We're doing a week of geek weddings on Offbeat Bride! I've been waiting for an excuse to do this and I think the countdown to the Offbeat Bride book re-release party is a great reason! So we're kicking off "geek week" with Sarah and Justin's geek-chic wedding, coincidentally right around the time of their first wedding anniversary! -Megan
The Offbeat Bride: Sarah, Admin Associate at the University of Texas (and OBT member "mamomo")
Her offbeat partner: Justin, Radio Shack manager
Location & date of wedding: Justin's uncle and aunt's house in Austin, TX — March 28, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We started with a traditional foundation but added details to reflect our interests and personalities.
We had a bouquet toss, but invited men, kids, and married folk to participate. Our ceremony was religious but featured Star Trek music and our two dogs. We told our wedding party to wear whatever they wanted and encouraged our guests to wear Converse shoes. Our friend acted as MC, and our iPod acted as the band; cover songs made up the majority of our reception music. We tried to be as environmentally-conscious as possible, which you can read about here.
We also had elements that were unintentionally offbeat. Our Jewish/interfaith ceremony was the first one a lot of our guests (and ourselves) had ever attended. Having an outdoor afternoon wedding was also a unique experience that traditional wedding resources don't typically address. The atmosphere and flow are completely different from an evening or nighttime wedding, which we really only found out at our wedding. We also had a kid-friendly wedding, which is apparently not that common anymore.
Our biggest challenge: Fortunately, we have amazing friends and family who were fine with our wedding plans.
Staying within budget ended up being our biggest obstacle, even with all of our DIY-projects and help from family. We really had to reign in our spending as we got closer to the wedding, but it allowed us to think creatively and really assess what was important to us.
I also did a disservice to myself by not asking for help from all of the amazing people who wanted to chip in. Justin finally ended up calling in the troops for me, but I probably could have accomplished a lot more a lot sooner if I'd let go of my control-freak tendencies.
My favorite moment: We enjoyed so much that day, but I think our best moment was our yichud.
The yichud is a Jewish tradition in which the married couple have a quick meal alone right after the ceremony. It was one of the few times that day when we got to eat, have a drink, and just be together. After not seeing each other all day then being rushed into the ceremony, it was nice to catch up and just relax in each other's company before facing the chaos of the reception.
The day after, on the plane ride to our honeymoon destination, I made a list of every moment I could remember from the wedding — no matter how simple or fleeting. I really recommend this.
My advice for other offbeat brides: This gets said a lot, but I think it's important: on the day of, just relax and go with the flow. We had a lot of things that were getting done at the last minute or didn't go according to plan, and it was fine. No one really knew besides us, and we didn't care because we were focused on having a big fun party with our family and friends. Delegating helps.
Also, don't be afraid of kids and dogs. I originally wanted neither at our wedding, but it was one of the few things Justin was really adamant about and I'm glad for it. The kids livened things up and added to the festive atmosphere. And if our crazy Jack Russell terriers can behave at a wedding, I'm sure anyone's dogs can.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- Ebay and Etsy were both invaluable resources for us. We got so many decorations, accessories, and clothes from both, including my J.Crew dress, which came at a bargain price off Ebay.
- Our two biggest vendors were Pink Avocado Catering and AJH Photography. Our wedding wouldn't have been half as good without them, and we highly recommend them to anyone in Austin.
- Coco Paloma Desserts made our beautiful and delicious wedding cake.
- I got my hair and make-up done by the fabulous Blaine and Theresa at Jose Luis Salon.
- Our best man generously provided wine and champagne from his company Mosaic Wine Group.
- Our maid of honor custom-made the wedding party jewelery via her business Crafts 4 Causes.
They aren't vendors, but I have to give a shout out to the rest of the wedding party and our amazingly supportive families, especially our parents and Justin's aunt and uncle who hosted our wedding.