Gillian & Mark's offbeat lite transatlantic wedding

By on May. 15th

We teased some of the awesome details of this wedding a while back. Now we're showing the whole story of the homemade dress, the planning on Skype, and the classic style.

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Photos by Nikki Mcleod

The offbeat bride: Gillian, TV Production Assistant

Her offbeat partner: Mark, Political communications guy

Date and location of wedding: St.Salvator's Chapel, St.Andrews, Scotland, UK — May 28, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: He's a rural corn-fed American from military school, and I'm a quirky Brit in Scotland. We planned the wedding across the ocean using Skype, which came with extra challenges. We got married in a very traditional, all-inclusive venue, but it made the transatlantic planning so much easier.

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We were able to add our own details: my mum made my dress, my veil, the little bridesmaid's dresses, and her own outfit! My sister-in-law, who was maid of honour, made her own dress and I didn't even see it until the day of the wedding. I designed the invitations. My aunt made our cakes and had to drive them halfway up the country two days before the wedding in the back of her Mini Cooper.

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Tell us about the ceremony: It was a traditional Church of Scotland ceremony which was led by the same reverend who had married my mum and step-dad. We had friends read a couple of beautiful poems that had been written for the Royal Wedding: The Vow by Wendy Cope and A Lang Promise by Jackie Kay (read in Scots by a big, burly Scotsman).

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Our biggest challenge: Mark and I met at university in the UK, but since graduating have been separated by the Atlantic, which is really inconvenient to say the least. We spent many hours deciding wedding details over the web and working out what was important to both of us. Coordinating people all over the world was a huge task with the cakes, the bridesmaids, the dresses, and the groom all coming from different places.

The biggest decision was which country to get married in and where to live afterwards. Getting married in Scotland was important to me, but it has meant we have been apart since then while I wait for my visa to move to the U.S. Spending our first year of marriage apart is heart-wrenching, but the memories of the wedding and our beautiful photo album have kept us going.

My favorite moment: The process of having my mum design and make my dress for me was really special. She loves dressmaking as a hobby, and I always knew I wanted her to make it for me. We worked really well together. I told her I wanted a really simple mermaid style dress that looked a bit like a vintage swimming costume, and had fantastic blue netting underneath. She gave me exactly that.

As both the chapel and venue are seriously ancient, confetti was a no-no, so my mum and I made "yay" flags for our guests to wave as we left the chapel. They were made using old fabric from the attic like bits leftover from my old high school prom dresses, and even from my mum's wedding dress! They were nice little mementoes with memories attached to each one.

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My funniest moment: Two friends crashed our wedding! Years ago I had joked with them that if I ever got married they'd have to track down where the wedding was and crash it. I had totally forgotten about it until I walked out of the chapel with my new husband and spotted them waving "yay flags." Our photographer caught the exact moment I spotted them and realized I'd have to explain the pact to Mark, which was hilarious.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Plan your wedding with your husband, find out what's important to him, and share the experience. All the debates are totally worth it when people ask you both who designed which bit of the wedding. Mark chose all the flowers and the card for the invitations for instance, because they were important to him. Plan it together, even if you have to do it over Skype!

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A Month of Mixbooks:
As part of our partnership with Mixbook, this couple has been given a free wedding photo book to show off their wedding photos. We'll be featuring some of these Offbeat Bride Mixbooks in a few weeks!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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