The offbeat bride: Danae, lingerie expert
Her offbeat partner: Dougie, Business Analyst
Location & date of wedding: Edinburgh, Scotland — 1st August 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We had an outdoor wedding in Scotland, complete with Lego, a hot pink wedding dress, 50's style dresses and an explosion of colour.
To put it briefly, we really didn't want a “classy” wedding, we wanted a fun wedding. I'm not a classy woman, so why try to turn myself into one for just one day? Both of us are well-known for being big kids, so we went with that and set out to have a fun, happy wedding that incorporated the things we love.
Dougie loves Lego, so we used it for everything from the buttonholes to the guest book to the cufflinks. He's also got a big sweet tooth, so we bought lots of cheap vintage dishes at a furniture salvage yard and filled them with retro candies for each table. We also had about eight different kinds of cake, all homemade by our guests and friends. My mother-in-law made our beautiful wedding cake and added our Lego bride and groom.
I love the 50's, so I hired a dressmaker to make me the ultimate 50's party dress. We knew white wasn't going to work for this kind of wedding, and picked out crazier and crazier colours until we decided on hot pink. My bridesmaids wore white instead, and I carried an incredible bouquet from my florist friend that had every flower that we both loved in it — why limit yourself to just a few?
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was pulling off the kind of wedding we wanted for the amount of money we wanted to spend.
We wanted to just have a big garden party, at a house that we got free run of for the weekend, without any caterers, organizers or anything else that we were required to hire. Finding that in a country as popular as Scotland for wedding destinations was no mean feat. We finally stumbled upon Carriden House outside of Edinburgh, and they were amazing — once I convinced the owner that I really did know what I was doing, they just let us take care of everything.
Of course, that is a challenge all by itself. We quickly realised that we needed some help on the day to make sure food was set out and things were cleared away, so we hired a few teenagers we knew to serve as our helpers for the day. They did everything from making our photo guestbook to cueing the music to washing the dishes, and were an amazing help. It was a huge challenge to organise everything beforehand, however — I wrote pages of timelines and instructions to leave with the helpers, as I wouldn't be able to organise things on the day. I ended up briefing our Best Men and Bridesmaids to serve as the organisers on the day, and they handled any questions the helpers had. It all ran smoothly on the day!
My favorite moment: It's really difficult to choose a favourite moment, because the whole day just merged into one wonderful gasp of happiness!
I think my favourite moment was directly after the ceremony, when all of our friends and family rushed around us in this wonderful outpouring of happiness. I was already so giddy that Dougie nicknamed me “The Exploding Bride,” and to have everyone I loved there around us and so happy for us was really just too wonderful for words.
I also loved the music at our wedding, as it created such a happy, relaxed atmosphere. I walked down the aisle to “Be My Baby,” and after the ceremony, i'd picked out tons of retro tunes like “Under the Boardwalk” to play while guests were mingling. During dinner we moved to classic piano tunes like “As Times go By” and Nat King Cole, and our first dance was to “A Bicycle Built for Two.” In the evening, our friends took over DJ'ing and we danced into the wee hours to everything from 80's cheese to Sweet Home Alabama!
My offbeat advice: Only spend money on the things you care about, and just disregard the rest, no matter how “important” it seems. We did online invitations, because we really just didn't see the need for paper ones. On the other hand, we spent a great deal of money on accommodating our wedding party and parents at the venue, because it was important to us that they all spent some time getting to know each other.
If you love photos, hire a photographer — they don't have to cost the earth or be super-famous and could even just be a friend, but make sure you line someone up that you're confident about. If it is a friend, insist on paying them, so you feel comfortable bossing them around. Our decision to hire a photographer was last-minute and financially scary, but it the best decision we made — we will treasure Lillian & Leonard's photos for the rest of our lives.
My biggest piece of advice is: pay for the wedding yourself. Whether it means your wedding budget will be $100 or $10,000, you will be *so* much happier if you keep control the finances, and thus, the decisions. We did this, and it was a big relief when family members disagreed about something to be able to confidently say, “don't worry, you'll love it,” and close the discussion. And guess what? They totally did love it!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Our venue: Carriden House
- Florist: Flowerevolution
- My dressmaker (dress and veil): Lynne Edward
- Caterer: Hyndberry (the food was organic, locally sourced and amazing!)
- Photography: Lillian & Leonard
- Dougie's suit and best men suits: TM Lewin
- Bridesmaid Dresses: Unique Vintage
- Earrings: vintage, from Etsy seller
- Hat: vintage from Etsy seller
- Pearl bracelet from Etsy seller
- Lego cufflinks from Etsy seller
- Lego guestbook from Etsy seller
- My lingerie (I have to mention that!): Rigby & Peller
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: