Dinosaurs, Zombies and A Ghost Walk Wedding: Anna & Timmy

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Anna and Timmy were married in Brighton. Their ceremony took place in the iconic Royal Pavilion and their reception at The Latest Bar. This budget friendly, DIY wedding was full of unusual and fun details including dinosaurs, zombies and anatomically correct heart cakes!

“Timmy and I met due to our mutual love of vintage VW cars”, Anna began. “We chatted online first on a national VW forum, Volkszone, and met for the first time at a show in July 2012. I had the strangest feeling looking at a photo of him prior to us meeting and said to my daughter, ‘I am going to marry Timmy’. She told me not to be so silly! In September, he proposed, we both lost our previous spouses who died young and we knew life is too short not to grab each moment. Whilst on a romantic weekend to Brighton we decided to look round the pavilion to see their ceremony arrangements. We are lovers of kitsch and romance and were bowled over by the setting. We were surprised to learn that the ceremony and registrar inclusive were £1,100. We didn’t think that was too bad for such a spectacular setting plus the staff were lovely and so obliging.”

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Anna wore a stunning vintage dress from Hope and Harlequin, a vintage wedding dress shop, also in Brighton. “That same weekend I popped into Hope and Harlequin ‘the’ dress. It was a lovely original 1920s number with a sumptuous beaded bow sewn on in sequins. I excitedly went to try it on to find it wouldn’t even go over my head. I was determined to get into it by the wedding and had been following the Cambridge weight plan since before I met Timmy in an effort to get both my life and weight under control, so I bought it anyway. It was the first dress I looked at. We got Timmy’s vintage suit a few doors down at Rob the Dog.”

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“The wedding was booked for June 22 2013 and we set up a facebook page initially for invites and logistics. Only one of our friends lives in Brighton and neither of us do, so it was a bit of a planning nightmare when we realised that everyone would need accommodation and that entailed expense. Timmy has two children in their teens and I have two in their twenties, so with their friends and partners alone that made nine of us to accommodate. We had to make savings elsewhere without compromising on it being a unique event. Timmy and I are both keen users of Pinterest and Instagram and the hard thing was finding inspiration without copying ideas. We love zombie and dinosaur films and all things vintage so we decided on a ‘journey to the centre of the earth’ and the lost world’ theme with dinosaurs and ghosts for good measure.”

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The ceremony was really special to this couple with Anna’s son giving her away and her daughter and new stepdaughter being bridesmaids. Timmy’s son was his best man and one of their friends was the registrar. “Timmy had decided last minute on us writing our own vows which were moving and personal but also humorous, mine included the line, ‘I know that if I was bitten in a zombie holocaust, that you would have the courage to bludgeon me to death to save me from a murderous and scavenging existence’. We also adapted ‘green eggs and ham’ and got the guests to read it along in response, the pavilion ringing out with ‘I do not like them, Sam I am, I do not like green eggs and ham’.”

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“After the lovely ceremony we went with Rob Marks, the ghost walker of the lanes, on a special ghost walk which was a fun touch even though it seemed to be blowing a houlie throughout the town running hair. I didn’t really care as luckily I’d asked for a tousled vintage look anyway and as we stopped at a ‘haunted’ pub for a shot of vodka on the way round!”

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The wedding was full of DIY details that the couple and their families tirelessly pulled together themselves. “Timmy and I love making things and made the invites and all the decorations, we used most of our own vintage items for table decorations”, Anna explained. “Our children helped in making the invites and the favour bags. We used vintage books past their best to cut up and paste onto brown paper takeaway bags ordered from eBay, and a dinosaur stamp found in Sainsburys to print on one side of the favour bags. We also printed out flags with ‘Yay’ written on them and stuck these to bamboo skewers for guests to wave. The favour bags had test tubes with shots in, breakfast tea bags, dinosaur tattoos and Percy pig sweets plus the programmes made by my son. It was a real family bonding experience for us all to muck in and make the things for the wedding.”

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“Timmy was very keen that the venue and the day was very special for me and spent days making the most elaborate dinosaurs out of papier mâché, including a pterodactyl with a six foot wing span! It was a nightmare to transport, and I managed to drop it the day before the wedding, breaking its beak and foot. I knew then that if he was going to be a violent husband that this moment would be the deciding point, instead he smiled calmly and said, ‘it’s ok, I’ve brought glue and duct tape’. The dinosaurs were magnificent. He also made a ventriloquist dia de los muertos dummy bride and groom and all the dia de los muertos buttonholes from scratch. Other handmade touches were the pin striped ‘just married’ saws.”

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“People have remarked that our wedding must have been expensive,” Anna concluded. “It really wasn’t. We spent just £4,800 (plus and extra £1000 for all the accommodation). My tips are to decide on a theme as it helps a lot and to make what you can if you are creative but know when to stop. Timmy was fretting for a long time about how to make convincing hot air balloons but we really didn’t need them! Decide on what is important to you, enlist friends to help and don’t be afraid to throw away the rule book and have fun. I didn’t have a bouquet as I didn’t think it was worth spending loads on one but I saw some black arum lilies on the way to the ceremony and got my daughter to nip out of the vintage VW wedding car when we were stuck in traffic to go buy them for me. Result: wedding flowers for £8! I know black lilies are not conventional wedding flowers but I like them!”

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“We also didn’t have a wedding cake but our friends are creative and love the British bake off so we held a cake competition. Result: loads of free cakes and fabulously creative ones too. We even had anatomically correct (if not daunting to eat!) heart red velvet cakes. We also bought rounds of cheese from the market for a cheese cake for the buffet. As you can see, I got into my dress as I shifted over six stone to do it and really appreciated the cakes on the evening. Our wedding rings were also from eBay and were handmade from coins from our birth years costing just £20 each.”

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