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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 

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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.

Real wedding: pink cupcakes, garden roses and a whole lotta love

19 Jul

Every now and then I come across a wedding too cute to ignore! And it should definitely win an award for the most creative use of jars in wedding history- fabulous stuff. And I’m a little bit in love with those cupcakes – anyone else?

Allison and Joseph Micali got married on the 29th of May 2011 after a year and a half engagement. The wedding took place at a Chapel at Sandy Hook, NJ, USA.  The venue was chosen not only for its rustic feel, but for the sentimental value to Allison, who grew up in Sandy Hook.

Allison knew she wanted pink flowers so, after researching different types of flowers, she decided on the beautiful peonies and the two different types of roses. The planner picked up flowers from a local wholesaler and decorated each table with mason jars filled with pink peonies, garden roses and spray roses.

She then scattered mason jars with candles all around the arrangements.  The top table was outlined by the mason jars and with 4 mugs (L O V E from Anthropologie) in the centre, next to the couple.

“Our wedding was very different in many ways,” says Allison. “I wanted to stay really far away from anything traditional. We had our ceremony outside overlooking Sandy Hook Bay. We then had our cocktail hour in a restored chapel that had beautiful golden lighting. Our reception was in a tent overlooking the bay. We had a front table with the wedding party decorated with LOVE mugs and a Sweet Love Banner. We had chalkboard table numbers, the planner wrote the menu on a full length mirror.  Our favours were mason jars with chalkboard decals and CDs filled with our favourite songs.”

As it turns out, Allison loved the planning process so much that she has decided to start up her own planning company – with a fab blog to kick start her new career (Skinny Love Designs).

Credits: The cupcake with hot pink frosting and the cupcake toppers were supplied by Pink Studios. The bride wore a strapless metal taffeta Nicole Miller gown. The wedding was captured by Kella MacPhee, in the bride’s words, an absolutely amazing and quirky photographer.  Merri-Makers caterers supplied the food. The “best DJ in the world” according to the lovely bride was DJNYC

Everything was put together beautifully by wedding planning service, Lulu’s Inspirations.

Distressed wood, metal hearts and a VW camper

17 Jul

It’s time for more of my favourite shabby chic wedding decorations. This Shabby Chic Bride is particularly fussy about decor – so here are more of my top detail ideas.

Distressed wooden or metal signs

I’ve fallen in love with distressed signs around the venue. For example, this sign from The Wedding of my Dreams is a perfect touch for any venue. Many suppliers will also sell signs that direct people around the venue.

And They Lived Happily Ever After sign from The Wedding of my Dreams

Metal hearts

There’s something about metal + hearts that brings out my inner magpie. Here are a few of my favourite metal heart venue details. You can find all of these at Spottybutton.co.uk

Ivory hanging heart from Spottybutton.co.uk

Light up your venue with this heart-shaped tea light holder

Hang these rustic tea light holders around your venue for that magic touch

And a VW camper van

There are loads of amazing, fun and original ways to incorporate a beautiful, classic VW camper van into your day.

For example, hand out ice creams at a summer wedding with Split Screen Ice Cream

VW Ice Cream Van from Split Screen Ice Cream

Or, if you’d like the fun to last a little longer, try Camper Booth for a VW camper van that’s also a vintage style photo booth. Complete with props. In my experience, photo booths go down extremely well at weddings, and create some incredible memories.

Finally, if you just want to enjoy it, use it a VW camper van as a chill out area during the wedding – then drive away in it! Snail Trail does some great retro rentals.

More of my favourite vintage / shabby chic decorations to come this week… why don’t you tell me yours? Leave me a comment!