Toni & Mark's Civil War costumed picnic wedding

By on Oct 15th

We got a little peek of this bride in a Monday Montage and you demanded to see more. Well, here it is in all its costumed glory.

The offbeat bride: Toni, Proposal Coordinator (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Mark, Cashier

Date and location of wedding: Camp Floyd State Park, Fairfield, UT — August 25, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Mark and I played with a couple of themes for our wedding initially, but because of our shared love of Civil War Reenacting (and that of most of our friends and my family) we thought steampunk would be perfectly suited to us. We already had many of the pieces we'd need for our clothing and most anything we bought for the wedding could be re-used afterward, which was very important to me.

We also wanted to include a few geeky things here and there as an homage to our love of literature and the past. My bridesmaid's lanterns had little tags on them that said "Lumos!" and Mark's boutinniere had a mockingjay pin to hold it on.

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I bought some wildflowers a couple days before, and we put them in jars on the table with a bunch of lanterns borrowed from our reenactment friends for lighting and ambiance. The park didn't really have any nighttime lighting, so we provided our own!

Our wedding music. Dulcimer and acoustic guitar

Our food was a picnic/potluck and our friends really came through for us. Our budget was very small, and luckily we got our venue for just $50, because the park ranger knows us from 8+ years of reenacting there. Chairs, tables, and pavilion were provided free, and some great reenactor friends of ours provided live dulcimer and guitar music for the ceremony. We spent the most money on food, our clothing, our amazing photographer, and a photo booth. Most everything else was borrowed or donated by our amazing friends and family.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Mark is a member of the order of Freemasons, and his former Worshipful Master, and my dear friend, officiated our ceremony. He pulled some inspiration from the traditional Masonic wedding ceremony and made us a 15-minute-long ceremony with some beautiful Masonic language in it. He told us we were bonded in love and truth, and that the Grand Architect of the Universe had overseen our union. I loved the non-specific language as Mark and I are not religious at all, but Mark's family is. It seemed to make everyone happy.

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He then had us do a wine ceremony (well, cranberry juice since I was pregnant) where I poured a glass of water, and Mark poured a glass of juice into a single cup that we both drank from.

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was logistics. We were cooking pulled pork for 60+ people, at a state park in the middle of nowhere, about one-and-a-half hours from our home. Everything had to be packed in, and there was no going back home for anything forgotten. Luckily, a few people were able to stop on their way for a few things we forgot.

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My favorite moment: Watching our friends and family (especially our wedding party) show up hours early asking how they could help. I was 12 weeks pregnant (and in the throws of all-day-sickness) at the time, and my mother and Mark were stuck doing pretty much all the decor while I laid about in the 90 degree weather and tried not to get sick.

Our friends just took over and did so much for us. My mother pretty much coordinated the whole wedding: she coordinated the food, the ceremony, everything. I was the luckiest pregnant bride ever. I just sat around, directed, and ate!

My funniest moment: Mark and I had written our vows, and he wanted to hear mine to make sure his matched. So about a week before the wedding we read our vows. He realized his were much shorter than mine and decided to add some more. So at the wedding there were a couple I hadn't heard previously, including "I promise to protect you from appliances that may catch fire for no apparent reason."

This made me and a few people in the audience bust up laughing, because a couple weeks before the wedding, we were laying in bed one night and our box fan started smoking and burst into flame all of a sudden. Mark very daringly ran the thing outside and hosed it down and all was well, but it had turned into a well-known story already.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Let people help if they want to. If you already have something covered, let them find another way to help. I didn't realize this about my friends and family but they wanted to make sure our day went well, and as hard as it was initially, I had to just let them, because we needed so much help.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!