Sheri & Theo's 18th Century Scottish Harvest Wedding

Processional with the bagpiper

The offbeat bride: Sheri, Curriculum Developer

Her offbeat partner: Theo, Software Test Engineer

Location & date of wedding: Carrigan Farms, Mooresville, NC on November 4th, 2007

What made our wedding offbeat: My husband wanted to wear a Great Kilt in his family's tartan, so we decided to use the 18th century as inspiration and the plans grew from there.

My bouquet

Bridal portraitsI was so lucky to get my corsetted gown, headpiece and jewelry made by Elnara as her first commission. We found a Celtic fusion rock band for the reception through our bagpiper – they were so awesome!

My Mom and I did all the flowers and decorations. We ended up climbing through the woods in the days before the wedding to pick fall leaves and grab whole branches for centerpieces. My husband wrote the ceremony and six of our friends participated in the handfasting by telling sweet stories about us and pledging their support to the marriage as they tied the cords around our hands.

The whole focus of our wedding was to have the community of people we love as the true officiants – we had each of the 40 guests sign as witnesses on the Quaker Wedding Certificate we had made. Our little Leaf Fairy wore a custom-made fairy outfit complete with cellophane wings – I still want my own pair!

Elizabeth's Processional

Our biggest challenge: Trying to please my very literal future husband who wanted to follow the rules of the 18th century to a "T" and still have all the beautiful stuff that I wanted to incorporate. I love him very much, but the fact that most women in the 18th century would've worn cotton or wool at a wedding wasn't going to keep me from the silk duponi I was so in love with! In the end, we split up the decisions and went for it.

What was funny and surprising to me was the family response – they were thrilled to experience something different. Even if they didn't do the garb thing, they embraced the concept with open arms.

My mom made a dozen of these wreaths to line the walk to the ceremony

My favorite moment: The focus of our ceremony was our "community" recognizing and supporting the marriage, so each of our attendants participated in a six-cord handfasting that my husband wrote. While we weren't able to keep our own vows a secret (we were so excited about what we wrote that we ended up sharing those with each other before the ceremony), our attendants' parts were a complete mystery.

What was funny and surprising to me was the family response – they were thrilled to experience something different. Even if they didn't do the garb thing, they embraced the concept with open arms.

Each one of our attendants came up with sweet, personal things to say and ended their part by asking us a question that we could answer before the cord was tied. The one that brought down the house was my husband's (now our!) 17 year-old son who's been acting on the stage for years. What he said was impromptu (he didn't have anything written down, which made us nervous). His voice was sure and clear, but what he said was so heartfelt and he had huge tears streaming down his face.

Having his sweet and shy older sister bring us our rings and beam at us as we shared our vows with each other is a very close second.

My offbeat advice:Here are the things I would tell a friend during the planning process:

—If it's something that you love and that's personal to you and your future spouse, incorporate it. The less "weddingy" it is, the better!

Walking to the ceremony

—Even if you feel that it's frivolous and you don't like being the center of attention, get bridal portraits done. My wedding day was such a flurry and my photographer showed up an hour late, so the shots of my dress from the day of aren't nearly as good. It was also a nice dress rehearsal to see everything put together and make the needed tweaks.

—I know that many many ladies find gorgeous wedding dresses at the standard salons, but please consider finding a talented dressmaker! My experience with Elnara was an incredible one and I ended up with a wonderful friend in the process. I'm also hunting for other reasons to wear my dress again – masquerade balls, renaissance fairs – I'm there!!

Monogram jackolanterns

—Don't be afraid to start removing things from your DIY docket near the end. Those things you obsess over (my frustration was that one of my Aunts ended up being listed twice on the seating chart!) will be side notes when it's all over.

—Find a community of like-minded folks to bounce ideas off of. While my friends and family were interested during the planning process, they didn't have the helpful suggestions that the ladies at IndieBride, Offbeat Bride, WeddingBee and Medieval/Renaissance Weddings did. Having those groups kept me from making my friends completely crazy.

—Plan and document to your heart's content before the wedding, but on the day of, leave the details to someone else. I'm so lucky that my Mom's five sisters came to the wedding and descended on the ceremony/reception locations the morning of to pull things together. I was there for a couple of hours to help, but I was NOT in charge. It felt good!

—Walk to your groom slowly. Even with the incredibly long walk I had in the processional, I wish I'd paused to take it all in instead of making a bee-line to my "spot."

Enough talk — show me that wedding porn: Click the photo below to see shots from Sheri & Theo's 18th Century Scottish Harvest Wedding!

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  1. WOWSA! Their wedding looks SO COOL! And both their outfits are AMAZING! Rawk on to them both :oD
    @~>~~

  2. that is the most beautiful dress, and possibly my favorite that i've seen on OBB.

    your wedding looked fantastic and you looked beautiful. congrats!

  3. I saw your photos on that dressmaker's site. They were definitely one of the main things that drew me to her. I thought you were a model honestly. I love the idea of having others involved in your hand fasting.

    1 agrees
  4. Yay! Just realized that I never added a comment here 🙂 Thanks so much for all of the kind words!!

    I got our wedding album and this post came out the same week, just a couple of weeks after our first anniversary – it turned out to be a great way to relive one of our favourite days.

    1 agrees
  5. lovely dress–I make period dresses too and yours is truly beautiful and fits so well–You look so proud standing up straight–couldn't do anything else could you–corsets are making a comeback

  6. I also make historic reproduction gowns and men's wear. You look splendid in your outfit, standing strait and proud. I think more people need to wear this kind of thing to their wedding. Very regal!

  7. Hey Sheri, I just came across your wedding page tonight as I was researching for my own wedding. I would like more information about you picked out your wedding dress and bridal party outfits. My fiance' and I are getting married next October 2010, and we're having a Celtic Wedding. I've looked at a couple patterns, but you're dress is simply beautiful and very similar to what I had in mind. My difficulty lies in finding the bridesmaid dresses..i really dresses that don't clash and not flashier than the bride's dress. I'd love to get in contact with you over email if you're okay with that. Please let me know. I've got my website listed so you're welcome to contact me via facebook.

    http://www.facebook.com/sandyblaw

  8. I love your pictures! I'm getting married at the Texas Renaissance Festival in November. I will definitely go over your pictures for some great ideas. Your dress is so beautiful. The little fairy is so cute, too! I'd love any tips you can give to me. Congrats on your beautiful wedding and marriage.

  9. I love your pictures! I'm getting married at the Texas Renaissance Festival in November. I will definitely go over your pictures for some great ideas. Your dress is so beautiful. The little fairy is so cute, too! I'd love any tips you can give to me. Congrats on your beautiful wedding and marriage.

  10. o my gosh you looked sooooo beautiful you have inspired me to have a medievil wedding of my own!!

  11. Oh I just know I'm super late!!!!!!!! The last comment was in 2011!!!!! But I can not HELP MYSELF!!!!!!!!! Oh!!!!!!! If I ever get married and my wedding is even half that amazing I will probably DIE FROM EXCITEMENT, HAPPINESS AND AMAZEMENT!!!!!!!!! The most WONDERFUL dress and PERFECT little flower girl!!!!!!!!!! OMG Sheri, I know I am years too late but YOU RULE!!!!!!!!!

  12. WOW. Everything about this is so so so wonderful. I wish I had the words at the moment for how much I love this. (omg, your flower fairy is CUTE as a button!!!)

  13. I love your wedding!! We are getting married in September 2018. It will be a Scottish wedding, with kilts, tartans, celtic flair and as much Cuban-American crazies I can incorporate!!!
    Our granddaughters will be our flower girls. I absolutely ADORE your little fairy leaf girl!!! Could you please share with me where you bought or how you make the celophane wings? The girls will be 4, 2 and 1, so they will love being fairies!!

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