The Roles Reversed

The offbeat bride: Laura, Administration Officer

Her offbeat partner: Stephen, National Project Officer

Date and location of wedding: Baroq House, Melbourne — March 17, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding was destined to be a party. Stephen and I don't like the spotlight, and for a wedding it is kind of unavoidable. So we decided to have the wedding at a venue with a lot of space and a few nooks for us to hide away if attention got too much. We wanted a laid back feel, a great band to entertain, and a jazz theme. After purchasing a hairpiece from a local designer of veils, we based pretty much everything else off of it.

The Notice

The "Flowers"

I saved a lot of money by never mentioning the “W” word to suppliers, and keeping a heap of the smaller jobs in the family, which really helped everyone feel involved. For example, my bouquet was a homemade bunch of long-stick lollipops. They normally sell for about $150 for a bridal bouquet alone. I had a supplier make up 60 single lollipops for $70 and had a family member arrange them into bouquets for myself and the bridesmaids. My best friend made the cakes and cupcakes too.

I also fell into the right family as my new sister-in-law has an invitation business called By Invitation Only, and she was able to make our invites.

The Ride

I had items that were old, new, borrowed, and blue. I borrowed a mass of safety pins from my housemate, put a blue topaz ring down my bra, wore my Oma's pearl necklace, and my dress was new.

Tell us about the ceremony: Here are our vows:

I vow to support you with all my heart, to allow you to follow your dreams.
I vow to search for all that is lost, even if you lose it in the same place every time.
I vow to always fill up your water bottle.
I vow to always tell you the things you spoke about while asleep.
All MarriedI vow to be the voice of reason in answer to your harebrained schemes.
I vow to always ensure we do not exceed our maximum animal capacity.
I vow to do any and all I can to keep you happy.
I vow to be yours in mind, body, and soul forever.
All this I vow until death or zombies do us part.


I vow to support you with all my heart, to allow you to follow your dreams.
I vow to whine about the kitty litter logs and the stupid sharp clay shards on the floor.
I vow to be your GPS in life and although we'll get horridly lost, I'll enjoy that journey with you.
I vow to raise with love and compassion any children that bless our lives, whether they have two legs or four.

I vow to help with frantic fear cleans… even if I probably made the mess in the first place.
I vow to be honest and true, without too much sass (except on Fridays).
I vow to plan and love our life together, whatever it may bring, good and bad.
I vow to adore and cherish you, to snuggle with you often, and to make you soup when you crave veggies.
All this I vow until death or zombies do us part.

Our ring exchange was much more serious, but borrowed from several different traditional passages. We repeated the same thing to each other:

Today I marry you and pledge devotion with all that I am and ever will be.
This ring is a token of my trust and a symbol of my desire to be with only you.
I want you to wear it and know that I always love you.
With this ring, I am gladly yours and you are mine.

The Board

Our biggest challenge: Early on, we had some issues with the original band, who were from the United States. We all found out far too late that there were yards of legal work to overcome to have them come over for the wedding. Unfortunately, this led to some payment discrepancies, and we ended up paying for half of the agreed fee. But we counted our losses and moved on.

The Giving Away

My favorite moment: There was one moment that will stick with me forever. It was just after my dad gave me away with the joking words, “She's your problem now!” I looked at Steve and everything hit me: I was getting married to the man I loved. There were all these people who were there for us, supporting us on our wedding day. It was an amazing feeling.

The Groom Party

The Girls

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was really worried that the music wouldn't be to everyone's taste, given that there was a big range of ages and we picked a band that sounded like they were from the '20s to the '50s. But everyone seemed to enjoy the live band, Hot Club Swing, very much.

The Touches

Those Toppers

alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
A Month of Mixbooks:
As part of our partnership with Mixbook, this couple has been given a free wedding photo book to show off their wedding photos. We'll be featuring some of these Offbeat Bride Mixbooks in a few weeks!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I found it really important to stay true to who we are, but equally know when to admit defeat.

We had a family member record an instrumental of “Into My Arms” by Nick Cave, and there was confusion at the time it needed to be played and it didn't get played at the right time. It was disappointing and part of me wanted to dig my heels into the ground and not move until it was played, but we shrugged it off. Not everything will go perfectly, but I learned to roll with the punches.

The Family

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on Laura & Stephen’s retro jazz wedding

  1. Oh my. Those bridesmaid dresses! Amazing! Would love to know where they came from. I want one for me!

    • Hey there, Bex – the dresses are called What A Crop and are from Bettie Page Clothing. I’m an addict to the online store.

    • I should also point out, though, that I purchased the dresses via Ms Katt’s Kustom House in Tasmania.

  2. Ahhhhh….lollipop bouquet, why didn’t I think of that? Totally awesome wedding!

    • Hey Jamie, Thanks!
      The real props came from my bridesmaid (the blonde one) who gave me two MASSIVE bridal magazines – they’re out there! We also use these lollipops for childrens’ birthday parties!

  3. The groom has an AWESOME moustache! I love the cake toppers and your musical choices sound right up my alley. What a fab wedding, congrats.

    • Jamie @ Magic Bean Buyer does some AMAZING stuff…
      Even video game inspired painted shoes!

  4. What a gorgeous wedding! And my husband would be well jealous of that amazing ‘tash…! Congratulations xx

    • Hi Natray,
      Thank you SO much – I had heaps of fun organising this shin-dig.
      That ‘tash is indeed a whopper – I had him grow it especially – starting October 2011!
      Sadly, he shaved it off the very next day after the wedding.

  5. Oh gosh, I love the vows, especially the zombie ending, fits my fiance perfectly haha he’s obsessed! Congratulations xo

Comments are closed.