The offbeat bride: Amber, veterinary technician
Her offbeat partner: Trey, pool guy
Date and location of wedding: Arizona Golf Resort, Mesa, Arizona — October 8, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: In my wedding research, I kept seeing the phrase “make it yours.” One day while talking to my mom in a mild state of panic and despair, I asked, “How can I make it a reflection of us and not include Firefly?!” She said, “Well, do that then.” And the angels sang a heavenly chorus and our nerd theme was born. I have no idea why I thought it wasn't okay to approach our wedding this way initially.
I then started on a DIY-palooza. We had to DIY a lot, not only because of the budget, but I love to craft. The first step was deciding on the tables so I could figure out where to go next. After some heated debate, we ended up with X-Files, True Blood, Firefly, Buffy, Harry Potter, and X-Men. Google stopped being as helpful after this. Luckily, one search for “non-floral centerpieces” brought me to Offbeat Bride and my sanity was saved.
Our centerpieces ended up being photo cubes with pictures from each nerd subject and pictures of us embodying said subject. This included photos like me at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my maid of honor, pictures of Trey and me two Halloweens ago when he dressed as Wolverine and I was Professor X, four Halloweens ago when we went as Kaylee and Jayne, and us at a midnight showing of Harry Potter.
I had the most fun making our favors! I used polymer clay to make little key-chains for each table. X-Files had a little gray alien head, True Blood had coasters from Merlotte's, Firefly of course had little Jayne hats, Buffy had a heart with a stake through it, Harry Potter had a golden snitch, and X-Men had Wolverine claws. I made a little sign explaining to everyone what their favor was and how it related to the table they were sitting at.
I also made our cake toppers out of polymer clay in the likeness of our furry children, Bajo and Spike.
Tell us about the ceremony: We both knew the ceremony was going to be the biggest challenge for us as neither of us likes being the center of attention and Trey is terrified of public speaking. Our officiant, Annie, was a recommendation from our awesome DJ and she was willing to work with us on everything to make the ceremony as quick as possible, religion-free, and gender neutral.
We threw in some nerd to the ceremony as well. After our kiss, we had Annie say “What love has joined together, no power in the ‘verse can stop them,” (a shout-out to Firefly). We are also both changing our last name to Reynolds (after Serenity's Captain Malcolm), so seeing the confused faces of friends and family when she pronounced us Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds made me smile. Then we walked down the aisle together to the theme song from Angel.
Our biggest challenge: A challenge for me was learning how to be flexible and compromise. I started out taking the “make it yours” philosophy to heart a little too much, and I refused to compromise on anything. I eventually learned to let little things go, but stick to my guns when it really mattered to me.
I was also really uncomfortable with the concept of being “given away.” I am a grown-ass woman and I am making this decision, not being handed off from one person to another. I am not really close to my dad either, and the whole thought of him passing me on to someone else just gave me some belly rumblings.
I tried to convince Trey to walk down the aisle with me, but he said he wanted that moment of seeing me at the end of the aisle. So I went by myself. When I first told my dad this was the plan he was surprisingly hurt. So I compromised with giving him a father/daughter dance, which I wasn't planning on doing. The whole thing turned out to be a moot point anyway because the aisle was only about 10 feet long and as soon as I walked out I started freaking out that everyone was staring at me and I ended up literally running down the aisle anyway.
My favorite moment: For me, it was when I was standing up in front of everyone at the ceremony and looking at Trey, knowing he was scared out of his mind but was up there anyway because he loved me. Also, looking out at everyone at the reception and knowing everyone was there because of us and to support us. Both of my maids of honor flew across the country (from Florida and New York) to be there with me. I just felt so blessed and loved.
My funniest moment: I am not a huge fan of having my picture taken. After about 20 minutes of posing for pictures, I had enough and wandered away from the photographer. I stumbled upon a stray cat on the golf course grounds. My vet tech instincts kicked in and I decided we were going to be friends. I was petting him for a few minutes when I decided we were good enough friends that I could pick him up and nuzzle him as one must do with cats. I guess I was overzealous in evaluating our relationship, as he jumped out of my arms and ran away, slicing open my toe in the process. Toe wounds bleed a lot, surprisingly. But it was funny going over to my work friends and showing them my bleeding cat-inflicted wound. I still have a scar on my toe and it makes me smile whenever I look at it.
Also, once Trey put down his top hat, it started making its way around the room. I was cracking up because everywhere I looked, there was another person wearing it (or playing with his sword-cane). I have a whole page called “top hat photo bombs” in my scrapbook.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I thought for sure no one was going to take their favors, or worse they would take them home and then throw them away. I had tasked one of my maids of honor to go around after people started leaving and gather up the ones that were left. But, to my surprise there were none left. I even saw some people bartering and exchanging for different ones, and one of my friends from work actually made it her mission of the night to collect them all. I actually got a few pictures from my friends that Christmas from people who had converted them in to ornaments for their tree.
The one thing that actually did turn out to be a disaster was karaoke. One of the microphones was malfunctioning and went back and forth from being too loud to being too soft. Trey and I went to high school together but hadn't seen each other for five years before we met again at a karaoke bar, so I really wanted to include it in the reception. I think only five songs were sung in total by the time I went running to our DJ, Teffanie, to stop the madness.
And the father/daughter dance was actually not the catastrophe I was expecting. Unbeknownst to me, for the last year my dad has been obsessed with Dancing With the Stars, and he decided to bust out all kinds of fancy dance moves.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: I suggest hiring a videographer. You can't be everywhere at once, and if your photographer isn't taking pictures at the time, you might miss having something important captured.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? At the end of the day, nothing is the end of the world. No one will know or care that the groom was also supposed to have a bow tie, but no one knew how to tie it, so he just left it in the hotel room.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Stephanie Harmon
- Dress: Brilliant Bridal
- Groom's outfit: Gentlemen's Emporium
- Awesome DJ: Face the Music
- Buffy comic book bouquet: Etsy seller NerdNuptials
- Ring: BKK Gemstones
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!