Environmentally-Conscious & Vegan LGBTQ Wedding

Shannon and Chris met through Gumtree! Chris was advertising for a flatmate, and Shannon was looking for a new house share. They were married in September at Half Moon Hideaway in Maleny, Queensland. Shannon is a circus enthusiast while Chris is a certified geek, they really wanted to make the day about who they are. They served vegan food, did hardly any DIY and decided not to have a bridal party, so their friends could just sit back and enjoy the day.

“We really just wanted something that was low stress, and fun for our guests,” they explained. “We wanted it to be like a big family dinner, and it was! We scrapped a lot of the boring sexist and traditional wedding ceremonial stuff. The celebrant was wonderful enough to remove all gendered language (where possible and not part of the legal section) from the ceremony. We decided to exchange VOWELS (an I and a U) instead of vows (we’re big fans of puns), and made the choice not to exchange rings.”

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Sparkle & Smoke Bombs: A New Year’s Eve Wedding in Northern Ireland

Laura and Al grew up in the same town, went to the same school and the same art college! They were always ‘aware’ of each other growing up but only met properly at a party when they were 17. After that they were inseparable and the rest is history!

They were married on New Year’s Eve, but wanted to avoid the cliches. The wedding was held at The Arcadia in Portrush. The chintzy lampshades, napkins, and mismatched chairs made the venue feel more ‘homely’ to us,” explained Laura, “everyone we know and love contributed to our day in some way so the whole thing felt like a community effort. We loved that.”

Laura and Al decided to get married on New Year’s Eve as a tribute to Al’s grandparents. Al sadly lost his grandfather a few days after they engaged so they decided on their anniversary date quite quickly as a tribute to them. “It actually turned out to be a great date to pick as everyone was in the mood for a party and a laugh which is how we tried to plan the day. We also decided to have all our photographs done first so we could go straight from the ceremony at 4pm, to dinner, to the party so there was no waiting around for guests.”

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The Rock n Roll Art of the Wedding Speech

Heidi Ellert-McDermott of Speechy, who help craft bespoke (and brilliant) wedding speeches, is here today to encourage you to think outside the box for the words that will be said at your wedding.

Too many brides are missing the Rock n Roll potential of their wedding speeches. It’s not about etiquette books, a long list of thank yous or ‘his job’ anymore, it’s about dropping a lovebomb on the party and kick-starting your marriage with a bang.

As a ballsy bride you might be thinking traditional speeches aren’t for you and you’re right, traditional ones don’t have to be. So burn the etiquette books, kill off those cut-and-paste templates, run a mile at a pun and you’re half way there.

This is your opportunity to welcome your guests, make them feel loved and get them in the mood to party. It’s also an once-in-a-lifetime chance to shout about what a sublime example of gorgeousness you’ve married without being considered a little bit smug.

Promise, the words are your wedding can be just as cool as anything you find on Pinterest or Etsy – only cheaper, unique and a whole lot more memorable.

Here’s some of our favourite ideas of doing speeches a bit differently.

Get involved

Controversial we know. Even in 2017 the vast majority of brides want to sit back, sip the Champers and let the boys do the speeches. Fair enough, you deserve a break and maybe your partner is more comfortable speaking in front of an audience. But have a think about it.
Are you cool having someone ‘speak on behalf of you’ when you’re not drunk and they’re not helping you into a taxi? Wouldn’t your friends and family love to hear from you on the day? And wouldn’t you actually enjoy being really bloody nice about the person who’s just married you?

Of the hundreds of women we met at a wedding show recently only a handful said they were planning on giving a speech. We’re still not sure why us girls go mute when it comes to getting married, but this isn’t really about feminism; it’s about doing something different, feeling like a rockstar and increasing your level of coolness by a zillion.

The not-a-speech speech

Whether it’s you or your partner, the speech will stand out if it doesn’t sound like a speech.
Don’t get tied down by all the usual ‘to dos’ and make sure it doesn’t become a roll call of thank yous. Instead, tell a story.

Tell everyone in the room why you two decided to tolerate each other’s quirks and individual madness for the rest of your lives. Remind people why no other nutter would do.

Get creative. If you’re planning a festival style wedding then maybe chronicle your relationship through your shared love of music and the debates you’ve had over the vinyl collection. If you’re both bookworms compare yourselves to your favourite literary characters and their qualities; Holden Caulfield’s innocence, Patrick Bateman’s humour?!

Something else a bit different; a joint Mr & Mrs Speech. Delivering a speech together shows you’re an equal partnership; one that can quickly establish a comedy double act and get the guests laughing. It’s also a lot of fun.

Spontaneous speeches

Admittedly the politics of speeches can get a bit tiresome. Dad versus step dad, best woman versus best man, your funny mate versus your old friend from school. One way to avoid this is to have ‘spontaneous speeches’. The idea is stolen from the continent where it’s not unusual for everyone to propose a toast to the newlyweds. 

Basically there are no formal speeches but invites encourage guests to ‘feel free to call for silence and say something (nice!) or read a verse, or just say Hooray or raise a toast’ throughout the wedding meal (usually between courses). This totally works for boho weddings because it’s casual, cool and generally gets more fun the more wine has been consumed.

Tequila Toasts

Gone are the days when we need to toast the ‘health and happiness of the happy couple’ with a glass of Champagne. Toasts should reflect you as a couple whether that’s a shot of tequila, a glug of bourbon or a sip of Indian chai. Be inventive but equally don’t be insulted in Nan rejects the Jack Daniels option.

Also forget the tired clichés and make sure you toast something that’s meaningful to you. Perhaps ‘decades of dancing on tables and inspiring each other’s tattoos’.

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When This Couple’s Wedding Photos Sucked, They Did This…

Couple’s boudoir is nothing new, but what I love the most about Taryn and Adam’s photo session is the story behind it. The fact that they’re a totally babing tattooed couple doesn’t hurt either does it?!

Photographer Tanya told me all about the shoot. “I like boudoir but hate how it often takes a human (often female) body and chops it into pieces. Bum, boobs, arched back… There’s nothing wrong with these gorgeous body parts but for me there is no connection and humanity in this expression. I wanted do make this shoot moody, a bit gritty and deeply focused on the connection between two people.”

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Vintage Pin Up & Burlesque Wedding

Steph and Chris’ first date was at a  burlesque show in Liverpool and they decided to recreate that atmosphere for their wedding! They infused their eclectic tastes into a perfect day of vintage, Rock n Roll, burlesque and mid-century classic style in a local historic venue. One of the acts they saw on their fist date, Suzie Sequin, even played at their reception!

They began their day with a traditional church wedding. “Although our evening was what some might consider unconventional we had a traditional wedding ceremony in a beautiful setting,” began Steph. “Port Sunlight is a historic village and Christ Church, while quite ordinary from outside, is breathtakingly beautiful inside. It is said to have the longest aisle in Britain (which didn’t help with my wedding nerves!)”

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Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding in Iceland

Italian Monica and British Ben absolutely adore Game of Thrones so when they came to marry there was only one place they wanted to do it – Iceland! Their ceremony was held in Thingvellir National Park, at the Silfra (the rift between two continental tectonic plates) which is actually the entrance to the Eyrie in the show.

“We are both fans of Game of Thrones and very much into fantasy”, Monica explained. “In fact we are so much into Game of Thrones that 1) Our two cats are called Tyrion and Shae 2)  Our first trip to Iceland was a GoT tour in the northern part of the country and 3) Ben proposed to me there, near a frozen lake surrounded by ravens. This made Iceland very special to us and the perfect setting for our wedding. We also appreciate the liberal nature of Icelanders, and their open-minded view of love and marriage.”

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