The offbeat bride: Miranda Podger, Registered Nurse
Her offbeat partner: Mike Podger
Location & date of wedding: The dance marquee in a very muddy field at the Pontardawe Music Festival in Pontardawe, South Wales, UK on August 16th, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: A traditional wedding with all the trimmings was never going to be right for Mike and myself. This was the second marriage for both of us and we're not what you'd consider the most traditional, mainstream of couples. We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2007 and married August 16th 2008, so that didn't give us long to plan things. Plus we had a very small budget (in the end we managed to pull it off with a spend of around £300!)
Right from the beginning we knew we loved the idea of a festival style reception with bands, camping and plenty of food, beer and happy people. This was going to involve a lot of planning and money, however, and we soon hit upon what we thought was an even better idea. We had met each other three years ago at a local music festival…. Hey,why not get married at the same festival?!?!
This immediately took a heap of pressure off us. There was little to worry about as there were a whole load of festival organisers doing just that, organising nearly everything. All we had to do was arrange for our fantastic ‘marriage man' to undertake the broom-jumping ceremony that was the ceremony undertaken by the ‘Navvys' , rail and road builders from British history.
Other things that made our wedding offbeat:
- Being the Queen of bad timing, I was 22 weeks pregnant on the day.
- The bride wore Crocs. Well hell, its all I normally wear so why not!
- The groom sported a fantastic purple mohawk.
- The groom and male guests wore tuxedo t-shirts.
- The female guests came as fairies (in boots).
- Bride and groom spent their wedding night under canvas in a very wet, muddy festival campsite.
- Instead of exchanging rings we had matching wedding tattoo's which included in ancient theban script, the highly romantic words ‘I'm with stupid'.
In all, we wanted fun, music, loads of happy people, and a wedding that no one there could ever forget. Mission accomplished!
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was persuading my parents to attend.
The ceremony at the festival was the most important part of the day for Mike and I, and the part we consider to be our ‘wedding'. Unfortunately, due to UK law, it couldn't be recognised as legal however, which meant a quick trip to the registry office a few hours beforehand to get the legal part out of the way.
Much to our dismay, my parents and some other family members refused to recognise the festival ceremony as the wedding and said they would only attend the registry office. This was greatly upsetting as it meant that some much loved family members were missing during our happy ceremony at the festival. In hindsight, I wish I had kept the whole registry office part under-wraps and let people believe it was the festival or nothing.
My favorite moment: Having walked into the marquee and walked hand-in-hand to the front of the stage, I paused to take a look behind me and discovered that literally hundreds of festival-goers had followed our procession in. All I could see was a huge crowd of smiling, laughing, friendly well-wishers, and I just knew that for us we couldn't have chosen a better way to start our married life together. That feeling of utter happiness ranks up there as one of the best I've ever experienced and every time I think about it I just can't stop those happy tears from falling.
My offbeat advice: Be prepared for those people who will mock your ideas for the day. Even those you thought were as offbeat and wacky as you. In fact those are the ones whose acceptance you counted on the most and who have the potential to upset you the greatest. Be strong! And stick to your plans if you know they are the right ones for you. Those who mock will soon come around when they see how totally awesome you both look and how joyous the day is.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Click the photo below for more festival photos from Miranda & Mike's music-filled wedding!