Laura & Daniel's Pagan archery and knitting wedding

By on Dec. 9th
Laura and Dan

Photos by James Billett

The offbeat bride: Laura, Herbalist

Her offbeat partner: Daniel, Charity manager

Date and location of wedding: City Hall, Cardiff, UK and Ralegh's Cross Inn, Somerset, UK — September 22, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: Being Pagan, we've been handfasted for seven years but that's not legally binding in England and Wales, so we decided to get officially married. Our love of nature was really key to the wedding. Our passions were also key themes: for him archery and for me knitting. We wanted something small and on budget as we also wanted to travel around Scotland in a camper van for our honeymoon.

Dan and Laura at the registry office

We had a small (just the two of us and two witnesses) registry office ceremony and then we had photos taken in the park behind Cardiff Castle. We had a small meal with friends and then two days later we had a reception in Somerset for our families.

Dan and Laura tying the ribbons

Handfasting in the park

Tell us about the ceremony: As we couldn't include our Pagan vows into our wedding ceremony, we decided to keep to a very simple ceremony with no readings or music.

Wedding cake

Salvaged cake with knitted toppers!

The knitted wedding cake topper

Our biggest challenge: I think the biggest challenge was when my sister had a disaster with the cake! She went around a corner too fast delivering it to the reception and the top tier slid off and landed upside down all over her wedding outfit and her boyfriend's suit.

We managed to save most of the cake and clean them both up sufficiently to get them in the photos, although in some of them they are in slightly uncomfortable positions trying to hide that they have icing down the front of them.

Wedding Party

My favorite moment: My sister gave a lovely speech at the reception that I just loved.

Dan and Laura (squirrels in the background!)

Dan with his bow

My funniest moment: Laughing while squirrels ran up and down the trees we were standing next to for our photos, while Dan pretended to shoot them with his bow and arrow!

Us on the bridge behind Cardiff castle

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Definitely the photos in Bute Park. To begin with, we were unsure whether to have a photographer at all, wanting the most simple wedding possible. I was tempted by beautiful photos I'd seen of a friend's wedding, and decided to overcome my fear of having my photo taken. James and his assistant Micha were great. They made us feel so comfortable, we laughed so much the whole time, and the photos are just what we wanted.

Lots of knitted button holes!

Knitted buttonholes!

My advice for offbeat brides: Delegate! Give friends and family jobs to do on the day and even during the preparation. People love to help out and it will help to reduce your stress. Even if you are a control freak and want to do everything yourself, try to give small jobs to other people to do.

View from Ralegh's cross

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? No matter how well you organise and plan everything there will always be something you can't plan for. The best thing to do is relax and just let things happen naturally. If something does go wrong there will always be someone who can help to put it right.

Dan and Laura, Donna and Lindsey

Dan and Laura in the stone circle

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=photos%2Flauracarpenter83%2Fsets%2F72157628077077112%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=photos%2Flauracarpenter83%2Fsets%2F72157628077077112%2Fshow%2F&set_id=72157628077077112&jump_to=" width="800" height="500">