The offbeat bride: De Anne, Artist and Data Analyst (and OBT member "Deanderthal")
Her offbeat partner: Warren, Video Game Tech Support
Location & date of wedding: Grandma's house, Mt. Bonnell, Austin Texas — 9/18/2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We decided that good food, photography and celebrating with our loved ones were more important that any tradition. So we had a big party that at which we just happened to get married.
There was no aisle, no ceremony seating, friends rang a gong to signal that Things Were Happening for five minutes, then it was back to the par-tay.
I wore a gold custom party dress, he had a custom painted skull vest (with glow in the dark paint!) and a top hat. We had an octopus cake and strawberry shortcake for desserts, and two cake toppers that never made it on top of any cake. There was no wedding party, and we wrote our own vows which we punctuated with the exchange of Official Wedding Pins ("I'd rather be smooching my nerdy husband" and "I'd rather be smooching my nerdy wife").
Our biggest challenge: Getting friends and family to understand that the decisions were ours to make and that once made, they were final. This ranged from family members trying to dictate the guest list, to a guest arriving with fifty balloons that they tried to re-decorate the venue with.
Oh, and we had quite the challenge of getting people to understand that while this was not a traditional event, it was still our wedding and important to us. The number of people who assumed that because we weren't in a church or I wasn't wearing white must mean that we weren't taking it seriously or it wasn't that big a deal. I wanted to pull my hair out sometimes!
In hindsight (as is often the case) these were incredibly important learning moments — for us and our loved ones. We stood as a united front when refusing to add last minute guests and reminding people that their comments were hurtful. And we worked on our compromising skills when it was decided the balloons could be there, but on our terms (which meant at the end of the party, just for pictures).
We made sure that if something was important to one of us, it was important to both of us. And we had each other's back 100%. We also refused to be treated as anything other than a solid family unit. This was incredibly helpful in getting family members to respect our decisions.
My favorite moment: The day was a blur of happy memories but I have a top 3.
1) When the gong rang out alerting our guests that it was time for the ceremony. Instead of us joining our guests by walking up an aisle, our guests were joining us where we waited. You could feel the love and support as they gathered around, and it was a nice reversal.
2) Hearing the vows for the first time. We kept our vows a secret from one another, and to hear the beautiful sentiments he had for me, and the hilarious thoughts on our relationship. I was going to cry if I hadn't been laughing.
3) A little bit after the ceremony, he spontaneously pulled me inside to eat by ourselves and look out over the party raging below. It was romantic and quiet and it gave us a special moment to be alone as a married couple.
My offbeat advice: Sit down with your soon-to-be spouse. Forget everything that the WIC has taught you. Clear your mind and your list of requirements.
If you're planning to have a legally binding ceremony, look up what your local authorities require. If your event is spiritual, consult your spiritual leader or officiate. Those are your bases to start from.
Anything above those basic requirements should be things that you and your partner want, and should help you stay true to yourself. If you don't need it and you don't want it –- why have it? Leaving out the things that are there "just because" will eliminate stress, and cost. And it will ensure your wedding is a reflection of you who are, not who someone else thinks you should be.
It's incredibly easy to get caught up in what other people expect of you. The mantra I repeated over and over again was: "As long as we end up married, everything else is gravy." And at the end of the day, I married the person I love most in the world and was lucky enough to have friends and family there too: and that's good enough for me.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? We made a lot of our stuff ourselves, or with the help of friends (including that cake!), but I do have this:
- Dress: Custom dress I designed but made by Ruth at SewFits. She is amazing and has 20+ years of experience.
- Bridal Jewelry: Kimari Jewelry on Etsy
- Photography: The amazing Whitney Lee Photography
- Caterer: Dagar's Catering, home of the Strawberry Shortcake station!
Enough talk — show me the hitchening porn!: