Michele & Douglas' fairy forest handfasting on a farm

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Photos by Wallflower Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Michele, full-time student

Her offbeat partner: Douglas, software engineer

Date and location of wedding: Willie Green's Organic Farm, Monroe, WA — July 28, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We really wanted a fairy forest theme, but dang it, we also love Mexican food, so we had both! My brother built the arbor under which we held the ceremony. Our moms and my sister-in-law created custom fairy houses and woodland forest candles for decorating. We also used river rock for a guest book, and now we get to see those every day in our home.

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We did our best to stick to a budget, but we found out that it really adds up quickly. We figured we were never doing this again, and we mostly just wanted to throw an amazing party, so it was worth it.

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Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was supposed to have a bamboo grove as the backdrop, but the venue built a large gazebo a month before the wedding and blocked the bamboo grove. Thankfully, my brother's arbor with flowers all over it saved the day. It ended up meaning much more to us that way.

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We didn't want a religious ceremony, so we had a handfasting with the officiant using a Lord of the Rings collector's edition instead of a religious text. Douglas and I spent hours creating our handfasting cords, which our 11-year-old son carried out for us. Our 8-year-old son carried the rings. They were both so nervous that they were shaking!

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I wanted 15 minutes of bride and groom time right after the ceremony. Our guests respected our time and they seemed to enjoy the party without us for a little while.

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My favorite moment: I loved spending the rest of the afternoon after the ceremony visiting, dancing, eating, and hitting the pi├▒ata with family and friends. Having everyone we loved together for a party on a wonderful summer day, to celebrate our love, was amazing.

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My funniest moment: Our officiant was a mutual friend of ours for many years. We trusted him to write the entire vows section. But during the ceremony Timm asked us both a long and convoluted question (that I can't remember now) to which we honestly did not know the right answer. We stood there looking at him and he finally said "Well, are you going to answer?" We looked at each other and said, "We don't know what the right answer is!" Everyone was laughing. Timm did let us know that the correct answer was "yes!"

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great?
By the time the wedding day arrived, we'd worked out all the kinks… or I should say our wedding coordinators had: Kelli and Brenda from Shindig EventsThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them! We didn't end up having the amount of power we were told we would have at the venue, but that just meant we didn't end up getting to use our bubble machine. It wasn't really a disaster, just a bummer.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Find a non-traditional wedding coordinator, if you can afford it. And ask your friends and family for ideas, if you are coming up short. Our most non-traditional elements came from asking family and friends. That's how we got our fairy woodland candles, fairy houses, and beautiful arbor (that now sits in our yard!). I just sent photos and gave them a general idea of what I wanted.

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  1. How did you make/where did you find those edible mushrooms and acorns? I love them and now I want 'em too.

    6 agree
    • I'm so glad to share, I'm glad you liked it! It was the best wedding we've ever been to, lol!!

  2. The little Fairy Homes are wonderful. If there is a way that you can convince to design and make some more, people will buy them at Festivals and Fairs. They look temporary and fragile but beautiful and I love and adore the fantasy and "miniature-ness" that went into the making!!!!

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    • I agree they are incredible and yes they are fragile, but as long as they aren't bumping around in the back of someone's truck (happened! grr!) they do quite well. We have most of them around the yard and porch. The ones under cover on the porch look great. Some of the others out in the weather have just now started to fall apart a little. Others are SOOO happy to be out in the wet because of all the moss on them, those ones are doing quite well. I'm still blown away by how amazing they are. I asked family to make these and I had no idea how they would do it, they figured it out and really wowed us!

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  3. This was such a FUN wedding to be a part of! There was so much attention paid to every little detail and Michele impressed me with her ideas that all worked so well together! She also did an amazing job of going with the flow when we had some challenges & focused on the day & the joy. YAYYYYYY!!!!

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    • I would have never made it without you and Brenda! Best. Decision. Ever. to have ShinDig Events coordinate my wedding day!! Kelli and Brenda worked NON-STOP to make sure everything was amazing! Thanks soo much!!

      1 agrees

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