The offbeat bride: Dominique, Research/Administrative Assistant
Her offbeat partner: Nicholas, University Tutor and Research Assistant
Date and location of wedding: Yester Grange, Blue Mountains, NSW Australia — April 3, 2010
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted a wedding that reflected us and our lifestyle. The year before we'd had a pagan handfasting ceremony officiated by a close friend. So we felt that the religious or spiritual element had already taken place, and this day was all about celebrating with family and friends. The wedding party wore '50s-inspired clothes, our guests were invited to wear vintage or rockabilly-inspired outfits, and we included our puppies in the wedding party.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our actual wedding ceremony was pretty basic, we took the traditional wording and removed all the religious references. Our celebrant was lovely, and there was a hush and a giggle when she asked "if anyone had reason why this wedding should not go ahead." Being presented with our certificate made me feel like I was back at school getting an award, and being pelted by rose petals as we raced up the aisle was lots of fun.
Our biggest challenge: Originally I was aiming at a more traditional style, with a long white dress. While I tried on some beautiful dresses, I never quite felt comfortable. After being introduced to Offbeat Bride by a friend, and seeing so many beautiful tea length dresses, it just clicked. I asked Nick if he would like a '50s-style wedding, and suddenly the wedding planning became a pleasure.
There were issues with who was invited as the venue was small, so we decided not to include plus ones, invited only the immediate family, and left family friends off the list. This caused some tension, but everyone had been invited to the engagement party and we felt that sharing such a special day with our closest friends was more important than inviting people we rarely see and hardly know.
My favorite moment: I loved walking down the aisle and seeing Nick and the puppies, and then hearing Nick's vows, which he had composed himself, during the handfasting. Just standing in front of family and friends holding hands was such a happy joyous moment.
Other favorite moments that come to mind include waking up at 5:00 a.m. on the day of the wedding and making my veil because I couldn't get back to sleep, and dancing to our chosen songs, "Swing Life Away" by Rise Against for our waltz, and The Living End's version of "Tainted Love" for our swing.
The photos after the wedding were also really fun. It was great to share some time with Nick away from everyone, and then with the group shots there was so much laughter! I felt like I had back-up singers, and every time I looked around my girls were pulling yet another silly pose.
My funniest moment: Minutes before I was supposed to leave for the wedding I bent over to do my shoes up and the zipper of my dress exploded. I just remember standing outside on my balcony with my arms up while my mum and one of my bridesmaids sewed me back in. Returning back to our room after the wedding, Nick discovered a seam ripper left on the bedside table — left by my mum so he could get me out of the dress!
My advice for Offbeat Brides: It needs to be about you and your partner. You can't keep everyone happy, so make yourselves happy. However, making a few changes or nods to tradition may also mean the world to your family. So be prepared to compromise.
If you find a great supplier, ask them to recommend other suppliers. We had a fantastic florist who knew the area and other suppliers. Trust them, they've done it before and know who's who.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Daniel Butler and Daniel Tutalo
- Florist: Erica Blossoms was amazing. She changed the roses twice to get the best colour match with the dresses.
- Venue: Yester Grange
- Dress: Pheonuh Callan
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!