The offbeat bride: Kat, Tribesmaid
Her offbeat partner: Scott
Date and location of wedding: Hotel Congress, Tucson, AZ — April 7, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We did a lot of DIY projects. I made garlands with paper punches, string, and a ton of scrapbook paper, along with a damaged second-hand copy of The Hobbit. The centerpieces were paper flowers in vases with spray painted dice as vase filler. My sister-in-law made adorable bunting for the ceremony area.
My favorite project was our card box/guest book page receptacle. Inspired by some of the toothy monster card boxes on Offbeat Bride, I recreated a Mimic of Dungeons and Dragons fame with Sculpey teeth and Sculpey-and-glass eyes, which turned a stained and distressed "treasure chest" into something subtle but creepy.
Instead of a first dance, we had a first RockBand duet. Instead of a parent/child dance, we invited our siblings up to play another song.
We had a couple of separate areas for reception entertainment: Beatles RockBand, a fully-stocked board game table (with game sommeliers and a menu!), and a professional photo booth with a kick-ass prop box. And of course, a bar and several tables for people to sit and chat.
We had cake pops in the shape of D6s, too!
Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was full of gamer references. Our officiant had a Powerpoint presentation about D&D and a reading from the 4th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide. Our vows were entirely coded in gamer language.
We also had no wedding party, but instead picked friends and family for various jobs according to their abilities and proximity. Instead of a bouquet, I carried a small D20-shaped bag to the "altar."
Here is the reading from the Dungeon Master's Guide:
Quest Rewards: When the characters finish a major quest that they've been pursuing for several sessions, divide the XP reward among all the characters who participated in the quest, even those who aren't present in the particular session when the PCs complete it. That's only fair — a major quest is like an encounter that stretches over multiple game sessions, and everyone who participates deserves to share in the reward.
We wrote our own vows and didn't tell anyone about them until the ceremony. We built the vows into our handfasting, with a loop of the cord after each "round" of vows:
S: When you are low on sanity points, I will tank the demons for you
K: I will monitor party hit points, and make sure everyone is healed up for the next adventure
S: I will always help you build your character, and never question your core concept
K: I will take training in the skills you lack so that the party is balanced
S: I will always provide interesting adventure paths, and never railroad you down the boring ones
K: I will help you to gain all of the levels. All of them.
Our biggest challenge: The bit that had me most anxious was the ceremony. After a couple of interviews with professional officiants and celebrants, we decided that the only way to really convey what we wanted was to ask a friend to officiate for us. This also meant that we had to build a ceremony from scratch, as none of the pre-built models were doing it for us. Neither of us knew the first thing about wedding ceremonies, so we were pretty much at a loss. I researched ceremony-related things kind of obsessively, but I still had no real idea what ours would look like.
After some drafts with my mother, we sent off the outline to our officiant and asked him to come up with something. We thought that what would ensue would be a constructive back-and-forth editing process, but we should have known better. This is the same guy who builds all of his role-playing game characters in secret, too. As time passed and we had no word from him, I got increasingly anxious, and started bugging him. A couple of weeks before the event, he finally sent us a Powerpoint file. It was completely awesome.
My favorite moment: Scott definitely got misty-eyed listening to his brother's reading. I felt like the most meaningful part for me was just having everyone together in one big room. The energy was incredible. The guest book was also incredible — reading through the pages can bring back the feeling of being there in the middle of so much love and positive energy.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was pretty worried about my little brother. I'd asked him to be our ring bearer for the ring warming ceremony, but on the day of the rehearsal, he looked frozen and terrified the whole way through. During the rehearsal dinner, he didn't even eat anything. Poor kid got a heaping helping of the family anxiety disorder on top of having Down's, and I'm pretty sure the whole procedure was wigging him out. Thankfully, on the day of, he was awesome, and smiled at everyone as he took the rings around to be warmed. I think formal wear and some good food helped immensely there, and I'm very glad that he was included in the ceremony.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Find a day-of coordinator. You've got to have at least one friend who's super organized and good at herding cats. Find them and bribe them to help with whatever you can spend. The important thing is that you have someone to direct the day while you are busy preparing yourself.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Over the year we gave ourselves to prep for the wedding, I learned more about myself than anything. I learned how to harness my own organizational energy when it happens. I spent a couple of months doing absolutely nothing wedding-related at all. Other months were spent in mad crafting frenzies. I found that I work best in concentrated blasts of the same activity.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Erin Michelle
- Venue: Hotel Congress
- Kilt and kilt suit: Scotweb
- Tie: Cyberoptix
- Dress: Starkers Corsetry
- Crinoline: Etsy seller Swank Underpinnings
- Sash: Etsy seller Eclu
- Fascinator: Etsy seller All4Brides
- Veil: Etsy seller PinkSewingMachine
- Glasses Frames: Etsy seller BackThennishVintage
- Earrings: Etsy seller AshleySpatula
- Necklace: Etsy seller Casamoda
- Gloves: Etsy seller ZenandCoffee
- Shoes: Fluevog
- Cake Pops: Village Bakehouse
- Rings: Elizabeth Scott Jewelry
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: