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.
This 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.
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.
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!
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!
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?:
- Dress – Claire Maples at Nocturne Design Canberra
- Origami bouquets and boutonnières – Origami by Amanda Kay
- Hair piece – Begurple Designs
- Button badges – designed by Ged Jones, made by Kitty Cross Bones
- Celebrant – Merrilyn Williams – http://www.celebratelife.ozehosting.com.au/
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: