Linda & Dave's pseudo-rustic super stylin' wedding

March 20 |
IMG_1117
Photos by Melissa O'Connell

The offbeat bride: Linda, PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) student

Her offbeat partner: Dave, Associate Director of Marketing

Date and location of wedding: Rustic Cabins, Estes Park, CO — 11/11/2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I wore an organza gown, lace gloves, feather headpiece, cobalt booties, and my grandmother's fur stole. Our "aisle" was lined with black and white fencing perched in terracotta pottery filled with river stones. Our altar was a fireplace filled with spiced candles enclosed by a cedar arch and a handmade sign that read: "The fire of love is true and I am breathless without you."

IMG_1866

748180696-1

For the reception, I changed from my organza gown into a powder pink tutu, white tuxedo jacket, and brown fascinator hat. Dave and I crafted each table in the reception hall to have its own title and theme reminiscent of some of our favorite things. These themes ranged from "Texas Renaissance" to "Sexy Coffee" to "Mad Men," and decorations included strands of pearls, manzanita branches, crocheted doilies, vintage hat boxes, and rusted watering cans filled with coffee beans. Each place setting was handwritten on patterned paper and wedged into a piece of cork as a stand. Personalized s'mores kits and homemade soap made out of goats' milk made by a family friend served as our wedding favors.

815421048-1

IMG_1588Tell us about the ceremony: My best friend wrote a poem that she read during the ceremony:

Love does not own me,
Or possess you.
Or put us in the same box.

I will not lose myself in you,
Nor ask you to play my game
For me, I choose you because you know,
We walk together but not the same.

I feel a freedom in my hair,
And a rushing wind becomes my soul.
Love does not make me dependent,
But it does each day Love, make me whole.

I show you me Love when I'm scared
And when I am but brave.
We will endure not unlike the ocean,
And ebb and flow, a hunger craved.

And despite my child's scars and wounds,
Finally I am free;
Because we are not owned, or gripped, or locked,
But because you gave you me.

-Marisa Pehlke

IMG_1067

IMG_1201

Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge leading up to the wedding was my own neuroticism! Dave and I had been engaged for almost two years prior to our wedding date, and we had spent the majority of our afternoons and weekends making handmade programs, RSVPs, save-the-dates, and welcome kits. I spent almost an equal amount of time taking pictures of each item to be sure our wedding planner would have every detail right on the big day. Although I was somewhat of a nervous wreck, everything was incredibly organized for the day-of so I was finally able to relax and enjoy.

IMG_1890

My favorite moment: Our guests arrived to their handmade welcome kits aligned with our wedding theme of "Something old, new, borrowed, blue." These kits were muslin bags filled with a vintage postcard of downtown Estes Park in 1922 (old), Rocky Mountain Columbine seeds (new), a bottle of Estes Park Brewing Company beer (borrowed from Estes IMG_1676Park), and a bundle of blue-raspberry saltwater taffy (blue).

A best friend of ours officiated the ceremony and entertained the audience by asking them if they too would love, treasure, and support us all the days of our lives. I got goose bumps when the 100-person crowd responded with a resounding, "We will!"

For our first dance, Dave and I slow-danced to a song composed for us by another friend entitled "Five More Minutes." She sang and strummed her guitar, and a groomsman played the piano. I was overwhelmed with joy as our friend ended her melody with, "…lay your head down on the pillow as a new day, together, shall begin."

My funniest moment: Right before our officiant said "You may kiss the bride," she introduced us as the "Pea and the pod, the yin and the yang, the tomato (long-a) and the tomato (soft-a)!"

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Dave and I had originally planned to have our wedding outside, but come November in the Rocky Mountains, the temperature dropped to below 40 degrees and we weren't in the mood to torture our guests. So, we ended up having our ceremony in the same room as our reception, and I was really worried about "flipping" the room between events. Our event staff was amazing, and got the reception room (and all the finishing details) set up in 15 minutes. It was loco how efficient and organized the transition went! Crisis averted.

IMG_0840
First looks are always fucking amazing.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The most important lesson I learned was more of a regret really. I wish I had encouraged my IMG_1178significant other to recognize some of the stress that he might feel on the big day.

Dave possesses the talent of remaining totally calm under pressure, which is generally a good thing. However, on the actual day of our wedding, he was a total ball of stress! I think he hadn't given much thought to the fact that getting married is pretty nerve-racking, and he was surprised by how anxious he was when it came down to it. I think that if he had really been in touch with all the details and people and questions that come with such a huge ordeal ahead of time, he probably wouldn't have been so freaked out. I, on the other hand, felt as though a huge weight had been lifted on our wedding day because I had been so incredibly in touch with my nervousness and had been so freaked out leading up to it!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=photos%2F75949910%40N03%2Fsets%2F72157629185438564%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=photos%2F75949910%40N03%2Fsets%2F72157629185438564%2Fshow%2F&set_id=72157629185438564&jump_to=" width="800" height="500">

    • Thank you so much! If you are in the Denver, CO area, come on by, throw some dinero in my general direction, and it's yours! :)

      Or…I can give a quick & dirty run-down on how to make one yourself if you're at all interested?!

        • Thanks so much for the directions on how to make this! We'll give it a try!!!

  1. I love that your officiant asked your guests if they too would love and support you–I got chills from reading that! Beautiful wedding (coming from a fellow neurotic!).

    1 agrees
  2. completely gorgeous photo on the rock – completely gorgeous wedding!
    love the poem, that your friend composed and performed a song for you, and all the handmade aspects.
    now, where can I get a pink tutu…..

  3. this made me tear up. your friend's amazing poem, the song lyrics, your happiness, all of it is perfect.

    • You are too kind! Thank you for your thoughtful perusing of our special day! xo :)

  4. Did you put paper with the Give Us * Advice On * Love with the cans and box and have people put them into the box? Was this setup at the reception? Did you use markers or ?
    Love this idea!

  5. For paper, we used the extra (non-written on) halves of greating cards that we had received over the years from family and friends which really added to our eclectic (and DIY) vibe! We had it all set up on a table right outside the reception hall so people could pop their notes into a vintage briefcase just before dinner during the cocktail hour. I also bought a 12 pack of thin Sharpie markers so guests could pick their color of choice!

  6. Do you still have the cupcake stand? We love it, and have relatives in Denver. If not, can you let me know how you made it? Thanks!

    • We don't have it anymore :( but, if you wanted to make one, it's super-simple! We got 2 wooden crates from Michael's (probably approx. 14x22x12 each) and used those, stacked and nailed together on top of each other, as the base. Then we went to a cigar shop who was more than willing to unload their leftover cigar boxes. I think we used between 18-20. We took the lids off (most of them tear off) and then nailed the boxes to the base, making sure they were stacked far enough apart for the cupcakes' height. Hope that helps & good luck!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.