Ian & Jonathon's laid-back wedding with cupcakes and vests

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Photos by Jorie Tappa Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Ian, Caterer (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Jonathon, Software Architect

Date and location of wedding: Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN — September 8, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Neither of us are part of any particular subcultures, but neither are we religious or especially traditional. We knew we wanted to create a wedding experience from scratch, though not by DIYing (we are not crafty at all!). We also had a fairly limited budget. The most important piece to us was to keep it small. That was surprisingly hard! Jon's mom has eight siblings with spouses and children, and my mom has a large family too. We had to make the tough choice to not invite ANY aunts/uncles/cousins. We kept it only to immediate family and close friends. Jon's family in particular is quite close and this had the potential to cause drama. I was surprised by how understanding folks were once we explained our budget situation.

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The venue was a small concert venue, Fine Line Music Cafe. It was simple, but just a teeny bit rock 'n' roll. We were able to use the main hall for the ceremony and have them flip it for the reception while we had appetizers on the mezzanine. It was also in downtown Minneapolis, so we gave folks some directions for fun things to do while in town.

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The most important thing to me personally was what I would wear. I knew that I didn't want to wear a dress — they just don't work for me. But I didn't know how formal I would want to be, either. I am a "jeans and tank top" kind of person. So I ended up with a simple vest/shirt/pants combo. The "pretty princess" parts (for me) were high heeled ankle boots (I never wear heels) and a little feather hair clip.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
Jon's brother-from-another-mother (literally… it's a complicated family) officiated. Jordan, the officiant, greeted everyone, then said a short piece about what marriage meant to Jon and me. My good friend did a reading, an excerpt from Orson Scott Card's Children of the Mind:

Will the kind of love I have for you be enough? To reach out to you when I'm in need, and to try to be here for you when you need me back. And to feel such tenderness when I look at you that I want to stand between you and all the world; and yet also to lift you up and carry you above the strong currents of life; and at the same time, I would be glad to stand always like this, at a distance, watching you, the beauty of you, your energy as you look up at these towering people, speaking to them as an equal even though every movement of your hands, every fluting syllable of your speech cries out that you're a child–is it enough for you that I feel these loves for you? Because it's enough for me. And enough for me that when my hand touched your shoulder, you leaned on me, and when you felt me slip away, you called my name.

Jon's groomslady read a quote by Madeline L'Engle:

But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.

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We exchanged vows and rings on our own. Jon promised me the stars, as is his way. He also handed me my Chapstick (my sad addiction) by surprise right before I started my vows. My vows were somewhat lovey-dovey, but also included bits about stealing the covers and making him carrot cake for his birthday.

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Our biggest challenge:
Six months before the wedding, Jon's father passed away very suddenly. The wedding planning had to be put aside to handle the estate and the ensuing emotional turmoil. Jon was the sole heir (his brothers are half-brothers) and did a lot of travel back and forth in the months after his father's death. It was a very bittersweet ceremony because of it, but we did try to honor him by having a chair reserved for him as well as a memorial sign.

During this time, Jon's mother also fell ill. She needed a liver transplant and was in dire health. We considered at one point arranging a courthouse ceremony so that she could be there, but she was not able to travel and we were never able to make it work. She was hospitalized for several weeks before the wedding. Five days before the wedding, she got her transplant! She still was not able to be at the ceremony but it was the best gift we could have asked for. A kind nurse let her use their iPhone in order to make a video call, and some friends of hers bought her some lovely clothes in our wedding colors. She was able to be a part of the wedding even from her hospital room.

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My favorite moment:
My favorite part to remember was actually getting ready together the morning of the wedding. For several months we had been sharing a car and driving to work together in the mornings, so we had a pretty set routine for getting ready. We had house guests the night before, but even so we were able to wake up together calmly, shower together, help get ourselves set, etc. I sewed a button onto his suit coat, he helped me put the clip in my hair… it was those sweet little moments that I most fondly remember.

The nicest part of the wedding itself was walking down the aisle together after the ceremony. I was so nervous and excited that I could barely wait for the recessional to start and Jon had to hold my hand to keep me from leaving the stage. And I didn't even trip on my high heels!

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My funniest moment:
Jon has a big, gregarious immediate family (five brothers and a retroactive stepfather). The brothers, best man, Jon, and I all had a great time jumping around outside the venue, striking silly poses. The boys got a good West Side Story-type pose on the fence, and some of my favorite ones of Jon and I are attempting to dance in the alley way after the ceremony. We tried to keep the whole thing very relaxed and just have fun!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

    • Thanks! I decided to surprise Jon with a dress-change for the reception. I kind of regret it, to be honest. He liked it and everyone said I looked great, but it felt "off" to me and I wish I would have stayed in pants the whole time.

      The dress was from Modcloth and I believe they sell it in several different colors.

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  1. Love your pants and vest combo! You look lovely and I bet you were far more comfortable because of it. Also, I love that Madeline L'Engle reading…we used it in our ceremony too.

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  2. " We knew we wanted to create a wedding experience from scratch, though not by DIYing (we are not crafty at all!)"

    This articulates my feelings so well!

    I like your shirt…surprised to see it is from Chicos…..I just always thought their style wasn't as tailored.

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    • I had the worst time trying to find just a simple green button-up shirt! Everything was too floofy until I found this one. I bought it off the rack but when I went to go get more (for work), they only sold them online. :-/

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  3. You two are TOO cute!!! Your joy & playful spirit shines right through, and it.is.adorable and squee-inducing! Your people are all adorable, too. Congrats!!! 🙂

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  4. I have to admit I squeed at the carrot cakes. Not only did I have carrot cake at my wedding, but I'm one of those crazy people that feel carrot cake just isn't the same without the little icing carrot on top. 🙂

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  5. You have married your best friend and that will last!!
    Too many couples marry for the wrong reasons, health insurance, a child or baby, to move out of the parent's house, etc.

    P.s. I agree with you about being yourself and wearing pants or jeans if that is you and dresses aren't your thing!!
    But don't regret the dress for the reception, it was a special day. Some guys feel that same way about wearing a suit, and only for weddings, graduation, funerals, etc.

    I wish you joy, peace and happiness!!

  6. Way to stick to your guns. And also, go Fine Line Cafe! I applaud you for choosing what makes you happy and not what makes other people happy.

  7. The part about his mother had me literally in tears! What a beautiful way to keep her included

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