Simone & Dave's chill summer picnic wedding

April 17 |
Photos by Judit Klein

The offbeat bride: Simone, Costume and Armour Fabricator

Her offbeat partner: Dave, Systems Admin

Date and location of wedding: Old Flat Bush Road Schoolhouse, Manukau, Auckland, NZ — February 19, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had a family-friendly summer picnic with lawn games, bubbles, and the best Lego cake! It was a perfect chilled out Kiwi summer day.

Tell us about the ceremony: Dave's brother is an amazing guitarist, and so I walked down the aisle with both my mum and dad to a beautiful version of Pachelbel's Canon in D. He also did Kahlil Gibran's "On Marriage" as a reading.

My brother did the most hilarious rendition of Dr Seuss' "Oh, The Places You'll Go," and I promised that it would always be me and Dave versus the world, especially in a zombie apocalypse.

We really loved the idea of the newly married couple taking a few minutes out from the crowds directly after the ceremony, so we ended up hiding around the back of the hedge, drinking cider and giggling about being husband and wife.

Our biggest challenge: We've been off and on long distance from our venue and from each other for the duration of the wedding planning. First Dave went to the UK, then a year later I followed him and we internet-searched for venues. Then Dave went back to NZ to jump through visa hoops for a month, after which I moved to Belfast for six months, arriving back in London only a couple of months out from us flying to NZ.

Luckily, my mother was an absolute champion and sorted out practical logistics like a boss. Thanks to a tight schedule and two weeks in NZ before the wedding, Dave and I managed to contribute to that side of things as well.

I'm very blessed that I'm surrounded by practical people, namely my mother and Dave. I'm a big picture person, and really struggle with the details. I'd mine the internet for every single idea imaginable, but it was thanks to the patience of mum and Dave that we actually had a physical event, rather than the carnival going on in my head!

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The weather! Summer turned out to be a bit of a farce in Auckland, and the week leading up to the wedding was seriously rain-soaked. The Saturday and Sunday were brilliant, however!

We didn't have a timetable for what happened after we finished the ceremony, mostly because we'd been concentrating so hard on making sure the day happened. We did the speeches when we felt like it, we cut the cake when we felt like it, we brought out more food in the afternoon when the kids started grizzling, and it all worked out perfectly.

My advice for Offbeat Brides: It doesn't have to be stressful, rushed or panicked. Don't buy into that bullshit. The simpler you keep it, the simpler it'll be.

It's not about the perfect chair covers, or the perfect shoes to go with the perfect dress, or even how totally awesome and perfect your wedding will look to the rest of the internet. Trying to be perfect leaves so little room to be flexible, authentic, and to roll with what happens on the day.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Bride's dress: Eavis and Brown from P&A Antiques, the Hammersmith vintage fashion fair.
  • Catering: Tall Poppies Catering. They really went above and beyond with their service. They were actually our second choice, but ended up being more flexible, more helpful, and far better value than our first choice.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Wait… is "grizzling" a thing? What does it mean?? Because if it means getting cranky like a grizzly bear (which is totally how I imagined it)…. I am totally using this from now on.

    4 agree
    • Grizzling/grizzle is a fantastic word! May be quite a kiwi/british term, because it totally floored me that someone wouldn't be familiar with it! But you found it totally self-explanatory, which is hilarious and awesome :)

      3 agree
  2. Hooray for simple! When you have happy people and sunshine, what else do you need?

    2 agree
  3. This was a beautiful wedding. And the bride just gave me and my partner our new wedding motto: "Don't buy into the bullshit. The simpler you keep it the simpler it will be." Thank you.

    3 agree
    • Thank you!
      I constantly found myself being drawn into more and more complications, which was frustrating and time consuming (whether physical 'things' for the wedding, or emotional 'omg, my wedding lacks this, that and the other'). At one stage I managed to take a step back, re evaluate what I really wanted and started saying no to things/attitudes (my own, mostly!) that put more pressure than necessary on us.
      I hope the no bullshit rule makes your own wedding as easy and stress free as possible – good luck!

      0 agree
  4. It's great when the weather suddenly changes its mind for a special event. :-) Looks like such a pleasant wedding!

    1 agrees

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