Gem & Mel's gay retro/ska british beach bonanza

By on Aug. 29th

queen victoria, no, er, gem and mel

The offbeat bride: Gem – art lecturer

Her offbeat partner: Mel – sex boutique proprietor

Location & date of wedding: Brighton Town Hall/beach/pier, Brighton UK. Wednesday the 6th of August 2008.

gem and mel

What made our wedding offbeat: Being a gay couple started events in a generally non-regular tradition and our family and friends realized quickly that it wasn't going to stop there … we wanted a day that would fulfill our dressing up fantasies, even if that meant just being really comfortable. We didn't want anyone in starchy suits if they weren't going to feel at ease and our wedding was primarily about enjoyment.

the el dude bros.

Our children, Oscar (8) and Hector (6) were given carte blanche to decide what they were going to wear (we slightly regretted it when Hector embraced his character as Troy from "High School Musical" when the singing commenced … but hey, Ariel, were embracing 'tacky' — tacky rules OK!!!! it was super cute, though!)

love this wallpaper

The boys were pivotal in deciding how our day would be, we wanted them to be part of the process. Hector demanded I wear a veil (because that is what he wants to wear when he gets married to Troy from HSM!) [Editor's note: I just LOLed. For real.] and Oscar picked my dress and shoes. I knew I would feel best dressed up to the nines but insisted on comfy vans for shoes although I did hanker after some naughty kitten heels. Mel, my Mrs, is a mod girl at heart and she rocked her Brighton inspired Fred Perry and dog tooth pork pie hat!

mel, gem and hula!

Talking of dogs, our french bulldog, Tout Le Monde (Hula for short) was our design inspiration and we kept the theme monochrome with red as an accent colour.

hot tout le monde

My crocheted bouquet was made by my bridesmaid, Danie and loads of other bits and pieces came from our amazing friends, like serenading us with a guitar, home made gifts… so the day developed in an organic, spontaneous way…

Sarah, my other awesome bridesmaid is a cake queen and we share a passion for bakery. She arranged an improptu visit to the Angel Food bakery in Brighton where we took over the shop to eat the finest red velvet cupcakes!

woo hoo!

We laughed loads, fell over loads, the dog farted lots and it was really relaxed. We high-fived when we were pronounced civil partners by our registrar called Mr Love (no joke, it's true!) we ate fish and chips on the beach and got soaked in a huge thunder storm at the end of the day…it was truly inspiring and I have never felt happier.

bad jokes

Our biggest challenge: Our eldest son has emotional and behavioural problems and any change of the usual order or routine will throw him into panic and anxiety, our wedding was no exception! He can be very demanding in these situations and it was a worry as to how he would manage. We kept him busy and focused on his bubbles and confetti but he really wanted to be our witness. By law, he wasn't old enough to do this officially, but Mr Love made space on the register for he and his brother to sign.

This was a fab solution and it was so nice for our venue to accommodate us. It is sometimes hard to explain the situation when you have a child who can appear to just be difficult or naughty rather than suffer with a significant problem, but the relaxed and friendly attitude of Brighton Town Hall was amazing and helped Oscar out loads by making him part of the proceedings and even showing him around to keep him relaxed.

on way

My favorite moment: I think the fact that the usual control freak that is me went out for the day and relaxed cest la vie Gemma replaced her. I was genuinely chilled out and couldn't help but wet myself with laughter rather than freak out about whether I got "the photo" (I can go a bit Tyra sometimes…) Oh, yeah, cupcakes, lots of cupcakes, I love the cake……

dirty, slag cupcakes

I'm also really excited that we are Mrs and Mrs Marmalade. Juicy!

confetti!

My offbeat advice: Be bold, brassy, bitchin' and fall in love with everything all over again.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: For a farting dog, happy kids, and a truly inspiring, fabulous couple, watch the slideshow…