Mandy & Douglas' forest masquerade handmade wedding

By on Aug. 14th Photos by Elizabeth Smart Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Mandy, Theme Park Operations (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Douglas, Office Manager

Date and location of wedding: Pine Rose Cabins, Twin Peaks, CA — April 29, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We made practically everything to save on the budget ($7,000) from coffee filter roses to all the attire. I made my reception dress, Doug's suit and vest, my sister's dress, my mother's dress, both the matron of awesome and the best ladies' matching outfits, and various other costumes. Then we asked all of our guests to dress in their best masquerade attire, and almost everybody did!

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Tell us about the ceremony: We each picked one best friend to stand with us, and I had my son escort me down the aisle since my father and I are not on speaking terms. We did a handfasting, a ring warming, and a Quaich ceremony to put in the Scottish traditions that I value. We also wrote our own vows to each other and kept them a secret. It turns out we both ended up talking about how I always hog the bed!

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masquerade-wedding-details

Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge was time for the DIY projects. Doug cut and made all 600 roses for the centerpieces, and then we spent days hand-painting them all, curling them, and finally assembling them all. I made my bouquet days before the wedding because I forgot all about it, but luckily Doug's mother and a few friends donated brooches for my bouquet. There was so much sewing for the handmade outfits that I was sewing up until four hours before the wedding! I'm just glad I finished.

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My funniest moment: The funniest moment was when the coordinator came up to tell me that my escort, my two and a half-year-old son, Zen, was asleep, and that my stepdad and Doug's father were both willing to walk me down the aisle instead. I told her, "No, I want my son. Wake him up." Her face was priceless. He was fine though. He got up and walked me down the aisle after all.

Also, if you write your own ceremony, be sure to include the part about everybody being seated after the bride comes down the aisle. I forgot to write that, and our officiant, a close friend, forgot as well, and everybody stood for about 10 minutes before our coordinator suggested that the guests all sit down!

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I learned to go with the flow where tradition was concerned. For instance, I originally didn't want to wear a veil. But then Doug's mother offered her veil, and it meant so much to me to use something that was so full of history. I instantly changed my mind! Sometimes you just find that certain traditions end up being just right for you.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!