Dinosaurs, Skulls & A Black Wedding Dress: A DIY Wedding with the Best First Look of All Time

David Long Photographer

December 7, 2023

How much dopamine can we slam into one day?” That’s the question Cal and Cols asked themselves when they began planning their ‘wedding 2.0’. Legally married in 2018, they eloped first time round, so wanted to have a big party to celebrate where they are in their relationship now.

From the bride doing their first look in an inflatable dinosaur costume AND walking down the aisle in it accompanied by the Jurassic Park theme tune, this was a day that was truly just about them and having as much fun as possible. “Everything, from head to tail, was a representative of our joint loves, the fact that we were five years down the line and, if anything, now loved each other even more”, the bride explained. “In a nutshell, we planned to have the day we always wanted but didn’t have when we eloped in 2018.”

The ceremony was a blend of tradition and personal moments. “We’re fairly sure the use of the dinosaur costume to walk down the aisle in was quite alternative, and that was a surprise for Calum because of how much he loved dinosaurs”, Cols continued. “I had the Nightmare Before Christmas playing before my entrance, which cut out into Jurassic Park. Everyone LOVED it. Keegs, the flower man, sprinkled flower petals all over Cal’s granny too! We did an alternative to rings for Calum, because he didn’t want more rings for his fingers (he already has an engagement and wedding ring). He’s a big watch fan and chose one that was entirely different to his other watches and I put that on his wrist instead of a ring in his finger.” Cols, who is tee total, also replaced the traditional whiskey ritual with Irn Bru 1901.

Despite their budget constraints – they spent just £5,000 in total – the couple werfe able to create the wedding exactly as they wanted it by doing lots of DIY projects. Cols, trained in floristry, took charge of bouquets and table decorations. They also enlisted the help of talented friends for the cakes, signage, dinosaur ornaments.

Sharing advice for engaged couples, Cols had the brilliant idea to set up a quiet area for the bridal party and said if they were to do it all over again, they’d enlist more help. “Weddings are so hard sensory-wise and can be extremely overwhelming. You might just want to take five minutes with your partner to breathe! I’m physically and mentally disabled, and the stress of planning a wedding really took a toll on my body. That balancing act of trying to keep plates spinning whilst all of your plates are balancing on broken sticks felt incredibly overwhelming, and I think if I was to do again, I’d just pay for a wedding planner.”