Tami & Tristan’s swing-dancin’ wedding shindig on a farm

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The offbeat bride: Tami, writer (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: Tristan, medical scientist

Location & date of wedding: Collingwood Children's Farm, Melbourne, Australia — March 27, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: The main aim of our wedding was to make it relaxed, fun and not constrained by tradition or other people's ideas that didn't fit us. The day had a bit of 1930's theme – my husband wore a waistcoat and I wore a champagne vintage style tea-length dress. I came in on the back of a old rustic jinker. We had it at a farm with no bridal party and the guests sat on hay bales. IMG_7067

Our dance started off with a slow waltz and then we busted out into a swing dance. We had comedy songs as our special songs. Instead of singling out unmarried women and throwing the bouquet, we got everyone on the dancefloor and threw a bunch of personalized chocolates. We made our own guestbook full of our photos going right back to 1994, when we started dating. We had a slideshow with photos of us from when we were kids building up to now – the funny thing is, it was Earth Hour when we were showing them and the power cut out – karma!

Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote our vows, had my sister in law read a poem and my good friend read this poem that my husband and I wrote together, inspired by Dr Suess:
IMG_7775 bw
“What marriage means to us”

We take each other today – through thick and through thin
To be partners in life, and not pull the pin
We'll weather the weather, together forever
Through every endeavour, our love will not sever
And well may you ask, what does love mean to us?
So we've given it some thought, and we sum it up thus…
For Tris it is clear, why he's now standing here
It's because Tam's understanding, when he comes home demanding
To be let in the door, at the wee hour of four
With a skinful of beer and an “Or-luuuv-you-deeer”
Tam's reasons too, are somewhat selfishly inspired
She has utterly no clue how the television's wired
Remote controls also, are Tris's domain
And she hasn't the faintest how to unblock a drain
So together they stand, before their near and their dear
Thanking you all, for making it here
To celebrate with them, this next stage of life
And to witness Tam “officially,” become Tris's trouble and strife… IMG_6971

Our biggest challenge: Finding my shoes. I got them made up by one place and they completely botched them – complete with wrong colour, visible glue stains and pen marks! Attrocious! But then I found Morena Dancewear and they made me the most AMAZING shoes I've ever seen. Andrea from Morena couldn't do enough to help. She was fantastic!

Sticking to the budget I guess is another one. It's hard not to get carried away when you're having so much fun! IMG_0404

My favorite moment:

  • My mum's speech – she's very shy so it was a big deal and she made my dad stand by her side while she did it. What she said was beautiful.
  • My dad trying not to cry as we headed towards the farm in the jinker.
  • Dancing out of the ceremony to “All I Want Is You” from the Juno soundtrack.
  • Everybody's reaction when we busted out into our swing dance.
  • My friend reading the Dr. Suess inspired poem we wrote for the ceremony, shaking like a leaf with nerves!
  • Taking photos in the boat at nearby Studley Park. We got there just in the nick of time. We had to beg the guy not to pack them up!
  • My sister in law and her husband reenacting their wedding dance. We played the song especially for them.
  • The moment when our celebrant told us to take a mental picture of everyone (and one of our friends pretending to emphatically pick his nose for the memories).

IMG_7656 2
My funniest moment: My brother MC'd the wedding and he started off by pretending to bawl his eyes out, dropping tissues all over the place. Then he stopped abruptly and said, “Oh, sorry, that's Dad's speech!” (My dad is renowned for crying on special occasions). Then, my dad got up and started his speech, and, perfectly on cue, lost it and started bawling. It was gold. IMG_4827

My advice for offbeat brides: Stick to your vision! We had some pressure to have a more formal dress code but we were adamant that we wanted people to be comfortable so we simply made it smart casual. In the end, we had a huge variation from formal wear to jeans and thongs, and it was all fine!

Don't be so rigid about your vision that you end up trying to achieve the impossible. Initially I wanted my dad to row me into the ceremony on a boat. But when we looked at the riverbank, it was one and a half meters from the water line! We quickly ditched that plan and went for the rustic jinker instead. IMG_7453

Relax and enjoy it. The more things you give yourself to organise close to the day, the less relaxed you're going to be.

Splurge on the things that are actually important to you. For us it was a personalised cake topper and dance lessons. Unfortunately the cake topper disappeared on the night but the lessons were definitely worth it!

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Comments on Tami & Tristan’s swing-dancin’ wedding shindig on a farm

  1. What a lovely wedding. The dress, shoes and parasol are just perfect!

  2. What a lovely wedding. Can you tell me where the Groom got his suit? Or what brand it is? It is exactly what we are after!

    • I got my pants and vest made to order by Godwin Charli in Lt Collins in Melb who was the only vest place around with any decent vests- cuts and material options; and the shoes and tie were from Anton’s on Oxford St Sydney. I had the pants made for swing dancing (extra room in the seat) so they weren’t cut as nicely as I had wanted, but they were fine in the end.

  3. YAY for Melbourne brides! And really nice to see our venue (Studley Park) shown just 11 days til our wedding! Got me all excited!
    Looks like it was a super fun day – Congratulations!

    • Hi Reanie, no we never found out what happened to the cake topper. We suspect it got chucked out by the venue in the clean-up. By the time we realised it was missing, we were on our honeymoon in Sth America so it was too late to go back and try to find it ourselves 🙁

    • Yep, it was an awesome day (followed by an awesome honeymoon)! Good luck for your big day if it’s still to come.

    • Hi Kristy

      Yep, it was a pretty amazing day. We had the reception at The Abbotsford Convent, which is a lovely old nunnery just across the walking path from the farm. It was the perfect setup. We were initially looking at having the reception in a marquee at the farm but it was going to be extremely expensive to hire everything (much more than the Convent), we were a bit worried about weather, and we would have had to have portaloos – which was really the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. We both wanted it casual but portaloos was just taking it one step too far for me – afterall, it was a wedding, not a music festival!

      Good luck for your big day if it’s still to come. (As a postscript to this, we have another big day on the way very soon – expecting our first baby in late Feb!!)


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