streamer and card swatches on the right

The Colours! Streamer and card swatches on the right

A 3D shark and streamers to create the ‘Waves’ all adds to the Under the Sea feeling!

A 3D shark and streamers to create the ‘Waves’ all adds to the Under the Sea feeling!

Nathan runs a fine art framing business Lord & Duplooy so he started to bring home large sheets of cardboard; the packaging from his acid free papers. Those we started cutting into coral and seaweed shapes as well as seahorses and anchors using the paints to bring them to life! He also made us some bespoke Lightboxes with stands which you can see 3 images above, for those all I did was design some typography and get vinyls printed with Nutmeg Studio

The giant painted cardboard cut out shapes!

The giant painted cardboard cut out shapes!

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Now we are getting close to the big day and there is just a few jobs left; Place names which I decided should be sardine tins! These I designed as you can see above and then got Risograph printed using Medium Blue and Fluorescent Orange! Then I wrote in everyone’s names using a colouring pencil that was a good match for the blue ink!

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Table decorations behind the beautiful ARD Bakery Cake

Table decorations behind the beautiful ARD Bakery Cake

The other job was pretty mammoth and basically went on till very close to the day; paper cutting coral for table decorations, you can see some work in progress above! I also wanted to turn some of them into a bouquet but that didn’t work as they were too flat. But my fave craft blog; House that Lars built came to the rescue with this excellent paper flower bouquet tutorial Luckily I have an excellent ‘everything’ shop near me where I picked up some mouldable wire and pink tissue paper, everything else is printer paper, white tissue and the card we were using for the table decorations! Phew!

Last minute bouquet’s dot com!

Last minute bouquet’s dot com!

So the most important tip for hand making your wedding is give yourselves lots of time! We started making bits about 9 months before the day and just ramped up making more and more the closer and more panicky we got! :D

Also this post got so long that I decided to cover my wedding dress in another post which you can read here and if you want to know all the suppliers we used and helpful websites head here If you’d like to see more I’ve deep dived into my inspiration and work in progress files over on Pinterest

Any thoughts? Pop them in the comments below!

I might do another post with more photos from the day or update this one with more snaps when I get them!

Jacqueline x

London Wedding Suppliers We Loved plus helpful planning websites!

Hey! I’ve put together some of the most helpful websites I came across during our wedding planning, plus a list of all the suppliers we used and loved! I’ve also added in a few suppliers that we didn’t use; perhaps we discovered them afterwards, went in a different direction or they were already booked! Lastly as an independent business I love to support other small indies which bar the top link everyone listed here is; woo hoo!

Custom under the sea theme cake by ARD Bakery

Custom under the sea theme cake by ARD Bakery

Helpful Websites:

We decided not to build a wedding website, instead we used Typeform to collect RSVP’s and peoples dietary requirements you can see ours here, it was free to build and you can download the responses in a spreadsheet which I did and with a quick tidy I sent them to our Caterer!

The invites and save the date I risographed and screen printed which I cover in more depth here but for last minute / small quantities like printing the Table plan which I combined into an A2 poster with the Order of the day I used Printed.com also for bits like the Drink and Food Menus.

Order of the day combined with Table plan and printed A2 x 2 and blu tacked to the wall!

Order of the day combined with Table plan and printed A2 x 2 and blu tacked to the wall!

Most curious Wedding Fair is not just a website but also a brilliant event that I attended in March as our cake designer ARD Bakery was exhibiting and we wanted to take a look around and get inspired! I’m so happy I went as it’s where I found Fi Graham who worked with me to create my bow headpiece for the day! If you can’t attend an event then it’s definitely worth looking through their excellent directory!

Rock n Roll Bride is a great print magazine and website for showing alternative weddings, it was so helpful for us when planning our unconventional wedding to see how other people had ‘broken the mould’ as it helped us to be bold and confident in our choices! I really recommend getting a few print mags to flick through! ;)

I found myself constantly gravitating back to Offbeat Bride as this website covers everything, especially helpful for writing our vows and researching for the right readings.

Pinyatay at Most Curious wedding fair!

Pinyatay at Most Curious wedding fair!

Lovely Suppliers:

Venue: Because we were planning on hand making a lot of wedding scenery and props to decorate the room this venue was perfect for us because A: it’s around the corner from us and B: It’s a pretty black space that you can bring your ideas to without having to wrestle with what’s already there. So The Old Dairy was perfect and James who runs it was super chilled, if you’re looking for a venue in Hackney, it’s a great option especially as they are licensed so you can have the ceremony there too! Goodbye logistics of moving people around!

Photography: This was the second decision we made after venue as honestly good photographers get booked a year or more in advance. But they are totally worth it! I’ve been bowled over by the snaps I’ve seen so far from Tub of Jelly and would recommend them in a heart beat! We went for photos and a short video as after seeing their work it felt crazy not to, plus knowing the effort we were planning to put into our day it felt important to capture it properly! Since doing loads of wedding research I’ve also come across the work of This Modern Revelry who make brilliant videos and are also totally worth checking out!

Caterers: about 40% of our budget went on food as we love to eat and wanted to spoil our friends and family to a three course meal! We got a few quotes which all came in about the same but decided to go with Warburtons as they had catered our friends wedding and done a banging job! I’m so glad we did as Paul is lovely and has the nicest team of people working for him that seemed to be enjoying the day as much as we were they also took a certain relish in getting our guests drunk! ;D

Tub of Jelly took our wedding snaps and we couldn’t be happier!

Tub of Jelly took our wedding snaps and we couldn’t be happier!

Headpiece: As I mentioned earlier I met Fi Graham at MCWF and was so excited to see her beautiful bow headpieces! I decided it was just what I needed to complete my outfit ;) Fi worked really closely with me and I’m so happy with the final result! Honestly it was so light and easy to wear that I forgot it was there!

Hair and Makeup: Katie Coward is the most super chilled expert at all things hair and make up and exactly the person you want to sort out your look before you stand up in front of loads of people! She was recommended through friends of friends who work in the makeup industry and you can tell that she is just brilliant at what she does! Plus doing the trial was totally worth it, as I completely changed my mind! :D

DJ: Gary from Fox and Braces brought some epic tunes! We discussed having an ecclectic set which explored different eras and he totally nailed it! I’d of thought it might have been a tad early for the rave anthems but we all got very carried away and it’s one of the highlights of my day; building boxes and stacking shelves with my brother! :D

Rings: Our beautiful wedding bands were made by my friend Romy Vinzelberg aka Eden Rose Jewellery

Speaker System: This was a last minute panic item as we realised we needed a sound system for music pre DJ and a mic for the speeches but Halo completely sorted us out!

Decorations: We ended up making all of our own decorations and I’ve gone into detail about that here but if that’s not for you I’d recommend checking out Rachel Emma Studio and May Contain Glitter for cool creative solutions!

Dress: Skip over here to read about my process for buying and customising my dress!

Let me know if you’ve any other questions I feel like I’m full of wedding info ATM! Jacqueline x