The offbeat bride: Marie-Eve, graphic designer
My offbeat groom: Vincent, maître d'hôtel
Location & date of wedding: Manoir des Érables's gardens, in Montmagny (a little city in the province of Québec, Canada) June 16, 2007
What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted to get married only if it was to be in our way. We wanted something simple and fun. We enrolled my aunt Lucie to be our "minister" and we wrote the whole ceremony together, with vows speaking of chicken soup and gigs we attended through the years.
"I want it to be FUN, not PERFECT" was my mantra
We choose our readings from children books and Beatles songs and wrote a special one for our family members. We also had a few of my sister's friends playing some wonderful live music: we walked in on "Here comes the Sun" and run out on "All you need is Love."
We then had a nice cocktail during which we took every couple or group of friends picture with our "signature" polaroid, for the guest book. The dinner was then served inside the Manoir, every guest paying for it's own cover charge. In the province of Québec, people are only very rarely getting married these days. And if they do, it's in a very conservative, religious way (Pachelbel, anyone?). We were more than happy to manage to have something that really reflects what we believe and love.
Our biggest challenge: The venue was very small. We were limited to 60 guests. It was OK at first, because we wanted something intimate with only very close friends and family members. But we very soon realized it was going to be more tricky to deal with than we first expected. Even thought we addressed our invitations with the name of all the guests and discussed it over and over with everyone concerned, some people invited friends, boyfriends and children anyway. At one point, we were having more than 65 guests… And there was absolutely no way we could have more than 60 persons sitting for the dinner. So we had to sit down with everyone and explain all over again why we we're having such an intimate wedding. Some people we're a bit surprised or even angry, considering we were being selfish or whatsoever but finally, after walking on eggshells for a few months, with loads of tact, everything ended well.
My favorite moment: I loved everything about it: I wish I could get marry all over again every weekend. But if I was to pick one highlight I'd say that hearing my (very stressed-out) fiancé reading his vows was a very nice moment, as was the relieve I felt when I started going from group to group for the Polaroid sessions once the ceremony was done. Everyone loved the idea and the ease I felt, hiding behind my camera, helped me overcome my shyness.
My offbeat advice: Take your time, enjoy every bit of it and, yes, r-e-la-x. I think everything went so marvelously well during our big day because we were so consciously wanting it to be laid-back and cool. "I want it to be FUN, not PERFECT" was my mantra in the last months, and it really paid off.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: The wedding looks both fun AND perfect to me!