The offbeat bride: Sam, Admin Assistant (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: Ian, Vehicle Mechanic

Location & date of wedding: Cleve Lodge, Notthingham, UK — June 12, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted a relaxed, fun day where we could be ourselves without worrying what was expected of us. We only had a small budget so I made a lot of things myself.

walk back from lakeOur theme was peacock feathers and pearls with indigo, black & jade green as our colours. I had as many peacock feathers as I could!

My daytime look was ivory — I wore a wrap made by my friend, Charlie, which I sewed ivory pearls on to, a birdcage veil, a peacock feather hair clip, and a pearl bracelet, earrings, and necklace. I got my custom-made fishtail underskirt made, exactly to my design, and shipped for £40 from etsy! I also wore black fishnet tights and black bow 4″ wedges that I found on eBay.

hmmFor my evening look I swapped the ivory accessories for black for a more rock chick look — black veil, a long, black mulit-chained necklace & matching peacock feather earrings (my design, made by Charlie), black fingerless gloves and some handpainted, wedge, comfy, dancing shoes.

The groom's outfit was a bit of a challenge. Ian being a mechanic is not too used to wearing a suit so we opted for a modern funky black suit and a vivid blue shirt. I threw in the idea of a waistcoat instead of wearing a jacket in case he didn't want to wear a full suit but he ended up wearing both, and kept the waistcoat on to the very end!

the boys

sam and maidsI bought the maid's dresses early on — Plain satin little black strapless tulip dresses. Charlie made boleros in an indigo satin. Each maid had a slightly different fascinator and each had a different charm on their bag and used in their jewelry (made by Charlie). They chose their own shoes and tights. I think I spent more time on the bridesmaid's outfits than I did my own!

I'd arranged a small balloon release. Everyone wrote and drew what they wanted on their balloons and we released them at the same time. Our balloons were 100% biodegradable including the ties. We opted for balloons instead of sky lanterns due to the environmental issues.

After that we went into the small garden at the lodge and played giant jenga, connect four and human hoopla. It was a great breather in between the hectic morning and evening.
balloons released
We had our first dance to Red Hot Chilli Pepper's “Hard to Concentrate.” When we first got together, we listened to it in the car and both said to each other that the song would be perfect for a wedding. We were dreading the first dance so I asked the DJ to invite other couples onto the dance floor to join us, which helped relax us.

Tell us about the ceremony: We had a simple, civil ceremony at Cleve Lodge. We kept it short and sweet as neither us are particularly fond of standing up in front of lots of people and speaking — even if we did know them all!

aisleMy mum and my dad walked me down the aisle. My mum brought us up and I am very close to her, although my dad contributed, and I knew he would be hurt if I didn't have him walk me down so I opted for both! He was so proud — he beamed all the way down the aisle and mum loved every minute.

My funniest moment: Ian's grandson Brodie! 4 generationsThe maids walked in first with Brodie, who had just started walking. Then me, mum and dad. As we got down the short aisle, he decided to suddenly sit down so we all kind of piled on top of each other, which was quite funny! He also stumbled over to us during the ceremony and tried to crawl up Ian's leg. Then he tried to sit on our laps whilst we signed the register! We have some sweet photos from that.


My advice for offbeat brides:
If you've got several teenage bridesmaids doing their own hair and make up allow them hours to get ready and then add some on! Mine took ages and used my bedroom to do it all in — we had to evict them so I could get into my dress.

Everyone joked about it but my itinerary was a god send — even if it just helped me have things right in my mind. I recommend one!

For grooms, try some music you know and enjoy to play in the background, like Ian did, to help calm your nerves whilst you're waiting for you're bride-to-be.

Discuss your do's and don't's and what you can and can't have with your venue as early as you can. We tried to, but didn't insist and we came up against lots of problems with doing what we wanted.


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Comments on Sam & Ian’s Casual-chic, Peacock-inspired Wedding

  1. Lovely to see a non-London UK wedding! And a beautiful one at that. Congratulations.

  2. I really don’t want this to sound like an insult as I really think it’s such a beautiful wedding. However, I do feel it’s important to point out the environmental impact from letting off balloons/chinese lanterns. A lot of people (including this couple I’m sure) don’t realise the damage they can do. I thought some people may be intersted to know, I didn’t know myself until a friend pointed it out when I’d discussed doing a lantern release.

    • Hi
      our balloons were 100% bio degradeable including the ties-thats why we opted for balloons instead of sky lanterns due to the environmental issues that was one thing we were very clear about and Shirley, who arranged them for us actually will only use bio d’s in releases so have no fear we got that one covered!x

      • That’s brilliant, it’s so good that people are looking for alternatives and can still do awesome things like this at their weddings!

      • I would love to see the “100% biodegradeable” in the actually wedding write-up. I think it would be a good bit of information to include, and might get more attention than down here in the comments. (In case anyone that’s reading is considering doing a balloon release as well)

        However, I am concerned about what happens if a bio-degradeable balloon is swallowed by an animal. Got any info about this? I’m curious…

  3. i just LOOOOOVE how something as simple as changing pearl accessories for black made your outfit look so different!!! and i have the same b+w dress as one of your guests – horray for monsoon!! ♥

  4. Woo! Another UK Nottingham Wedding…that’s a least 3 that have made it on to here including mine. Your day looked gorgeous 🙂

  5. I LOVE the colors and all the different textures going on in your wedding; between the soft floaty feathers and satiny fabric everywhere, I totally want to roll around in your wedding like a cat in a ball of string. 🙂

    “Hard to Concentrate” is one of my favorite RHCP songs–when the time comes, it’ll be a hot contender for the Boyfriend’s and my first dance, too.

  6. I adore the purple shoes one of the bridesmaids is wearing in a photo (of her shoes and fishnets and her awesome tattoos). Any chance I could get the brand name and style? I’m looking for purple accents for my wedding and think these are beautiful!

  7. Gosh, this wedding is beautiful. I adore the colours, and I loooove peacock feathers.

  8. Wow, wow, wow! You guys threw SUCH a beautiful wedding! I adore the peacock and pearls theme, and I love that you threw a little rock ‘n’ roll in at the reception! What fun! Many congrats, my dears!

  9. I love this wedding I plan on having peacock feathers and some of the same colors and I got to see some of my ideas come to life. Love. Love. Love.

  10. Love your wedding! We’re having ‘peacock’ colours as our venue has peacocks that live there. thanks so much for sharing – I’ve been told so many times already that the colours “wont look right”! you look like you had the most beautiful wedding I’ve seen!

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