The offbeat bride: Ashley, IT Analyst
Her offbeat partner: Alexander, Administrative Assistant
Date and location of wedding: Spiritual Enrichment Center in Peoria, AZ — June 12, 2010
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Alexander and I met at a gaming convention, so it was only appropriate that we have fun and games at our wedding. We were on a tight budget, so we did most everything DIY, including the dress, the clay flowers with dice, and the guest book art project. We used a home screen printer to create custom ties for the groom and groomsmen.
To feature our fun and games theme, we used Rock Band for our music, board games for our centerpieces, and party favors made of a simple dice game. Our place setting had the World of Warcraft Horde logo, and our cake was Mario!
Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony largely consisted of a handfasting, where we were each asked a question and then answered together before the officiant draped the cord over our hands. We had a bit of a heart stopping moment for some of the guests during the first questions, though. It went like this:
Officiant: Alexander, will you cause her pain?
Alexander: I may.
Officiant: Is that your intent?
Officiant (to both): Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?
Both: We will.
We got lots of feedback after the ceremony that the guests thought that Alexander screwed up his line admitting that he may cause me pain. In retrospect, we probably should have prepared folks for that.
Our biggest challenge: We accepted early on that the wedding party would be uneven (five groomsmen and two bridesmaids), however I was unprepared for one of the two bridesmaids to develop a kidney stone the day before she was due to travel. We decided to not let distance stand in the way, and set up a wireless router so that she could be with us via Skype. We had one of the groomsmen carry a laptop with my bridesmaid down the aisle and put her on a small stand with the other attendants.
Additionally, one of the groomsmen was in the military and was unable to make it as the last moment. He used his webcam to record a toast for us that brought the room to tears.
My funniest moment: We had a photo booth at the wedding, and our photographers gave us a flash drive with the photo booth pictures after we packed up at the end of the day. Sitting exhausted with my new husband in the hotel clicking through the hilarious pictures of the photo booth was the perfect end to the long day.
In one photo, my stepmother is leaning over my father to get a hat from the prop box and it ended up looking like quite the compromising situation. One of my husband's nieces did not realize we would get a copy of the photos and flipped off the camera in one frame. She endured quite the teasing for that stunt.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? My husband and I order surprises at restaurants, figuring that the servers at a restaurant know what food is best. We carried this over into our wedding with our cake. We found two culinary students and gave them $100 to surprise us with a cake. We told them about us and about our theme, but we did not see the cake until the day of the wedding.
They surprised us with a Mario-themed cake, complete with mushroom cupcakes. The cupcakes were a godsend as some of the younger kids got cranky waiting for the cake and we were able to sneak them a cupcake without having to cut the entire cake early.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I learned that you can't wait to sew a dress based on weight you imagine you'll be losing. Just go ahead and sew it now, it will be far less stressful when the day gets close to have it already done. Also, recruit a few family members to advocate for you. Nothing beats a Debbie Downer like Aunt Optimistic stepping in on your behalf.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photographer: By far our best vendor was Arizona Sphinxx Photography. They were right within our budget, and Cliff and Christina are also a married couple with great chemistry. Towards the end of the wedding, I actually found myself hanging out in the foyer with Christina as a chance to get away from the guests!
- My favorite DIY: The Decoclay flowers. I had a ton of fun learning how to make the flowers and designing my own bouquet.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!