The Offbeat Bride: Nic, Software Engineer and Traveller (and Offbeat Bride Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Dan, Software Engineer and Kung Fu Martial Artist
Date and location of wedding: Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia — Feburary 21, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
From the sea to the stars. I love the beach and I love space, so although you wouldn't think those ordinarily go together, we somehow incorporated both. The unexpected bonus theme: a cyclone!
The ceremony was on a (swamped) beach. We embraced the outdoor theme, but with the remnants of the cyclone and our original beach location flooded out, we had to improvise. We were sinking into the sand during our vows! Water was everywhere and the wind was ferocious. But I was a determined bride — we'd come to the island for a beach wedding, so I wasn't going to give that up.
The stars part came later: we'd envisioned an outdoor reception, although that also got moved due to cyclonic winds. We still had a great indoor party, and the decorations and wedding cake encapsulated our theme. The cake (made by my amazing sister-in-law) had three layers: the beach/ocean at the bottom, the sky was the middle tier, and the top tier was space (complete with Han, Leia, and a Y-wing on top).
Star Wars was dotted throughout the wedding: my self-made purple lightsaber earrings, the Ewok Celebration song as our recessional, Han and Leia plushies made by a dear friend on the bridal table, and unsurprisingly, we got several Star Wars-themed gifts. We danced to “Star Trekkin'” (we love Trek too)! One of Captain Kirk's quotes featured on our table centerpiece (made by my mom).
Oh, and there were cartwheels galore, and dancing like fairies (while wearing wings), and all of my favourite things.
Tell us about the ceremony:
After months of making sure we had equal numbers on each side of the bridal party, the two groomsmen who'd come all the way from the USA to Australia got trapped by the rising floodwaters and missed the ceremony.
A lot of our guests made it to the island at the very last minute. Ferries had been cancelled for 24 hours due to the cyclone, meaning that most of our vendors couldn't make it to the island. No hairdressers! No make-up people! No decorators! No DJ! It was a disaster of epic proportions, but when the ferries finally started running again, there was just enough time for 20 of our missing guests to make it. Seeing them there at the ceremony was magical.
I walked down the windy beach to the Throne Room piece from Star Wars, stepping over/through puddles of water.
The ceremony was awesome because I was just so excited to see Dan, and he says the same about me. We were married in a simple religious ceremony by my great uncle (who hadn't seen my family in many years), and that was special, too.
I did feel bad for our honoured guests. They had seats close to the front. Sadly, the seats slowly sank into the mud when people sat on them. Oh, and after we were married, we cartwheeled for joy.
Tell us about your reception:
Our reception turned into an epic dance party. Despite the last-minute change in venue, and the fact that the DJ was a random staff member co-opted for the job when the booked DJ couldn't get through the floods, we had a great night. The food was stellar, the drinks plentiful — and yes, the groom and I DID get to eat. I think it's because we had a “smaller” wedding — 60 people (and 14 children) — and there was no way I was missing out on that amazing food.
My sister surprised me with a very touching video of video messages from many of our international friends who couldn't make it. It brought me to tears. Then she and my bridesmaids gave us the BEST SURPRISE EVER: a flashmob! During her speech, the music started, and she suddenly started singing. Then my cousin across the room stood up and chimed in with his part. One by one, people around the room stood up and started singing/dancing to the “Time Warp,” and it ended with all of us in the middle of the room rocking out.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Of all the things I worried about in the lead-up to the wedding, I never imagined the island would get hit by a cyclone/hurricane. But it did, which meant that so many of the details, things I had agonized for MONTHS over, never happened. So many things became a compromise, and if I could go back and save all of that time and stress, I would.
In the end, my friends and family pitched in to do the wedding party's hair and makeup. Friends stepped up to do the decorating. And yeah, we were missing some groomsmen, but they got there in time for the party.