The offbeat bride: Dagny, Librarian
Her offbeat partner: Charlie, Student/Server
Date and location of wedding: Avon Washington Township Park Pavilion Center, Avon, IN — July 23, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The groom and I are very shy, and having a wedding was pretty overwhelming for us. Therefore it was important to us to ensure that everyone have fun stuff to do that will keep them busy and focused on something besides just the two of us. We decided to focus on creating a fun, lighthearted wedding where everyone could be silly.
There were noisemakers for after the ceremony, fortune-telling fish, wax lips and mustaches, oversized eyeglasses, a temporary tattoo booth, and a photo booth for goofy pictures. With the help of my mother, we also had two fortune tellers at the wedding who did numerology and tarot readings.
Tell us about the ceremony: It was important to us to have a ceremony that was lighthearted, secular, and a reflection of our values. Our celebrant was really amazing and allowed us a lot of freedom when customizing the ceremony.
Equality was very important to us, and we made sure that we included that within our ceremony. I loved the part where the celebrant asked us, "Charlie and Dagny, do you come here freely, and without reservation, to enter into a relationship as companions living together, enjoying equality? Do you promise to love, respect, assist, and look after each other for the rest of your lives?" We have worked hard throughout our relationship to honor the uniqueness of one another and to create a balanced relationship, and I think our ceremony really represented that.
It was also important to me that our first kiss as a married couple was something that both of us entered into. Traditionally, people say, "You may now kiss the bride." We opted instead for, "You may now kiss each other." For many, it seemed like a silly, small thing, but for me it was a big deal.
Our biggest challenge: I was finishing up graduate school when we decided to get married. I was also working two part time jobs so I was busy and so was Charlie, whose situation was similar. We set the date for the month after my graduation. So I was writing research papers while I simultaneously planned for the wedding. In the end, being busy was actually beneficial. The lack of time helped me isolate what was really important to us, and cut out what wasn't.
My favorite moment: I come from a very proud Mexican family, and as Charlie crafted the wedding playlist, he wanted to be sure to honor them by including some songs in Spanish. Initially, we had been considering having "Besame Mucho" as our first dance, but because we are shy, we thought we shouldn't do a first dance. I was surprised when my grandparents mentioned during dinner that it was their song. (The two of them had been married for 68 years.) As my grandparents got up to dance to their song, we decided to head to the dance floor, too. I am a terrible dancer and continuously stepped on Charlie's toes, but it was a dorky and sweet moment that we shared with my grandparents.
My funniest moment: Initially, I had asked my aunt to run the temporary tattoo booth. My six-year-old niece offered to help and before we knew it, my niece was running the show. When people started tipping her, she was so happy that she started chasing people down asking them if they wanted a tattoo. No one could decline, and soon enough everyone had tattoos everywhere.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: I kept having nightmares before the wedding that I had turned up at the venue and had forgotten the favors, my dress, or the decorations. I also often felt overwhelmed by all of the little details that I had to organize. So I made checklists throughout the entire process to make sure that things were getting done on schedule. Making a checklist of all of the items that needed to go to the wedding location really helped, even little things like safety pins and duct tape were on there.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? There was a certain point during the wedding when I could no longer control how things turned out. I learned to relinquish that control and let others help me out. Once I let go of the reins, others helped me pick up the slack. I trust my family and friends and love that they were there to help me on the wedding day.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Etsy seller Ouma
- Photography: Amy Moore
- Photo booth backdrop: Etsy seller FunOnAStick
- Cake topper: Etsy seller ReadyGo
- Photo booth banners & Props: Etsy seller LittleRetreats
- Mustaches: Etsy seller Aria Jae Creations
- Necklace: Etsy seller PreciousPastimes
- Bride's shoes: Tuk Shoes
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!