The offbeat bride: Melany, high school teacher
Her offbeat partner: David, entrepreneur
Date and location of wedding: Hidden Chateau and Gardens, West Hills, CA — July 3, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: We decided early on that we wanted to have a small intimate wedding, but I still wanted it to be what I continuously called a "real wedding" with all of the little details that I get so excited about at other weddings. We settled on a guest list of about 30 people and a small two-person wedding party that included my husband's nine-year-old nephew as his best man. I decided a year prior to the big day that I would hand make or assemble a lot of the details myself.
The biggest project I took on was our doily creation for the "altar." All of the doilies were hand-sewn, as they wouldn't run through the sewing machine. Thankfully my grandmother helped me with it, or else I don't think I would have ever finished in time. We had a Polaroid photo booth which ended up being a big hit, and lawn games at the reception. We made a ladder ball set, bought a bocce ball set, and had horseshoes to play.
Tell us about the ceremony: We had a friend I met at work officiate for us, a tiny best man, my best friend by my side, and our own vows. I shockingly did not cry, and my husband was weeping the whole time. It was very short, but very sweet and meaningful. We passed around our rings for a ring warming from our friends and family, which gave the ring exchange a whole new meaning.
Our biggest challenge: Moving away from what weddings "have to have" was a big hurdle. I had to edit myself a lot and really focus on what matters by asking myself many questions about why it was I thought I needed something. That ended up cutting out a lot of things.
My favorite moment: The ceremony itself was very special to me and a moment I will never forget between my husband and I, but one of the most meaningful moments from the whole wedding was a guest poetry reading at the start of the reception. We asked each guest to bring a poem, either original or borrowed, to the reception that they could share with us. It was so sweet to hear everyone, including the 9-year-old best man, stand up and read poems, many of which they had created themselves.
My funniest moment: We did a salt covenant during the ceremony and after we poured the salt in the container, my husband grabbed it and shook it up to really make sure the grains were mixed.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We made our own sangria the night before in our hotel room and I was worried it would be awful. But it turned out great (and very intoxicating too).
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Breathe and relax. Nothing was truly perfect, but it was the best day of my life. I could have freaked out over the centerpieces not being set up exactly how I imagined and people not picking up the program fans on their way in, but who cares! Everything will work our just fine in the end.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Michael Andrews
- Lots of Etsy!
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
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