On the day

Didn’t make it? Here’s how it all went down. 

We love sci-fi, so it was a no-brainer for us to make that the theme of our wedding. And because we love Pi, too, the date of official Pi Day (3.14.15) was serendipitous!

We asked our guests to dress in sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk/comic gear, and prepare themselves for something not quite run-of-the-mill. It worked out just as we envisaged – about half of them came in costume, including Kratos, God of War, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Alice and the Mad Hatter.

Stargate, Firefly and Robotech played a huge role in all our designs and planning, and being weapon lovers, it was a no-brainer to have the ceremony and photographs at the SA Museum of Military History, surrounded by tanks and big guns.

As we’re firm believers in marriage equality, we used rainbow colours as part of our decor, and my family, who flew up from Cape Town, made rainbow ribbon wands and table runners.

Michael’s favourite sci-fi is Babylon 5, so we had Sin Bin make him an Army of Light uniform. I wanted a corset to show off my tattoos, and had always wanted one from Arwen Garmentry. She made me an orange halter-neck with a Serenity spaceship hand-painted in gold, while Sin Bin also made my (brown) skirts, along with my utility belt – I wanted to be a Browncoat somehow!

We also designed our own rings – mine is Stargate and his is Robotech – so we started the sci-fi way before the wedding!

Unfortunately we couldn’t get married in front of the mighty G6, but we still had tanks and guns surrounding us.

We’d decided that we wanted someone we knew and loved to be our officiant, so to overcome the legalities we had a civil ceremony in the morning (which worked out perfectly as we were officially married at 9:26:53 like Pi Day bosses!).

Lauren had specially had herself ordained as a Jedi Knight to perform our “real” ceremony. She brought a light-saber in lieu of a wand to perform an Unbreakable Vow! 

We made sure to do our our photos before the ceremony, which allowed us to greet guests as they arrived – a great idea, as it was so fabulous seeing everyone’s joy and smiles and knowing that they were all waiting in anticipation for us to be joined.

Finally it was time to start! Les and Nicky walked in to the theme music from Angel, and then we walked in together to the Stargate SG-1 theme (and walked out to Robotech).

As we are atheists and were adamant that we wanted no religion, we wrote our entire ceremony and vows, incorporating Klingon vows, the tale of how we met, and as many sci-fi and fantasy references as we could manage! Because Michael was afraid he’d break down if he read his own vows, we had Lauren read them out so that we responded individually or together. A big part of the vows was about how we were making our own family, like the characters on our favourite sci-fi fandoms.

Instead of a first kiss, we fist-bumped, which is much more our style!

And just because we could, we had our group shot taken under a DC-10 – how cool is that? It was pretty damn awesome. And then we had everyone come and stand with us in groups, to be sure we got as many people as we could into our pics.

Then it was off to Pirates Sports Club for the reception. Our wedding planner Stacy, my sister Ricki, and Nicky went all out setting up and making sure everything was perfect – to be honest we had only the vaguest idea of how everything would look so it was a pleasant surprise to walk in to a beautiful set-up that evening.  

My mom and aunt sewed the table runners – Ricki bought the fabric in Cape Town based on my requirements of rainbow colours and “something spacey”; I didn’t even see it before it arrived.

We originally planned on having 3D-printed spaceships at each table – as the tables were named after our favourite fandoms – but the printer broke down exactly four weeks to the day and we had to scramble for something else. In the end, Michael suggested that we set up photo frames, so the last week was spent printing A4 images and having frames cut from wood, adding glass, and spray-painting them black. We decided to let people take those home and added a photo booth so they could also take home pics of themselves and have a second strip to put into the guest book.

As it was Pi Day, it made sense to have pies as part of the meal. Since I’m allergic to wheat, we had wheat-free pies made from coconut flour with our favourite fruit and chocolate fillings, and Pi cutouts. We had a spitbraai (BBQ) for the main meal, and the caterer even provided for our vegan guests and made sure everything was Halaal so our Muslim friends could enjoy it too. 

Oh, and you know how food is often the most talked-about aspect of a wedding, and people complain about how they had to wait too long? Because we did our photos early, no one had to wait, we ate at a reasonable hour, and we provided takeaway boxes for everyone to help us finish off the food, since we abhor waste.

We were, of course, the last to arrive at the reception, so we walked in to the metal version of the Pacific Rim theme, and had nerdy music playing during dinner, while we provided sci-fi movies for the TV screens at the venue.

Ricki read Scientific Romance by Tim Pratt as her speech, and I did the only other speech, as we wanted to keep these to a minimum. Our first dance was to the theme song from Firefly, and then everyone came together on the dance floor, where our mothers danced their hearts out!

We had a photo booth with lots of sci-fi and fantasy props, and our guests got to stick the photo strips in our guest book (which Lauren had made by hand) and take home a set for fridge magnets.

Of course there are a few regrets – like the fact that we completely forgot to take posed pics with our henchparty, and therefore only really got one with them when we were all standing under the DC-10. I also mistakenly said in my speech that it was Michael’s idea to do the sci-fi, when what I meant to say was that he’d encouraged my ideas.

Our wedding planner was worth her weight in gold on the day of the wedding. There is no way we would have been able to set up while having a civil ceremony and getting ready before rushing through for photos.

The main thing I found was to trust the people who’d offered to help – they were outstanding. We couldn’t have achieved what we did without them.

It was really important to me to have Michael help me in the planning. His support and encouragement made it possible and helped us craft a wedding that was true to us and what we love.

Photographer: Perfect Photographic  http://www.perfectps.co.za/
Corset: Arwen Garmentry https://www.facebook.com/ArwenGarmentry
Skirts, utility belt and Army of Light uniform: Sin Bin http://www.sin-bin.co.za/
Rings: Chris Winspear Jewellery http://www.chriswinspear.co.za/
Wedding planner: Stacy of A Bowtique Touch http://www.abowtiquetouch.co.za/
Pies: Thirteen13 Events https://www.facebook.com/thirteen13events
Caterer: Spitbraai Masters www.spitbraaimasters.co.za
Venue (ceremony): South African Museum of Military History http://www.ditsong.org.za/militaryhistory.htm
Venue (reception): Pirates Sports Club http://piratesclub.co.za/
Photo Booth: Funky Photo Booth www.funkyphotobooth.co.za
Music: Cream Cheese Professional Discos http://www.creamcheese.co.za