Kate & Micah's two families mess with Texas wedding #Real Weddings: Western US#autumn#barbecue#dancing#diy wedding#flowers in hair#maps#place cards#reception dress#ring warming#secular#texas January 9 | Offbeat Editors offbeatempire Photos by Natalie Seeboth The Offbeat Bride: Kate, Development Director Her offbeat partner: Micah, Freelance Web Developer Date and location of wedding: Mercury Hall in Austin, TX — September 30, 2012 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had all-you-can eat BBQ and were our own DJs. In lieu of bridal party, we had 20 of our closest male and female friends and family as part of our Commitment Crew. Keeping costs and waste down was so important to me, and I handmade all decorations, the table number holders, place cards and BBQ Emergency Kits. In lieu of favors, we made a donation to a local land and water preservation nonprofit. All plates, glassware, etc. for the whole weekend were compostable. In total, we had 80 of our closest friends and family fly or drive three-plus hours and spend the weekend with us. Tell us about the ceremony: We used the local Justice of the Peace. Her standard ceremony worked great for us and we only made a few edits. Our two readings were, "Untitled" by Carl Sandburg and "Union" by Robert Fulghum. We exchanged vows and also had a ring-warming before walking in. Our photographer captured people really digging the ring-warming and those are some of our favorite shots. All in all, it was about 15 minutes, which was all we wanted! Our biggest challenge: Throwing three parties in a row in an unknown place: bachelor/ette, rehearsal dinner and the wedding. Budget was an obstacle despite having both parents pitch in. I ultimately took a new job and started working full-time to help with the costs. Oh and that new job's only fundraising event of the year was a week before the wedding. My favorite moment: I have several. Spending the entire weekend with our guests was a gift. Seeing people we thought have nothing in common get along fabulously. Micah's vows. Hopping in a cab with my Maid of Awesome from the salon to the venue, proclaiming "I'm about to get married" and having the driver give the two of us a skeevy, but pro-gay-marriage look. My best friends' mentioned needing five minutes apiece for their speeches (which freaked me out) but in the end, they used lyrics from some of my favorite songs and there was not a dry eye in the house! Both of our fathers are great orators and their speeches were priceless. My funniest moment: Dance floor debauchery, which we expected, still surprised me with its amazingness. My side of the family LOVES to dance and many people practiced their two-stepping. A younger cousin and his girlfriend had a routine practiced. Oh and two of my uncles did the "Gator" from Animal House. Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? An hour before the ceremony when my laid-back coordinator had not finished setting up the tables, I kinda freaked — but people had a place to eat dinner, so it was all fine! Also, we were unable to meet our officiant during our scouting trip earlier in the year but she showed up with sunglasses and a smile and killed it. My advice for Offbeat Brides: Advice that I've seen other places that resonated with me was really about prioritizing what's important to you and not letting those other non-priorities take over the planning process. We took this to heart and paid for the things we REALLY cared about so there was no compromising. Don't doubt your wedding guests' ability to get down with what's important to you. Everyone loved our BBQ bibs, ice cream sandwiches instead of cake, and clearly: the photo booth. What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Not sure if it's a lesson, but not for one second during the wedding planning process or during the actual weekend did I doubt that I was marrying the right person. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Ceremony Dress: Etsy (vintage) Reception Dress: ASOS Shoes: Nordstrom Flowers & Headpiece: Petals, Ink Food: Salt Lick BBQ Photographer: Hazeled Photography Day-of Coordinator: Modern Whimsy Necklace: Zara Photo Booth: Ed's Photobooth Alcohol: Cool Liquors / Cool Beer & Wines (they deliver!) Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=photos%2F31332214%40N08%2Fsets%2F72157632271092012%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=photos%2F31332214%40N08%2Fsets%2F72157632271092012%2Fshow%2F&set_id=72157632271092012&jump_to=" width="800" height="500"> Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Doctor Who wedding invitations NEXT Help your guests haul their stuff with canvas tote bag favors Show/Hide comments [ 9 ] Thanks for sharing thoughts regarding such a great 'down-home' wedding. Sometimes the smaller and more intimate ones end up being way deeper emotionally… 1 agrees Reply That first dance floor pic is uh-maze-zingggg Reply I've been reading wedding blogs for a few months now, trying to find a real wedding that resonates with me and this is it! Simple and fun and utterly without pretension. I really liked the ring warming and the idea of a "commitment crew." 1 agrees Reply Libby, thanks so much for your kind words! The Main Blog and Tribe have SO MANY great ring-warming resources. http://offbeatbride.com/tag/ring-warming Reply The Salt Lick! Om nom nom. Looks like a wonderful time–congratulations! Reply Oh, please tell me more about the map . . .I am so intrigued! We are incorporating maps into our wedding since we love to travel and we want to have a map where guests can place a pin or something to show where they've traveled from to be with us – since our family and friends are scattered across the US. Reply Hi Cara, The map doubled as a seating chart (the little cups held swizzle sticks with people's names and table numbers on them on washi tape) and we had a cute "Find Your State & Your Seat" sign above it. My husband does graphic design so he downloaded a huge, retro schoolhouse map and we colored in the states where people we're coming from. Printing at FedEx was around $30. Let me know if you have any other questions! 1 agrees Reply Thanks for sharing this awesome and joyful wedding. It looks to have been a really good time! I have one question – what was in the BBQ Emergency kit that you made? We're having BBQ food at our wedding and the idea of bibs is genius. How'd you make them? What else did you include? Reply Ooooh! Your Justice of the Peace sounds great. Who was it? Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Participate in this conversation via e-mail No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.