Jess & James' whimsical, vintage-inspired, DIY feathery lovesplosion

By on May. 12th

Remember that controversial dreamy, colorful headdress that Shrie featured a few weeks ago? You know, the one we all drooled (and some fought) over. Well, here's how it looked during JE$S & James' feathery lovesplosion. – Coco

stripey!

The offbeat bride: Jess, artist and art instructor for developmentally disabled adults (and OBT member)

Her offbeat partner: James, web designer/programmer

Location & date of wedding: Porcher House, Historic Cocoa Village, Florida — March 20, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: I wore a fabulous pink headdress down the aisle, and centered all the visuals around it. I also snunk in leopard print wherever I could. We're athiests so we secretly got married a few days ahead and wrote the ceremony to just be cool and heartfelt, short with our own twist on it, without all the legal/religious stuff.

The "ring bear"

We had the best music ever. No, seriously. Processional was the Ramones cover of What a Wonderful World, I walked to Temptations' Hey Girl I Like Your Style, and we left to Gogol Bordello's song American Wedding :D Also included were James Brown, Etta James, Tom Waits, The Raincoats, some MetalGearSolid3 for the garter, and Barry White for the garter replacement.

We had an uneven wedding party and used a bear marionette made by one of my students as the "ring bear" to even it out. We drew up our invites that were printed by our friends. We also drew our cake together, which we wanted to be whimsical and more like a sculpture you can eat than a foo-foo cake. James is a veg, so we had lots of food and a layer of the cake for veggers. We didn't have favors, or very many flowers at all. I used paper, silk, feather and soap roses, and made a few really badass decorations. We decided to see each other on the day, it just made it less stressful so we could ask each other questions, kiss and gawk at the cake, etc.we're laughing because it's stuck

Tell us about your wedding ceremony: My ceremony was officiated by James' aunt Theresa, who is so cool. It was non-religious but included blessings from the elements (fire wind water and earth) and the cardinal directions. We did our own twist on the Native American double-necked wedding vase, with a silver chalice that has been in my family since 1911. My mom burned sage for us, and we had a handfasting done by my sister. My favorite parts of my heritage are Cherokee and Irish, so letting that shine through in our ceremony was fun.

Our biggest challenge: Aside from the venue thing (see also: "total disaster" segment), the biggest challenge was getting certain key people to understand the vision. The initial reaction to the headdress idea was, "what is this a ******* costume party!?" I had to figure out what the wedding meant to my parents and what meant more to us than them. If it had been up to me there would have been more skeletons, but my parents believed it was too morbid. (I still had a few though, the groomscake topper and some classy accessories which some of my lovely guests sported for me!)

We designed our invites but my parents chose the wording. We were told our music wasn't wedding-y. It was very stressful for us. Even on the day of the wedding there were things I was worried about. Some things we just had to make on our own, so there were some surprises, but we all agreed that it turned out beautifully. My dad said to me right before we walked that everything looked awesome and how happy he was for us. I think the venue thing kinda shook off some of the stress we had about dumb things and gave us real shit to freak out over.

My favorite moment: I have a few. First, when we first saw each other all ready. Despite the set-up taking a few minutes (I was worried he was getting bored while we arranged my dress on the staircase!) But his jaw kinda dropped, and he just looked at me with so much adoration and excitement! The wedding was really about to happen in our minds at that moment. Lastly, making eye contact with James during the ceremony. I was having some stage fright and it helped me relax.

garter huntin

James' favorite part of the wedding was getting to spend a second alone together at dinner. The food was awesome and we opted for the sweetheart table, which turned out to be really nice. It was the first time that night that we had been alone together.

Also, our wedding was kind of a reunion, as many of our guests came from far away, so seeing all our family and friends come together for us was really special.

My funniest moment: The "ring bear" got a lot of laughs. We had a strange aisle, we walked down a side path, then came around and back down the main walkway. The bridesmaids appeared one at a time. The house had a very glamorous feel, and then suddenly the groom's brother came down the aisle with a floppy cute bear puppet!

Also, a stranger grabbed onto the back of my dress while I was walking into the archway. She was trying to fluff the train out for me.

general store, downtown

Oh and it was kinda funny when we were downtown doing our pictures and people in the cafes were yelling things to us and taking pics!

The Bride's sister tied the knot during the handfasting ceremony


Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The venue screwed us over less than a week before the wedding. The reception was supposed to be inside the house and on the back patio alongside a beautiful riverfront park. But those motherfathers double-booked it with a religious music festival and we had to go in the Civic Center. (We had no time to find a new venue, and most of our guests were from out of town or state, so we couldn't change anything timing-wise either.)

It was heart-breaking that everything I had toiled over, with visions dancing in my head, would not actually happen. The Porcher House was so beautiful, we did not need many decorations. But the pink string lights and paper lanterns we planned on using were a bit sparse for this huge grey box we got moved to. Luckily, this really nice lady offered her decorating services, so instead of our pre-wedding beach week we had taken off work for, she, James, our families, friends and I built draperies and de-fuglified the room. If it weren't for all the help we got, I don't know where we would've been.

Although, we would have rather been drinking on the beach with them, it was really touching that we could all come together. I also had to give up on the last bunch of my projects to do that.

My advice for offbeat brides: Go DIY, but give yourself enough time to get your projects done. Seriously, you want to be excited and do your best work. The planning, designing and crafting was such an awesome part of my wedding because it made the wedding experience last so much longer.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Headdress: Magentafabulous made the headdress that inspired everything visual, which I am going to wear again. She was really friendly and responsive too. She even put a hold on the headdress for me while I convinced my parents.
  • DIY bouquet, bouts, corsages, all bridesmaid fascinators, my husband's hat and cufflinks, my sister's bracelet, my necklace (reception): ME – loved doing it and am going to start a wedding section of my shop.
  • Bridesmaid dresses and crinolines, my reception dress: Unique Vintage
  • Photographer: Richard O'Connor and his assistant Mike were awesome! Rich was so much fun and they are very talented.
  • Christina Berkshire is my photographer friend who took the ones from the previous post about my wedding fashion. She was really creative, it was fun working with her!
  • Food: Renaissance Catering, Cocoa Village, FL. Anthony was super nice, fun and a really good guy. He was very easy-going about the reception- venue-music-festival disaster.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!