Riss & Rick's black and white New Orleans wedding

By on Feb. 7th
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Photos by Leonel Mendez

The offbeat bride: Riss, Entertainment Manager

Her offbeat partner: Rick, Musician and Beverage Specialist

Date and location of wedding: New Orleans, LA — October 22, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We both love New Orleans and in order to make it intimate and cost effective, we decided to do a destination wedding. The ceremony was in Jackson Square complete with a fabulous officiant who performed our handfasting. We wrote our own vows and concluded them with the marriage vows from The Corpse Bride since I'm a big Tim Burton fan.

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From there we headed to the Steamboat Natchez for a two-hour steamboat cruise down the Mississippi. Once we disembarked, we all headed over to Muriel's for drinks and the reception. I even left an offering, a samoa donut, for Antoine, the resident ghost.

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I really wanted to be able to put a lot of personal touches into the wedding even though it was going to be out of town for us. I made button boutonnieres for the men, and fascinators for myself and the ladies. I also made custom button cufflinks for the groomsmen, fathers, and my brother. I got up early the day-of and made all the centerpieces, bouquets, paper poms, runners, and painted the vases.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony took place in Jackson Square. It was relocated due to an abundance of tourists in our original spot around a fountain. Our officiant, Bloody Mary, made her altar in the palms and the groomsmen hung the paper pomanders in the fronds.

My maid of honor is a beautiful singer and ukelele player. She performed "Sally's Song" for the family, and played "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney as my entrance song with my father.

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Mary started the ceremony from her Jack Skellington notebook. One of my favorite parts was when she blessed the rings with rose water and had Rick and I blow on them. Then she asked if we wanted to give the rings to each other or to take them of our own volition and put them on our own fingers signifying our want to enter this of free will. We burned parchment on which we had written things we didn't want in our marriage, then we jumped the broom, put our own hair into our voodoo dolls that she made, and made an offering to the spirits. She then pronounced us married and led the way out by pouring champagne on the ground.

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Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was my dress. There was so much drama surrounding it. It had been taken apart and no tailor would touch it. I finally found someone a week before we left. I bought the appliques and the satin to fix the bodice. I picked it up the night before we left and it turned out just fine.

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My funniest moment: When our officiant threw in her curveball questions during the ceremony. She asked Rick, "Will you ever make her mad?" He paused and answered honestly, "Probably." Everyone laughed.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was just worried about the more conservative religious members of my family, especially with the voodoo and Wiccan aspects. It seemed like it wasn't an issue and if they didn't enjoy it, they didn't have the heart to let us know.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? That the small stuff doesn't matter. No one notices if the flowers are crooked or if the cake is the wrong color. I had people tell me that, but you really don't realize it until you see it for yourself.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!