The Offbeat Bride: Krista, Artist (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Colin, Care Worker
Date and location of wedding: Inganess Beach in front of a Ship Wreck at Orkney Islands, Scotland, UK — July 7, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We decided to elope for a number of reasons, the two biggest being that our families live on opposite sides of the world, and the other is neither one of us like to be the center of attention. We live on a beautiful island, which is a huge part of our lives, so naturally wanted to get married on the beach on an island. We chose Orkney, which is the next closest place to our home island.
We also wanted to be true to us in our beliefs and cultures, so we found the amazing Orkney Pagan Weddings. They allowed us to write our own vows, get married on a beach, and include many different cultural traditions from both our backgrounds, mine being Native American and Scottish and Colin's being Shetlander.
We invited two friends with us as our witnesses, and knew a handful of other friends would be in Orkney on holiday during the time of our wedding. We didn't tell them until the day before our wedding, and needless to say, they were surprised and delighted to be there. In total we had seven guests, which was a happy coincidence since the 7th of July is the date we got married. We didn't technically have a reception, but we were invited to our dear friends' parents' house for food and drinks. We were lucky and honored because they have the most beautiful home and garden.
We also both have a huge love and passion for WWII history and were keen on including that aspect into our wedding. Luckily, our amazing photographer, Corinne Fudge, was keen and we were able to go the amazing Scapa Flow Museum and get more wedding photos in our casual clothes.
We added some sentiment by putting a message in a bottle containing a copy of our vows, a Polaroid photo of our vows being said, and a postcard announcing our elopement, which we sent to family and friends. We threw this overboard on the boat back home and hope that one day we may hear from someone who finds it.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was full of cultural references as well as nods to our love of the ocean. I walked down the beach to meet Colin and our friends arm-and-arm with my two best friends and my niece. Our officiants incorporated both Shamanic and Native American traditions and called the corners and asked for blessings from our ancestors and the elements.
We burned envelopes in the fire with things we had both written down privately that we wanted to leave behind us. We had a drum and rattle blessing which was led by my baby niece, followed by our vows which I had written based around our love of the ocean and symbolically how it pertains to our love and lives. We then had a handfasting and exchange of rings which Thor, our dog, carried for us in his jacket I had made him for the occasion.
We drank homemade mead from a goblet while our hands were bound together, and had to help each other do it. Our officiant said it was the first task we truly had to do together in our married life. Finally, we smoked a traditional peace pipe with all our loved ones present as a way of including a Lenape tradition.
Our biggest challenge:
I would say our biggest challenges were keeping our elopement a secret for nearly five months, organizing exactly what we wanted from a distance, and DIYing the majority of my outfit, accessories, and gifts for everyone.
My favorite moment: Having our beloved dog be our ring bearer and my beautiful niece be our “rattle girl” was amazing. I also loved wearing the feathers and moccasins my mom had gifted me before the wedding. And finally, I loved looking into Colin's eyes as he said his vows, and was so choked up he needed a minute to get to the second line.
My funniest moment: During my vows, I accidentally switched Colin's middle name around with his surname. We also got a laugh out of the brilliant stick-on mustaches our pals brought and stuck on me to surprise my groom with after the ceremony.
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? We both have been married before, and neither of us enjoyed all the fuss. I married in a registrar's office and found it cold, and he had the traditional big white wedding, which certainly wasn't easy considering his shy nature. So really we did everything differently this time.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Bride's dress: oOlives
- Bridesmaid's dress: Joe Browns
- Photography: Corinne Fudge
- Officiant: Orkney Pagan Weddings
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!