The offbeat bride: Sara, hairstylist and part-time Cake Lady
Her offbeat partner: Nick, web designer
Date and location of wedding: The Civic Theather in Akron, Ohio — April 9, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: Our planning began the moment we chose our venue. We immediately decided on a movie theme, since we are big-time movie nerds. We DIYed almost everything. Nick designed a Casablanca-themed wedsite and Fight Club-themed invites.
I made the bouquets, boutonnières, corsages, cake topper, cupcake tower, centerpieces, my veil, and the bridesmaid's fascinators. I wore a dress that was custom made out of a pair of curtains.
Our ceremony was officiated by one of Nick's favorite college professors. We crafted a six-hour playlist for the entire day that included songs and clips from our favorite movies.
For our first dance as husband and wife, we recreated the Jack Rabbit Slim's twist contest from Pulp Fiction, complete with trophy. We destroyed a cupcake with a samurai sword. When it was all over, we were biked away on a rickshaw.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our awesome officiant helped us build our ceremony from the ground up. We aren't religious people, so we really wanted to avoid mimicking a church wedding. We walked in to "All I Want is You" by Barry Louis Polisar.
The ceremony began with a ring warming. Nick's grandpa read a passage from the Bible about Adam and Eve. My uncle chose to read "On Marriage" by Kahlil Gibran.
Our officiant called me "Sam" right before it was time for me to read my vows. I was actually grateful for that, because it gave me something to think about other than crying like a baby. We each got a little laugh during our vows: me for promising to keep my fidgeting to a minimum (his pet peeve) and him for mentioning my love of zombie movies as one of the reasons he knew I was a keeper.
Our biggest challenge: We were incredibly blessed to not really have any major obstacles, but a minor challenge was that we didn't even know where to begin looking for an officiant.
We aren't religious and don't attend church, and we wanted it to be someone who meant something to us. Nick had a professor who was ordained to marry two former students who met in her class. She offered to marry us, and that problem was solved.
My favorite moment: Our photographer arranged for us to see each other on the grand staircase about an hour before the ceremony. The entire day was so busy and chaotic, but I have a clear vision of that moment I walked down the steps towards Nick, and as he turned around I saw his eyes get a little teary. We whispered a quick "I love you" and the moment was soon over, but it's still one of my favorite memories of that day.
Our wedding day was also my grandmother's 80th birthday. We presented her with a "Birthday Girl" badge at the reception and everyone sang to her.
My funniest moment: Our wedding playlist had some movie clips and songs that people probably weren't expecting to hear at a wedding. It was funny to watch the looks on people's faces as they listened to Patrick Bateman praising Huey Lewis' genius before "Hip to be Square" played, or seeing the puzzled looks on some faces as Ash (from Army of Darkness) carried on about his "boom stick."
We were also pleasantly surprised that almost everyone embraced the silly props for our photo booth. It was heartwarming to see some of our most serious relatives in clown noses, cowboy hats, and feather boas.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Many of Nick's relatives don't drink. Not only do they not drink, but they are not comfortable with being around people who are drinking.
We debated for a while about whether or not to have an open bar at the wedding. We decided to do it because it was our wedding, and we are social drinkers. It stressed him out a little bit, but ended up going pretty smoothly. Our friends and family members peacefully coexisted for the duration of the reception.
My advice for offbeat brides: You can do it all yourself, but you need to DIY early and often. We had sixteen months to plan and I was still crafting the day before the wedding.
Also, don't allow yourself to feel defeated if you come up with an amazing, creative, 100% YOU wedding idea, only to go online and find that it's been done before. A lot. We almost didn't do our first dance because we searched for the clip online and found that many, many other people have already done that.
Know why other people had that same idea you had? Because it's awesome. Chances are that your guests will still think it's amazing, creative, and totally you.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The entire day was a lesson in letting the little things go. Decor disasters, wardrobe malfunctions, and schedule screw-ups happened. I tend to be a bit of a type A control freak, and I could feel myself starting to wig out as these little things added up. I had to step back and remind myself that the only truly important thing was that we ended up married.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Etsy seller PorshesPlace
- Shoes: Must Have Shoes
- Necklace: Etsy seller TheRedMagnolia
- Groom's ring: Etsy seller RenaissanceJewelry
- Photographer: Vince at Making the Moment
- Transportation: Rickshaw Willie
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!