The offbeat bride: Anli, data analyst
Her offbeat partner: Laura, public servant
Location & date of wedding: The Old Stone House, NSW Australia — 5 September 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted a ceremony that reflected our geeky, romantic, pink aesthetic, while at the same time being profound and meaningful.
We incorporated lots of geeky details, from the table names (Revolution, Sierra, Katara and GLaDOS) to the choice of music.
We also kept several traditional elements such as bouquets, dresses and bridesmaids. However, we both walked down the aisle unaccompanied and skipped the garter/bouquet toss.
I DIY'ed many details, including bouquets, centrepieces, bonbons, stationery and my hand-embellished corset, skirts, petticoat and detachable train.
Because our wedding was so small, we skipped having a dance floor and invited guests to games of Lupus In Tabula after dinner. Our cake and bonbon were companion-cube shaped. We played Rock Band instead of having a Hens Night. And we walked down the aisle to an obscure piece of music from Utena.
Because we can't legally be wed in Australia, we had a good friend officiate and he did a great job. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Years later, once the laws changed, these two DID get legally married!]
We kept our vows secret from one another until the night before, but somehow both of us managed to discuss Laura's fear of spiders in each of our vows.
Many of our friends very kindly offered their support and help, from playing violin at the ceremony, setting up decorations, making sure we were fed, proof-reading our vows, driving us around before the day and looking after our cats.
We also both wore dresses, although we didn't keep our dresses secret; we had photo shoots together before the ceremony and even got dressed in the same room!
Laura kept her pink hair, I kept my glasses on through all the photos and we posed with Nintendo DS consoles.
Our biggest challenge: We were engaged for almost two years and picked our venue a year and a half in advance. Closer to the date, we were unsure whether the site vendors understood our vision for the day as we had originally discussed. We were very concerned about having adequate heating as many guests would be traveling in from a warmer state. We also had problems with not being able to order the correct furniture that we originally wanted.
With some good communication, we were able to sort out our issues. And the venue was set up mostly as we had originally envisaged. It helped that our vendors were very patient and understanding people. We needed to get confirmation on details early on as it really made the process less stressful.
We also made contingency plans (for example, seeking alternative sources for furniture and decorations) which we, fortunately, did not have to use.
My favorite moment: Laura's favourite moment was watching me walk down the aisle towards her while our lovely friend Katherine played Hikari Sasu Niwa on violin. We had decided she would go first as during the rehearsal I felt really nervous being the first in line. However, during the ceremony I read my vows first.
My favourite moment was the sunset photoshoot after the ceremony. I felt much more relaxed after everything had worked out really well and we had a lovely romantic walk together at the bottom of the garden and had some time alone with one another and our discreet photographer, Julie Clyde.
My offbeat advice: Our advice is to really spend some serious time with one another discussing your direction for your ceremony and the kind of vows that you want to make. We spent a lot of time developing our vows and had great input from some of our friends, which we highly recommend seeking if you can.
Also, if you're going the DIY route, try to have everything done at least a month in advance. I was still altering dresses (which was unplanned for) on the week of the wedding which wasn't fun at all given that we had international and interstate guests to entertain and an international honeymoon to prepare for.
Care to share a few vendor links?
- Anli's cream knitted bolero – Trendy Knitting
- Anli's dress – hand made, fabric sources included Silk Baron, House Fabric, and Exclusive Silks
- Laura's pink & cream dress – Raylia Designs
- Bridesmaids' dresses – Style Shake
- Venue – The Old Stone House (NSW, Australia)
- Catering – Le Tres Bon (French)
- Cake – Amelia's Cakes, Page ACT Australia
- Photography – Capturing Essence