Kimmy & Ramzi's hill country sunset wedding with bells!

Ramzi and Kimmy
The offbeat bride: Kimmy, ICU nurse

Her offbeat partner: Ramzi, Sales Manager for Wyndham Hotels

Location & date of wedding: Chapel Dulcinea at the Wizard Academy in Austin, TX — June 26, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Obviously, our own taste in style showed through, but more than that, it was inexpensive! After being engaged for over a year with no luck in finding a nice venue we could afford, out of desperation I googled "free wedding venue in Austin" and stumbled upon a true treasure: The Chapel Dulcinea at the Wizard Academy in Austin!

I bought a prom dress and had a purple veil made for me on Etsy. My maid and matron of honor rocked white dresses and our dog was our flower girl! Our mutual friend Alex is ordained, so he married us in a small ceremony with friends and family. It was his birthday on the day we got married, so we had a small, personal "Happy Birthday" cake for him that we set right next to ours!

Bells were our theme: our RSVP cards were a play on the phrase, "be there with bells on" and we rang a bell at the chapel after we got married! And yes, some of our friends and family actually wore bells to our wedding!

Our "guestbook" was a sheet of paper with a tree on it. We set out green ink pads and everyone left a thumbprint "leaf." Now we can frame "our family tree!"

We didn't do a dinner reception. Rather we had just a cake and wine toast before meeting everyone at a family fun entertainment center afterwards for games, drinks and dinner.

Tell us about the ceremony: Our friend Alex is ordained and he married us in a semi-religious ceremony, and we wrote our own vows. It was very special to us and we're framing them! We made everyone laugh when asked, "Do you take this man/woman to be your lawfully wedded husband/wife?" and we both looked at each other and said, "duh!"

anklet
The bride's take on 'a silver six-pence in her shoe'

Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge was staying calm over an issue that I just knew would BE an issue: I did not want children at my wedding. Our wedding was a grand total of two hours — I didn't think it would be a big deal for people to get a babysitter. Predictably, however, a few people didn't listen and children were at my wedding despite my request. Sure enough, within minutes one of them burned herself on my curling iron and her mother, who was supposed to do my makeup for the wedding had to take her home. So I had to do it by myself — and I never wear makeup! In the end though, I kept my cool, and my makeup turned out great, if I may say so myself.

Dress
My favorite moment: The kiss! 😀 That was the best part. And the sunset, and the toasts. I would say ringing the chapel bell after we got married, but we forgot to do that! So – our mom's ringing the bell on our behalf, haha.

My funniest moment: Forgetting to ring the chapel bell or smushing cake in each others faces.

My advice for offbeat brides: I found my free venue literally by searching "free wedding venue in Austin, TX" and it's everything I could have wanted! Don't give up on finding the perfect venue. 🙂

Also, my wedding flowers were really inexpensive because instead of bouquets, I had my two girls each carry a single rose and I myself only carried three flowers tied with ribbon.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? If you don't want children at your wedding, don't have children at your wedding, no matter what anyone else tells you! That is really the only thing I would have changed.

But really, everyone had an amazing time and I got several compliments on how we remained so focused on friends and family rather than glitz and glamour. We'll try to keep that trend going in our married life!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME

  1. I love your dress and the utter simplicity of your wedding. I love how you had bells and didn't go overboard with flowers (okay, you really don't need too!) This was beautiful and inspiring!

  2. I love your dress and how utterly simple your wedding was (we too aren't thinking on having a reception dinner either). The bells were a wonderful idea and you how you didn't go overboard on flowers (you really don't need to!) This turned out lovely- beautiful and very inspiring!

  3. So freaking gorgeous. I'm in love with that dress and veil.

    Sidenote, I'm loving the Chapel Dulcinea weddings lately. If we end up not being able to elope that's definitely where we're going.

  4. I'm totally trying to decide on the whole thumbprint leaf guest book right now! Saw it on etsy last week and fell in love!

      • I actually drew my own tree for my wedding, and it is going to be a keepsake I really treasure – if you are artistic at all I totally recommend it! It is such a fun idea!

    • Friends had it at their rave/campout wedding in the woods, it fit the whole theme, had everyone feeling like family even before the ceremony began..AND looked great in photos!

  5. I'm very happy to see a bride sticking to her guns about a no-kids policy. Parents need to learn that not everyone wants their spawn around, and more importantly, that when we _say_ keep 'em away, we _mean_ it.

    3 agree
  6. I'm also happy to see another bride refusing children. I'm not having children at my wedding so I'm glad I'm not the only one who does not want to hear the crying, tantrums, or chaos children sometime bring. (No offense to people with children or brides that like children – it's just not *my* thing)

    2 agree
  7. Good on 'ya folks. I think what you two have done for a wedding ceremony and event is good. Congratulations on your pretty occasion.

  8. Aww congrats! I LOVE your dress and veil. So pretty! I also love the simplicity of the flowers. 🙂

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.