Tips and Ideas for a DIY wedding
Weddings don’t have to be hugely expensive and some couples choose to do most of it themselves, for them what counts is … getting married and the experience of the day with and for their guests. Some ideas for a DIY wedding inspired by one such wedding I shot in Sweden this week end:
* They hosted the wedding at the groom’s parents’ country house in the woods and decorated the outdoors themselves with wooden signs and very boho strands of flowery material. The scenery was so beautiful it didn’t require much beautifying anyway. Another DIY wedding I shot was in the family garden in Rothley and the garden was beautiful too, it doesn’t have to be in Sweden!
* They did all the food themselves! The first thing you noticed was the home-made decorations, wooden signage and colourful ribbons. That was a lot of work but many people helped. As the ceremony was at 12, they served platters of cheese, olives, artichoke and salami with bread and crackers straight afterwards. Their guests were eating on blankets on the floor like a giant picnic. They had cut logs to serve as mini tables.
* Later on, they had a BBQ with vegetable kebabs, burgers and sausages in buns and an assortment of salads, all home made.
* There was no cutting of the cake but a whole dessert bar in the marquee for later on when people got peckish again.
* Much later on, around midnight, they made hot dogs.
* To cut down on glasses etc, they gave the guests heart tags to tie around their glasses with their names on.
* Each “table” had a little basket with chocolates, glass tags, a disposable camera– I didn’t have a good experience with them at my wedding but it might be better on a sunny day outdoors- some lovely tissues, games for kids etc.
* They hung some props to a wooden board and had a table with a polaroid camera, a black book and a silver pen for their guests to take a photo of each other, stick the picture on a page and leave them a message.
* For entertainment, they had many areas: a table tennis table – people played all afternoon and a tournament was organised too; a mini golf course; some boules. The kids had toys and games to play with on the blankets and there was a smoking area in a corner.
* The speeches were spread out during the day. The funniest ones were the guys inviting the groom to listen back to his recording from his stag night, he was presented with is own CD. The bride’s friends also had a surprise for the groom: he had to guess whose lips were his wife’s. Fortunately, when he got it wrong they found him good excuses and peace reigned.
* One of the bride’s sister and brother played music and sang for them, it was very sweet and personal.
* They didn’t go for traditional, and walked down the “aisle” together, nobody giving away the bride. The flower girl spread flower petals before them.
* On idea I loved particularly: they had asked their guests to write something good and something bad about someone else. Mainly they did it as couples but without showing each other, some did it for more than one person, for kids for example. They made a magazine out of it all and had several copies around for people to read. I can’t read Swedish but one couple had written in English and it was very sweet. I am a romantic and love reading things people wouldn’t necessarily say to each other but find it easier to write. It just spreads the love. The “bad” things weren’t really bad either.
* In the evening, the marquee that was there in case of rain- it had rained all week!- became a better lit and warmer refuge, and the picnic blankets became welcome wraps as the temperature dropped– others were given out too. I loved the lighting at dusk.
* They had an outdoor dance floor with a play list and people danced in the near dark, having a lot of fun.
It was a very relaxed day, it felt that everyone had time to chill, to meet others, to play. As it lasted over 12 hours- guests arrived around 11:30 and left after 12- there was also time to do lots of kinds of photos. We did a woodland flash session, a session with their little boy watching the horses, some couple photos of other couples, and a really emotional Beloved shoot, in a field at sunset, but that’s for another post.
If you have any questions or want to discuss your ideas, do get in touch. Thank you