Tia & Michael's New York City fleet week wedding

By on Sep. 11th
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Photos by Sanam Skelly

The offbeat bride: Tia, Actress (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Michael, Programmer

Date and location of wedding: Aleo Restaurant, New York City, NY — May 26, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: It was a small wedding with only 75 guests at an intimate Italian restaurant, Aleo. We didn't go for a theme, but rather just put together things that we liked and thought represented us.

Wedding Taxi Ride!

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My best friend painted us on canvas to have guests sign instead of the guestbook. We opted for pictures before the ceremony in Madison Square Park, and then the boys walked to the restaurant and I hailed a yellow taxi. It was like sharing my wedding day with the entire city. It was just a fun day, and it ended with all of us at our favorite dive bar.

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Tell us about the ceremony: My grandmother performed the ceremony, and included so many things that were personal to us and illustrated how far we've come as a couple. It was sweet and funny, but serious at times and reflected the Christian background I was brought up in.

Our biggest challenge: The most challenging part was trying to pull it all together in only three months. Sometimes it was so hard to see the big picture, especially since we had a color scheme but no theme. Sometimes I just hoped it would all pull itself together in the end. Thankfully, it did.

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My favorite moment: I loved having my grandfather walk me down the aisle and my grandmother perform the ceremony. I could tell she was trying to keep it together and I was just thinking "Please, Grandma don't cry or I will too!" I'd originally wanted to get married on "Loving Day," the day that the Supreme Court made interracial marriage bans unconstitutional, but it didn't work out. Instead, my best friend paid tribute by reading the last public statement of Mildred Loving. It was so beautiful.

Hello, Sailor!

My funniest moment: We got married during my favorite New York holiday: Fleet Week! So of course my best friend Jessica spots a sailor walking through the park and insists he take a picture with me. I loved it!

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At the reception, my seven-year-old brother told everyone he was only there for the cake. He fell asleep during the reception on a couch with his head resting nicely upon the ring pillow.

Grandfather/Grandaughter Dance

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were supposed to have a musician, but he got the dates mixed up and told me the day before the wedding that he wasn't coming. My bridesmaids and I had to come up with a new cocktail hour playlist and ceremony music. All the music turned out to be great, and using an iPod turned out to be not stressful at all. We just picked a playlist and let it run.

Robot Cake Toppers from Etsy

My advice for Offbeat Brides: They say there's nothing new under the sun as far as weddings go. What is original is your own love story, so always try to put as much of yourselves into your wedding as you can. Don't sweat the small stuff, and try to take time to remember all the great little moments.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!