Monica & Paul's traditional wedding with a broken arm #Real Weddings: Midwest US#church#custom dress#flip-flops#garter#green dress#headpiece#illinois#memorial#mismatched-bridesmaids January 26 | Offbeat Editors The offbeat bride: Monica Her offbeat partner: Paul Location & date of wedding: Rochester United Methodist Church, Rochester, IL — 07/07/07 What made our wedding offbeat: The first thing everyone notices is my green and black dress. I designed it and my friend Rachel made it, as well as all the bridesmaids' dresses. Also coordinated to my dress was my cast I had on my left hand/arm that covered my left ring & pinky fingers! I fell and broke my hand exactly two weeks before the wedding! The designs on it were a coordinated effort from my dressmaker and a haunted house airbrush artist, with a matching "bracelet" made by yours truly. The bridesmaids got to pick the color of their ribbon and flower, as long as it wasn't pink! The flowers are made of seed beads and hand-beaded by fellow Etsy seller, foreverflowers! We each picked our favorite kind of flower. I had five red tulips and the other girls had hibiscuses, an iris and a rose. The guys got coordinating ties and boutonnieres. The flowers and my tiara/circlet were gifts from my dad before he passed away just six weeks before the wedding. So, he walked me down the aisle in spirit to "Be Thou my Vision" as played and sung by my friend Elizabeth. Other fun facts were that our ring bearers & one of our flower girls were (then) three-year-old triplets! My bridal shoes were flip-flops! The cake I designed to match my dress and was dark chocolate cake with strawberry filling and butter-cream icing with strawberries topping it. It lived up to the business' name: Incredibly Delicious. Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was the loss of my dad. Nobody should have to reschedule their wedding shower (not just bridal, he came too!) to hold their dad's funeral. The first time I got to see him in the suit he was planning to wear to the wedding, he was in the casket. Also, due to unusual circumstances, I had to settle his divorce from his second wife (not my mom) and as part of that I had to clear all of his worldly possessions out of the house in two weeks. As if making all those wedding decisions weren't stress enough! After all that, breaking my hand and having to wear a cast to my wedding was just icing on the cake. Anything else that went "wrong" seemed so small in comparison that it was hardly worth noting. My favorite moment: The whole day was great, considering the six weeks leading up to it! Everything went relatively smooth and pretty much on time. One fun moment that does stick out in my mind is when my husband tossed the garter, the eligible bachelor who "caught" it was one of our three-year old ring bearers who picked it up after it bounced off of his sister's head. He came up to Paul and said "You dropped this!" and seemed really confused when the photographer wanted to take his picture with it! My offbeat advice: One of the best parts of my wedding was that almost every element was done by someone we knew personally, and was done custom for us. Think of what talents your friends and relatives have and put them to use. They get to be honored, and have an easy wedding gift, and you get to save a bundle. Granted, I was extra lucky that some of my friends and relatives were professionals at what they were doing, but it still was great to have so many people close to me personally involved in making our day so special. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?: My friend Rachel's dress-making business: Avail Couture My flowers came from Forever Flowers (and Hobby Lobby and Michaels) My tiara came from Orange Blossom Tiaras My necklace was made by my friend/bridesmaid, Calindy Some of my & the bridesmaids' jewelry was made by ME! Our cake was, and was made by Incredibly Delicious Audio/Visual support was provided by Calindy's dad whose business can be found here. My makeup and my sister's hair & makeup were done by our friend Michael of Van Michael's The guys' tuxes were from Churchills Formalwear We bought bubbles, favors, etc. from either Hobby Lobby, Micheal's or Oriental Trading My shoes were from Payless! Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Teaser for Fanny & Luis's Mexican wedding NEXT Let's talk about labels and self-identifying Toggle comments [ 32 ] Wow it much have been the most difficult thing in the world to lose your dad so close to your wedding day. My Heart really broke for you when I read your story. Congrats on an amazingly beautiful wedding despite all the pain leading up to it 1 agrees Reply i'm glad you kept your focus on what's truly important. 2 agree Reply I love that her dress isn't white! Us redheads don't do so well in white. The green looks really good on her. 3 agree Reply Agreed! I even managed to inherit my mom's olive-tone skin and white still makes me look funny! Huzzah for gorgeous green dress. *hugs* for you Monica! You and your Husband look wonderful, despite all the potholes on the road to your wedding. 0 agree Reply I was just about to say the same thing, i'm a redhead too and god does white look terrible on me! The green is fantastic. 0 agree Reply such a gorgeous style of dress- so unusual! 0 agree Reply oh my god. I absolutly love your dress. It adores you perfectly. Best wishes to yu and your man. 0 agree Reply My condolences on the loss of your father. I know he was smiling down on you. 0 agree Reply Your dress is incredible! I love the cake, too! You look beautiful, and it looks like, despite all the hardships leading up to your wedding, that you and your husband had a wonderful, happy day. I'm so sorry for the loss of your father, especially at such an already stressful time. It looks like you two have already been married a couple years, but congratulations again and I wish you all the best in the years to come! 0 agree Reply Oh my gosh, in that group picture that grumpy kid is soooo funny. 0 agree Reply "You dropped this!" that is so cute! I have also lost my father and know how difficult that can be. I hope you had an ok time at your wedding (sometimes "ok" is all we can muster). The pics are wonderful and u look beautiful! 0 agree Reply oh my gosh – I just realized the grumpy kid is MINE. Thanks cuz for posting that one! haha! 0 agree Reply This made me cry! You are beautiful. And congrats on the bambino. 0 agree Reply Planning a wedding in the wake of losing a loved one is a really challenging thing to do, and there's very little guidance out there on how to deal with it (I'm struggling with a similar situation now). It sounds like Monica did an amazing job. Thanks so much for sharing! 0 agree Reply I found this book very helpful: http://www.amazon.com/When-Parents-Die-Guide-Adul… 0 agree Reply This is really beautiful and the photo of you placing a flower on (his?) chair is very moving. I'm sorry for your loss. Congratulations on your wedding and your new arrival. I loved the colours and the style of this – so elegant. 0 agree Reply Thanks. It was me placing a rose on his chair & there's also a pic of the chair. For some odd reason my pics are all hopelessly out of order! 0 agree Reply a few short comments, first..i am so sorry about your dad. my dad passed away when i was young and it's always upset me to think that he won't be able to "walk me" down the aisle. i cannot imagine being in your exact situation – but i can tell that you are stronger for it! what a beautiful ceremony, and an incredibly moving picture of you acknowledging your father with that rose. Also, i just had to let you know that you literally made my mouth WATER in the beginning with your description of the cake – it sounds amazing. And lastly, you did a fantastic job designing your gown! I absolutely love it. Plus, that color green IS your color! congratulations and ::hugs:: wishing you the best with your new man! 0 agree Reply Monica, beautiful wedding and I'm glad everybody came together to help you with the wedding and (I'm assuming) moving through such a monumental loss. Despite agonizing setbacks, you didn't give up. Wedding stories like yours give me hope in people. 0 agree Reply Very touched by your post. Congratulations on a lovely day…what a trooper you are! 0 agree Reply Your dress is absolutely beautimous! Condolences for the passing of your father. 0 agree Reply Did I not mention anywhere in the article that I proposed to him? That's one of our other offbeat things we're proud of! I bought him a ring, fretted about the presentation, threw a party with a bunch of our friends, got down on one knee & proposed! … and he said yes! -obviously! 1 agrees Reply Ack! I just realized Calindy's link is broken… it should be http://www.etsy.com/shop/spritzy She only has one thing listed, but ask about custom orders! She knits awesome hats for babies & adults! 0 agree Reply The link has been updated and works now. 0 agree Reply Thanks! 0 agree Reply LOVE the green and black dress and color scheme. i could totally rock it with my cast that looks just like yours! really touching story. i'm sorry for your loss. and i hope that arm didn't cause you too much distress. 0 agree Reply Thanks everyone. Our wedding day really did go wonderfully. My dad's passing brought our family back together for a time, and that was nice. As Ammie noticed, it's been a couple years since our wedding, so I have had some time to heal, but I think of him daily. In happier news, I'm now an Off Beat Mama! http://www.flickr.com/photos/14544992@N08/sets/72… Chrissy – That really is the best pic of our family (my dad's side of the family, that whole group is only a small sampling!) I don't think he liked me putting my arm around him! 1 agrees Reply Check in to OffbeatMama.com for a DIY tutorial by the illustrious Monica Berry in the coming couple of weeks! 0 agree Reply Yay! Thanks! 0 agree Reply You know, one of our very own at the office was married in a gorgeous green dress… and another in a raspberry! White is just so… vanilla. 0 agree Reply That's kinda funny… Paul LOVES vanilla (the flavor, anyway)! 0 agree Reply Hi Monica! Such a beautiful wedding! I am so sorry to hear about your father. I want you to know that you inspire me. I lost my father 4 weeks ago, I am a wedding planner. You inspire me to carry on. Im sure your dad is very proud of you. The sweet gesture of the flowers as well as the photos are wonderful! I chanced on your blog for I dont know how and why and thenI saw you wear green which is my dad's favorite color. Then I realized, my dad led me to your blog =) You are such an angel, Monica. You're hubby is very lucky to have such a beautiful and strong woman. I wish you a lifetime of wedded bliss! Kudos for being able to pull a unique, inspiring and beautiful wedding at such a time in your life. Thank you for the inspiration Monica! 0 agree Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.