The offbeat bride: Cori, Nanny (and OBT Member)
Her offbeat partner: Evan, Zipline Course Manager
Location & date of wedding: Foxboro Ranch Estates, Flagstaff, Arizona — August 29, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We got engaged on the top of a mountain in the spring and three months later were standing in a huge meadow surrounded by our family and friends getting married.
We didn't need a long engagement or a big show, we didn't feel the need to buck traditions but we also made no attempt to follow them. We chose to be married in Flagstaff because it had some of the great outdoors that we missed from home in Alaska. We had awesome local organic gluten free food, Fat Tire beer, Trader Joe's wine, and no dessert… because we didn't need it.
Our huge group of friends traveled everywhere from the far north and both sides of the ocean to be with us, and all of them dressed in vintage. People showed up early to mingle and enjoy drinks and we were there to greet everyone. We all walked out together to the meadow and stood in a semi-circle while a friend performed the simple ceremony that we had created together. My sister stood by me and Evan's brother stood next to him. We spoke our own vows and promises, we didn't have any entrance/exit music. The rest of the evening was spent celebrating our union and the reunion of us all finally together again… with nonstop dancing to music from our wonderful DJ: the iBook G4.
It was all simply us.
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was dealing with the life issues we had to face in addition to planning a destination wedding in twelve weeks. We also had to stick to our budget of $6,000. When it would get too overwhelming it was time to take a step back and let go of things that were out of our control. I had to learn to delegate and reach out to my community of family and friends that were eager to help. Once we did that it was overwhelming how much support we were given.
Over half of the wedding guests (we only had seventy-six total) showed up the day before to help with everything from setup to running errands and creating DIY decorations. The day of they took over doing my hair and makeup, creating bouquets, bartending, and even surprised us with a limo ride home. Once we let go of things and chose not to stress or plan too much, it all just fell together perfectly. There ended up being so much meaning behind the individual things that it didn't matter at all if everything was perfect or not. It just took me awhile to realize that, and things were so much better once I did.
My favorite moment: I had no aisle to walk down. We were simply going out into the meadow and have everyone stand in a circle while the ceremony was performed. I followed the trailing crowd into the meadow arm in arm with my immediate family (my father, mother, and sister), instead of being walked out by just my father. Once we came to the edge of the circle it suddenly parted and I could see Evan standing in the middle smiling and waiting for me to come to him. It's the one of the most vivid moments I remember, as my mother split off and my sister followed as my father gave me away to the man I was about to marry. The feeling was unreal, the butterflies in my stomach fluttering excessively. The whole ceremony with the sun filtering through the trees and being surrounded by the circle of unfailing love everyone had for each other and for us. I was absolutely blown away.
My offbeat advice: Always remember what your wedding day is about and who it is for: you. It's not a show for anyone else, not an evening of entertainment you provide, it's a celebration of an outward commitment that you and the one you love are making to each other. The best piece of advice I could give is to always be true to yourselves, don't control, let the little things go, and let the people that love you be involved.
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