The offbeat bride: Cindy, Psychiatry Resident (brand new doctor) (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Kris, Civil/Electrical Engineer
Date and location of wedding: Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront Resort and Spa, in Indialantic, Florida. — April 16, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: Kris and I are 28 and 29-years-old, respectively, and have been dating off-and-on since high school (both junior and senior prom together!) and have been "on" for the past seven years. I'm white, he's multi-nationality Asian by descent. There were a lot of Buddhist and Nepalese Hindu traditions which were included in our multi-cultural wedding!
I wanted to get married at the beach (I believe all important events in a person's life should occur under the open sky), but not on the beach. My favorite color is blue and I love peacock feathers and the 1920s. He likes the color green, fedoras, and not making his groomsmen wear Zoot suits. We had to have red and gold (traditionally important wedding colors for his culture), red and white living flower garlands exchanged during our vows, and a lot of Smashing Pumpkins and Foo Fighters songs played throughout the wedding. I walked down the aisle to Smashing Pumpkins "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" and our first dance was to Foo Fighters "Everlong."
Nearly everything possible was obtained via Etsy. I love handmade things and wanted to support that. I gathered all the brooches and earrings and pins that I've obtained over the years, family heirlooms and otherwise, and sent them to my florist to make a gorgeous brooch bouquet. Our tables were named after famous people from history like Dali, Bergman, Gable, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway. The head tables were Daisy and Gatsby. We played with our awesome dog Jack (who we forced into a tiny tuxedo) throughout the night. And there were moments where I cried or laughed and the photographers managed to catch me looking pretty regardless. And of course, long after the professional photographers had departed, came the moment at 2:00 a.m. when the bride and groom went NIGHT SWIMMING!
Tell us about the ceremony: We had our sisters read selections from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, specifically excerpts from "On Love" and from "On Marriage." We had our hands blessed during a traditional Apache hand blessing reading. We exchanged traditional Nepali flower garlands alongside our rings of precious metal. We read our own vows to one another and there wasn't a dry eye in the whole audience. And I walked down the aisle to Smashing Pumpkins, and our recessional music was Anberlin's punk cover of "Enjoy the Silence."
Our biggest challenge: Trying to fuse so many ideas into a single cohesive theme was essentially impossible. How does one put red, gold, green and richness into an April beach wedding without getting unwanted Christmas vibes? How does one do beach, vintage, Eastern, and semi-formal all at once? In the end we just trusted our instincts and knew it would be beautiful no matter what. (Also, we added TEAL to the colors, and Ta-Da — no more Christmas — it was now "jewel tones"!)
My favorite moment: I think the most meaningful moments of our wedding occurred during the Nepali parts. I wore a gold wedding gown, since white is traditionally a color of mourning in the Nepali culture. Also, I had Mehendi (traditional Bridal Henna) applied to my hands and feet for the wedding, and during the reception we had a traditional Nepali ceremony wherein I became a bride.
Kris applied three pinches of the red ochre powder, Sindoor, to my hairline, and I blessed his feet with my henna-stained hands. In that moment I joined his family. I'm still proud of myself for maintaining composure (mostly!) during that ceremony. I was so moved by their overwhelming acceptance of me into the Nepali fold.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Originally the Nepali ceremony was meant to take place during the actual wedding ceremony. But at that moment during the ceremony we looked around and Kris's Nepali family were nowhere to be seen! So we moved past it and continued with the next part of the ceremony. Nobody even noticed. Then during the reception his family was ready and we did the whole Nepali ceremony during the reception right on the dance floor. It was so much better that way since everyone had a great view. I can't believe we lucked into the perfect way to have that ceremony — by accident!
My advice for offbeat brides: I'm sure there were parts of my wedding where my family or friends were befuddled by our choices but everyone was so overwhelmingly positive that it didn't matter one bit. Be brave! People might be surprised by your wedding but nobody will say anything bad about it to you, so who cares?
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Maggie Sottero "Gatsby" in champagne/gold
- Jewelry: Etsy seller designbykara for the bride, and ymcjewelry for the bridesmaids
- Invitations, wedding tree, table names: Etsy seller GreyDogDesigns
- Wedding party's beautiful handmade purses: Etsy seller BagNoir
- Bride's red pumps: Rocket Dog shoes
- Florist and creator of my brooch bouquet (from my own brooch collection): Amanda's Florist
- Cake/Cupcakes: Gourmet Traditions Bakery
- Cinematographer: Cinema Chic Productions
- DJ and Uplighting: DJ Shane Entertainment
- Photography: Michael Giragosian
- Officiant: John Carroll, of Sensational Ceremonies
- Wedding Planner: A Wedding to Remember
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!