The offbeat bride: Sam, Admin Assistant (and OBT Member)
Her offbeat partner: Ian, Vehicle Mechanic
Location & date of wedding: Cleve Lodge, Notthingham, UK — June 12, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted a relaxed, fun day where we could be ourselves without worrying what was expected of us. We only had a small budget so I made a lot of things myself.
My daytime look was ivory — I wore a wrap made by my friend, Charlie, which I sewed ivory pearls on to, a birdcage veil, a peacock feather hair clip, and a pearl bracelet, earrings, and necklace. I got my custom-made fishtail underskirt made, exactly to my design, and shipped for £40 from etsy! I also wore black fishnet tights and black bow 4″ wedges that I found on eBay.
For my evening look I swapped the ivory accessories for black for a more rock chick look — black veil, a long, black mulit-chained necklace & matching peacock feather earrings (my design, made by Charlie), black fingerless gloves and some handpainted, wedge, comfy, dancing shoes.
The groom’s outfit was a bit of a challenge. Ian being a mechanic is not too used to wearing a suit so we opted for a modern funky black suit and a vivid blue shirt. I threw in the idea of a waistcoat instead of wearing a jacket in case he didn’t want to wear a full suit but he ended up wearing both, and kept the waistcoat on to the very end!
I bought the maid’s dresses early on — Plain satin little black strapless tulip dresses. Charlie made boleros in an indigo satin. Each maid had a slightly different fascinator and each had a different charm on their bag and used in their jewelry (made by Charlie). They chose their own shoes and tights. I think I spent more time on the bridesmaid’s outfits than I did my own!
I’d arranged a small balloon release. Everyone wrote and drew what they wanted on their balloons and we released them at the same time. Our balloons were 100% biodegradable including the ties. We opted for balloons instead of sky lanterns due to the environmental issues.
After that we went into the small garden at the lodge and played giant jenga, connect four and human hoopla. It was a great breather in between the hectic morning and evening.
We had our first dance to Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s “Hard to Concentrate.” When we first got together, we listened to it in the car and both said to each other that the song would be perfect for a wedding. We were dreading the first dance so I asked the DJ to invite other couples onto the dance floor to join us, which helped relax us.
Tell us about the ceremony: We had a simple, civil ceremony at Cleve Lodge. We kept it short and sweet as neither us are particularly fond of standing up in front of lots of people and speaking — even if we did know them all!
My mum and my dad walked me down the aisle. My mum brought us up and I am very close to her, although my dad contributed, and I knew he would be hurt if I didn’t have him walk me down so I opted for both! He was so proud — he beamed all the way down the aisle and mum loved every minute.
My funniest moment: Ian’s grandson Brodie! The maids walked in first with Brodie, who had just started walking. Then me, mum and dad. As we got down the short aisle, he decided to suddenly sit down so we all kind of piled on top of each other, which was quite funny! He also stumbled over to us during the ceremony and tried to crawl up Ian’s leg. Then he tried to sit on our laps whilst we signed the register! We have some sweet photos from that.
My advice for offbeat brides:
If you’ve got several teenage bridesmaids doing their own hair and make up allow them hours to get ready and then add some on! Mine took ages and used my bedroom to do it all in — we had to evict them so I could get into my dress.
Everyone joked about it but my itinerary was a god send — even if it just helped me have things right in my mind. I recommend one!
For grooms, try some music you know and enjoy to play in the background, like Ian did, to help calm your nerves whilst you’re waiting for you’re bride-to-be.
Discuss your do’s and don’t’s and what you can and can’t have with your venue as early as you can. We tried to, but didn’t insist and we came up against lots of problems with doing what we wanted.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!