MJ & Josh's wildlife sanctuary red and gold wedding

November 6 2013 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: David Garratt
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Photos by David Garratt

The Offbeat Bride: MJ, Payroll and Customer Contact Specialist

Her offbeat partner: Josh, Payroll Auditor

Date and location of wedding: Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience, Wellington, New Zealand — October 5, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had an amazing time mixing up the more traditional elements with some quirks and general geekiness. I DIYed my wedding shoes and my family (mum, sister, grandma, brother, and stepdad) made three amazing bouquets for me and my bridesmaids. Oh, and we Rickrolled our guests with our first dance!

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Tell us about the ceremony: Both Josh and I, completely separate from one another, made Doctor Who references in our vows, and our celebrant had a Doctor Who reference as well. When it came to the exchanging of the rings, our celebrant decreed that "As the great Beyonce, the patron saint of marriage, said, 'if you like it, you should put a ring on it.'"

We had a ring warming and a unity sand ceremony as part of our ceremony, both of which were really important to us in terms of the symbolism. Our reading was the utterly fantastic "Scientific Romance" by Tim Pratt, which manages to be both funny and heart-wrenchingly beautiful in less than 500 words. Our celebrant was a friend of mine and she wrote a ceremony that was that amazing balance between funny and touching.

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Our biggest challenge:
We had a lot of family overseas, so we set up a live-streaming of our ceremony so that all those people who couldn't make it would be able to watch from afar. But when it started streaming, it randomly picked up the main laptop webcam instead of the external webcam, so the entire ceremony recorded back to front. People got to hear the ceremony… and watch my 13-year-old brother's reaction to the whole thing. Upside: his reaction to ending up with the rings after the ring-warming and not knowing what to do with them is pretty funny.

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My favorite moment:
We chose early on to keep our vows secret from one another, and I was sobbing during mine. Josh's were hilarious (he's a comedian by nature) and I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or both!

Josh's dad gave a gorgeous speech. Josh changed his surname to mine, which I know must have been hard for his dad, but his speech talked about how proud he is that Josh makes his own way and his own decisions and it was really touching.

I had a surprise during my mum's speech, too. My dad's ex-wife (after my mum) had sent her a speech to be read out. She talked about how she thought of me as a role model to her young daughters and I absolutely lost it. SOBBING.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Even if you ask people not to bring gifts, people will usually bring gifts. Make sure you have a plan to get gifts from the venue to your house if you're going somewhere else the night of the wedding. We had been told we had to take our gifts with us the night of the wedding, but everything else we could pick up the next day, so we (naively) didn't worry about having to take anything home the night of. Then a ton of people brought us presents. Luckily my mum had driven there and could take them back to her hotel for the night.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. There are so many pretty things I like about this wedding! But seriously…

    Omg that red ribbon on the edge of the veil- PREFECT

    Dunno why but that really stands out to me in a great way. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Welp, you are stunning and your husband's the cutest thing EVER!!!! These pix are so great-what a beautiful event!!!! Congratulations!

  3. Beyonce, patron saint of marriage. hahaaaa this is great. And the reading you did by Tim Pratt was so beautiful. I may need to use this some where in my wedding because it's perfect. You two look amazing. 🙂

  4. I actually thought you were wearing the world's coolest capelet for a second, until I realized that nope, it's your badass ink. So effing gorgeous with your dress.

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