The Offbeat Bride: Kimberley, Early Childhood Education Data & Policy Officer

Her Offbeat Partner: Dan, Musician/Book seller

Location & date of wedding: Barr Smith Lawns, Adelaide University and National Wine Centre, Adelaide, Australia — 1st November 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: We embraced the traditions we loved and ditched the ones we hated. We made the whole experience as “us” as possible by using every decision as an opportunity to impart our personalities.

Place cards - images designed by GedThis included lots of little touches like the button badges we had made for bonbonniere that featured drawings our friend had done for us of a skull (Dan's unofficial symbol) and a blue bird (my unofficial symbol); the 153 origami flowers that I hand folded to use as centre pieces; and the skull handkerchiefs that Dan gave to his groomsmen to wear in their suit jacket pockets.

Together with our incredible celebrant we created a ceremony that was a vibrant reflection of us and our relationship. We incorporated the story of our relationship, our own personal feelings on marriage, surprise readings and well-wishes from family members and friends. We also had a recognition of our parents love and support, a ring warming and a special blessing over the marriage by a priest who is a friend of my Dan's family.The girls with their origami bouquets.

We used as many family and friends as possible in place of vendors. This made us feel good about giving the business of our wedding over to a service provider. If our business wasn't going to someone we knew, we tried to stick with small local suppliers, or suppliers from places like etsy. My dress and hair piece were made by local designers in Canberra, and our invitations were designed by a local graphic design student.

Our biggest challenge: Probably the only issue of conflict we had was between myself and my Mum.

The handmade origami flower centerpiece.
The handmade origami flower centerpiece.

Her initial preference for real flowers over my origami flowers caused me to start doubting the idea and my own creativity and skills. Luckily Dan backed me up the whole way and reminded me that my original ideas were great and that I should have faith in my abilities and visions. I felt renewed about my ideas and skills after this incident and created a dummy up of the reception venue in my living room to show my Mum how good the flowers would look. She came around to the idea, and in the end was the one who took the most flowers home from the reception, and they are still on display in her lounge room!

Love the modern look of the reception location!
Love the modern look of the reception location!

Planning a wedding from 1000 kms away from the location also made things more of a challenge. We had to be really organised and make sure that we made the most of every trip home. This involved lots of list making and coordination of appointments with people like our celebrant, reception venue and photographer. In a way though, it was nice that every weekend couldn't turn into a wedding planning weekend and it also forced us to make decisions swiftly, rather than pondering over things and going back for a second look. I much prefer to go on my initial gut instinct, so this way we were forced to follow these feelings!

Bridal party at the 'altar'
The bridal party at the altar. Check out the cute bridesmaid's shoes!

My favorite moment: My favourite moments are all moments that I am sure both on-beat and off-beat brides and grooms can relate too…

Glimpsing Dan for the first time on the big day, walking down the aisle with my Dad, Dan wiping my tears away and then me grabbing the tissue myself as I was still crying (our friends and family laughed at this), seeing all our friends dressed up in what was clearly an unofficial competition of “who-can-look-the-hottest-at-Kim-and-Dan's-wedding,” arriving at the reception to the cheers and clapping of all our closest friends and family, the wonderful speeches our families gave… I think that these magic moments can be common to all weddings, regardless of how they are celebrated!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Consider and utilise every opportunity that you have to impart a little piece of you and your relationship into the event. Remember that every decision you make is YOUR decision and you have great power and ownership over it to make whatever statements you want.

Also, on a more specific note, if you are planning from afar, get friendly with online ordering (etsy, ebay, etc.) and then have things delivered direct to a friend or family member's home at the location of your wedding. I did this with a number of items for our wedding and it saved me having to transport them 1000 kms to the wedding location!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

Comments on Kimberley & Dan’s Skulls & Blue Birds Wedding

  1. Oh! This was so lovely, it brought tears to my eyes! And I *LOVE* the paper flowers, they are such a neat idea and look awesome 🙂

  2. YAY! That's my uni! Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous wedding in a (may I say it) FABULOUS location! ^_^ And I have to agree with Christine: the flowers are awesome! 🙂 Congratulations and squee!

    • Yay! Barr Smith Lawns are gorgeous hey?! It wasn't my first choice of location, but damn it turned out perfect!

  3. Love the blue wedding gown!! Nicely made just for you. Pictures look great and looks like everyone had a good time as well!! Congrats to the couple!!

  4. Beautiful! And the description of your ceremony and the things you included sound wonderful. Congrats!

  5. I can relate to your flower situation–my mom wants real ones–I'm sewing mine! I think she'll come around though..Love your dress too!

    • Persist with your Mum, follow your gut and believe in your abilities! No one remembers the standard flowers at weddings – but people sure remembered my origami ones!

  6. Oh how delicious 🙂 I'm a fellow Canberra goddess, and have checked out the goooorgeous dresses at Nocturne Design already – I adore this one!

    • Claire and Adam at Nocturne Design are fantastic! They embared all my ideas and provided great advice and inspiration. They were happy to take Claire's original design and tweak it to my specifications. Claire's handiwork is superb and the dress fit like a glove!

  7. Brilliant Kimmy, and nothing short of what I would expect from you. It warms my soul to see you guys and others like you take these traditions and make them your own. Always question the status quo…and that goes for wedding traditions too. Love it, love it, love it.xx

  8. Wow! The origami flowers are soo beautiful!! The bride looks soo gorgeous in her dress. Everything looked so beautiful and I love the touch of skulls you added!

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