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!