Tia & Michael's New York City fleet week wedding

September 11 | offbeatbride
Photos by Sanam Skelly

The offbeat bride: Tia, Actress (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Michael, Programmer

Date and location of wedding: Aleo Restaurant, New York City, NY — May 26, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: It was a small wedding with only 75 guests at an intimate Italian restaurant, Aleo. We didn't go for a theme, but rather just put together things that we liked and thought represented us.

Wedding Taxi Ride!


My best friend painted us on canvas to have guests sign instead of the guestbook. We opted for pictures before the ceremony in Madison Square Park, and then the boys walked to the restaurant and I hailed a yellow taxi. It was like sharing my wedding day with the entire city. It was just a fun day, and it ended with all of us at our favorite dive bar.


Tell us about the ceremony: My grandmother performed the ceremony, and included so many things that were personal to us and illustrated how far we've come as a couple. It was sweet and funny, but serious at times and reflected the Christian background I was brought up in.

Our biggest challenge: The most challenging part was trying to pull it all together in only three months. Sometimes it was so hard to see the big picture, especially since we had a color scheme but no theme. Sometimes I just hoped it would all pull itself together in the end. Thankfully, it did.


My favorite moment: I loved having my grandfather walk me down the aisle and my grandmother perform the ceremony. I could tell she was trying to keep it together and I was just thinking "Please, Grandma don't cry or I will too!" I'd originally wanted to get married on "Loving Day," the day that the Supreme Court made interracial marriage bans unconstitutional, but it didn't work out. Instead, my best friend paid tribute by reading the last public statement of Mildred Loving. It was so beautiful.

Hello, Sailor!

My funniest moment: We got married during my favorite New York holiday: Fleet Week! So of course my best friend Jessica spots a sailor walking through the park and insists he take a picture with me. I loved it!


At the reception, my seven-year-old brother told everyone he was only there for the cake. He fell asleep during the reception on a couch with his head resting nicely upon the ring pillow.

Grandfather/Grandaughter Dance

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were supposed to have a musician, but he got the dates mixed up and told me the day before the wedding that he wasn't coming. My bridesmaids and I had to come up with a new cocktail hour playlist and ceremony music. All the music turned out to be great, and using an iPod turned out to be not stressful at all. We just picked a playlist and let it run.

Robot Cake Toppers from Etsy

My advice for Offbeat Brides: They say there's nothing new under the sun as far as weddings go. What is original is your own love story, so always try to put as much of yourselves into your wedding as you can. Don't sweat the small stuff, and try to take time to remember all the great little moments.


Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. This is such a sweet wedding! I love the robot cake toppers, the parasols, the adorable sleeping little brother, the pink streaks in the bride's hair…and as a member of a interracial fat relationship, it makes me happy to see other couples like us.

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  2. Love how relaxed and FUN this wedding looks! Such huge, genuine smiles from both the bride and the groom. Bliss! And I love your advice: "They say there's nothing new under the sun as far as weddings go. What is original is your own love story, so always try to put as much of yourselves into your wedding as you can." Well said! Congratulations to you and your beloved! 🙂

    5 agree
  3. OMG I LOOOOOOVE your canvas guestbook!!! Would your friend consider doing more of those cute guest books for other couples? 🙂

    Congrats on your beautiful wedding! 🙂

    1 agrees
  4. The reading from Mildred Loving is a wonderful touch. This was a beautiful wedding. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    1 agrees
  5. My first two reactions: "Is that bride paint? AWESOME!" and "OMG I love that painting of the two of you!"
    Adorable wedding.

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  6. There's so much love in these pictures. Your grandparents seem like really sweet people. I'm so happy for you and the picture of your brother made me laugh. I love your body art, and your robots. I like the last picture of the two of you sharing the cake, you made it look elegant, your smile is so real and not a forced pose, I worry that our cake pictures will make us look like starving animals OM NOM NOM CAKE! and we'll forget to look cute.

    1 agrees
  7. Wow, your choice of Loving quote is amazing! And that picture, with his protective arm around her, brought a tear to my eye. I'd never read that quote, and I am a product of miscegenation (and intend to commit dirty, dirty acts of it with my white partner).

    Love your adorable fleet week NY wedding, congrats!

  8. I love your beautiful body art! Must go read the 'Loving' reading now, it sounds absolutely perfect. Congratulations.

  9. Aw, Tia – I love you, girl. I'm so happy your wedding was so beautiful. You and hubby look so happy.

    We've got to do drinks some time soon – I haven't seen you in AGES.

    Best wishes.

    1 agrees

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