Jax & Andy's geeky glam Gwen Stefani-loving wedding

Thumb War!
Photos by Jenny Kim Photography

The offbeat bride: Jax, Briefing Center
Manager, Jax-of-all-trades, (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Andy, Teacher's Assistant, Singer, Cartoonist, and all-around good guy

Location & date of wedding: A beautiful estate in Cortland Manor, NY (aka middle of nowhere) — July 10, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: I am not very traditional, but my family — scratch that — my mom is. But I think we managed to convert her. We made a lot of things ourselves and we tried to be as earth-conscious as possible. I made our ceremony decor, the clergy sash, and the girls' hair accessories. The centerpieces were made from wine bottles and bean cans.

Centerpieces

I had a friend from high school make a Millennium Falcon groom's cake for Andy out of Rice Krispies. She used actual blueprints to make it incredibly detailed. I added a beard to Han Solo and painted Leia's hair blonde to mimic us.

Millenium Falcon Rice Krispie Cake

Star WARS

We also used our guests' creative RSVP cards to decorate the foyer. Our officiant was my high school mentor, so I was able to write the whole ceremony. Our flower girls were actually "bubble girls."

YES!

My brother who is a dance instructor taught everyone a social circle dance called "The Barn Dance." Now this is burned into my memory: "step, hop, step, hop, turn the girl around."

I am a big Gwen Stefani fan and she inspired me throughout the planning. I sent her an invitation but she didn't come. 😉 But I did have a little Gwen doll with a dress like me. Other Gwen items included a LAMB cuff, L by LAMB perfume, and two pairs of Harajuku Lover shoes — one heel and one flat.

Little Gwen

I had two dresses because as much as I loved my gown, it was definitely impractical and I couldn't dance or sit in it very well.

Buttoning up
 

Twirl
Second dress!

We also asked people to submit photos and videos via text message to our blog so those who were not there could see it instantly. I posted a blog about it as well.

Super Bridal Justice Team

Tell us about the ceremony: Our officiant was an ordained interfaith minister. I wrote the ceremony in a pretty book for us to keep and write about other special family moments.

Ceremony Book

I also loved the idea of a Jewish Ketubah, so Andy made something similar. It's a beautiful marriage certificate and a promise to each other to hang on the wall. Plus, it starts with "Once upon a time" and ends with "happily ever after." We signed the legal and decorative certificates in front of everyone.

Marriage Certificate

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was satisfying my mother's expectations. My mom really wanted to have the big family wedding. I gave in on the type of wedding but I had to put my stamp on it.

Wanna brawl?

My favorite moment: Our vows were funny because even though they were a surprise, they were uncannily similar. We both talked about how well we balance each other and how we want our life to be an adventure.

I really liked that when I looked back at my mom during the ceremony, she gave me a thumbs up. It was such a relief that she was enjoying it and I will always remember it.

Andy and I also practiced a dance to "Cheek to Cheek" by Frank Sinatra. I was so nervous! We foxtrotted and swing-stepped through it, with a dip and bow at the end.

Foxtrot

My dad and I danced slow at first before switching to "Suavemente" and salsa dancing. I'm 50 percent Puerto Rican on my mom's side, and salsa dancing is something we do regularly.

Salsa with my dad

My funniest moment: The funniest moment had to be when my five-year-old nephew punked our friend Rev by scaring him. Only one person saw it happen but everyone knew about it by the end of the wedding. Poor Rev may never live it down.

The other moment might have been when I was asked to take Andy as my husband and I said "I SUUUUUUURRRRRRRREEEEEE DO."

Dancing with my nephew

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? It was raining very hard in the morning. I was waiting for the girls to get their nails done and ended up walking around Wal-Mart thinking, "If I have to make an indoor wedding with just the items in Wal-Mart, what would I do?" We had the backup plan but thankfully didn't need to use it. By the time we got to the venue, the rain had stopped and things were clearing up.

Room

One of the coolest moments was seeing the glorious sun shining as we left the cermony. I have been so fortunate in my life and this is just one of those moments you reflect on.

Favors and Table Seating

My advice for offbeat brides: MORE TIME, LESS PEOPLE! Everyone asks you for advice after you have your wedding and this is what I tell them. If I had to do it over again, I would have done it exactly how I wanted to do it originally, which was 24 of the most important people in Vegas for the weekend. Instead we had 150 people for six hours!

My gift to my maid of honor
Maid of Honor gift!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? A marriage is not made on a day with a dress and flowers, it's made between two people when they realize that they can get through anything together. I found Andy almost six years ago this October and cannot wait for every new day together.

So if everything does go wrong with the planning, you should still walk away with your one and only.
 

Lottery Ticket Bouquet
Lucky lottery ticket bouquet toss

Cheers

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. "A marriage is not made on a day with a dress and flowers, it's made between two people when they realize that they can get through anything together."

    I love this; it is exactly how I feel. COngratulations!

    5 agree
  2. Your wedding couldn't have been more amazing! You did a great job B.O.S.S. =)

    2 agree
  3. This is such an awesome 1 year anniversary present. Now if only Gwen would notice and have coffee with me oneday. 🙂 Love to the Offbeat Community for all their love and support!

    1 agrees
  4. Beautiful! These photos got me all teary-eyed. You guys look so happy. Congrats!

    1 agrees
  5. What an awesome wedding! No Doubt was the first real concert I ever went to – so I understand the love for Gwen 🙂

    Also, I would love a tutorial on how to make that lottery ticket bouquet!!

    2 agree
    • You aren't the first to ask. My cousin made it and I really need to visit her and get the skinny on how she made it. I know for a fact she practiced on old lotto tickets she found on the floor outside the convenience stores. When I get it, I'll post it on my new craft blog and OBB.

      1 agrees
  6. This shit is bananas!

    LOVE everything about your wedding! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    5 agree
  7. This is one of my favorite OB weddings! Loved the dress (both of them), the salsa dance with your dad, the brooch bouquet. My favorite element is the katubah. I've always loved this element of jewish weddings and plan on doing a version for myself, whenever I get married.

    1 agrees
  8. I love your creative ideas – the decorative rsvp cards as seating cards, and the "wedding tips" jar are both cool and personal touches.

    2 agree
    • I agree!!! your dress is GORGEOUS!!! may i ask…do i dare…LOL – where did you get it or who's the designer??? GREAT CHOICE!!! i'll be salsa dancing at my wedding too! thanks for the inspiration 🙂

      1 agrees
  9. ooh, i love sweetgrassmill on etsy, i am getting pretty peacocky things from her too, she has been so lovely!

    1 agrees
  10. Things I LOVVVVE about this wedding: your dress omgggggg and the Ketubah, so creative! I will remember that :D. Also that you danced actual dances! Looks like you had a great time, and I will keep you advice to have less people and more time in mind.

    1 agrees
  11. I listened to Spiderwebs by No Doubt as I looked through these photos… it all fit perfectly 🙂

    1 agrees
  12. Ahhh! This is one of my favorite OBB posts. I, too, am a huge, life-long fan of Gwen Stefani and (dare I say) you remind me much of her!

    A question or two, if you don't mind me asking! It looks like you used a venue (based on the reception pictures) that seems the traditional "our linens, our caterers" type deal. How did you swing doing your own table settings/how did you manage to have those laid out for the reception?

    1 agrees
    • The venue was very accommodating. They didn't have anything going on the day before so when we arrived in NY with a carful of stuff our first stop was the venue. We had a few friends with us and set up the tables. The venue provided the black napkins which we used as the base of the centerpieces. They also got us all the candles (tapered and tea lights) we needed. So we just needed to put what we could together. Then we told the guy where water…and the flowers when dropped off would go. The flowers were so minimal it didn't require the florist to do anything but drop them off. I had 2 hydrangeas stems per table precut to 3 inches so they would fit in the bean cans. The one regret was when they poured the water into some of the borrowed glass pieces the sunken fake gardenia flipped over and no one noticed to fix it. Oh well! Then at the end of the wedding my cousin collected the borrowed glassware and we left everything else to be recycled, nice thing about using cans and wine bottles.

      1 agrees
    • BY Thank you for the awesome compliments. I was focused on answering your questions that I forgot to say THANK YOU! YAY Gwen Love! Maybe one day she'll call me up to have coffee. A girl can dream right?

      1 agrees

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