The Offbeat Bride: Jennifer – Journalist
Her Offbeat Partner: Adam – Bike mechanic
Location & date of wedding: Coledale School and Surfclub, NSW Australia — February 28, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We rode together on our brompton folding bikes to our wedding. I had to put a big knot in my wedding dress, that my aunt had passed down to me, so it wouldn't catch in the spokes.
We rode past a bunch of teenagers who yelled “Don't do it” but we just smiled and did it anyway!
We got hitched on the whale watching platform at Coledale just south of Sydney. The reception was next door at the surfclub/caravan park where we camped. We hung our love-heart sheets for a very popular photo booth and drank champagne while some people surfed or swum before the reception. (we also had an early morning surf on our wedding day!)
It was important to us to involve everyone. Kate the sis-in-law and I made the invites from recyled paper and she made an awesome stamp from a photo taken by my sister. Adam's cousin did my make-up, his mum and a family friend arranged all the flowers in old jam jars. Friends and family made 6 different delicious cakes. My mum (who's German) decorated her blackforest cake with two little bicyles and all the friends who were camping helped set up and decorate!
Half my choir plus talented friends sang for us while my sister (bridesmaid) organised a shoe game to test how well we knew each other and then made us sing terribly off-key Karaoke. My German relatives brought personalised schnapps bottles and we toasted at every table. That really got the party started!
Our biggest challenge: We had two big dramas (but which wedding doesn't?). The first involved our first celebrant who sent a draft ceremony that was so cliche-ridden and fill-in-the-blank generic style that I actually cried at work! We found another celebrant at short notice who was dynamic and warm and shared our values. She wrote a beautiful, down to earth and irreverent ceremony that acknowledged the indigenous owners and made a subtle reference to Australia's unfortunate marriage laws that exclude gay and lesbian couples and made a joke about our daggy style!
The second biggest challenge was two weeks before the wedding the band's lead singer/keyboardist (who was also a mate) had an accident and had 30 stitches in his right hand! So at the last minute we enlisted two mates who dj-ed and kept people dancing all night!
My favorite moment: My favourite moment was cycling to the ceremony with my husband-to-be. It was the only time during the day that we had alone and we joked and whispered sweet nothings to each other during the ride.
Oh, and the overwhelming wave of love and support from friends and family that swept over us left us on a permanent high.
My advice to other offbeat brides: Go for it! Our parents were happy to accomodate our more eccentric ideas. I received a feminist rant from my Dad when I checked to see whether he was upset about not giving me away!
Seriously don't stress about the little things. In the week prior to the wedding I woke up before dawn worried about finishing the decorations — but did anyone really notice the handmade paper chains?
Take some time out to savour the day, the ceremony is clear in my mind but the reception is just a hazy blur and spend some quality time alone with your partner — it's so worth it!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- My dress was handed down from my aunt who wore it to her wedding in 1963.
- Adam's school mate provided the delicious buffet — Stix Catering.
- My earrings are from Australian designer Polli.
- My fabulous shoes are Alannah Hill.
The photos were taken by a good friend and cakes, wine, flowers, make-up, hair, invites, decorations were all done by amazing friends and family.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: