Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

September 5 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Matt Norris
Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding
Photos by Matt Norris

The Offbeat Bride: Katie, Pediatric Research Assistant

Her offbeat partner: Aron, Middle School English Teacher

Date and location of wedding: Beach house backyard of the bride's parents, Rhode Island — July 3, 2016

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

We had a Middle Earth garden wedding with a Lord of the Rings theme with a gold, navy, white, and tan color scheme. It was held at my parents' beach house. Having the wedding at their home really added not only a personal touch, but some wonderful memories to the house.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

We wanted our guests to arrive and feel like they were transported to another world. Upon entering the ceremony space, everyone was offered yarmulkes with gold Gandalfs printed on them or fern and ivy floral crowns. Guests were seated among flowers and ferns at different locations in Middle Earth, among folk from the realms of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and man.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

There would be children there, so after the ceremony, we offered lawn games for our guests to enjoy. Everyone geeked out in the photo booth when they weren't too busy dancing. Fireworks and sparklers were introduced as it got dark.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

Tell us about the ceremony:

We had a reform Jewish ceremony, beginning with the signing of the Ketubah marriage contract inside the house with the family and bridal party. We each signed our names in Hebrew and chanted "simon tov and mazel tov."

During the ceremony, we stood under a chuppah made from birch trees, canopied with Aron's tallit from his bar mitzvah and extra lace from my dress, flocked by Aragorn and Arwen's coronation banners.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

The ceremony began with me circling Aron seven times, each circle represented something different, including the home we would begin making together. Blessings were read by our immediate family in both Hebrew and English. Instead of vows, we wrote three things about each other and gave them to the rabbi: how we met, what we love about each other, and what our plans are for the future. It was lovely to hear each other's interpretations!

There were many jokes shared by the rabbi and we also shared a glass of wine from the Kiddush cup. This is called the engagement ceremony. Then, we put rings on each other's index fingers because this is said to have a direct line to the heart. Finally we were married, and as Aron stomped on the glass, our guests shouted, "Mazel Tov!"

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

Following the ceremony, we had yichud, which means we went inside alone for about 20 minutes, no cameras or family, just a private moment with each other to soak it all in while our guests moved on to the cocktail hour. We highly recommend taking a moment to yourselves.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth garden wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

Tell us about your reception:

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails, lawn games, and hors d'oevres. Children got their energy out, and of course, because it is Rhode Island, adults got to indulge in the raw bar of oysters, Little Neck clams, and jumbo shrimp.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

The photo booth was set up on the deck for fun posing with chalkboard word bubbles in which people wrote movie quotes like "Live Long and Prosper," "May the Force be with You," "Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff," and "May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor."

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

During the reception, guests were transported to different regions, their tables adorned with four-foot ents, small stands of trees, carved stone, wooden signs and model castles that were handmade by our extremely talented friend Anna Finbury.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth wedding

We left our guests with "The One Napkin Ring" which we had made from plain wooden napkin rings and a bookmark matching our gold and navy color scheme.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

We were confused when one of the bridesmaids didn't make a toast, but later, one of the most special moments was when she ended up singing us a song she wrote for us! It was a huge surprise and something that we will never forget.

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

Find the "one napkin ring" at this Middle Earth magical wedding

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  1. Oh my gosh, your wedding was beautiful! All the little details, your gorgeous dress (and THOSE SHOES), the cake, the food, the table settings! It really looked like you had a fun, intimate ceremony/reception. If you don't mind my asking, what did you do with all the nifty centerpieces your friend carved?

    1 agrees
    • Thanks Christina! Some of them went with close friends, but Anna held on to most of them because we had the wedding long distance and were traveling for our honeymoon. Can't wait for them to end up in our home eventually!

  2. That cake is gorgeous! I love the center pieces too, everything looks beautiful!

    1 agrees
  3. So much of this is amazing, but my big burning question is: where on Middle-Earth did you find Gandalf-print kippot??

    1 agrees
    • Best Kippahs does custom designs! They did not have that print available at first, but we told them about our wedding theme and they came through with a custom made design!

  4. Tardis dress. Love it. The photo of the grooms people with the shield is great photo.

    I love the Kippa too.

    1 agrees
  5. Your wedding looks INCREDIBLE! I love all the little details. How did you make the bookmarks? Those are a fantastic idea for a wedding favor.

    1 agrees
    • Thanks so much Kat! We had the bookmarks printed by an online retailer and my MIL and I assembled them with the ribbon ­čÖé

  6. Hey Katie, Your wedding looked amazing!! My Best Friend is having a Lord of the Rings wedding. I'm looking for the cake topper (Aragorn & Arwen Cake Topper) that you used for your wedding cake. Can you help me by telling me where you got it from? I have looked everywhere online and it's sold out.
    Thank you!!

    1 agrees
    • Hi Susan,
      Thank you so much!
      The cake toppers are actually salt and pepper shakers! I can't remember where we got them, I'm sorry!

      • I have been looking everywhere and they're out of stock and the company doesn't make the salt and pepper shakers anymore. If you decide you want to get rid of them let me know.(I'm sure you don't but if you do just let me know you would make a Bride fav happy. She has it pinned to her pinterest board 4 times.)Thanks for the help. I'll keep looking.

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