Hold onto your hats folks, we finally did it. Kate and I are finally, legally and all officially married. WOOT!
Get us, the latest Mrs & Mrs to dance the night away and eat cake.
Now as blog posts go, if we were just wanting to make an announcement we could say goodnight now. Job’s a good ‘un but no, we wanted to share some little details with you about how we made things a bit more personal.
We all know that traditionally weddings are all about the bride, the bride’s dress, the elaborate venues and the traditions and rules that people follow even though they don’t know why. Well that’s just not us. So here are some little details from our very casual and very homemade wedding.
I didn’t quite tell the truth there, we did actually have a fantastic venue, but it wasn’t a fashionable restaurant or historical building. We had the wedding in our garden, the most special place we could think of to get married in and it was truly special.
We decorated the entire garden with bunting, put up a big gazebo on the patio to provide a sheltered space for sitting and eating or drinking and we dressed up the tables really simply with a checkered tablecloth and some flowers in a champagne bottle.
Making the guests feel welcome
Something we felt was important was that our guests, some of whom had never met each other, felt comfortable and able to chat to each other. So we asked each of them to submit a photo and a small paragraph telling us about themselves. We then turned this into a small booklet to go with the order of ceremony that everyone was given when they arrived.
We hoped this would help break the ice and it seemed to work as we had a sneaky peek out the window as the guests had gathered and they seemed to be mingling well. Even the two dads.
Another thing we felt very strongly about was taking away all the stuffed shirt type traditions and rules. So when our guests arrived, they didn’t have to worry about where they were to sit, which side and which row, we made it very clear that there was no assigned seating with a quirky sign, after all which side do you sit on when there are two brides and no groom?
And we also did away with rules about attire, we told everyone to wear whatever they wanted and we ended up with a fantastic mix of outfits that really showed the personalities of all our family and friends…. we had kilts, tweed jackets, R2D2 tie pins, red chinos, brothel creepers, and a red trilby amongst other things. If you are observant you’ll notice a lack of big, white, meringue dresses too.
One other thing we did, my little brother Arlen and his wife Diane couldn’t come over from the US to join us for the day so we set up a Google hangout so they could watch the ceremony live. It did mean however that they both had to be up very, very early so they watched from the comfort of their bed.
Wedding gifts and favours
One of the first things we did chronologically, as you’ll have seen in previous blog posts is that we made some beer for our guest to drink afterwards. We actually made 3 beers for the wedding as we were intending on having a bar serving beers on tap but one was our official Bride Ale. You can read more about it in these two blog posts.
But we had a few guests who do not drink and we didn’t want them left out, so we also made Dandelion and Burdock and Ginger Beer (soft drinks). These specific drinks were requested by the two fathers of the brides. Apparently it was about reliving their youth.
We also gave them the same label designs as we had for the home-made beer we gave away as party favours so that no one would feel left out or treated differently.
Another of the other little touches we did to make our guests feel a really special part of things were to put together very personal favours for the ceremony guests, in this case something that was also very personal to us – books!
Kate and I are both huge book fans and indeed books played a part in bringing us together, so as a little gesture of thank you we chose a specific book for each of our guests and wrapped it up with some wildflower seeds (as you know we love our garden) and a key shaped bottle opener, for opening their beer later. This way each of our guests got a very special keep sake to take away.
Food and drink
Now you’ve realised by now that the theme to our wedding was casual and comfortable, right? Well this meant food and drink too.
We really didn’t want a sit down meal with a set menu. There’s nothing worse than being stuck sitting at a specific table and finding out that there’s only one thing on the menu that you like so you spend the rest of the night starving. So instead we had a huge street food menu for people to grab and eat standing or sitting and to grab as many different things to eat as possible. It seemed to really go down well.
For the drink part, I’ve already mentioned that we made beer and soft drinks to serve… but we also made the bar that the beer was served from (look out for Kate’s blog post on how to make a bar as she made this amazing thing).
It was a HUGE success and we’ll be using it again and again and again.
Oh and the cake… we just got a nice sponge cake from a local bakers and Kate made the cake toppers herself.
Get everyone involved
One of the things that has always struck me about weddings is that I always felt like I should stand quietly, not really be noticeable in case I take attention off the bride and most importantly just be a watcher, never part of the actual wedding. For our wedding Kate and I wanted all of our guests to play an actual part in the day after all they are our important witnesses to a life changing event. So we did a couple of little things so that our guests could really leave their mark on our day and leave us with a little souvenir or two from them.
We left little antique keys with paper labels attached to them on a table and we asked our guests to write on these paper tags and tell us their “key to a happy marriage”. Kind of like a guest book but more personal.
We also asked each guest to leave a fingerprint on a print of a bare tree, making the leaves of the tree. This is now framed and hanging in the house as a reminder of all our family and friends who shared our day.
So I’ve told about some of the things that really made our feel very special and most of all fun, so I guess now you just want to see what the brides wore? Was it the brothel creepers?