Silly and Fun DIY Wedding: Chloe & Hamish

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Chloe and Hamish were married in London in April. They wanted their wedding to be fun, silly and totally non-traditional. They were thrilled at how everything went down, starting with their ceremony at Hackney Town Hall. “Hamish is obviously not Hamish’s given name, and it hasn’t been legally changed”, began Chloe. “The registrar was happy to refer to her as Hamish throughout the ceremony, but had to use the given name once. I won’t say what it is, but it doesn’t suit her at all and it always makes me laugh. I thought I’d probably have to suppress a grin, but when the moment came I absolutely collapsed in fits of laughter and couldn’t compose myself, which set all the guests off too. I think that set the tone for the entire day!”

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“We wrote personal vows, which included me promising to shoot Hamish in the head in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and ended with us both vowing to ‘love, honour, and annoy’. We didn’t have best people or bridesmaids, but we had a flower boy and three friends who acted as sort-of bridesmaids and sort-of ushers, who sort-of colour co-ordinated with us in shades of pink and grey.”

The couple wanted a DIY and laid back wedding but they spent a lot to make sure Hamish looked good! “Hamish’s outfit cost 1/8th of the budget!” Chloe laughed. “It’s very difficult to find appropriate wedding attire for the butch woman or masculine-identified, female-bodied person, particularly if that person is not into traditional men’s suits. A kilt suit was perfect and having it bespoke meant we could get something that was exactly right. It was worth it for Hamish to feel as fantastic as I did, and as fantastic as anyone should hope to on their wedding day. However I got my All Saints dress on eBay for £180!”

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“Buying the flowers from New Covent Garden market and making the bouquets and buttonholes myself also saved a lot of money”, she continued. “I can’t get over how much flowers and bouquets from a proper florists can costs! I thought I’d save a lot by DIYing all the décor but in the end I totally lost track of how much I spent on materials. We’re lucky to have some very talented friends – the invitations were designed as a present so all we spent was £40 on printing them. Our friend Jo DJed for free. Our incredible wedding cake was also a present made by our extraordinarily talented friend Rachel. She made it to an original recipe from The Fat Duck, which is an incredibly ambitious project. It had seven layers, took three days to construct, and she had to learn to aerate chocolate and utilise a paint spray gun to make the chocolate covering. It was the best thing I have ever tasted.”

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“We had origami flowers made from London street maps, and the place cards were antique postcards of London and Edinburgh, our respective home towns. Hamish is a prolific and hilarious sleep-talker (I keep a record of everything I hear and we even have a facebook fan page because friends were always asking about the latest, so I made origami fortune cookies, each containing a piece of nocturnal wisdom.”

“We always knew we wanted the wedding to be an event that could only possibly be ours”, Chloe concluded. “I think the tone was set by the comic strip invitation that our friend Jason designed for us, which summed us up perfectly in two little words: ‘bum’ and ‘LOL’. At the ceremony, we entered together to ‘Ring the Bells’ by James, our favourite band. We were considering using the processional march from the Wicker Man, but instead compromised by putting a quote from the movie at the top of our order of service (‘Welcome, fool. You have come of your own free will to the appointed place’).”

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“Our table plan was based on a running joke we have whereby I take a photograph of Hamish in front of C&A every time we’re in a city that has one. Our first dance was a (very) loosely choreographed group interpretation of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. About 12 guests had been pre-warned and asked to watch the music video and do their best version. Lots of other people joined in and I almost wet myself from laughing. Nobody did a cartwheel but someone gave us a forward-roll, and someone else did the splits in four-inch heels. Oh and halfway through the evening, one of our guests disappeared and came back dressed as a giant fluffy white cat. No reason, she just knew it would be perfectly appropriate for our wedding and it really was.”

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