Taryn & Craig's Silly, Fun-Filled, New Zealand Winter Wedding

20The Offbeat Bride: Taryn, Public Servant

Her Offbeat Partner: Craig, Public Servant

Location & date of wedding: Gothic Church and Wine Bar in Windy Wellington, New Zealand — 20 June 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Every little detail was perfectly us! We made a whole heap of compromises to keep family happy, but they were easy things to do because we love our families. However we also pushed back on things that were really important to us. Craig's cousin Jessica is his best friend, and it was really important to him to have her in his groom's party, even though that upset some people. My family is traditional South African Indian Seventh Day Adventist and Craig's is pure Kiwi Party Animal so it was always going to be a delicate balancing exercise.

The wedding was totally and utterly focused on fun. Our reading was the Lovely Love Story and we had dinosaur cupcakes at the reception to match that. We hired a comedian to play an undercover offbeat guest at the reception to help keep guests entertained. We had conversation starters on the tables, mini guest books with Spiderman felt pens, and a corner of the reception with big comfy couches, stencils, board games, toys and colouring books. I love/hate/am obsessed with Mariah Carey and her brand of kitsch, so my baby sister and I wore butterflies in our hair and Mimi perfume. It was AWESOME!

silly wedding party

Our biggest challenge: I've often said that wedding planning is actually a lot of fun, its just other people that make it difficult. Bringing others on board with our quirky ideas was always difficult. Striking that balance between my traditional conservative family and my New Zealand husband's family was tough, to say the least.

For me it was all about picking battles. There were things that Craig and I could easily let go, and things that we couldn't. It was easy for us to have our wedding in a church (non-consecrated) because it didn't mean that much to us and it meant a lot to certain members of my family. However, not changing my name was a biggy that I wasn't prepared to budge on. It was important for us to only argue about the things that mattered.

My favorite moment: think this would have to be the dancing. I loved seeing my super shy dad get up and do the knock knee dance with me and my four year old sister to the Black Eyed Peas. I also loved teaching my baby sis the YMCA and having her teach me how to go down 'Low' to Flo Rida. (We also had lots of PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Le Tigre in there, we are cool I promise!)

My older sister and I teaching the baby sister the YMCAMy advice for other offbeat brides: Shop around, it takes a while to find the perfect dress, the perfect shrug, at the perfect price. Pick your battles wisely, there's no need to fight over the centre pieces if its going to be the difference between your mother-in-law attending with a smile on her face or not. However, I made the mistake of getting bullied a little early on, and it set up the expectation that I would continually allow it. That said, be firm, but fair.

We're silly and childish and immature and so our whole wedding was focussed around that, which is why it was perfect for us. Even the people who didn't agree with our ideas saw, at the end of the day, how perfect our wedding was because it was redunkulous like us (we signed our legal documents with a Shrek Donkey pen). I think the most important thing is to capture whats important to you, and go for it! If people see you happy and in your element, it will be hard for them to hold a grudge!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

ETSY!! (I LOVE ETSY!!!)

Enough talk — show me the winter wedding porn!:

  1. How cute and lovely 🙂 I love love love that bolero. And that tutu! I'm envisioning my three -year-old niece/flowergirl in one now…

    Looks like you had an awesomely fun wedding, and it was beautiful too!

  2. Your final advice about picking your battles, holding on to what is most important and trusting that your (possibly nervous/tentative/upset) guests will be swept up into the lovefest is so true! After starting to plan and hype a huge wedding celebration at the beginning of a supposedly two-year engagement, we scrapped that idea and decided to have a tiny ceremony six weeks later. It was the complete opposite of what we'd been talking about to that point and it totally freaked out our parents, especially as it was a ceremony from an unfamiliar spiritual tradition. But once they came and participated in the wedding and saw how beautiful and US the whole deal was, they were honored, full of love, and excited to be there. My mom still carries around the photo book we made so that she can show it to anyone at the drop of a hat, and this was over a year ago!

  3. Hello to the peacock-butterfly feather accent in the hair! Love it. Other loves: Bmaids look so hip and gorgeous in boots and jackets plus their knee-length dresses, the flower girl in a tutu and jacket, groomswoman, the colors and the newlyweds' faces. : )

  4. hooray for offbeat kiwis! Wellington is a lovely city that embraces offbeat people
    The way Craig looks at you makes me go all gooey, there's so much love there!

  5. What a lovely wedding! I love your two dresses and the bridesmaid look great! I will have to show this to my sister in law because she's considering a ski resort wedding in winter and we were wondering if we could get away with wearing boots with pretty dresses at a wedding, guess we can! I also like that you tried to compromise for the sake of your family. Somone reminded me early on in my wedding planning process that my Mum had probably been looking forward to my wedding day since the day I was born. Even though it was our day and we wouldn't have done anything we didn't like or agree with, we felt it was important that those who are close to us and who have done so much for us over the years, enjoyed the day and felt comfortable with everything. It is a very delicate balancing exercise, but at the end of the day my parent's wanted me to be happy too, so everyone was prepared to compromise and it worked out fine.

  6. I love this wedding – it sounds like so much fun! I want something really silly and quirky – a day thatcan be genuinely enjoyed by all. Currently struggling to get my voice heard amid the others echoing 'but that's stupid', 'nobody else would do that'. They don't realise this eggs me on! Well done you – and great advice about picking your battles. xx

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