Offbeat partner: Essie
Offbeat partner: SJ
Date and location of wedding: Collingwood Masonic Hall, Melbourne Australia — July 14, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We waited over 14 years to get married because Australia took its sweet time to come around to marriage equality, and in that time we really managed to shed pretty much every idea and expectation around what weddings should be that didn't suit or serve us. So our wedding was relaxed, fun, and totally us.
Our very tight budget meant that we opted to go for a potluck over a catered event, and we chose a 'cake and cheese' theme. The food was incredible. Our friends brought so many delightful things to share, and there was just an abundance of deliciousness. Doing this also very much set the tone of the day as about sharing, and being a community of friends and loved ones celebrating together.
Having our son participate in the wedding was very special to us, He was our best man and our ring bearer, and he walked down the aisle with us. Another upside to having to wait so long to be married was being able to have him there, and old enough to remember it.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We wrote our own vows, which was incredibly special. I included a mini choral flash mob in mine. SJ and I met in the choir as undergrads at university, so singing is a big part of our story. You can see that moment here.
We had readings by Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, and William Shakespeare, and they were each read by special women in our lives.
Our gifts to our guests were vintage hankies which I collected from eBay, Etsy, and op-shops in the lead up to the wedding and stamped 'love is love' on. There were lots of tears throughout the ceremony, so that was a good call. I made special ones for us: they had the date, and SJ's and mine said 'bride' and Arty's said 'best man,' and they're very precious keepsakes.
Tell us about the reception:
Our reception was in the same hall as the wedding, and followed immediately after. We had a coffee cart to go with all the cake, and wine to go with all the cheese, and it was all very chill and friendly. The vibe was kind of like a country fete. There was a crafty scrapbook-style guestbook that people got to spend time making pages in, and there were board games too.
We didn't have a DJ or any dancing — we just made a Spotify playlist of our favourite songs, and that was the musical backdrop.
It was a winter wedding so I was conscious of wanting to create warmth through light, so we had stacks of pillar candles and fairy lights and that worked wonders.
My parents weren't present, and SJ's were both a bit shy about public speaking, so one of our friends made a speech and a toast. He consulted our friends and family for stories, and gave the most wonderful, sincere, and funny speech, which was very much a highlight of the day.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Ask for help. If you're going to try to save money, or create a homemade vibe by doing lots of DIY, that's going to come with a necessary investment of time and effort, and while you may feel like you should do it all yourself, you don't have to. Your friends and family are almost certainly super excited and happy about your wedding, and giving them the opportunity to be part of it by contributing to bringing the whole thing together is great. Tell them what you need and let them help you.
Photography: Kate Berry • Celebrant: Bridie Cavanagh • Flowers: Lindsey Myra • SJ's dress: Eloquii • SJ's veil: Crown and Glory • Both brides hair: Margaux at The Distinctive Dame • Both brides makeup: Dana Leviston • Cake topper: Lillipop Workshop • Coffee cart: Coffee Caboose • Venue: Collingwood Masonic Hall • Neon sign: Good Day Vintage • Teacups and glassware: A Vintage Affair