Karly & Jack's vintage-inspired Alice in Wonderland wedding

By on Mar. 11th

The Offbeat Bride: Karly, Zookeeper (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Jack, Internet Marketing Account Manager

Date and location of wedding: Ashton Villa, Galveston, TX — October 11, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We mostly paid for the wedding by ourselves, with some help from family members, so it was important to DIY as much as possible and find deals. We had our friend Jessica Callahan play piano and sing, our favorite barbecue place catered, a coworker tended bar, our friend got ordained online to marry us, I made a majority of the decorations, a friend did the photography, and we got married during midweek to save on venue rental fees.

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We are both nerds who are big on reading, pop culture, and sci-fi. Alice in Wonderland is a favorite of both of ours, and just really seemed to fit the look and feel of Ashton Villa perfectly.

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Tell us about the ceremony: I loved my husband's vows! They were funny and nerdy. He used our favorite pop culture characters and traditional vow structure to create something really fun:

I vow that I will have and hold you; protect you from all you fear.
For you will be my Buttercup and I your Westley dear.
I vow to be there for better or worse, both when you laugh and cry.
For you will be my Jennifer, and I'll be your Marty McFly.
I vow to be there whether rich or poor, both when we lose and win.
For I will be your Joker, and you my Harley Quinn.
I vow to be there in sickness and health, to catch you when you fall.
Because you are my Miss Piggy, and I'm your Kermy Frog.
Please know this day forward, and until death do us part.
I'll love you now and forever, with every piece of my heart.

My vows also included some pop culture references including Game of Thrones: "You are my sun and stars," and a Toy Story nod: "I will love you to infinity and beyond."

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I love to give high-fives, so our officiant made sure to tell us "you may kiss the bride and then high-five." Afterwards my husband grabbed my hand and we both raised our arms, boxing champion style, completely unplanned.

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Our biggest challenge: I had a difficult time getting the venue rental lady to communicate effectively. It was obvious she didn't understand "offbeat" brides or the fact that we actually had a theme besides just colors. Often times she was slow to reply or would veto a choice of ours because it didn't fit the "theme" of the venue. The best way to deal with it was to have my husband read the email I was going to send her before it was sent. Or to have him rehearse what I would say when I called her. Being able to sound like the professional vs. the actual "professional" was rewarding and often produced the desired results.

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I also made the mistake of not doing a hair trial prior to the wedding. I ended up looking like a '50s housewife, which wasn't a bad thing, but it wasn't the '20s movie star glam style I was hoping for. After some stress, we finally decided to go back and get it fixed. Thankfully, the hairdresser was kind enough to understand that what she did was not what I asked for and redid my hair. In the end I really liked it, and was very glad we decided to fix the situation instead of just "dealing with it."

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was getting a migraine while we were setting up the decorations and tables/chairs and I was worried about not being there to help. Jack, his groomsmen, and some our family members really pulled through on this one! Things we already had at the house (that I hadn't even thought about using for decorations) made it to the ballroom and looked awesome. I was blown away by what they were able to do with our limited budget, homemade centerpieces/decorations, and items from home. Sometimes you have to let go and put it in someone else's hands.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: I had plenty of time to plan and create before our wedding but didn't really give myself any deadlines. No matter how long the engagement, give yourself realistic projects and deadlines. There were a ton of things I wanted to do (like customized Wonderland wine labels) that I just didn't have time for because of poor time management.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I probably could have leaned more on Jack for help and support. I chose not to burden him because I didn't want him to stress too, which was a big mistake. This person is your partner for better or worse, so have them help you when you are struggling.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!



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