Christine & Derek's misadventurous rainbow hodgepodge of freaks & geeks wedding

February 28 |
Triad
Photos by Angie Gaul

The Offbeat Bride: Christine, Event Coordinator & Entrepreneurial Housewife

Her offbeat partner: Derek, SysAdmin/IT Professional

Date and location of wedding: Superhuge bayfront backyard property in Pensacola, FL — October 19, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We knew from the outset of this engagement that we were going to have an offbeat wedding. We're queer-identifying (well, Derek insists on "heteroflexible") vegetarians who love all things nerdy and ridiculous, and our friends are much the same.

We planned the wedding within a very tight budget, but thankfully, we know a lot of talented, generous people who love us. My day-of coordinator (read: Manager of Honor) made my dress. The third partner in our polyamorous triad, our awesome boyfriend Treyson, stepped in to lead the small culinary team that catered the reception.

Boyfriends
Boyfriend Treyson, left, and Husband, Derek, right

I used to run the Muggle Outreach Conference at my alma mater, so the new kids in charge let us borrow the quidditch hoops for the reception. We also had a Dark Tower groom's cake, a flower girl in her twenties, and a karaoke dance party to round out the festivities.

*insert Unforgivables here*

Bouquet

Our biggest challenge: It feels like damn near everything went wrong leading up to the wedding. This was a major test of my anxiety and usually unfaltering sunshine-and-rainbows attitude. We lost the seemingly perfect venue that we had booked a year in advance, and had to settle for a lovely, but highly inconvenient location at the last minute. We lost the dream caterer that we had also booked a year out and ended up stressing about food until the very last minute. My hair and make-up girls had to be replaced less than a week before the wedding. None of our parents could be at the wedding and many of our RSVP'ed guests failed to show up.

We did it!

Very, very little about our wedding ended up going as planned, and it took me a long time to get over the fact that my wedding had so many disappointments. Thankfully, time and supportive friends helped heal all nuptial wounds. Several months later, looking at the photos that our photographer Angie of Milestone ImagesThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them took of the zillions of happy moments that occurred, I can finally smile at all the mayhem.

I love my friends!

Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was the most perfect part of the whole wedding experience, which was honestly a surprise for me. After everything that had gone "wrong" leading up to those 10-15ish minutes, it was unexpected that the ceremony would be so flawless.

Damn emo-tions

Only a few days before the wedding, Derek and I decided we wanted to incorporate more nerdy humor into our otherwise romantic and fairly standard ceremony. Since our wedding party was a mix of hardcore gamers and total non-geeks, we came up with a cute little skit that we hoped would showcase our personalities and appeal to the masses:

Officiant: Christine and Derek have written their own vows. In order to determine who will begin, they will now roll initiative.
Boyfriend: Hold on, I'm assisting the Bride…
Groomsman #1: Wait, you can't aid another on initiative!
Groomsman #2: I am the Dungeon Master; I will allow it.
Bridesmaid #1: Oh, come on, guys! This is a wedding!
Bridesdude #1: I reveal as a Cylon!
Groomsman #3: I reveal as a President Admiral Cylon Helo!
Groomslady #1: Wrong game!
Bride: walks back down the aisle in an exasperated huff
Groom: Wait, wait, wait. Come back!
Bride: glares
Groom: It's okay, I'll just go first.

Pom-poms!

Our gaming group is composed of board game geeks, so this skit pays homage to both Dungeons & Dragons and Battlestar Galactica, one of our favorite games and tv shows. Speaking of which, our processional was "Roslin and Adama" from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack, and we rocked out to the Protomen's "Light Up The Night" as the ceremony ended.

Wizardry

My favorite moment: I spent some anxious time on the porch of the bed & breakfast after getting glammed up, before leaving for the venue. I was nervous about every little thing — worried about how everyone else was doing. A very close friend of mine (James, the mohawked heartthrob in the pics) recognized my panic and quietly, beautifully started serenading me with Roger's part of "Light My Candle" from RENT. I picked up my side of the duet and all was right with my world for the first time that day.

Evil!

My funniest moment: My favorite moment of the day occurred near the end of the reception when a highly intoxicated wedding guest slipped me a very conspicuous, very NSFW wedding gift. Needing to get it off of my person ASAP, I grabbed my Lady of the Flowers and pulled her into the bridal green room to laugh with me as we hid the gift away.

Ladies!

Then, I somehow thought it would be a good idea to invert a bottle of champagne, which proceeded to explode all over me, my dress, my flower girl, and pretty much the whole freakin' room; we were soon joined by the ever-vigilant Manager of Honor. Two of my best friends and I absorbed the crisis with paper towels and a set of Ravenclaw robes, delirious with fits of "oh thank the gods this day is almost over" giggles.

Tequila!

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I didn't expect anything about my wedding to be a total disaster, but so much of the planning and preparation felt like just that. There were, however, a lot of great things about my wedding that surprised me: that entire ceremony that went off without a hitch; my unexpected houseguests throughout the weekend who turned out to be exactly what the proverbial doctor ordered; the photographer who, I happily discovered, is the guardian angel of frazzled, well-meaning brides everywhere.

Hiding in the brush

For every little detail that didn't go according to plan, I can count at least ten things that made me smile on my wedding day. I married a man that I love and want to spend the rest of my days with; we were surrounded by so much support and love for our wacky little relationship, and everyone in attendance had a great time. I think that counts as a win.

Don't stop believing.

My advice for Offbeat Brides:

  • Use the Offbeat Bride Tribe!
  • Try not to give yourself too much time to plan.
  • Focus on the 3-5 most important elements of your wedding, and let the rest come together afterward. Try not to get caught up in minutia that you and your partner don't really care about.
  • Be prepared to maybe be sad/anxious/disappointed about some things after the wedding, and don't be ashamed that things weren't perfect. Things may go wrong, and you're allowed to be a little upset about them as long as you make sure to appreciate the good things about your wedding day, too.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I should have used the Offbeat Bride Tribe more. I was so excited when I signed up for it, but I got so overwhelmed by finishing my M.Ed., adding a third partner to our relationship just a handful of months before our wedding, and planning the wedding itself, that I didn't bother using the tools that would have saved me half the heartache. The Offbeat Bride Tribe is a priceless resource and I am kicking myself like crazy for not using it more!

Go into the liiiight…

Also, a long engagement was ultimately not right for us. After he proposed, we waited over two years to marry but I began the planning process too soon. I planned too much too far out and my priorities changed when it was too late to Ctrl-Z the whole shebang. Whoops.

Silhouette

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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They ♥ OBB; we ♥ themThis post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides:
  1. As a guest at the wedding, I can't begin to describe the intimate, beautiful, and sunshine-y feelings that attending this wedding left me with. The event was so unique and fun, it's going to be difficult for anyone to beat (myself included!). Though it seemed as if everything was going wrong before the wedding, you'd never be able to tell at the actual event!

    Just wanted to give my love again to Christine and Derek and well.. everyone! Your wedding was one of my favorite memories of all time and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it!

    5 agree
  2. The poly weddings are always my favorites. I bow down to Christine, who is fully living the dream.

    23 agree
  3. As a member of this wedding party (and one of the aforementioned unexpected houseguests) this was the most stressful wedding I've ever been a part of, but also legitimately the most fun. Christine and Derek are so so so so so lucky to have each other, and also Treyson, who I hadn't met until I arrived 2 days before the ceremony (I live in Chicago, versus Pensacola). Queen of all weddings, Christine is beloved by every person at that wedding.

    2 agree
  4. Love the dress! What a perfect way to showcase the bride's personality! Great advice as well, sometimes planning a wedding with too much time can be a bad thing.

    4 agree
  5. the cake and dress are so awesome I want to crazy murder people lol love your wedding, and love your love! :)

    0 agree
  6. I love everything about this wedding! Thanks for sharing unique and awesome weddings like this. And ribbon veils FTW! :D

    2 agree
  7. Although you had many setbacks, it looks as though the wedding itself was a blast. I'm also beyond happy to see a poly wedding. :)

    2 agree
  8. What an awesome wedding! It amazing how much fun and love is clearly spilling out of what was apparently a ridiculously stressful situation. (And I especially love that first photo… I think my triad might need to do a set of those alternating who gets to be in the middle. :)

    3 agree
  9. Aw, Christine! I am totally going to put "guardian angel of frazzled, well-meaning brides everywhere" on my tombstone. Thank you. Photographing this wedding was an honor and a privilege.

    3 agree
    • Knowing you is an honor and privilege, Angie! I've said it before and I'll say it again — when we finally do figure out some kinda' commitment thing with Treyson, we're coming to YOU!

      0 agree
  10. SO MANY PARALLELS!

    We're also having a rainbow wedding, its 4 months to go and shit is starting to go wrong for us… AND our wedding party are groomsdudes, groomsladies, bridesdudes, and brideladies. :)

    It looked like a beautiful wedding, and the photos are fab! Thanks for sharing. :)

    2 agree
    • Wishing you the best of luck keeping your head above water! Just keep your priorities in line! If you ever wanna' chat about your wedding woes & victories, feel free to shoot me an e-mail!

      0 agree
  11. Florida rainbow wedding high-five! :D You'd never know how much went wrong leading up to the wedding from looking at those photos. And that dress! So poofy and fun.

    Also, that photo of your boyfriend with his hand on your husband's shoulder, gah. My heart. It's so sweet. <3

    2 agree
  12. Oh my gosh, it feels like I'm looking at some alternative version of my wedding… and if this is what it ends up looking like, I will be ecstatic. I'm a nerdy Florida poly bride whose wedding planning keeps getting sabotaged by my thesis and life being complicated (and us being poor). I love love love your Dark Tower cake and your pre-vow skit and your choice of music. Your triad and your group of friends look like freaking amazing people. ^.^

    3 agree
  13. I love love love this wedding, the style, the people and the pictures! Angie is the photographer for my wedding this summer and when I saw these pictures on her site I knew she was the one!

    2 agree
  14. her dress? cutest ever.
    but did anyone else see the amazing-ness that is the picture of their feet with her standing on the book? GAH

    3 agree
  15. I teared up a little. It sucks that things got crazy but you'd never from the photos! You all look so so so so so so so so happy. And I heart the first photo of all the happy lovies together <3
    Oh, and I totally love your dress.

    0 agree
  16. I'm so glad the first (and it seems ONLY) poly relationship I found on this site is a MFM. I'm currently starting an MFM relationship (I'm the girl) and was hoping to browse thru some fun ideas if our triad ever gets far enough to "marry". Yours looks like it went well! ^.^

    1 agrees
    • This wedding is a great inspiration. I'm also 'the girl' in an MFM and I'm coordinating our wedding (in May of 2014) so it's great to see other poly folks here.

      1 agrees
  17. Is that a dress or tutu? Where did you get it, I LOVE it!!!

    1 agrees
      • Thanks for the quick response! Love your pics, love your ideas. Thank you for posting!

        1 agrees
  18. That is the most completely amazing dress/tutu ever!!!!!! So when you say it's a tutu you mean it's not connected to the top part? Are they separate pieces or are they together? Just curious.

    0 agree
    • They are completely separate pieces! I'll be wearing the pieces in two different outfits at a con later this month. :)

      1 agrees
  19. So interesting and Adorable! Thanks for responding!

    0 agree
  20. I love the picture of you standing on the books! Also, the shot of the guys playing Lords of Waterdeep and the ladies having a wand fight made me giggle. :)

    0 agree
  21. I'm so glad you where able to enjoy the day even after all the bumps in the road. It looks like an amazing day!

    0 agree

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