You may remember Jes's two fabulous dresses from the Monday Montage a few weeks back. This thoughtful, geeky, steampunk wedding won't disappoint. -Becca
The offbeat bride: Jessica, second bachelors student and substitute teacher (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Joseph, bookkeeper and economist
Location & date of wedding: Antrim 1844, Taneytown, MD — July 1, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: The defining philosophy behind our wedding was "personalize" — to take the idea of a wedding, disassemble it, turn the pieces around, then fit them back together in a way that was meaningful to us as individuals and as a couple. We brainstormed ideas together, divided the labor based on interest and workload, and in the process acquired valuable skills in negotiation and cooperative problem solving, as well as a deeper appreciation for each other. In the end we succeeded in having a wedding that was deeply personal, meaningful, and a whole lot of fun for everyone involved!
For the nice fancy splashy visual offbeat elements, the wedding party was neo-Victorian themed, the bride wore 5.5" high-heel bright red knee-length boots, and the guests could show up as steampunk as they liked.
The ceremony was designed from scratch by the bride and groom with the officiant's assistance including a hand fasting, the bridesmaids carried lace fans and parasols, and there were feather boutonnieres for the gentlemen.
The favors were Chessex dice in dice bags and there was a whole bunch of eccentric music choices that rocked the night on through!
Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was designed by us with the assistance of our fantastic officiant, the Rev. Richele Eraso. From G'Kar's "Declaration of Principles" from Babylon 5 to a handfasting that requested the blessings of the elements, it was eclectic yet tied together by a common thread of the importance of love, community, commitment, and shared humanity.
Our biggest challenge: We had the opposite problem than the one most weddings suffer from — we couldn't get enough guests! Due to a death in the family earlier in the year and the distance (1000 miles), the vast majority of the groom's family was not able to attend the wedding. This made meeting the contracted minimums rather difficult, but with some skillful negotiation we were able to make things right with the vendors.
In the end the wedding went off without a hitch, surrounded and attended by those who love us, and that's what matters!
My favorite moment: We arrived at the location earlier than anyone and got each other dressed in our first outfits. This gave us some time with the photographer walking around the grounds. Helping each other dress, then the photography time with our absolutely fantastic photographer who made it be the most natural and stress-free time in the world — that was pretty awesome. Talking, giggling, smiling — this utter zen and calm of knowing that no matter what happens, we'll always be there for one another — it was pretty darn special.
One of the other incredibly touching moments was walking down the aisle, and seeing Joe doing the best he can to hold back tears. For the first part of the ceremony, we never broke eye contact and never let go of each other's hands. Aww!My funniest moment: Most likely when a bridesman taunted the groom about being able to handle the (bride's) sword for cutting the cake, and the groom made the bridesman go down on one knee and slide the sheath off the sword — it was completely unscripted and absolutely hilarious.
My advice for offbeat brides: Sit down with your partner and discuss. What does this wedding mean to you? To me? Then, make sure that you are reflecting it in the ceremony and in the party, whatever you need.
Oh, and your wedding is not a contest. Don't freak out if it's not "offbeat enough" — a wedding that is an authentic representation of you and your partner is what you're aiming for.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Communicate! Communicate, communicate, communicate — open lines of communication with EVERYONE is key! Vendors, parents, guests, friends, family, significant other — communicate! Telepathy isn't a skill we possess, so you won't ever get anything accomplished if you don't talk to people about what needs to get done, what you want done, and what your hopes are for xyz. Talk it out!
A sense of humor, a sense of proportion, and the ability to breathe deeply are also useful when planning a wedding.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Victorian dress: Bound By Obsession
- Jewelry: Aranwen
- White & Red Dress: Alfred Angelo
- Mini Top Hat: TopsyTurvy
- Groom's Attire: Gentleman's Emporium
- Garters: Mia von Mink
- Groom's wedding band: QuiltedPony
- Bride's wedding bands: LaurieSarah Designs
- Feather Boutonnieres: Sweetgrassmill
- Photographer: Aaron Haslinger, Primary Studios
- Officiant: Richele Eraso
- DJ: Carl Brashears Jr., Classic DJ's
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!