Megan & Rusty's black, white, and wasabi wedding with unicorns & giraffes

December 11 |

The offbeat bride: Megan, MSW Grad Student (and OBT member "megankugler")

Her offbeat partner: Rusty, Graphic Designer

Location & date of wedding: Kansas City Athenaeum in Kansas City, MO — August 1, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted our wedding to represent who we are as a couple: Silly, creative, unconventional, and surrounded by love from our friends and family.

Almost everything was DIY, and we had quite a bit of help from friends and family.

I decided right off the bat that I didn't want to use any flowers for the wedding in order to save costs, and decided to make all of the bouquets and bouts from crystals and wire. We also made our own centerpieces/stage backdrops by spray painting branches from Rusty's parent's land, and hanging battery operated votives, that we made from a dollar store, off of them. They were so pretty at night!

Rusty also designed and made the STDs, invites, and the programs for the wedding (which had little giraffes and unicorns hidden in the design for guests to find while they waited for the ceremony to start). My jewelry and veil were from Etsy, and my hair piece was made by my seamstress.

We had a family friend of Rusty's family marry us, and his cousin was also our photographer, so it was great to have people that knew us be such a big part of our wedding.

Lastly, we had an accidental theme of giraffes and unicorns. I asked an Etsy artist if she could make a cake topper with a giraffe and unicorn (our favorite animals, the unicorn is a bit of a joke), and she found a unicorn mold! It took off from there!

Our biggest challenge: It was difficult to balance our non-traditional ideas with our parents' more conservative ideas about weddings. We kept the ceremony more traditional, but short and sweet, since we didn't get married in a church like our families would have preferred.

I would say the DIY projects and the guest list were also difficult. I didn't think it would take as much time as it did to make all the bouquets and the bouts, and I was working up until the night before the wedding on them!

As for the guest list, we didn't factor in people bringing guests into our numbers. We decided to just go ahead and let single people bring a guest in the end, but we cut it really close with table capacity. In the end, it worked out pretty well, because quite a few people that RSVP'd ended up not coming, so there was plenty of space (and food) for everyone.

Lastly, we had the ceremony and reception in the same ballroom, so it was difficult to plan out how the turnaround was going to work, and where the tables would go. I originally had wanted people to just sit at their tables they would sit at for the reception, but in the end we decided to set up rows of chairs for the ceremony, then our caterers moved the tables and chairs for us during a cocktail hour in the lobby of the building.

My favorite moment: The whole day was great, but I had a stellar moment right before the recessional. As I was about to go down the stairs on the side of the stage, and walk back down the aisle with Rusty, my birdcage veil got caught on one of the branches on stage! I nearly pulled the whole thing down on top of me, and for a good few seconds no one did anything but laugh at me, including myself. Finally some of the bridesmaids got me untangled from the branches. I laughed so hard I cried all the way back down the aisle (to Walking on Sunshine). I'm so clumsy, so it was only perfect that I nearly tore down part of the decorations with my veil on stage after the ceremony!

I had a repeat tangling later on during a few photos when my crystal bouquet got caught in my hair, as well (which there's a photo of). I was on a roll that day!

I also loved going to the zoo with our wedding party before the ceremony to take some photos. We definitely got some strange looks (as well as lots of congrats!), but it was so much fun!

I also had a blast with our photobooth. We had a prop table, which the guests loved, and the photos are awesome. We had found a photobooth at half the cost, which was great because we got extra photos for ourselves, and our guests got the photo strips as their favors!

My offbeat advice: Don't procrastinate on the DIY projects, even if it seems like you have all the time in the world! Put all those people who offer to help to work! They want to be a part of your big day!

Pick and choose your battles if your family has different views than you. Your wedding day is as much for them as it is for you, so ask yourself how important it REALLY is when you find yourself not agreeing on something.

You're likely going to be walking around a lot all day, and it might seem silly, but if you're worried about any kind of chaffing and heat, get some Body Glide (runners use it) from a sporting goods store. The girls and I all used it and it saved our lives!

If you take photos outside for awhile, don't forget sunscreen. We didn't even think about it, and all of the girls were a little pink by the time the reception rolled around.

And CHILL OUT! Things WILL go wrong (hello, I got caught in a tree branch on stage!), and it's okay! It's not the end of the world, and it will make your wedding more memorable. And if one of your vendors messes something up (ie: makes one of your cake layers chocolate instead of strawberry, like mine), call them after the wedding. Tell them what you liked, and what could have been better. We got a decent refund on the cake, and didn't even ask for one.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

  1. What a pair of characters you are! It looks like your wedding was exactly what you wanted it to be, other than the tangling! :-) I'm fairly accident prone too, so I wonder what's in store for me…

    Your pictures are full of fun and personal touches. Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. The pictures are gorgeous! Sounds like Rusty found the perfect lady! Congrats to you! ;)

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  3. I just love how you used your individuality! The pics are great, and I love how they're just snapped and not all "posed" it's much more natural. Love the cake! What a perfect touch! The Zoo idea is outstanding! Who would have thought of taking pics there, and bringing the whole wedding party?! You all are very creative and Look so happy in love! Congrats!

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  4. Can I just say that I love how you recommended Bodyglide? I'm a dragon boater and a runner, and that stuff is a godsend… totally wouldn't have thought about if for a big event, but it totally makes sense! Oh, and congrats!

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  5. Hooray! Thanks for all the great comments! And yes, BodyGlide ROCKS. Haha. I was predicting super humid weather (and it actually turned out to be perfect), but with all the walking, and dresses rubbing our arms, etc.., it saved our lives. Unfortunately, walking around the zoo for an hour did not save our feet!

    Tip on the zoo: We didn't want to have to pay the $10.50 for each person to get in, so our photographer talked with their PR person and agreed to let them use our zoo photos for advertising in exchange for free admission! She was awesome!

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  6. I vote for a tutorial on how to make a crystal bouquet, because zOMG GORGEOUS!

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    • I second that! Although I'm usually not into crystal, I think this is absolutely scrumptious!
      Congrats!

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  7. This is great….. It gives me inspiration for wanting to have a wedding again!

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  8. Love it! Such a beautiful wedding!

    Where did you get the parasols, btw?

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  9. Luna Bazaar is where I got them, online. Pretty decent prices, too! They saved us from getting more sunburned than we got while at the zoo! http://www.lunabazaar.com/

    As for the crystal bouquets, there was a page someone had created with instructions (which is what I followed). It must have been taken down, b/c it came up with an error when I just tried it. I'd be happy to write up some instructions in the next few days!

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  10. Luna Bazaar is where the parasols are from. Forgot to clarify!

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  11. Dang it, should've tried harder to find a unicorn topper. My husband would be so jealous. Love the cotton candy picture. How cute!

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    • Don't worry, I didn't find it, I had to specifically ask for it! Haha. It was just chance that the artist was able to find a unicorn head to use for the mold at the time! Now she's using it for other toppers, too!

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  12. What an absolutely fun and beautiful wedding! I love the pictures at the zoo, especially with the cotton candy. Kudos on making your wedding not only elegant, but playful too.

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  13. This is my kind of wedding! Stunning and so fun! Cake toppers = awesomeness.

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  14. I was so lucky to work with Megan in altering her gown, making her garter and hair flower, and dying the petticoat of her dress wasabi green!

    She was so great to work with and their wedding was personal and lively! Thanks for featuring this great couple-
    Janay A

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  15. Love the crystal bouquets!! How would I go about making them?

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    • I am working on a tutorial TODAY! I was supposed to do it a few weeks ago but got busy! It will be posted on the site from my understanding!

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  16. I feel like we have parallel weddings! I am also getting married at a wildlife park here in Wichita KS and bought my dress from Bridal Extraordinaire. We also would love to have cotton candy at our wedding but are having trouble finding a place that can do it.

    I would love if you could email me with some advise, as my fiance and I are having trouble deciding what type of catering to have that would go with the type of wedding we are having. What type of food did you have?

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  17. A few things-

    How did you manage the photo boothe at half price? We hope to have one at our wedding in KC, too…

    LOVE the parasols!

    Body Glide IS a god-send for dresses. I've been sharing that tip for a bit and am always surprised that no one has heard of it. It is just so great!

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  18. I love looking at your wedding, we are getting married at the KC Zoo July 4th 2011 and having a skating rink reception. I can't wait, and you are the ONLY KC zoo bride I have found, ANYWHERE. You may be the first. Thanks so much for posting, and happy days to the two of you
    -Liz D

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  19. Awesome picture! Looks like a fun filled wedding!! Btw i love the diff color unbrella's! We've been looking for something like. I was wondering where you got yours at?

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