KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5599 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Photos by Eadaoin Curtin

Offbeat partners: Karen and Liam

Date and location of wedding: Boyne Hill House, Co. Meath, Ireland — 11/27/2019

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The general gist was that we wanted to get married and make our little family official — our kids were 13 years old (Beineán) and 10 months old (Róisín) so plenty to keep us distracted from wedding planning, and the wedding is a lovely day for them both to look back on.

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5614 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

We wanted it as laid back and minimal fuss as possible, no stressing over tiny details, we let the venue do as much as possible and they really stepped up! We had one bridesmaid and one groomsman, and a Guinness and Prosecco reception after the ceremony, followed by a fabulous meal (Specially tailored meal for the Groom and Groomsman — Liam and his brother — who both have PKU so can't eat protein).

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We were both keen to keep the wedding as simple as possible — weddings contribute so much to landfill- and so we avoided buying random stuff online, and instead bought locally and pre-loved as much as possible. The venue had already decorated the venue beautifully for Halloween, we sourced beeswax candles from a nearby supplier, and we kept flowers simple, to just a bouquet for myself and bridesmaid, wrist corsages for the mothers and simple buttonholes for the men.

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5755 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Róisin's flowergirl outfit was bought preloved, and my dress and cape-veil were bargain finds!

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 2080 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

 

I have Alopecia Universalis, have had it since 2006, and being bald is a completely normal way of life for me now. I don't think anyone expected me to wear a wig or head covering on the day, and it took me a while to decide how to dress my head (other than with a bit of tan, a pair of simple drop earrings and a smile!).
KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5371 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
I decided on the simple headdress, and I got the maker to add long narrow ribbons down the back, finished with a tiny diamante. I had to pull it pretty tight to keep it on, but I felt it finished the outfit. I have always joked I am cursed with veils, as my Holy Communion veil blew off my head into the River Liffey, and I reckoned I couldn;t have a wedding veil as I'd no hair to clip it into (unless I glued it to my bare scalp!), but I stumbled upon this cape veil in a Bridal Store sale, and it was perfect! I love how a veil can really transform an otherwise simple dress.
KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5405 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Tell us about the ceremony:
I work as a Legal Wedding Celebrant here in Ireland, so it was important for me to step back and let our Celebrant lead the way for us. I really enjoyed being the Bride (for a change!), and our ceremony was beautiful.

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 2071 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 2286 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

We mostly wanted our children included, so we included them in the Unity Candle ceremony, and our 13-year-old son Beineán sang a beautiful song for us (Glen Hansard's Song of Good Hope) during the ceremony.

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Our nieces and nephews read a line each of an edited version of Bob Marley's “Not Perfect”, and my mother wrote and a Marriage Reflection she'd written for us. I entered to Sigur Ros Hoppipolla, and we exited to Starship “Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now”, keep it cheesy!

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 2355 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

We were so delighted to get the weather to hold the ceremony outdoors, and the venue provided blankets to our guests. We got married on Samhain weekend, so it was a lovely sense of that threshold time between seasons — and we were blown away that the weather was so kind to us! To get crisp sunshine and blue skies in Ireland in late November is a minor miracle, to say the least!

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 2366 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Tell us about the reception:
We had a Guinness and Prosecco reception (Guinness looks great in a prosecco glass!), followed by a Guard of Honour with Sparklers to bring us to the dining room when darkness fell (Halloween is a great time to get married!).

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5680 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5796 2 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

I loved our Halloween Cake, it was made by my friend Nicola Grant at Impact Cakes, and was inspired by the witchy woods at Halloween.

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 6137 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Our first dance was “Landslide,” sung by Liam's sister Liza.

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 6431 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
It goes so fast! Nominate someone to watch the time while you're getting ready, so you can relax into the prep.

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 5315 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

If you have a small baby, identify someone in advance to take them during your meal & speeches. Other than that, just enjoy!

KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 6122 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride) KarenLiam Wedding27102019 FirechildPhotography 2182 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Also, I have set up a non-denominational, not-for-profit organization to hold ceremonies (including legal wedding ceremonies) to serve people who have been ostracised, marginalized, or otherwise left behind by traditional faith paths on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, parental/family status or any other reason. Folks can learn more at www.entheosireland.com, facebook.com/EntheosIreland or @entheosIreland

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Comments on Pumpkins & Prosecco at this laid-back Samhain wedding

  1. This article was great! It’s nice to see that people can still have fun and not worry about what other people think. I love the casual feel of this wedding, and it sounds like a really good time for all who were there.

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