Abby & Ash's '50s-inspired rock 'n' roll wedding

By on Jan. 31st

The offbeat bride: Abby, Training Coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Ash, Irrigation Technician

Date and location of wedding: Rosemount Hotel, Perth, Western Australia — October 29, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: From the get go, I knew we would have a very tight budget. With a toddler around there was no splashing out on effectively ONE day of our lives together. The entire wedding, including a $3,000 bar tab, set us back $6,000 in total. I saved the most money on the dress by buying it online. I actually couldn't decide on what one I wanted so I bought two.

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Like the dress, our decorations, bridesmaid dresses, groom's outfit, flower girl dresses, etc. were purchased online. For a full 12 months prior, I scouted Etsy, eBay, and every retro online store in the world.

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Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was short and sweet. Both a bridesmaid and a groomsman read a short reading during the ceremony. The groomsman, Matty, decided to write his himself which made it all the more meaningful:

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"True love is the highest achievement we can ever amount to in life. It is this love we celebrate and rejoice, it is this love that brings us together, it is the foundations on which a family is created and it is the bond that is formed through understanding, selflessness, forgiveness, and trust.
Today we celebrate the purest essence of life, love, and longevity. Today we are gathered to witness a commitment to true love and may it be celebrated with our love."

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Our biggest challenge: Both Ash and I have really large families, and because we had a very tight budget we had to be really careful about the reception numbers. We had a rule of thumb that we had to explain to our relatives: if one of us didn't know you by name, then you will not be invited. We wanted to be able to look around the room and know everyone, and be surrounded by those who we both know and love.

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My favorite moment: Unfortunately I didn't see it, but luckily the videographer caught it on tape. My daughter Evie was very nervously walking down the aisle and as soon as she saw Ash, she forgot the "walk slowly and drop the rose petals on the carpet" talk we had about five minutes before. She yelled his name, bolted straight for him, and hugged his knees.

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My funniest moment: The speeches were the funniest part. Our long-time friends and members of our bridal party gave everyone the "how they got together" speech (which included tarot cards), and my Dad told my husband that if he tattooed his granddaughter, he would hunt him down and kill him.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The ceremony was finished at 5:30 p.m. and the sun set on the ceremony location at 6:30 p.m. I was so worried we would not get enough time for photographs before the sun set. And I was right. We ended up going to the reception venue earlier to take more shots and some of the best pictures we have were taken at the reception venue, not the park.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Not to fuss about the little things. Some brides spend so much time worrying about the ribbon colour, or the centrepieces. On the morning of your wedding, sit down, have a chat with your bridesmaids, drink champagne, and stay away from the damn phone!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It's cliche I know, but be wary of getting pressured into taking everyone's advice. I wanted to wear ridiculously high, red shoes. We wanted to play Sublime and Chuck Berry at the ceremony. I wanted to give away guitar picks as favours and Ash wanted to wear jeans. So we did all those things, despite what anyone else thought. And it was perfect.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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