Got wedding guests willing to lend a hand? (Photo by photo by Marty Takagawa)
There are a million reasons why someone offering to help out at your wedding will actually cause more hindrance than help. Distance, time, ability… whatever.
These people are offering their help because they care about you and want your day to be as awesome as possible. So what's the best way to graciously accept their help while minimizing frustrations and/or pulling your hair out?
(Un)fortunately, personal wedding experience has allowed me to offer these tips:
Work in bulk
I've seen some Offbeat Brides host crafting nights, and I think those are great. Getting people together to finish tasks allows you to see the final product and (hopefully) get a bunch done while hanging out with awesome people! Which brings me to…
Tera and Ryan recently wed near downtown San Diego, California, and had pink details everywhere — the flowers, the bride's glittery shoes, even the seating chart and wedding favors were all rose-hued! These two found a way to include a dash of the unexpected throughout the day, like using a neon pink megaphone to hold programs and decorating a guitar case with written ceremony instructions for their guests. And just WAIT until you see the skull-and-earthworm covered groom's cake…
The Offbeat Bride: Mari-Anne, Substitute Teacher
Her offbeat partner: Larry, Teacher
Date and location of wedding: Loree Chapel and The Lodge at Schooley's Mtn. Park, Long Valley, NJ — October 12, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: This was not my first time around the wedding block, but it was for Larry. I wanted almost nothing traditional as I had done that already. The most important things to us were that our day expressed who we are, that our friends and family have fun, that we have fun, and that we included most of our interests. Thus was born "LarryAnne's Big Fat Pagan Handfasting" with an enchanted forest theme, complete with costumes. Most of our guests did play along and wore costumes fitting the theme.
You might remember Offbeat Bride-turned-wedding photographer Elissa R
, from when we introduced you to her back in 2011
. Since then, you guys have shown nothing but love
to this Austin-based sponsor. We've featured your weddings
, unity ceremonies
, and first looks
all shot by Elissa R Photography
Catching up with Elissa this time, we're talking elopements, intimate weddings, and of course, why Offbeat Brides love her…
We featured this couple's philosophy on their very gay wedding yesterday, and now here's the full wedding profile…
The Offbeat Bride: Betsy, Ph.D candidate in American Studies
Her offbeat partner: Tiffany, R.N.
Date and location of wedding: Canopy Studio, Athens, Georgia — August 4, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our entire community and the ways in which the people we care about make our life possible. We wanted to prioritize a queer ethic of community. Our families-of-origin and families-of-choice played a large role in making the event happen, and the day celebrated our relationships with others as much as our relationship with each other.
We'll be sharing Betsy's full wedding profile tomorrow, but we wanted to separately share her thoughts on why she chose to have a very, very gay wedding.
Gay marriage has become a very visible political issue in recent years, and the politics of our decision to get married were always very close to the surface. We wanted to recognize and celebrate our relationship, but we also have some concerns about the ways that gay marriage is talked about.
One of the arguments we hear a lot is that weddings aren't "gay" or "straight," they're just weddings. Of course, that's true… but our wedding was also very, very gay, and that was one of our favorite things about it! A lot of our guests were gay, our wedding party entered in various gender pairings regardless of each person's actual orientation, and we brought a queer aesthetic to as many details as possible.
In the fight for marriage equality, there's a risk that the thing that makes queer lives different will get lost in the shuffle. We wanted to celebrate the gayness of gay weddings and the importance of our broad family-of-choice to our lives.
We ended up writing the following passage and printing it in our wedding program:
We've been fans of non-matching bridesmaids since 2008, but we're making love extra hard with the way that Liz here not only let her bridesmaids pick their own dresses, but celebrated their choices via these super-luxe photos from Rachel Joy Photos. Especially this one shot you have GOT to see, where the bridesmaids share how they met the bride…
Tribesmaids may recognize Sunny as one of our longtime Offbeat Bride Tribe moderators. She's been a part of the Tribe for over a year, and we're so excited to share her wedding.
The Offbeat Bride: Sunny, teacher and writer (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: G, software engineer
Date and location of wedding: Rocky Mountain National Park and the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO — June 7, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We took our first walk together in Estes Park, CO, and have hiked hundreds of miles together since. We wanted to share the beauty that sustains us with our wedding guests. Our guests traveled from three continents and seven U.S. states, and it was the first time G's Chilean family and my Minnesotan family met. We prioritized meaningful social interactions, relaxed fun in the mountains, and fabulous food.
You've heard me gush about the incredible wedding photography talent that is our sponsor Lauren McGlynn
. Remember when I compared viewing her photos to shooting up virtual drugs
? Or when I explained why I can't stop blog-stalking her
? How about the time we ooh-ed and ahh-ed over her pics of Lotte and David's superfantastic funtime wedding
This time, when we catch up with our Edinburgh-based wedding photographer friend, we're going to be doing something different… telling you all about her Christmas advent calendar blogging project that raises money for Syrian refugees. There are also prizes involved, including the chance to win a two-hour photo shoot of your choice!