Colleen & Phil's pagan DIY autumn wedding #Real Weddings: Northeast US#autumn#colorful#couples of color#economical wedding#handfasting#lake#massachusetts#mismatched-bridesmaids#plus size#tattooed bride June 21 | Offbeat Editors Photos by Samantha Almeida The offbeat bride: Colleen, Photographer Her offbeat partner: Phil, Shipping Manager Location & date of wedding: Snow's Pond and Rochester Grange Hall, Rochester, MA — October 10, 2010 What made our wedding offbeat: We tried very hard to save as much money as possible. Our wedding was held at the family pond (free!) and the Rochester Grange (cheap!). We had an iPod DJ, the food and cake were made by friends, and if something could be DIYed, it was. The bride's veil, the flower girl's dress, the invitations, all of the flowers, and practically everything else was handmade. The entire wedding was painstakingly fall-themed. We were engaged for almost three years because I wanted to get married on 10.10.10 so badly. We also combined our last names. My surname was MacDonald and Phil's surname was Ramos. We are now the MacRamos family. One of the reasons we chose to do this name change was the feeling that we are creating a new family, not just becoming a part of the Ramos family. We are now a part of each other's families. Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was semi-traditional. I walked down the aisle to "Rebel Heart" by The Coors. The ceremony was a self-written hand binding ceremony. We made it secular and kept it about the promises we were making to each other. The bulk of our ceremony reading was about the amendment to Massachusetts law that now allows same-sex couples to marry. This was very important to me because the laws that would have prevented our marriage in the past are rectified, yet there is still one law that prevents others to marry. It was especially important that Kevin, our officiant, read them. He is our daughter's "Fairy Godfather" and we hope for his chance to marry whom he chooses sooner rather than later. My favorite moment: Even though our wedding was only one day, it was more like three sleepless days combined into one. It was a blessing that the bridal party was so helpful since we were so sleep-deprived in the days before the wedding. We set up everything ourselves the day before and some of the DIY items didn't get finished until 3:00 a.m. on the day of the wedding. The support was amazing. Every moment up until the end of the ceremony was sheer perfection. The hand binding wasn't a complete disaster, despite a lack of practice. We both said our vows without stuttering. Plus, nobody fell! Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? There was no parking at the pond, so I thought that transporting people from the Grange Hall would be a mess. My mom rented a school bus two days before the wedding and everyone got there safe and sound. My advice for offbeat brides: Because of all the DIY, I felt that a three-year-long engagement was key. There were a lot of things I almost didn't finish, things I abandoned (a choreographed first dance, for example), and things with which you will need help. We created some paper hearts from a tutorial on Offbeat Bride. It took a lot more time and effort than we had planned. I can't imagine how much time I spent on the little projects. Our invitations had to be handmade since they had leaves from the ceremony site Mod-Podged onto them. But otherwise, save your sanity and DIY only what you know you can handle. Awesome photo cut-out cake toppers! Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Wedding dress: David's Bridal Tuxes: Men's Warehouse Bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Angelo Garter: Loosely based on this Offbeat Bride tutorial Guestbook: The Guestbook Store Cake Toppers: Zazzle Picture Sculptures Besom: Etsy seller Broomchick Handfasting cords: Offbeat Bride tutorial Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=photos%2Fcolleenvmacdonald%2Fsets%2F72157625467661115%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=photos%2Fcolleenvmacdonald%2Fsets%2F72157625467661115%2Fshow%2F&set_id=72157625467661115&jump_to=" width="800" height="500"> Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Lighthearted wedding readings that'll make you laugh AND cry NEXT Tribe member Gillian's funky, sunny, Scottish wedding tease Toggle comments [ 21 ] holy schizballs! Is that a computer aged photo used as a cake-topper?!?!?! If so, that's freaking BRILLIANT! 3 agree Reply They are not computer aged (I didn't even know you could do such things!), it's just good old-fashioned age makeup. Turns out that Theatre Degree was good for something! 3 agree Reply Even MORE awesomer!! I do a mean old age makeup, but at 44, with a fiance of 54, we don't really "need" it anymore…lol Nice one, really cool concept 2 agree Reply so much to love here! the leaf arch, autumn colored bridesmaids, DIY galore, handmade hearts garland, MA in autumn and everything! Congratulations! 2 agree Reply Love the Autumn feel and all the little details in this wedding. Very well done! 1 agrees Reply Your bridesmaids are BEAUTIFUL!! 1 agrees Reply Oh! I always wanted to walk down the aisle to that song! What a gorgeous fall wedding, congrats to you both! 1 agrees Reply Beautiful stuff! and I got a kick out of the little boy playing the DS in the back of the picture of them jumping the broom. 1 agrees Reply unfortunately, i did not. he stood in the middle of the aisle, not paying attention to anything but the game, and for our recessional didn't move out of the way until i had to physically move him. Reply AHH! I know yr face from DITL, don't I???? Reply yes i do have a tendency to do DITLs Reply YAYY! My sister and I agree that you're the coolest. Reply The pictures of so much Fall-ness make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. BEAUTIFUL 1 agrees Reply Whoo pagan love! Your handfasting was beautiful! Reply The wedding looks amazing congratulations ! ps: am I the only one bothered by the "why it pays to make a man wait (for sex)" add in the related posts? What's with the reading suggestions recently ? I love offbeat bride and am surprised by some of the said "related posts" I've seen on it in the last few weeks… ps: I'm not criticizing and I really do love getting my offbeat bride fix everyday, it really just is a question in passing…. 1 agrees Reply Hey, Marie! The new "Related posts" module serves up links from some of our content partners, and it's an ongoing process to tweak our filters to ensure that the posts that show up there feel like a good fit with the Empire. I agree with you that this particular link is NOT a good fit. I've updated our filters to block that particular link, but please: if you ever see a link there that rubs you the wrong way, email us with the title of the link post and the website it's linking to so that I can keep tweaking our content filters to keep the icky stuff away. 1 agrees Reply ps again : your dress is beau-ti-ful ! Reply I love the idea of combining your names! That's really beautiful. Reply Your cake topper was amazing! Reply Lovely wedding!! I have always been interested in the idea of combining last names. And, now that I'm engaged to be married, I would really like to combine our names. How do you go about doing so? Reply Hey Colleen!!!! I love all your amazing pics!! I thought you might like to see my wedding pics since it's obvious we have VERY similar taste! I just got married on the 15th of October, at night, by a cornfield in the country.. Check it out!! Yay! =) http://www.flickr.com/photos/witterwedding/ Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. 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