The Garden of Unearthly Delights: Adelaide Fringe Festival Wedding

Kate, who is originally from Perth, met Ethan while she was living in London. Ethan is in a band and they were reunited at Fringe World Festival in 2017. Kate had returned to Perth and was working there, and Ethan and his band flew over to perform!

Two years later they married, and of course they had to do in a way fitting for their love story, so they chose to do it at Adelaide Fringe Festival, specifically in the Corona Theatre in The Garden of Unearthly Delights area.

“Neither of us had ever really imagined getting married”, Kate told us, “certainly not in a hurry, but it was the only way to guarantee we could get a visa to live in the same place. Once we knew we were getting married it was a great excuse to get carried away in the romance of it all!”

“We always wanted our wedding to be fun, easy and not traditional. We actually eloped in Gibraltar to get the legal side of it out of the way so we could make a start on the visa paperwork (highly recommend it!) which not many people knew, but were already planning a ‘proper’ wedding with friends and family.”

Nothing about this wedding was traditional – from the bride’s ASOS jumpsuit and hot pink shoes, to the photos at the festival’s fun fair and the ceremony which took place on a stage.

“So many people told us it was the best wedding they’d ever been too”, Kate continued. “It was really relaxed and had a great community feel as so many members of our colourful Fringe family came together to help out. Our ceremony venue was a theatre/tent set up for live performance, and between ceremony and reception our guests could go and wander around the amazing Garden of Unearthly Delights and even see a Fringe show if they wanted. Several of our guests were performers themselves who came and went at different times around their shows. The dress code was ‘wear whatever you want, especially that outfit you’ve been looking for an excuse to wear!'”

“The ceremony took place on the ‘stage’ of the venue, decorated simply by a large rug and some fairy lights. Our celebrant was Mark, the lead singer and keyboardist of Massaoke. We exchanged vows and rings, made by our friend Lee (partner of Neil the guitarist) who was in London and couldn’t be there. The rings made it ‘official’ to us as we didn’t have rings in Gibraltar and I never had an engagement ring.”

The reception didn’t have a sit down meal, just vegetarian finger food and plenty of dancing, and the guest list was totally flexible so that anyone could come along who could make it.

One thing the couple did realise, is that even though they wanted to avoid most tradition at all costs, some of it actually ended up being a real benefit to their day, particularly when it came to having bridesmaids and groomsmen. “It was really nice to have my best friends there to get ready with in the morning, I didn’t want to be alone in an Airbnb on the morning of the wedding with nobody to help me! Ethan had the whole band to keep him company, so I invited a few close friends over. It also became obvious that one of my friends should be my maid of honour even if it was unofficial! She accompanied me to the ceremony and it was perfect.”

“Our advice to other couples would be to think about what you really want from your wedding, and what suits you”, she concluded. “Use your strengths and ask people for favours! Obviously people need to be paid for their work, but if you have friends who can offer something for your wedding it’s going to save you money and make it a lot more personal. If the whole thing is too stressful, run away to Gibraltar and elope! A friend of mine has since taken my advice and done just that. It’s especially useful if you’re from different countries and getting marriage licences in different places is difficult. Then you can get a friend to be the pretend celebrant if you want to have a party later. Wear something you feel like yourself in and above all wear comfortable shoes!”

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