Ruby & Martin's kid-friendly, homemade garden wedding

Updated Mar 15 2021

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The offbeat bride: Ruby, Mama (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: Martin, Printer

Location & date of wedding: Groom's parents' garden, Saddleworth, England — June 5, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: The first big decision we made regarding our wedding actually had more to do with our marriage. After getting engaged we decided that we wanted to have a child BEFORE getting wed. So we did just that, which meant that when we came round to actually planning our wedding we wanted to make it as family oriented and kid friendly as possible. We had loads of garden games for kids and adults alike, had simple BBQ food for everyone and made sure that the garden was easy to move around in for young and old. 68

A lot of the wedding was done ourselves. We roped our families into helping put up tents and decorating the garden. We had a mix of fresh and artificial flowers beautifully put together by a family friend. A friend of a friend did our photos as a favour. I knitted my bouquet and my husbands buttonhole. And made half my outfit ๐Ÿ™‚ We also did the invites ourselves using a vintage postcard I gave to my mum one year for mothers day. We used a laptop for music and had a self service "bar."
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We also got rid of a lot of "wedding" stuff we felt was unimportant to us. The ceremony was very simple but beautiful and personal at the same time. We had no speeches or such and only had our family and closest friends with us at the ceremony.

Our biggest challenge: I think the biggest challange was getting our arses in gear to get the ball rolling! We spoke a lot about our ideas for the wedding for ages but didn't really start doing an awful lot until six months before, at the outside.

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Goodie baskets for the kiddies!

The whole affair was disappointingly drama free really. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great: We thought the ash cloud might keep Martin's Norwegian family away but thankfully most managed to make it in the end. Only his Aunt was kept away by a sick cow on their farm. ๐Ÿ™

My favorite moment: We really enjoyed mingling with our guests before the ceremony. As we were walking down to the ceremony venue from our house, we were met with a lot of good wishes from folks we passed. To see the love and good vibes coming from our families, friends and even strangers was such a lovely feeling.
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Also, being pronounced husband and wife. That was the aim after all and I nearly burst with joy at that moment.

Gene playing croquet
Their son playing croquet

My funniest moment: My funniest moment was dancing like a maniac with my best mate, Charlotte, at about midnight, to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." I have a lot of love for that lady and it was one of many manic dance moments we've had together.

Another was seeing our son, Gene, who was only twenty months old, dancing around for about ten minutes whilst everyone was stood around him cheering him on. The best part was that he wasn't even doing it for anybody else. That kid just likes to shake his thang! 128

My advice for offbeat brides: Think about the most important outcome of your wedding: the beginning of your marriage. Do you really want to start married life in debt? Not speaking to family members? No? So then think about things carefully and decide what you really want and let the rest fall into place. I knew I didn't want to get married in a church but still wanted to be local to our home. My husband knew that the food would be important to him. We spent most of our (small) budget on these aspects then let things grow and develope around that. It meant our wedding was quite eclectic and a bit random but the things we really cared about were exactly how we wanted them. I think this really showed on our day when people kept commenting that it was so relaxed and very "us." Plus we came out of it talking to our families and within budget!

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Norwegian celebration cake!

And there's nothing wrong with a little bit of compromise. Are somethings not that important to you? Give them to somebody else to deal with. It's a great feeling to see somebody bursting with pleasure over the thing they orgainised/payed for/made for you that it's worth giving up a bit of control.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • My corset: Kiku Boutique. These guys were amazing and prices are brilliant!
  • Shoes: Clarks
  • Fabric for my skirt was from Abakhan in Manchester. The staff are super friendly and really knowledgable too.
  • Photography was done by Maisy Carr. She can be contacted through me.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. This is actually the kind of wedding I want to have, so, of course, I think it's AWESOME! All about the marriage and less about the wedding, though the wedding has some really cute details. Congrats to the newlyweds!

  2. I love this Wedding! The laid back style is very much what I am looking for. The outdoor games are key for afternoon entertainment but all I can think of is croquet, bocce, horseshoes and fetch(there will be four dogs who love people) Did you have others can anyone suggest others?

    • It depends on the space you have. How about giant snakes and ladders. Or chess/checkers. A big jenga would be good too. For a smaller space you could try a coconut shy.

  3. Abakhans FTW! I'm getting the fabric for my dress from the one in either Liverpool or Manchester.
    It looks like you had an excellent day – I love the flowers too ๐Ÿ™‚
    Congratulations to another UK couple!

  4. We had our kids before the wedding too!! So, not only will they participate in what we hope is a very laid-back affair, but I am including a little note, in the invitations, to each child coming to the wedding asking them to help walk me down the isle. They will carry festive bells and ribbons (yes, we are anticipating some lovely folly). We are planning our seating in-the-round, with rugs between the chuppah and first row of seat, so the young members of our community can sit around us in a circle on the carpets. For us it is all about the community comming together to celebrate with us!

    • Your seating plan sounds lovely! If we'd have had the space I definately would have had a huge semi-circle for the ceremony!

      Having kids before marriage is ace! I can't wait to show the photos to my son as he gets older and show him how important he was that day.

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