Emily & Phil's romance reading and revelry wedding #Real Weddings: Western US#colorado#denver#diy invitations#economical wedding#gender-blind wedding party#gold dress#literature theme#non-floral bouquet#non-floral centerpiece#peacock feathers#secular April 27 | Offbeat Editors Our reader survey told us that half of you identify as Academia Nerds, so a theme week was in order. This Bookish theme week is for the academics, the bookworms, and the card-carrying library buffs! Photos by Maureen Sullivan The offbeat bride: Emily, Graphic Designer Her offbeat partner: Phil, Archivist Date and location of wedding: The Temple Events Center, Denver, CO — November 6, 2010 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We have been together for seven years, have an incredible group of friends, and our families are big, loud, and amazing! We wanted a romantic ceremony because at times we're reserved and romantic, but we also wanted to party with friends that we don't often see. We got married in a historic downtown Denver building, The Temple Events Center, which is featured on Denver haunted places tours. My mom and grandma walked me down the aisle, and my attendants walked down the aisle to an orchestrated version of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" and I walked down to an string version of The Smith's "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want." My martial-arts loving husband thought it appropriate to exit the church to the Karate Kid II ballad, "Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera — '80s goodness! Other details included opting for a grocery store cake buffet instead of a costly white monster cake, wearing a gold dress and no veil, and having a bridesman and a groomswoman in the party. I made all the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages out of feathers. Our centerpieces were piles of books by genre as a theme for each table, and as a favor, each guest got to take a book home. My family wrote and performed a personalized song for Phil and me. They surprised us with the performance at the reception and the whole crowd joined in! Tell us about the ceremony: Since our ceremony was non-religious, and we had a friend marry us instead of an officiant. We scoured the internet for ceremony scripts and cut and pasted a few together to suit our tastes. We kept it very short, but we wrote our own vows. Our biggest challenge: We were definitely tight on the budget. Our parents helped a bunch, but we ultimately paid for most of the wedding out-of-pocket. We wanted no wedding debt, so I got creative. I am a graphic designer, so I designed, printed, and assembled the save-the-dates and invitations. I also chose feathers over flowers because I could slowly buy them over a longer period of time and spread out the cost. For the rehearsal dinner, we crammed our close friends and family into our 750 square foot apartment for a casual pizza party. There, we handed out our attendant gifts and parent gifts, which were our framed engagement photos. The parents didn't know we'd even taken them. To save money on my dress, I looked at non-wedding dresses. I originally wanted blue, but I fell in love with a gold Sherri Hill dress that I saw online. The only place to get it in Colorado was a pageant dress shop. They didn't even have it in stock, but I went out on a limb and bought it even before trying it on! My favorite moment: Our personal and unrehearsed vows were by far the most intimate and meaningful moment. However, my mom and grandma walking me down the aisle was a very close second. They were the two people present at my birth, and it was absolutely fitting that they gave me away. Bookmark escort cards My advice for Offbeat Brides: Go with your gut on every aspect. I was lucky to have a mother and mother-in-law who wanted me to do everything my way. I imagine it's probably pretty stressful when family and friends are pressuring you to do something you're not completely comfortable with, so try to stick to your guns. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Alterations: The Wedding Seamstress Photography: Maureen Sullivan Catering: Kristin Hanson Catering Venue: The Temple Events Center Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=photos%2F58718889%40N03%2Fsets%2F72157626575224707%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=photos%2F58718889%40N03%2Fsets%2F72157626575224707%2Fshow%2F&set_id=72157626575224707&jump_to=" width="800" height="500"> Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Hot ink: couple tattoos! NEXT Bright green wedding shoes Toggle comments [ 20 ] Your dress is absolutely stunning! I loved the venue–the chairs in the ceremony space are lovely. I'm pretty sure I liked everything in this post! 4 agree Reply Holy crap! That dress is full on amazeballs. It's a mermaid dress…with SCALES! I wish I could wear a mermaid dress…so so so pretty on you! And your whole event looks so funfilled and loving! So cool. 3 agree Reply Where is this dress from?!?!?!?! It is absolutely, positively stunning!! 3 agree Reply I clicked on offbeatbride instead of offbeatmama by mistake. I saw your amazing dress and had to read this post. beautiful! 1 agrees Reply I love this idea of a pageant dress, rather than a traditional wedding dress. Thank you so very much for sharing that idea, and the rest of your beautiful wedding. 1 agrees Reply Oh My! I (almost) tear up at work (break time!) when I Saw the picture of you walking down the aisle with your Mother and Grandma! Oh, and what a dress dear! Perfect. 3 agree Reply Ahhh, I'll be walking down the aisle to the same Smiths song orchestrated as well!! Beautiful wedding and awesome venue!! 0 agree Reply I love love love the books on the table- and I spied a Laurie Notaro book in one pic. She's my favorite author! EXTRA points for that! 0 agree Reply Hooray! FINALLY a Colorado wedding! They're few and far between on here, and I've been scouring for ideas! Love this! you're stunning. BTW, your necklace is to die for! 1 agrees Reply Loved it all! Adored your dress! Everything — so beautiful and fun! I watched the slide-show and have a question. Please tell us, what was the row of photos, with the little labels beneath them…? 0 agree Reply Thanks for asking! Instead of printing a million programs that our guests would undoubtedly leave on the seats after the ceremony, we printed pictures of each attendant and added a personal comment about our relationship, friendship, feelings, etc. Then we gave them to the attendants after the wedding. 0 agree Reply so gorgeous. And your dress is AMAZING! 0 agree Reply the dress makes me want to swear, you know? like in the happy "holy f—" sorta way 0 agree Reply That dress…..Holy shitttttttttt girl! It is simply AHMAZING! 0 agree Reply I work with Emily's Mom so it's very cool to see a feature wedding where I know someone! Beautiful wedding Emily and I LOVE love love your dress! 1 agrees Reply that dress!!! OMG i love! 0 agree Reply Love, love, LOVE your cake idea!!! That is just brilliant, to have a bunch of smaller different flavors instead of being roped into one. I absolutely love it (and will run with it!) 0 agree Reply The gold dress is gorgeous and I just love the first photo with all the red chairs. Fantastic. 0 agree Reply You said you paid for most of the wedding yourself. How much did renting the Temple events center cost? It's such a gorgeous venue. 0 agree Reply That was our biggest expense. I think it came out to about 3000. 0 agree Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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.