The Offbeat Bride: Tamasin, producer
Her offbeat partner: Ben, editor
Date and location of wedding: Gilwell Park Scout Camp, Gembrook, Victoria, Australia — December 29, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Rather than spending money on making the wedding fancy but small, we'd decided to do it cheap and big so we could invite heaps of friends and family. The result was around 200 guests, a scout camp location, and doing almost everything DIY (in most cases assisted by friends and family). We love going to camping festivals so we took a lot of inspiration from that. Most of the guests camped overnight with us. We called the event “BAMfest” (a mash-up of Ben and Tam).
We made a huge timetable blackboard, got married on a stage, got everyone to dress up in costumes (which is how we roll at festivals), had beer and cider on tap, and made sure our dance floor went until the sun came up.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Here's how it went down: our friend Than, dressed as the god of lust, entered the stage and led the guests in a chant, accompanying them on saxophone. Ben was carried in on his “knights'” (groomsmen's) shoulders on a wooden throne. Songs by the band The Beards played as the knights had some beer in their goblets and waved at the audience until Ben's dad, who officiated the ceremony dressed as a king, called out, “Places, Knights!”
The Knights made an arch with their swords and the “birdsmaids” (bridesmaids dressed as birds) danced out to the song “What I Like About You.” The song ended with a whole group dance on stage.
Ben's dad gave wonderful, meaningful, and hilarious speeches throughout the whole ceremony. Ben's sister read out the lyrics of Bob Dylan's “Wedding Song.” Ben and I played rock-paper-scissors to see who said their vows first (Ben won).
At the end, “All is Love” started playing and a group of our friends dressed in shorts, grass skirts, and coconut bras came out with trays of drinks.
Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was definitely trying to pull together a DIY wedding with 200 guests in six months whilst also working a 50+ hour week and at the same time making a short film together. On top of that, the final week before the wedding included one of the busiest days of the year, Christmas.
The phenomenal people we are lucky enough to call family and friends did so much to help us out! Without them, there is no way it would have come together in time. It was truly a team effort and I could never thank everyone who helped enough for making it happen.
My favorite moment:
Our friend Crowe played our song, “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. I stood there with my head on Ben's shoulder looking out over the crowd made up of our friends and family in their amazing costumes. It was great for us to have a moment to appreciate that it was really all happening.
My dad and Ben's dad sang a karaoke duet to “Stand by Me,” too. That would have been amazing enough, but they couldn't quite find the tune so everyone in the crowd took up singing it. It's a fantastic song to belt out at the top of your voice with all your favorite people.
Our friends had put a tent up for us away from the main camping area, and there was a magical trail of tea lights that we had to follow to find it. They were in the trees and along the path, and it was a really beautiful moment walking hand-in-hand through the bush following the lights to our hidden “love tent.”
My funniest moment:
Watching everyone shake their tail feathers during the costume competition dance off was hilarious. We had a boys and a girls competition, and everyone competing pulled out their best moves to impress the judges (my family judged the boys competition and Ben's judged the girls). My bridesmaid Glen won the boys comp and Ben's two nieces drew for the girls.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great?
I think my main worry was that the wedding wouldn't be fun for my family and more conservative friends. I didn't want them to feel self-conscious or out-of-place. I knew that dressing up in costume was already a big step for some of them so I wasn't sure how all the other wacky elements of the day would go down. In the end, everyone seemed to embrace the kookiness of the day. Even my nanna, who had been quite hesitant about dressing up, danced the night away with young men in elaborate costumes and busted out songs at karaoke.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Michelle Tyrrell
- Flowers: The Botanical Institute
- Decorations: A Few of My Favourite Strings
- Venue: Gilwell Park
- Groom's costumes and flag: Yore Tymes Emporium
- Bride's dress: Alannah Hill
- Rings: Black Finch
- Catering: Hot Rods Roasts
- Alcohol: Kegs on Legs
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!