Linda & Stephen's fairy tale, tea party wedding

By on Feb. 23rd

Us in the Rainforest

UsThe Offbeat Bride: Linda, Writer/Doll Maker

Her offbeat partner: Stephen, Web Designer

Location and date of wedding: Minnamurra Rainforest and Gerringong, NSW Australia — 19/11/09

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was offbeat because we really wanted to focus on making the whole experience fun.

This began with hand drawn 'zine' style invitations by our friend Helen and golden Wonka tickets for our guests.

Our ceremony was held deep in a rainforest under a giant fig tree. We chose the location because I have loved it ever since I was a child. (I used to think fairies lived in the tree!)

Later we celebrated with an indoor tea party beneath strings of lanterns with oversized tea cups filled with sweets, giant marshmallow skewers, Daytona, lolly teeth in all of the wine glasses and custom cake toppers (mine even had pink hair like me!). Our reception really did feel like something out of a dream; like walking into the Willy Wonka factory Chocolate Room!Us

My outfit was an eclectic combination — dress from Gallery Serpentine in Sydney, decorated with my own hand cast buttons, amazing hat by Topsy Turvey in the US, bracelets that were both new/handmade with tiny tea cups on them as well as vintage crystal bracelets from my Nan and a choker put together by my sister, and I wore vinyl flocked Melissa shoes.

My handsome groom wore a truly unique Mad Hatteresque suit by Holland Esquire in the UK (complete with animal buttons) and converse shoes with bright red laces.

My amazing sister and Mum did amazingly well with the Brides/Groomsmaid dresses. And overall it was an amazing day thanks to the help of our family and friends.

The Bridal Party

Tell us about your ceremony: We had some fairly non-traditional vows. We replaced a lot of the traditional phrases with things we thought were similar but more fun ie: "For richer or poorer" became "Whether as a couple of dandies or a couple of swells."

What were the most meaningful moments of your wedding?: Seeing the way our parents were both so touched by the day. We had worried that the "offbeatness" of it might worry them but it didn't. We underestimated them. And both sets of parents were extremely proud and moved to tears, as was my groom which is why I love him.

Our biggest challenge: Be aware that working with suppliers (especially overseas ones) can be both incredibly rewarding or amazingly frustrating and heartbreaking. The suppliers I have provided links for are all wonderful to work with and that is why I am recommending them. On the other side of the coin I also had some amazingly terrible experiences with suppliers both locally and overseas.Our Wedding Cake!

  • If they don't return your emails, phone calls or quote within a few days kick them to the curb. It is a reflection that either they are too busy, too lazy or too disorganized.
  • Ask for everything in writing and make sure they have made something like it before. I had a corset and skirt made by someone overseas. Although she is known for corsets she assured me she could make skirts too. She lied. I had to get my entire outfit remade locally three weeks before the wedding. Thankfully the local dressmakers Gallery Serpentine are AMAZING and were totally reliable, professional and fast!
  • When overseas suppliers mess up their time frame it costs you big time! Last minute FedEx is expensive.

Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently?: I have been married before. It was a very traditional wedding the first time around, but I was very young and I think I have grown so much as a person since then.

This time I really knew what I wanted, and that was to have a very colourful, joyful event that was different to anything either of us had experienced before at a wedding.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?: Weddings bring out the extremes in people which can be pretty stressful and upsetting at times. Believe in yourself and your own hopes and dreams. It is ok to tell people that you like something and that is enough. You don't have to justify why, you are a unique human being. Try to let the experience strengthen the relationship you have with your partner and hang onto them through it all. For better or worse!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? :

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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