The Offbeat Bride: Paula, freelance writer and performance artist
Her offbeat partner: Brian, audio engineer
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We strayed from tradition, but did feel it was important to incorporate a few wedding staples. Brian and I spent the night before the wedding together, but once the sun came up, we did not see one another until I met him at the altar. This was difficult for us both but so worth it.
We flew a good friend of ours in from Denver, CO to be our wedding singer. For the procession, she covered “Please, Please, Please” by The Smiths, and serenaded a teary audience with another tune from The Smiths, “There's a Light that Never Goes Out.”
Brian and I are also devoted, strict vegetarians. This provided some challenges when planning the evening's feast. At the end of the day, we decided to offer an all-vegetarian spread. We had fresh fruits, roasted vegetables, a hummus spread, different breads and bruschetta flavors, hearty eggplant, stuffed tomatoes and mushrooms, and vegan wedding-style soup.
In addition to a DJ, we had local musicians and songwriters take the stage at the reception. For wedding favors, we made a mix CD on discs that looked like small vinyl records of many of the songs we played during the event, including the first dance, and a lot of Morrissey.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We definitely spent more time planning the reception than the ceremony, so it was amazing to see how smoothly everything ran. A local burlesque emcee doubled as our officiant and reception host. We opened with a passage from our favorite Shakespeare play, Hamlet:
Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
After the procession, our dear friend gave a heartfelt speech. She wrote the speech in her wedding card to us, so we can keep it forever. Instead of having a unity candle, we opted for a wine box ceremony. My father hand-carved a beautiful box, complete with a lock and key. In it, we placed a bottle of our favorite wine and two love letters to be opened on our first anniversary.
Our biggest challenge:
I fell in love with a pre-owned gown from Saison Blanche's couture line. It was six sizes too big and about four inches too short, but I didn't care. We delivered it to an incredible seamstress, Kim Vivian. Kim let me know the dress had started to deteriorate and the lace started to rot. We had two options: find a new gown or completely reconstruct the bodice. She selflessly took on the grueling task of attaching 20,000 beads and appliques by hand. Kim worked night and day, but the day before the wedding, the dress was still not finished. But we rushed some last-minute adjustments and it fit! I was in awe of Kim's talents.
My favorite moment:
Seeing my maid of honor take the reins was awesome. She and I have been best friends since we were 14. She moved to Austin, TX when we were 16, but we've managed to stay close. She started making trips between Texas and New Mexico to first throw my bridal shower and then to prep for the wedding, but did much of the planning long-distance. Seeing her jump into action the day of the wedding was absolutely incredible. She was elegant and poised, yet firm and direct, keeping everyone in order and dealing with any drama before it got to us.
Towards the end of the night, a musician was performing 10,000 Maniacs' “Because the Night” on the keyboard. My father and I love this song. I was looking around for him so we could share the moment together, and before I knew it he was at my side. As the crowd dispersed, he and I just smiled at one another and took in everything together.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Be present. Thank goodness we've got beautiful photos and a great wedding video because the day was quite a blur. I did my best to embrace all the gorgeous moments, but things were moving so fast and it's so easy to get wrapped up in the little things that go wrong, or even distance yourself from the excitement when things get overwhelming. It's a lot of pressure when you realize there are no do-overs.
- Related post: How to avoid wedding day memory loss
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Wedding Cake: ABC Cake Shop
- Custom cake topper: Melabo Wed
- Photography: Steve Groves
- Videographers: Mega Ultra Studios
- Bridesmaids dresses: Trashy Diva
- Amazing local/organic catering services: Rede to Cater
- Rentals: Disco Display
- Feather bouquet and bridesmaids bouquets: Color of May
- Garter set: Get it Girl Garters
- Custom cap veil: Gilded Shadows
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!