The Offbeat Bride: Jess, Windows Systems Administrator
Her offbeat partner: Alex, Linux Systems Administrator
Date and location of wedding: Birches Restaurant, Mt. Mee, Queensland, Australia — October 31, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Alex is not a social person, so I immediately knew the guest list would have to be small. That, and we just couldn't afford a big wedding. So it was whittled down to immediate family and our one closest friend each. This left us with a guest list of 20 people.
I didn't want a white froofy wedding dress, so I went hunting for Australian corset makers and came across Gallery Serpentine and found the dress of my dreams. After getting fabric samples, the colour scheme was picked: black and red.
I wanted to make sure Alex had some input in the wedding. He decided to choose what he was going to wear. I wanted him to be as comfortable as possible as he's somewhat socially phobic, so if wearing comfortable clothes would make him feel at ease, I was totally cool with that.
Our cake was another thing that Alex had a massive say in. He and I are both Minuscule fans, so that became the theme for the cake. A friend of mine from work does cake-making on the side and agreed to be my cake-maker, with some assistance from me. 26 hours, lots of love, and a huge array of insect critters later — and we've got a cupcake tree!
The songs we picked for the ceremony were from our favourite bands: “Beautiful” by Apocalyptica, “Love Love Love” by Unwritten Law and “Decoherence” by Insomnium. I don't think the guests realised what they were listening to, but we did, and it had significance for us.
I'm also a massive LEGO fan, so I wanted to include that in some way. We gave away custom-designed LEGO keyrings to all the guests with our names and the date engraved onto them.
I saw a lollipop bouquet on Offbeat Bride and I knew that's what I was going to have. I had already organised custom candy as our wedding favours and spoke to the shop I was getting it through to have red and black lollipops made for my bouquet. They were amazing (and still are, as I'm still eating my way through them!).
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony included a brief history of our relationship (considering it's been over 12 years!), the vows, a very short ring ceremony, our handfasting ceremony, signing of the register and certificates, a reading by the celebrant, and then presentation to friends and family.
We also removed the “You may now kiss the bride” spiel and modified it to suit us:
Now, ordinarily this is the part where I say, “By the power vested in me…” but this is no ordinary ceremony. So: Jess and Alex, congratulations! Achievement unlocked! You have now obtained marital status. Your reward: Alex, you may now kiss the bride!
We had two readings: The Pam Ayres poem “Yes, I'll Marry You My Dear” was read by my nana, and Robert Fulgham's “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” was read by my best friend Danielle. Having these two lovely ladies read at our wedding was very special for us.
Our biggest challenge:
We had a major issue getting our rings from a jeweller who lost our order and then made it all wrong. And then on the day, our photographers (my grandmother and godfather) forgot their battery packs for the cameras. Luckily, my mother runs a community newspaper and had a number of cameras that she uses for her newspaper photo shoots. She was able to lend these cameras to our photographers in order for me to get some great photos on the day.
My favorite moment:
I made our handfasting cords myself. There were three individual braids braided together: one braid signifying Alex, one braid signifying myself, and the other signifying the wedding day. Each end had charms that had meaning to both Alex and I. The cord is one of the more precious items that I'll be keeping from the wedding.
My best friend Danielle's mother has known me for a number of years and, unbeknownst to Alex or I, wanted to do something for our wedding. As an Italian, she wanted to do a traditional bomboniere. She got our colour scheme and made up our bomboniere. She also provided absolutely adorable ladybug bubble blowers, which tied into our theme really well! Danielle came to our house to help me get ready and brought all of this with her. It was such a surprise and meant so much!
My funniest moment:
Letting Alex know about my plans for a wedding was… extremely amusing. I walked into his study and said “Hun, I'm planning a wedding!” He looked at me, completely innocently, and said “Oh cool! Whose?” He was dead serious. The look on his face when I said “Ours” was priceless.
The formal photos were also amusing… for everyone else. Smiling almost non-stop for hours on end is close to torture for me. Alex described it as “photo fatigue” towards the end where I looked like I was ready to murder people in some of the photos. We did have some fun times during the formal photos though, and laughed a lot. Although, laughing in a corset can be rather painful!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Plan for contingencies. I had my “Oh Shit” kit ready to go, and a few extra bits and pieces I'd thought of along the way. In fact, my kit is still sitting in my car because I've found that it's extremely helpful just in everyday going-to-work scenarios when something goes wrong.
Listen to advice. You don't always have to do what other people say, but certainly listening to their advice and opinions may be helpful. My work colleague's wife wears corsets for formal events, and he mentioned that it might not be a bad idea to buy an extra top just in case I couldn't sit for long stretches in the corset. Best. Idea. EVER. I did end up getting changed into the top because I just couldn't sit properly or eat in the corset.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Regina King Photography
- Venue: Birches Restaurant
- Celebrant: Rebecca Griffin
- Invitations: Dynamic Wedding Stationery
- Corset, skirt, and reception top: Gallery Serpentine
- Makeup and hair: Rachel Heyes
- Bride's top hat with veil: Dark Pony Designs
- Bride's shoes: Authentics Online
- Bride's shoelaces: eBay
- Bride's chainmaille jewellery: Eternal Elf Creations
- Puzzle Guestbook: Planetasierra
- LEGO keyring favours: Brick Printer
- Candy favours and lollipops: Candy Addictions
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
dresses: Gallery Serpentine
invitations: Dynamic Wedding Stationery