This week we're celebrating simple weddings, featuring couples who opted to go a bit more minimal with their wedding details.
The offbeat bride: Sophie, Mama and Caterer
Her offbeat partner: Liam, I.T. Geek
Location & date of wedding: Milldam House, Portsmouth, United Kingdom — October 28, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was not a lavish affair. It was simply about us. We are a pair of old-school geeks who would prefer to stay in and play Mario Kart over going out and partying. Liam and I are also quite reserved people, so a big wedding was never really an option for us. We had 20 guests which where just family and close friends, and had a small ceremony with a lovely meal afterwards.
Liam tried to match his suit as closely as he could with the one worn by David Tennant in Doctor Who. He even bought a sonic screwdriver! My dress was by Monsoon which was bought via eBay for £20 (about $32). Same goes for my daughter's dress, and hers was £5 ($8).
I put together our cake topper, which was Mario and Princess Peach. I even cut off a small piece of my dress' petticoat for Peach's veil! We didn't have a traditional wedding party. My dad walked me down the aisle followed by my daughter, Tabitha, my brother Leo, and my Mum. Tabitha was my “flower girl” and held a wand I made her from fake flowers and ribbon. Leo took the role of my Maid of Honour and became known as my “Bridesman.” The night before I made my own bouquet along with all the button holes for the men. We also prepared all our own favours, which mainly consisted of vegetarian jelly beans!
We had lots of trouble trying to find a reading we both felt was romantic and meaningful without being soppy, and also which had no religious affiliations. In the end we chose “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton, which is a short story about two dinosaurs finding one another and falling in love.
Our biggest challenge: Our main concern was money. We couldn't justify spending lots of money on a wedding, as we are currently saving to buy a house. We did lots of shopping around looking for the best price. Another way we kept costs down was by utilising family and friends. The photographer was a family friend who enjoyed photography as a hobby and our cupcakes and wedding cake were made by another family friend.
My favorite moment: I'm largely a very practical person. I was really excited about getting married. No nerves, no crying, no getting sentimental. I was just really looking forward to marrying my man. But as soon as I started walking down the aisle, I started blubbering like a baby. Seeing Liam's face with all our friends and family standing around us made me realise how lucky I was to be marrying my best friend.
My funniest moment: My little girl Tabitha's face when my brother walked with her down the aisle. She was so excited to see all her family together in one room, she couldn't stop grinning!
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We couldn't afford to spend a great deal of money on the reception. A lot of places charge you a large booking fee simply for it being a wedding reception before you even start talking about food and drink. I rang around restaurants and eventually found one that did not charge us for a booking fee because we were a wedding party, and that catered to vegetarians. We had lots of veggies in our wedding party (myself and Liam included).
We reserved a secluded corner of a restaurant and negotiated the price of the food down by choosing a menu that was made from seasonal produce (such as pumpkin risotto… yum yum!).
My advice for offbeat brides: If you're on a tight budget, do the leg work. Ringing around vendors and haggling down prices can really cut down your costs. Also, never underestimate the bargains that can be found on eBay.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Even if we had tons of cash to splurge, I don't think we would have done things any differently. In the words of The Beatles, money can't buy you love.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses: Monsoon
- Brides shoes and accessories: eBay
- Groom's shoes: Converse
- Reception: Brasserie Blanc, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!