Katie & Steve's Red Ballooned, Lovely Meadow, Vow Renewal

The Offbeat Bride: Katie, owner of A Sense of Place Photography/Actess/Poet

Her Offbeat Partner: Steve, Sailor/Husband/Poet

Location & date of wedding: A lovely meadow on the San Fransisco Peaks, Flagstaff, Arizona — May 24th, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: I planned the entire wedding all by myself for the most part while we were in a different city than the actual wedding all together! The song we both "walked" to was "Here Comes The Sun," which was played by our violinist, Linh Renken outside in a lovely meadow!

I followed offbeat bride for every step of planning. Our cake was ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins and I bought my shoes for the wedding at Old Navy about 3 hours before the ceremony on Memorial Day Weekend when the mall was closed. My dress was $40 from an East Indian store in San Diego. Our bridal party had 27 people in it.

Our "aisle" was made of logs in the Forrest and we arranged the wording of our own blessing. My husband's vows were written a week before on a typewriter we bought from a thrift shop & that's just the beginning… Our cake toppers were bought only hours before from Office Max. My husband chose his outfit only the day before…

Okay I'll stop πŸ˜‰

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was the stress in planning it.

Since it was only our public wedding (we eloped 7 months beforehand at a courthouse) we questioned calling it off several times. We had my laptop stolen and our car break down 1 month before the wedding which really made us strapped for cash. Not to mention a coast to coast roadtrip from San Diego to Virginia Beach. The planning process also laid right around a death in my immediate family, as well as four other family emergencies. Our location for the wedding ceremony and reception were one-and-a-half hours apart too!!! We ended up being the only ones out of our party that stayed at our wedding venue.

I think going through with it all publicly made us a stronger couple, even though it was very hard. The best part was the relief of having it be over. It's also a great excuse for a long-awaited family reunion. As a photographer, I just couldn't go without beautiful wedding photos!

Another challenge was people's response. No one called, e-mailed or phoned in any questions till about the week before when (for obvious reasons) we couldn't really make any changes. So we both just decided so smile and say oh well! Early bird gets the worm I guess πŸ™‚

My favorite moment: Our 1st dance was "Origin of Love," By Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We had choreographed it a few months before but never really practiced it enough to be comfortable to perform it. So, when it was time for the first dance we just decided to wing it instead. What we did in the spur of the moment was 10x better than any choreography we had planned before and it was a HUGE hit. But my favorite part was how intimately and completely we communicated as a couple non verbally to pull that off, very impressive and representative of how connected we really are. No one believes us when we tell them it was spontaneous, but it was!

We were very firm on wanting the whole thing to be very independent, especially since we were already married for the event! No one walked us down the aisle, an officiant did not stand between us the entire time. It was not a long and wordy ceremony. We wanted to show that love is about action and about us and our relationship with God. Family will have their own opinions regardless, but marriage is about your new life together, and a celebration of that combination!! I'm such a baby I literally cried when my husband got on the stage and said that I had poured my heart and soul into planning it. Him publicly acknowledging that meant a lot.

Oh, and nothing beats being models for a day πŸ™‚

My advice for other offbeat brides: Although you may want to do your entire wedding D.I.Y, make sure that you have some help you can rely on. If you don't have close girlfriends that can help you plan — hire someone! It's not worth the stress and responsibility, at least not for me. I wish I would have hired someone first off because all of my girls fell through with help for planning. But then again, maybe it wouldn't have been as creative. Who knows?!

Just don't out-do yourself because in the end, you'll end up having to face a thousand things you could have never planned for and it will end up being an organic process anyways. Lol, God's bigger than your wedding.

Oh, and if you have ice cream for your wedding (we did ice cream cake) make sure to prepare because I guess I have sensitive teeth or something, it hurt in the cake passing.

Also, it's just a day, sure, there is nothing like it in the world, but most of my favorite moments with my husband were completely unplanned. I love him.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

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  1. I can't wait to get home and look more closely at all your photos. (I am at work at the moment, naughty!) The wife and I will be having our registry office wedding in three months time, with just closest family there, and then having a giant family camping bonfire buffet picnic weekender wedding in July 2010. I'm looking forward to the party, and am glad to see that I am not the only one to have two weddings!

  2. Congrats on creating such a gorgeous (second) wedding in spite of all the adversity you faced in planning it. Everyone looks beautiful, and the scenery behind you all is amazing!

  3. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much!!! It really did pay off and the bonfire sounds lovely πŸ™‚ Yes, two weddings….a necessity for some, Lol!

  4. First of, that dress is amazing! Secondly, the ceremony site is just gorgeous. And thirdly, your advice is so… grounding. I keep thinking… oh crap, I'm going to have to do ALL of this?? Things will happen as they will happen, and even if there's something I forget to do/can't do, it will still be what it's supposed to be!

  5. Katie- You're officially my hero. My mom thinks I'm a nut to want to have my wedding "in a field" with an ice-cream cake. I would like to talk to you a little bit about your actual ceremony wording. We got married before our wedding and I'm not sure how to handle the ceremony part. If you'll respond, I'll send you my email address and maybe we can chat further. Thanks!! I loved your stuff. It truly helped me keep the vision alive amidst everyone's scoff's.

  6. Aw, I'm really glad! Best to go on the blog http://www.theyouandmeshow.com, just leave your e-mail one one of the comments. I'd love to give you some advice about wording. There is actually great poems/readings online and we just mixed and matched a few! Yes, people * will * think you're crazy. Lol, they'll also have a great time !!! πŸ™‚

  7. I love love love love love love that dress so much. So so so much!!! AHH! I want to have that dress for my wedding.. what kind of style is that?? I want to look for that style…

  8. Leslie, thanks for the comment! πŸ™‚ The link to the dress is in the above article. It was a grand total of $40 πŸ™‚

  9. I was thinking about having my wedding around that same area on the San Francisco Peaks, who do you have to get in touch with to set up something like that?? I am assuming you have to pay some kind of permit fee??

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