Karen & Pete's Spanish countryside handfasting wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
 
Photos by: Peter Glynn Bennetts Photography
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Photos by Peter Glynn Bennetts Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Karen, Journalist

Her offbeat partner: Pete, Teacher

Date and location of wedding: Finca Palmeras, Coin, Malaga, Spain — August 2, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had a very low-cost handfasting ceremony. We also had a break with tradition in terms of guest invitation in that everyone invited themselves, there was no top table, no colour scheme, and no seating plan. It was very informal, and kids and adults swam, drank, sat on the lawn and danced. There was flamenco, a band, and disco. It was just a pool party in a countryside location in the heat of a Spanish summer.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
We married (officially) in Gibraltar, then held a handfasting ceremony in Spain. Family and friends invited themselves over and many stayed for a week's holiday. There were 100 adults and about 30 kids. The ceremony was written and performed by my friend who is a practising Pagan Wiccan. I met her in Spain some 18 years ago and she became my adopted mum here and closest friend despite the age difference. She returned to the UK five years ago, but we keep in touch. She was the only person I wanted to perform the ceremony. It was very personal.

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Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was actually getting married. I have always avoided it and am not a blushing bride. I have two children from a previous relationship. When their father died last year, I decided it was time to secure our future family unit with my new partner. It took almost four years of him asking for me to finally get on with organising it. And ultimately I loved it!

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My funniest moment:
I had refused to do a first dance and didn't want to be centre of attention. When it was announced to come onto the terrace for a dance, I could hardly sulk and decline, so I went. As we shuffled, I said, "what the hell music have you chosen?" Pete said, "I'm not sure, the DJ put it on." Then the DJ said, "Do you really think Pete would choose this rubbish?!" Then "Glad All Over" by The Dave Clark Five came on. It's a football team theme tune for Crystal Palace (UK) football team of which there were several fans there. So we bounced up and down to that and it was hilarious and perfect.

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My favorite moment:
Everyone helped with the wedding, from photographers to flowers provided by friends. The band was the groom and his friends, and the cake was made by a friend. Probably the only thing we paid for was the villa to stage the venue where we holidayed for a week, and the catering. The rest was favours and offers of help. That was the most meaningful part — friends mucking in.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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