Her offbeat partner: Brett, Senior System Engineer
Location & date of wedding: YWCA in downtown Fort Worth, TX on Friday March 13th, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: I didn't wear a white dress… or a wedding dress! We had a close female friend become ordained to marry us (much to the chagrin of my family) and our dog was our ring bearer!
The absence of several small things, of which I felt were unneeded, made our wedding a bit more offbeat than most. For example, we didn't have assigned seating and we didn't toss the bouquet or do the garter thing.
Oddly enough, when everything was said and done, our wedding turned out to be MORE traditional than I would have expected — in part due to some surprising traditional views regarding wedding customs.
Our favors were little baskets filled with jars of homemade and homegrown jalapeno jelly (thanks Mamma Fran and Daddy Tex!) from my grandparents, and packets of wildflower seeds indigenous to Texas. I made the labels for the jellies and my mom helped me tie all the bows on the baskets.
I made crossword puzzles for the guests, with the help of my maid of honor Jamie, with little tidbits about us. I made small freestanding signs for the guestbook and scrapbook tables (I work at a sign shop!). We made a jillion Martha pompoms for decoration and hung them with papel picado banners.
The centerpieces included glass vases holding crepe paper flowers we made as well as little record bowls (hubs made!) filled with chips for snackin'. We're big indie music fans and wanted to incorporate our audiophile ways somehow.
The morning of our wedding we bought some lovely in season flowers at the phenomenal Central Market, some ribbon and double-sided tape for the bouquets and boutonnière. My lovely bridesmaids helped me arrange and wrap the bouquets… they turned out really pretty and simple. AND it was only $45 for three bouquets and three boutonnière!
We also had a faux photobooth of sorts set up on the stage in our reception ballroom. My awesome friend Kimber, of Vanity Stand, took photos and the guests had a complete blast with the props and were silly! Another close friend, Mark Phillips, took professional wedding photos and did a stellar job.
Our biggest challenge: Money. The budget was definitely hard, especially considering our traveling expenses down to Texas, at hotels during and back up to Washington. We did it all for about 8k. For a crowd of 100, that's not too bad!
Figuring out the decorations was another iffy thing… since we were traveling 2100 miles to the wedding we couldn't make them ahead of time and take them! This made for a hectic, but very productive, few days leading up to the wedding. We just set aside a week to get everything prepared and visit with family before the big day. It was VERY busy but we pulled it all off!
Other than that, the planning process and our day couldn't have unfolded any better. Some small things didn't get taken care of, but they were quickly forgotten. We weren't worried about a thing the day of the wedding!
My favorite moment: This is hard to say… everything was such a blur. I had a mini-freakout right before I was supposed to walk down the aisle (and had to have a nice shot of whiskey), but it had more to do with the crowd than the actual ceremony. I felt unprepared! In all actuality, I kind of was. I had put off writing my vows for weeks… and didn't do it until mere minutes before the ceremony. I scrawled them out on a notepad, stuffed them in my bra and ran out to walk down the aisle!
After I walked down the aisle with my Dad, we realized my brother hadn't sent Clem (our dog) down the aisle as the ring bearer yet. So Brett and I both turned around and called "Clem!!" and he came running, in his handsome tuxedo and all, down the aisle and laid at our feet. That was my favorite part… it just felt like US at that point and I wasn't nervous anymore.
My advice for other offbeat brides: I've written about this before, but a clear vision of the atmosphere that you and your partner want to create is essential, along with a good dose of organization and quirky flair.
Have fun… be yourself and revel in the insane joy of the celebration. This is the one day that can be about no one other than yourself. Be bold, unstressed and excited! Your attitude will rub off on everyone around you, and you'll pat yourself on the back later for being so "in the moment".
Don't forget to look into the eyes of your loved one. You'll never see them the same way as you do that day. It's a powerful, love-affirming experience.
Some of our vendors: I had strong feelings about the dress I wanted. I knew I wanted it to be vintage-inspired and if possible, reminiscent of the cheery Mexican oilcloth fabric that you see on taqueria tabletops. I found this dress and fell in love with it, but of course it didn't come in my voluptuous size. So, I set up an Alchemy request on Etsy.com and the wonderful Christine, aka Funnel Cake Fashion contacted me with a bid and we really hit it off. Over the course of a few months she worked with me to pick fabric, do muslin fittings etc. to create my rad dress!
Here are some other links for various goods and services:
- Brett's suit was from the pimp store, Leroy's
- Hair fascinator by JulieKe (you may remember her completely amazing wedding)
- Custom guestbook by Paperlust to match my invitation paper/colors
- Toppers from Goose Grease, made by Brett's niece Teresa
- Taco bar!
- Awesome rockabilly hair by Tai!
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Click the photo below for more swingin' fun photos from Shrie & Brett's Texas-style, Mexican-infused wedding!