Celeste & Jason's geeky, vegan, sci-fi extravaganza

February 9 |

The offbeat bride: Celeste, Fandomania Assistant Editor and Podcast Co-Host (and OBT member)

Her offbeat partner: Jason, Online Comics/Collectibles Store Owner and Fandomania Managing Editor and Podcast Co-Host

Location & date of wedding: Orlando Science Center, Orlando, FL — 11.14.09

What made our wedding offbeat: We are both extremely geeky (we met at a convention while Jason was running the Joss Whedon programming track), which is why we chose the Orlando Science Center, specifically the Dino Digs room, as our venue.

Our geekiness showed subtly during the ceremony via the processionals ("Many Meetings" from LOTR and "Admiral and Commander" from Battlestar Galactica), along with the inclusion of G'Kar's "Declaration of Principles" from Babylon 5 as one of our ceremony readings (and we even got the guests to say "So Say We All!"). Also, our titanium wedding bands are engraved with the words "I know" (Star Wars reference).

Some other things that made the ceremony kind of "offbeat," at least by probably most people's standards, were that it was not religious, we walked down the aisle together, I had a Best Man and Jason had a Best Woman, and I didn't change my name.

Each table at our reception was named after a fictional location from TV, movies, books, and video games (e.g., Sunnydale, Tatooine, Hogwarts, Rapture), indicated by signs and place cards I designed in Photoshop and printed. Additionally, we had a "First Rock Band Duet" along with our dances, which was a big hit.

Aside from being geeks, we're also both vegetarian, with me being vegan, so it was important to us that the wedding also reflect that. Accordingly, the entire affair was vegan, and everyone raved about the food, including the cake, which more than one person said was the best wedding cake they ever had!

Cake Table & T-Rex
A vegan cake at risk of being attacked by a T Rex!

Our biggest challenge: Definitely reconciling our desires with those of my parents, who were financing the wedding. The biggest issue was the food, as my parents had a hard time at first believing that a vegan meal could satisfy the wedding guests.

Neither of us drink, so originally we also wanted the wedding to be dry, but we compromised on that in order to achieve the more important goal of having a wedding in line with our moral beliefs.

Actually going to the tasting at the caterer's helped allay my parents' fears as well. Our caterer was awesome and provided us with great options.

And in the end, all the guests — even the ones who have given us a hard time before for our dietary choices — complimented the food and were impressed with the quality as well as the variety of food that they didn't expect at a vegan meal.

My favorite moment: There's not really one particular moment that stands out. The whole night was fabulous; having all our friends and family there supporting us and giving us so much love was amazing. Almost everyone came from out of town, some from out of state, to attend our wedding, so we really appreciated their being there. Since it was a relatively small group (just under eighty), we were able to spend at least a little time with each guest (of course, not as long as we would have liked!).

My offbeat advice: There is nothing wrong with following traditions as long as you understand why you're doing it. Following them blindly is not following them at all. This is basically the way I look at everything in life, but it was especially difficult during the wedding planning because EVERYTHING to do with weddings supposedly already has a "right way" of being done, and everyone has an opinion on what that is.

First Rock Band DuetBeing yourself should always be the goal. You may have to make allowances to expand that to include other people involved in the wedding as we did, but you should not have to compromise any major part of yourself for your wedding. Conversely, you shouldn't feel like you need to buck every tradition just because it's a tradition. If you like it and it makes sense to you, then go for it. If it doesn't, then scrap it. That's my advice for wedding planning and for life. =)

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

  1. This wedding looks so rad! I absolutely love it! The first thing that caught my eye, besides the beautiful dress she is wearing is naming the table Caprica City – I'm a huge Battlestar geek! Everything is so beautiful and geeky and cute! I'm jealous.

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  2. Hey Celeste,
    I'm having a super hard time coming up with the menu for my vegan wedding on April 24th. What was your menu? I need some good ideas! Were there things that the guests liked and didn't like?
    Cheers,
    Heather

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    • We had a buffet which made it easier to please everyone, I think. Here's our full menu:

      Hors d'Oeuvres: (served during cocktail hour)
      – Avocado & Asparagus sushi
      – Sweet Potato Fries
      – Eggplant & Roasted Pepper Tapenade on grilled tuscan bread

      Pre-Set Salad & Rolls with Earth Balance margarine

      Buffet Dinner:
      – Seasonal Fresh Fruit
      – Breaded Eggplant in Marinara (cheeseless "eggplant parm")
      – Penne Aglio e Olio
      – Yukon Gold & Parsnip Mashed Potatoes
      – Oak Grilled Vegetables (eggplant, squash, zucchini, asparagus, red onions, etc.)
      – Green Beans Almondine

      Desserts
      – Chocolate-dipped strawberries
      – Fruit tarts
      – Napoleons

      Cake
      – Vanilla (vanilla filling & fondant exterior)
      – Chocolate cupcakes

      I didn't really hear anything specific about what the guests didn't like. We pretty much tried to avoid anything that was like "Hey, this is vegan food!" because, even though we love tofu and think that most people probably would too if they actually tried it, we didn't really want to draw attention to it so much as stuff people full of awesome food they probably never even thought about being vegan in the first place. =) So, I'm sure some guests didn't like some things, as would always be the case, but overall I think most people liked most of it because we tried to have a variety. Though it's also possible nobody told me what they didn't like out of politeness =)

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      • Thanks for posting the menu! I think using this as an example will go a long way in helping to convince my FH that a vegetarian reception IS possible. We have a lot of strictly meat and potatoes type people on both sides of the family. Farmers. *sigh*

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  3. Awww you're wedding sounds so wonderful! I love the "so say we all" bit, me and my h2b are big BSG geeks, he's also a big star wars geek too. I'm going to phone him now and tell him about your amazing wedding, we're also going to include the BSG music into our day, we especially like "Roslin and Adama" but not sure where to put it during our day yet. Thank you for sharing you're lovely day, I love reading Offbeat Bride here in the UK.
    Beccy

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    • We had a "so say we all" moment during our wedding too with all our guests in call and response and I have to say it's one of my favorite moments. :)

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  4. I &heart the dinosaurs! Now I think I need to find a new UK with dinosaurs!!

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    • you can hire out the Natural History Museum London for events, in the main room with the big dinosaur :)

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  5. Oh, absolutely wonderful. I love the pictures, the location- everything looks so beautiful and everyone seems to be having so much fun!

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  6. OMG I love the T-rex!!!!!! I want one in my wedding photos!!!! But there aren't any around, so I have to settle for shotguns. *sigh* :D

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  7. OMG! Our processional is "Admiral and Commander," too! I love everything about this wedding.

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  8. Thanks so much for posting your wedding. We're having our wedding at the Museum of Science in Boston. It's fun to see what other people have done with a similar venue.

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  9. This is amazing! I live in Orlando and have been picturing myself having what I swear is this *exact same wedding* for about a year! Sci-fi vegans at the OSC…omg.

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  10. It looks like it was so much fun!

    As I read through your raves about caterers and cakes, I found myself really really hoping this was in a location near me. And you're only two hours away! Than you so much for listing those references – finding a vegan bakery is so hard in my town!

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    • Yay! The cake was the hardest thing to find here, too. We went through the caterer to find this baker they'd worked with previously, who was willing to experiment for us (she'd never done vegan before!). Apparently there are some vegan bakeries around Gainesville, but none here. We lucked out!

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      • There actually are vegan bakeries in Orlando now, but I personally think they both taste not that great. I bake vegan myself a lot so I know what's possible.

        We are looking at Sugar Suite as one of our options. Was the cake good?

        I know I'm posting this years after your wedding, we are just looking at having basically the same wedding you had so any help is wonderful!

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  11. wow! a vegan wedding AND a couple who don't drink! i sometimes feel a little lonely, being vegan and a non-drinker, in terms of planning social events – everything always seems about deferral to other people's wishes. it's nice to see you were able to have your vegan meal go over so well! (and i know too well the deferral to having alcohol around for others. i sympathize!)

    looks like you folks had a great time. i also loved the location!

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    • We are a rare breed! I know some other vegetarians and a very few other non-drinkers, but basically no one else in the crossover! It's very difficult sometimes, as you say. Luckily most of our friends are pretty accommodating when we go out & stuff, but it was still really nice to be able to do the wedding *our* way for a change, at least partially =)

      Thanks for your kind words =)

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    • My fiance and I are both vegitarian non-drinkers. He has actually never had a sip of alcohol in his life. I am 8 years dry.

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  12. The wedding must have been awesome. I love the cake topper. My fiance and I are going to a Star Trek con in Vegas for our honeymoon. Please feel free to share any tips of getting the most out of it you may have.

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    • Thank you! =D Each con is different and they vary greatly in size from fewer than 100 attendees to 125,000+, so you can imagine the atmosphere at one is totally different from another. We go to several regularly, the largest of which is Dragon*Con in Atlanta which is pretty huge, but we're going to San Diego Comic-Con for the first time this year as our delayed honeymoon which is kind of the mecca of geek cons, hehe, so we're pretty psyched about that. =)

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  13. What a beautiful wedding – congratulations! Can you share where you got hanging flower garlands from or how you put them together? Thanks!! Liz

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    • Our florist actually put that all together, but I know the basics of how they did it: they built the frame, then tied the ribbons onto it. Then each flower & candle holder (with the LED lights) was individually tied onto the ribbons. Hope that helps!

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  14. Everything looks so beautiful and fun. Congratulations!

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  15. One more thing that needs to be added: bride and groom plucking away those strings… there's nothing like it! :) Congrats!

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  16. Love it! Thanks for posting your menu in the comments – I'm looking for inspiration there too.

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  17. I LOVE that each table was a place from a tv show/movie/comic etc, thats so fun. And you are so gorgeous, btw! Congrats on your wedding!!

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  18. Your wedding…oh my god. I just sent not one, but two emails to my partner basically flailing from the awesome. So so so amazing!

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  19. Congrats on the lovely wedding. It's nice to see other people incorporating their sci-fi love into their weddings. We're geeky, Whedon/Firefly/BSG fans and our family thought we were more than a little strange to have a sci-fi wedding.

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  20. Everything was so beautiful! Kudos on incorporating geeky elements as well. It's nice to see fellow geeks in love :D

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  21. I made the same compromise this week, including alcohol so that we could have all vegan food. Any advice dealing with caterers so that you get what you want? I'm getting married in Fort Wayne, IN, and I'm having trouble feeling confident that a caterer here knows how to cook great vegan food.

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    • Our caterer actually mentioned on their website that they could do vegetarian or vegan (in a whole big list of special diets etc.), and they had a bunch of sample menus on their website also which looked promising (not specifically marked vegan but good starting points), although it was pretty clear that it was not their specialty. But we met with them several times and emailed back and forth over many months. Mostly it was just a gut feeling I had that they would do a good job, and when we had the tasting I was right! =)

      If there are any vegetarian restaurants in your area you might try checking with them also — if they don't do catering themselves or aren't fancy enough to meet your needs, they still might know of someone, being in the food industry and all.

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  22. Man, there's way too much to love about this wedding – I hardly know where to begin! You guys must have put a ton of hard work into this. Congrats to both of you; you look so wonderful!

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  23. Celeste, it was such a pleasure to work with you and Jason on your wedding ceremony, and to make it exactly what the two of you wanted it to be — it was unique and wonderful from beginning to end! In fact, as I remember it, when I went to pronounce you husband and wife, Jason's beaming face was so joyful that I nearly forgot my words!
    Thanks for including my name in your vendor list — it is much appreciated!
    Best Wishes, Renee Silverman

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  24. My fiance and I are having our reception at the Orlando Science Center this November! It looks beautiful! Looking at your wedding porn is making me excited for our wedding!

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  25. Was your dress vegan? I'm having trouble looking for a vegan dress I actually like.

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