Ahoy thar mateys! Today be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so we’ve got a pirate-y weddin’ t’ get you in t’ spirit!
The offbeat bride: Cayleigh, Course Administrator (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Dave, Accounting Technician
Date and location of wedding: The HMS Warrior, Portsmouth, England — July 28, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We got married on a boat in the historical dockyards in Portsmouth, picked because it was decked out with canons, cutlasses, and blunderbusses, which appealed to our pirate side. We gave everyone invited to the ceremony an eyepatch, which went down very well with our young pageboy and the young-at-heart.
I picked a short, polka-dot dress with green petticoats and a green sash, and gave my bridemaids the instructions to buy any green dress they would wear again.
To tie them all together, we made Mario fire flowers out of foam and silk flowers, and they each had a Zelda-style heart headpiece. In fact, I was able to commission a special one for my sister, who had Link’s heart container with half a heart missing at her request. (Apparently she ran into a zombie on the way to the wedding).
My nails and fascinator both said “POW!” as we’re big Batman fans, and our cake toppers were Batman and Wonder Woman. We both studied film at university, so we stuffed as many film references in as we could. The table plan was made to look a bit like film credits, the table settings looked like film cells, and the table numbers were actually named after our favourite films, with the head table being It’s a Wonderful Life.
We attached balloons to a little house for the the card box, to look like the house from Up. Our first dance was “Life’s a Happy Song” from the Muppets’ movie, and our last dance was “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” by KISS from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.
Dave wanted a wedding on a boat, Krispy Kreme doughnuts instead of a cake, and a hog roast. I knew I wanted great invitations, an iPod DJ, and as many people as possible to attend. Luckily, a hog roast is a FANTASTIC way to feed 180 people for fairly cheap, so we just booked out a hall and plonked everything in.
We also had a photo booth which ended up being a great alternative to dancing. Because our reception was held in a theatre, we were able to put the photo booth on the stage.
Tell us about the ceremony: In England, if you have a civil ceremony, you are not allowed any religious connotations at all, which is something I only found out when I became engaged. Whilst this didn’t really bother agnostic Dave or atheist me, it did mean that we couldn’t sing any hymns, which is normally our favourite bit of church ceremonies. We were able to get around it by singing a short and cheerful secular song. We picked the theme from Home and Away, which is an Australian soap opera. We did a very basic song sheet which had the date on one side, and the lyrics and an eye patch on the other.
For the readings, we had “Foxtrot From a Play” by W. H. Auden, and “Us Two” by A.A. Milne. They were read by Dave’s brother, who is an actor, and his mum, who is a LAMDA teacher. The Auden poem had everyone laughing, and the Milne poem caused a few sniffles, admittedly mainly from me.
Our biggest challenge: I love the internet, but at times Facebook can be the devil. Our biggest challenge involved a Facebook feud between my sister and a guest’s boyfriend. It got so bad that my parents asked if we could not invite the partner to avoid confrontation. Although they were right, I was a little annoyed that I couldn’t invite who I wanted because of Facebook misunderstandings.
My favorite moment: Walking down the aisle and seeing so many happy family and friends, and finally Dave, was completely awesome. As soon as I saw Dave, nothing else mattered and the rest of the ceremony was actually pretty dream-like. I was so concerned beforehand that I would cry from start to finish, but I was just so happy to see him I was grinning like an idiot, apart from a few pretty emotional moments. Then I was grinning and crying at the same time.
The other very meaningful moment of the wedding wasn’t one I was expecting. My sister had secretly gotten in contact with many of our friends and family to sing along to “It Must Be Love” by Madness (one of my favourite bands), and edited it together into a video to be played at the reception. I bawled my eyes out from the second it started to a good minute afterwards.
My funniest moment: Before the ceremony, the registry people failed to make clear that we would need to write down our “declatory words” in addition to our vows. When the time came, the officiant asked us to read the words from our cards, and we started to read our vows. We were very quickly interrupted, and when asked if we had the right cards, Dave started pulling at his collar, I started patting down my non-existent pockets, and neither of us made eye contact with the officiant. Luckily, we were allowed to just repeat her, and the vows bit went off without a hitch.
My funniest bit of the reception was seeing Dave’s brother stage diving onto one lone Scotsman in a kilt, who was then super proud he’d caught him. To be fair, it was awesome.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I’m the eternal optimist and also very lazy, so my motto throughout the wedding was “It’ll be fine,” or “I’ll wing it.” This did mean that at the end of the night, something I thought would turn out okay turned into a teeny tiny disaster. Where I live in Portsmouth, taxis are absolutely everywhere, so I assumed it would be the same in Petersfield, which is where we held the reception. Unfortunately they are far more scarce there, so it meant that at 12:30 on our wedding night, Dave and I walked the 30 minute journey from the hall to the hotel where we were staying.
There was a very surreal moment where we walked through a petrol station in our finest gear and passed a guy walking his dog, obviously trying not to look at us. It wasn’t all bad though, as although we were cream crackered, it gave us just that extra time to chat about the day, hold hands, and enjoy what had happened to us. Still, I wish I’d booked a taxi in advance.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Ryan Brady
- Dress: The “Isabelle” from Butterfly Vintage
- POW! Fascinator and bridemaids’ headbands: Etsy seller JanineBasil
- Nails: Me and JD’s Nail Art (These were actually my friend’s nails, but I loved them so much! It was really sweet of her to do her nails like this.)
- Hog Roast: Botley Hog
- Reception venue: Petersfield Town Council
- Photo booth: Wonder Scene
- Movie posters: Amazon
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!