Elisa's Leap Day wedding in Miami #Real Weddings: Southern US#couples of color#handfasting#jump the broom#karaoke#mantilla veil#miami#pagan#tattooed bride#veil April 23 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel The offbeat bride: Elisa, Secretary/Adjunct Professor/Grad Student cum Rock Star Her offbeat partner: Evan, Sound Engineer/Guitar Player Location & date of wedding: Friend's home in Miami, FL. 2/29/2008 What made our wedding offbeat: Evan and I spent the whole day together with our bridal party, bucking tradition. We also had a Pagan handfasting, complete with broom-jumping. The reception was a BBQ buffet with karaoke and a Super Mario Brothers-themed wedding cake. Our biggest challenge: With my sister-in-law's wedding two months earlier, many had their opinions on how things just HAD to be done … You can imagine the shrieks when we told them that Evan and I picked out the dress together. We were the ones paying for it, so everything was taken with a grain of salt. Much of it was kept to ourselves, and we revealed details on a need-to-know basis. That just kept everyone out of our hair. My favorite moment: I loved how absolutely relaxed everything was, including the ceremony. Our high priest encouraged cheers, laughter, and applause from the crowd at regular intervals, and we were smiling the entire time. My offbeat advice: Relax. It's really only one day, and it should be a reflection of the both of you as a couple. Just have fun — your marriage isn't going to be doomed if you hang out with the groom, show off those tattoos, or don't wear white. Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Dive into Elisa's Leap Day wedding! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Lara Swanson Photography NEXT Vampire rings for the undead love in your life Show/Hide comments [ 15 ] "…your marriage isnâ€™t going to be doomed if you hang out with the groom, show off those tattoos, or donâ€™t wear white" I second that, sister! Reply Awesome! I love ya'll spent the day TOGETHER and totally agree that "…your marriage isn't going to be doomed if you hang out with the groom…" BTW. Love the date, too. I got engaged on Feb. 29. Was 18 mo. anniversary. Reply My fiance and I have been pretty much deciding everything together too, and I keep my bridesmaids updated on plans etc. but really, it's just the two of us paying for and deciding on everything. Gabriel has seen every dress I've considered and I haven't told anyone, just to keep them off my back. I'm so excited to hear that I'm not the first one to break that stupid rule about not letting the groom see the bride all in white. Virginity indeed! Ha! ; Reply My groom also helped me pick out a dress, just as I will probably help him pick out a suit. I like his opinion. And I don't go for the "can't see the bride before" tradition, which was put in place when you didn't see your bride or groom at all before the wedding! Reply me too. thank heavens for this site!! Reply I find it interesting how many "traditions" stem from the days when a bride was a piece of property, sold by her male relatives to a man who literally paid for her. We've evolved past that definition of marriage but we hold on to all kinds of vestigial reminders of it, and I think it's weird. 1 agrees Reply What an amazing mantilla veil – I've never seen one with such a pretty circular patterned lace. LOVE!! Reply Thank you, Bluey! My mother actually made the veil for me. She took some tulle, took a length of lace, hand-beaded it, and (pardon the pun) married the two together. She got the lace at Jo-Ann Fabrics! Reply Thank god- other people that have picked the dress together. People keep looking at me like I'm a complete freak when they find out we chose it together! And… more shock- its red! Congrats Elisa- you look amazing Reply I am coveting that veil!!! Reply After I bought my dress, it hung in our wardrobe until we were ready to go. I was honestly surprised when people were surprised that he had seen me in the qipao already. Reply Well, you should tell your Mom she could start a business:). It looks like it is square or rectangular too, which I also really like. Go Mom!!! Reply That is the cutest cake I have ever seen! And, your dress and veil were beautiful! Your mom did a wonderful job on the veil! Reply LOVE the mantilla, your mom is super talented! And my guy has seen "The Dress" as well. I wanted to make sure it was something he liked too! Reply You guys "rock" my name is elisa also and I am also pagan… small world.. Good luck in your wonderful life together! blessed be Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.