The Offbeat Bride: Jess, Quality Engineer (and Offbeat Bride member)
Her offbeat partner: Mac, Structural Engineer
Date and location of wedding: The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, Boston, MA — May 31, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: By the time we walked down the aisle, we'd have been together for over a decade. Needless to say, everyone was expecting this for a VERY long time, so we wanted to make sure it was memorable for them… and worth the wait! Using a relatively new, local museum helped us support our favorite city and show off our love of engineering, while incorporating LEGO in every way possible gave us a fun way to take the dorkiness to another level. LEGO also allowed me to get creative… like buying tubs of it off of Craigslist, washing them in my bathtub, and letting them dry for three days on our kitchen floor (dangerous stuff) before building decor with them. I also really wanted to support small businesses, so I used Etsy for as much as I could: all of the guys' cufflinks, my bridesmaids' gifts, our ketubah, and even my wedding dress (which had pockets!).
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our officiant was one of my best friends, who is a Lutheran Pastor… but neither Mac nor I are Lutheran! He's Catholic and I'm Jewish, so I thoroughly enjoyed adding to the confusion of an interfaith ceremony by having an officiant of a completely different faith. My friendor officiant, Dana, did a sneaky thing by using LEGO as a metaphor for our friends and family building up our relationship. It was really sweet, as it allowed friends and family to be involved in the ceremony, and totally unexpected.
Neither Mac nor I wanted any biblical readings in our ceremony; instead, I pieced together a science-y reading from a number of different sources I'd found online, which included bits from Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Albert Einstein, and others:
Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is a tiny blue dot that we humans call home. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries. We are constantly reminded that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is a prerequisite to survival. Our little planet floats like a mote of dust in the morning sky. All that you see, all that we can see, exploded out of a star billions of years ago, and the particles slowly arranged themselves into living things, including all of us. We are made of star stuff. We are the mechanism by which the universe can comprehend itself.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth. We should remain grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. The sum of all our evolution, our thinking and our accomplishments is love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with the person you love for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity. A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a renewed reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life.
Although I didn't have many Jewish elements in the ceremony (no glass-breaking, no chuppah, etc.), we decided to get a ketubah and signed it after the ceremony.
Our biggest challenge:
I know it's a common thing when it comes to wedding planning, but the guest list was the most difficult part of this craziness. The museum we used as a venue is gorgeous, but very small, so we were limited to barely over 100 people. While Mac and I wanted a small-ish wedding to begin with, we couldn't help but worry about offending friends and family members by not allowing +1s unless they were in the wedding party or married, and not inviting people that I wouldn't recognize on the street. I eventually loosened my reins on my rules, and even though it gave me a few sleepless nights wondering how we would fit these people in the venue, it all worked out in the end. I also had to un-invite someone to whom I had sent a save-the-date. Although it was really awkward to do, he understood and we're still on good terms.
My favorite moment:
Unfortunately, my grandfather was too ill to make the trip, but having my grandmother there was amazing. It was especially touching because she was the only grandparent in attendance. Seeing her have fun — and drink more than a few Manhattans — made all of the planning, waiting, and worrying worth it.
Even the day of the wedding, I was worried that people would think our LEGO-themed wedding was more like a 10-year-old's birthday party. I was really excited about our centerpieces being vases full of LEGO bricks so guests could interact with them and build things, but I was also scared that the guests wouldn't really get it. I can't describe how happy I was when, during the cocktail hour, my mom came outside and told me that guests, young and old, had already started dumping out the centerpieces and getting to work. Apparently things got vicious and people were stealing bricks from other tables!
My funniest moment:
While we were dancing like crazy people, my grandmother (who is in a wheelchair) wanted to dance with my husband. While she was sitting in her chair and we danced around her, she drunkenly slapped and grabbed his ass! Everyone within eye- and ear-shot burst out laughing and those who DON'T know my grandmother were shocked (while the rest of us knew this is totally something she'd do).
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Stick to your guns, and surround yourself with supportive people who love you. There were so many times where friends, family, and coworkers would tell me that I was in for it by doing my hair, nails, and makeup myself, that DIYing five bouquets the morning of the wedding was way too much, that it was reckless to buy a dress online without ever having seen it in person, and the reasons why mashed potatoes aren't “wedding food”… it was incessant!
Hell, when people heard that we were having a LEGO-themed wedding, the looks on their faces were as if I'd just told them I was going to walk down the aisle with chopsticks sticking out of my nose!
But, in the end, thanks to my extremely supportive parents, husband, and best friends, I wore a kickass custom-made wedding dress, I put rainbow puff paint on my Toms shoes, I played with LEGO bricks, and I ate mashed potatoes.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Osgood Photography
- Bride's Dress: Amanda Archer
- Groom's Wedding Band: Minter & Richter
- Caterer: Tastings
- DJ: DJ's Of Boston
- Venue: The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!