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!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!