Becky & Andy's DIY Vermont Winter Wedding

3323439225_bb43c48d27The Offbeat Bride: Becky, Counseling Teacher

Her Offbeat Partner: Andy, Math Grad Student

Location & date of wedding: St Joseph's Co-Cathedral and Sunset Ballroom, Burlington, VT — 01/03/09

What made our wedding offbeat: To save money, we got married during the "off-season," which was sweet because we wanted to show our family and friends a good old time in our current hometown in Vermont and… what's more picturesque than Vermont in winter?

I didn't want the drama of having hurt friends' feelings when I picked my wedding party, so I kept it all in the family and had my brothers and Andy's sister as my bridesmen/maid. It was the best decision ever, and I did not for a moment miss having a gaggle of gals around the morning of the wedding. Quietly getting ready with Caroline and letting the boys join the groomsmen was just the right pace.

Awesome origami tulip bouquets!

I DIYed the hell out of the day — veil, hair comb, flowers, programs, favors, centerpieces, my mini-cardigan. I felt really proud to have put in my own time and effort for our day, and things turned out beautifully. Also, my grandmother and old roommate tag-teamed my sash, Grandma sewing and my roommate embroidering and doing beadwork, and it's the most beautiful reminder of the day.

Our proudest offbeat part of the day was our music. Because we met in college marching band, our good friend played the tuba during our ceremony, and my mother sang. Although mom was somewhat wary when she found out about the tuba, warning me, "not to make a mockery of marriage," the music was really beautiful and very us.

Finally, we danced to the sage music of the Flight of the Conchords.

Our biggest challenge: We met in college, and are from different states. There was no good location to have the wedding that would be easy for everyone to travel to, so we threw caution to the wind and took our chances with Vermont in January. My mother was terrified a snowstorm would leave us without guests, but the weather was beautiful. And although fewer people came than we had planned on, the most important people (as they always do) made it and had a great time.

My favorite moment: My Dad got a couple bottles of Middleton Irish Whiskey for Christmas a couple years ago, and he was "saving them for a special occasion." When my brother and I both decided to get married within six months of each other, Dad instituted a traditional toast welcoming the new family members after the ceremony and before the reception. It was nice to have a private moment with Andy and my family before the insanity of the reception started — and our photographer got some great pictures!

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Love the origami tulips & snowflakes adorning the cake.

Bride & bridesman gettin down!
Bride & bridesman gettin' down!

 

 

My advice for other offbeat brides: It's ok to do something traditional if it's you and ESPECIALLY if it makes thing easier. We did our reception at a hotel, and it was catered and there was a DJ and everything. For while I was upset that I hadn't tried harder to do something original with the food, or hire a cool band, or decorate my own reception hall. But the food was delicious, I didn't have to worry a bit about anything the morning of the wedding, and they followed my instructions exactly and set up the reception exactly as I would have liked it.

Other than that, plan your day so that you have as little do the morning of as possible — especially if you have an early wedding. We got married at noon, and my only responsibilities were getting my hair done and throwing on a dress. It was great.

Make sure your guests have fun. We really wanted the people who made the trip to know we had thought of them, so we provided lots of maps and suggestions for things to do in town (including phone numbers for taxis, since a lot of people didn't rent cars), threw a giant bowling party instead of a rehearsal dinner, and timed the ceremony and reception with virtually no wait time in between. And just to make sure no one was bored, we left crossword puzzles on their plates for when they arrived — this also proved to be a great ice-breaker for tables with mixed groups.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

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  1. beeeeeeeeeeeeautiful! the colors were lovely and the cake looked divine! <3 gorgeous!

  2. LOVE the origami tulips! I also love the traditional-ness of it all – off-beat is great if it truly expresses you and your partner, but tradition is great for the same reason!

  3. I love the tulips, but when I click on the link to check out how they are made, it just brings me back to the offbeat bride home page. Any suggestions where I can find a good link to paper flowers?

  4. Ah! We too are doing a bowling rehearsal dinner! You are awesome! How smart are we!?

  5. Wow…I love the bouquets and the flowers around the cake…so wonderfully perfect!!! I also love the colors. It seemed like you guys had a great day. Congrats!

  6. I love so much about this wedding! Flowers, cake, bowling, cake toppers, your blue cardigan, everything works perfectly together! I live in Burlington myself and this looks like an ideal Vermont wedding! 🙂

  7. I love the origami tulips.
    I used to love origami when I was a kid, my fingers are itching to have a go now!

  8. It's so exciting to see a VT wedding here! I live in Vermont and just had a winter wedding in December. Lovely!

  9. It's hard to try and impart "mom wisdom" and still be cool! By the way, the tuba did not make a mockery of a beautiful ceremony. It was original and lovely. Looking at the pictures again brought back wonderful memories of a great day.
    Love, MA

  10. w00t for band geek love! We're ending the evening with the hired band playing a bunch of the fight songs that we (and many of our friends including half the wedding party) have played a few thousand times.

  11. I think this is one of my favorites so far. I am in love with the sash. I also love the fact the bride wore her watch. A very cute couple indeed.

  12. thanks for sharing!!! that dress is so pretty! (i love horizontal chiffon organza layering… it's chiffon organza right? wink). AND LOVING the origami bouquets.

  13. Kate, I can talk you through the origami tulips if you're interested — just shoot me an e-mail/message me on fb.

    And swansteeth, I'm happy you got a kick out the of watch. One of my college guy friends was really horrified when he saw the photographer start to take pix and I still had it on. He was trying to tell my best friend so she could discreetly signal to me to take it off, and she shrugged and said, "I am positive it's intentional." It was. 🙂

    Mia, of course, chiffon organza.

  14. This is too awesome! I love her little blue sweater…it says she made her sweater too….I would love to find one just like it for our wedding!! I love everything…how cute are the bride and groom together.

  15. I love it all!!! Great ideas! I think what shines through the most is how happy every one is and the brides beautiful smile in all the pictures.The joy of the day is very apparent! Great job!

  16. I'm getting married this winter in New Hampshire, so this was great! I saw that yes, it could be done. I love the snowflake decorations, I may just have to do that.

  17. The Sunset Ballroom in South Burlington is beautiful and the people who run it, Diane and Gary Provost, are really generous and helpful! Great choice on the reception hall!

  18. Hello! I LOVE your flower – i have been searching high an low to find a similar pattern for them – do you have a link to one which you used? Thanks!

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