Shelley & Karl's library love-fest wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

It's National Library week and the whole Offbeat Empire is celebrating with our own Library Week! (Check out the posts on Offbeat Mama and Offbeat Home too.) Our first wedding is in a fabulous library and features a beautiful, sequined green veil. – Becca

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The offbeat bride: Shelley, Student (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Karl, Salesperson

Location & date of wedding: State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia — November 7, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Two things about our wedding were offbeat:

  1. We took the bus to the ceremony. We had a very bare-bones budget — no flowers, no band, and no cars. I strongly believe that people should be more willing to give public transport a chance, and the bus seemed more convenient than arranging for a fleet of cars to drive us through Sydney traffic.
  2. I made my veil myself from a green scarf I purchased at the markets. Even my grandmother, who considers green clothing unlucky, loved it. I guess it helped that it was so sparkly.

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The library location, while perhaps not offbeat (they have a wedding there most weekends, after all), was very important to us. We are both avid readers, and originally bonded over a book.

…to fit in one photograph

Our biggest challenge: I should have graduated from university six months before the wedding. Unfortunately, I miscounted my subjects and wound up needing another semester. The result: an exam on the 30th of October, a wedding on the 7th of November, and a second exam on the 14th of November. In order to accommodate this, all of the last minute details were left entirely up to my husband, Karl. However, we have always had a relationship based on understanding that sometimes he needs to do more than his fair share, and sometimes I need to do more than my fair share, and it will all even out over a lifetime.

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ShelleyMy favorite moment: My favorite moment came before the event itself. We ended up borrowing an idea from Offbeat Bride and putting a space for music requests on the RSVP cards. The majority of guests ignored the instructions and used the space to write us little messages, like "We're so excited!" and "Wouldn't miss it for the world!" I would collect them from the mailbox and open them while walking to work — I can't imagine a better start to the day.

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If the moment has to be from the wedding itself, my favourite moment was when the Library security guard lectured me for being the first bride in twenty years to arrive before the groom. I'm compulsively early to everything.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Try being like a five-year-old, and responding to everything you're told with "why?" They say you have to ask why five times to get to the core of an issue. We decided that if we didn't want to do something, and the answer to "why?" wasn't something more substantive than "because its traditional," we weren't going to do it. It worked for us.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Reception: Hotel CBD — it was wonderful and provided amazing service. Be warned though, the first time we told them it was for a wedding, they automatically transfered us to The Establishment. If you want a pub reception, be firm.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. I really enjoyed everything about this piece, especially how steadfastly you stayed true to what you wanted AND your understanding that each partner has to be flexible, such as when your class schedule got crazy. If you guys decide to have kids someday, that'll come in handy!!

  2. Ooh, library week! Exciting!

    I love your beautiful veil and your attitude. It sounds like a perfect day and I wish you all the happiness for the rest of your life together.

  3. Love the concept of "that sometimes he needs to do more than his fair share, and sometimes I need to do more than my fair share, and it will all even out over a lifetime." that's how we are exactly!

  4. I love the concept of that veil. It is million ways you customize it for your big day. I love brides that think outside the book.

  5. I am IN LOVE with the 4th photo down, the one of you and hubbie dancing in that loving embrace…I can't help but stare at it and tear up!

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