Kavisa & Schuyler's nature-embracing Baha'i wedding

By on Aug 11th
K&S Wedding

Photos submitted by the couple.

The offbeat bride: Kavisa, associate working to end educational inequality via the non-profit Teach For All (and Offbeat Bride Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Schuyler, Medical Student and Freelance Website Designer

Location & date of wedding: Central Park's The Pool in the upper west side, NYC — July 17, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We tried to make the wedding as environmentally friendly as possible while staying true to ourselves, our religions and staying within budget. I am a Baha'i and my husband is a non-practicing Buddhist. The only requirement for a Baha'i wedding is that both the bride and groom say one verse in front of at least two witnesses, so that left all the other details up to us to plan.

My mom reading a Baha'i prayer

Kavisa's mom reading a Baha'i prayer

We walked in to a saxophone playing "In A Sentimental Mood" by Duke Ellington. Each of the eight wedding party members read selected readings that expressed how my husband and I felt about love and marriage. We ended the ceremony by jumping the broom to honor my African American ancestry.

ring nest

Ring nest!

We did a few things to "green" our wedding. First, my dress was hand made from 70% bamboo and 25% organic cotton blend; Our wedding invitations were plantable; Our bridesmaids all wore dresses they can and have already worn again; We tried to limit all consumerist add-ons; The wedding and reception were outside during the day; The food included vegan wedding cake and Caribbean vegan seitan curry.

ring and vow exchange

To stay within budget we held the reception at my parents' house in Westchester, NY. The permit to have a wedding in Central Park was only twenty-five dollars. We made the invitations, wedding programs, bouquets, DJ play lists and drinks ourselves. My parents helped with the setting up for the reception.

K&S Wedding

Our biggest challenge: Keeping the wedding small. Originally we wanted a guest list around fifty people. Although, I have four siblings, my husband has three and my mother is one of six. Plus people invited themselves, RSVPing although they never got an formal invitation or guilt tripping us. In the beginning we were more strict about it. However, by the end we grew exhausted from the conflicts and threw caution to the wind, hoping it would not explode our budget. Fortunately, we received many gracious gifts and finical support from some surprising sources. We had about 90 guests and enjoyed sharing our special day with all of them.

strong women

My favorite moment: When my mom read a Baha'i wedding prayer right after we exchanged wedding vows and rings. Even though I am the only Baha'i in my family it was nice to have my mother bless us. I just closed my eyes, leaned my head on my husband's shoulder and felt total bliss.

Tanzanite engagement ring (we met in Tanzania and you can only get this stone there), titanium wedding bands, love entwined

My advice for offbeat brides: People should leave your wedding feeling like you and your partner's personality shined through. Using wedding porn for inspiration is great but put your own spin on it.

K&S Wedding

Fight the good fight. Some times you have to compromise especially if other people are helping out financially. However, some things you have to stick to your guns with. For me it was having a vegan cake since both I and my husband are vegans. Also, keeping the reception simple.

Reception at my parent's house

first dance to "Never Knew I Needed" by Ne-Yo. The guests blew bubbles as we twirled)

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
It's ok to go back and forth between stressed out to really excited during the planning stages. However, once you start that walk down the aisle allow nothing to ruin the pure bliss of it.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!