Amber & Jimmy's crafty and geeky Texan wedding

April 28 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: ixi.photography

It's getting close to one of our favorite holidays, Star Wars Day! Stock up on your geeky quotes, get your lightsabers ready, and use The Force. May the fourth be with you!

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Photos by ixi.photography

The Offbeat Bride: Amber, Stage Manager/Event Coordinator (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Jimmy, Air Force JTAC

Date and location of wedding: The Inn at Wild Rose Hall, Austin, TX — May 4, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jimmy and I are both laid-back individuals who work in high-stress jobs, so we really wanted to be able to relax and enjoy ourselves on the day of the wedding. This meant doing away with some of the high-pressure things like really long ceremonies, speeches, garter and bouquet tosses, fancy plated dinners, and sitting at a table in the center of the room where everybody could stare at us while we ate. Our wedding party included no bests- or of-honors, and was not an even number. It seemed more important that we choose who we wanted beside us for the friendships we have rather than worrying about symmetry for ten minutes.

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The two of us grew up on opposite coasts: he is a California boy and I was born and raised in Virginia, so most of our guests had never been to Texas. We took the opportunity to have an awesome Texas BBQ-style menu and had the wedding at this beautiful house and backyard venue that used to belong to the bass player of Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was the perfect backdrop to dispel some (and confirm other) ideas of what people think Texas is like.

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Even though we are opposites in many regards (I'm a tree-hugging hippie and former vegetarian with an artistic mentality, and he's practical and carnivorous), we bonded instantly over all things geeky. It was important to us to share with our guests the love that first connected us. Our very first wedding decision was to get married on Star Wars Day: May the Fourth (be with you).

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We sprinkled Star Wars and geekiness liberally throughout our whole wedding process. Our save-the-date bookmarks, invitations, website, program, and cake all had both the Rebel and Imperial symbols. Our rings say "I love you" on his and "I know" on mine, our table settings were some of our favorite sci-fi books, and there were framed quotes from some of our favorite shows and authors like Firefly, Heinlein, and Tolkien. Trogdor might also have made an appearance. The groomsmen all had Star Wars cufflinks and X-wing tie pins. I tried to get him to go for TIE fighter pins (hello — TIE pins!), but he is a pesky Rebel through and through.

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I'm also a crafter, so I took the opportunity to craft my little heart out in ways that expressed who we are as individuals and as a couple. All the documents (save-the-dates through programs) were designed and handcrafted by us. And since we are both such avid bookworms, there were over 300 book page roses handmade in everything from our bouquets and boutonnieres, to table decorations, to strung on the tree swing and hanging around the gazebo. The petal cones were made from even more book pages, as were the framed quotes.

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I had a heck of a good time decoupaging my shoes with Star Wars comics, making my hair piece out of a lace scrap from my dress, and sewing my garter. The guys' boutonnieres were made from book page flowers and old bullet casings that came from the bottom of Jimmy's range bag.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was short and sweet with no religious tones and stayed pretty true to the fact that we are weird, nerdy people. Our officiant also had the most amazing Scottish accent, so every word sounded awesome.

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We included Tolkien's "The Road Goes Ever On" as an homage to how winding our roads have been to get to this point where we found each other, and as a recognition that life still has a lot of twists and turns ahead of us:

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

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Our vows included such things as, "Do you promise to support and protect each other, even in the event of a zombie apocalypse or a Stormtrooper attack," and a promise to live by the ways of The Force as long as we both shall live.

We closed the ceremony with a Dr. Seuss quote that we love, "We are all a little weird, and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with our own, we call it love."

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Our biggest challenge:
While my DIY madness comes to mind, I think that communication with my partner was actually the biggest challenge. He is frequently out of town for weeks at a time on a very random schedule which makes planning things like important conversations, tastings, interviewing vendors, and touring venues really difficult. This led to some pretty intense moments and more than one last-minute appointment changes in our early stages.

We used Google's amazing wedding planning spreadsheet thing for all the details, and then we had a separate Google Doc that was pretty much a running conversation between us. It was broken down into sections (accessible through a clickable table of contents… geek-swoon!), so I could just put a new comment in the "Cake" section and send him a text to take a look when he could. We got most of our planning done via the internet and long car rides.

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My favorite moment:
We did a handfasting ceremony in addition to exchanging rings. The three ribbons were chosen as representations of us as individuals and as a family: a scrap string of lace from my wedding dress dress, a silver ribbon such as those used on military uniforms, and a brilliant blue ribbon to bring them together. A few nights before the wedding, we sat on the couch and braided it together. For some reason, when that creation of ours was wrapped around our hands, that is when the whole thing felt real to me.

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My funniest moment:
Almost the entire wedding party stayed on-site for the wedding weekend, so most of our more humorous moments were after the guests had gone. There were some epic giant Jenga battles, some creative leftover late-night snacks, a very poor attempt at frog-catching, a stunning toga (and photographic evidence that has not made it to the internet), and possibly some grand plans involving liberating the pygmy goat onsite. Don't worry, he was never in any true danger of tasting freedom! My sides hurt from laughing for the entire weekend.

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During the wedding itself, seeing the reactions of some of our more conservative guests during the photo sessions was pretty funny. Apparently it's not normal to have sword fights with your bouquets or for a groomsman to try to choke out the groom…

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Those shoes! How radiant you look when you're walking down the aisle! What wonderful readings! I'm bookmarking "The Road Goes Ever On" for my own readings thanks to you. Happy marriage!

    1 agrees
  2. What an awesome wedding! The dress is beautiful and I love all the little details like the tie pins and boutonnieres! I hope it wasn't too hot having an outdoor wedding in May.
    As a fellow Austin bride planning a sci-fi wedding, this is super inspiring!
    Hope you have a very happy anniversary next week. 🙂

  3. The wedding party ensembles are fantastic. The blue looks wonderful on everyone! Congrats!

  4. I LOVE those bridesmaid dresses — that is the exact color we want, and I adore that each woman looks so beautiful AND comfortable in an individual way, but also still unified. Thanks so much for posting that etsy link!

  5. What a beautiful wedding! Everyone looks great, and like they were having the time of their lives.

    I've been thinking about decoupaging a pair of shoes myself- that pop of color goes so well peeking out from under your dress. Love seeing how you incorporated other fandoms in as well- the One Ring-style photo was great!

    My husband and I also got married on May 4th last year. May the Fourth be with you on your anniversary this weekend! 🙂

  6. Oh my word. Those shoes, the rings, the bride's hair, those SHOES, the date! I think I need to fetch my smelling-salts. I'm overcome in the best possible way.

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