The Offbeat Bride: Erin, Accountant
Her offbeat partner: Tim, Naval Officer
Date and location of wedding: A friend's backyard, Tucson, AZ — 01/04/2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We set a budget limit of $5000, and we came way under that. Tim is currently stationed in Newport, RI, so there was a lot of mixed feelings about where we should have the wedding. We weren't sure we wanted a Newport/New England wedding. Once I found out that it was state law to throw away whatever catering wasn't consumed, I made my decision. We decided on having the wedding in my hometown (and where we met) of Tucson, AZ, and I was going to cater it myself.
Two of my best friends offered the backyard of their amazing and newly purchased home as an option for a venue, and we very gratefully accepted. My family did unending work sorting out rentals, making decor, assisting with food preparation, helping me fold napkins, and storing constantly arriving wedding stuff. We found out that it's hard to plan a wedding 3000 miles away in only three months.
My mom was a baker when I was a kid, so I asked her to bake our wedding cake. It was moist, delicious, and absolutely beautiful.
Our biggest challenge: The long-distance planning was the hardest part. There's so much tension because people want to know what you think about the details, but you can't really tell when you're not there in-person. I was very, very worried about how we would all get along when I arrived in Tucson after all that stress, but once I was there, all that tension melted away.
My favorite moment: Seeing Tim right before the wedding was definitely an emotion-filled time. We also kept our vows secret from each other, so we both cried and laughed a lot when we finally heard them. My matron of honor's speech at the reception brought more tears to my eyes, too.
My funniest moment: When the best man started to read "A Lovely Love Story" by Edward Monkton, the facial expressions of the guests who hadn't heard it before were priceless. There was a lot of confusion when it started with, "The fierce dinosaur…" They must have thought the readings were being hijacked.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Everything? We really threw this together at the last second when we arrived in Tucson. I was 80% sure we weren't going to get all the food finished in time, and we didn't. There were a lot of things I meant to put in that didn't make it to the table, but there was more than enough food for everyone.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Meticulously budget. And be realistic about what you can actually accomplish in your planning timeframe. I thought I was going to have time to meet up for yoga with the bridal party before the wedding. Seriously? What the hell was I thinking? I cancelled after we were an hour late to our own wedding rehearsal.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Trust the people who know you. Even when it feels like no one understands what you're trying to accomplish, they are the most likely to see it.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Modcloth (similar)
- Headpiece: Etsy seller Lexicouture
- Hangers/bridesmaid gifts: Etsy seller WishUponStarfish
- Bridesmaid dresses/shoes: Swell
- Photography: Vanessa Haro-Figueroa
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!