The offbeat bride: Alex – OBT member
Her offbeat partner: Scott – charity fundraiser
Location & date of wedding: The Caves, Edinburgh, Scotland — October 3, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: Looking at other websites, I was introduced to a lot of traditions which flabbergasted us. Initially we looked at castles for our venue, but The Caves was much more suited to us. It is usually a gig and club venue.
In addition, we did a lot of things our way. My friends and I knitted all of the flowers. My husband carried a massive sword. I (of course) wore sparkly Converse. We had a mismatched wedding party. My mother-in-law baked delicious cupcakes and we had a TARDIS cake topper. I walked down the aisle to a Muse guitar solo. We had H2G2 themed programs. We had videos on the tables for centrepieces and favours, as we met in a video shop. We had a board game room if people didn't wish to dance.
We pride ourselves on our good taste in music and even mentioned it in our ceremony, so our playlist ranged from a healthy dose of Motown to ease people in gently, then later featured everything from Judas Priest, Sparks, Rufus Wainwright, Queens of the Stone Age, Queen… and culminated in a glorious combination of Elbow's “One Day Like This” which was kind of the theme song of the wedding, followed by Manowar's “Courage” which was our fake ending. We followed it with Rage's “Killing in the Name“, which allowed an amazing moshpit to occur, and finished the party more traditionally with The Proclaimers' “500 Miles“.
Tell us about your ceremony: We had a Humanist ceremony, which was crafted by us. You can read it here. We tried to really express what our relationship means to us, and to tell people more about us. It was deeply personal, and some of our vows were quite funny. Scott's, “I promise I will never say or do anything to hurt or offend you, and if I do, please know that I didn't mean it”. Mine, “I promise to always be on your side, even when our opinions differ.” We had readings from Scott's mum and my future sister-in-law. She read a poem I wrote for Scott.
We designed our own wedding rings, which are mobius rings, and explained that they signify that there is no beginning and no end to our love. Because Humanist ceremonies are so awesome, we had not just one, but two kisses during our ceremony, one immediately after the legal vows, and one right at the end of our ceremony. Just before the last kiss, there was a Scottish blessing which our celebrant had suggested. It featured a line in a Scottish dialect, and it was very funny to hear the American and English guests trying to say it.
Our biggest challenge: We had a number of challenges, most of which seemed epic at the time, but have happily faded from memory. People had ideas about what we should do. We took advice from this site about being firm yet tactful about doing things the way we wanted. It worked, and in the end, the naysayers were complimenting us.
Quite a few people didn't understand the urgency of RSVPing, and let us know the week of via text or facebook. Luckily, this allowed us to slot in two people we'd forgotten (sorry!) and a friend of mine and her partner were suddenly able to come from London.
On the day, the photobooth didn't arrive on time, I was pretty furious, but it transpired that it was my fault, having not replied to the email sent to me the week before by the vendor, saying where our venue was. So the poor guy was ringing all kinds of venues on the night, trying to find us! Thanks must be given to my friend Mark for sorting it out for us on the night. We were also running an hour late, so at the eleventh hour, Scott and I had to rip out an hour's worth of music from our painstakingly crafted playlist! Some other things didn't go as planned, but in the end, we got married and we had a magnificent day.
My favorite moment: For me, the most meaningful moment of the wedding was being on stage with Scott and watching his reaction as I said my vows, and his sincerity as he said his. We wrote the entire ceremony ourselves and it went down with the crowd really well as it was clear how much we were speaking from our hearts. When my husband placed my ring on my finger, I was so overcome with emotion that I had to pull my handkerchief from my cleavage!
I had a special surprise planned for Scott, which was that I was going to sing him a song after the speeches, before the meal. My brother accompanied me on a keyboard, and Scott genuinely had no idea this was going to happen. Singing Regina Spektor's “Us” in front of so many people we love was tough, but the look on Scott's face was absolutely worth it. He started mouthing along the words with me at one point, and it was very emotional.
We loved watching everyone having such a fun time, taking a moment to look at new friends dancing with each other. Towards the end, during Elbow's “One Day Like This“, people organically formed a circle around us. We encouraged this to happen during the final song, which generally happens at a Scottish wedding. Scott said it felt like we were getting a big hug from everyone in the room.
My funniest moment: It was pretty funny (in retrospect) when my new husband stepped on a piece of my dress immediately after the ceremony and it came right off. You can bet I was pissed off at the time, though.
It was also funny seeing lots of very inebriated friends, like a certain groomsman wanting to cut in on slow dances between Scott and I (“room for a little one?”)! We had an amazing time dancing to “Thriller” with so many different friends and relatives. We also have fond memories of one of my brothers-in-law demanding that he play Journey from his mobile. Sorry, Jamie. You never stood a chance.
My advice for offbeat brides: I know it sounds cheesy, but stick to your guns. It is so important that you and your partner remain true to yourselves, even in the face of “but you should…” and “you can't!” You will learn that everyone and their aunt has an opinion about how weddings should be done, and really, the only way they should be done is in a way that makes you both happy.
I would also strongly recommend writing your ceremony, or at least your vows, if possible. It made it so very meaningful to us to be expressing our OWN sentiments about our marriage. We also enjoyed doing a lot of stuff ourselves, not just to save costs, but because it allowed our celebration to be more personal, and it involved many of our friends. I'm sure you've read this before, but don't be afraid to take people up on their offers of help, or even actively seek it out. Your friends will be glad to be a part of it.
What was the most important lesson you learned? As long as you and your partner are celebrating your love, that is really all that matters. Not tablecloths, not aisle runners, not favours, just the love and support of each other and the people that care about you.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Essense of Australia from Infinity Bridal Couture in Dunfermline
- Headpiece: Fabhatrix. I designed the piece myself and they were a joy to work with.
- Kilt Hire: The Kilt Store
- Cake topper: Artlocke Designs
- Photobooth: Say Fromage
- Chocolate Fountains: Chocolate Fountain Warehouse
- Printing: Minuteman Press – These guys did all our printing and were friendly, helpful and very cheap!
- Celebrant: Juliet Wilson
- Invitations: Kyla Johnson
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!