I was a very lucky bride to be surrounded by so many talented friends and small business-people who could help me with various bits and pieces for the big day. I made lots of things myself but could never have hoped to have time to do everything, plus it was so wonderful to see what other people came up with.
Allow me to introduce you to some of the talent which surrounds me.
Firstly, my fellow 2012 bride, the gorgeous Marianne. She and I got engaged around the same time and married within a month of one-another so went on a similar journey. She is a demon with a hot-glue gun and makes a lot of her own accessories. She even hand-crafts the costumes for her burlesque routines. She made this stunning head-dress of real flowers for her own wedding and looked bloody gorgeous.
She was kind enough to make a fascinator for me for the legal ceremony to go with my 40’s style dress, with little mini versions to top off the bridesmaid outfits for the day of the blessing. She melded together my love of vintage buttons with the peacock feather colour scheme to create this.
Speaking of the bridesmaid outfits, I had four bridesmaids all of whom are very different shapes and sizes. We looked at dresses off the peg but nothing was right for all my gorgeous girlies, so the best option seemed to be to have them made from scratch. A bit of googling led me to the very talented Emmy Jones, dress-maker extraordinaire and all-round lovely lady. We chose a vintage pattern, found a sumptuous purple satin, and measurements in hand she set about making up these fabulous dresses.
We’ve ended up good friends and she’s also going to give me some dressmaking lessons to brush up my skills, improve my monster-making, and help me make my own clothes. Everyone’s a winner!
Of course my bridesmaids deserved gifts to thank them for all they did for me both on the day and in the run-up to it. I had originally planned to make them all mini-monsters but once we found out that we had to move house, I knew that I would be pushed for time so delegation was the way to go! Regular readers will know that I have a bit of a thing for buttons and that the wedding had a heavy tilt in the button direction so when it came to trinkets for the my bridesmaids, buttons seemed a good way to go. After an extensive search on various handmade websites I wasn’t happy with anything I’d seen, a wider search bought me to the website of Buttonlove. The enterprise of a lady called Alison Jeffery, making beautiful, quality jewellery from her workshop based in Cornwall. After a few emails back and forth she knew exactly what I was after and the finished bangles she made went down a treat with the girls.
Last but by no means least, the mums. Both Mr Monster and I come from creative backgrounds and we learnt much of what we know from spending our formative years being encouraged by our mothers. Again, with time being of the essence and with so much to do, I had to delegate a few tasks and the mums were more than happy to be given a few projects to work on. They both kept it all top-secret until the day and it was lovely to be presented with surprises which we weren’t expecting.
Firstly, I asked Mr Monster’s mum Linda to help us out with a card box for guests to deposit any cards which they had for us at the reception. Linda is a very talented paper-crafter so I knew that she would come up with something fabulous and I was in no way disappointed. She presented us with a visual feast of a box, complete with decoupaged animal representations of both Mr Monster and I and our bridesmaids and ushers. You could look at it for hours and still see details you hadn’t noticed at first glance.
Not only that, she also made us a box in which guests could post us little pearls of wisdom or tit-bits of advice. This was however no ordinary box, as it took the form of…A MONSTER! It was wonderful – beautifully made with loads of character and we are enjoying reaching into his mouth every day to pull out a new piece of advice.
My mum Valerie got involved in the crafty fun too by helping us out with the cakes. She commissioned a local cake-maker to bake up some button cakes, complete with owl and fox bride and groom (Our nicknames for one another), but the real surprise were her hand crafted cake-stands. Our little button cupcakes were perched atop vinyl records with suitably lovey-dovey song titles, and between the tiers, holding up the next layer, were…LITTLE MONSTERS! She had taken my style and translated it into a little mini bride and groom, complete with a dress just like mine, a little bouquet, and a purple cravat for the mister. An absolute joy, and they now sit proudly on our mantlepiece having been released from their cake-stand prison!
But of course, in the hands of Mr Monster, feeding me cake could only end badly!