Donna & Kev's black, white, and wonky wedding with monkeys!

I know the title gives it away, but there are monkeys! In a wedding dress and kilt! Flip through the slideshow for a special treat/horror/hilarity for Kilt Week wedding #2. – Becca

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Photos by Andy Bilson

The offbeat bride: Donna, Project Manager (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Kev, Teacher

Location & date of wedding: Stanneylands Hotel, Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK — April 10, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We had a non-church wedding, which was pretty offbeat for my family. Alongside this was our amazing bride and groom monkey ring bearers, a quiz to keep the guests entertained, a rocking black and white bridal gown, no bridesmaids — just a best woman (who did a speech!), organza/wire flowers, haggis (a Scottish speciality food) in the main course, wonky cake and a Ceilidh dance in the evening!

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Tell us about the ceremony: We had chosen A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton much before the wedding. Then we stumbled upon the book in a store about a week before. Our friend El read from the book — and it just came across amazingly.

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IMG_0542Our biggest challenge: We had quite a few challenges along the way.

Firstly, my dress arrived in the UK from Australia and was missing all the black detail up the back of the train. I had three months for it to get back to the designer, get fixed and then be returned.

Another thing, our venue dressers went bust a few months before the wedding and we lost £200, but thankfully the insurance paid out afterwards and we found another. To top it off, snow and train strikes were scheduled for the wedding week (thankfully none of them happened!).

Finally, our honeymoon hotel was flooded and we had to book another, which never quite compared to the original we wanted!

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My favorite moment: There are so many meaningful and memorable moments of the wedding:
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  • Forgetting about all the challenges when I walked down the aisle and saw my hubby (looking gorgeous in his kilt) and everyone there!
  • Hearing the laughs spread down the aisle as people realized my brother was carrying two toy monkeys dressed in a wedding dress and a kilt!
  • Our family from both sides coming together with our friends and having the most amazing day. Best of all everyone really got on well… my Aunty and his Gran have already arranged to meet again!
  • The readings and songs shared by our friends were so fun.
  • The registrar nearly crying and never having heard our reading before even though she must have done a million weddings.
  • Tables trading sweets with each other from the centerpieces — and loving the haggis in the main course and the tablet (another Scottish speciality) served with coffee.
  • Everyone getting into the Ceilidh dancing, and even dancing in the bar because we ran out of space and they didn't want to miss out.

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IMG_0538My funniest moment: The quiz ended up with a tie (which we had not planned for!). My brother who was reading the answers decided that a dance off would be the best way to decide the winner — not the usual straight-forward question. This resulted in the funniest five minutes of dancing, lots of cheering, and some amazing photos!

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? People's reactions to the quiz and sweets was hit or miss. I liked the idea and didn't mind if others were not convinced! As it was, they both went down a storm.

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IMG_0018My advice for offbeat brides: My advice would be to think about what's important, and don't be afraid to make compromises on the other things to keep family and friends happy and involved. Also, don't set your heart on anything too early — your mind may change (particularly if you keep browsing this amazing site). Personally, I would consider chosing a photographer that gives you copyright of your photos — it's so helpful to be able to print copies for friends or put them in your thank-you cards.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? You can't plan for everything, but you can be well-prepared, be organized, delegate, and let the small things go. As a project manager, that was a pretty big lesson to learn!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Dress: Custom-made by Australia designer, Jean Fox
  • My bouquets, button holes, hairpieces and cake toppers: custom-made by a very talented friend
  • Photographer: Crime scene photographer by week, wedding photographer by weekend Andy Bilson

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. I love the monkeys! And the dress and the kilts and the purple! Congrats on a beautiful wedding!

  2. First, WOW with the awesome.

    Second…what brand are those shoes?!? I'm trying to find *awesome*, but comfortable (and pref. flat or almost flat) PURPLE shoes, and have been having next to no luck!

    Beautiful wedding!!! <3

  3. Would love to see pictures of the candy centerpieces or know what the quiz was about. Awesome dress though! You're gorgeous. (:

  4. beeauuuutttiful dress. My heart skipped a beat a bit as I've been looking for white with black accents. And I'm Australian. oh my good god.

    • Jean fox has the most amazing collection of black and white dresses, after I had mine made they added a load more to the current collection! Hope you find one you love!

  5. I've been thinking about having a quiz for our wedding guests too. I'd love to know more about yours. Were there questions about you and your husband or random trivia (or both?)? I was thinking of having two quizzes per table. One that would just be about me and my fiance and another being trivia and I could award a prize for both.

    Anyway, your wedding was lovely! Thank you for sharing! I love the monkeys.

  6. Just wanted to mention that you don't need a photographer who'll give you the copyright to be able to print photos; you just need wording in the contract that grants you the right to. Most photographers I know (& I am one) won't give away copyright because that's our art and our lives!
    Essentially where a contract states "The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created and shall have the exclusive right to make reproductions." you just need to find someone willing to say "The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created and shall grant the client unlimited reproduction rights for non-commercial use."

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