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A stunning, shabby chic wedding – Elizabeth and Tomás

18 Sep

I love it when I get real wedding submissions that actually inspire me! This gorgeous US wedding took my breath away – and is the absolute pinnacle of what a DIY wedding can be! There are so many lovely ideas in here, but I’ll let Elizabeth tell you her story in her own words.

“The summer before my senior year of college, I went to Sevilla, Spain for a month to take a TESOL teaching course. The daughter of one of my mom’s coworkers had been studying there the previous semester, and this girl gave me the email address of a Spanish friend so that I could meet someone right away to practice Spanish with. That friend turned out to be my now husband! Tomás and I fell in love seriously in three days. We had a long distance relationship for the first year, seeing each other every three months in either Spain or Pennsylvania. After college, I moved to Spain for two years to teach and be with Tomás. Three and a half years after we met, Tomás proposed, and now we’re married!”

Elizabeth and Tomas opted for a shabby chic wedding theme

“A summer night in late July 2010, Tomás asked me to come outside–he had been outside all evening supposedly building a bonfire with my brother and he wanted me to see it. As soon as I got outside though, I saw that Tomás had actually been out there creating a beautifully romantic scene. He led me to my parents’ pool, where dozens of tiny candles were floating in the water. He told me we were going on a special walk, and let me to another part of the tard where I saw a pathway made by candles. Under each candle was a paper heart with a characteristic of our relationship written on it, like “respect”, “love for nature”, etc. After reading all the hearts, the candle path led us to the vegetable garden that we had built and been tending all summer. When we got to the garden, Tomás read me a poem he wrote comparing our growing love to the growing garden. Then he got down on his knee and proposed! My engagement ring was my great-grandmother’s ring that my grandmother gave me before she passed away several years before. My mom had been holding on to it until Tomás was ready to ask for it. It was such a lovely proposal!”


“I planned the wedding with lots of support from my mom and friends. I absolutely loved the way I decorated the tables. I spent our engagement year collecting glass bottles, vintage doilies, and lovebird figurines, and the way they all came together just looked so pretty and very shabby chic. It also meant a lot to me because I had put so much time and love into collecting these decorations.”

“As soon as we were engaged, I started combing wedding magazines and blogs and kept a notebook of photos I liked. It didn’t take long for me to realize that most of the pictures I was saving shared a soft, romantic, vintage style. Tomás and I both really love antiques and tend to like things that have a homey, lived-in style, so shabby chic was a perfect fit.”


If I were to give any advice to brides-to-be, it’s that making your wedding really about you and your future husband requires a lot of thought and planning, which takes a lot of time–especially if you want to DIY parts of it. But in my experience it was SO worth it, because on the day of the wedding, everything was just what I wanted, and it felt US.”

Why not hang pictures of yourselves together as decorations?

Wildflower seed favours will give your guests something permanent to remember your day!

Photos by Love Me Do, Dress by Eden Bridals 

Farewell Cosmo Bride

25 Aug

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a wedding magazine addict. OK, a full on junkie. I read all of them religiously, devouring the real weddings, jotting down ideas and cutting out pictures for my wedding scrapbook.

Today is a bittersweet day. Like any other wedding magazine publication date, I’m excitedly anticipating the latest copy of Cosmo Bride. But I’m also sad because I don’t want to read it. Once I read it, that’s it! No more Cosmo Bride for this Shabby Chic Bride. Sad face.

So I just want to pay a little humble tribute to my dear friend, frequent train companion and provider of some of my favourite ideas (for which I will give full credit on my wedding day – of course!) You taught me how to take vintage decor to a whole new level. And the wonders of peach – now my must-have colour. You showed me the true meaning of homespun chic. You were the first wedding magazine I anxiously plucked off the shelf, still half feeling like a fraud as a newly engaged gal! Thanks for everything. I’ll look forward to reading the last issue – you may be gone, but in the scrapbooks, weddings, hearts and minds of thousands of brides, you’ll live on!

Top 5 quirky accessories for a shabby chic wedding

25 Aug

Here at Shabby Chic Bride HQ it’s all about the quirkiness. When I was a little girl I used to love putting on plays – and my love of cool and individual props has followed me into adulthood and all the way to my wedding day!

So here are my top five quirky, shabby chic props which can be used for photo opps on your big day:

1.  A vintage-style mannequin. Just think how pretty your dress would look for those getting ready wedding photos hanging on (or over) a stunning vintage mannequin. Alternatively, if any of your elderly relatives have kept their dresses, you can use vintage mannequins to display them! Try this one from vintagestylegifts.co.uk – there’s a whole selection to suit any colour scheme:

vintage-wedding-props

2. A retro bicycle with a floral display. OK, so your romantic vision of riding along in your wedding dress with a flower basket may be impractical, but a vintage bike with a cute floral display makes for a great talking point – and you can always pose convincingly for your wedding photos. If you don’t fancy spending a lot of time and money finding one, you can rent one from Event Prop Hire.

image sourced from http://www.dreamstime.com

3. While we’re on Event Prop Hire, why not get ready in real shabby chic style with a gorgeous chaise longue for getting ready photographs? Available in several different colours, it takes pampering to a whole new level… now all you need is someone to feed you grapes and you’re good to go!

4. DIY vintage photo booth – I’ll do a longer post on how to make one of these – but I can assure you they’re great fun! These booths don’t need to cost a lot to make and will give you lasting memories, as well as breaking the ice on the day.

5. OK, so I just HAVE to go back to the amazing Event Prop Hire! Roll up, roll up! Who wants a fairground-themed wedding? I’m in love with these various themed stalls – and I’m sure you will be too!

Do you have any vintage or shabby chic prop ideas that I’ve left out? Leave me some comments and let me know how you plan to make your day a little different!

DIY shabby chic wedding invitations

21 Aug

I would LOVE to be able to afford some gorgeous, bespoke wedding stationery. It goes without saying that for good quality, expect to pay good money. But if you don’t want to pay out big money and still want something gorgeous and unique to send to your guests, why not make the invitations yourself?

Here’s how I’ve done it!

You’ll need

  • A pack of pre-made A5 cards and envelopes.
  • Multi-purpose glue and a glue brush.
  • Scissors (and a guillotine is optional depending on how steady your hand is)
  • Vintage-style scrapbook paper
  • Ribbon and / or lace
Most of the above can be found at Hobbycraft or any other craft or haberdashery shop – but I’d seriously recommend Hobbycraft for the scrapbook paper.
How to
1. Step one is to separate the paper. It will often be two-sided so decide which sides you like better of each. Then group the ones that mesh well together.
2. If you got your card from Hobbycraft, it should naturally bend in the middle. If it’s not pre-folded, fold your card in half.
3. Choose a background for your invitation. Then put your folded invitation against in and cut around it.
4. Put a couple of dabs of glue onto your card and spread with a brush. Leave it for thirty seconds and stick your craft paper background onto the card, smoothing it down to make sure there are no lumps or air pockets.
5. Find a detail or pattern that you like from a different but matching piece of craft paper and cut it out.
6. Paste the back of the cut out and stick it onto the card.
7. Add your final detail, such as a piece of lace tied in a bow or a ribbon.
8. Et voila – you have yourself an invitation!
Now all you need to do is find a pretty font and background, print out A5 inserts with everything you want to say and pop them in the post!
And because I’m covered in glue and quite proud of myself, here are a few more I made earlier!
So there you go – they may not be the most professional looking cards in the world, but they came from the heart and everyone who receives one will hopefully appreciate how much effort an care went into them. Leave me some comments and suggestions as I’m still learning! 10 down, 120 to go!

Pretty things… introducing Moll and Mostin

18 Aug

You may have guessed by now that the Shabby Chic Bride likes to do things a little differently. That’s why it’s always fun to stumble upon a quirky and unique wedding business.

So check out Moll and Mostin. Perfect for the bride that’s allergic to flowers, their gorgeous wedding products encapsulate everything that’s vintage and unconventional.

I’m also a bit in love with how Moll and Mostin came about. The lovely Lucy, who founded the company explains: ” Moll and Mostin was inspired by a love of paper and vintage images, and a serious flea market, antiques market, secondhand shop and car boot habit. I started it in my bedroom, with a one off run of twenty cards, and a quick trip along Brick Lane to find a shop to stock them. Now I am manning market stalls and supplying different shops in London, websites and other small creative businesses,  working from a studio space somewhere between St Pancras and Camden.”

“Since starting to make cards, I have been looking for ways of using the beautiful vintage paper I had in a more creative way, and using the qualities of the paper as well as the images. This is when I started making paper roses, and this has led me to work on a specific wedding range – whereby you can order just a bouquet, or everything you need, including bouquets, corsages, button holes, fascinators for bridesmades or mothers, or bunches of roses instead of regular flowers on table tops.”

“Moll and Mostin are the names of my two great-aunts – two little ladies with twinkly eyes and a grasp on living life, and my very own inspiring retro relatives.”

“I really like working with a range of papers – from old novels, magazines, to sheet music and beautifully coloured maps. Roses for a wedding can be made with a range of papers or with just map for those travelling types or just music for music enthusiasts.”

Mood board – a spring shabby chic marquee wedding

2 Aug

I’ve recently discovered mood boards (I know, a little late in the day) and as such am whiling away all my spare time piecing together delicious photos of different shabby chic decorations and themes. Here’s my first mood board for the blog. It’s how I hope my wedding will look… except Audrey Hepburn won’t be there.

I hope you find some shabby chic inspiration.

shabby chic mood board

Some images are taken from previous blogs, others are from Google and I can’t find a credit. If these belong to you please do let me know and I’ll give you full credit and a link. The crockery flower arrangement is from The English Tea Party, the white vintage bird cage is from Amazon and the shabby chic marquee decor is from  Country Marquees – thanks for the inspiration.

Car boot sale chic

31 Jul

I know this blog is about shabby chic weddings – but I’d be doing shabby chic gals in general a disservice not to share the magic of car boot sales for wedding and household finds.

I’m a total convert – you see, I never used to see the point of car boot sales. I always thought they were full of old tat, creepy dolls, old computer cables and knock off perfume. And of course there’s some truth to that, but I just wanted to share a few of the best car boot sale bargains I’ve had in the last couple of months.

Bear in mind this is in addition to hundreds of mix-and-match pieces of china, as well as tablecloths, cute umbrellas and loads of vintage tech stuff for hubby-to-be.

Key necklace - cost £2

Assortment of fabric hearts, £2.50 for 11

Shabby chic wood table set of 3 for £15, silver-plated tray £4 and crystal decanters £3 for the set

 

L-R white rose trinket box £2 wooden rose clock £2 and heart-shaped rose trinket box 10p - favourite find

 

Teacup around 5p, candlesticks £1 and retro phone £10

Of course these are just some of my many car boot sale treasures – I’ve managed a whole white, shabby chic dining table and chair set for just £30, as well as sourcing a whole store of vintage wedding props. Most of the above could be used for a wedding, key necklaces are particularly on-trend, so I’m pretty pleased today!

Leave me some comments and let me know if you’ve found any amazing bargains at a car boot sale!