Kate & Brian's outdoors and board games wedding

April 9 |
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Photos by Hannah Stone

The offbeat bride: Kate, Radio Producer

Her offbeat partner: Brian, Business Development

Date and location of wedding: A friend's Mansion House in Fairfax, VA — September 3, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Brian and I have always been outdoors adventure people, so the first thing we decided after getting engaged was that the wedding had to be outside. We wanted our guests to share in the things we were passionate about, so everything we did moved around showing our friends and family who we really are. We had a short outdoor ceremony, and a three-hour reception with board games for centerpieces and a moon bounce. We even found some time to play a little country music in between our live jazz band!

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296099_556260927196_71501077_31398792_799484389_nTell us about the ceremony: We're both religious, so it was important to have that in our ceremony. We kept things short and simple, only about 20 minutes. My close friends, Trent and Moncia sang "Non Nobis, Domine" from Henry V and my brother and nephew each carried a baseball hat from our favorite teams instead of ring bearer pillows.

I walked down the aisle to "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles, and when the ceremony was over, Brian and I walked back up to "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC.

Our biggest challenge: I think our biggest challenge was finding a reception hall that fit our budget and the number of guests. We actually reserved a place, put down the deposit, and started making arrangements before changing our minds when we found the place we really wanted.

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To me, the most important challenge was making sure the wedding truly reflected our personalities. We are both little kids on the inside, so everything about our wedding was kid-friendly. We wanted the kids to have a good time, so we just booked a moon bounce and made sure the caterer made enough chicken nuggets.

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My favorite moment: When my papa came in to walk me down the aisle and saw my grandmother Karen's wedding dress for the first time in over 50 years. My grandpa and I have always been close, so it was a very special moment for us, knowing how much she would have loved to be there.

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My first dance with Brian was really special to both of us too. We had a hard time picking our song, but finally chose Phil Keagy's version of "Make You Feel My Love." It was great to finally have a moment that was truly all our own.

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Ring bearing can be a scary prospect.

My funniest moment: My nephew Jon decided about halfway down the aisle that he didn't want to be a ring bearer anymore. My little brother (and other ring bearer) tried to talk him into completing the show, but eventually his mom had to help him out. He finally made it to the end and gave us all something to remember.

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Also, trying to crawl into the moon bounce in my gigantic dress was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, my best friend Julia was able to shove me in there. It felt great to be inside a giant bubble bouncing up and down in a poofy dress. Brian and I laughed so hard that night, trying to get in and out of that thing.

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I was also a little concerned about the flowers. My surrogate grandmother and maid of honor, Jill, picked them the day before, so we only had a few hours to put them together before the rehearsal and dinner. Jill stayed up until 2:00 a.m. making sure everything was perfect. I didn't even see my bouquet until it was handed to me as I walked down the aisle! But they turned out exactly how I wanted with the irises and sunflowers. I could not have asked for better flowers and for less $100 for the whole wedding, I can't really complain!

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Not to take anything too seriously. We made a deal from the beginning that we weren't going to let the little things (or even the big things) get to us. We took our time and knew what we wanted before we went into anything. We had a plan and were flexible enough to allow the plan to change as needed.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: Hannah Stone
  • Accessories: Global Bridal in Alexandria, VA
  • Dress alterations: Serki Taffere owns this small bridal shop in Old Town and will give you amazing service, and the prices and quality are just wonderful. Serki is not a tailoring service, but still went out of her way to redesign my grandmother's wedding gown for me.
  • Catering: New Age Catering in Reston, VA. They not only stayed within our tight budget, but custom-designed a children's menu as well.
  • Cupcakes: Victoria's Cakery in Fairfax, VA
  • Moon bounce: Bull Run Premiere Events

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Gorgeous dress! I also love the moon bounce and the board game tables!

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  2. Yes! I'm planning a moon bounce AND to use "Here Comes the Sun" as my walking-down-the-aisle music! Woohoo….alas, I can't convince my fiance to wear Converse. Yours look so fun with the fancy dress!

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  3. So lovely! Every now and then one of these wedding profiles just shoots straight to the heart…

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  4. Omg! I walked down the aisle to Here Comes the Sun too!!! Beautiful wedding!

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  5. This wedding looks like it was fun and no drama, love it!!

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  6. What a wonderful wedding! Congrats to Kate and Brian!!!

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  7. Your dress is absolutely breathtaking, and you look amazing in it. I spent part of my childhood in Fairfax, too; it's always nice to see a friendly name!

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  8. We love the scrabble pieces spelling out "And above all love"! How wonderful and true!

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  9. PLEASE do a board games/kid friendly themed wedding pinterest board! We have talked about doing something like this but don't really have an idea on how to implement it. I love you Offbeat Bride!

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  10. I'm so happy to see that your moon bounce was a hit! My fiancé really wants one but we're having problems finding an inexpensive outdoor site that allows staking things in the ground and also doesn't think it's an eyesore… I'm also in northern VA and am planning a reception for this September; can you recommend your moon bounce vendor?

    P.S. I agree with your review of Serki at Global Bridal – amazing service! It was the first place my mother and I went and hands down the best in Alexandria.. My lace dress arrives in June. :-)

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  11. Having board games all over this wedding and other fun young-at-heart games to play means they all had a blast at this wedding

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