The offbeat bride: Kristen / Retail Manager, but trying to get out
Her offbeat groom: Todd / Production Assistant
Location & date of wedding: Miami University Campus, Oxford, OH. Oct. 13, 2007
What made our wedding offbeat: It started with Todd proposing without a ring, saying we should pick one out/design it together. And that began the trend for the whole wedding, a DIY eco-friendly nuptials that really told all our guests who we are.
Following our feminist spirit, the reception was uptown at the old Oxford Women's College (now a Community Arts Center) in the ballroom and parlor. Little had to be done to the already beautiful space, though I did cover the turquoise banquet chairs, as they didn't really flow with our autumn color scheme.
We tried our hardest to create a great party with as little of carbon footprint as possible. All the flowers were organic and we put them together ourselves. Our caterer served a buffet vegetarian meal on all reusable plates, silverware and napkins. My dress was a discontinued store sample, and Todd just wore a standard black suit that he will re-wear. Our bridesmaids picked their own individual brown dresses to be sure that they wouldn't be abandoned in the back of a closet.
All of our paper (save-the-dates which were printed cereal box postcards, invitations, programs, etc.) was 100% post-consumer recycled paper. And we purchased carbon credits as favors for our guests, as they all had to travel to our event.
We did everything ourselves. My father made the stand for our cupcake cake; I cut out our tandem-bike cake topper from a greeting card; we collected vases and votives for the centerpieces; I designed all the stationary to have printed; we bought all the alcohol (organic, of course).
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was delegating to people who really wanted to help. Our families, and our chosen families, really wanted to be a big part of our day, and it was hard to give up control on certain things so that they felt included. We did not do as well of a job as we could have, but we ended up doling out tasks we knew they'd be good at – Todd's mom organized the rooms at the Lodge for all the guests, my mother scoured antique stores for the perfect pill-box hat for me, a good friend was recruited to choose and play music at the ceremony, another friend was in charge of securing speakers and audio equipment for the reception, etc. We should have bounced around more ideas with our families and told them more of what was going to happen, but our independent-nature certainly blinded us to that.
My favorite moment: After much discussion, I convinced Todd that we should splurge on a photobooth. We had a really tight budget, but I knew this would be worth it. Guests pasted their photos in a book and signed a message to us, which is much more meaningful than just a signed name and address. Not only do we have this great book, but it was a blast to have this bit of entertainment at the reception. Some of our friends really went crazy creating storylines to some of their photo sets, and even the older crowd said they really enjoyed it. I definitely suggest this – and don't forget to get in it yourselves!
My offbeat advice: Remember its just a huge party, but it goes by really quickly. Stick to your guns; it is your day together so have it the way you two want it. Planning is the hard part.
Here are the vendors I used. They were all helpful and reasonable.
organicbouquet.com – flowers
nativeenergy.com – carbon credits
partybooths.com – photo booth
cafeselmarie.com – cupcakes
tugboatpaper.com – handmade paper
usbcards.net – affordable custom letterpress printing
thymesavor.com – catering
weddingbellesltd.com – dress
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: There are hundreds (thousands?) of photos to go through over here.
A note from Ariel: This is my very favorite photo from Kristin's wedding, in part because I love her face, and in part because she's wearing the shrug I wrote about over here: