Jessica & Joseph's steampunk/neo-Victorian gamer love celebration wedding

December 6 |

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

Joe & Jes 07-01-10
Photos by Aaron Haslinger, Primary Studios

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!Joe & Jes 07-01-10

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!

Joe & Jes 07-01-10

Joe & Jes 07-01-10Tell 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.

Joe & Jes 07-01-10Our 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!

Joe & Jes 07-01-10My 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!

Joe & Jes 07-01-10
Mythos buddies cake toppers!
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.

Joe & Jes 07-01-10

Joe & Jes 07-01-10 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.

Last but not least, you can play "Closer" by NIN at a wedding, have people dance to it, and love it. Honestly.

Joe & Jes 07-01-10

Joe & Jes 07-01-10What 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.

Joe & Jes 07-01-10

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!



  1. Beautiful wedding! I love the the dresses and style. I also really love the black lacy umbrella.

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  2. Oh what a gorgeous wedding! The grounds look so magical. Love it.

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  3. Amazing! that red dress is absolutely breathtaking and I love the cake! So a job of pulling personality, steampunk elements and flair together to create something beautiful and so elegant and personal.

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  4. Beautitful, congratulations!

    If I had worn a garter, it would have been the one in the photo above; since I didn't get to wear it, I'm glad someone from this site did! :D

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  5. Beautiful wedding!!! And I was forbidden to play Closer at mine lolololso disappointed!!!!

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  6. Congratulations!
    I love how you define your 'offbeatness' by how you tackled planning your wedding.
    Also the wedding party and all your guests had such great outfits!

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  7. I'm so glad you've been chosen to share your special day with others. Yours was the most beautiful, meaningful, and fun wedding I've ever been to! Your advice to other brides is spot on. Glad to have been part of your special day and still be part of your life. Love ya, Mom

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  8. I can't tell you how awesome your wedding looked. I also think it's great that you put on 5.5" heels. Most women are paranoid about being(or appearing) taller than their grooms. You two look awesome.

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  9. Is there a secret behind one of the photos? All I see is the word "toppers!" peeking out ;)

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    • It says "Mythos buddies cake toppers!" It shouldn't be a secret. :)

      What browser are you using?

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        • Naughty Firefox. Becca, it might be worth adding a little extra space between that Mythos image and the photo below it. Looks like Firefox is eating the float!

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      • Ok. Should be fixed now!

        There were just too many awesome photos from this wedding …

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  10. Too the closer references – We love that song – Our good friends – The Pluckin Grassholes (Who actually were featured in another wedding on here!) Are going to do a special bluegrass version including the lyric "I want to Pluck you like an animal" !

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  11. A beautiful wedding!
    Everyone looked great- the clothes were phenomenal…
    Congrats and kudos to you!

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  12. OMG. That is so my Dream wedding. I have been looking for a place to hold my HANDFASTING at. The pre-wedding photos are beautiful. I love them. I would really like to know info about your wedding. Thank you for sharing your wedding with us. :)

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    • Hi Jaclyn!

      Whatcha wanna know about the wedding? I'd be happy to share with you!

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  13. BEST color combination EVER. And the groom's red vest, I must admit, is probably my favorite part. :-)

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  14. Thanks for including the link to Gentleman's Emporium! Certainly helps in our search for period clothing for the groom, the bridesdude, and the groomsmen.

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