In honor of Russian New Year's (the week between New Year's and Orthodox Christmas), we're having an Eastern European theme week! For day 3 of Eastern European week, we have Tiffany & Nick's wedding in the "Little Bavaria" of Michigan. This one is a bit of a stretch for the theme — roll with it! -Becca
The offbeat bride: Tiffany, Teen Services Librarian
Her offbeat partner: Nick, Musician/Retail Associate/Student/Gamer/Graphic Designer
Location & date of wedding: Frankenmuth, Michigan (Little Bavaria!) — June 27, 2009
We were on a strict budget. We wanted a fun party that no one would forget for less than $1,500.
Our venue was unique in that it was in a kitschy Bavarian town in Michigan.
We made sure all the details had our own unique twist from the book centerpieces to the birdcake with man/bunny cake topper to the groom's stepfather bartending.
We made sure to have a wedding photojournalist to truly document the wedding.
We included many traditions, but with our own twists and turns. The ceremony was completely written by us, quoting The Velveteen Rabbit and playing "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes. The bride walked down the aisle to "Don't Stop Believin'" instrumental covered by Vitamin String Quartet.
Our family helped us so much! It became a giant party where everyone could just let loose and have a great time!
We knew EVERYONE in our families loved Frankenmuth, but we didn't know the cost of vendors there. It took lots of dilligent research and many hours spent scouring websites and Craigslist, as well as enlisting in the help of our friends and family, but it was all worth it in the end.
More traditional family members questioned the fact that we weren't getting married in a church.
We are both vegetarians, so it was difficult for us to have meat at the reception; however, we felt that the guests would expect it. Frankenmuth, Michigan is known for serving chicken, so people would wonder where it was if we didn't have it, but we made sure to have plenty vegetarian and vegan options!
My favorite moment: The most meaningful would be our vows — especially when Nick said that he promises to always put up with my love for NPR and progressive Icelandic Rock. Our vows were very heartfelt. We kept them as a surprise and I think everyone got swept up in that moment.
The entire reception was just so much fun, from the wedding party dancing on stage to later in the evening when all the guests jumped on stage to dance to "Baby Got Back." Lots of surprise moments really made the day special.
Another funny moment would be when the best man lead an impromtu strip tease late in the evening.
We also had little cards at each table describing an author and their drink of choice. Unfortunately, we forgot to let the bartender (the groom's stepfather) know about these drinks and he only knew how to make half of them! Improvision was key!
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Originally, we were supposed to do Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance with the wedding party. Then Michael Jackson died the week of the wedding, and we realized it was maybe too much all at once. At the last minute, the day before the wedding, we decided to do "The Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We only practiced once, but it ended up being awesome! My sister decided to do a last minute tap dance routine as Columbia and everyone just loved it!
My advice for offbeat brides: Once family and friends realize that you're doing things a bit differently, it sometimes takes them a while to come to terms with your decision making process. It takes a lot of grace to listen to their ideas or questions on why you are doing things a certain way, and the Offbeat Bride website definitely helped with how to approach this!
We, also, kind of kept our families in the dark a bit about some of our decisions as to not upset or worry them because we knew they'd love it once they saw it all together! We were truly lucky that we have a wedding photographer, event planner, graphic designer, and generally awesome people in our families that helped us out!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I am a huge planner, and I learned that sometimes you just have to decide to go with the flow — you can't plan everything! I also had to work really hard not to lose it when things go wrong. My family actually hates to give me bad news — I am that bad!
So, when the caterer forgot the champagne fountain, no one wanted to give me the "bad" news, but I was so elated from just getting married and having a great time that I could care less about the champagne fountain!
Little things like happen throughout the entire planning process. You can't expect everything to be perfect, but it ends up being perfect in its own way.
I also learned that I love planning projects and working together with my husband! We make an awesome team!
- Groom's Tie: Cyber Optix
- Veil: Something Bold
- Photographer: David Crane
- Cake topper: Melabo
- Bride's Make-Up: Arbonne
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!