The offbeat bride: Sarah, writer
Her offbeat partner: Roland, Mechanical Engineer
Location & date of wedding: Marine Parade of Napier, New Zealand on December 16th, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: We didn't tell anyone, and ran away to another town to get married. We love our families but as they live in different countries and due to timing constraints, we just decided to get on with it.
I wore a beautiful vintage red silk wiggle dress and black birdcage with gold shoes and he was in a tux. We got married on the waterfront in Napier, which is a town that was rebuilt in the 1930s and is so full of Art Deco architecture surrounded by vineyards. Perfect combination for us!
I hadn't even organised my hair or flowers. Roland found the flowers on that day at the supermarket! I had a back-up parasol just in case. People were so friendly and helpful, nothing like small town hospitality. The celebrant brought her best friend along to be my “bridesmaid” and witness.
After the ceremony and photographs we went out for dinner and had the most exquisite six course meal and French champagne. And then back to the hotel for our own private garter tossing ceremony.
Our biggest challenge: Well, our challenge was to actually elope. We thought about it and I wasn't sure at all, worried that we would be lonely, worried that people might be hurt, worried that I couldn't keep my big mouth shut to keep it secret.
Then it was where to elope to? We were traveling in Europe for two months so we looked at all the places we were visiting (and were going to go especially to Sri Lanka at one stage), but again many countries make it a bit hard and expensive to get married there, so we went back to New Zealand.
In the end it was the most romantic day of my life. We focused on each other and our commitment and not the million details and worries that come with a wedding.
My favorite moment: Our vows, we wrote them ourselves and kept them secret from each other, so on the day they were a surprise. It was so romantic and I am so happy I married that guy!
My offbeat advice: Look at what is really important to you and don't compromise on that. For us it was the timing – we wanted to get married this year as we've started trying for a family, but my sister's wedding was coming up it and it wasn't the best time. It was important enough to us for us to decide to elope (I didn't want to be a hormonal grumpy bride or wait until after the baby!).
Also remember it is just one day. Keep things in perspective. Weddings have a habit of growing way out of porportion. Let things go if they go a bit awry, it will make a good story later.
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