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: I had my 50's-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 DIY'd much of what you see in the photos such as 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 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 Cite, we did just that!
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.
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 gypsy feel! There was absolutely nothing that was conventional and everything was about us. 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!
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Click the photo below to see lots of gorgeous shots from Melissa & James' Woodland Gypsy European Wedding!