The offbeat bride: Katrina, Student
Her offbeat partner: Jason, Nonprofit development officer
Date and location of wedding: Juneau, Alaska — August 9, 2010
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jason and I had been dating for about six and a half years, and living together for four. We had talked about getting married for several years, but it never seemed like the right time. I never wanted to be a “bride,” just a wife, and the idea of organizing a wedding gave me hives. But as the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, I knew I couldn't get away with eloping. So on the night before a family reunion cruise around Alaska, I turned to my family and asked, “What would you think if Jason and I got married on this trip?” Aside from a conversation with Jason two weeks earlier, this was pretty much spur of the moment. They thought it was a great idea and my sister and mother planned a ceremony in less than four days.
I found my dress the next day in Vancouver in the hour and a half before the boat took off. My mother gave me her wedding band, and on a whim (like the rest of the wedding) we bought a traditional “engagement” ring the day before the wedding while we were finding Jason a band. Luckily, he had already packed his best suit for one of the black tie evenings on the cruise! It all worked out, and even landed us the wedding date 8/9/10.
The ceremony took place in the Glacier Gardens in Juneau, Alaska. The garden is filled with trees that have been knocked over and replanted upside-down with flowers in their roots. Later we took pictures at Mendenhall Glacier.
The ceremony was short, then some picture-taking, and an hour for lunch — it all went by quickly. Getting married so quickly meant there was no time to worry about insignificant details like how long my hair was. I didn't have to pick colors, invitations, or seating arrangements either.
Tell us about the ceremony: We had considered writing our own vows, but decided to stick with traditional ones instead. We replaced “man and wife” with “husband and wife,” and nixed the whole part about “obeying” (all of these were suggestions from my feminist mother). My aunt insisted that we get married while the hands of the clock were going up, so the ceremony was from about 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Our biggest challenge: Time, obviously, was the biggest concern. The offshore manager on the boat happened to be getting married the next week, so he knew of a photographer, someone to officiate, and a location, and helped everything come together quickly. The dress had so many fast alterations that, on the night of the wedding, I had to cut myself out of it as the zipper wouldn't budge. We were also worried about getting Jason's mother there on time, but managed to fly her and her boyfriend into Juneau.
I am expected to have a vow renewal or a “they said it wouldn't last” party for all of my friends at some point — I'm thinking maybe for our fifth anniversary.
My favorite moment: I assumed that with such short notice I would have a sheet cake at the reception and maybe a flower or two to hold during the ceremony. When my sister handed me a traditional bouquet with lovely pink and white flowers to match my dress, we both started to cry. The cake was a wedding cake too, with two small tiers topped with roses. Our reception was at a busy restaurant at lunchtime, and after cutting the cake, all these strangers burst into applause.
My funniest moment: One set of photographs was taken at the garden where we were married, and the other set was taken by a glacier. The photographer brought his dog, we were all tired, and as you can see in the pictures, things started to devolve quickly. I took my heels off and needed mittens, and my sister and I were only interested in playing with the dog. Things got very goofy, very fast.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, and know that although it is one important day in your life, it is not THE important day of your life. It's all the days that come after the wedding that are really the good part. The party.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It doesn't matter how long you spend planning your wedding, at the end of the day you'll always be thinking “wow, that went by FAST!”
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Eric Bryant
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!