Gabrielle & Andres' "tattoo parlor meets tea at grandma's house" wedding

The Offbeat Bride: Gabrielle, Artist/Art Teacher

Her Offbeat Partner: Andres, London Underground worker

Location & date of wedding: Ceremony at Islington Town Hall London, Reception at The Mildmay Workingmen's Club London UK — 11th April 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was DIY not just out of necessity due to the small budget, but because we wanted the wedding to be a true reflection of us. Our wedding was a mix match or a miss match of everything we like from tattoos to tea parties.

the official wedding logo
the official "wedding logo"
I made my bouquet out of fabric scraps and buttons. I made my own dress. I knitted cupcakes for table decorations. Stitched all the 20 reasons Andres' gave me as to why I should marry him. I painted a banner for the stage. We made all the food (with lots of help from family and friends). I made the bunting, the invites, my garter, my veil and Andres made the Cake toppers and the confetti. Most of the plates came from my mum who does house clearances for a living. The only things we bought were Andres' suit and Converse and my shoes and underwear. 
 I think even if money was no option we would still have done a lot of it ourselves as it felt like it was truly our day that way.

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was putting together a DIY wedding and working full time, in only 6 months. And we had to make sure that we still made time for each other to enjoy been engaged. In the months leading up to the wedding it felt like all we did was make stuff for the wedding and anytime spent together was spent wedding planning. There were times when I would be very stressed with everything. So we had to learn to take time out from all the chaos and spend quality time together. We were working to a deadline but if it did not get done it did not get done, what was important was us and our relationship the reason why we were doing all this in the first place.

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My favorite moment: I have too many favorite moments to choose from its too hard to choose just one.
When I walked into the registry office and saw all the people I love gathered in one room, to when we were exchanging vows and Andres' bottom lip started to wobble. Or when I arrived at the reception and my two amazing friends were serving cups of tea to all the guests as they arrived. And our first dance to 'All I Want is You' by Barry Louis Polisar are just a few of my favorite moments.

My advice for other offbeat brides: In an offbeat wedding it's often the small details and individual touches that become important in the planning and preparation of the big day. However what is important to you might not seem important to a helpful family member.

My advice would be that on the day you will be so happy and so wrapped up in everything that those smaller details that seemed so important in the days leading up to the wedding will no longer matter as you will be having a fantastic time. For example it was really important to me that guests ate off miss match vintage plates, I had enough plates for every guest to use two plates each, one for savory and one for sweet but we still managed to run out. Someone went and bought some white paper plates, one of my friends tried to hide them from me as she knew how important the vintage plates where but when I saw them I did not care, it was not important.

these shoes are incredible!
these shoes are incredible!

Why did I even care about this in the first place? Why was I stressing about all theses small details leading up to the wedding? I have no idea. I supposed its just easy to get wrapped up in the planning, but on the day the only thing that is important is that you have married the person you love and you are surrounded by people who love you.

Trust me you will not care what your guests eat off.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

  1. Yay, mismatching china and tea cups! We have something similar planned four our wedding.

  2. love, love, love the cupcakes! Please post instructions or let us know where we can learn to make those? Also, I covet your dress and your "cake topper"

    I check this website every day, and your wedding is my fave so far!

    • Hi Alexandra thank you so much for you lovely comments, I bought the knitting pattern for the cupcakes from etsy there are loads on there to choose from just type in 'knitted cake patterns' in the search area, the seller will email you a PDF pattern. It took me a while to get my head around the pattern but once I'd made a few it was pretty easy. (I have to admit I bought the knitted biscuits from an etsy seller Treaclezoo). My guests stole most of the knitted cakes which is ok because I did not have time to make favors…

  3. fantastic. i am gobsmacked! would you recommend your reception venue? need to find a good central(ish) london party location for october, ysee…

  4. Hi Hazel thank you, the Mildmay is fantastic if you are looking for a certain aesthetic which we were, it has 2 rooms a very large room with a big stage and the smaller room, its incredibly kitsch and cheap. We wanted a venue where we could take our own food and decorate, we only wanted someone to run the bar. the staff were great and pretty much left us to our own devices which is what we wanted. They are very easy going and if you give them a call you can go and have a look around any time. Good luck with your Party!

  5. i wish i could buy that dress from you, its amazing! wouldnt want to make me one in white on white polka dots would you? xD

    • Hi Jess thank you 🙂 I adapted this vintage vogue patten http://www.voguepatterns.com/item/V2903.htm?tab=v… I changed the neckline to a sweetheart neck line and added cap sleeves… you could buy the patten and take it to a seamstress however, since doing all the prep for my wedding I have been thinking about going in to creative business as i really enjoyed all the making… maybe you could be my first costumer:) haha

      • name the price, i've got 11 months till i get married, i;ve got plenty of time. in all seriousness, if you ever do decide to go into business, please please please let me know, i'd happily be a customer. i'll even make you cupcakes or brownies as an added incentive ^_^

  6. i love love love those colors together. i incorporated coral and turquoise in places in my wedding. FH says "those don't go together" wait till he gets home and i show him the amazing colors of you wedding! booyah!

  7. Wow, I've been reading Offbeat Bride for a while now (guilty pleasure because I'm not even dating anyone currently!) and this is the first wedding I've wanted to comment on.

    There are so many elements that I love- the cupcakes look adorable, the colors just pop, the vintage dishes are wonderful, and the 20 reasons is a lovely thing to incorporate. I would have had a blast at this wedding!

    Congrats!!!

  8. what's not to love? Happy couple, mismatched vintage china, the colors, and the knitted cakes, all BRILLIANT! congratulations and felicitations – here's hoping your marriage is as wonderful!

  9. First time on this website and I loved everything about your wedding. Just the type I would love to do. Your dress, hat, colors, shoes, (oh my god, those shoes!!) were great. I am getting married in 6 months and have some planning to do now that I have some inspiration!

  10. the stitched "20 reasons" decoration is sooo sweet! Congratulations on a beautiful wedding!

  11. omg. i love it! you got married on the day we got engaged.

    this is soooooo inspirational.

    congratulations on your marriage! all the best. x

  12. Wowzers that looked like it rocked! I so want mismatched plates too. I hadnt thought of house clearances, wonder where I can get some info…must google

    xxx

  13. I loved everything about this wedding!! I think that the DIY is perfect for any wedding and this couple really captured how unique and awesomely creative they are!! Congrats on your fantastic wedding!!!

    • they are by melissa at vivienne westwood they come with the hearts on and they have them in a variety of colour combinations.

  14. WOW- parallel universe wedding! Mildmay was my 1st choice venue (but not FH's, so we found somewhere we both loved) and I was gonna wear those westwood shoes! getting married in september.

    Can I ask who took the photos? they're so lovely and your wedding looks (hopefully) in a very similar vibe (horrible word but you know what I mean) to how ours'll be ….

    • Hi the wedding pictures where taken by a photographer friend of mine Alison Henry, i can pass on contact details if you'd like to speak with her… good luck with your wedding 🙂

  15. oh lordi vivienne westwood shoes, LOVE, i have them in a different colour to you, and my jewellery is by her, you have good taste lady, i love your wedding

  16. I love the look of this wedding, your dress is to die for~!!
    We are looking into getting married at the town hall as well. Such a great looking place~!!
    Inspiring, thanks~!!

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