A 20s-inspired DIY day

Happy Saturday everyone! This fantastic DIY 20s-inspired day made me smile a lot! So I hope it makes you lot happy too – I’ll hand over to Ju to tell you all about when Andy and Ju got married…

All images © Ju Mitchell

“We wanted our wedding to reflect who we are and the things that are important to us.  It wasn’t just about us though, it was also very much about my seven year old son Joe, and our wonderful family and friends.  Andy and I had known each other as colleagues and friends for a few years before we got together.  Once we were together, we very quickly realised that we’d found our “keepers” and a just over a year later Andy proposed.  We planned our wedding for 14 months later – we wanted to wait until the Spring – our favourite season – and to have time to do lots of collecting and crafting.”

“We soon found the perfect venue for us.  We wanted our 70 guests to feel relaxed and comfortable and to have lots of fun – a bit like a fabulous informal house party, albeit in a very large house!.  Hargate Hall was ideal as it gave us the freedom to do things just as we wanted to. Our guests were able to stay for up to three nights in the twelve self-catering apartments and the house actually felt as if it was our home for the weekend.  Not only that, Hargate is located in a beautiful part of the country that we both love – the Peak District.”

“We didn’t want a specific theme but were inspired by the work of artist Rob Ryan – we used a selection of his card designs for our invitations and order of service booklets –  and the vintage feel of the 1920s and 30s.  Our eclectic mix of handmade decorations had a bit of a ‘secret garden’ feel about them.  During the months in the build-up to our wedding, Andy made literally hundreds of origami cranes, which we used not only as part of our decorations, but also in place of confetti. I made length upon length of bunting and lots of paper tissue pom-pom flowers. Two good friends made flowers and hearts from the pages of charity shop bought copies of our favourite books.  I also used pages from these books to create paper wreaths that were used to ‘dress’ the fireplace. We kept our lighting soft with lots of fairy lights and LCD tea-lites in pretty glass holders – 50 of them were tied to the staircase banister along with paper flowers’, origami birds and butterflies, and bunches of fresh rosemary.  Ceramic birds and ladybirds were made for us by another talented friend. Wooden signs made by my Dad that we hung with ribbon and decorated with words that we felt were important to our future:- love, laughter, happiness, fun, passion, commitment, courage, understanding, sharing, forever. We now have these hung up at home.  Photos mean a lot to us and so we framed lots of images of us and our guests and scattered these around the venue to make it feel like home.”

“As much as possible we used local suppliers – a keg of local beer on our DIY bar and hampers for our guests – in each of the twelve self catering apartments at Hargate – were filled with produce from a nearby farm. Our Pie and Pea supper was supplied by a farm shop in Sheffield where we live.  Everything else, we did ourselves.  Two days before the wedding Andy and I went to our local flower market and filled our car up with beautiful flowers.  My bouquet and the flowers around the venue were arranged by my talented friend and Best Woman on the Day – she used to work as a florist and now runs ‘Patisserie Lola’ and so therefore also made the cups cakes we had instead of a traditional wedding cake.”

“Prior to the day, we’d asked our guests to each select a song they’d like to hear played during the weekend.  We made a huge wall decoration about “who chose what” with photos of each person, their song choice, their relationship to us and a little bit about them.  We also noted during which ‘bit’ of the wedding their song would be played   so they could listen out for it.  This ‘collage’ – made up of A4 pieces of cream card (a page per family or couple or individual) tied all together with ribbon – became a real talking point and gave our guests the opportunity to find out a little more about each other.”

“I was very happily five and a half months pregnant on the day of our wedding and determined not to wear the predictable empire line maternity wedding gown.  The 1920’s flapper-style Leluxe gown I wore felt amazing.  It gave me the look I wanted, was flattering, and just roomy enough to accommodate my ever-growing bean-bump!  At the last minute (days before the wedding) I splashed out on the most gorgeous pair of Rachel Simpson shoes which Andy suggested I fell in love with at least as much as I love him – this isn’t true of course.  Andy wore a fabulous Olive Green Paul Smith suit.  Braces and a checked shirt and tie provided a quirky vintage feel to his outfit. We entered into the ceremony together as part of a procession made up of our shared four Best Men – including my seven year old son Joe, one Best Woman, and three Bridesmaids.  The children carried large origami cranes on sticks that we had made. When it came to saying the vows we had written ourselves it felt as if we were the only two people in the room, it was magical.  During our speeches, my son Joe shared his favourite joke:- “Two aerials got married…great reception”.”

“Following our ceremony, we caught up with our guests whilst drinking the cocktails we’d made and bottled – the elderflower based “Marital Bliss” and non-alcoholic version “Happily Ever After”, and an orange squash “Young Love” for the children.  We didn’t want the formality of a sit-down meal and so we instead had a delicious cream tea, prepared by Andy’s Mum, in the afternoon – served in the vintage china we had collected along with beautiful embroided table cloths – and a pie and pea supper in the evening followed by a dessert buffet We kept our younger guests entertained throughout the day with a children’s crafting room – the paper crowns were a big hit! – and Joe’s cinema screening of Wall-E complete with servings of popcorn and ice cream for the children.  The retro sweet table we set up, with stripy paper bags for our guests to ‘pick n mix’, was well received by both young and old. During the day we played 1920’s and 30’s influenced music sourced by a muso friend and then had fantastic live music from Andy’s Brother-in-law in the afternoon and in the evening the amazing Nicola Farnon’s Quartet accompanied much dancing – some of our guests even joined the band for singing and drumming during a couple of numbers!    A fancy dress box provided lots of fun and some great photos!  As darkness fell we enjoyed sparklers and sky lanterns.   A ‘paper quilt’ was created in place of a guest book.”

The whole wedding was very DIY and we couldn’t have pulled it off without the help and support we had from our families and many talented friends.  We had the most AMAZING weekend and have so many fantastic memories.  We have since welcomed “Will”, our new baby, into the world and I’m currently blogging http://ju-musings-on-life.blogspot.com/ about family life.  I am in the process of setting up my business named “Teatime Vintage” which will specialise in tea parties, event styling, vintage china hire and sweet and dessert bars – after all, it would be a shame to let all that vintage china go to waste!

  • Dress – “The Clara Cream” by Leluxe Clothing Company
  • Shoes – Mimi by Rachel Simpson
  • Fake fur jacket – Coast
  • Metallic pumps (worn for dancing!) – John Lewis
  • Headband – Topshop
  • Pearl beads – Oasis
  • Tea-pot ceramic pendant (worn as a brooch) – Poodlebreath on Etsy
  • Grooms suit – Paul Smith Sale Shop, Marylebone, London
  • Photos – our main photographer was a good friend, Mark Hills who is a semi-professional photographer living in Canada, currently building his portfolio whilst still doing his day job of Research Scientist.  We didn’t make life easy for Mark as we stipulated that we didn’t want any formal posed shots.  Other wonderful photos taken by friends complete our extensive wedding album!
  • Venue  Hargate Hall, Wormhill, Nr Buxton, Derbyshire, UK
  • Evening Band – Nicola Farnon Quartet
  • Cup cakes by Patisserie Lola
  • Keg of beer for our DIY bar – Buxton Real Ale Company
  • Pie & Pea Supper – Liberty Food Farm Shop, Sheffield

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