Craft beer and cheeseburgers abound at Sarah & John's wedding

Shields Wedding 12.5.14
Photos by Charlotte Blanch, Number 9 Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Sarah, Academic Advisor

Her offbeat partner: John, Freelance Film Editor and Production Assistant

Date and location of wedding: Mercury Hall, Austin, TX — December 5, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The first words out my mother's mouth when we started planning was, "I don't want anyone to have to pick up trash or move tables and chairs." This really, oddly, helped set the tone for the whole wedding. We didn't want to be stuffy, we didn't want people to have to feel like they were at a super formal occasion, but we did want people to be comfortable and not have to be aware of anything else but having fun. We love burgers and brats, so we had food trucks come. We love beer, so one of our good friends (who happens to be the master brewer at Black Star Co-op) brewed us two craft beers, and we love books so there were books on the tables.

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was performed by our good friend from college, who now lives very far away, so it was really special to have him lead us through it. He read a poem by Neil Gaiman, an author John and I both adore, shown below. He'd asked us separately what we loved about each other, which was a nice little surprise to hear. We each wrote our own vows, we didn't explicitly vow certain things but just talked about each other and the love that we'll continue to share.

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

"This for you, for both of you,
a small poem of happiness
filled with small glories and little triumphs
a fragile, short cheerful song
filled with hope and all sorts of futures
Because at weddings we imagine the future
Because it's all about "what happened next?"
all the work and negotiation and building and talk
that makes even the tiniest happily ever after
something to be proud of for a wee forever
This is a small thought for both of you
like a feather or a prayer,
a wish of trust and love and hope
and fine brave hearts and true.
Like a tower, or a house made all of dreams
and tomorrows and tomorrows and tomorrows"

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

My favorite moment:
The best moment for me was seeing John for the first time. I was getting stressed from all the pampering and prodding, and I just wanted to get to the point when I got to be around John to help calm me down. John really liked seeing all of his close friends and family in one place. He doesn't like to be too personal or emotional in public, but he was happy his friends and family were there to be witnesses.

The next best part was my mom, who was really REALLY happy to celebrate, then going up to do the speech for my dad and just beaming with pride and happiness. Oh also, she got dropped on the dance floor by one of our brewer friends, only to pop back up and keep dancing (she was fine, promise!).

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
No one is going to ask you why certain things are the way they are, your guests are just going to enjoy them, so try not to get stressed. Also, make sure to take a few days after your wedding BEFORE the honeymoon if you're taking one — you'll need the time to decompress and refocus.

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Shields Wedding 12.5.14

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

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  1. Such an original theme! I really appreciate this cause I'm also a big fan of craft beers!

    3 agree
  2. As the mother of the bride-who danced until she dropped-the wedding was wonderful. We just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and for John and Sarah to have an evening of memories. Of coarse, it
    helped that John's parents are a wonderful example of enduring love and support. We are very fortunate that Sarah's new husband John is comfortable with us and we adore him. Remember the wedding goes too fast and take care to enjoy the moment.

    3 agree
  3. This wedding was a true labor of love and a sight to see two families come together for the bride and groom. When I asked Sarah and John who designed most of the wedding, they both said that they relayed their taste and wants and the families made it happen. This is an example of a true Austin wedding…indoor/outdoor venue, uniquely stylish couple, craft beer and food trucks! It was an honor to capture this day.

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