Amanda & Lee's knights and dragons colorful fairy tale wedding

September 1 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Jenny GG Photography
The Happy Couple
Photos by Jenny GG Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Amanda, freelance artist

Her offbeat partner: Lee, business intelligence analyst

Date and location of wedding: Green River Community College in Auburn, WA — April 26, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I always wanted a fairy tale wedding. But while I love princesses, that's just not my style. So we had a somewhat different story: "Once upon a time, a knight in shining armor fell in love with a beautiful dragon." As soon as I thought of that phrase, I knew exactly how things should look, and the illustration for our invitations was the first thing I created. I've always wanted to be a dragon!

Invitation and Program Design

Buncha Cuties

Yeah, I Married Him

There was zero chance of me wearing a white dress in the first place (they're gorgeous, but not on me). Obviously, a Dragon Queen should wear blood-red and regal plum. I got it custom-made by Tova Marc at Wedding Dress FantasyThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them, and it was completely perfect for me. I also made myself a draconic headpiece, for an extra touch of dragon. I might just wear it all the time.

The Dragon Queen and Her Knight

My mom made me a train out of some sparkly purple fabric, with scalloped edges to look like dragon wings floating behind me. She did a great job! Lee, however, looks really good in white, so my Knight in Shining Armor wore a white tux. And I don't mind saying we both looked damn good!

Beautiful Couple

Colors!

The Dragon Queen

A big part of our relationship is the game Magic: The Gathering. We would never have met without it; he works at Wizards of the Coast, the company that makes the game, and my brother-in-law also works there, so that's how I met all of my Magic friends. We both love to play the game, and he even proposed to me with a custom Magic card he'd designed.

The Rare Black Lotus

To incorporate Magic into the wedding, I made all the flowers based on powerful Magic cards, just like in my tutorial: a Gilded Lotus for each bridesmaid, and four Gilded Lotuses and one Black Lotus for me. For the Magic players reading this, yes, we had a LOT of mana at our disposal.

Rings

Our rings are also Magic-related. Both our rings have five gems, one in each of the five colors of Magic spells. Although if you don't know the meaning behind it, they still look pretty and colorful.

Knightly Armor

For the groomsmen and bridesdude, I made boutonnieres. They were shaped like little shields, with chainmail hanging off them. They were a relatively last-minute project; I started them two months before the wedding and didn't finish until a few weeks before — but I got them done! But seriously, start your DIY projects sooner than I did. Don't be like me.

Our wedding music was full of stars. Lee and the wedding party entered to a Vitamin String Quartet cover of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine theme, and I entered to "Coronation" from the Stardust soundtrack, and we exited afterwards to "Throne Room/End Title" from the Star Wars soundtrack. I got chills when I came in and everyone stood up and I saw Lee up there smiling at me. Movie and TV soundtracks are great for dramatic wedding music!

Lee and I weren't fussy about the food, as long as it was edible, but I insisted that it be edible for everyone in attendance. I had people tell me their food allergies and sensitivities when they RSVPed, so I could make sure the venue catering had a menu such that everyone could find something to eat. When you go to an event where you can't eat the food, that event feels like it's not for you. We wanted to make sure our wedding was for everyone.

Karaoke Time!

For our reception, we had karaoke, because Lee and I go to karaoke all the time. Our karaoke guy runs the best karaoke anywhere, in my opinion, and has become a dear friend of ours in recent years, so it was obvious that we had to hire him for our wedding. He did a great job. Lee and I kicked it off with a duet of "Love is an Open Door" from Frozen, which, if you've seen the movie, is not awfully romantic, but that kinda just made it better to us.

I Want It That Way

Blue Shell Toss

Instead of a bouquet toss, we went a rather different route. At the wedding of some friends a couple years ago, they got all the unmarried folks of all genders on the floor, and said, "So, we thought about doing a bouquet toss and all that, but we realized that for us nerds, there's one surefire way of telling who's in first place." And they brought out a hand-knit blue shell from Mario Kart. Long story short: Lee caught it for me that day, and for our wedding we passed it on in the same manner. Hopefully we'll see it again at another wedding someday!

Green River Community College Student Center

Tell us about the ceremony: We had my brother-in-law officiate, and he tends towards the theatrical and loves to talk in front of an audience. In the Knights and Dragons wedding narrative, he was a Wizard. He wrote our entire ceremony, and it struck exactly the right balance of entertaining and meaningful, fun and feelings. Since he knows both of us so well, he was able to tell an incredibly personal account of both of us, and how we got together, and how our relationship works.

Vows

Lee and I both wrote our own vows, and took completely different approaches to writing them, which is fitting for us. His were short, sweet, and silly, referencing a lot of the things we both like. Mine were more serious and heartfelt.

Smoochin'

We have a video of the whole ceremony, as well as the first dances and toasts, and we plan to watch it every year on our anniversary.
 

Our biggest challenge:
I'm really bad at relinquishing control, so I tried to do nearly everything all by myself. However, I knew that on the day itself I definitely did NOT want to think about anything but having a good time. Luckily, our friend Teresa is the absolute best, and when I asked her two weeks before the wedding if she'd be our day-of coordinator, she agreed, and she kicked ASS. She ran through the rehearsal with us, and kept everything working smoothly all through the ceremony and reception, and anytime anyone had a question I could just tell them to talk to her so I could enjoy myself. She's a hero, and I decided that in the wedding narrative, she was my Fairy Godmother.

Singing and Dancing

Father Daughter Dance

My funniest moment:
Several times leading up to the wedding, my dad asked me what song we were dancing to for the father/daughter dance. I refused to tell him. "Oh, you'll see," I said. As we were walking to the dance floor for the first dance, he asked again, "So what song are we dancing to?" And I just grinned.

Father Daughter Dance

The music started, and he immediately started laughing. The song was "The Versatile Rooster" by Travelers 3, a humorous folk group from the sixties. It is a ridiculous song, one that Dad used to sing for us kids when we were little. So the whole time we were dancing (and my dad is a good dancer, he and my mom go out dancing every week), Dad is fighting not to fall over laughing. He did pretty well, though! You can see the whole thing on our wedding video and hear the silly song for yourself [Ed: Dad really is an awesome dancer!].

Having Dinner

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Sleeveless dresses with sequins and beading on the sides look gorgeous, but the soft, tender insides of my upper arms were very displeased by halfway through dinner. Something to consider during the design or alteration stage.

Nerds on their Phones

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    • Thank you! That was my last-last-minute project. The one where I told myself, "okay, I can have this if I finish everything else." I'm glad I got to it, because I think it's my favorite part of the outfit!

      8 agree
      • I would love a tutorial on how you made the headband… I want to make one to wear at the Rennaisance Festival this year!

        8 agree
        • Oh! Well, it's made of leather just like my flowers, so the shaping works just like the tutorial linked above. Cut it into the shape you want (I figured mine out with trial and error; that one was my third try when I finally got the horns in the right place), get it wet, shape it. It's dead easy. Paint it with acrylics when it dries.

          For a headband, I just cut it into kind of a headband shape to start, then cut some holes, and kind of wove a regular plastic headband through there while it was wet so it'd hold the right shape. There might be better ways to do it but this is how I faked my way through it!

          5 agree
  1. Your wedding looks amazing! I love your dragon headpiece and dress, and colourful rings! Such wonderful unique touches! I am glad that the knight and the dragon get a happily ever after ๐Ÿ™‚

    7 agree
  2. I am not a magic player, although my husband has tried, but I fell in love with your proposal video when you shared it. I can't remember if I saw it here or somewhere else. But it was an epic proposal. I am thrilled to see your wedding was more awesome and epic than I could have ever expected. I love everything you did! Congrats to you both and many happy years to you!!

    2 agree
    • What I learned from prom: use an anti chaffing stick or gel, the kind athletes use, on your arms before you get in the dress to prevent sequin rash. It doesn't stop it totally but it really helps.

      2 agree
  3. What a gorgeous wedding! I enjoyed reading about all the intentions behind the details. Congratulations!

    Also, Amanda, what you said about did really resonated with me. I have a digestive disorder and therefore a severely limited diet, and you're absolutely right that, "When you go to an event where you can't eat the food, that event feels like it's not for you." That's how I feel every time I go anywhere that serves food, and I may incorporate that into my explanation of why, for instance, I don't want to go sit at a restaurant and watch other people eat. So thanks for saying that, for knowing it, and for doing what you could to make sure everyone felt welcome and cared for!

    9 agree
    • Aw, thanks! I know SO many people who have food sensitivities, and even just from how I feel if I go somewhere and like, all the food is spicy or something else I can't eat, it was super important to me that everyone could have food at our wedding. It wasn't very much effort on my part, and I felt so much better knowing no one was left out.

      4 agree
  4. OMG THIS IS SERIOUSLY ONE OF THE BEST WEDDINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN.

    The hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The hairpiece!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dress!!!!!!!

    I'm in love with your wedding.

    6 agree
  5. Oh my goodness me. Just … wow!

    The headpiece, the dress, the make-up, the white suit, the attendants outfits, the button holes, the theme!! *swoon*

    Thank you for sharing this. I want to get a custom made dress and headpiece and thank you for showing that it can look absolutely awesome.

    Excuse me while I go look at the photos again ๐Ÿ™‚

    2 agree
    • The white suit had the added bonus of making Lee very easy to spot in the dark and crowded reception hall. Glad you like our wedding, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      4 agree
  6. You know, I've been stalking and tribing here for awhile now, and as someone who considered myself a little more on the lite side, I've sometimes wondered if a lot of the full-on (and seriously cool) offbeat wedding couples (and trios) really get the impact on their guests and think about how to ensure that guests are included. There are lots of articles on OBB about that, but this is the first wedding I've seen where it is so authentically and beautifully true to yourselves AND there was clearly a lot of thought about making it inclusive. From the food to the shell toss, it's really obvious that family and friends are important to you.

    This is the sweetest! I had to go an watch the proposal vid too (naturally) and OMG so gorgeous. Lee is so sweet, and it's just obvious how much you care about one another. And it's even more clear in the wedding picture!

    Also,Those are the best wings I've ever seen, the coolest make-up, the most amazing flowers….and I had no idea what Magic was until I looked it up from here. Amanda – you are the best dragon ever.

    6 agree
    • Thank you so much! We were lucky that neither us nor our families had any specific tradition imperatives, so we could just do everything however we liked. Together we pretty much decided that instead of thinking of it as the wedding we would want to have, we should focus on making it a party we would like to attend; it helped us think of what it would be like for all our guests. That way we could do fun stuff we enjoy, and not worry about the WIC-mandated stuff that we don't really notice when we go to other weddings.

      Over the years Offbeat Bride has definitely helped me question my preconceived notions of what a wedding "should" be, so I had no qualms about getting really creative and having fun with the whole thing!

      8 agree
  7. I love everything about this wedding!! I am definitely stealing some ideas! <3

    1 agrees
  8. Stunning, amazing! The most original, beautifull and clever wedding iยดve seen in a long time. Simply love it.

    4 agree
  9. Oh when I saw the words dragon bride I got very excited, what a wonderful idea. You both look amazing. Love the DIY stuff. Congratulations!

  10. there is literally nothing about this ceremony that is not absolutely awesome. I love it.

  11. This is by far my most favorite wedding I've ever seen on OBB. I also love the idea of a fairy tale wedding but def do not feel or have the princess vibe. I love your twist on it!

    1 agrees
  12. *gasp* OMG THE MAGIC NERDNESS: I LOVE IT SO MUCH! My S.O. finally got me into playing a couple months ago, and if we ever decide to commit, I know that will be a big part of it ๐Ÿ˜€ The rings are beautiful, BTW <3

    1 agrees
  13. Oh my gosh. This wedding is perfect. I love it all. Your dress, makeup, headpiece… Everything looks phenomenal. It looks like everyone had an incredible day. Here's to many many happy years together!

    2 agree
  14. OMG this is soooooo perfect!!!

    Our wedding theme is going to be Fantasy and I love how U set Urs up!!! I like the idea of a dragon lady, but I'm not going to steal it from U. I might just do something similar though. Cause I'm not always the "princess", but more the Queen, the mage warrior, the heroine…. one who fights side by side with my FH.

    I do really LOVE the bouquet toss idea!!! I think I will incorporate something like this into my wedding. Cause a thing or flowers will wilt, but a little thing like that blue turtle shell can be passed on.

    Lastly, I've been thinking SOOOOO much about going to WeddingDressFantasy too. The price is always the thing that bugs me and the online thing bugs other in my family (my mom, MOH, etc.). Their dress are soooooo wonderful though!!! Was the experience good for U with ordering and getting it???

    Thank You for this post though!!! Ur wedding was beautiful!!!

  15. This is such an awesome wedding theme. My wife and I found each other through our love of Magic: The Gathering too! It would have been amazing to have a wedding as cool as yours.

    We've also been dancing for the last 5 years too, just got some shoes from http://www.salsashoesonline.com/

    I recommend dancing for any couple no matter how old or young, it's certainly helped our relationship over the years ๐Ÿ˜‰

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