At the start of wedding planning, Andy and I agreed that we would skip many of the things that make weddings costly and stressful. But with two years to plan, we had plenty of time to DIY some alternatives (though we still ditched things like favours).
In my hair, I wore a ribbon veil.
This was just a matter of gluing ribbons onto a plastic comb.
Using the same ribbons, we attached ties to the end of our handfasting shell money so it could be knotted.
I also quickly crocheted a pashmina/scarf to keep my arms warm, which I only ended up using at dinner. This was made by crocheting two strands -- one green and one orange -- of bamboo/soya blend yarn.
To make our parents feel like *part* of the wedding, instead of just guests, I made flowers for everyone. This project cost less than $20 total, involving a fake-flower lei, some beads and glue. Mums got hair fascinators.
Dads got buttonholes (boutonnieres).
The cake was a multi-DIY effort. First, I made the cake plate in pottery class. Before heading north, I made a tropical fruit cake (recipe below) -- we chose fruitcake not because it is traditional, but because it would keep fresh until we needed it a week after baking. Once in Daintree, I rolled out some storebought marzipan that I dyed blue and covered the cake. My mum decorated with avocado icing. (The cake topper is from etsy.)
Tropical Vegan Fruit Cake
1 shot brandy
500 g. dried fruit, finely chopped (we used 220 g. dried pineapple, 170 g. dried mango, 50 g. glace ginger and 60 g. raisins)
100 g. glace cherries, quartered
grated zest of 1 orange
350 g. flour
1 tsp. mixed spice
175 g. vegan butter
50 g. macadamia nuts, chopped
1 Tbsp. treacle (molasses)
100 g. raw sugar
75 g. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. almond meal
120 ml soy milk
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. bicarb soda
Combine dried fruit, glace cherries, and orange zest in a large tupperware container (or anything with a lid). Splash with brandy, and set aside in the fridge at least overnight, or up to a week.
Heat oven to 150C. Lightly oil cake tin and line with a double layer of baking paper. We used an 8-inch springform pan and a small (5 or 6 inch) pyrex bowl.
In a large bowl, sift together flour and mixed spice. Rub in the margarine with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the macadamia pieces and treacle, then add the sugar and almond meal. Stir in dried fruit mixture and combine thoroughly.
Place half the soy milk in a small saucepan and heat gently. When warm, add red wine vinegar. In a jug, mix remaining soy milk and bicarb soda, then add this to the vinegar/milk mix. Stir this into the flour and fruit and mix until well combined. Spread this into the prepared cake tin(s) and smooth out the tops. Bake for 90 minutes to 2 hours (depending on how deep your cake is), until a skewer comes out clean. Cool cake in tins before turning onto cooling rack and removing baking paper. Store in an airtight container until ready (up to 4 weeks, but we find it's nicest between 1 and 3 weeks after baking).
This is a moist, sweet and faintly tropical flavoured fruitcake that was very popular with everyone (all 5 people) at the wedding, even those who have eaten 'traditional' non-vegan fruitcakes for their entire lives. It has a lot of ingredients, but it's not hard to put together. And the fruit can easily be subbed for more traditional fruit like sultanas, currants and dates. I have a feeling this will become a christmas staple in the tropical vegan household.