Claire & Bobby's puppet wedding

Puppets

Us by a plantThe offbeat bride: Claire, Operations Manager at a non-profit

Her offbeat partner: Bobby, Comedian, Puppeteer and Giant

Location & date of wedding: Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. July 12, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was subversively quirky. We both went back and forth about certain traditions and our families had some say in that. I was in a big pouffy white dress with a veil for the ceremony and the boys were in tuxes.

But! Our attitudes were not traditional, which made the whole day wonderful. I didn't care about being a bridey-bride and just wanted everyone to have a blast. We chose to focus on the quirky funny details and on us starting a new partnership together.

PuppetsTo start, we had a 29 year old male flower girl. My wedding party walked down the aisle to Raider's of the Lost Ark and we walked out to the Ghostbuster's theme song.

My husband is a puppeteer and made each wedding party member a puppet to match them as our gifts to them. The wedding party entered the reception with their puppets, and our flower girl even slow danced with his at one point.

Puppet danceOur wedding was just so much fun, and so funny. My officiant (a friend with a one day license) started the ceremony with the marriage speech from The Princess Bride. We had silly vows mixed in with our serious ones. Like "I vow our secret vow" and "I vow to respect your opinions, even when they are dumb." There was lots of laughter during our ceremony and during the reception.

Our tables were all table puns: End, Coffee, Unforget, Uns, Knights of the Round, Spoon, and our guests spent the whole night figuring them out and laughing at different times when they got it. There's also a pants down shot of the groomsmen.

Mel and MelThe other piece that made our wedding was amazing was that our vendors all had similar attitudes and could have fun with things. Tastings Caterers served Bobby a salad entirely made of meatballs. Nellie's Wildflowers made each of my girls a different colored bouquet. And Gwyneth Colleen, our amazing photographer caught every special moment and thing in such unique ways that it all looks like art. I adored her. Involving friends (as the officiant, pianist and MC) was a great idea as well. We had an IPOD and doing our own playlist made for a great dance party with no chicken dance.

My husband and I combined our last names into a new name for both of us instead of hyphenating or me taking his name.

The things that meant the most though, were how seriously we took becoming equal partners. My husband and I combined our last names into a new name for both of us instead of hyphenating or me taking his name. During the ceremony, our officiant said "You may now kiss the groom". Also, my husband smashed the cake in his own face instead of mine. I loved that it was so much more about us entering a partnership, in the best sense of the word.

Our biggest challenge: I have panic attacks so the months leading up the wedding were hard. I didn't know if I would be capable of standing in front of a 100+ people without freaking out. Bobby was wonderful and supportive, but it did cause a bit of conflict because he is an Extrovert (note the capital E). I was still having attacks up to the morning of the rehearsal dinner.

But, the day of the wedding, I woke up and had never felt better or happier in my life. I spent the whole day completely calm. I was just too happy to worry about anything.

My favorite moment: Because of my panic attacks, I was most nervous about our first dance, when absolutely all eyes would be on us. It's totally cheesy, but when we started dancing, I got lost in it. At one point we jokingly decided to sixth grade dance. It wasn't until everyone started laughing that I realized I'd forgotten we weren't alone. I know that sounds silly, but I was just so in love with him in that moment that nothing else mattered.

Me and my girlsMy offbeat advice: My advice is that a wedding is the perfect place for laughter, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We toed the line between making fun of the "wedding" as it's traditionally done and having fun with it. Don't be afraid to do that one thing that you thought would be really cool but that you think people might judge. If your friends and family know and love you, they will love anything that's "you" about your wedding.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: I think I have a crush on the flower girl. To see all the pictures, click the gentlemen below.

Pants down

  1. OMG!! I want my wedding to be like yours! I love the table names and how you made it about laughter.

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  2. Like I said yesterday… probably the best wedding ever featured on OBB. You're my offbeat inspiration!

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  3. i was the gimp-legged photographer…i shot claire & bobby's wedding w/ a sprained ankle, and they were SO. FREAKING. NICE. to me…they kept checking to make sure i was ok, that i was well-hydrated, that i was having FUN. they even cared that their PHOTOGRAPHER was having fun. (NB: so much fun.)

    also, every little thing claire mentions up there…made this the most fun wedding i have ever photographed. and she and bobby are just, the best ever. fin.

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  4. What a fun wedding! Love the puppets! Who doesn't love puppets! And the meatball salad-such a man thing! I also love that you combined your last names. Fantastic!

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  5. Love it. This is the most inspiring wedding I've seen on here. So much fun and color and looove. :) Thanks for posting this.

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  6. This wedding is fantastic! It's everything I want our wedding to be. This is insanely inspiring. Yeah! Congrats on your marriage and being grossly hip and clever! Definitely my fav wedding featured on here so far.

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  7. damn it, im crying. your wedding was stunning. I love everything about it, from the puppets, the super cute flowergirl, to the grade 6 dance style. i loved being able to peek in on your magical day.

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  8. AWESOME wedding! I had so much fun just looking at your photos; being there must have been a riot.

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  9. Your wedding is truely inspirational, thanks for sharing with us all! (I wish I had been there!)

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  10. OK, I have to be honest. I have an irrational fear of puppets. Don't know why, I just always have. That being said, I was a little uncomfortable when I read the title to this piece…

    however…

    I was completely charmed, smiling and laughing by the end. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the punny table names. Uber creative and cool! And your flower girl…you guys are awesome and I love that you had such a great day! Yaaaaaayyy!!

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  11. Great job Gwyn!!!! I totally love the shots you shared on flickr. Such a great feeling to this whole wedding.

    To the Bride and Groom, BRAVO! I wish there were more people like you in the world getting married!

    xoxo

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  12. What a crazy amazing wacky beautiful wedding! I can't tell my boyfriend about a salad of only meatballs. He'll never eat vegetables again.

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  13. Being in the wedding business, I come across a lot of articles and postings, but THIS IS FANTASTIC.

    This is so delightful and wacky that I had to send it on to about a dozen of my friends and family.

    THANK YOU for posting this. Honestly, it really made my day!

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  14. The Orangerie alone makes me want to get married in my home state rather than my adopted CA. I love this wedding!!

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  15. I LOVE the whole wedding concept and the dress(Where did you get it?)

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  16. Holy crap. If I was going to steal an entire wedding wholesale, it would be this one. This is the BEST wedding I've ever seen on OBB, and it might just be the best wedding EVAR. (There were a lot of other "best" weddings in my book, but this one takes the proverbial white tri-level cake!)

    I am totally in love with this couple and I want them to be my new best friends. Too bad they're Right Coasters… Move to Seattle (Capitol Hill is where it's at! For seriously!), Claire and Bobby, and be my friends!

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  17. I agree, best wedding ever.
    You are my hero and I am going to be you for halloween.

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  18. i'd have to say, your wedding was BY FAR the most inspiring!

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  19. Okay… someone explain… I get all of the table puns except for "spoon." What is a Spoontable??

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  20. Oh. HAH! Thanks, Ariel! I ALMOST typed "Okay, so what's a tablespoon?" Hilarious. I love it, although my fave has to be "uns."

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  21. Wonderful! I love everything about this wedding. So far I've been avoiding the crippling anxiety, but it is sure to come as the day looms closer. This post made me feel better :)

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  22. As someone who attended this wedding I have to tell all of you it was as fun, awesome, beautiful, spectacular, and offbeat as you might think. Claire was a stunning (and cool as a cucumber!) bride, the vows were sweet and thoughtful, everything unique and organized to a tee. It was a beautiful union to witness and I'm so happy for these two, dear friends of mine.

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  23. LOVE your wedding!! Congrats on making it your own and the wedding your friends and family will talk about for years :)

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  24. I laughed my way through reading this. I might have to swipe your table names!

    (And yay for you, including the Princess Bride in your ceremony! It's my all time favorite movie.)

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  25. Yea! i have panic attacks too and i have thought about cancelling our wedding every time I have to think about getting up in front of lots of people. I really want to have a special day, and share it with my loved ones, but I am nervous that i will faint right in the middle. I hope I wake up with the exact same mental clarity that you did. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  26. Oh my god, how incredibly cool. I can't even tell you how much I love the puppets. But I have to try anyway: I LOVE THE PUPPETS not quite as much as I love my future spouse, BUT IT'S REALLY CLOSE. THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM. Also the table names! and the flower girl! and how much damn fun everyone looks like they're having! And the whole not-taking-it-seriously-except-for-the-loving-commitment part! I adore this.

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  27. Do you mean that you combined your last name into, like, Smith-Johnson? Or…Smohnson…?

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  28. What a fun wedding! You were lucky to have such a talented photographer who knows how to take such vivid pictures.

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  29. […] you to Dana Jay Bein, the wedding industry's premier male flower girl. First seen at Bobby & Clare's puppet wedding, Dana seemed to be such a hit with y'all, that I decided it was time for a gritty 1-on-1 […]

    0 agree
  30. […] Claire & Bobby's Puppet Wedding (from Offbeat Bride) My husband is a puppeteer and made each wedding party member a puppet to match them as our gifts to them. The wedding party entered the reception with their puppets, and our flower girl even slow danced with his at one point. […]

    0 agree
  31. Alright, this wedding is definitely my favorite yet. My fiance have been batting around some of these ideas… but your post has inspired me to just go for it! WHO CARES IF IT'S SILLY! It will make it all the more fun.

    I love it.

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  32. So when will this wedding-in-a-bag be in the Store?? My credit card is ready and waiting….

    Translation: SUCH AN AWESOME WEDDING!!!

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  33. I am sbsolutely in love with this wedding.

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  34. Oh, Tower Hill is one of my favorite places, especially for weddings. What a great choice with the puppets, the secret garden and the Orangerie.

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