The offbeat bride: Jen Moon, Project Manager (and Offbeat Bride lab rat!)
My offbeat groom: Scott O. Moore, Program Manager
Location & date of wedding: Capitol Hill Arts Center Showroom, Seattle, WA
What made our wedding offbeat: We wrote and produced Wedding! The Musical and had our friends star in it with us. Not only was there popcorn and commemorative posters sold pre-show along with a mime, during the "show" there was music, dancing, lip synching, a trapeze swing, skits to tell the story of our relationship, and eventually a ceremony complete with a ringleader, fire, and uh, missing rings. We also spent 3 months learning a choreographed swing dance and pretended to get in a huge fight in front of the 225 guests before sailing into said dance.
Our biggest challenge: We had to build and do pretty much everything. We had friends helping us doing pretty much everything from building the stage, the trapeze swing, and the raised, wheeled seating, to creating the food, lowering said swing, being our assistant director and a whole lot more. One of our friends flew from NYC to be our film director (3 camera shoot) and 3 others ran cameras and sound. The thank you list on the DVD is really really extensive. We didn't have a ton of money and both sets of parents ended up contributing even though I had to get past the stigma (I think it might have been mostly my own) of my parents being pretty conservative. And they ended up loving it. My dad especially loved the joke in the show about my ex-husband — although my mom thought it a little inappropriate.
My favorite moment: Being able to peek through the curtains from very high up on the trapeze swing from behind the audience and see them watching Scotto do his dance and lip synch number that starts the show and finally realizing that not only was I *not* going to throw up on them from nervousness but that they really were going to enjoy this a lot more than I had ever imagined. And that so was I.
When your relatives express shock or disbelief or whatever, just remind them that you wouldn't be you if you did it some other way.
My offbeat advice: Stick to your guns on what is important and let what you can go. And what you can let go, let someone else do who really wants to. People who love you want to help out and not only does everyone have some kind of talent, that is usually what is going to take the least out of them in helping you.
And when your relatives express shock or disbelief or whatever, just remind them that you wouldn't be you if you did it some other way. Being true to yourself and your spouse sometimes means saying something to well-meaning family members like "Well, we wanted to pick something (this thing that is not traditional, this red wedding dress) that really truly (and sometimes extremely creatively) reflected US and our personalities. I mean, after all, we're hoping to only get married just this once!" It also helps to remember that family members are often living vicariously through you and may want what they didn't have (say, a long white wedding dress).
If you feel you need to accept money to make your wedding happen, sit down and really get clear: "is this a gift? or do we need to do certain things in the wedding to make you comfortable with giving us this money?" think of it this way – if it's a gift, it is supposed to be a loving hands-off type thing (no one tells you what to wear with your Christmas sweater that they got you, do they?) and if they can't agree…ask for it as a loan with no interest.
I'm a firm believer in owning your own wedding. Set the boundaries you need to with your spouse. You do NOT want to look back and wish you had done anything BIG differently. You want to look back and think, "Yeah. That was good. That was perfect. That was…just right."
Are you an offbeat bride? Tell me all about it, darling!