This bride's spirit kicked-ass in a recent Monday Montage. Here she is with her groom in all their polka-dotted glory.
The offbeat bride: Liza, Visual Merchandising Manager
Her offbeat partner: Matthew, Crane operator
Date and location of wedding: Matthew's parents' house on Whidbey Island, WA — July 30, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had a small budget, so we really spent a lot of time and energy doing things ourselves. We made all of the decorations ourselves, from the tissue pom-poms, bunting, and "YAY" flags, to the penguin cake toppers and table runners. We had our hands in everything. We both agree that if we had just hired someone to do the decor for us it wouldn't have had the same feeling at all. We also chose to keep the wedding small-ish and only invited roughly 100 people. We had one of our friends marry us, and family friends took charge of the food and making sure things went smoothly.
Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote our own vows and tried to keep it really personal. I had been married before and am a very strong-willed person. So in our ceremony, we wrote parts such as "I promise to respect you as an individual and know that your thoughts and ideas, while they may be different than my own, are no less valid." We also did a hand ceremony which spoke about holding each others' hands and reflecting on what we will do for the other person and to honor them.
We also added a "parents' pledge" that we didn't tell our parents about beforehand. They each were asked to stand up and pledge that they would accept the bride/groom into their family as one of their own and support the relationship. I loved that part.
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was our budget. My parents had already spent a good amount of money on my first wedding, and I didn't feel comfortable asking them to do it again. Luckily, they did offer us some money and we worked hard to make it work. We did all the catering ourselves, purchased all the liquor, beer, champagne, made the cupcakes and candy bar, and I made all the jewelry, bouquets, and boutonnieres.
My favorite moment: The most meaningful moment for me was walking down the aisle. Matthew is a really tough guy and in the three years we had been together, I think I'd seen him cry maybe once. We joked about him standing at the altar sobbing like a baby, but I didn't think it would really happen. I was so overcome that it literally took my breath away and I had to stop walking for a second. It was like someone had punched me in the stomach… in a good way.
My funniest moment: About a year before our wedding, Matthew and I were in a Yankee Candle store. I was annoying him by making him smell every candle in the shop. I (wanting to push his buttons) said "Sometimes I want to chuck a Yankee Candle at your head," to which he responded with, "Well, sometimes I want to light you on fire — but I don't, because I love you." Obviously we weren't being serious, and this really represented our sarcastic way of communicating. Our officiant remembered this, and had me say, "I promise to never chuck a Yankee Candle at your head" and Matthew said, "I will never light you on fire, even though sometimes I really want to."
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? My first wedding was at one of those venues that takes care of almost everything for you. It was a beautiful wedding, but looking back, it wasn't me and I was just doing what I thought people expected us to do. I really wanted this wedding to be a celebration of how lucky we were to have found each other and to show everyone how happy we are.
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Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!