The offbeat bride: Emma, Cooking teacher in a fab Tropical Kitchen Garden program at primary school (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Jon, Registered nurse
Location & date of wedding: Casaurina coastal reserve, beach then surf club, Darwin, NT, Australia — June 26, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was a blend — Celtic traditional, bush, beach, druid and earthy all rolled up into a rocking party under a really amazing eclipse of the full moon.
Everyone was asked to meet in some special Casaurina trees in the coastal reserve. They were served champagne by our friends and a Vanuatan string band rocked up. (We'd spent a lot of time sailing in Vanuatu.)
In a circle we had a handfasting ceremony, conducted by a good friend.
The rings were blessed in a wooden bowl made from part of the deckhouse of the boat we sailed on. We had a quaich sent from Scotland and shared mead and exchanged rings.
We walked along the beach to the surf club and enjoyed an awesome sunset, a puppet show — with puppets of us, telling our story — an acrobat act and a rendition of The Owl and the Pussy Cat all by freinds.
All the food was local and organic and made by friends, family and caterers.
We sat in three long jar-candlelit tables and ate while a local funk band played. Then we danced the night away, under a full moon, with the best eclipse I've ever seen, to a crazy celtic fiddle rock band.
We even slipped in a hacking of the cake, with a sexy sword dance, fire twirlers and a belly dance.
Our biggest challenge: Getting local organic food made was our biggest challenge. It is the area I work in and it took ages to find a caterer who was willing to do this, and it was pretty expensive. Darwin is very far from everywhere and most things are trucked in.
I did not want to do the food myself or get friends to do it, as most were on holiday. We compromised and got someone we knew to barbecue local barramundi we bought off the boats, some catered salads and some nibbles by friends. I organized a cheese board and nibbles for the evening, so everyone wouldn't get too smashed (…my efforts did not exactly work!).
I worried so much about whether there would be enough food, and how many people could be invited to dinner. In the end, of course, there was way too much and we could have invited everyone.
My favorite moment: The walk through the bush reserve, which we had done so many times, was lovely — to look back and be leading so many special people on the walk we love was fab.
Bindi sang in our ceremony circle and gave respect to the traditional owners of the land. She had consulted and cleared it with them first — something often forgotten in Australia. They were also acknowledged when bringing in the spirits of the compass points.
The ceremony was really special. We constructed it with the best woman and our “super celebrant,” and it underlined our spiritual link to Scotland, to nature and really bonded all present — we are feeling it still.
My mum slaved over pavlovas in the shape of hearts filled with cream. She put so much effort into it. They were made with love!
Of course the eclipse of the moon — we had planned a full moon, but had no idea it would eclipse until that day. It was amazing and lasted throughout dinner and into dancing.
My advice for offbeat brides: Have get-togethers before and after the wedding, especially if people come from far away — barbeques or dinners, or swimming or anything. We mainly wanted a wedding so that we could get our lovely friends and family together and the more interactions the better.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress and shirt: Leigh Kelly in Kuranda, Queensland
- Earings and head pice: Sally of Embella, Darwin
- Bands: Jigsaw collective, Darwin; Bloody Mary's, Darwin
- Photos: our friend Justin
- Candle holders: old jars
- Plates: camping store
- Table cloths and runners: homemade
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!