This autistic bride is thankful her COVID wedding happened *

We featured Caroline & Simen’s Star Wars proposalin 2019… now you get to see their wedding and hear about the ways COVID actually made this autistic bride’s life easier!

Photos by Fotograf Kristine Ristesund

Offbeat partners: Caroline Åsgård Skulstad and Simen Åsgård Skulstad

Date and location of wedding: Old factory by the sea with a cemetery in Norway 10/17/2020

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We’re both goths, and my favorite color (besides black) is purple, so I guess that was our theme. We just went with whatever we wanted, and everything else we threw out the window. The pandemic did of course affect our wedding a lot, dwindling the guest list down from 80 to 35 people. We had to have restrictions, but it was still wonderful. I can’t imagine it any other way. We got married with family and friends there, had a cemetery photoshoot, a bunch of fun details, great music, and a lot of laughs. What more can you ask for? Oh yes, nobody got sick! SUCCESS.

As an autistic bride, I feel like I need to have control over everything and plan out every single thing I do — that’s just how I live my life. So it was the same for wedding planning too! I probably read most of Offbeat Bride’s archive (I LOVE to do research, we autistics can really get obsessed with our special interests), and the Offbeat Bride timeline checklist was a LIFESAVER. I just picked out the things we wanted and wrote them down in a notebook.

I was a little nervous about having planned for 80 guests, and just in general about the day stressing me out so much that I would be exhausted for a week afterwards. But since COVID caused the guestlist to dwindle to 35 people, it made it much more manageable, so I can’t imagine how it would have been with 80!
Thanks to my smaller guestlist thanks to COVID, I also didn’t have to hug people, shake hands, or mingle a ton, which was greatfor me. I don’t really understand or like these social norms, and I hate small talk. The pandemic has been nice to us autistic brides that way!


Tell us about the ceremony:
We did your typical courthouse style wedding — cause it was free (haha). Since half my family is Filipino, they couldn’t have made it to Norway pandemic or not, and since almost 50 people couldn’t make it because of the pandemic, we live-streamed the ceremony.

We were only allowed to be 10 people total in there. My sister used my phone to stream it on Facebook, and I even had some family standing outside watching! Plus friends around the world, of course. We still haven’t watched it back, but I think it’s gonna be nice to look back on.

We totally stole the show with our extravagant looks, we got so many compliments from people connected to the weddings before and after us, and the people inside the courthouse themselves!

I’ve never really understood why people think a courthouse wedding isn’t worth dressing up for. It’s still your wedding day!

Also, there are SO many wedding traditions that me as an autistic bride just react with “why” to and feel no obligation to follow. We question and see right through those things everybody does “just because that’s the way it’s done”. Which is why in local wedding groups when people ask “do I HAVE to do X?” I advocate for doing whatever the hell you want! It’s your wedding, you decide what is right for you.

Tell us about the reception:
Originally I didn’t really want a set seating chart, maybe just group certain people, and after dinner they could mingle. Buut the pandemic changed that. We got hit with the second wave the month before, and luckily there was a dip in numbers around our wedding, so we decided to go ahead with the party.

We had a sweetheart table, and seven tables with about five people at each. Families got their own tables, and friends who would see each other otherwise got to sit together, but some had to sit about a meter apart. We bought SO many bottles of hand sanitizer that we put EVERYWHERE. In our invitation, we asked people not to hug and shake hands, and keep to other restrictions we had at the time.

We had a friend as toastmaster, who did a wonderful job.

For dinner we had a taco buffet, which everybody loved.

Our cake and cupcakes matched our theme of course, and I got the topper custom-made.

Cutting the cake was much more complicated affair than I imagined! I’m so glad my sister filmed it so we can laugh again and again at the clunky logistics of it.

We are all for gender role reversal, equality and feminism, so we took some hilarious photos! We also took each other’s surnames. His family’s surname is actually his mother’s, which I think is pretty cool.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
People told me that your wedding day will never be just like you planned it to be. It definitely wasn’t. A global pandemic and other factors left us with a huge drop in guests, it rained, and yeah. It was still a wonderful day.

I was surprised at how chill I was, I didn’t feel any stress at all, even though everyone around me did!

I only have two regrets, really:

  1. Time went by so fast that I felt I didn’t take enough time to talk to every person (can you imagine if there were 80 guests?!)
  2. The playlist I had made wasn’t put on until after dessert. So I will share it with you! It’s 100 songs and about 8 hours long, and features mostly goth, post-punk etc., but also metal, electronic and pop. Mostly love themed! The entire party cheer-pressured Simen into dancing with me, so we danced to “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs. A pretty fitting song! It was just as awkward as first dances tend to be. It was mostly Simen taking super long steps and me trying to follow with my stubby legs. After a minute he stopped and said “Happy?” and I went “No wait! Dip me!” and made a dramatic pose. He did, and everyone cheered.




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