The Offbeat Bride: Astrid, Biology Student and Retail Princess (and OBT member "Astrid")
Her Offbeat Partner: Kyle, Network Analyst and Professional Napper
Location & date of wedding: The Virginia V, Seattle, WA — July 24, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding wasn't super offbeat, but it was authentically us. We left out all the traditions that didn't hold any meaning to us or rubbed us the wrong way. We mutually decided to get married, without a proposal or engagement ring. We had a secular ceremony and we walked down the aisle ("the stairs") together.
There was no veil, no garter, no first dance, no cake cutting, no bouquet toss. What we did keep we did ourselves. Handmade invitations, centerpieces of potted plants; we glazed the pots ourselves! We made our a blurb.com photo guest book out of our baby photos. We wrote our ceremony to fit us as a couple. It was an awesome party.
Our biggest challenge: We were really lucky to have supportive family members. My mother, who sometimes took a while to get on board with my "offbeat" ideas, was totally into making them work.
However, I got a lot of grief from my more casual acquaintances about my lack of proposal and engagement ring. They even questioned the seriousness of our intentions to get married because my finger was bare.
People also had a really hard time with us getting married on a Thursday. There were very few actual scheduling conflicts, as the wedding was at 6:30 and only lasted 3 1/2 hours, but it not being held on a Saturday night seemed to rub a lot of people the wrong way.
My favorite moment: There are so many, but two stick out in my mind.
The first, during the ceremony, looking out at all our friends and family and picking out the faces of my loved ones was really emotional and wonderful.
Later, my husband and I were dancing to Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You," and at the chorus everyone on the dance floor spontaneously burst out into song. It completely made my night.
My advice to other offbeat brides: Schedule your day wisely. We started getting ready at 11am for our 6:30 wedding, and I couldn't have been happier about it. We finished up all of our formal portraits ahead of schedule, and had about an hour to just hang out at home and eat bagels before we had to get down to the boat. It was super relaxing to have that chill time with my husband and our party before the big show.
Also, get a great photographer. I fell in love with Alex Rubin's photography online (I was pretty obsessed, actually), and I'm so glad we decided to go with him, even though it was over our original photo budget. Pictures are one of the few things that last more than one day, so they shouldn't be something you skimp on.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: