Lisa & Teri's Fancy Neo-Victorian Parlor Wedding

November 27 |

The offbeat bride: Lisa, Office Monkey (now with grad student action!)

Her offbeat partner: Teri, Grad student and Office Monkey

Location & date of wedding: Harrington Mansion in Minneapolis, MN on October 3rd, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: We came in under our 5k budget, and still got our fancy to-do. We had board games, chess and card games, and a really (really really) tough puzzle instead of dancing — since our buddies don't dance and empty dance floors are depressing.

We also, to spare my allergies, cut down on the flowers to bouquets, boutineers, and just a few bigger arrangements to hide the lights and decorate the altar. Using the fancy games as centerpieces worked pretty good!

We skipped the bits of traditional weddings that we didn't like (who needs white cake? chocolate cakes are better!), didn't see the point in dancing and all that goes into it. Dancing usually bores us to tears and my feet didn't get tired during the ceremony so that's good!

There really wasn't anything about the day that wasn't "us." We paid for and designed the look of the whole thing and left the stuff we didn't have the know-how to do, to the experts. Per did a fantasic job photographing the dark space and Teri's mom did an awesome job with the flowers we picked out!

Our biggest challenge: Well… I'd say that designing the dresses and incorporating our styles into one wedding was the biggest challenge. We both have very strong design and decorating ideas. I'm a bit more dramatic, and was perfectly fine with a dark, gothic wedding. Teri wanted to incorporate yellow and light.

I am perfectly happy to think of my wedding dress as an elaborate costume (and really wanted something i could wear as a nifty costume to conventions and masquerade-type balls later), where as Teri had a slightly more solemn, traditional idea of the wedding dress as a piece of ritual clothing.I think we managed nicely, the amber and citrine necklaces helped bring in the yellow and lightened up the dark, gothic mansion. Our flowers went from bright colors to a more dusky palette (again with the amber!)

And we loooved our dressmaker, who was a saint of patience and helped us work through various re-designs of the dresses as we figured out that duponi silk doesn't DO what we wanted them to. And those sleeves? – they don't actually look good in real life, and that dress shape? – not so good with this fabric. Oh, and it's a bit plain. Can we add…uhm…something? We may also be a bit picky. As far as I, personally, was concerned, the dresses were the most important.

My favorite moment: Oh, definitely the ceremony. Teri was shaking with joy. I've never really seen her quite that happy. I can't tell you if the guests were even paying attention, all of my focus was on her and her joy!

Her favorite moment was watching me come down the aisle toward her. She certainly had a fantastic smile on her face! (She's got a really detailed post up in her Offbeat Tribe Blog about the day if folks want to hear her side of things.)

My offbeat advice: If you can, for the love of the FSM, skip the RSVPs. It's not practical advice in terms of money-saving, and isn't good advice for everyone; but in terms of sanity and time probably the best damn idea we had. Out of our potential 65 guests, 10 RSVP'd. We work full time, do a webcomic, were dealing with stupid family drama, and were at crunch time for the wedding. We looked at each other and how much we were being charged for food… and decided that our time and sanity was totally worth having extra dessert to take home. We assumed everyone was coming, told the caterer that, and didn't worry about it.

Another thing I'd say was to get rid of traditional "wedding colors" and go with a palette of colors, and have a solid idea of what the overall "feel" of the wedding should be. Don't sweat the small stuff. Just make sure the tone is right and it will all look perfectly planned.

Let the experts be experts (especially if you have a talented and awesome group of expert buddies!). Give that palette and tone you are going for to the experts and let them have at!

Enough talk — show me that wedding porn:

  1. Phenomenal! I love everything about this wedding. It's so unique, personal, intimate and warm.

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  2. YAY!!! I'm so glad Lisa and Teri's wedding is featured. I absolutely love this wedding; it's breathtakingly beautiful. Two gorgeous ladies, a fancy parlor, and stained glass — what more could you want? (PS The idea of games in the parlor is SOOO Victorian!)

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  3. I know what you mean, Emily, I saw these photos a while ago and cried my eyes out. What an amazing day, how great you look and how happy! Congratulations!

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  4. Every time i look through these pictures, i cry. I've seen a lot of lesbian weddings before, but this one takes the cake in every way. Stunningly beautiful, tasteful, creative, unique. But the thing that blows this hopeless romantic away is the way they look at each other, in their perfect wedding gowns. Two beautiful brides so passionately in love. Congratulations to them both.

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  5. Teri and Lisa, you guys are just inspiring in every way.

    It doesn't and shouldn't work for everyone, but I LOVE seeing two women, stunningly beautiful in love, in stunningly beautiful gowns, getting married.

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  6. Congrats to both of you! Beautiful dresses. I am also off to read the detailed account now!

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  7. PS whoa I just read your "fairytale" on OBB tribe and it was so beautiful! Really touching and I am so glad you found your way to each other eventually. True love whispers from heart to heart…

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  8. This was SO beautiful!!! And you both look so very happy. Everything looks so gorgous and I LOVE your dresses. I can only hope my day is as wonderful as yours. Congrates!

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  9. congratulations once again ladies. What a gorgeous wedding. xoxoxox

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  10. The wedding day itself is enough to cry over but I especially loved being able to hear about the planning via Teri on the OBT throughout the entire turmoil of drama, grad student stress, and general wedding crazy times. It's amazing to see the final product! Thank you both so much for sharing :D

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  11. Congratulations to Lisa and Teri. Your wedding looks so beautiful and heartfelt — it honestly reminds me of what we're all trying to do here! It just goes to show how impossible it is to politicize love… who could say no to this?

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  12. All the obsessing over your dress was WORTH IT. Both of them are beautiful! Looks like a wedding I would have enjoyed — especially the chess :)

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  13. This is such a gorgeous wedding! I want to marry both of your dresses. They are the two most gorgeous, simple and yet elegant dresses I've ever seen. I'm definitely going to look to having mine look something like that when the time comes.

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  14. In case anyone was wondering, we got 3 more parties out of the leftover desserts from the reception. So worth it.

    Thank you all for the super sweet comments. I'm around OBB less these days (much as I love this community SO much!!!) but feel free to email me or drop a comment on my page, especially if theres any way I can help you! Advice, encouragement, referals, you all name it.

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  15. You guys are so awesome. And I lovelovelove that Lisa wrote up the wedding here, and when I wrote about the wedding Teri wrote about it. I don't know why I think that's so great, but I do. I feel like with straight weddings you rarely hear the grooms point of view, so the little thing of, hey, hearing the other bride tell the story, that sort of blew my mind. Because weddings are supposed to be shared stories, right??

    Fan-freaking-tastic.

    And that picture of Lisa dancing? Just plain hot.

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  16. Holy cow! Here I was, just surfing OBB, and I see to ladies that I know! Congratulations! Very happy for you!

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  17. The only thing better than one pretty victorian dress at a wedding? TWO victorian dresses at a wedding. :)

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  18. This is one wedding profile I was really anticipating. Having planned my wedding around the same time as these women, I felt, I dont know, connected or whatever. They look SO FUCKING HAPPY and Im so happy for them.

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  19. This was absolutely beautiful. As a young lesbian planning her own wedding with the love of her life, (and one who loves Victorian styles and themes as well) it's so inspiring to see something like this and know that anything really is possible. And your dresses are gorgeous!

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  20. I love the dramatic lighting in the photos! Great wedding and congrats!

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  21. Just saw this. And hands down, two of the most beautiful, joyful looking brides I have ever seen!

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  22. This has to be one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen. I love the game parlor theme (especially since our first date was over a game of Scrabble :) You ladies look radiant, the source of light & warmth in a soft, romantic setting. Oh, and the dresses. . . not only are they beautiful, but you both look beautiful in them. Congratulations and may your happiness increase with the years.

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  23. Beautiful! Teri and Lisa are like a dream out of a Sarah Waters novel.

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  24. BEAUTIFUL!!!! WOW!!! beautiful pictures, beautiful dresses, beautiful ladies! waht a wonderful idea! congratulations!!

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  25. hey lisa and teri. BEAUTIFUL wedding. i'm all up for a dark gothic weddin but the groom ain't going down with that.

    I would like to hear your advice since you mentioned you're kind of artistic.

    I'm having a winter wedding. I love Christmas and its colors. What other color schemes do you think would work with a basically red theme?

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  26. What a gorgeous wedding! Pure love on many faces. :)

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  27. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love it.

    Congratulations, ladies, I wish you every happiness.

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  28. The photos all look amazing and the wedding looks like a dream come true. I am curious who the dressmaker was. My girlfriend and I are getting married and I (the boy) gets to be the bride. I am having some difficulty finding a dressmaker who will make something for me. Let me know who you used if you get the chance.

    Thanks and congratulations,

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  29. I'm only just seeing this wedding now as it gets upcycled through the new OBB web site design, but wow, so very pretty! Congrats to you both, only about two years too late!

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  30. Such a beautiful wedding, it looks so much fun. Your dresses are stunning on you: almost enough to make me want a white wedding! Quite inspirational

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