Having a non-traditional wedding doesn’t have to mean dressing up or having an off the wall theme, just as having a small wedding doesn’t mean excluding your family and friends. All it means is that you do your day your way.. Whatever that way is.
I have followed Kathy’s adventures around the world in her travel blog Beyond Disney Travel Tips and now I am too pleased that she has chosen to share her wedding(s) adventure here with us. This is how Kathy explains their ‘around the world wedding tour’.
After 11 years of dating, often long-distance, Justin and I were suddenly engaged. Hip, hip, hooray! But just as suddenly we were faced with the big wedding question – where should we get married?
For us this posed a problem. I am American; Justin is South African; we live in Vietnam; we have family and friends on six different continents. Our solution: the Around the World Wedding Tour that lasted just short of a year.
We decided to take the party to our guests as we made our way around the globe – like a rock band concert tour. This way we could spread the love – and the parties – in a series of smaller celebrations and skip the chicken dance of having one big, over-the-top wedding. Our friends at Runaway Romance helped us realise that we could make our wedding(s) fit us instead of the other way around. After talking with Rebecca about ideas on how to make it happen, the tour was off to its first stop.
In true rock star fashion, our tour began in July on a yacht…errr…houseboat. On Lake Kariba, hanging somewhere between Zimbabwe and Zambia Justin and I surprised his immediate family with a sunset ceremony, complete with personalised vows and a white dress I bought for $4. Although not a legal marriage, it had all the love and laughter of a wonderful wedding. We laughed, drank champagne and had our own party that really did rock the boat.
After that we were off to Justin’s hometown, Johannesburg. We were happy to have VIP access to the Lawrence Lodge, Justin’s mom’s home that just happens to be a perfect small wedding venue. Lucky much? In the literal comfort of our own family’s home we celebrated getting married with Justin’s nearest and dearest family and friends. My mom popped over from Detroit, bringing with her an entire suitcase of decorations. Justin’s mom, a professional caterer, spent a week in the kitchen to create an amazing dinner with not one but four desserts. The whole family pitched in with sparklers, tables and chairs and outdoor fire pits to stave off winter’s chill. What began classy and sentimental ended in can’t-stop-laughing happiness at four in the morning.
From Africa we went “home” to Vietnam and one big wedding party on the beach.
In December we were off to Detroit, Michigan where the legal side of things happened in my hometown library – hey, even rock stars love to read! The ceremony had only immediate family. Afterwards there was a brunch at my grandpa’s restaurant for my massive Irish Catholic Family and unlimited mimosa punch.
To end the tour, naturally, we headed off to Vegas for New Years. After all, rock concerts must make a stop in Vegas.
Doing things unconventionally made this a tour to remember. We were able to include so many of our most special people, without inconveniencing them to fly across the world to us. As avid travellers we were able to mix our honeymoon right in with our “wedding”. We said beautiful vows in the presence of Zimbabwean elephants, Jo’burg pals, Vietnamese geckos, Jane Austen and George Orwell.
The Around the World Wedding Tour was a sold out show.
If you love these two as much as I do you can leave them a message in the comments below and follow their adventures on Beyond Disney Travel Tips.