Katy & Aytan's potluck picnic wedding in the park

Photos by Jeremy Turner

The offbeat bride: Katy, Learning Support Assistant

Her offbeat partner: Aytan, Broadcast Engineer

Location & date of wedding: Dulwich Park, South East London, England — August 5, 2010

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We got engaged just four months before the wedding, and decided to get married in a park on a weekday. We wanted it to be simple but special, and intimate with just the people with whom we are very close.

The guests were asked to bring a dish for the picnic potluck. I spent a lot of time sewing bunting, making cushions, and making my niece's bridesmaid dress. My mum made beautiful picnic blankets, and my sister made party bags for all the children.

A good friend of ours, Guigui, made an amazing cake, and my husband's incredibly talented sister Aysen made the two "Aytan and Katy" dolls which sat in front of the cake.

My mum also made my bouquet from flowers grown in her garden. I wore a '50s-style white dress, and Aytan wore a shirt, trousers, trainers, and his buttonhole flowers in his top pocket.

Tell us about the ceremony: We had a simple ceremony in Southwark registry office, which has a really pretty garden in the back. When the registrar started to say, "Do you take…" Aytan said "I do!" really quickly, as he thought that she'd finished the line. That was a funny part.

It's a very surreal experience, and feels like the most important and wonderful thing I've ever done. Looking at Aytan and repeating the words, I felt like we were the only people in the world.

Our biggest challenge: Having the wedding in a park was a big challenge, as there was no plan B. It rained all week leading up to the day and I was panicking about what we'd do if it did. I didn't fancy getting everyone into the pub. I also wasn't entirely sure that we were even allowed to have a wedding party in the park, so that was at the back of my mind. Anyway, the day came, the sun shone, and it was fine.

It was also a challenge deciding to invite just close family and friends. This meant that a lot of family were left out, but we had to stay true to what we wanted the day to be and I hope that everyone understood this.

My favorite moment: When we arrived at the park and walked towards our wedding guests, they all parted to form an aisle for us to walk down. That's a moment that will always stay in my mind, as I saw all the faces of the people I love right there in the same place.


My funniest moment: During the ceremony, Aytan shed a tear and claimed that it was his hair gel getting in his eyes! He still sticks to this story, but I don't believe him for a minute.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME

    • Hello-
      It wasn't pricey at all- quite the opposite! All the decorations were hand made, the food was made by the guests who also brought their own drink. The registry office ceremony was probably the most expensive part and that cost £100! I found that once I'd mentioned it, everybody wanted to do something to chip in which made it really nice as well as cheap. We didn't pay anything for having it in the park as we just turned up and did it.
      As for tips-as I said before, getting friends with skills such as sewing or cake baking helps! x

      1 agrees

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.