Rain can't dampen spirits at Chels & Samantha's New Zealand wedding

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride
Photos by Clare Gordon Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Chels (Offbeat Bride Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Samantha

Date and location of wedding: Taitua Arboretum, Waikato, New Zealand — June 2, 2015

Tell us about the ceremony:

Both our mums met us at the entrance to the arboretum for a first look, and we walked together with them, through the forest, down to the lake without getting too wet. It stormed through the whole ceremony, with lightning and thunder rolling in the distance.

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

We had a hand washing with our mums to start afresh as our families faced a little bit of turbulence leading up to the wedding. Our officiant Craig talked our friends and family through the hand fasting where everyone took part in binding our hands together. It was just as much about our marriage as it was about joining two families and acknowledging the support from everyone.

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

We wrote our vows together a few days before and worked it so we would each say a line, that way I wouldn’t have to remember a whole lot. We didn’t exchange rings, choosing instead to wear woven bracelets that matched our handfasting ribbons with the intention to get our ring fingers tattooed at a later date.

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

A friend closed the ceremony with a reading from one of our pocket-books, I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

At the courthouse, the lady who married us, Lovey (ideal name, right?), kept mixing up our names which ended up confusing all three of us, especially trying to say the correct thing when repeating after her. We were too excited and blissful to worry and ended up giggling through the rest of the formalities. And then boom, we were legal!

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

My favourite moment, right at the end of the ceremony, my 4-year-old twin brothers decided they wanted to get married too so they jumped into the space in front of everyone and began to talk total gobbledygook and lean in for a hug. They grabbed our hands, and we ended up in a heap giggling our heads off.

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Tell us about your reception:

Rather than a formal reception, anyone who wanted to could meet up with us for late lunch at a local cafe we frequent. I’m an Eggs Benedict fiend, and they put it on their lunch menu specially for me that day. Incredibly, the rain and stormy skies cleared off, the sun came out, and I even got a little sunburned as we chatted and caught up with everyone. It was really chill, and everyone left as they wanted to make the most of the sunshine.

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

Rainy New Zealand wedding on @offbeatbride

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