Some of you may remember Helen — she's the reader who proposed to her boyfriend! Now, here's the full story on the wedding…

The Offbeat Bride: Helen, Occupational Therapist

Her Offbeat Partner: Dom, Press Photographer

Location & date of wedding: Register Office Ceremony, followed by reception in a local pub in London — 29th August 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: The most offbeat aspect of our wedding was probably our decision to use public transport for us and our 80 guests to get around. Dom and the majority of the guests took the tube and bus to the ceremony, and my Dad and I took a London Cab; then we all travelled to the reception on a bus and then a tube. This presented some fabulous photo opportunities, was a lot of fun, not to mention being an economical and green option.

Although we didn't actively choose to be offbeat, we did make a concious decision that if something was going to be part of our wedding it was because we wanted it, rather than because it was expected, or traditional. This led to us dropping the champagne toast in favour of a vodka shot toast, having a barbecue in lieu of a sit down meal, button flowers rather than real blooms, Best Man song (a fabulous Johnny Cash cover- “Walk the Line”) rather than speech and of course the bus/tube rather than a limo.

Oh, and this is more an offbeat engagement detail, but I proposed to Dom on Leap Year Day, meaning we planned the whole wedding in 6 months to the day.

Our biggest challenge: We were really lucky, and had very few problems during the planning process, mainly because our families and friends were supportive of all our ideas (although my mum drew the line at us giving each of our guests a kazoo to play “Here Comes the Bride” as I walked down the aisle). I did sometimes have moments of doubt when I wondered if we were being too outlandish, but ultimately I'm really proud of the job we did organising the day, and wouldn't change a thing.

Partying on the tube!
Partying on the tube!

My favorite moment: My favourite moment was walking down the aisle (twice). Before the ceremony I had to meet with the registrar in a private office in the register office building, so came into a different entrance to Dom and all the guests — including the bridesmaid. By the time my Dad and I were taken to the ceremony room the whole place seemed deserted as everyone was already seated. I therefore assumed that my bridesmaid was in there too.

What happens when bridesmaids go AWOL.
What happens when bridesmaids go AWOL.
My Dad and I walked into the room, and it was fabulous. I walked down the aisle to The Stone Roses “Waterfall”. I could see my Mum crying, Dom looked very emotional, and I was on the verge of tears too. I got the the front of the room, and turned to hand my bouquet to my bridesmaid Jo, but she was nowhere to be seen. No one else knew where she was (there's a fabulous photo of me and my Dad laughing as we realise what's happened, and all the guests in the background looking for her).

Eventually my cousin found her standing outside panicking, thinking that I was horribly late! So, we got to do it all again! I am therefore in a fairly exclusive group of brides who have walked down the aisle twice — at the same wedding.

My advice for other offbeat brides: My advice is for all brides, not just the untraditional ones. At a wedding the bride (and to a certain extent the groom, but mainly the bride) acts as the barometer for the mood of the day. If you are relaxed and happy your guests will be, if you are stressed and uptight then so will your guests. We had more mishaps and mix-ups than I can count (see above for an example!), but none of it mattered because I smiled/grinned/laughed my way through the day.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

  • My dress was a plain prom dress from Coast accessorised with a home made sash, and petticoat from Dolly Dagger (also where the bridesmaid's dress was from).
  • The shoes were Irregular Choice, from www.schuhstore.co.uk
  • My cocktail hat was from Debenhams
  • In the evening I had a wonderful head dress from Talulabelles etsy shop which they then made into a lovely necklace, ring and broach to wear after the wedding.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
Click on the photo below to see more amazing photos from this wedding:

Comments on Helen & Dom’s Red, Retro, London Wedding

  1. How fun!! Everything is so random, but pulled together so nicely! The epitome of ecclectic… And I love the moms’ dresses, too! You look like you had so much fun!

  2. Oh my goodness…look at those fab dresses…LOVE them all…this looks so relaxed and just fun. Congrats!

  3. This is my favorite OBBT wedding so far! Those grins – they just look so bloody happy. 😀

  4. totally fantastic!!! i love the dresses and the public transportation! i am also loving the groom’s shoes. where did he get his outfit?

  5. “At a wedding the bride (and to a certain extent the groom, but mainly the bride) acts as the barometer for the mood of the day.”

    Really sharp observation. Thanks for sharing your lovely day!

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