Colleen & Phil's pagan DIY autumn wedding

By on Jun. 21st

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!


IMG_0217Was 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!

IMG_0381Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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