Heidi & Scott's rustic, butterfly themed, backyard wedding!

By on Jun 17th

Heidi & Scott's Rustic Backyard DIY Wedding

The offbeat bride: Heidi, Bookshop owner and Seamstress

Her offbeat partner: Scott, Computer Scientist

Location & date of wedding: Our home in Punta Gorda, FL — March 13, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: The two most important things to us were to: have fewer than thirty people present and stay away from the official, commercial "Wedding Industry" as much as possible. We broke as many traditions as we could!

My friends and I made the wedding cake. I made my medieval styled dress out of antique silk that my husband's grandmother gave me. One of my friends officiated the ceremony, another did my hair, and another did my makeup. We did not have a traditional bridal party – instead, we asked our parents to stand up with us during the ceremony performing various roles.

In fact, the only wedding industry business that we used was the florist – and she was a friend of a friend, so it didn't really feel like we were going commercial by having her do the flowers. (Plus she did a beautiful job!)

We had the reception dinner inside our house (with my sister as our iPod DJ), and a friend of my husband's family did all the cooking and planning. As a last minute surprise, he decorated the house with hundreds of palm fronds freshly cut from our back yard!

During dinner, my son (who is five) convinced his friends to dress up as princesses. There's nothing like a little childhood cross-dressing to liven up a party. We wrapped up the evening by playing Cranium with our college friends – everyone had a blast! And that's what we wanted most of all.

Tell us about your ceremony: We wrote our vows based on The Cure's "Lovesong." It's always been so special to us and we thought the lyrics were perfect for wedding vows:

Medeival LOTR Wedding GownHowever far away
I will always love you,
However long I stay
I will always love you,
Whatever words I say
I will always love you,
I will always love you.

We also deliberately omitted the famous Corinthians passage (you know, "Love is patient…"). Instead, we had our parents read from Shakespeare, Kahlil Gibran, and Madeleine L'Engle.

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was getting the house ready in time for the wedding! Since we like to DIY stuff around the house that meant we actually had to finish all our unfinished projects. My husband had been tiling the back porch. He actually tore it up and put it back down again seven times, because "it wasn't good enough" (there was a crooked line that only he could see).

My favorite moment: We were both very happy that each of us had a grandmother who could attend the wedding. They sat with us at our table at dinner and they had special seating for the ceremony.

The bride also made her reception dress!

Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? I picked the right groom this time!

My advice for offbeat brides: The best advice we got was this: If someone offers to help you, say yes and immediately delegate a task to them. Even if it's something really small (I asked one of my friends to pick up a light bulb on her way to the wedding!), you will feel less pressure, and they will be glad they can do something useful when it's obvious that you are totally overwhelmed. They really do want to help, and you really can trust them to do it!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? How to get a lot done in a short amount of time. We only had two months to plan, and we were both working full time up til about two days before the wedding, in addition to finishing all our DIY projects around the house. It was INSANE and we still look back and wonder how we did it.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!