Eva & Radek's diet-friendly Czech wedding by a cave #Real Weddings: Global#cave#christian#couples of color#czech republic#DIY#eastern europe#gender-blind wedding party#gluten-free#green dress#handmade dress#long-haired groom#sci-fi November 27 | Offbeat Editors Photos by Anna 'Andraste' Kijenská The Offbeat Bride: Eva, PhD student/research fellow Her offbeat partner: Radek, PhD student/research fellow Date and location of wedding: Býčí Skála (Bull rock), Moravský Kras (Moravian Karst), Czech Republic and Panská Lícha, Brno-Sobčšice — April 28, 2012 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: A traditional Czech wedding usually takes place somewhere indoors (like a church or town hall), but we just could not imagine the ceremony without seeing sky above and trees around. When searching for the perfect place for the ceremony, we figured that we already knew the best place for us: Býčí skála (Bull Rock) in Moravian Karst. This place is very important to us for various reasons: there is a cave system inside the rock that is known for prehistoric culture relics (which makes our pre-history and anthropology-loving hearts palpitate), and it is also the place where we first met and two years later got engaged. http://www.flickr.com/photos/81019860@N02/7446749964 http://www.flickr.com/photos/81019860@N02/7446747852 We also had two best men and three bridesmaids, which is not traditional in our culture. We also did not want to do the traditional division of family and friends for the reception or to in any way exclude anyone we wanted to have there. Usually just the family is invited for the lunch/afternoon meal with a set menu, and friends come only for the evening party. We also wanted to accommodate the dietary needs of our guests. The groom is on a lactose- and gluten-free diet, and my father is diabetic, so we were really conscious about what we served. We chose a buffet-style reception with options for every dietary need that we knew about. We also did not have the traditional wedding cake, as the dietary restrictions made it almost impossible. Instead, we had a cheese cake made from different types of whole cheeses including goat cheese (goat milk lactose is different from cow milk, so goat cheese was edible for the groom). We offered our guests different options for afternoon and evening activities including horse riding, going for an organized walk to a nearby watchtower, and solving games and quizzes from the wedding guidebook. The great weather also lent itself to leisurely walks around the grounds, watching and feeding the horses, and socializing. I love DIY, so I made my dress, the skirts, shrugs, and necklaces for my bridesmaids, invitations, and our wedding website. My friends and family helped me create decorations I wanted and my mum knitted a shawl for me. My sister did my hair-do. We also asked our mums to prepare some of our favorite meals which we wanted to share with our guests. Tell us about the ceremony: We had a Protestant Christian ceremony officiated by a friend who is also a pastor. He based his talk on the quotation we put on our save-the-date/invitation cards: "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death," as well as on his knowledge of our relationship, so it was meaningful and candid. We asked three talented friends to play during the ceremony. We chose the music, and they did an awesome job learning and playing everything. I walked down the aisle with my father to "Greensleeves", and we listened to a favourite song of ours, Bruce Dickinson's "Tears of the Dragon" just before the vows and blessings. We decided not to exchange rings, so there was just music, a short sermon, vows, the kiss, and blessings. Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge occurred when one of my close friends decided to get married just a week after us. We share a lot of friends, so there was anxiety on both ends about being compared and not getting enough attention. I had to remind myself that the wedding is not a competition, and we ended up being able to help each other with preparations. My favorite moment: Apart from the vows, which were really the centre of the whole event for us, it would probably be the preparations. Creating the ceremony, discussing what it meant to us and what to incorporate, as well as inviting people who are significant to both of us, made us really aware of what we were about to do. During the day, there was not so much time to really think about it, because it was actually happening, and there were too many things to enjoy. My funniest moment: My brother (and my best man) prepared a very special surprise gift for us consisting of a chisel, a hammer, and a big concrete cube which he wrapped in nice wrapping paper and placed among other wedding gifts. We had to break the cube with all the guests cheering to get inside, where the real gift was hidden. Fortunately, it was a financial gift (which we asked for) and not some fragile porcelain vase as someone suggested during our "un-wrapping." A scavenger hunt! Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The possible disaster situation happened at the end of the ceremony. One of our pregnant guests fainted and really scared everyone. My sister (official medic both for the wedding and in normal life) called the ambulance and kept her stabilized while the bridesmaids helped to wrap her in blankets. We waited for the ambulance to come and the medics to give her the all-clear before resuming the ceremony. Luckily, she and the baby were both alright, and she even joined us later in the afternoon. My advice for Offbeat Brides: Enjoy the preparations! There are plenty of ways to incorporate the things you enjoy in the process and make it fun. The wedding itself is usually too short to get all the quality time you want with your guests, so you can share some time with those you care about while planning before the wedding. http://www.flickr.com/photos/81019860@N02/7446749294 Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Photography: Anna "Andraste" Kijenská Venue: Býčí Skála (Bull rock) and Panská Lícha Sweets: Kokino Flowers: Rosebud Necklace: Fleur Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=photos%2F81019860%40N02%2Fsets%2F72157630296966896%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=photos%2F81019860%40N02%2Fsets%2F72157630296966896%2Fshow%2F&set_id=72157630296966896&jump_to=" width="800" height="500"> Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Stop the violence against glassware: 6 sweet-ass alternatives to clinking the glass NEXT Build your wedding logo around your favorite video game Toggle comments [ 6 ] So beautiful! I love the crown. And the concrete, cracking that open would be awesome fun! 3 agree Reply I love your use of Song of Songs 8:6 for the save the dates and the fact that your pastor friend implemented it into the ceremony. I swear, Song of Songs is such an underused and underappreciated part of the Bible in Christian weddings. Also, I would have loved to see you and your dad walk down the aisle to "Greensleeves." Fabulous choice! Reply Love it! Such a beautiful part of the world! Reply Such a beautiful wedding! I really like the Hitchhiker themed programs! And just about everything else as well; so many noteworthy details there. As a side note to OBB, the 'diet-friendly' wording on the lead in made me hesitate to look at this wedding, I didn't get at all that it was related to dietary restrictions and assumed it was about 'lite' wedding food or something. Reply look really traditional! Reply I really love the brides look in this wedding. Especially the way that veil fell, works so beautifully with the look! On another note, I think the goat cheese "cake" was really creative, especially considering the dietary restrictions Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.