The Offbeat Bride: Jessica, Founder of Urban Nomads
Her offbeat partner: Oliver, Founder of Urban Nomads
Date and location of wedding: Yurt at Home Farm, Beachampton, England — June 3, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of the lifestyle we live. So the theme was hippie love fest. As travelers in our horsebox named Luna, we wanted our friends and family to share a piece of the experience we have as Urban Nomads.
We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of the lifestyle we live. So the theme was hippie love fest. As travelers in our horsebox named Luna, we wanted our friends and family to share a piece of the experience we have as Urban Nomads. We had a yurt put up in a field near to where our family lives. The whole ceremony was outside in nature which was very important to us. The decorations were all homemade by my family. Each dessert was made by different friends and family and shared potluck-style after our BBQ.
There were flowers from different gardens everywhere and all the paths in the field were lit with candles in the evening. We had welcome drinks before our ceremony so we could meet our guests and talk to people who had traveled from both Canada, Germany, and all over the world to be there.
Our bar was in the theme of the event so, naturally, it was a bar truck offering everything from beer to shots. We then all walked together into the field for the ceremony. Live music was essential for us as I am an artist and Oli loves all things acoustic. We had live acoustic music for when people arrived outside and then live music in the evening. We also had some friends come by in the evening to show off their fire dance skills. To finish the night we had the best grilled cheese truck come and fed our guests grilled cheese and vegan hot chocolate.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was the highlight of the day for us both. We wanted to incorporate a handfasting with an honouring of the elements and for our families to be involved in each aspect of the ceremony. We had an altar at the back which held items for the four elements: water from the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, fire was a candle in a salt lamp, air was a Koshi wind chime for the air element, and earth was collected from Oli's hometown in Germany, my home in Canada, and our current house here in England, this was mixed with salt in a bowl on the altar.
Our officiant Amanda was incredible. She married us under a branch arch with golden leaves. My cousin created the sacred space by making a circle of rose petals for us to stand in during the ceremony. Oli and I arrived together with each other welcoming our guests and stepping into the circle. Each element was honoured by different members of the family including parents and siblings and then our friends offered a cleansing ceremony smudging us with sage as they recited our favorite smudging prayer to the universe.
Our best man Paul repeated our ceremony in German for all the German relatives, and we made our own promises to each other based on the values that we wanted to uphold in our relationship. At the end, Amanda and Paul both finished with, “On behalf of all those present, and by the strength of your own love, I now pronounce you partners in life.” We walked away together back into the tent with all our family and friends following.
Tell us about your reception:
After the ceremony, we had our speeches. My dad retold stories of keeping the neighbours awake while I danced above them wearing pink plastic shoes as a child in Hong Kong. He then gifted those shoes to Oli saying it was his turn to take over. Oli then spoke followed by Paul, both in German and English to make sure we included both sides of the family. After that we had a gorgeous BBQ featuring vegan sides and vegan mains, and meat and potatoes for the non-vegans.
After that we ate the potluck desserts and shared our first dance to “Sweet Child of Mine” from the film Captain Fantastic which is one of our favorites to watch. The Monster Celidh Band then took the night away. They mix electronic dance music with traditional folk music and got everyone up dancing.
We had a break in between sets to roast marshmallows on the fire pits set up all over the field. We also had a fire dance show from some of my artist friends as we watched the sunset. Just as we left, we saw a family of hedgehogs run past watching the fire dancers.
What was your most important lesson learned?
We both have different medical conditions that made us worried about having a set day for the wedding. Oli has epilepsy with often unpredictable days where seizures would leave him unable to participate in the day. I have depression which meant that the run-up to the wedding and day was very tiring and often hard to manage. With the help of our families and some time off before, the wedding was calm in every way.
The other challenge was that half of our family speaks English and the other speak German. We didn't want anyone to feel left out so we made sure that the speeches were as bilingual as possible.
- Photographer: Emily Goddard
- Yurt: Funky Monkey Tents
- Oyster Man: Oystermeister
- Wedding Day Planner: Chloe from White Button Weddings
- Dress: Asos
- Venue: Home Farm
- Van Bar: Culinary Creative
- BBQ: The Illustrated Chef
- Fire Dancers: Pyrofinalia Fire Collective
- Cheese Truck: Good Times Cafe
- Band: Monster Celidh Band
- Officiant: Amanda Roberts