The Offbeat Bride: Edwina, Social Worker
Her offbeat partner: Matthew, I.T. Guy
Date and location of wedding: The Great Hall, Sydney University, Sydney, Australia — October 23, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Matt and I decided to go for a tradition-lite, money-conscious wedding. I had my dress made because I wanted a Regency era-style dress and I didn't think it was possible to get one in the style I had visualised for years. What I eventually had made was a sleeveless outer-coat with a train over a lace dress, so I could take the coat off when I wanted to dance.
Our perfect venue was the Great Hall at Sydney University. We're not particularly religious, so it was perfect as it was secular, but had the feel of a grand church. It also meant so much to both of us to hold the ceremony there, as we met when attending the university, and Matt still works there (which helped to decrease the cost of hiring the place).
The reception venue owners (at Castel D'oro, Five Dock) were wonderful, as they let us take their big room when their previous client fell through at no extra cost. This room being much nicer and having fun lights during the dancing.
Some other favorite details include the cake that had icing-sugar figurines of Matt and I with Green Lantern and Frodo details, the place cards with their geeky quotes, and the background music (orchestral music from our favourite movies and TV shows). It became a guessing game, and I had friends and family approaching me all night, asking where the music came from.
Tell us about the ceremony: At our reception, we had non-traditional vows (i.e., not “honour and obey”), which we repeated back to the celebrant, as neither of us felt we would be much good at memorising a speech. Our two readings were “The Day the Saucers Came” by Neil Gaiman and “My True Love Has My Heart” by Sir Philip Sidney.
We also had a handfasting as part of the ceremony, with our mothers working together to tie the cords. Finally, my aunt kindly agreed to play the piano for us: “My Father's Favourite” by Patrick Doyle from Sense and Sensibility.
Our biggest challenge: My family is a bit more traditional around what they consider should and shouldn't be done at weddings (though they were fine with the wedding being secular). They would share their anxiety with me that I would be making the wedding too geeky for their tastes. However, by the day of the wedding, they were also providing a lot of support and indicated she was very happy with how everything went. I may have escalated her concerns a little by over-exaggerating the geekiness of our cake beforehand.
My favorite moment: Standing outside with my brother (who was also my head bridesmaid) and sharing a quiet moment with him before I brought a new family member into the fold.
The speeches were also amazing. My mum did one which was mainly about my father, who passed away when I was 12. It meant so much to me to have him brought into the day. My partner's and brother's wedding speeches were beautiful, too, especially for being impromptu.
Finally, I loved our first dance, which was to “Dark Waltz” by Hayley Westenra. It was beautiful, but mainly cobbled together on the spot (due to the room change) and contained some Regency-style flourishes which made it a bit different from the norm.
My funniest moment: Matt's favorite funny moment was hearing the laughs that came when the wedding party entered to “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Junior and when we entered to “Ride of the Valkyries” by Wagner.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? A lot of the day blurred for me. I know I was bubbling over in joy and happiness, but it's hard to remember the details. I found that I needed to look over the pictures afterwards to remind myself of what happened. It almost felt like watching someone else's slideshow of a place you have visited. I would probably suggest that future brides try to keep this in mind on their big days, so they can absorb a bit more of what is happening.
- Recommended reading: Avoid wedding day memory loss: How to slow down and actually remember your wedding
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Bride's dress: Nicole Michelle Couture
- Celebrant: Julie Magee (she was lovely!)
- Cake: Something Blue Cakes
- Hair: Marie Hair Designs
- Makeup: Exquisite Makeup
- Photography: Southern Light Photography (formerly Photos by Jay)
- Ceremony venue: The University of Sydney
- Reception venue: Castel D'oro
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!