Juliane & Sam's pole dancing and cult films wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding
Photos by Lauren McGlynn Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Juliane, researcher

Her offbeat partner: Sam, sales assistant

Date and location of wedding: Regency Room, Brighton Town Hall, UK and Fabrica, Brighton, UK — June 21, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: While we had a non-religious wedding, we held our reception in an old church that is now mainly used as an art gallery space. Sam and I both absolutely love bad films, so we had a bit of a cult film theme going on. Our save-the-dates were cinema tickets, our invitation info wheels were designed as film reels (which took forever to cut out), and the tables were all named after so-good-they're-bad films (anything from Plan 9 From Outer Space to Troll 2). For our first dance, our friend Laura played a cover version of "You are My Rose" from The Room on the double bass and sang.

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

There were also three pole dancing performances. I teach pole at university, and three committee members (who all used to be presidents of the pole society at some point and are AWESOME) performed as their present to us.

Sam and I are both vegan, so our wedding was too: we had a vegan buffet, vegan cupcakes (by a not-for-profit baker who donates all her profits to animal charities), and vegan ice cream.

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

I also DIYed quite a lot. Apart from the invitations and table numbers, I made a lot of origami roses for the bouquets and my headpiece, made bunting and a Lumpy Space Princess card box. We also had Adventure Time cake toppers, but those were not DIYed. We hand-stamped our place cards and got little LEGO minifigures of each guest to hold them up.

Juli & Sam's wedding

As a nod to my neuroscience background, I wore an oxytocin necklace and serotonin earrings.

One last thing which might be a bit different from some weddings: our guests were almost exclusively friends our age, which means that our reception turned into a bit of a church rave with '90s dance music and glow sticks towards the end.

Juli & Sam's wedding

Tell us about the ceremony:
Sam and I got married at the registry office, which is one of the only ways to get legally and non-religiously married in England. Therefore, we had limited options for personalisation, but we made it our own nonetheless.

Juli & Sam's wedding

We had our final chat with the registrar beforehand together, which was good because Sam was so nervous that he couldn't even remember his age (while I was, oddly, calm as a rock). Then, we walked into the ceremony room to our friend Laura singing a song that'd she'd written specifically for us, and only finished the morning of our wedding. Our (grown-up) flower girl and her boyfriend read "A Lovely Love Story" by Edward Monkton, which meant a lot to us. They were both quite nervous beforehand, but absolutely nailed it.

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Our biggest challenge:
We were relatively lucky and everything went quite smoothly, but there were still a few little things that proved somewhat challenging. The fact that we primarily invited friends to our wedding might have hurt some of my family members, and left others not feeling involved enough. This was sad because it wasn't what we intended at all. It's easy enough to say "screw everyone else, we'll do what we want," but at the same time, the reality of seeing others hurt can make you second guess your decisions.

Another thing that was difficult to handle in the lead-up to our wedding was the fact that we couldn't have our grandmas there because of their age, and then Sam's grandma died a week and a half before the wedding (which resulted in us going to her funeral and our wedding in the same week). This was emotionally difficult for everyone involved, but weddings can be a nice way to focus on the happy things in life for a bit.

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

My favorite moment:
The most meaningful moment for me was probably Sam reading his vows. But there are other things that meant a lot to me on the day as well. Getting ready together was wonderful and definitely the right choice for us. We had a lot of friends there to get ready with us, and even though it was quite hot and hectic, it was a beautiful moment. Then, it felt amazing when all of us walked to the ceremony together, with Sam and I holding hands, in the sunshine, with all our friends behind us and random strangers congratulating us.

Juli & Sam's wedding

Finally, we had a spontaneous final dance that I will never forget. Five minutes to midnight, "Dreamer" by Living Joy came on as the last song. Everyone joined together in a circle, and Sam and I started dancing like maniacs in the middle, and then got everyone to join in. It was amazing.

Juli & Sam's wedding

My funniest moment:
While we were still at university, our friend James somehow invented/developed an alter-ego called "Rave-y Pete," a raver from Manchester who always gets the party started. Back then, he would dress up as Rave-y Pete on nights out (wearing a woolly hat, sunglasses, and a purple t-shirt with a smiley face on it), and Pete would regularly crash parties that we had originally invited James to. We hadn't seen Rave-y Pete come out since we left uni, but halfway through the reception, the woolly hat and the sunglasses made an appearance again. Pete did what he does best: get the party started and throw some amazing shapes on the dance floor. Many of my friends who had never encountered Pete were amazed and confused, but he definitely took the party to the next level.

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

Juli & Sam's wedding

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    • Thanks annelore! We clearly couldn't decide which colours to use, so just went 'RAINBOW, YAY!' in the end. I'm glad we did as well. πŸ™‚

      1 agrees
  1. Oh my goodness! What a gorgeous wedding!! I ADORE your cupcake tower toppers and your card box!!! And all your film touches as well. It's amazing what you were able to DIY so expertly!!

    • Thank you Lauren! The card box was Sam's idea actually (best idea EVER! πŸ˜€ ).
      I'm really proud of the origami roses actually. I'd never done origami before, and the first one took me about an hour to make. Now I can fold them in my sleep. πŸ™‚

      • What a wonderful celebration of your love! Do you have a link to a tutorial for those origami roses? Where did you find the lovely paper? Those are the most beautiful paper flowers I have ever seen!

        • Thank you so much – that is quite the compliment!
          I found the tutorial here: http://www.origami-flower.org/origami-rose-jewelry.php
          And for mine, I just searched for 'rainbow origami paper' on ebay, I think. I can find the exact seller for you, if you want? The bouquets for my bridesmaids were made out of book pages from a hilarious 'vintage style' home decoration book.

  2. I LOVE the lego place card idea. Such a thoughtful idea & a really fun souvenir. Lovely wedding. Seconding the appreciation for the bride's jewelry πŸ™‚ Congrats!

    • Thank you! I think some of the guests liked being able to play with lego figures at our reception, hehe!
      It did take a lot of trips to the lego store though. πŸ˜›

  3. VocΓͺ estava perfeita, muito lindo seu casamento. Beijos.

    Ildete Pereira
    Brasil

    1 agrees
  4. everything looks great – but the best part is that it looks like everyone's having a great time.

    1 agrees
  5. I just adore your wedding! We are doing a geeky non-religious and DIY wedding. How did you make the card box? Would you mind me making it for my wedding?

    1 agrees
    • Hi Olivia,
      I only just saw this! Sorry for the late reply, I hope it's not too late. Feel free to steal the idea!
      I used a cardboard box inside to stabilise the box itself, and just cut a hole into it where the mouth was supposed to be. Then, I cut out 2 LSP-shapes out of purple card, (the front with the mouth cut out) and glued them to the front and the back of the box. The sides were just long rectangles attached to both the front and the back LSP, bent and folded to follow along her lumps.
      I hope this helps a little bit? Good luck!

  6. I absolutely love your wedding. I am especially in love with your bouquet. How did you make it? I've been trying to get my head around how to attach stems for a while now…

    1 agrees
    • Thank you Ashleigh! πŸ™‚
      I used tutorials from this page: http://www.origami-flower.org/

      Specifically, the Jewelry Rose, Origami Stem (Origami Wire Stem) and Single Origani Leaf tutorials.

      I hope this helps – sorry for the late reply, I only saw your comment now. Good luck!

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