Alegria & Jack's rainbow rooftop fiesta wedding

By on Mar. 26th
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Photos by Jackie Whitaker

The offbeat bride: Alegria, dance teacher

Her offbeat partner: Jack, classical guitarist

Date and location of wedding: Kress Terrace, Greensboro, NC — October 14, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our top concern was that people should have fun. We tried to have fun with the details with luchador masks, flags, and papel picado. We made our bridesmaids' dresses, centerpieces, chair sashes, save-the-dates, photo booth, and guest book. About halfway through planning we found out about a serious illness in the family and our perspectives changed. The guest list was no longer an argument ready to happen, it was a list of people loving and supporting us. All the DIYing took on new meaning, and I feel that our wedding became a giant love letter to all the friends and family who were there for us along the way. It was of course, also a love letter to each other.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was short and sweet. We asked our respective parents to choose a reading about love/marriage that they thought was meaningful. Jack's father read the lyrics to "Sail on White Moon" by Boz Scaggs. My parents chose a section of Antoine St. Exupery's "The Little Prince." My mom knew she would be too emotional to read, so my Aunt Beth did the honors. After these words of wisdom, we said our vows and we were married.

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Our biggest challenge: On an administrative level, keeping the head count at 150 people was pretty tough. On an emotional level, planning a happy joyous event like a wedding at the same time you are dealing with the uncertainty and sadness of a loved one being sick is also pretty tough. We overcame these challenges by reminding ourselves that in the end we would be married! The tiny details still seemed important, but not sob-worthy.

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My favorite moment: Alegria: My all time top moment would be our first dance and the brother/sister dance.

Jack: Our parents' readings, Skype conversations with loved ones who could not attend, the toasts made at the reception.

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My funniest moment: Jack had no idea that my dress converted. In the middle of our first dance the maid of honor ran up to us and Jack seriously thought she was going to cut in! Instead she surprised us all by ripping my skirt off.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The weekend of our wedding coincided with a huge homecoming celebration for NC A&T. We were super worried about parking and hotel availability. I got even more worried when I showed up two hours before the ceremony and the parking deck attached to our venue said "full no admittance." I jumped out of the car in my dress and convinced the attendant to let us in. Luckily an hour before the ceremony the deck re-opened. We forgot to work out transportation to our hotel that night and ended up on the street with all the homecoming partiers waiting for a taxi. Having random people on the street congratulate us was the perfect way to end the night.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Weddings should be about love. Not just the love between you and your partner, but also you and your community. Let people help you and be nice to those who challenge your idea of a perfect wedding. You can't please everyone, but you have to please yourself. Trust your instincts. AND DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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