Anna & Charles' intimate vegan ice skating wedding

October 3 2013 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Lindsey Kent
Anna Charles-156
Photos by Lindsey Kent

The Offbeat Bride: Anna, OECD assistant

Her offbeat partner: Charles, musician

Date and location of wedding: Paris, France — December 15, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Because we planned our wedding in four months, we used our time to focus only on what was important to us: vegan food, happy guests, and something fun to do.

We had a civil ceremony with our guests, and then went ice skating in the Grand Palais.

Anna Charles- web-96

Charlie loves winter and snow, so we tried to set a wintry mood, using white handles in the shape of trees, snowflake cutouts, and low lighting on the table. Then I decided that I absolutely had to make 1000 cranes, so three months before the wedding, I started making cranes using shiny silver and red paper. These were hung up all around the reception room.

Anna Charles-148

Anna Charles- web-227
Anna Charles- web-81

Tell us about the ceremony:
For the official ceremony, we went to our local Mairie (townhouse) and got married in the same room that my in-laws got married in thirty-odd years ago.

Anna Charles- web-305

At the evening reception, we took a moment before the meal to say some things to each other. Charlie sang a song he had written two days earlier in a frenzy of inspiration. We didn't say traditional vows, nor were they in a traditional format. They were more like speeches mixed with vows. Although I didn't cry at the morning ceremony, my knees shook and I blubbered the whole way through my speech.

We stood on a platform together and did a ring exchange with the words "to celebrate our love, to celebrate our commitment." I really wanted to do a big first kiss, but we didn't want an officiant of any sort because it seemed unnecessary to us. So after the ring exchange, Charlie simply declared "You may now kiss me!"

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Anna Charles- web-111

My favorite moment:
The most meaningful moment of the wedding for me was Charlie's speech. As somebody who has witnessed bad marriages in his family, and who was very happy being in a civil partnership with me, he probably at first agreed to get married more to make me happy than because he desired it. However, as the wedding drew nearer, he really took the time to reflect on what marriage meant to us, and managed to explain in beautiful, simple words that our wedding was a moment in which to reflect on our relationship, and to share that moment with our nearest and dearest.

Just the other day, he said something even more meaningful about our wedding marking a turning point in our relationship. He realised that day, when we were saying our vows, that we could always trust each other and that we would always support each other to achieve our dreams. So I would say that the best moment of my wedding happened almost nine months after the event!

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My funniest moment:
French administrators can be rather humourless. After enduring a seemingly never-ending speech full of quotations of laws, we were finally asked if we consented to the marriage. In French, the equivalent of "I do" is simply "Oui." The Maire asked me to consent first, and I replied "Oui." Then he asked Charlie, who replied with a big grin "Absolutely!" Everybody in the room cracked up, though the marriage wasn't legally binding until Charlie actually pronounced the word "Oui."

Anna Charles- web-520

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Your wedding looks beautiful.
    This brought a tear to my eye: "He realised that day, when we were saying our vows, that we could always trust each other and that we would always support each other to achieve our dreams."
    I keep thinking, and saying to my fiance: "We are on the same team!" which is funny to have that feeling, we've been together for 6-7 years already, but something about getting engaged and planning a wedding just makes me feel really rock-solid. 🙂

  2. You're wedding is so beautiful – that ice rink is the prettiest I've EVER seen! Also – super cute shoes 🙂

  3. I'm really interested in details about that cake. Does it have chocolate icing or is it just cake? I'm intrigued by the idea of an icingless cake

    • Hello!
      The cake is frosting with vegan buttercream frosting. Neither of us likes marzipan icing so we flat out refused it for the cake (even if we had to trade the traditional white colour for a decadent chocolate colour!).

  4. Thanks for posting our wedding and for all the lovely comments!
    It took me a while, but I just remembered that I would like to post our wedding video as it was made 100% by my husband (video and song). I'm rather proud of it and I hope all you offbeaters enjoy it!

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