Marlie and Ben’s love story is like something out of a rom-com – they met officially in 2010, but were too shy to speak to one another. They spent a few years politely waving at each other when their paths crossed, until Ben came to Marlie’s rescue while she was stuck in the pouring rain and they finally spoke. They moved in together six weeks later!
Eight years after this, they had just witnessed one of Australia’s first gay weddings and felt so moved by the experience. “We had always said we would only get married when Australia had marriage equality,” explained Marlie. “That day Ben said ‘Let’s do it’, and we cried so many happy tears as we knew it was the best decision ever!”
They wanted their wedding to be non-traditional, relaxed, fun, and very true to themselves. They didn’t set on a particular theme, just making decisions based on the things they loved to create a day that was very authentic to them.
For Marlie and Ben, this meant meant holding their day at an urban winery where all their guests could let loose and enjoy the day. It meant serving pizza on the dance floor and having a punk-rock reception. It meant choosing a photographer who got their relaxed style and didn’t make them pose for photos. It meant smashing the patriarchy and re-appropriating old traditions into something relevant to them. “For us, marriage means equality, and celebrating love!” explained Marnie. “We stayed true to our style and personalities and it went down a treat. When you realise people are there to celebrate YOU, not some weird wedding version of you but the REAL YOU, you can get on with focusing on whats important for you, instead of what you think is expected of you!”
Lucy and Rob’s wedding was inspirational for so many reasons – not only was it a whimsical-meets-punk festival wonderland, but it was also totally fat-positive and body-positive experience.
“Our wedding was 100% fat positive and body positive,” Lucy explains. “I refuse to buy into this ridiculous notion that you can’t possibly be fat and also happy to get married, and I didn’t change my body to fit in with the impossible ‘bridal ideal’ pushed by the mainstream wedding industry. We went to a few wedding fairs and the lack of diversity, and the promotion of cosmetic surgery, was just depressing. It made me more determined to use as many independent suppliers as possible and reject the dominant narrative.”
As as a plus-size bride, Lucy was worried that she’d feel uncomfortable or be body-shamed, but the bit of getting married she was most concerned about ended up as her favourite part! Her dress was a bespoke piece from E&W Couture which she found at Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique, with a beautiful green skirt. “I knew I wanted to have colour in the skirt, and after some back and forth we decided green was the right choice,” she says. “Sophie (from E&W) and Rachel were angels to work with!”
Inspired by punk rock, Day of the Dead and Culture Clash, Amy and Niall planned their August wedding on a £5000 budget. They included nods to their Scottish and Italian/Indian heritages as well as elements that defined them as a couple such as serving a fully vegetarian menu. The family-only ceremony was held at Bedford Town Hall with their low key, DIY reception hosted at The Pavilion in Bedford Park.
“When planning for the wedding we wanted the basic essentials as we’re very non-materialistic and were uncomfortable about being centre of attention!” the bride explained. “Once the essentials were in place the little personal touches that represented our identity as a couple gave it that unique feel. We wanted to celebrate our families coming together and the merging of our different cultures.”
Valerie and Brian met when she was 18 and he was 23. Brian worked at a skate shop and they would routinely hang out talking about alternative ideologies and hardcore music, never thinking that their paths would cross again. Fast forward a few years and they reconnected via OKCupid and decided to meet up! “In typical Jersey Shore fashion, we met for a late night cup of coffee at a diner, and a stroll on the boardwalk; the rest is history”, said Valerie.
They were married in New Jersey at The Loft at Jackʼs Barn. “As music was the glue that held all of our wedding plans together, it is only fitting that the inspiration for our wedding would be an album”, she continued. “The Bouncing Soulʼs 1999 album Hopeless Romantic was the inspiration for our wedding. Youthful, care-free, alternative, and fun, but still romantic in itʼs own right.”
Corinna and Ady met at a punk gig in 2013. The inspiration for their wedding was music, each other and their mutual love of tattoos.
Their reception was held at The Bridge Inn in Stalybridge. “We did everything to please ourselves”, said Corinna. “I think there is an immense amount of pressure on couples planning a wedding to make sure everyone else is happy, and this can be so stressful on what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life! So we promised each other to only do what we wanted, if people didn’t like it, well, it wasn’t their wedding! It turned out to be the best day of our lives.”
Their budget as £4500, including a week in Majorca for their honeymoon, and they kept costs down by doing lots of DIY and calling in favours. “My dad’s band provided the entertainment and my sister DJed. We had a buffet instead of a sit down meal and the function room was free! We made own invitations and did all the décor. I got a bit giddy over all the little things I bought! I got lots of fairy lights, union jack bunting, red glass candles for each table, heart shaped balloons, a light up ‘A & C’, just married bunting, and a few Mr & Mrs signs. We also made our own confetti by ripping up coloured and glittery tissue paper from Poundland. I was gobsmacked how expensive it was to buy ready-made!”
Jo and Jonny had a wedding like no other – it had a princess pirate punk theme! They were married in Belfast in November.
“Our wedding theme would be best described as a princess marrying her pirate in a punk fairytale!” said Jo. “We got our biggest inspiration from looking at what we DIDN’T want. We decided we didn’t want to spend thousands of pounds and we definitely wanted something that represented us and made us happy. We looked how we wanted and we only invited the people who were really important to us.”
“The one thing we wished we’d known before starting to plan was just how utterly crazy people get around weddings!” she laughed. “We’ve had kids and knew that babies can bring out some crazies from the woodwork, but nothing compares to the amount of opinions you will get from other people when you tell them you’re having an alternative wedding!”
A blustery beachy location, a groom with the most amazing mohawk ever and a bouquet made of seashells are just a few of the elements that I adore about Kelly and Louis’ wedding at Swell Cafe in Whitby.
“When people asked what our theme was we’d always reply with the same thing: ‘Fuck the theme!'” Kelly laughed. “We basically brought in bits and pieces from all the stuff we love like. We made our own seashell and sailor jerry themed bunting, complete with song lyrics from our fave punk bands. We also used about a million seashells to make things such as the ring holder and the decorations in the ceremony room. My incredible seashell bouquet was designed by me and very kindly made (for free!) by my Mum’s friend Sam Robey, who is a florist.”
“Other DIY décor items included Lego cake toppers, and lots of Wes Anderson’s Life Aquatic inspired pieces thrown in. We made our own photo booth props and I designed a wedding poster and made some framed prints. The main DIY task was making the fishing nets which decorated our ceremony venue. We added paper clips to the backs of hundreds of shells and added a few plastic lobsters and crabs on the nets for good measure. The DIY decorations made the whole day come alive for us, immersing our guests in our geeky little world. We also always wanted things to feel very punk which you can see in our hair, my dress, and the fact that we both wore Dr. Martens.”
Pin up and punk might not be two styles that you’d automatically think worked together, but Katie and Tony’s wedding certainly disputes that! They were married in Gyro Park in Alberta.
“I am a fan of all things retro and Tony is a metal-head”, the bride explained. “So we wanted to merge our two styles together so that the wedding expressed both of us. We put lots of personal touches into the day. I chose a red dress because white didn’t feel like ‘me’.”
“Our receiving line song while entering the reception hall was Vermillion by Slipknot, one of Tony’s favourite bands. Our first dance song was Slipknot’s Vermillion II and our wedding party dance song was a song from my favourite female artist, Stevie Nicks, Cheaper than Free which is the same song I walked down the aisle to.”
The couple’s budget was $6000 and they made almost everything themselves. Most of the décor was made from items from dollar stores! “There wasn’t a whole lot of money spent on things like flowers and linens and rentals. The table cloths and things for the centrepieces were all from the dollar store and I think they turned out beautifully.”
Zoe and Peter wanted an unconventional wedding… just like them! They had their reception at a tea room, wore what they felt comfortable in, and made everything they could themselves!
“In many ways, we don’t really consider ourselves to be ‘normal’,, so our wedding was never going to be conventional”, said Zoe. “Even P’s proposal wasn’t exactly usual: we were lying in bed and he asked me, ‘so when are we getting married then?’. I said something like ‘well you need to propose first’. So he did. And he called both my parents the following morning, which made it suddenly, very real!”
“Having been together for so many years before deciding to get married, we believed that getting married was more of a formality than a declaration of commitment or anything like that. However we appreciated that there would always be certain expectations that would have to be met. Much though the idea of running off and eloping appealed, my mother would never have forgiven me if she couldn’t be there! As you can imagine, we saw no point in a prolonged engagement either, so we set the date for the soonest we could book with our local Registry Office and took it from there.”
Happy Monday you gorgeous creatures. Monday might not be your favourite day of the week, but it’s about to get a whole lot more epic with this completely perfect punk wedding! In fact this might just be one of the most amazing real weddings you’ll ever see! Tammie and Toby were married at New Farm Park in Brisbane.
The wedding was very much DIY, with the couple spending no more than $5000 on the whole thing. “We became friends through the East Brisbane punk scene and going to shows”, Tammie began. “He was the super talented guitarist of a rad band and I was the fangirl trying to get close to him because he always had a rider (free drinks at the bar for bands!) The scene is like a family and he was always there when I needed him. Plus he is a super babe so why wouldn’t I want to get close to him?! Then, after about 3 years, we got together. We now have a house, three little girls and run a business together.”
“When we started planning I didn’t know exactly what I wanted but thanks to the internet I had a super long list of stuff I didn’t!!” she continued. “We wrote our own vows and quite bit of the ceremony. We started off by recognising the traditional owners of the land and mentioned gay marriage rights in ceremony. Our celebrant was an ex-communicated priest, kicked out of the church for advocating gay marriage and going to a refugee protest. He was an all round rad dude!”
Kat and Gary’s Northampton wedding was pure punk rock! From the bride in a denim jacket with a custom patchwork back and Dr Marten boots, the skinhead groom in a 3-piece tartan suit, and their kids rocking mohawks, it really doesn’t get more authentic than this! Oh and Kat found her dress on eBay – in her exact size – for £100!
“To us our wedding was completely normal!”, began the bride “But we can see why to others it wasn’t! A groom in a three piece red tartan suit and Dr Martens and a bride in a wedding dress that is short at the front with Dr Martens and a denim jacket isn’t your usual I guess! Our reception venue wasn’t your run of the mill romantic kind of venue either, its an old bus station now used by a charity called Make A Difference (MAD) and has a very industrial feel to the outside, and a thrift shop with comic strip ‘wallpaper’ inside. We also had to have a DIY tattoo stall for our guests which just added to making it more us!! Oh and I doubt many brides travel by train drinking cans of bloody mary’s on the way to their wedding!!”