The offbeat bride: Megan, account manager, aka story-teller and people-lover
Her offbeat partner: Tom, MD/PhD student, aka student-for-life
Location & date of wedding: Camrose Hill Farm, Stillwater MN — October 9, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: We determined our theme while sitting in The Bad Waitress in Minneapolis, a retro-diner-style cafe/restaurant with a vintage superhero theme.
We've always said we wanted to conquer the world together; we love superheroes and we love the combination of old and new.
It was a match made in heaven; our vintage superhero/mid-century mod-theme emerged.
Our aim was to plan a celebration that was truly a reflection of our relationship. We knew we wanted a shabby/chic feel with a bit of European flair. Our focus on sourcing talent and food locally was just the start of our "green" theme, which could be felt throughout the day, in the corn by-product dishes, mason jar glasses, postcard invites, and the TOMS shoes worn by the bridal party.
We took on a lot of projects ourselves and also looked to Etsy for tons of inspiration for the big day. We tapped into many of our friends and family to capitalize on their unique talents, and focused on using "green" local and recycled elements.
We had superhero invites custom-designed by a friend, superwedding capes for the entire bridal party, and replaced the traditional cake with an ice cream truck. We wrote our own vows, and I recited a portion of the vows in Polish, which the groom speaks fluently.
Polish recipes, cakes, and homemade krupnik (liquor) were featured at the dinner, alongside burgers, made-to-order grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, and a lot of gummi treats.
An all-ladies bluegrass/folk band played during cocktail hour.
Tell us about the ceremony: My brother officiated. We wrote our own vows, each including some Polish flavor in the vows. Both my mother and father walked me down the aisle. It was just magical.
Our biggest challenge: I guess our biggest challenge was the fact that so many challenges hit at once. We were living in different countries during the planning stages of the wedding. I returned to the states in June of last year and everything kind of hit at once. I was planning a wedding while transitioning, job-searching, apartment-hunting, and working remotely as a marketing strategist for hostels back in Prague. It was both a great experience and challenge for us, but we made it, and it turned out just as beautiful as we had envisioned.
My favorite moment: The whole day was a celebration of the special people in our lives. We are blessed to have talented friends and family members who helped with every aspect of the wedding. My brother flew 4,000 miles from Prague to officiate our wedding. That was so so special to us.
For our unity symbol, we did something a bit offbeat.
My grandma gave me a baby blanket 27 years ago and when I went to live in Prague, I cut it in half, giving Tom one half and keeping the other.
On our wedding day, we symbolically sutured the blanket back together with Tom's tools (he's training to be a surgeon).
Grandma loved it.
On top of that, she had a blow-up doll in tow; family members were dancing with him on the dance floor.
That was unexpected for certain.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We took a massive risk with the decision to have an outdoor wedding in October in Minnesota, especially since the year before it had snowed on that day. But, it turned out to be just gorgeous: 84 degrees and sunny. Also, nothing was really complete (as far as decor goes) until the morning of the wedding, when my entire wedding party rallied like none other and turned it into a beautiful work of art!
My advice for offbeat brides: Try to enjoy the planning process, but be realistic with your resources and your time. DIY is amazing and I wouldn't change anything I did, but it is very time-consuming, and can lead to stress. Start by writing down your vision. This really helped us to define exactly what we were looking for.
Look to your circle of friends and family for talent first. Chances are you have a lot of talent close to you that you can tap into to make your big day even more personal and special.
Remember the day is yours, but be sensitive to your family's wishes as it is their day, too. That said, don't give them too many opportunities to give their opinions; they'll give them willingly without you seeking them out. Make sure to manage expectations.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Go with the flow on the big day; the day will not be perfect and certain things happen that you'd never expect. The week before the wedding I got sick, and the night before I didn't sleep at all. It's important to realize that these things are part of what make the day so special. After all, we never would have imagined a visit from a singing Batman, but we just went with it, and though it may not have been perfect by everyone's standards, it was perfect for us.
- Photographer: friend Cat Norman
- Florist: Camrose Hill Flowers
- Wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and boleros (made in Prague): friend Eva
- Bridal party shoes: TOMS
- Cocktail hour music: all gals' indie-bluegrass-folk band Dusty Porch Sisters
- Caterer: We Cater To You
- Dessert: Big Bell Ice Cream
- Cake toppers: FancieFanniesBridal on Etsy
- (recycled) Vintage superhero comic book table markers: WhatsEatingYin on Etsy
- "Cards" banner on gift table: tutucrafts on Etsy
- Bride and groom postcard signs: thebackporchshoppe on Etsy
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!