Ana & Kim's pinup-inspired cabaret wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

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The offbeat bride: Ana

Her offbeat partner: Kim – Photographer

Location & date of wedding: Garden Party, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — April 30, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat:

The ceremony was created by us, based on different ancient nations' traditions. It was conducted by a xaman priest. We did the traditional walk down the aisle, had a handfasting ceremony, tasted foods that represented the sweet, sour, hard, soft, hot, cold of a wedding which was given to us by our parents, and performed the Great Rite. We exchanged rings and vows written by ourselves and had our civil union at the ceremony. So, as you see it was a mix of tradition and all the additions that we wanted and felt needed.

The wedding was all black, white and red and we had lots of damask, tattoo birds and the wedding party dressed fifties style. We had a rock band at the reception and a cartoon artist.

Everyone received ecobags as favors written on them was, "Starting a family goes together with taking care of the planet." Also included was a small book with eco tips on how to diminish environmental impact.

Tell us about your ceremony:We had a xaman priest perform a ritual that the three of us created together. Me and this priest met ten years ago in a wiccan public ritual and since then have been celebrating together. Our spiritual paths evolved and now none of us consider ouselves wiccan, but agree on lots of spiritual things because we "grew up" together in it. So, we created a ceremony based on things we have experienced, ancient nations wedding traditions, wiccan wedding rituals and xaman (his current path) beliefs. It came out perfect because it was all about meaning.
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First, we did a handfasting, the ribbons were brought to us by the groomsmen, and the bridesmaids all carried a herb bouquet with herbs that had to do with the meaning of each color. With our hands tied, each one of our parents (and stepparents) told us something about marriage as they handed us something to eat that represented parts of marriage: milk candy for the sweet part, ice cream for the cold part, nuts for the hard part, kiwi for the soft part, and so on. Then we performed the Great Rite, exchanged personalized vow and rings.

Our biggest challenge: Our families have different financial realities. The challenge was to fullfill one side's big expectations without making the other side feel diminished and not needed. Doesn't sound too difficult, right? But it was. At some points I felt like calling the whole thing off and eloping by ourselves. Yes, at some points both sides had to compromise, but at the end we pulled it off.

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We did not have time to write our vows until the (late) night before, so I was sure they were going to be a disaster, especially mine. I wrote it at once and did not read it until the ceremony. I was afraid I would find it horrible and would not have time (or sanity) to change it. Amazingly, they were beautiful, I could not have said it better. Nor could he…
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My favorite moment: Our vows, that we wrote the night before, they were the most beautiful words that I've ever heard. Everyone's reaction to our totally offbeat ceremony was also something we'll never forget. But the most magical thing was the two of us standing there after such a looooong walk, after all that we conquered and had done for it to be that way. We didn't have to think, to worry, it was all so certain, so right, it was perfect.

My funniest moment: There was a part of our ceremony in which each of our parents gave us something to eat that represented a characteristic of a marriage and then told us what it meant according to their experience. It was a way of blessing us with some knowledge. My dad had to give us milk candy which represented the sweet part of a marriage. I think he was nervous because instead of giving it to us, he ate it himself! Then the priest told him WE had to taste it, so he gave it to us, but then, his mouth was full and it took forever before he was able to talk! Everyone laughed, it was great! Soooooo funny.

My advice for offbeat brides: Do it. Don't be afraid. We are talking about weddings, people always get emotional at the end and if you are really being true to yourself, all those who love you will applaud. Because all that weird offbeat stuff is YOU, translated. But be kind to all those who go against you, your tastes and maybe your beliefs, don't stress, the secret is to remain in the path, just that.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Why get married? I have always asked that question. Even when I felt like doing it, I still didn't know the answer. But after doing it, I can tell you: it REALLY is a rite of passage. All the family drama (and their overcomings), the bride-groom disagreements that end up with kisses, every itty bitty victory over color, cake design, song choice, all the smiles along the way, and also tears, all the memories that are created, they take you from one place to another. Even if you already live together for a while like we did, you change. Things change inside, outside, people involved change, it's magical. There's a reason to get married, and it goes beyond words. That it why people keep doing it.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Dress: My dress was done by the girls of Whirlingturban which I strongly recommend, they are incredibly professional and cute.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

    • HAHAHAHA "personal vowels"! I´m sorry, It took me a while to even realise what was the typo! It´s not that I´m stupid, I´m just that I´m kind of… let´s say… BRAZILIAN! =) Sorr-ee!

      But it IS cute… =X

      Thanks Ariel for making it right!

    • I had them custom-made here in Brazil. They were actually pretty expensive, but my MIL insisted on doing it and since most of the BM were my husband´s cousins, she paid for them all and I made no objections. =)

  1. Absolutely stunning! The cake, the colors, all the details so well done! Please share where you got your ear plugs, they are amazing!

    • Thanks!
      The earplugs were nothing special really, they were bought in a bijoux store or 20 bucks I guess… They are steel and strass plain and simple. The jewelry were 50s Coro signed and I found them on Etsy. not so expensive either! And soooo well preserved…

  2. Congratulations!
    Everything looks so nice, the food tasting is something I'd never herd of and it sounds very beautiful.
    What a brilliant idea having a cartoon artist at the reception.
    I always come back to your hand fasting picture, it makes me stop and smile. I see so much love in your faces! 😀

  3. Very inspirational – what's amazing is that even as an outsider I can "feel the love" through the pictures… congratulations and thanks for sharing this experience… 🙂

  4. Thank you all for your words! I am actually pretty proud of our wedding, but nothing could have been accomplished without LOVE. And yes, there was a LOT of love in that wedding, and there´s love right now. I am very lucky!
    Good luck in your weddings! But most of all I wish you lots and lots of LOVE, THAT´S what is really essential.

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