Rain can't dampen spirits at Chels & Samantha's New Zealand wedding #Real Weddings: Global#brides in glasses#courthouse#genderqueer#green hair#lesbian weddings#LGBTQ#new zealand#plus size#rainy#short dress#short hair#two brides two dresses Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Jul 15 2015) Offbeat Editors Photos by: Clare Gordon Photography 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. 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. 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. A friend closed the ceremony with a reading from one of our pocket-books, I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. 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! 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. 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. Vendors Photographer: Clare Gordon Photography Dresses: Chi Chi Clothing and eShakti Balloon cake: The Girl on the Swing PREVIOUS Evangeline Lane Photography is the badass ninja of wedding photography (and we've got discounts, especially for elopements!) NEXT 7 modern wedding guest etiquette questions (+ bonus advice for couples!) Show/Hide comments [ 6 ] Beautiful! This really warmed my heart. Congratulations! Reply Love the hair, dresses, yellow shoes, and the super cute cake! The photos are lovely. I love the idea of the communal hand washing ceremony. Reply So sweet! So much love! I adore that cake and those dresses! Love, love, love! Reply Love this- it looks like such a fun, relaxed day and both brides look gorgeous. Also, you can't go wrong with an eggs bene! Reply you two look absolutely stunning! lovely, lovely… and yeaaaah, eggs benedict! yum. Reply I love seeing brides that look like me and my fiancee! I'm considering that exact lace dress, too! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.