Andrell & Aaron's Padme and Anakin Star Wars wedding

January 15 |

This week we're celebrating our sci-fi-loving, fantasy-squeeing, and comic book-collecting couples. That's right: it's geek week!

Recessional
Photos by Mentha Designs

The Offbeat Bride: Andrell, BIM coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Aaron, engineering student and math tutor

Date and location of wedding: Local public lake in College Park, Maryland — November 5, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The wedding centered around our favorite holiday, Halloween, and one of our favorite franchises, Star Wars. I chose Padme's lake dress from Episode II, only I had it made in ivory. Aaron chose to do the Dark Anakin costume, but keep the hair from the first kiss scene. He spent months growing it out only to cut it into that ponytail!

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Our grand entrance for the reception was under a lightsaber pseudo-color guard. My side had silver handles, and his had black, but otherwise, the wedding party got to choose their saber colors. Our wedding party, including us, entered to the song "This is Halloween."

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We had a Halloween castle cake. Our cake toppers were the couple we emulated: Anakin and Padme. The Padme figurine was of her in the movie wedding dress, the rarest figure of her in the set, and Aaron made me remove it from its packaging! Our cake cutter and server were created with the Offbeat Bride tutorial on how to make a Star Wars cake cutter. We cut the cake to "Still Alive" from the video game Portal 2.

Force Choke

My bouquet was handmade by Aaron. The very first thing he ever gave me way back in high school was a paper rose, so that's what he used for the bouquet. I added the white beading, and we added ribbon inspired by Offbeat Bride's feature on ribbon veils.

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Tell us about the ceremony: I am Deist and Aaron is Agnostic so we had a secular ceremony. I guess we also had a guerrilla ceremony as we completely took over this part of the "open to the public" park. The rules couldn't stop us, but the park police were like hawks on us. They were good sports though.

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We skipped having the groomsmen and groom enter separately from the bridesmaids and bride. We had nine Star Wars-clad wedding party members and a Waldo — all with lightsabers — enter in front of Aaron. Following him were my flower girl and ring boy Jawas. They had neither flowers nor rings. I followed behind them, escorted at "gun point" by my brothers who were Storm Troopers. We entered to "The Imperial March."

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Additionally, my stepfather, Steve, who has been there through most of my life and is better than I could ever hope for, did a custom reading for us using lyrics and song titles from his favorite band, The Beatles:

Andrell and Aaron, today you seal
a bond to show your love is real
Here, there and everywhere
from now on, your lives to share.

Blessings bestowed, for all to see
from friends and family, let it be
We come together, to celebrate
a special occasion, on a special date.

Across the universe, may the inner light shine
upon this union, that all may feel fine
Now comes a message, from the skies above
for the long and winding road, all you need is love.

Being part Native American (Blackfoot) is important to me, which is why I wanted to be married outside. However, their wedding traditions are few, so we had the Apache Wedding Prayer read, and later that night at our hotel room we did a hair cutting ceremony, which is a bonding ritual. My long hair was cut by Aaron, and placed into a small pillow I had handmade, to be placed under his head for our first night as husband and wife.

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Our biggest challenge: Apparently, when we spray painted my brother's Nerf gun black for his storm trooper costume, it ended up being mistaken for an assault rifle in the public park and the police were called in. It almost ended in disaster! Thankfully, it all worked out in the end.

Our Finale!

My favorite moment: The most meaningful moment in our wedding was the one I was most petrified about. We were up at the top of the stairs to the gazebo for the ceremony, and suddenly I felt shy about our vows. I didn't want to read these very personal things to a crowd of people! Strangers had even gathered around to see us. There wasn't anything I could do at that point, so we read our vows to each other, and thankfully they were well received and the guests weren't dead silent, which made it easier.

Ball and Chained with Bouquet

My funniest moment: Since it was Halloween, we bought some costume balls and chains and made a hook attachment for them. At the end of ceremony, two of our party members then attached the balls and chains to our ankles for our recessional, to great laughter.

First Dance Wide

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We originally wanted a reception in a barn, but that didn't work out. Instead, I caved and booked our local community center. We ended up saving so much money, and decorated the frack out of that space. Between the black-lined walls with colored fabric and the orange lights, chair covers, table covers, and all the hanging spiders and bats (mostly from the sprinkler heads, which covered the ugly protrusions), and spider webbing on the ceiling, the place looked neat.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Make a wedding day checklist, and a checklist of all the shots you want the photographer to capture.

Tell your plans with exuberance and happiness, and fewer people will look at you strangely. Your plans will change a million times, so pick only a few key things to be a stick in the mud about and let the rest go.

Finally: REGRET NOTHING! You got married, now focus on happily ever after and all the funny stories of your disasters. It really is all in the body language when you retell it.

Jawas and My Paper Flower Bouquet

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I learned how to deal with things not going according to our vision. Lots of things went wrong with our plans. Our cake lady didn't show up on time, I forgot Aaron's boutonniere, which we handmade to match my bouquet. We forgot to do several photos, so Aaron has none with his dad. Learning to focus on the awesome pictures we do have, the keepsake of having a "fake" boutonniere, and that the cake tasted amazing is key.

Bride and Groom

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: Mentha Designs
  • Lightsabers: Ultra Sabers
  • Bride and groom's costumes: Devadasi. She usually does belly dancing outfits!
  • DJ: DJ House
  • Hair and makeup: Courtesy of my friend Katie Bell who is a beautician in Savannah, GA

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Those ball and chains are so funny!! I wish I had thought of that!

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    • Thank you! It was a lucky brain-storming session!

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  2. While I do love the way the reception hall was decorated, and a lot of the other details, and I'm a Star Wars fan, I can't get past how much I am bothered that the couple chose Padme and Anakin as thier couple to emulate. Padme dies! Anakin nearly kills her himself! I find that to be a reallllly dark connotation for a wedding. However, it didn't seem to bother the bride/groom, they even included a pick of themselfs play-acting Anakin force-chocking Padme x_x

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    • Absolutely! We did think of it, but neither of us wants to have our own children, so I think we're safe;) We had a blast doing lots of scenes from the movie- I'm really glad people got to catch that! We even re-enacted my Man of Honor (Obi) hacking him to pieces on the grass hill (lava bank).

      I had originally wanted Star Trek and he wanted comic book characters… Star Wars was our compromise. (Her dress didn't hurt the choice either:D)

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      • I think your couple choice is brilliant, and I'm glad you ran with it! I love their story, because not only perfect fairytale romances have beauty.

        Poo on all these naysayers, especially on Offbeat Bride. Do you remember where you are?

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  3. It was a spectacular ceremony and reception. Finding their songs was challenging, but was able to pull through. Best wedding I've ever been to.

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  4. Love the cultural explanation, very very cool.

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  5. I love your cake cutting song! I've been trying to talk FH into using it for the last few months, but he's worried no one else will get it.

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    • TBH, with all the cheering and shouting and clamoring for cake, the song was barely heard. The soft beat was a background sound with some nice stanza organization. In our wedding summary video, we have most of the song overlaid- so it is our personal entertainment.

      Best of luck on the decision. There is also an orchestral version you can get with no words- very nice, classy, and those who would know it will get it still :)

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      • I never thought about the fact that we probably wouldn't be able to hear much of it anyway- that will likely convince him it doesn't matter. Hah!
        We did decide to loop the Mos Eisley Cantina music to play during our "cocktail hour" while we're taking pictures. Picking music has been one of our favorite wedding things to do together.

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  6. What a cool wedding! I especially loved seeing your reception hall's decorations: I originally wanted a wedding in a barn, too, but we're doing mine in our church's huge, sparse, ugly gym. Your decorations give me hope that mine will look great too!

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    • One of our tricks was to use the 'affordable' plastic table cloths sold at Party City -sold in rolls!-and cover them with fabric netting- which a JoAnn's employee was kind enough to tell us that in 2 days from when we were there, they planned on having a 1-day sale of 60% off that type of fabric. By using plastic under fabric (which we did for tables too), we got a look that wasn't plastic and most people did not notice the plastic on the table under the cloth we ordered (a sheer fabric at bulk discount)! Shop, talk, ask!

      Also, pre-string any panels to go up and use those 3M hooks or such and lots of packing tape!

      Best of luck!

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  7. Omg!!! I love that you did Star Wars! We're also having a Star Wars themed wedding. :) Thank you for this inspiration! :D

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  8. OMG! I remember this day – I was taking a walk around Lake Artemisia and I had called a friend telling him that I saw a Star Wars wedding & I had to call him back because I'd never seen anything like it before. It's so cool that you ended up being featured on this blog! Congratulations!

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    • Even cooler for me! We had many people see us and to have one pop up in life later- how fraking cool! I never thought it would happen!

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  9. This wedding is amazing! I love the Star Wars theme with the Portal and Nightmare Before Christmas references – this gives me inspiration for my own (far, far off into the future) wedding!

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  10. I absolutely love it! It all came out so cute and looks great. Congratulations !

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  11. I'm kinda really jealous of this wedding right now…
    Padme and Anakin how romantic! <3

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