The Offbeat Bride: Lisa, palliative care nurse
Her offbeat partner: Will, actor
Date and location of wedding: Holton Lee, Poole, Dorset, England — August 17, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Will and I met through a friend of a friend following the Glastonbury Festival, and I have many beautiful memories of that summer and the simplicity of campfire, music, good friends, and alcohol. This was the vibe I wanted more than anything.
After attending several weddings, I knew what I wanted: no rules, no curfew, no strangers telling us what to do, and no overpriced accommodation. Our venue had camping facilities as well as cottages to rent, and two big barns for people to stay in which we booked for three nights. This meant that we could stretch the festivities over three days and people with little money had the option to have cheap accommodation. We camped ourselves on the night after the wedding.
We rented the marquee (tent) onsite for our wedding meal, but also erected our own marquee which we enjoyed filling with Will's House of Dead arcade machine and vintage pinball machine and my mum and dad's sofa!
We had a bouncy castle in the morning before the wedding to keep the kids amused, Morris dancers, a maypole just after the ceremony, a photo booth after dinner, and a local band and silent disco later on.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Will and I are free-spirited sorts with no formal religion, but we do have spiritual beliefs. We feel that marriage and nature are sacred. I knew from the outset that I wanted the ceremony to be outside, which is often not legal in England! This led to me looking at pagan handfastings.
We found an amazing couple who were High Priest and Priestess of the local coven who were so generous and kind and lovely that it still makes me feel emotional. They did not want any money and all the coven members made us a basket with our ceremony wording in calligraphy bound with ribbons, crystals, cookies, and charms to encourage fertility.
This was not legally-binded so we got legally wed much earlier in the year at a registry office in London. We chose the same wedding day as my parents' and my sister's birthday so that the date will have extra meaning.
Our biggest challenge:
Crafting hundreds of rainbow gradient pom-poms was a challenge! Inspired by this tutorial, I sent packages of tissue paper and asked friends and family to help, but I underestimated the time it would take to unfurl those babies and string them up! I also decided to print and assemble 200 teepee and circus big top boxes which also took a staggeringly long time.
Pulling off such a big production without any employed staff apart from the caterer and a bar was also interesting. We had many willing helpers, though. My dad's side of the family and I went round with prosecco for the toast, which was actually a lovely way to mingle.
My favorite moment:
The roar and cheers of everybody close to me as I arrived at the ceremony was amazing. We were singing and dancing to every rain-related song we knew due to the rainy English weather.
My mum did so much for me. She arranged all the flowers, and baked my incredible rainbow and red velvet cake. Sadly the bottom layer got damaged, but it was still delicious.
My mum and dad also bred me some butterflies to release after the ceremony. They were a bit nervous to come out because of the bad weather, but lingered on guest's hands for some amazing photos.
My sister made me a bright “flum flum” tree, and painted me a tree picture and a great big “nice day for a bright wedding” sign.
My funniest moment:
The wind was so bad that our second marquee lifted off the ground! It was funny to see Will running out with his DJ robot in his arms, but we were actually lucky nobody was hurt.
One of my favourite moments was my sister leading a flash mob dance to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. Everyone wore masks of Will and I, which was amazing and also a little creepy.
My friend also dressed as Elvis and serenaded me!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Georgina Stokes
- Photography and photo booth: Dave Jackson Photography
- Dress: Confetti and Lace
- Caterer: Travels With My Aunt — Sarah is just the most lovely and amazing caterer
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!