The offbeat bride: Becca, Medical Biophysics grad student (I study braaiiinnsss!)
Her offbeat partner: Luc, Super Hot French-Canadian Medical Biophysics grad student (microfluidic devices)
Location & date of wedding: On a rock, in a field of flowers, 11,500 ft above sea level, surrounded by 14,000′ of mountains, at Yankee Boy Basin, near the town of Ouray Colorado on July 25th, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: Well the most obvious thing that made our wedding offbeat is that it was on top of a mountain, an Alpine basin actually, 11,500ft in elevation. It was an outdoor Catholic wedding, which ‘technically' you can't do….unless the priest is a family friend and allows you to do the necessary bits in the church the night before.
So if you want to be correct about it, our wedding started at 6:30pm Thursday and finished at the end of the Yankee Boy Ceremony at 11:00am Friday…. I need to check Guinness to see if we made a record!
Other offbeat things included the bilingual invites, and the groom picked the wedding colours because everything was coordinated to match the granny apple green shirt he wanted. It was a three part wedding; morning wedding, afternoon luncheon, evening freaky-wild adult party. We scheduled downtime between each event including almost 3 hours between the luncheon and the adult party so we could have our wedding nookie! (I HIGHLY recommend this if you can pull it off!)
Mostly Catholic ceremony except one reading was a Spanish translation of an excerpt from “The Lord of the Rings”, and the second reading was the French version of “The Little Prince”. We had already gotten married civilly in Canada and used the Pablo Neruda poem that was our vows in that ceremony to open the Catholic ceremony up the mountain. Kinda connected it all for us. We had a mixed bridal party with Best Brother and Best Cousin as well as a Poet of Honour. We asked the wedding party to wear black (we bought them green wraps and green ties) and asked them to wear sensible shoes as they would be climbing around a top a mountain. My Maid of Honour wore Chacos!
My 13 years older-than-me German half-brother (who I hadn't seen in 20 years), flew in and was our ring bearer and also did a magic show and juggled fire at the adult party. Also, we simply could not plan a wedding in Colorado from Toronto, Canada (where we live) while trying to finish up grad school and stay sane… so we gave HUGE chunks of the wedding away to family members, and to their visions.
My little German Mother took the colour of the bi-lingual invites and Luc's shirt and used that to decorate the luncheon reception and my Auntie made my cape, matching the lining to Luc's shirt. Another cousin catered the luncheon and picked the menu and yet another cousin made the cake (all I told her was that I wanted the French from the invitations on it).
And still another cousin played classical guitar during the ceremony, and we had no idea what he played until months later. It was AWESOME to just experience the music at the wedding rather than have it all sorted out. Very touching.
It was great for stress relief to just give that stuff away, and it was also seriously awesome gifts that they gave us by doing it all. Blew my mind how much time they all spent on the little details of the wedding.
Our biggest challenge: How to have a wedding on top of a mountain! The closest city, Ouray, is about 6 miles away but to get to Yankee Boy Basin you have to take this one lane, unpaved, 4 wheel drive road, that occasionally has rivers flowing right over it. We had guests coming from six different states and three different countries so not many of them would have their own vehicle let alone know how to drive the 4wd road and not fall off the mountain.
So we rented these giant open-topped jeeps that each sat 12 people, and professional drivers, to get everyone up there. This was seriously most of our budget, but so worth it! The guests got to have a little tour on the way up to the wedding, the guides stopped at three or four places and told them about the history of the old mines and the ghost towns around them. It was like our wedding was the final stop on their morning mountain tour!
My favorite moment: IThe HUG FEST!!! Luc was escorted down the dirt (we had no aisle) to the rock we were getting married on, by both his parents.
Mine were going to do the same, but my little German Mother wasn't feeling well so only my Pops walked me. When we had almost gotten to Luc, I stopped my Pops and said I couldn't go any further without hugging my little German Mother, so I did. And my Pops hugged Luc, and then his parents hugged me and Luc hugged my mom and it just turned into on giant hug fest between our folks and us. Totally unscripted, completely delayed the start of the wedding, and it was incredible! Our families are the most important things to us, and it was a very visible showing of the two families becoming one.
It was seriously, the most perfect way to begin our wedding ceremony.
My offbeat advice: It is far far less stressful to just go with the flow! So the $125 bouquet looks dead….use a centerpiece, no one will notice! And so what if the guitarist doesn't know the songs you asked him for, he is the expert let him play what he plays well, it works great.
And you know what, if your Little German Mother wants to make tiny knitted hats as the party favours , let her! The guests will think it is charming and want extras. So so so many things went ‘wrong' and yet, the way they worked themselves out was perfect. It was our day and we were determined to have fun, and we totally succeeded.
My vendor recommendations: I cannot recommend Psalm117 on Etsy enough when it comes to making veils. She must have contacted me five or six times to make sure the idea was right, and did it no problem. I had to find a veil that would look nice with a cape for pete's sake! I've sent three or four OBBs to her and every one of them has had a great result!
- Dress by Xcentricities
- Professional pics by Pacie Merling-Miller
- Catered by Main Street Restaurant
- Reception at Historic Western, Ouray Colorado
Enough talk — show me that wedding porn: Click on the picture below to see tons of stunning photos from Luc and Becca's amazing Mountain “It-Takes-A-Village” wedding!