Amber & Trey's nerdy love pop culture wedding

June 11 |
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Photos by Stephanie Harmon

The offbeat bride: Amber, veterinary technician

Her offbeat partner: Trey, pool guy

Date and location of wedding: Arizona Golf Resort, Mesa, Arizona — October 8, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: In my wedding research, I kept seeing the phrase "make it yours." One day while talking to my mom in a mild state of panic and despair, I asked, "How can I make it a reflection of us and not include Firefly?!" She said, "Well, do that then." And the angels sang a heavenly chorus and our nerd theme was born. I have no idea why I thought it wasn't okay to approach our wedding this way initially.

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I then started on a DIY-palooza. We had to DIY a lot, not only because of the budget, but I love to craft. The first step was deciding on the tables so I could figure out where to go next. After some heated debate, we ended up with X-Files, True Blood, Firefly, Buffy, Harry Potter, and X-Men. Google stopped being as helpful after this. Luckily, one search for "non-floral centerpieces" brought me to Offbeat Bride and my sanity was saved.

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Our centerpieces ended up being photo cubes with pictures from each nerd subject and pictures of us embodying said subject. This included photos like me at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my maid of honor, pictures of Trey and me two Halloweens ago when he dressed as Wolverine and I was Professor X, four Halloweens ago when we went as Kaylee and Jayne, and us at a midnight showing of Harry Potter.

favors

I had the most fun making our favors! I used polymer clay to make little key-chains for each table. X-Files had a little gray alien head, True Blood had coasters from Merlotte's, Firefly of course had little Jayne hats, Buffy had a heart with a stake through it, Harry Potter had a golden snitch, and X-Men had Wolverine claws. I made a little sign explaining to everyone what their favor was and how it related to the table they were sitting at.

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I also made our cake toppers out of polymer clay in the likeness of our furry children, Bajo and Spike.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We both knew the ceremony was going to be the biggest challenge for us as neither of us likes being the center of attention and Trey is terrified of public speaking. Our officiant, Annie, was a recommendation from our awesome DJ and she was willing to work with us on everything to make the ceremony as quick as possible, religion-free, and gender neutral.

Trey and the bridal party walked out to "Space Oddity" by Vitamin String Quartet and I walked (well, ran) to "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap.

We threw in some nerd to the ceremony as well. After our kiss, we had Annie say "What love has joined together, no power in the 'verse can stop them," (a shout-out to Firefly). We are also both changing our last name to Reynolds (after Serenity's Captain Malcolm), so seeing the confused faces of friends and family when she pronounced us Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds made me smile. Then we walked down the aisle together to the theme song from Angel.

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Mulder and Scully and their white knots

Our biggest challenge: A challenge for me was learning how to be flexible and compromise. I started out taking the "make it yours" philosophy to heart a little too much, and I refused to compromise on anything. I eventually learned to let little things go, but stick to my guns when it really mattered to me.

-1002I was also really uncomfortable with the concept of being "given away." I am a grown-ass woman and I am making this decision, not being handed off from one person to another. I am not really close to my dad either, and the whole thought of him passing me on to someone else just gave me some belly rumblings.

I tried to convince Trey to walk down the aisle with me, but he said he wanted that moment of seeing me at the end of the aisle. So I went by myself. When I first told my dad this was the plan he was surprisingly hurt. So I compromised with giving him a father/daughter dance, which I wasn't planning on doing. The whole thing turned out to be a moot point anyway because the aisle was only about 10 feet long and as soon as I walked out I started freaking out that everyone was staring at me and I ended up literally running down the aisle anyway.

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My favorite moment: For me, it was when I was standing up in front of everyone at the ceremony and looking at Trey, knowing he was scared out of his mind but was up there anyway because he loved me. Also, looking out at everyone at the reception and knowing everyone was there because of us and to support us. Both of my maids of honor flew across the country (from Florida and New York) to be there with me. I just felt so blessed and loved.

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My funniest moment: I am not a huge fan of having my picture taken. After about 20 minutes of posing for pictures, I had enough and wandered away from the photographer. I stumbled upon a stray cat on the golf course grounds. My vet tech instincts kicked in and I decided we were going to be friends. I was petting him for a few minutes when I decided we were good enough friends that I could pick him up and nuzzle him as one must do with cats. I guess I was overzealous in evaluating our relationship, as he jumped out of my arms and ran away, slicing open my toe in the process. Toe wounds bleed a lot, surprisingly. But it was funny going over to my work friends and showing them my bleeding cat-inflicted wound. I still have a scar on my toe and it makes me smile whenever I look at it.

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Also, once Trey put down his top hat, it started making its way around the room. I was cracking up because everywhere I looked, there was another person wearing it (or playing with his sword-cane). I have a whole page called "top hat photo bombs" in my scrapbook.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I thought for sure no one was going to take their favors, or worse they would take them home and then throw them away. I had tasked one of my maids of honor to go around after people started leaving and gather up the ones that were left. But, to my surprise there were none left. I even saw some people bartering and exchanging for different ones, and one of my friends from work actually made it her mission of the night to collect them all. I actually got a few pictures from my friends that Christmas from people who had converted them in to ornaments for their tree.

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The ill-fated karaoke!

The one thing that actually did turn out to be a disaster was karaoke. One of the microphones was malfunctioning and went back and forth from being too loud to being too soft. Trey and I went to high school together but hadn't seen each other for five years before we met again at a karaoke bar, so I really wanted to include it in the reception. I think only five songs were sung in total by the time I went running to our DJ, Teffanie, to stop the madness.

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And the father/daughter dance was actually not the catastrophe I was expecting. Unbeknownst to me, for the last year my dad has been obsessed with Dancing With the Stars, and he decided to bust out all kinds of fancy dance moves.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: I suggest hiring a videographer. You can't be everywhere at once, and if your photographer isn't taking pictures at the time, you might miss having something important captured.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? At the end of the day, nothing is the end of the world. No one will know or care that the groom was also supposed to have a bow tie, but no one knew how to tie it, so he just left it in the hotel room.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Gentleman's Emporium dressed my hubby too. Don't they do a glorious job of making them look so suave? On closer inspection I see that our husbands chose the same top hat. An excellent choice! I also had the delightful pleasure of getting my photos back and discovering my Dad had snuck it from my hubby and was looking most pleased with himself while wearing it. Ironic considering all the fuss that went on about him wearing a tailcoat.
    You wedding looks really special! Congratulations!

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  2. I wanted to walk down the aisle alone as well…and was stressing out for months that I would hurt my dad's feelings when I told him what I wanted. He'd walked both of my sisters down in his old Navy dress uniform, and had mentioned wearing it again at my wedding…I told my sister what I wanted for my wedding, and she basically said I was being selfish…Finally, I had my mom ask him on the sly whether or not he'd be hurt if I walked down the aisle alone. Nope! He was fine with it. Phew! I did compromise a little with him walking me from the edge of the field (we were married outside) to the aisle, where he then took up my mom's arm so that they could walk down together, then the groom's parents, and finally me on my own. I liked the symbolism that my parents had raised me most of the way, but I was taking the final steps to marriage on my own.
    Anyway, I'm glad you found a compromise that worked for you. I'm loving the themed tables!

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  3. GOODNESS your man's outfit is awesome! We've been longing for a tailcoat, kilt, and tophat ensemble for my Gentleman, and the Emporium's offerings are particularly tempting.

    Also, as another Browncoat, I admire your commitment, Mrs. & Mr. Reynolds. So. Awesome.

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  4. When I read the thing about him missing a bow tie, I was like, "WHAA??? He looked awesome!" Obviously I did not miss the bow tie, and I am certain no one else did either. :)

    You guys both seem very awesome! What a shiny wedding!

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  5. i almost never comment on these, but this wedding was awesome… so awesome.

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  6. I have to agree. Awesomeness. I just love the tone of your wedding, it looks beautiful, fun and honest.

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  7. 1. You are the cutest bride EVAR, Our Mrs Reynolds!
    2. I adore this wedding. It is so genuine and you and loving… it's perfect.

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  8. lovelovelove the themes!! and, while i gotta say 'bow ties are cool,' i agree that it was not an obvious mistake to not have it on. (also, i want a jayne hat!!)

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  9. I love the faces you make! I am an avid funny-face maker too! There will be plenty of wedding pictures of me making every face imaginable. I don't even try.

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  10. This is so sweet and, as another commenter said, honest. Love the part about the cat, too.

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  11. This might be the coolest wedding ever!!!! Of course I am a huge nerd and fannish about all the shows mentioned. The groom looked fantastic even without the bow tie, the bride is beautiful, and the last name is just… SHINY.

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  12. That is awesome! Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds!!

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  13. Your wedding looks like it was so much fun to plan and flesh out into reality. I love when weddings are a real team effort and really say something about the couple. Your favors are so cute, you can see all the work and love put into them.

    I commend you not wanting to be walked down the aisle by your dad, it is tradition I never understood or cared for. I didn't want to be walked down the aisle by my dad either. However, I did ask brothers to be by my side instead. I grew up in a divored family, so us kids had to stick close by one another growing up to get through some tough years. To me, they are the definition of what I consider "family," if that makes any sense.

    Congrats to you both! You make a beautiful couple and I wish you all the best!

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  14. ZOMG! If I didn't know better, I'd think this was our wedding! You are a bride after my own heart from the paper flower bouquet to the White Knots! Congratulations to you both, and I hope our wedding turns out as amazing as yours! ^_^

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  15. Am I the only one noticing how much the groom looks like Alan Tudyk in some photos? Anyway, this story made my day!

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    • No, I definitely noticed the same thing. It's really striking from some angles. He's a total babe, and so is his lovely bride!

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  16. Watching you run down the aisle to Trey was my favorite part of the whole wedding :) Everything was so carefree and lighthearted, just like you guys! Glad I could be there!!

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  17. This is SUCH a great wedding!! We're both changing our names to Archer…like Captain Archer from Star Trek: Enterprise. The first show we started watching together. I think I'm bookmarking this blog for further study.

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    • I'm not sure what the laws are in your state, but here it would have been so much easier (and cheaper) to have had him change his name to Reynolds first and then me just taking his name after the wedding. Now we both have to go through the court system and it is about twice as much. Boo!!
      But yay on new nerdy last names!!

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      • Dude, we'll be in a mess in a while here. Still kicking around doing the legal ceremony in Nebraska where we live, or in Texas where we're getting married. The laws are different, and except for our friend getting ordained for nothing, doing it in Nebraska would be way WAY easier. So… I dunno yet. Still thinking.

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  18. not sure whether i feel sad or proud that i could tell Willow by the top of her hair on that paper flowers XD
    This wedding, and you, both of you! is just absolutely gorgeous and wonderful and the happiness just leaps off the screen and hits me smack in the face (in a good kind of way!)
    Congratulations to the Mr and Mrs Reynolds <3

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    • Be proud, especially since the artwork in the Buffy comics isn't very consistent, nor is it good at distinguishing separate characters.

      But I may be kvetching because I was so disappointed by the ridiculousness of the storylines. Warren+Amy? Guess the First Evil is wondering how the heck all the major events of early season 7 managed to succeed… What with the retconned not-deadness of Warren.

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  19. I LOVE the photo of her wearing his hat. That should be gallery size in their house and in their photographers studio. LOVE.

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  20. This is great! The photos show such chemistry and AMAZING hilarious faces! As a girl who converted my boy into a geek and Trekkie, and who plans to have him in a topper and tailcoat – I WHOLEHEARTEDLY APPROVE. Congratulations!

    • Thank you so much! I kept joking with boy before the wedding that in his outfit he was going to look so much snazzier than me, he was right :o) Beat of luck to you guys as well!

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  21. UGH. I'm dying here. Your comic flowers are gorgeous. I'm also going to be turning comic pages into my bouquet, since we have quite a substantial collection and it is part of us. I'm loving everything here. And I totally want a cunning hat ornament! It'll match the real one I have. :)

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  22. So so awesome! The picture of you in the top hat is amazing, and the details are fantastic. Congratulations to you both :)

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  23. I love that you took the mixture of fandoms and added them together. There's so much that I want to incorporate into my wedding and its becoming a hodge podge of stuff – it's nice to see when it works out and is so YOU!

    1 agrees

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