Laura & Mark's Australian High Country wilderness wedding

By on Sep. 27th

We all flipped for the photo of Laura and Mark traversing the Snowy Mountains in their purple and black duds in a recent Monday Montage. Here is the rest of the story!

The offbeat bride: Laura, Customs Officer (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Mark, Web Developer

Date and location of wedding: Snowy Wilderness, Jindabyne, NSW, Australia — August 4, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding contained many of the things we both love: winter, snow, the great outdoors, horses, family, and friends. We got married about five hours away in the Australian High Country on a 7,200-acre property called Snowy Wilderness. It is a Brumby sanctuary, and has horses and animals all over the place. We are both animal lovers but I am horse crazy!

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I am a makeup artist so I did my own makeup as well as the bridal party and my mum. I assembled my own flowers and got help decorating the venue by my wonderful friends the night before.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We loved our celebrant. We also wrote our own vows. Mark's were beautiful and completely blew me away.

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My brother read A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, and our second reading was The Apache Blessing:

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for each other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before. Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship — as they threaten all relationships at one time or another — remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives — remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

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Our biggest challenge: Logistics were a challenge since we were having the wedding so far away from home. On the morning of the wedding, my maid of honor and I drove to the flower markets at 5:30 am to pick up all the flowers at the last minute.

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We had a lot of help from family and friends who picked up cakes, the juke box, and packed their cars full of everything that they could fit. I ran out of time to do some of the things I wanted to do, but in the end, only a few of us knew what was missing.

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My favorite moment: It was very special to have my only brother fly over from Finland to be there. His wife is due to have their first baby next month so she couldn't travel. He read a poem in Finnish that his wife had wanted to read — it left me speechless!

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I also arrived on horseback to the ceremony, which was very special to me as horses are such a big part of my life. After our ceremony, Mark and I had some pictures taken with the equine guest of honour and it was nice to take some time out to be together.

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My funniest moment: While my brother was reading A Lovely Love Story, our two-year-old flower girl said "Oh no, not dinosaurs!" out loud and was very concerned as it went on about the impending dinosaurs. She also exclaimed when the wind picked up that it was "too windy out here," at which point her mum handed back her pacifier to try to stop the commentary.

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My brother had also recently come back from Uganda, where he had been working, and brought us a giant hollowed out seed pod. We were told this was the official way of sealing the deal on a marriage in Uganda, and we both had to drink out of it. We put cider in it and toasted away, but it tasted as funky as it smelled!

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I had injured my ankle before the wedding and wasn't sure how I was going to go about walking, let alone riding the horse. I knew I wouldn't be able to ski in the days after the wedding, which was disappointing. But I was able to get on and off the horse and walk down the aisle without hobbling, and even the lack of skiing after didn't dampen our mini honeymoon.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Surround yourself with supportive people or communities like the Offbeat Bride Tribe where you will get feedback without judgment.

Don't do anything that you don't want to do just because "that's how it's done." As Dr. Seuss said, "Be who you are and do what you feel because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!



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