Amy Ross didn't dance at her wedding, thankyouverymuch

January 16 2007 | arielmstallings

volleyballThe offbeat bride: Amy Ross, Writer (and Offbeat Bride lab rat!)

My offbeat groom: Mike Ross, Academic

Location & date of wedding: June 3rd, 2001 in the garden of our college's anthropology museum, by the sea.

What made our wedding offbeat: My wedding probably felt pretty traditional to most of the guests — there was champagne and oysters, I wore a white dress, a bouquet was tossed … My biggest rebellion was something most people probably didn't even notice: NO DANCING.

I've always felt the dancing at most weddings is stupid and fake. Neither my groom nor I had ever danced outside of a rave setting, so waltzing around some hardwood floor felt like a lie to me.

Instead, I told the museum staff to put up the volleyball net, and my friends and I served and spiked away the afternoon in our fancy suits and dresses. It was a lot of fun, and it helped keep the wedding from getting too stuffy and grown up.

Our biggest challenge: I was such a laid-back bride, nothing ever felt like a huge problem to me. But perhaps my biggest worry was how to pull off a religious wedding that didn't make my (Jewish) family or his (Catholic) family feel excluded. The answer? Two weddings!

Okay, not quite, but almost. We had a rabbi marry us in a garden in Rhode Island, then a week later, a priest blessed the union in a church in Indiana.

Added bonus? Two wedding locales meant nobody's elderly grandparents had to travel halfway across the country to be part of the ceremony. And of course, two parties!

My favorite moment: I did have one other tiny rebellion against tradition: no seating plans. I had watched my sister agonize over who should sit next to whom for ages before her (very traditional) wedding, and I just couldn't be bothered. So I told the caterer to put out a bunch of tables and chairs, and let the chips fall where they may.

wedding shoesThis might not work for everyone, but luckily our friends and family are a very sociable bunch. Halfway through the reception, I was thrilled to see that people kept rearranging their tables so they could sit next to new people all the time. A lot of people made new friends that day.

Oh crap, I have another: My REAL favorite moment was when one of my best friends beat his own girlfriend to the bouquet. He intercepted my toss as if he were fighting for a superbowl title — and of course, promptly spiked the bouquet in triumph.

My offbeat advice: Choose your battles. Weddings aren't all about you, they're about brides AND grooms, AND family, friends, community … If a red wedding dress is going to give your mom a heart attack, that won't make anyone happy.

On the other hand, a truly original and well-thought out wedding will be an inspiration to everyone. Don't be afraid to compromise a little. In the end, a wedding is a party, and the most important thing is that everyone have a good time.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Why only a volleyball and shoes with this profile? Due to a total SNAFU, Amy's wedding pictures were almost completely a bust. You'll have to use your imagination to picture those oysters slipping down happy guests' throats.

Are you an offbeat bride? Tell me all about it, darling!

  1. what was the name of the rabbi you used? we're searching around now for a RI rabbi. any info you could give me would help. thanks.

  2. Did the family have a hard time with two weddings? We're considering doing the same because of locational issues, but we're worried since they will both be secular that one will feel that one is the "real" wedding and one isn't. How was your family with that?

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