Ingi & Jay's neo-Victorian, steampunk, black & white, garden wedding

130The offbeat bride: Ingi, teacher (and OBT member)

Her offbeat partner: Jay, beer warehouse supervisor

Location & date of wedding: Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Richmond, VA — 10/17/09

What made our wedding offbeat: I fell in love with the Poe Museum's Enchanted Garden on a tour when I moved to Richmond years ago, so when I proposed to Jay it was the first place that came to mind. I basically planned the rest of the wedding off of the innate beauty of that setting.

I included a lot of traditional Victorian aspects, like the styling of our outfits, the bridesmaids' wedding cake pulls and silhouette artist — but made sure to incorporate the things that convey us as individuals, like my Dracula and Frankenstein's monster reception slippers and Jay's Karate Kid cufflinks.

I was born on Halloween and have always stayed true to that, so we also had to have spook factor (hence the dry iced bubbling and smoking cocktails, named Bloody Sunset and Adipocere).

We luckily have a lot of exceptionally talented people in our lives and used our wedding as a chance to showcase their skills. The photographer, caterer, sound system guy, etc. were all friends of ours, which helped us come in way under our tiny budget. Friends also helped me make all of the decor, save-the-dates, invitations, programs, you-name-it. I could never have pulled this off without them.

A close friend of ours who happens to be a lesbian did us the honors of marrying us, so we made sure our ceremony included hopes for a future in which gay marriage is legal everywhere.

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Our biggest challenge: I have always heard that things will go wrong on your wedding day and to not sweat the small stuff, so I was totally prepared for that. However, I wasn't quite prepared for how many things were to go wrong.

Foxy black & white bridal party.
Foxy black & white bridal party.

From the bone-chillingly rainy weather (the ceremony and reception were both entirely outdoors), to leaving all of the wine in my car's trunk across town (oops), to sound system trouble causing us to start really late, to the guests pouring into the venue before it was even set up allowing everyone to see my wedding ensemble way before I wanted them to, etc.

But I must say the biggest challenge of the day was when I managed to set myself on fire during the cocktail hour. My dress caught flame while I was in the kitchenette placing the wedding cake pulls into the wedding cake and just like in those now-not-so-funny videos on AFV, I was quickly engulfed in flame. I'm proud to say that I remembered to stop, drop and roll, which saved both most of my dress and myself. I quickly ran to the bridal room with my bridesmaids where we hacked off the burnt portions of my dress, pulled the melted thigh highs out of the burn wounds on my leg, ingested pain pills, chugged a glass of wine and rejoined the party. And know what? It was still the best day ever. He said yes and I couldn't have been happier.

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This dress is completely amazing.

My favorite moment: Coming down the aisle to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" and seeing his face when he saw his bride for the first time?

4110709331_23d5047ce4Walking back up the aisle with our joined fists raised to the recessional tune of "We Are the Champions" by Queen?

Seeing my father joyously jump and dance to Bowie's "Dance, Magic, Dance" during the father-daughter dance?

The ultimate dance party to Gunther's "Ding Dong Song?"

Decisions, decisions…

My advice for other offbeat brides: Stay away from flammable objects while wearing your wedding dress!

That aside, I really recommend hiring a day-of planner. I didn't because I'm "frugal" (cheap/miserly is more like it) but then really regretted it the day of the wedding. It was a lot more stressful being, both, the wedding coordinator and the bride than I could have imaged. Had I just spent the extra money I could have sat back and enjoyed the day more fully — and I probably wouldn't have gotten caught on fire!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

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  1. I loooove your dress, it is so beautiful. What a gorgeous bride. Definately going into my wedding inspiration scrapbook!!

  2. I am having my wedding at the Poe museum next year! Such a lovely place 🙂 Beautiful dress, lovely groom and I hear rain on a wedding day is good luck!

  3. Gorgeous dress – even with the flames! Good for you for not letting something that could have been so horrible ruin your day.

  4. I had the ultimate privelage of attending this wedding, and I must say that it was the most gorgeous ceremony and reception i have ever been to. The ceremony even attracted an audience of museum tourers. Thankfully, Ingi turned me down when I proposed, elsewise this union wuld not have taken place. 😉

  5. I love this wedding! And I LOVE that it took place in Richmond! That town needs all the offbeat it can get!

    • David Bowie is my dad's all-time favorite and thanks to his influence I'm a huge fan too. For me, the obsession all began when my dad would watch Labyrinth with me as a kid. So it was only fitting that we used something from it as our father/daughter dance song. Thanks and cheers!

  6. Thanks for the compliments, everyone! The ironic thing about that dress is that it was actually the second Victorian bridal gown I purchased for our wedding. The first I ordered from a flakey seller with an online shop and after having paid in full the dress never materialized. After waiting and worrying and pleading for months trying to get the dress, a refund or at least a straight answer instead of bland excuses, I gave up on the first dress and went into a frenzy trying to find a last-minute replacement. Luckily I stumbled upon Susan at Bound By Obsession (check out her Etsy shop!). She heard my story of woe and designed and made this incredible gown for me. I loved wearing it so much and couldn't imagine having worn anything else on that day. All's well that ends well, eh? =)

  7. Hooray Richmond!!! This makes me so happy. The Poe Museum is completely amazing, and is such an incredible budding town for offbeat culture. Many congratulations!

  8. well holy shit! congrats jay and ingi! sorry i couldnt make it. i wish i knew about it. i miss you guys, drop me a line sometime 540 230 2595.

    love
    eric

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