We love alternative weddings and we know better than anybody that they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Our founder Stefanie and her husband Loren’s Equinox Wedding at Cae Mabon in Wales was always going to be out of this world and totally broke the mold!
As some of you may know, this was actually their second wedding, which sounds a bit OTT but let us explain…
This wedding, designed to be more like a mini-festival with guests arriving on the Fri and staying til Sun, was the wedding they’d always planned. In 2016 Stefanie’s grandfather fell ill and so to make sure he could be there they arranged a “speed” wedding, visiting a registry office and having a small meal with only their immediate family. They ticked the legal box, had an amazing (and emotional) time with their nearest and dearest but unfortunately, due to late notice, many friends and family couldn’t come.
A wedding at Cae Mabon had always been on the cards. Loren and Stef wanted to create a fun and relaxed festival-style community where people could cook, eat, dance and co-exist together over the course of the weekend. Cae Mabon doesn’t normally host weddings, it’s a space for retreats and healing workshops usually with only a small numbers of visitors, so they were very lucky that it’s owner and creator Eric agreed to allow them. Making sure everything was done ethically and with respect for the land nearby (a lake and some ancient Welsh woods) was very important. Cae Mabon has a natural hot tub, a round house, hobbit houses to sleep in and it’s own eco-shower and is as magical as it is eco-conscious. Not only has it been described as “The Welsh Shangri-La” but it also won an award for being “the number one natural building project in the UK”.
Stef and Loren asked their good friend, writer and public speaker Danny Nemu if he would conduct the ceremony and wanted something that was totally tailored around them.
They are both artists and performers, so it was never going to be predictable! They included a poem Stefanie had written to Loren when they first got together, a poem by Pablo Neruda as their vows and also two challenges that had to be completed for them to win their wedding crowns (made by Stef’s best friend and designer Jodie Cartman and Loren’s older brother Wyeth).
Unbeknownst to either of them Danny got his suggestions from the other guests the night before their ceremony and to prove their love for each other Stefanie had to carry Loren on her back around the fire, whilst telling the guests 9 things she loved about him, and Loren had to climb a tree of Stefanie’s choosing and sing her a love song from the top. Luckily both were successful, and so the ceremony could proceed.
After the ceremony, home-brew strawberry champagne was served by the alcoholic alchemist John Chipperfield (whose wife also made Stefanie’s beautiful dress) and a Persian feast was served by The Otto-Men including sea bass, charcoal roasted lamb and a whole host of vegan and vegetarian mezzes. Lemon-jousting and axe-throwing kept guests entertained throughout the day before the evening descended into dancing around the camp fire. All of Loren and Stefanie’s guests really out did themselves with their costumes ranging from full suits of armor to Napoleonic garbs to even an evil Jester and a group of them even sang “The Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch – one of Stefanie’s favourite songs!
The whole point of this wedding was to create a festival of love and you can tell from everyone’s beaming faces that they did just that.
So remember, you get one (or sometimes two!) chances to plan your perfect day, if you want to remember it forever then follow your heart, break the rules and you’ll have the time of your life!
Photos by Den Glanzig