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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
- Bamboo wedding dress: Mnemosyne designs
- Titanium wedding bands: Titanium Knights
- Jute ribbons for bouquets: Kalena studio
- Invitations: Flower Seed Paper
- Wedding broom, birds nest and bouquet tape: Factory Direct Craft
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!