She taught us how to not get ripped off at antique shops. Then how to make a floral head wreath. After just about dying for her amazing wedding details, it's finally here: longtime OBT member iLiveinmyLab‘s full wedding story. – Becca

Group photo of the Ceremony

The offbeat bride: Sara, graduate student and food scientist (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Patrick, architecture graduate student

Location & date of wedding: Barr Mansion, Austin, Texas — May 22, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: When we started wedding planning, we had a few things that we absolutely knew we wanted: the focus to be on our relationship with each other and our family; gluten-free food; almost everything to be reusable; and an art glass theme.

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake!Food was a huge deal to us. Both of us have celiac disease and live a gluten-free lifestyle because of it. Our motto when it came to food was, “If we can't eat it, it should not be at our wedding,” and we took this VERY seriously.

We used to volunteer at an art glass museum, which is where the idea of art glass-themed decorations came from.

One of the big things that we took upon ourselves was to have as much as possible be reusable — all of the glass decorations we collected will be reused in family members' homes or yards, we let our bridal party choose their outfits, and we specifically chose Barr Mansion for their environmentally responsible practices and “green” facilities.

droopy green stuff1We had all sorts of little hidden symbols throughout our decorations. The steampunk tie pin Patrick wore was a Christmas present a few years ago, the glass hair pin in my hair was purchased when Patrick studied abroad, I walked down the aisle to the “Inner Light” orchestral suite from Star Trek (I'm a huge fan), and instead of throwing a traditional bouquet, I threw a pink plush stuffed animal cow (I raise cattle, and thought this would be more appropriate).

30 Seconds

Gluten-Free Chocolate CakeOur biggest challenge: It never ceased to amaze me how offended people would get at the thought of an entirely gluten-free wedding. Because of Barr Mansion's Certified Organic kitchens we were not able to bring in any other products (like gluten-free bread) and there was no way to bake safe gluten-free products in their kitchen.

Our simple fix to this was have a wedding with no bread, and then just bring the cakes the morning of the wedding. Rita at The Little Aussie Bakery made absolutely gorgeous cakes (they were EXACTLY what I was hoping for) that tasted delicious! We also worked for several months with Barr Mansion to make sure that all of the ingredients they used were gluten-free. In the end, we had a fantastic meal and we appreciate all the effort they put towards creating wonderful food for us!
Mirror Mirror on the Wall

"To Go" BoxesMy favorite moment: Getting to visit and celebrate with all of our long-lost family members and close friends. We wanted it to be a celebration of our relationship, not a specific moment of “Oh, look: you're married now!” and we feel like we succeeded.

The Captain is Here

Wedding Toastees!My funniest moment: My co-worker Constance fighting for the plush pink cow! Constance is a visiting scholar/intern from Africa and this was the first wedding she had been to while she was here. It was so much fun watching her get the pink cow!

Tossing the Cow

Sign in table arrangementMy advice for offbeat brides: Do not let drama consume you. If someone in your life is trying to cause chaos related to your wedding, just shut them off for a few days to let things calm down. Try not to make rash angry decisions and instead be the bigger person by attempting to resolve the situation peacefully — this is super hard but it's worth it in the end.

If you're going to do something odd or unusual, don't tell anyone. People will try to create drama and make a big deal of the simplest things, but when it comes to the wedding day they'll think everything went wonderfully and was absolutely gorgeous.

Chaplain Larry performing the ceremony

Outside the Glass BallroomWhat was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? We learned how to filter out negativity in our lives and focus on the positive things that were going on around us. Chaos happens to everyone; the key is to focus on the good things in life and what makes you happy.

Our Classic Ride

Glass Aisle DecorationsCare to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

dresses: Wai-Ching

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Comments on Sara & Patrick’s Gluten-free, Art Glass, Outdoor Adventure

  1. Beautiful wedding!
    I notice that you have a vicar performig the ceremony but it is outdoors. Various people have told me that it is impossible to do that because ministers/vicars are registered to a church for the ceremony and can’t do it anywhere else. How did you manage to make that happen?

    (of course I am in the UK and it could be that the laws are different)

    • We had Chaplain Larry Todd perform our ceremony. He was a military chaplain and is not affiliated with a particular church or chapel, the money that he receives for performing wedding ceremonies goes to support the Central Texas Crisis Chaplains ( a non-profit charity – their website can be found here ). In the United States, depending upon the denomination a ceremony can be performed anywhere (indoors or outdoors as well as off church property), thus it is not as problematic having outdoors ceremonies here.

  2. I can relate to the food aspect. My FH and I each have some sort of food restriction (he’s allergic to mushrooms and I don’t eat pork or shellfish). For our wedding day, we have the same philosophy. We want to be able to go up to any dish in the room and take a bite. For the reception a few months later we’re being far more laid-back though. After all, it is a potluck. 🙂

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