Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A Crafty (and Thrifty) Welsh Wedding

After 5 years together, I finally got married to my long suffering partner (and now long suffering husband) Stew in May 2010. We booked it a year ago, and I'd been collecting pieces for the big day all year since - I really wanted to have a hand made feel to the items on the big day... but we were on a very tight budget after I lost my job in June 2009 - BAD timing...

I bought my stunning dress for £40 all in off eBay - bargain yes... but it took me 10 months of evenings and weekends to finally get it in a state where I could walk down the aisle with pride - it was a MESS. The hem had been lopped off by what looked like a blindfolded man with garden shears, the whole top of the dress needed re-sculpting, the Princess Di in the 80's sleeves had to go.... It was a real labour of love. The shoes were priced at £104, I got them for £15 on eBay unworn with the receipt in the box - they were gorgeous!

The Petticoat was hand made by Violavintage - an Etsy seller who also lived in the UK. It was just right - not massively puffy, and with a satin top half it was really comfy to wear throughout the day too - nice and lightweight.

I really wanted a vintage hat to match the dress, but couldn't find one that was just right. So I turned to Alchemy and hoped a fellow Etsy seller could help me out. And along came
Mytreehousestudio, and a few months and approx £50 later came a stunning creation, using fabric left over from my dress to create flowers on the side, and french netting to wear over the face at the ceremony. Paired with the stunning up-do from my local hairdresser Gemma, it looked just right!

Accessories did not take too long to find - I had some stunning jewellery commissioned by the supremely talented Shacara consisting of a pearl and ceramic flower asymmetric necklace and matching bracelet (Shacara is currently closed whilst she undergoes chemo so best wishes), and got a total bargain with a stunning bracelet handled beaded bag by whatthefunk - both looked great with the vintage theme of the wedding. I have to have a watch on....but my duckie themed swatch watch, though epically cool, wasn't going to cut it, so a visit to Jewelrybyroseanna for a very reasonably and beautiful beaded watch! One of myhand knitted shrugs kept me warm in the wind on the day - something I was very glad of!

Not to leave out my bridesmaids, I got their dresses 9 months to go knocked down in a catalogue sale for the supremely cheap price of £20 each - bargain of the whole event! With shoes and bags from New Look for £14 and £5 respectively, I was doing pretty well. I knitted their shrugs from some lovely deep purple yarn I had, and I commissioned some stunning jewellery from Baubleworks comprising of a matching drop necklace and earrings set, and some stunning beaded flowers from Beadsinbloom on Etsy - perfect for placing in their up-do's.

Stew has bad hay fever, and has never reacted well to being around flowers; it usually involves puffy swollen eyes and a runny nose, so I had to think outside the box for bouquets and decorations. MissJenniferRae came to my rescue for the boutonnieres and bouquets, doing me a fantastic early bird deal (I ordered months and months in advance) for a stunning set of felt and button items, including loose flowers which I turned into pins for the mums. They are beautifully made, and were the talk of the reception!

Stew's first present he ever got me was a very large and round stuffed giraffe called Eion (said Ian - it's Welsh...) - he is the 3rd member of our little family and knew we had to find a way of getting him in to our special day!

After thinking about it long and hard and not really coming up with an answer, I stumbled across Fliepsiebieps and her stunning range of polymer clay toppers - they are so cute! After a bit of discussion, and a lot of prototypes and pictures passed between us, I got the most stunning little giraffes to sit on top of my big fruit cake made by our friend Lynn (It's a stunning cake too!) that I can keep forever - they now sit on top of my TV :-)

I then turned my attention to table decorations and favours - there was a lot to think about. I got a fantastic deal from ParDay for some stunning favour boxes in the themed colours of pinks and purples - I then filled them with sweets and little charms from the lovely Steph on keyrings in the shape of cakes - so pretty! To decorate the signing table, I went to Folksy (UK craft site similar to Etsy) and commissioned Nichola of Beads in Bloom to make some stunning beaded stems which I displayed in bud vases, and a gorgeous beaded cake topper to adorn my gluten free sponge cake - so pretty!
I had loads of comments all day about my quirky and beautiful items - I was so pleased to be able to have a crafty wedding, and I hope I can shop you CAN do it without breaking the bank!

*** UPDATE - you have until THIS Satuday (3rd July) at 3pm GMT (actually BST as it's summer!) to enter my SUPER knitted blog giveaway! - See the Blog Post ***


  1. Congratulations! This was a very fun read!

  2. A really great read! Congratulations - I wish you two all the best in the future.

  3. Congrats-and as I vintage seller I love your wedding day look.

  4. Congratulations! I loved your cake, I think it's the best I have ever seen!! Thanks so much for mentioning the petticoat. As my first ever etsy customer you will always have a special place in my memory.

  5. congrats! :) and must i say for being on a budget you look gorgeous and i adore that dress!

  6. What a beautiful wedding, Congratulations! I wish you many happy (and thrifty ;) ) years together!

  7. Congratulations! You two look fantastic!!!



  8. Beautiful bride and groom, great attention to detail on all of your choices. Your giraffes made me smile. Best Wishes!

  9. So beautiful, and you both look so happy. Congratulations!!

  10. This post is amazing! I found it through your thread in the etsy forums, and I'm so glad I did. Your wedding looks like it was completely magical, and you were such a beautiful bride. Thanks for sharing your wedding with the world!

  11. What a wonderful day you had ! Refreshingly beautiful you are. As we say in Italian, Cent'anni,
    a hundred years of health & happiness. ~ Gracie

  12. Everything about your wedding was just lovely, the dress, the cake, however those button bouquets are just something else - so different and they don't wilt! :D

  13. Thanks for directing me here! I love all the things you did and I followed in your path in many ways already! Lol, I found my dress on Ebay as well, luckily it was in perfect wearable condition I only spent $65 on it, no shoes yet, I make jewelry so I have me and my bridesmaids covered. Your bouquet is so cute! It is such a neat unique idea I will have to check it out. I also went for polymor clay wedding toppers! Very fun. Your wedding looks perfect!

  14. You looked positively adorable and so happy. Enjoy a wonderfully long and happy marriage. I like your taste and style and commitment to the look you wanted without wavering.