There is also a slightly NSFW photo below. Be warned (and titillated).
The offbeat bride: Jessica, nursing student
Her offbeat partner: Eric, engineering student
Date and location of wedding: Georgetown Ballroom, Seattle, WA — October 1, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We involved our community as much as possible. The photographer, the caterer, the dresses, the music, the decorations, the hair and makeup, the ceremony, and the photo booth were either a gift or a trade. We saved a ton of money doing it that way. The venue (which we paid for) was the most important thing to us. We wanted a colorful space that already possessed character with a dining area, a dance floor, and an outdoor area.
Rather than having guests fill out a guest book, we had Mad Lib-style cards up at the bar for people to fill out while waiting for their drinks. The photo booth and our ridiculous leg lamp cake (that even lit up!) were my favorite parts of the event.
Tell us about the ceremony: Everyone gathered in the ballroom, waiting for the bridal party to descend the staircase. My nieces, wearing fairy wings, were the first to descend.
One of them carried a small stuffed elephant that had belonged to my grandma. The groom's wedding band was around the elephant's trunk. That was how we included my recently passed grandma.
As the ladies and I walked down the aisle, I heard "oohs and aahs" as guests saw the back of my dress (which was secretly my favorite part). The ceremony began with calling in the four directions. For most of the family, this was something "hippie" that they had never been exposed too. Much to my surprise, they all thought it was a great idea.
The ceremony was written and performed by two of my best friends, who are officiants. In the beginning, we named each family member and asked them to stand as we thanked them for their support and asked for their blessing.
We wrote our own vows. This included an idea I found on Offbeat Bride: a wine box ceremony which involves locking letters and a bottle of wine in a box that we will open on our five-year anniversary.
One of the officiants brewed us a brandy liquor that we fed to each other as part of the ceremony. At the end, we walked back down the aisle to Kool and the Gang's "Celebration."
Our biggest challenge: Our caterer is the author of a book called "La Figa: Visions of Food and Form," so we asked him to do an art performance towards the end of the reception demonstrating his unique food art. The performance involved two scantily clad women being artistically covered with food, with copies of the book near-by for context. While it was beautiful, there were a handful of relatives who were very offended. I definitely had to do some damage control.
My favorite moment: Having the ceremony performed by my two good friends made it feel like we really were declaring our commitment in front of the people we love. And of course, walking down the aisle with my dad was really special.
My funniest moment: During the ceremony, one of the ring bearers interrupted to hand us the ring. We had to tell him we weren't ready for him yet. Then he pulled at the feathers of my dress and stuck his tongue out at the other ring bearer. I had no choice but to laugh it off and continue.
During the reception, the photo booth was by far the most fun. It was great to see normally subdued people put on wigs/hats/glasses and ham it up for the camera.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Plan every detail that you can beforehand. On the day of, when things don't go as you had envisioned, don't get upset. Let it go and remember how awesome you both are. And you can never communicate too much.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Ken Roeder, Jason Lenard, Dawn Bustanoby, Vicki Ayers, and Lily Supardan
- Photo booth: Limelight Photo Booth
- Bride's dress: Mimi G Designs
- Hair and makeup: Foxy Cut
- Bridemaids' dresses: Buddhaful
- Groom's vest: Etsy seller OnceUponABustle
- Catering: Tiberio's Catering
- Cake: Art of Confections
- Music: 206 Noisemaker
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!