Her offbeat partner: Seth, Contract Lawyer, Musician, and Sound Engineer
Location & date of wedding: Ceresville Mansion, Frederick, MD — January 29, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: My husband and I host a monthly game night at our house, so we made sure to incorporate gaming into both our ceremony and reception. In addition to a dinner menu placed on every table, we had a gaming menu! Some of the games available were Jenga, Star Trek Uno, Magic the Gathering, and Apples to Apples.
We also had a steampunk-esque skeleton key theme. There were skeleton key escort cards, keys printed on the programs, key charms in the favors, keys used in our ceremony, and even tiny chocolate keys on every piece of our twelve wedding cakes. Other details included framed real Victorian wedding photos on every table and scattered throughout the venue.
Other offbeat details included my ruby red dress and the metal sculpture bouquet. I purchased the base sculpture of the bouquet from a seller on Etsy, and then spent many a night wrapping it with wire and Swarovski crystals. The bridesmaid bouquets and the boutonierres we made were comprised of metal or wire elements along with feathers. I do like flowers but I did not like the expense.
We also made our own save-the-date movie trailer:
Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was simple, funny, and meaningful. Our officiant's opening speech centered entirely on gaming.
"But no matter how many games we play, the biggest one we ever play is Love."
Our vows included promises to call the other on their "hair-brained schemes (unless we're sure it'll make for a great story later)," and "to be ready to board the door or reload the gun during the inevitable zombie apocalypse."
We had a wine box ritual where we put secret gifts to each other and a bottle of wine in a locked box to be opened on our tenth anniversary, or before, if needed. The gifts were meant to remind us what we loved in the other. We each recieved a key.
The entire ceremony video can be viewed here.
Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge was actually acquiring my wedding dress. Due to some miscommunication with the vendor, their shop being in Madrid, and their busy schedule, the dress was not officially ordered until four months before the wedding. The dress was finally delivered about two months beforehand with just enough time to get alterations done. I would recommend ordering as early as humanly possible to anyone considering an overseas dress.
My favorite moment: The most meaningful moment of the entire wedding was our first dance to "The Book of Love" by Peter Gabriel. Seth and I both could barely contain our tears as we barely danced but just hugged tightly and swayed. It was the most intimate public moment of my life.
My funniest moment: We had a self-serve photobooth set up in the front parlor. We provided a bunch of hats for people to wear (pirate hat, top hats, fedoras, etc.) along with some fabulous boas. As the night went on it was great to see the hat-wearing population slowly increase. That or watching 30+ people thrusting their hips in unison to the Time Warp.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The weather! We had a good-sized snowstorm a few days before the wedding, but it ended up having almost no impact on the wedding or guests not being able to attend. It also made for some impromptu snowball fighting during the reception!
My advice for offbeat brides: DO use Etsy.com or eBay to buy key (no pun intended) decorations or favors to completely tailor your wedding to your vision. DO NOT use Etsy and eBay to buy supplies to do absolutely everything by yourself unless you are a craft-master.
If you're like me, you'll think it is a perfect opportunity to increase your crafty skills. But you'll be a control freak and think you can do it without any significant help. You will more than likely be stressed out and somewhat disappointed in your final creations.
I had an idea to make Christmas crackers, complete with handmade paper hats and key charm favors, for all of our 100 guests. When it came time to open the crackers, many of them did not pop as they were supposed to. But at least everyone got burgundy paper hats! The lessons I learned were to accept help when it is offered, be sure to ask for it, and if you can afford an already perfect favor, buy it — don't try to make it!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? To let go. I'm really happy I was able to have fun at my own wedding without fussing over the details I no longer had any control over. Just let it unfold and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Roy Cox Photography, Francis Abbey, and Matthew Creger
- Dress: Maya Hansen Corsetry
- Bouquet: Etsy seller REFINERII
- Groom's coat: Gentleman's Emporium
- Groomsmen's ties: Cyberoptix
- Birdcage veil: Etsy seller MarlaJDesigns
- Velvet hair flower: Etsy seller delightfuldesigner
- Silver and titanium spinning wedding bands: Etsy seller tristanbrazier
- Self-serve photobooth software: Sparkbooth.com
- Victorian Wedding Photos: various sellers on Etsy.com
- Skeleton Keys and aged tags: eBay
- Venue: Ceresville Mansion
- Invitations, programs, bridesmaid bouquets, boutonierres, signs, guest book, etc.: Me and Michael's
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!