The offbeat bride: Kate, seamstress/costume designer wannabe
Her offbeat partner: Alex, composer and music teacher
Date and location of wedding: Nash Farm Park, Hampton, GA — May 20, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: One of the things that attracted Alex and me to each other was our shared nerdiness, and we wanted to incorporate as many of our favorite things into the wedding as we could. We nixed some of our early ideas like having someone dressed as an alien from the Alien films prowling around during the ceremony, for example, but most of them made it in.
The entire bridal party wore costumes from different films, shows, and genres, most of which Alex, a friend, and I made. The ring bearer/flower girl wore the rings on a chain around her neck and was dressed as a hobbit. The minister was Gandalf, and the groomsmen were composed of a Jedi, a Stormtrooper, and a Jaffa (from Stargate).
The bridesmaids were composed of an elf, a fairy, a pirate, some Regency garb, medieval garb, and steampunk. Alex wore a Star Trek dress uniform and I wore a fantasy dress I designed with historical influences (Elizabeth's wedding gown in the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie was my jumping off point). Almost all of the music we used was from TV and movie soundtracks.
The centerpieces had different themes: Beauty and the Beast, The Last Airbender, The Lord of the Rings, medieval, steampunk, Star Trek, pirate, The Phantom of the Opera, and fantasy in general, and our cake toppers were Eowyn, Captain Kirk, and the TARDIS. We found some rather Elvish-looking favor bags in which we put pirate coins and mini boxes of Nerds.
Tell us about the ceremony: Writing the ceremony was a little challenging for me. We wanted to include and be respectful to our beliefs without being too traditional or preaching a sermon. We ended up tweaking a lot of traditional wording, coming up with original wording, and interspersing and changing quotes from The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek. We also had one of my sisters read a poem we like: "To Love is Not to Possess" by Jack Kavanaugh.
Here's the intro, which also got a laugh at the end:
Strangers from distant lands, friends of old, you've been summoned here to join Alex and Kate on this special day, the day that they begin their life together as husband and wife. They have asked me to especially thank you all for coming to share this day with them — the support, friendship, and love offered by you all is truly appreciated. They don't know half of you half as well as they should like, and they like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
Then we had a prayer, the poem reading, and a passage from Colossians:
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
The charge followed (props if you can figure out all of the references):
In this galaxy there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in all the universe, three million galaxies like this. And in all that, and perhaps more, only one of each of us. Alex and Kate have found each other, fallen in love with each other, and decided to spend their lives together.
"However, one does not simply walk into marriage. The heart's gates are guarded by more than just feelings. There must be love there that does not sleep, and a good spouse is ever watchful. It is a road that goes ever on, riddled with friction, anguish, and despair. But it is not folly. There is always hope.
"Remember that true love, which is a choice more than a feeling, a solid friendship, and the faithful observance of your vows are the foundation of a successful marriage and a happy and enduring home. Make it so.
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Then came our vows ending with the minister saying, "You have chosen… wisely," the exchange of rings (which started with "Bring forth the rings!" of course), the declaration of marriage and the kiss, the closing prayer, and the presentation, finishing it off with, "Alex and Kate, live long and prosper."
Our biggest challenge: Getting all the costumes done in time. Alex and I both sew, so we wanted to make them all. I had mine, four of the six bridesmaids' (one made her own and another's mother made hers), and the flower girl's. Alex had his, the minister's, the three groomsmen's, and ones for two other friends he wanted in costume. He also made the Jaffa and wizard staves. Thankfully a good friend of mine can sew and was happy to help, so she did a couple of hems for me and sewed the flower girl, ring bearer, and Jack Sparrow costumes together after we cut them out.
Alex was crazy and stayed up until 6:00 a.m. the night before the wedding finishing the Jedi costume and gluing part of a ballpoint pen to Eowyn's hand after we lost the tiny sword (I didn't even notice the difference until he told me after the wedding).
My funniest moment: The most embarrassing but funny moment was the kiss. It was super short because I was a little weirded out by kissing in front of people, and everyone laughed at it. Our photographer made sure to get a shot of us kissing later because he said it was the "shortest kiss ever."
Another good one was when Jack Sparrow introduced us at the reception to Weird Al's "White and Nerdy" in the background. We ended up stepping in right as Yankovic sang, "I'm just so white and nerdy."
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We did the reception potluck-style by asking guests to bring an hors d'oeuvre to share, but said not to feel like they had to since so many were coming from out-of-state. I was concerned there wouldn't be enough food, but there was plenty to spare.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Remember that it's just one day in the rest of your life. A pretty important day, sure, but whatever little things might go wrong, be forgotten, or get budgeted out, it's not going to affect the quality of your marriage. They say your wedding should be the happiest day of your life, but I say it's only the beginning.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Curt Collier
- Tablecloths: Linentablecoth.com
- Bride's dress and most of the other costumes/garb: Manwariel Costumes (bride's site and Etsy store)
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!