queen victoria, no, er, gem and mel

The offbeat bride: Gem – art lecturer

Her offbeat partner: Mel – sex boutique proprietor

Location & date of wedding: Brighton Town Hall/beach/pier, Brighton UK. Wednesday the 6th of August 2008.

gem and mel

What made our wedding offbeat: Being a gay couple started events in a generally non-regular tradition and our family and friends realized quickly that it wasn't going to stop there … we wanted a day that would fulfill our dressing up fantasies, even if that meant just being really comfortable. We didn't want anyone in starchy suits if they weren't going to feel at ease and our wedding was primarily about enjoyment.

the el dude bros.

Our children, Oscar (8) and Hector (6) were given carte blanche to decide what they were going to wear (we slightly regretted it when Hector embraced his character as Troy from “High School Musical” when the singing commenced … but hey, Ariel, were embracing ‘tacky‘ — tacky rules OK!!!! it was super cute, though!)

love this wallpaper

The boys were pivotal in deciding how our day would be, we wanted them to be part of the process. Hector demanded I wear a veil (because that is what he wants to wear when he gets married to Troy from HSM!) [Editor's note: I just LOLed. For real.] and Oscar picked my dress and shoes. I knew I would feel best dressed up to the nines but insisted on comfy vans for shoes although I did hanker after some naughty kitten heels. Mel, my Mrs, is a mod girl at heart and she rocked her Brighton inspired Fred Perry and dog tooth pork pie hat!

mel, gem and hula!

Talking of dogs, our french bulldog, Tout Le Monde (Hula for short) was our design inspiration and we kept the theme monochrome with red as an accent colour.

My crocheted bouquet was made by my bridesmaid, Danie and loads of other bits and pieces came from our amazing friends, like serenading us with a guitar, home made gifts… so the day developed in an organic, spontaneous way…

Sarah, my other awesome bridesmaid is a cake queen and we share a passion for bakery. She arranged an improptu visit to the Angel Food bakery in Brighton where we took over the shop to eat the finest red velvet cupcakes!

woo hoo!

We laughed loads, fell over loads, the dog farted lots and it was really relaxed. We high-fived when we were pronounced civil partners by our registrar called Mr Love (no joke, it's true!) we ate fish and chips on the beach and got soaked in a huge thunder storm at the end of the day…it was truly inspiring and I have never felt happier.

bad jokes

Our biggest challenge: Our eldest son has emotional and behavioural problems and any change of the usual order or routine will throw him into panic and anxiety, our wedding was no exception! He can be very demanding in these situations and it was a worry as to how he would manage. We kept him busy and focused on his bubbles and confetti but he really wanted to be our witness. By law, he wasn't old enough to do this officially, but Mr Love made space on the register for he and his brother to sign.

This was a fab solution and it was so nice for our venue to accommodate us. It is sometimes hard to explain the situation when you have a child who can appear to just be difficult or naughty rather than suffer with a significant problem, but the relaxed and friendly attitude of Brighton Town Hall was amazing and helped Oscar out loads by making him part of the proceedings and even showing him around to keep him relaxed.

on way

My favorite moment: I think the fact that the usual control freak that is me went out for the day and relaxed cest la vie Gemma replaced her. I was genuinely chilled out and couldn't help but wet myself with laughter rather than freak out about whether I got “the photo” (I can go a bit Tyra sometimes…) Oh, yeah, cupcakes, lots of cupcakes, I love the cake……

I'm also really excited that we are Mrs and Mrs Marmalade. Juicy!


My offbeat advice: Be bold, brassy, bitchin' and fall in love with everything all over again.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: For a farting dog, happy kids, and a truly inspiring, fabulous couple, watch the slideshow…

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Comments on Gem & Mel’s gay retro/ska british beach bonanza

  1. This is a lovely wedding!

    I’m proud I’m a citizen of a country where same sex marriage is legal and allows happy days like these to happen!

  2. This one gets my vote for best, funnest- looking, most stylin’ wedding of the year!

  3. amazing! congrats you guys! seems like such a fun day!! and I love Brighton:)

  4. I love the pic of the bride kicking her heels…that’s great…
    congrats to you both 🙂

  5. Ooh, I’m getting my wedding cupcakes from Angel Food! Looks like a smashing day was had, shame I didn’t get to see it, but I’m looking at the pier right now.. 🙂

  6. This looked like such a kick-ass wedding! I’m so jealous. I love the fact that they made a space for their sons to sign the registrar…to sweet.

  7. this is one of my favourite weddings ever – it looks so happy and fun and filled with love which is what a wedding should be! congratulations

  8. I LOVE this wedding and as a fellow Brightonian, It makes me warm and fuzzy to see such happy people together on the beach! Congrats Girls…Love it!

  9. I was wondering if the bouquet was crocheted. Can she share the pattern she used?
    Lovely wedding! I love the picture of you clicking your heels!

  10. *blush* thank you so much for your lovely comments, OBB has the best brides ever!
    For folks who have asked about the bouquet or are Brighton friends, message me on obb tribe to make friends and chat!
    stay classy, ladies!

    Gem xoxoxoxox

  11. It was the most amazing day! Thank you for letting me be a part of it gorgeous lady xxx

    (Ps – I’m the cakey bridesmaid and offbeat bride in waiting!)

  12. Wow!!! You two rock and your kids are gorgeous!!! <3 You make an adorable couple! I LOVE the pic of you “clickin'” your heels!!! AWESOME!!!

  13. Congratulations! Your wedding is beautiful and I love that you were able to ignore your inner control freak – I have one as well and I’m scared shitless that she’ll ruin my eventual wedding day. 🙂 You both look grand – I love the bride’s dress and Mel’s hat! And your sons look very happy for you both.

  14. Aw, this gave me the warmest feeling in my heart. Beautiful family. I wish you all the best!

  15. What an exalent looking wedding and the pictures are fantastic, best of luck girls


  16. Great pics! It makes me so happy to see people who are truly happy. And I LOVE seeing brides in glasses! Way to go.

  17. These pics are beautiful!
    Made even better by the fact that the bride sold me a whip once x x

  18. Those are some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen! Especially the one where the bride is kicking her heels (what a truly magical, happy picture) and the happy couple relaxing on beach chairs (and the bride roaring with laughter!)

    This wedding has made me smile big time 🙂

  19. I admire you on the willingness to share this info with others – good luck!

  20. I have read this post a few times, and every time my eyes tear up. Everything is so beautiful! This is my favourite wedding on the site.

  21. I know this is ages after the fact, but I cannot get over how happy you two both look! And your boys are adorable!

    • thank you! I can’t believe we are still getting comments! It was truly a great day and we were and are still, very happy! I want a part 2 now xx

    • We now have three farting dogs! married bliss! thank you for your lovely comments xx

  22. wonderful beautiful inspiring wedding! As a mother with a child who also has anxiety issues, the fact that you were able to deal with that definitely resonated with me. I hope we’ll be able to help our daughter enjoy her and our day this June. I love how you gave them free reign for their clothes! Congratulations ladies!

    • Hi Vanessa – good luck with your day! I must say, at one point, it got a little tricky dealing with our sons issues but that is to be expected. When we got married we didn’t have a diagnosis so it is hard to fully explain to people (and OBB) quite what the problem is and of course, people assume his behaviour and emotional/social difficulties must be down to our parenting! if only! He was diagnosed last year with cyclothymia, a form of bipolar. Even though it doesn’t change anything, it makes it more of a tangible thing for others to grasp onto and subsequently relieves the finger pointing.
      I am sure your daughter will have a great day in June – keep ’em busy! it’s a good tip and worked for us! If you are relaxed and having fun, she will respond accordingly. Best of luck and congrats to you all! Gemma x

  23. So many lovely comments and nearly two years hence! Brighton is our annual wedding anniversary destination and were keeping it that way!

    I can’t really reply to you all but thanks so much for the lovely comments and support. The OBB tribe really are the best xx

  24. Looks awesome Congrats! Makes me miss Brighton.

    We registered our intent to marry with Mr Love – just the coolest name for a registrar!

  25. thank you for posting your pictures and for the wonderful advice you gave – about falling in love with everything again. for me, that includes falling in love with life again.

    congratulations! 🙂

  26. Aww, you just reminded me of my wedding – we had Mr Love at Brighton Register Office too!

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