Rosie & Kerry's fantastical fairytale costume wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
 
Photos by: Rita Dobo
0445
Photos by Rita Dobo

The Offbeat Bride: Rosie

Her offbeat partner: Kerry, IT Technician

Date and location of wedding: Forty Hall, London, England — July 14, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We began by taking that well-worn wedding formula and stripping it right down to its bare bones, chucking out everything that we felt didn't mean anything to us, or was just a way to get us to pay vast sums of money. Then we filled it up with fun things that were about us and the people we love, who are predominantly as weird and theatrical as we are! So we had cupcakes for starters, with vintage teacups at every place setting. We persuaded our talented family members and friends to perform in a Victorian-style music hall, which was followed by a very rude, very violent Punch & Judy!

0519

STD! border no surnames

0180

Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" was played live on the organ during the signing of the register, and we left the church to The Cure's "Plainsong" on the organ and drums with beautiful faeries bashing wind chimes, determined for the twinkling sound to be heard over the organ.

0830

0259

Pretty much everyone came in costume, including a huge Dobby the house elf, Queen of Hearts, pirates, steampunkers, historical re-enactors, flappers, lords and ladies, and more.

0702

For the RSVPs, we included little cards in the invitations for people to draw a picture of themselves as "someone awesome from the past" and we got some incredible drawings back. We intend to frame them all together so we'll have a little piece of everyone who came.

0535

Since I'm an historical costume maker, I DIYed lots of details. I made my dress, the groom's outfit, the bridesmaids' dresses, and my father's outfit. I also DIYed the invitations (including the envelopes), save-the-dates and RSVPs, the bouquets (paper roses), and the decorations (paper rose garlands and bunting). I had some help with these — they wouldn't have been done on time. I think my mother and sister still haven't forgiven me!

The things I couldn't make I got my talented friends to make instead. One friend did the cake and another made my shoes. They also did all the hair, filmed the day, played the organ and drums, and made a fabulous cat card box that now lives in our lounge.

0240

0237

0297Tell us about the ceremony: We got married in my family's local church. Neither of us are hugely religious, and a lot of the people there were not at all religious, so we tried our best to make the ceremony enjoyable and inclusive of everyone. Our reading was Edward Monkton's "A Lovely Love Story" which features two dinosaurs who fall in love and is very sweet.

We also had a crazy song, which was really three songs in one, with one half of the congregation singing "Oh When the Saints Go Marching In" and the other half singing "I Want to Sing," and then some of my dad's friends singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at the back with a trumpeter just to confuse things even more! It was all very silly.

0550

Our biggest challenge: I'm not very good at delegating. I wanted to do everything myself because of a strange combination of control-freakishness mixed with an insatiable love of making, and this meant that I had an enormous workload with not enough time to get everything done. So I put off asking for help until it got critical. So eventually I got my mum, sister, and a friend to help make the paper roses for the bouquets and garlands that were going round the pillars in the reception venue. But was so much more fun having people help me. And now that the weddings done, we have all these garlands that we've shared out between us.

0429

My favorite moment: To be honest, on the day I was just so insanely happy that it's hard to nominate anything as being more meaningful than anything else. So I'll go for things that I didn't know were going to happen, as they had the element of delighted surprise mixed in with the insane happiness! For example, the fact that pretty much everyone came in costume made me really happy. I wasn't expecting that, and it was made particularly awesome by the fact that people had really gone all out.

0595

DSC_1441

Also, our magician friend did a Punch and Judy show during the reception, but he customised the whole thing with new puppets that were in-jokes that only us and a few others understood, so we were in floods of tears from laughing, made funnier still by everyone else staring at us in confusion.

DSC_1443

309400_10150950686268111_2129072651_n

My funniest moment: During the Victorian Music Hall, one of my Dad's friends (a big, rugby-playing bloke) performed a song whilst dressed as Dobby the house elf from Harry Potter. It was one of the most surreal and funny moments of my life.

0579

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? No matter how much work you put into your wedding, ultimately it will be the people who make it special on the day. Although I loved having the paper rose garlands on the day, our wedding wouldn't have been any less special if they hadn't got done because we were surrounded by all the people we love best in the world.

0821

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. OMG… that poor sheep!! I am very impressed with your costuming skills and all the little details. Gorgeous! 🙂

  2. This does my heart good. I've been a little worried about how to carry off a costume wedding. This gives me hope that it can be done and done well! So beautiful, so fun!

    • Go for it!!! People still tell me it was the best wedding they've ever been to because it was just so much fun and so us 🙂 If you can have fun with it other people will too and the day will be awesome!!

  3. I just about died when I saw the words "lolita bridesmaid dresses" in the description before clicking on the link to this story. They are just adorbs!

  4. Wooooooo! Never thought I'd ever see an Enfield wedding on Offbeatbride! Looks like an amazing day. You all look tremendous. That second photo is lush *super squee* x

    • The other residents of Enfield didn't know what had hit them – we got a lot of interesting looks!!! It's certainly not an area known for it's individuality…
      The Mr. and I walked around Tottenham Hale on our first year anniversary in full Steampunkery which was another hilarious experience 🙂

  5. Congratulations, it looks like it was a beautiful and very fun wedding that reflected your personalities so well!!! I love it!!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.