Asa & Ben's "rock and roll" pinball cheeseburger family wedding

By on Jul 10th
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Photos by Debi Parker

The offbeat bride: Asa, Community Support Assistant Manager

Her offbeat partner: Ben, Cinema Advertising

Date and location of wedding: Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY and Rohbach Community Center, Ontario Beach Park, Rochester, NY — May 5, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: It started with a cheeseburger and later a joke: What do you get when a heavy metal drummer and a roller derby girl fall in love? A ROCK and ROLL wedding! It bloomed into a full-blown day-long celebration complete with our love of pinball, and a confetti of details for our guests as they celebrated through the day with us.

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We did everything ourselves from our handmade record invitations to six different cupcake flavors that ranged from vegan pumpkin to bacon chocolate. We planted the tulip bulbs for the bouquets and crossed our fingers they would be in bloom for the wedding.

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Instead of the traditional wedding program, we created a scavenger hunt for our guests to complete after the ceremony inside the art gallery where we were married. We had our first date at the gallery and wanted our guests to connect with our special place.

So many of our friends and family lent their talents to help us make our vision come alive. Ben's parents made eighty bottles of fabulous white wine that became part of our ceremony and celebration afterwards. Everyone helped, from our custom Mad Libs and screen printed favors, to our DJ and photographer, and even our rings were made by one of my teammates.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We wanted a traditional set of vows, but built off tradition to create a ceremony all our own. We had our closest and dearest friends as our wedding party, and my children walked as ring bearers. One carried our rings and the other their rings. Instead of flower petals along the aisle, I had my friend throw feathers. We called her our "feather girl."

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My brother, who is a professional musician, played his own rendition of "The Imperial March" as I walked the aisle with my father.

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Our ceremony was officiated by the "Sinister Minister" (who I have lovingly nicknamed "Sin-a-min"). He and his wife are huge supporters and members of Roc City Roller Derby, and were witness to Ben's proposal that took place in the center of the track right before our season opener. He sprinkled the ceremony with derby references and did an amazing job making it fun while keeping it intimate and sentimental.

Ben picked a very sensual poem to have read: "In My Sky at Twilight" by Pablo Neruda. We then exchanged traditional vows and rings with each other, then my boys took vows to be responsible and respectful to our relationship and to love Ben as a father.

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Ben forgot about our plan for a wine box ceremony and got ready to kiss me until he was reminded it wasn't that time yet. We finished the ceremony by hammering shut a wine box with sealed love letters to each other and a bottle of red wine made by Ben's parents. We will continue to add little reminders of life and love until we open it on our wedding anniversary in 10 years.

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Ben dipped me as he kissed me for the first time as my husband and I loved it. We were announced husband and wife and my brother played the Indiana Jones theme during the wedding recessional.

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As soon as I was beyond guest view and in a somewhat private space, I began to cry and Ben took me in his arms, said he loved me, and kissed me so sweetly.

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Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge, I think in all of the planning, was agreeing on and finishing the save-the-date video we made and the wedding invitation design. We took a long time to plan and shoot the video. Ben was a photojournalist at a local news station when we started dating and he edited the entire movie while I tried to interject my opinions on angles and ideas. Getting them all emailed to the right email addresses was a crazy feat.

Ben&Asa016Finishing and printing the over 200 invitations was a huge task. We had been given a donation of 7" records from our local record store, and I designed a stamp that would "brand" our entire wedding. We made sticker covers for all the records, even saving some of the fun songs for special guests we knew would love the songs on them. Side A was the invitation with all the important information and side B was how to RSVP to our wedding website. We printed the record sleeves with the punch line to our joke and stamped the jacket with our custom-made stamp in silver ink. We sealed the cellophane envelopes with the joke. But in the end we were really pleased with the result.

My favorite moment: One of the first things I did while planning was to buy Ben's wedding gift, his favorite, a Spider-Man pinball machine. I managed to keep it a secret for months! I taped the key inside my dress and right after we were announced at the reception, I made an announcement. I could not go on another moment without telling him that the pinball machine was not on loan as I had led him to believe… it belonged to him! The look on his face, as I handed him the key and the kiss he gave me said everything I ever wanted him to say. Right after that we had a "First Pinball Game."

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My brother is an amazing musician and wrote and performed the song for my Father/Daughter dance. It was the first time I ever remember dancing with my father. Having our dance be to a custom-written song by the one person that knows us better than anyone else was amazing.

When it was over, I suggested to Ben that we go drive somewhere and sit on the hood of our car, drink a beer, and lay back and revel in all that had happened. We made it to a park, only to find we could not drive to the top of the hill. We ended up climbing, in our formal wedding attire, up what I thought was a trail but turned into a vertical climb. As soon as we crested the top of the hill, I scared the crap out of some teenagers who were partying at the top. After they had settled down from these crazy people climbing up over a cliff, they asked if we had just gone to a prom or something. We got a great laugh out of it and they ended up wanting to take our picture. It was a crazy end to an awesome day.

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My funniest moment: My son Dagan loves to dance, and at one point I looked at the dance floor and he had a crowd of my girlfriends lined up in a circle around him waiting for their turn. I watched in amazement as he totally owned the dance floor and got down and boogied.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The weather had been forecasting rain and higher winds earlier in the week, which would have dissolved my dreams of lighting paper lanterns from the beach. The weather turned out chilly but sunny, the wind settled by the end of the evening, and we were able to release 100 paper lanterns up into the sky with the full "supermoon" backdrop.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It is important to take time out for your guests. We decided not to do a receiving line and had a glitch in the schedule which prevented us from going to each table as we had wanted. The feeling that I had not spent a bit of time with each of my loved ones continues to be a tough pill to swallow.

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Ooh, matchy!


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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!