Gwen & Mark's geeky fantasy barn wedding

Happy couple
Photos by Rupert Gilley, friend of the couple

The Offbeat Bride: Gwen, Ecologist

Her offbeat partner: Mark, Business Systems Analyst

Date and location of wedding: Postlip Tithe Barn, Gloucestershire, UK — June 2nd, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We planned a day with a handfasting and geeky references followed by ceilidh dancing. We kept most things handmade, taking the bits of tradition we liked, ignoring the rules, and making a magical day which was truly ours. From the personalised fantasy cake toppers fighting a sugarpaste dragon, to the bunting flags created by friends and family, our wedding combined our love of sci-fi, fantasy, and nature with a good old-fashioned barn party.

Bridal party

Flowers and butterflies

Bunting flags made by friends and family

Guest's messages

Vows exchaged

Tell us about the ceremony:
As the ceremony was unofficial, my uncle officiated for us and we persuaded him to open with the "mawwiage" lines from The Princess Bride. This set the tone for the rest of the ceremony: readings and vows both amusing and geeky, quoting Star Trek, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Stardust. We also included this quote from Dr. McCoy, from Star Trek, the original series:

It is said that in this galaxy, there is a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all of that, and perhaps more, only one of each of us.

Tying the knot

We couldn't decide on our favourite unity ceremony, so in addition to the traditional exchange of rings and vows, we included a water ceremony where coloured waters are combined to symbolise the coming together of our two lives. True to my Christian upbringing, my godfather led everyone in a prayer for us which was followed by our closest friends tying the ribbon in a handfasting.

Postlip house

Our biggest challenge:
We pretty much fell in love with the first venue we found, a lovely medieval Tithe Barn. The only problem was to legally get married in England, the venue as well as the officiate must be licensed, and this barn wasn't at the time. We decided to get around this by getting married into the local registry office in the morning, and then holding what we considered to be our "real" ceremony in the barn, surrounded by our friends and family. This also meant we didn't have to follow a given script and could write our own ceremony.

Guests get to play Connect 4

Happy couple

My favorite moment:
My mum made my wedding dress from a pattern in a costume book using silk brocade given to us by a friend. The day before the wedding, many friends (nicknamed "the barnstormers") came to help us turn a working barn into a beautiful wedding venue with flowers, fairy lights, bunting, and dragons.

The barn ready

There is a piece of music from my favourite TV series, Firefly, which I wanted to walk down the aisle to but was never released: "Saffron's Wedding Dance." One musically gifted friend made my dream come true, and brought tears to my eyes, by rerecording it himself.

And best of all, my oldest friend won a battle with cancer to be there as my maid of honour!

Water ceremony prep.

My funniest moment:
We liked the idea of a water ceremony so we chose to make the mixing of blue and yellow water from two vessels in to a single glass a part of this as they'd mingle to match the green of our decorations. There is no single template for this sort of thing so Mark wrote our words himself and couldn't resist throwing in another geeky reference.

Him: I bring a flask of purest blue, it is for the loyalty and strength I hope our life together will hold. I add it to the glass for us to share.
Me: I bring a flask of purest yellow, it is for the wisdom and fun I hope our life together will hold. I add it to the glass for us to share.
Him: Our colours blend and we hold in our hands a glass of purest green. It is for growth and fresh beginnings.

The ripple of laughter as our friends spotted the Blackadder "purest green" reference coming was priceless!

Mixing waters

Dragon

Cutting the cake

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Black Adder! The model of an offbeat gender-reversal elopement!

    Love it love it love it love it love it etc.

    3 agree
  2. Classy vests = win.
    Old English barn = win.
    Dragon topper = win.
    Black Adder reference =win.
    Mawwage speech = win.

    Heck, this wedding is nothing but WIN.

    Most beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

    1 agrees
  3. Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments!

    A, please do steal the star trek quote. It's such a beautiful sentiment wrapper up in science, what could be better?!

    The cake was the only thing we got from a wedding fayre, besides several free cupcakes! The dragon topper now lives under a glass dome in our living room 🙂

  4. First and foremost my warm congratulations for both of you. Such a successful geeky weeding and I love what you're fantasizing guys. Everything do rocks!!! 🙂

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