Melissa & James' Woodland Bohemian European Wedding! #Real Weddings: Global#castle#europe#france#humanist#kids#outdoor#parasols October 2 | Offbeat Editors He proposed with this tattoo! Photos by RavenGirl Photography The offbeat bride: Melissa, Community Health Her offbeat partner: James, Full-time Homeschoolin' Dad Location & date of wedding: Medieval Wall Lined City Carcassonne, France – August 23rd, 2008 What made our wedding offbeat: We traveled Europe from England to Italy and stopped for a few days to get married. We didn't pick the exact location until we arrived! Since we were given the freedom to do as we pleased by the site, we did just that… We found an awesome location in between the two medieval walls and set up "camp". We sat on piles of coloured tulle, whilst the celebrant stood before us calling all tourists to gather 'round! We hired a Humanist Officiant whom we flew over from Ireland to marry us which was very serendipitous for her and totally threw her into the "fly by the seat of our pants" lifestyle we lead. I had my '50s-inspired prom dress custom made and allowed my 10-year-old the freedom to design her own. I wore greens shoes, green ribbon with a white dress and a green lace parasol to spice it up a bit. We DIYed so much: kids' wands, flower alternative to ring pillow, flower baskets, my feather wand and fascinator, our tiaras, invites, etc. We also chose a location in France and sent invites to no one! The DIY invites were for my scrapbook and my announcements were sent from France. We wrote our entire ceremony and vows, which included surprise readings such as "A Lovely Love Story" (which was the very first gift I received from James before we met face to face) and a fun children's book, "I Like You" written by Sandol Stoddard. We collected as many cover versions of the songs we love and wanted played throughout the ceremony, which ranged from Regina Spektor's "Fidelity" to Dave Matthew's version of "In My Life." It was a really incredible thing to walk down the THAT aisle! I felt like I was in a big ol' castle…very bizarre and totally amazing! I walked down my stone-ledged aisle between the walls of the medieval city to "La Valse D'Amelie" by Yann Tiersen because it seemed very fitting. It was a really incredible thing to walk down the THAT aisle! I felt like I was in a big ol' castle…very bizarre and totally amazing! Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge whilst planning the wedding is a "nature of the beast" issue. It all started very small and casual, then weeks passed and the brainstorming occurred, then friends added to the idea pot and before we know it we are in full out event planning mode and completely stuck. We lived and breathed this wedding. Trouble is, being a family, with schooling, work and lives beyond our wedding, we near killed ourselves to get it all done in time! But I have to say, still managed to love every minute of it! My favorite moment: I would have to say my favourite part of the wedding was the whole bohemian feel! It had a really surreal feel to it. Whilst I was overwhelmed at the amount of strangers that wanted pictures with me and gathered 'round to watch, it soon faded and suddenly it was as if it were just the six of us in the world. My offbeat advice: Go with the flow. Everything comes in waves. Some things are overwhelmingly exciting and other things, not so much. Boldly create the images you have in your mind and everything else will fall into place. There wasn't a single day that I questioned my sanity…and well, neither should you! Ride those waves, baby! You can see more photos here. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Officially Weddinged NEXT Pixelated save the dates Show/Hide comments [ 11 ] Wow. That is one neat wedding. It really makes you realize that a wedding does not have to be cookie cutter and orthodox. This is what mattered to them, and this is what they did. Way to think outside of the box. And GORGEOUS, too. 1 agrees Reply First off, HOORAY for Edward Monkton And Congratulations! Also, kudos to the homeschooling daddy Reply Wow "La Valse Dâ€™Amelie"! One of my favourite pieces of music — great choice! Reply WOW! That's so cool! Love the place you got married at; all the pictures look AMAZING! Congratulations! @~>~~ Reply wow this is a beautiful story of ur wedding 1 agrees Reply This was one of my favorite weddings so far on the OBB tribe- everything is so beautiful and I love the close-knit, family feeling. And did I say beautiful? Reply Thank you ladies:) Truly an amazing time and pleased to have been featured here:) What an awesome community of like-minded couples we have here! xx Reply Gorgeous! Simply gorgeous =] Reply Fantastic and amazing. Everyone looks beautiful and unique. Reply Thank you:) Reply Your flower alternative to a ring pillow is beautiful! Would you mind sharing how you made it? 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.