The partners: April & Dennis
Date and location of wedding: Rockwell House, London, England — August 16, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We have been together for 10 years and never saw ourselves doing the traditional wedding thing. We really just wanted a big party and to get as many of our friends and family as possible together in one place. Being from New Zealand and America respectively, and having lived together in both Amsterdam and now London, this is a big ask. I also felt pretty strongly about leaving behind all of the patriarchal traditions usually associated with mainstream weddings.
Dennis wore a sea-foam green '70s vintage leisure suit with patterned silk shirt and I wore an Issa spring 2014 colourful jumpsuit. We didn't have bridesmaids or groomsmen. We saved a ton of money by renting the venue as-is and bringing in all of our own food and drink. We planned it all ourselves and even made the majority of the food. We had self-serve kegs of craft beer, wine, and Prosecco in personalized colourful metal cups.
We also had a cigar and whiskey table, and a take-your-own Polaroid “guest book” on a cork board. A few friends played some live music, and there was foosball and a giant chess set for those who weren't up for dancing. Then everyone sat around fire pits on furniture made of old wood pallets as the sun went down over north London.
Tell us about the ceremony:
A few friends played guitar and sang “Way Tight” by Ani DiFranco to start. My grandfather was Native American, and the vase ceremony I learned from him was very important to me.
It included a double-spouted vase filled with wine, and we each drank from our own sides and each others', then try to drink from each spout together at the same time. We both really liked what it symbolised: two individual lives, different strengths and different Nations, and the handle symbolises the union of the two lives in marriage.
Our biggest challenge:
The boys had packed up the van on the day to bring everything to the venue while I was getting my hair done, and they forgot the corkboard for the guest book. Dennis had to leave and go back across town to get it, leaving me as the only one there setting up the whole thing who knew what it was supposed to look like. But everyone that was there pitched in and we got it done!
My favorite moment:
Neither of us liked the vows you have to say at city hall, so we decided to do that on our own, just us and our witnesses to make it legal a few weeks prior. So on the day, we were able to say what we really meant: “Will you always be on my team? Until death. Will you always be by my side? Until death.” This also goes with our tattoos (in lieu of rings). We had two halves of a tattoo, making one: a sugar skull with the words “hasta la muerte” (until death) beneath.
My funniest moment:
Dennis gave a speech and it was touching at times, hysterical at others. Also I forgot to wear my glass wolf engagement ring and our officiant, Yuri, was supposed to talk about what it symbolises in Native American culture (the transition from a lone wolf to a pack member), so I showed everyone my empty finger and he made a joke about it.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Jennifer Langridge Photography
- Glass wolf ring: Nach Bijoux
- Jumpsuit: Issa London
- Cherry topped shoes: Vivienne Westwood
- Vintage 1970s leisure suit: Groovy Wear Vintage
- Vintage silk hand painted shirt: Vintage Runway
- Brogues: Ted Baker
- Cake of cheese: The Cheese Shed
- Vegan gluten-free chocolate treats: Cookies and Cream
- Wooden barrel: Barrels Online
- Wine: Borough Wines and Draught Beer Online
- Craft beer: Camdentown Brewery
- Hog roast: Gourmet Hog Roast
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!