Jenne & Alex's Viking belly dancing backyard wedding

By on Jan 16th
Take that, naysayers!

Photos by Jonnie Yoneda

The offbeat bride: Jenne, data transcriber

Her offbeat partner: Alex, mail sorter

Date and location of wedding: Our backyard, Fresno, CA — October 15, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Since this wasn't the first wedding for either of us, and we'd both gone the "traditional" route before, we wanted things our way: relaxed, humorous, yummy, pretty, and fun. We also didn't have a fortune to spend. Having catered previous weddings, I didn't want to cook for this one. I invited the best cooks I know to bring their best. I also let people know that while there was no dress code — quirky and colorful (like my friends) was definitely encouraged!

Viking ducks raid!

Our colors were blues and purples, sparkly, with a few skulls, Vikings, and a Geoff Peterson (Craig Ferguson's robot skeleton sidekick) mock-up that my daughter made. As for my dress, having done white before, I wanted blood-red and fitted, but comfortable. My partner went for a traditional Viking tunic with trim that matched my dress, and suede moccasin boots.

You'll not stop me, Geoff Peterson!

Having it in the backyard not only cut down on costs, but meant we could do what we wanted. We are very blessed to know some artistic friends, so we had the best belly dancers in town for the entertainment, one of the best dressmakers who made my dress for a song, one of my co-workers did the photography, and my mother-in-law surprised us with a wedding cake!

Kilting the officiant.

Since a large number of our friends are ordained ministers, we had our pick of officiants. We also decided on a non-legal ceremony because we didn't want to mix our financial issues, and felt that a relationship is more than a piece of paper, and didn't feel the need for government approval of our relationship.

Presenting the happy couple!Tell us about the ceremony: We had blessings from both our religions, Christian and Asatru. We wrote most of it, including personal humorous references to each other:

"Do you promise to laugh at his corny jokes and keep him supplied with cartoons, donuts, and pineapple juice, the three greatest things on earth?" and "Do you promise to help her not to yell at the children when they drive her crazy, keep her supplied with chocolates and Kleenex when she gets moody, and back off when it's time?" The processional was a song called "Homecoming" that Alex wrote for me after we'd been apart for a time.

Our biggest challenge: The weather turned out to be the hottest day on record for October — 91 degrees Fahrenheit and muggy! We just had to make do with that.

My music man

My favorite moment: When Alex played me up the aisle with the song he wrote. Also when one of my coworkers said a beautiful improvised blessing for myself.

here I am!

My funniest moment: Alex and I were invited up to dance with the belly dancers. I imagine that was a sight to see!

Viking cake topper..

My advice for offbeat brides: Do everything you can to relax. Don't worry about being judged and find that happy place within yourself. Also, we were sure our huge selection of music would get everyone up and dancing, but no one danced! We should have gotten a DJ.

Two of the best there are…

Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? EVERYTHING. I didn't wear white, we only invited people we wanted there, I didn't try to cater it all by myself, we wrote our own vows, and had our own music.

The happy couple

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!