“Fancy working a wedding bar with me mate?”
“Sure, why not, it’ll be a laugh.”
Working the bar at an event far surpasses the standard pub bar shift. You tend to go in there with little to no expectations, go with the flow and all that; you’re the barman, not a guest; I didn’t even know the Bride and Groom.
With that said, my expectations were well and truly smashed, so here. are my 8 reasons why this wedding blew my mind.
1. The Location
Located in the staggeringly beautiful setting of Tholt-Y-Will Glen in a field set aside a tributary of the Sulby River, amongst the sun draped foothills of Snaefell, it almost felt like another world, but still undeniably Manx. The perfect setting for what was about to unfold.
It wasn’t just a wedding; it was a whole lot more. It was a festival, a “Wed-Fest.” Everywhere you could feast your eye upon you could see the inspiration of Glastonbury where Adam proposed to Fern 2 years earlier with the help of Magician, Ariel Manx (Yes, really!). Festival themed dress-code, glitter on your face by the brilliant Jo from GetGlitfaced, 3 days of music from incredible local bands, a cinema tent, festival shops, workshops, on-site camping, you name it they had it. You had to buy into it! How couldn’t you?
Quite fittingly this weekend would’ve been Glasto’s weekend if it weren’t for their hiatus, but who needed Glastonbury when you had Fern and Adam’s concoction of brilliance that has since been dubbed “Tumble Down.”
3. The Food
Inspired by their travels to India and Sri Lanka the dish was the unmistakable classic curry and my god it went down well. The meal was sociable, no stuffy tables, just sitting on big cushions on the floor and sharing the food, friends being friends.
It was a festival of course so there was other food on offer throughout the weekend. Free pizzas for guests and bar staff definitely went down a treat.
4. The Ceremony
This was a traditional Handfasting ceremony conducted by a Celtic Priestess from Ireland, Olive De Ville. It consisted of summoning the goddesses of the 4 elements; air, fire, water and earth and then practicing rituals to each around the stone circle. It was different but different is good. How often do you go to a wedding and it’s just the same boring s**t? Vows and rings are still exchanged so any traditionalists can shush, but in my opinion, it was fitting of the event which I don’t think would’ve been replicated if the ceremony took place in a church.
5. Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
“Go down the rabbit’s hole to get to the bar” I was told on a arrival. You could imagine my confusion. Well, what I saw on the other side was not what I anticipated. Greeted by a table covered in teacups and saucers, I had to question my whereabouts. The inspiration of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was clear as day, it was mad but of course, we are all mad here, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.
Not only were there teacups but Fern and Adam have spent the past two years hoarding teapots. Yes, you read that right, bloody teapots.
I am probably being unfair on the hoarding comment but when you spend countless weekends down the amenity site or better known “the tip” collecting teapots in all shapes and sizes (there was even one that was made out of denim.) then it certainly looks that way. Take a teapot and serve yourself, a barman’s dream really.
To make this vision become reality Fern and Adam needed to be resourceful and do a lot themselves. Along with help from friends and family the finished product was amazing. Flowers, toadstools, and dreamcatchers galore, the hours that had clearly gone into it was clear to see. They made bloody massive lollipops out of swimming pool floats and giant dandelion’s from Q-tips for heaven’s sake!
The attention to detail was there from the finishing of the main tent to the strategically placed candles. Giant disco ball, yeah they made one of them too. Adam and Fern even bought their very own Vardo, or Gypsy Wagon, and restored it. Their imagination is a weapon in the war against reality. They created a wonderland.
7. The Bar
The bar was handmade, obvs. Festival filled cocktails prepared by my fellow barman, Jaxon, went down an absolute treat and the guests were the happiest and friendliest bunch of people I could have ever wished to meet. 15 or so made the trip from Australia where Fern and Adam had lived for 5 years, what an introductory first experience of the Isle of Man this weekend was for them.
Our job was bliss, time flew and we hardly wanted it to end thanks to the environment we were indulged in.
8. Fern & Adam
I wouldn’t have had the chance to go to this amazing wedding if it wasn’t for the bride and groom. I didn’t know Fern and Adam at all and had never met them prior to their wedding day.
They were simply ace and despite knowing them for all of a few hours it was pretty clear that they were meant to be together. I can’t think of any other people who could pull this off and you only have to speak to the people there, the guys who have been through the entire experience together, to get an idea of how great they are. One person told me how they are the most adventurous YES people you could ever meet. I could see that straight away.
It’s daring to think of planning a wedding, never mind creating something so magical as a festival for all your friends and family to enjoy. That screams YES to me. I feel so lucky that I was able to be a fly on the wall but also be right in the thick of it all.
See the below video that has been made by Christian Green and Stephanie Bachoura. Thanks also to Liam Gilman for the lead image.