The Offbeat Bride: Emma, Movie Listings Editor (and tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Kevin, Freelance Journalist
Date and location of wedding: Our two-story hotel room in Niagara Falls, Canada — June 7, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We set the date before getting engaged and didn't tell anyone. First, Kev and I wanted a wedding day. For us that meant getting married in the morning, then doing fun stuff all day long in our wedding outfits… and so that's exactly what we did!
After the ceremony in our two-level hotel room by the falls, we went to Clifton Hill with our amazing photographers and took tons of awesome shots!
Next we went as a married couple to Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, we played glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, and had our wedding supper at the Rainforest Cafe.
After that we played at some old school arcade for hours at the Midway, and once it got dark, we finished the day in the tallest Ferris wheel in Canada.
Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote our ceremony from scratch with the help of some patterns and formulas I found online. We included many references to our life together and how it all began. Explaining that made for some really good conversation with our photographers afterward!
We got married at 11:00am by the window of our hotel room, and the night before we slept separately (one on each level) and we didn't see each other until Kev started the song ("Grow Old With You" by Adam Sandler).
Instead of an aisle, I walked down the stairs to join him by the huge window (18 feet!).
We wrote our own vows separately, so we didn't know what the other was about to say. The ceremony was in English, but our vows were in French (it's our first language) so the officiant and the two photographers didn't have a clue of what we were saying. This moment was really just for the two of us. Our recessional song was "Life's A Happy Song" from The Muppets.
Our biggest challenge: Keeping it a secret was really important because we figured that for the guest list it would be everyone, or no one. We chose no one because in our opinion, if no one was there, no one can be jealous and/or mad and/or sad for not being invited. Simple as that. That's why we decided to do it away from home without telling anyone, to limit the risk of some people surprising us and coming anyway. (Yeah, that could happen.)
Also, being low-key people, for us, getting married was the most intimate conversation of our lives, and we didn't see each other having this conversation in front of our loved ones, as much as they are important for us. We brought cameras and made a little video of the ceremony. So, after coming back, we surprised them with not one, but three parties! Everybody got what they wanted: we got our very private and no-stress ceremony; and the others got their celebration! (That's also why it was really important to have the most amazing photographers on the planet.)
My favorite moment: Besides the vows, I guess all the little details which represent our relationship and what we love individually and as a couple that I was able to include. For example, my earrings were sharks, because I'm obsessed with shark movies.
My Walter headband that was made just for me by a girl who does Muppets headbands, but wasn't doing him at the time. Also my skirt had a raccoon on it (raccoons are a big thing in our story). My petticoat was the one my mom wore at her wedding.
In the same vein, our stuffed animal Rocky Raccoon was our ring bearer. We signed with the pen that we brought back from our first trip together, which we went on two years ago on the exact same date (no coincidence here, we chose the date for this reason).
I made Kev's boutonniere with comic books (I had to buy some because he didn't want me to cut in his precious!).
My funniest moment: Oh my, lots of fun! My outfit was not really traditional, so at one time in a candy store, several young girls asked me if they could take a picture with me in my costume. After laughing I told them that I just got married (a sentence I had to say a few other times that day haha!) and that I would do the picture with pleasure. Kirk was able to capture this moment, and it's one of my favorite photos.
Another funny moment was when we were doing the photo shoot Kev and I started dancing but with no music. Our photographer wanted us to continue so I started singing the first thing off the top of my head, which was Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend." Kev started laughing so hard, and technically "Boyfriend" is now our first song.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Write your own vows separately. It's so powerful to hear what your partner thinks about you, your relationship and what they promise to you. It's like the best love letter of all time.
A big wedding is not for everyone, but neither is a tiny one like our elopement. So take nothing for granted and of course be sure to discuss your options and be sure that the two of you are on the same page and that you really want the same thing for big questions like size and guest list, because that's the kind of thing you don't want (or you don't want your partner) to regret.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Being married is a serious thing; getting married is a fun thing. We've gone to several wedding after ours, and they were all amazing, but all confirmed in different ways that we made the right choice with ours. We did well listening to our guts.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Afterglow Images
- Headband: Saturday Morning Tracy
- Earrings: Circle Cat
- Pouch: Prints N Patterns
- Shoes: My Vintage Hat Shop
- Engagement ring: One Garnet Girl
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!