The offbeat bride: Felicia, Hairstylist
Her offbeat partner: Andre, Television Sound Guy
Location & date of wedding: The Mercury Cafe in downtown Denver, CO — December 21, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: It was our ceremony that set our wedding apart from most. Held in a heavily holiday decorated wooden-floored ballroom with a stage surrounded by heavy red velvet curtains, guests were surprised to be treated to scantily clad burlesque female fabric aerial dancers starting off our ceremony.
Dancing to the haunting "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley, they performed aerial ballet and stunts for five minutes. Then, becoming our flower girls, they littered our black aisle runner with blood-red rose petals.
Each female guests received a long stemmed red rose upon entrance from our female ushers. The effect made our ceremony sexy, romantic, dreamy — we wanted our guests fall in love all over again with their own spouses and loved ones.
Also, guests seemed to love our fajita bar and Indian food, which reflected both of our heritages!
Our biggest challenge: We kept every detail of our wedding top secret from absolutely everyone until they needed to know something. There was so much creativity driving our planning that we decided to keep it to ourselves so as not to have any outside influences disrupt our creative flow.
We just kept telling everyone that it was for their benefit that we were keeping things secret, and that the element of surprise was the biggest theme of the wedding. It was our gift to them. Everyone handled it rather well, but it was so hard not sharing details, especially with people who REALLY wanted to know and who seemed hurt they weren't let in on it.
There was another challenge — a very unexpected one. My gorgeous, Hindu gold lace ruffled Moulin Rouge style dress was ruined by a seamstress six days before my wedding. She bought me a new dress, but I'd had my heart set on the previous one for over five years. It was heartbreaking to let go of the vision I had of the kind of bride I'd be. I ended up pulling a gorgeous dress together, even though it was a more traditional than I had wanted.
And, to top it off, the florist didn't deliver my beaded bouquet and I had to walk with my small throwing bouquet. It was a challenge to accept my new look, but I just smiled through it.
My favorite moment: For our ritual, we did a ring warming. Early in the ceremony, the officiant announced to the guests that our rings would be passed through the rows by our usherettes and each guest should take a moment to hold the rings in their hand and place their own private blessing or prayer for our marriage onto our rings.
This was a chance for our Jewish, Catholic, Wiccan, Christian, and non-religious friends alike to put their energy into the ceremony. It felt wonderful to have everyone's spirituality mark our wedding rings.
- Consider keeping things a secret. Planning an offbeat wedding can be like creating a sculpture without knowing yet what your end result will be. It can be too easy to become swayed by someone standing over your shoulder, scrutinizing your every idea and move. Also — it's very annoying to share an exciting idea you LOVE with someone to have them look at you with disapproval. Gift your guests with surprise!
- Enjoy taking your time to think things through. Lay in bed and visualize everything over and over with a smile!
- Get EVERYTHING in writing from your vendors. We ended up paying two vendors more than the quote at the end of the night because we didn't have a contract. It cut into our honeymoon fund. BIGTIME.
- Do NOT skimp on a photographer! Meet with him/her beforehand to discuss in detail the kind of photos you want. Do not assume they know.
- Don't buy a dress you haven't tried on. Just don't do it!!!! It's not worth it!
- Right before you walk down the aisle, stop, take a breath, enjoy every single minute. I wish I could relive my ceremony a million times over.
- Don't take things too seriously!
- Dress: David's Bridal. Due to a SNAFU with my original dress, six days before my wedding, I had no dress. So, after lots of tears, I had no choice but to reluctantly go to David's Bridal — this Offbeat Bride's ultimate nightmare! But I walked in and I was immediately surrounded by their wonderful staff who lifted my spirits and pulled ten dresses off the rack. I was absolutely shocked at the variety, quality and fabulous prices. Don't be afraid of David's Bridal. You'd be surprised at their unique selection, especially in the couture section. While my dress was not as offbeat as I had originally planned, it fit me well and I felt gorgeous on my wedding day.
- Bridesmaid Dresses: Retro Scope Fashions. The owner, Laura, is wonderful and it's very fast shipping if you don't need anything custom made. Sizes run a bit small, FYI.
- Feathers: Tony Hill. Feathers arrive so much more beautiful than the pictures!
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!