Tamasin & Ben's dress-up camping "BAMfest" wedding

January 9 2014 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Michelle Tyrrell

We're in the mood to bring some rainbows, glitter, and colorful details into your life. It's a prismatic rainbow and colorful wedding theme week!

BAMfest 2012
Photos by Michelle Tyrrell

The Offbeat Bride: Tamasin, producer

Her offbeat partner: Ben, editor

Date and location of wedding: Gilwell Park Scout Camp, Gembrook, Victoria, Australia — December 29, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Rather than spending money on making the wedding fancy but small, we'd decided to do it cheap and big so we could invite heaps of friends and family. The result was around 200 guests, a scout camp location, and doing almost everything DIY (in most cases assisted by friends and family). We love going to camping festivals so we took a lot of inspiration from that. Most of the guests camped overnight with us. We called the event "BAMfest" (a mash-up of Ben and Tam).

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

We made a huge timetable blackboard, got married on a stage, got everyone to dress up in costumes (which is how we roll at festivals), had beer and cider on tap, and made sure our dance floor went until the sun came up.

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

Tell us about the ceremony:
Here's how it went down: our friend Than, dressed as the god of lust, entered the stage and led the guests in a chant, accompanying them on saxophone. Ben was carried in on his "knights'" (groomsmen's) shoulders on a wooden throne. Songs by the band The Beards played as the knights had some beer in their goblets and waved at the audience until Ben's dad, who officiated the ceremony dressed as a king, called out, "Places, Knights!"

BAMfest 2012

The Knights made an arch with their swords and the "birdsmaids" (bridesmaids dressed as birds) danced out to the song "What I Like About You." The song ended with a whole group dance on stage.

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

Ben's dad gave wonderful, meaningful, and hilarious speeches throughout the whole ceremony. Ben's sister read out the lyrics of Bob Dylan's "Wedding Song." Ben and I played rock-paper-scissors to see who said their vows first (Ben won).

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

At the end, "All is Love" started playing and a group of our friends dressed in shorts, grass skirts, and coconut bras came out with trays of drinks.

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest 2012

Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was definitely trying to pull together a DIY wedding with 200 guests in six months whilst also working a 50+ hour week and at the same time making a short film together. On top of that, the final week before the wedding included one of the busiest days of the year, Christmas.

BAMfest 2012

The phenomenal people we are lucky enough to call family and friends did so much to help us out! Without them, there is no way it would have come together in time. It was truly a team effort and I could never thank everyone who helped enough for making it happen.

BAMfest 2012

My favorite moment:
Our friend Crowe played our song, "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes. I stood there with my head on Ben's shoulder looking out over the crowd made up of our friends and family in their amazing costumes. It was great for us to have a moment to appreciate that it was really all happening.

BAMfest 2012

My dad and Ben's dad sang a karaoke duet to "Stand by Me," too. That would have been amazing enough, but they couldn't quite find the tune so everyone in the crowd took up singing it. It's a fantastic song to belt out at the top of your voice with all your favorite people.

Our friends had put a tent up for us away from the main camping area, and there was a magical trail of tea lights that we had to follow to find it. They were in the trees and along the path, and it was a really beautiful moment walking hand-in-hand through the bush following the lights to our hidden "love tent."

BAMfest

BAMfest 2012

My funniest moment:
Watching everyone shake their tail feathers during the costume competition dance off was hilarious. We had a boys and a girls competition, and everyone competing pulled out their best moves to impress the judges (my family judged the boys competition and Ben's judged the girls). My bridesmaid Glen won the boys comp and Ben's two nieces drew for the girls.

BAMfest

BAMfest 2012

BAMfest

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great?
I think my main worry was that the wedding wouldn't be fun for my family and more conservative friends. I didn't want them to feel self-conscious or out-of-place. I knew that dressing up in costume was already a big step for some of them so I wasn't sure how all the other wacky elements of the day would go down. In the end, everyone seemed to embrace the kookiness of the day. Even my nanna, who had been quite hesitant about dressing up, danced the night away with young men in elaborate costumes and busted out songs at karaoke.

BAMfest 2012

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. I'm torn between thinking I'm not cool enough to read about this wedding and feeling cooler just for having read it. Either way, I wish I had been there!

    14 agree
  2. WOW! A one of a kind wedding. Great concept you look like you're doing a film :). Amazingly beautiful! It may add up some color if the little girls wear something with vibrant colors as well like a few of the collections from wallao.com

    1 agrees
  3. This wedding is amazing!!! I love the amount of colour and the fact that everyone seems to be having so much fun!

    2 agree
  4. This is the most awesome wedding I've ever seen. I wish I was your friend! Can you tell me where you got the petticoats from. They're exactly what I'm after and I'm overwhelmed by the options out there!

  5. My gosh, I love everything here! I'd love to have my wedding as whimsical as this– but yeah, I'm a bit afraid of some of my conservative relatives.

  6. Thanks for the lovely comments about my wedding!

    Originally i ordered the petticoats from http://www.pettiskirtyle.com but I accidentally put down my work address wrong (oops) and so they didn't get to me in time (but they arrived after the day and were great). The ones we actually wore were from a dressmaker on Etsy who whipped them up for us the week of the wedding, here's the link http://etsy.me/1eD0hjY (I forgot to include that in my list of vendors)

    And yes it can be a bit of a balancing act making sure your less whimsical loving family members are happy with the wedding too, but I have to say my experience was that they all really got into the silliness of the day and still bring up how much fun they had with me all the time. And if you want a whimsical wedding chances are you are a quirky and fun person – so your family shouldn't be too shocked if you let your personality shine through in your wedding. There inevitably has to be a bit of compromise but we figured a wedding is the biggest party we'd ever get to throw so we might as well include as many things we liked as possible.

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