Ruth & Kit's Scottish/American faux-hawks and kilts wedding

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Photos by Lauren McGlynn Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Ruth, Pharmacist

Her offbeat partner: Kit, MMORPG GM

Date and location of wedding: Oran Mor, Glasgow, UK — March 7, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: From the very beginning, we wanted this wedding to reflect us. My mother, Liza, was an especially vocal supporter of anything offbeat, which meant we never really had to defend our stance as she was quick to enthuse about how wonderful our choices were if anyone even started to express surprise or disbelief. This made it really easy to design a wedding with a bespectacled, faux-hawked bride throwing on an old white leather jacket over a new sparkly designer dress. Nobody expected us to turn into different people for the day and so we were able to play.

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Our venue was an ex-church turned bar/nightclub/event space covered in vibrant murals that served amazing food (extremely important to us). We filled the quieter moments with classical covers of everything from Metallica to Queen's "Fat-Bottomed Girls" thanks to an old iPod and a couple of hours of music shopping before switching to a ceilidh band to introduce the international crowd to some traditional Scottish dancing.

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We DIYed as much as possible which then let us splurge on other things (e.g. the dress). I put together the infographic programs from scratch, which was one of the most aggravating but satisfying projects I'd tackled in a while. Kit designed prescription pads for our guest book and printed family wedding photos to surround them. Our table numbers were important years from our life which allowed us to pull out old childhood photos for them; this prompted our guests to check out all of the tables, resulting in mingling without us needing to force everyone to get along.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
We felt it was important to include our parents in the ceremony. The fathers were easy (best man and giving away the bride), so we asked Kit's mother Lana to give a reading (my mother would have killed us for suggesting she speak in public). We chose to go with "Union" from Robert Fulghum which we knew immediately was perfect for us. Kit had even once loaned me an extremely battered copy of Fulghum that belonged to his dad.

We also wrote our own vows to follow the official declarations. We wrote one set together rather than each writing our own, as we felt we worked better in collaboration when it comes to this type of project. In the end we went with the following, heavily inspired by various vows found online:

Today, surrounded by people who love us, I choose you Ruth/Kit to be my wife/husband.
I promise to always be your biggest fan and your partner in crime.
I promise to laugh with you in good times and struggle alongside you in bad times.
I promise to respect you and cherish you as an individual, a partner and an equal, knowing that we do not complete but complement each other.
May we have many adventures and grow old together.

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Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was deciding in which country to get married. I was born and raised in Scotland but have lived in the U.S. since 2000, while the groom is American through and through. In the end, aided by some enthusiastic support from members of the groom's family, we decided on Scotland. As a result, Kit got to experience the "pleasure" of applying for a marriage visa, while everyone else planned their dream U.K. vacation around the wedding day. We knew that regardless of where we held the wedding, a large number of people wouldn't be able to come, and sure enough, some important friends and family were unable to attend. But in the end, we don't regret the setting at all. It just meant we had to throw a second bash at a Durham brewery to celebrate with the U.S. crowd.

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We also chose to have a civil ceremony, something very important to me as I felt uncomfortable with the idea of bringing something I don't believe in (religion) into such an important day. This, however, opened up its own set of issues. Kit's father is a pastor who has performed the wedding ceremonies of both of Kit's sisters along with many of Kit's childhood friends. By having a non-religious ceremony, we were left with the concern that we were excluding him from being such an important part of his son's wedding. Kit's family at no point made mention of this fact or stressed us out about our choice, though. However, this ended up being a non-issue when we chose to get married in my home country of Scotland were Ken couldn't perform the ceremony anyway. And then when we were figuring out the wedding party, we realized that neither of us could think of a better person to be Kit's best man than his father.

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My favorite moment:
One of the most meaningful parts for me occurred a few days before we left for Scotland. I had gotten stressed out to the point of scrapping the whole idea of making my bouquet and just not bothering to carry anything, knowing that I'd likely regret it later. Then Kit spent hours working on creating the origami bouquet I'd been planning and figuring out how to transport it without damage. The bouquet was one of my favourite parts of my outfit in the end, and the fact that it'd been put together by my partner just made it even better.

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On the actual wedding day, I was terrified about the ceremony — being the centre of attention and speaking in public are my Kryptonite. When the music started for our entrance and the two mothers started to walk down the aisle, I was thoroughly surprised by how calm I suddenly felt. It didn't stop me from shaking my way through the ceremony, but somehow the importance of what we were doing was enough for me to not pass out or throw up.

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  1. You guys! THIS IS FREAKIN' GORGEOUS! Love, love, LOVE the colors! And I love your dress paired with the jacket! These wedding pics almost made me hyperventilate! In a good way of course lol.

  2. Your photos are gorgeous! The venue, outfits, everything! Congrats!

    I have a logistical question — what did you use for the stems on your origami lilies? I ask because I'm currently in the situation of trying to stem mine and I'm having trouble choosing a wire/wire-based thing that will be sturdy but flexible. Thanks!

    • I'm not 100% sure what he ended up doing as by that point I didn't even want to look at the project at all.

      I believe he threaded copper wire through the bottoms of the flowers, twisted it together and then wrapped floral tape around the base and top of the wire for support. A few blossoms fell off during the reception but they weren't too noticable after we bent the others in to fill any gaps. I'll check with Kit to see if there was any other structure/tricks to the stems.

      There were also a number of take-out chopsticks mixed in with the stems to add bulk to the "handle" before he wrapped it with more tape and then with ribbon.

      • Glued wire and chopsticks, clever! Oh, yes, Maybe a bead in the top will help prevent lily-loss? Thank you for sharing your crafting tricks with me and OB's other readers!

  3. I love Oran Mor, and I've always wondered what a wedding would look like there! Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic photos with us.

  4. I am SO GLAD to see an Oran Mor wedding on Offbeat Bride! I've always wanted to go along to a wedding there. The murals are by Alasdair Gray and though I've been to see all his other murals there's always a private party whenever I head along to Oran Mor. And the botanic gardens for photos! Aaaaah!

  5. Writing one set of personalized vows together is a great idea for couples that work better as a team… so simple, but I never thought of that!

    Awesome wedding 🙂

  6. There are so many things about this wedding I love. The venue is fantastic….I'm super jealous. The dress. The kilts. The hair. The dress…yes is needs mentioning twice. LOVE.

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