The offbeat bride: Michelle, Veterinary Technician
Her offbeat partner: Adric, Mechanical Engineer
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our ceremony only had nine guests, but they spent the entire vacation with us zip-lining, cave tubing, and snorkeling. We had to take a ferry to get to the ceremony location.
Tell us about the ceremony: We had a handfasting and exchanged rings while we were still tied together. Adric actually made the DIY cord for the handfasting. Our wedding bands were made of the same piece of wood that was carved and embedded in metal, so we wrote the ring ceremony to fit with that.
Often people speak of wedding bands as a perfect circle with no beginning and no end, but rings do have a beginning. The material used to make these rings had a previous noble life before its transformation into a new purpose. The wood in the center of these rings reminds us of the single piece of raw lumber carefully whittled into a new existence as two pieces of a whole. The metal surrounding the rings was extracted from the earth, liquefied, molded, cooled, and painstakingly polished. Something beautiful was made from these raw elements of nature. Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It's the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.
My favorite moment: We arrived at the ruins a little before the guests to set up and take some pictures. I was so excited running around and exploring, but with my corset and the heat of Belize, by the time everyone arrived, I started to feel faint. I had to sit down and get water.
As all of the guests and the minister were waiting, I was struggling to collect myself. Adric knew that I wanted to continue but wasn't quite able to stand yet so he improvised. Without a thought, he got down on one knee, while holding the parasol in one hand, nodded to the minister, and we proceeded with the ceremony like that.
My funniest moment: My grandmother had read several travel books before the trip, so she was prepared with a lot of fun facts about Belize. During the reception when the drinks arrived, she leaned over to one of my friends gesturing to her drink and said “You know what that is don't you?” The girl replied that it was coconut rum and pineapple juice. My grandmother announced to the group very matter-of-factly that it is a “Panty Ripper.” That became the official Belizean drink for the group during the rest of the trip.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? All of the planning for the wedding was done over email based on reviews and websites. I picked a fairly new resort sight unseen, relying on a few pictures and the word of people I had never met. Many of the details of the ceremony and trip activities were being handled by the resort, and I was definitely worried something would be forgotten.
Instead, I was blown away by the Ka'ana resort. It was beautiful and they brought customer service to the next level. All of the staff were so attentive and friendly. They told us local stories, knew our names, and even what we liked to eat. If I needed anything, no matter who I asked, from the pool guy to the gardener, they would drop what they were doing and help.
The hotel staff even conspired with our photographer, so that after the wedding we came back to our room to find it filled with hundreds of candles. Thanks to Ka'ana, the whole trip went off with out a hitch. They were knowledgeable while they took us to and from all of the activities, and perfectly coordinated the bus to plane to car ride to the island hotel where we were spending the second half of our trip.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: List the things that are most important to you before you start. As the planning goes along, if/when something little goes wrong, the list puts it in perspective.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Dark Garden
- Groom's Vest: My Tailor Store
- Photographer: Olivera Rusu
- Wedding resort: Ka'ana
- Rings: Etsy seller USA Jewelry
- Engagement ring: Hunt Country Jewelers
- Necklace: Etsy seller Azure Treasures
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!