The offbeat bride: Clare, graphic designer and photographer (and Tribe member Reddressretro)
Her offbeat partner: Shaun, hairdresser
Location & date of wedding: Parramattea registry office and Betty's Soup Kitchen, Sydney, Australia — September 10, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We're both flamboyant, and I wore red and had the biggest fifties-style dress made for me.
The entire wedding in Sydney was organized by us while we were living in London, down to the last detail.
We didn't stick to traditions. Shaun came and did my hair on the morning of the wedding, which was funny as we were both nervous and trying to not think about all the wedding plans about to take off.
We made our invitations, decorations, flowers, everything except the cake, which was shaped like a birdcage.
Our wedding photos were taken in old industrial factory settings, pitting ourselves against roller doors and chimney stacks. I love the contrast between us and the surroundings.
Tell us about the ceremony: We got married on a Friday at 1pm and didn't go for the frills and fluff. We had a small, intimate ceremony where the focus was on our love for each other. We walked in together and felt that the day was about us and our love, and nothing else.
Our biggest challenge: We had a few challenges with putting our wedding together.
Firstly, we ordered our rings online, but they got lost in a postal strike. Then, after riding my motorbike out to pick up replacements three days before we flew out for our wedding, the rings didn't fit. In the end we arranged some antique ones for me and had Shaun's father's ring resized the day before the wedding! It was like a reverse tradition with his father passing his ring down to Shaun.
Organizing our entire wedding from London and trying to design decorations for a reception place we'd never really seen was hard, (as was trying to arrange the paperwork at the registry) but it all came together in the end. Our families took our direction without imposing their own ideals and helped out by doing our bidding for us. Once we'd worked out the style and colour for the wedding, i.e. retro red, everything else could fit into that theme, which worked really well and gave everyone something to work with. Being open to things changing also helped.
My favorite moment: My favourite moment of the day was when I swept Shaun off his feet. We were having our photos taken by this old steel railway bridge, and I decided to pick him up. It's like my party trick and we were in a dream-like happy state straight after the wedding, and just so chuffed with everything. When I picked him up, he was surprised, and I was wearing heels, so I was surprised, but it was just us being us. Silly and happy.
My advice for offbeat brides: If there is a small detail that means something to you, but seems silly or no one else understands it — do it anyway. We had ribbon made for our lollies, which just said “Shaun and Clare's official wedding lollies.” Making something personal makes it mean more.
With our cake, we asked for it to be customized from the original design, which made it OUR cake, and not just a cake. The birds were taken from the design on our invitation, in the same colours.
Every time you mention wedding, the prices go through the roof. Don't think that you can't do things yourself. Just because it's your wedding, doesn't mean a wedding professional has to do everything. Most things can be replicated or done cheaper, and with more feeling than just ordering something.
Also, don't sway to pressure to conform, it's your day and it's your memories. If you want to wear a giant red dress, or have a crazy idea for wedding photos, trust your instincts.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!