Reception
The offbeat bride: Shani, Student, Food science bachelor (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: Bengt, Student, Master in system administration and IT

Location & date of wedding: Agder University in Kristiansand, Norway. We have both studied here; my mom works here; they have a building named after my grandfather because he was principal of the teacher's education college, which has since been incorporated into the university — July 1, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: The wedding started at noon and ended at eight in the evening. We had two ceremonies: Humanist and Quaker. The Humanist ceremony started the wedding and the Quaker meeting ended the day. We had the ceremonies outside on university grounds (probably the only couple married on their property). I wore a red wedding dress, and did the whole pack with veil, tiara and bolero.

All wedding activities were in walking distance (even for the bride in high heels) and out of town relatives carpooled or came by train. We had a giant ludo game, three in a row(Tic-Tac-Toe), and pick up sticks to play on the lawn.

The food was a catered buffet (from the place I have worked since I was fourteen until I went to uni), but we added homemade Ethiopian food and Indian curries. The wedding was also alcohol free.

The wedding cake was made by myself, the bride, the others were made by family and friends, except one which was bought by the groom's mother.

We didn't have a toastmaster because we wanted people to mingle and chat instead of listening to speeches.

We did it all for around $5000 (remember Norway being the most expensive country in the world).

Our biggest challenge: The Budget! We are both students and only had our savings to spend. We wanted our wedding to have two ceremonies and a reception, which included dinner. But we didn't want the budget to restrict who we invited either. That's why we chose a buffet (and with the amount of food we got from my previous employer, we could have invited twice as many guests). The venue (university) was free, since my mother works there. Also, having a wedding at noon meant we didn't have to supply alcohol or dance, and we could go home and enjoy our early wedding night.

We didn't book a hotel room for our wedding night, it wouldn't be as comfy and personal as my parents' house. My mother's colleagues offered to help with setting out the food and cleaning.

We got the wedding dress and suit on sale, and some accessories from ebay. We bought table decorations from a dollar store and made some ourselves from twigs and wire.

Our biggest splurges were food and drinks, and of course, roses for the bouqet and decorations.

My favorite moment: Taking wedding snaps in the morning before the ceremony at the local fort from ten to eleven. Just my groom and me with my friend (the wedding photographer) relaxing in the sun. It was easy to relax knowing that the rest of the wedding party was at the venue fixing the last details. All we had to do was show up at noon. 😀
Score!!!
My advice for offbeat brides: People want to help. All you need to do is ask! But don't overwhelm them with weird stuff that they don't feel comfortable doing. Be specific about which person you assign what job. More people with less tasks runs smoother than a few overwhelmed people trying desperately to do everything. Delegate well beforehand and your dream day will go without a hitch.

That way, the bride and groom don't have to do anything but smile, look fantastic together, and cut cake.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
All I can do is recommend ebay for hoistery and strapless bras. It's fantastic for us who don't fit a C cup. Just remember to check sellers' ratings.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Comments on Shani & Bengt’s quaker, University, garden wedding

  1. Grattis på din brollop, Shani och Bengt! Förlåt, jag måste prata i Svenska, men jag vet du förstår mig! *;)

    Great to see a Scandinavian wedding on OBB! I’m Swedish, but have quite a few family members in Norway.

  2. This post made me feel so happy. We are in similar situation (students) and I have been dreaming of a red dress. This post helps me believe my wedding can be a reality :)♥

  3. Ja! Gratulere med bryllupen deres! I think it is so ridiculously appropriate that this was posted on Syttende Mai. 🙂

    Also, as someone who has traveled in Norway in the last five years, holy crap on the $5,000 wedding! Great job, guys. This means I’ve got to be able to do it for that much here in the states, right? 🙂

  4. Omg, you were married at my university! That’s awesome! You guys look amazing and happy; gratulerer sÃ¥ mye!
    And as Sarah mentioned, how funny is it that this was posted on May 17?

  5. i’m so happy to have seen this blog!! as a kid, i always wanted a red wedding dress, but was told i couldn’t. i had a normal dress for my first wedding as a 20-yr old, but i got my dream dress for when i got remarried later… it was a surprise – only a handful of people knew i was wearing red. i also sewed my gown myself and did the embroidery on it. my hubby (and best friend) honestly thought i’d wear white…but hey – it was my 2nd wedding, so why not?! plus, i had all my guests wear black and white, so i really stood out.

  6. Thank you for the nice comments. It’s so wonderful that it was published, and on the 17 of may is just fantastic!

    We have great family and friends, it really was our dream day.

  7. What a wonderful post/wedding! FH and I are both students and this post was very reassuring to me…

    Could you tell me more about your ceremony? We’re getting married in a very Quaker part of Pennsylvania, and we have a lot of different family backgrounds to blend in, so we were thinking about do a Quaker silent ceremony. Could you lend any words of wisdom?

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