The Offbeat Bride: Betsy, expert eyeball slicer and mommy extraordinaire
Her offbeat partner: Josh, warehouse warrior
Date and location of wedding: Roxy Theater in Northampton, PA and the Christian Springs Hotel & Tavern, Nazareth, PA — October 8, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our priority was to keep our wedding personal, so we had friends and family help with everything that we could. From screen printing our invitations, baking cookies for favors, baking the wedding cake, doing makeup, officiating the ceremony, and even playing music at the reception, our closest and best were involved whenever possible.
A friend played "Sleepwalk" by the Stray Cats on an authentic Gretch guitar as I walked down the aisle, we cruised to our reception in a 1942 Oldsmobile, and we were introduced into the reception to "Raining Blood" by Slayer.
Our entire spread of food was homemade by friends, and we set up the renovated barn that hosted the reception like a lounge with vintage furniture and a photo booth with mustaches, monocles, and other goodies for our guests to pose with. The photos were then placed into our guestbook, where guests signed their well wishes on pages from an old copy of Gone With the Wind.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony took place on the stage of an art deco theater, Roxy Theater, in the town where Josh and I grew up. Our friends and family sat in the theater seats and watched us take our vows on a stage that hosted Vaudeville acts, as well as John Belushi, KISS, and Billy Joel. The ceremony, written by Josh and I, was officiated by one of our closest friends and included a reading by our maid of honor. Our daughter stood just behind us the whole time.
Our biggest challenge: Admittedly, being the complete control freak and perfectionist that I am, one of my biggest struggles was finding a way to let go of the reins and accept that things were going to go differently than we expected. Truthfully, I'm not sure that I would have been able to overcome any of that without reminders from Josh, my mom, and some great friends. In the end, a ton of stuff didn't go as planned but we still had an amazing day and a ton of fun.
My favorite moment: Since we already had a jump-start on having a family, some of the most meaningful moments included having our daughter, Emma, there to share the day with us and watch her parents promise to love each other for her life and ours.
During our ceremony, we also took the time to remember some of our friends and loved ones who we wished were there to share our day including Josh's father, my brother, as well as grandparents, and some of our closest friends.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was convinced that baking hundreds of cookies for our favors was impossible. In the end, mom, aunts, friends, and grandparents all took part in making their favorite cookies which ended up being the perfect snack after a night of dancing and open bar.
Also, two days before the wedding we got the unfortunate news that our DJ had to cancel. Luckily, we have some really great friends who worked their asses off to make sure that our reception was still a great time. They ended up hooking up mp3 players to play a bunch of awesome music that our guests danced to all night.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? As lame and cheesy as it sounds, the most important lesson was definitely that the best things in life truly are free. Despite all of the money that we put into making sure that our wedding was fun, the things that we treasure the most are the memories of how wonderful it was be surrounded by the people that we care about most while we celebrated our love for each other.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Josh Finsel & Amber Breiner Photography
- Invitation screen printing: Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations
- Headpiece: Clarice Thenard at Happenstance Designs
- Garter: Etsy seller millieICARO
- Dress: BHLDN
- Custom art seco sleeve garters: Etsy seller Miscy
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!