This week we're celebrating simple weddings, featuring couples who opted to go a bit more minimal with their wedding details.
Her offbeat partner: Trevor, Video Engineer
Date and location of wedding: California, United States — April 4, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted our wedding to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Almost everything we bought was fair trade or recycled. Our vegan food came from local resources. We used Cards From Africa to create our wedding invites, so that we would be putting our money towards helping communities in Rwanda. We had fair trade chocolates that supported animal conservation as wedding favors. We also asked out guests to R.S.V.P on our wedding page to reduce the amount of paper we used.
My wedding dress belonged to my mother and was blue. A lot of people weren't supportive of a dark blue dress, but I'm glad I stuck with it and wore something that was special to me. Instead of renting a tux for my husband, we bought a fitted suit that he could reuse over and over again. We wanted to have an event that wasted as little as possible, so with every thing we did we'd ask how it could be cost-effective, reused, or consumer conscious.
We had my anthropology professor marry us, and we wrote our own vows. We wanted our wedding ceremony to be special and meaningful, so my husband and brother-in-law made the food and we had the ceremony in my mother-in-law's backyard. We gathered the plates and napkins from various family members and made most of the things for our ceremony ourselves.
After our ceremony, our family brought out instruments and we played music and drank wine late into the night. Our wedding wasn't conventional and didn't have the type of ceremony everyone expected, but it was special and meaningful and turned into a magical night.
Our reception was the next day and it was just a big party. Unlike our small ceremony, we'd invited a lot of people to the reception, and wanted to have an evening of good food and dancing. We were glad we split the ceremony and reception up, because everyone arrived at our reception ready to dance and celebrate.
Tell us about the ceremony: We included things that were special to us. We had everyone write down something they wished for our marriage, so after dinner we had everyone read their card to us. We were all crying, but I'm going to sound like a Hallmark card when I say that you could feel the love in our backyard. Having everyone feel comfortable enough to share made us feel that we started our marriage surrounded by the people who will always love and support us no matter what.
Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge was convincing everyone that I really didn't want a big wedding dress or a traditional ceremony. I had nightmares about dress shopping and walking down the aisle towards an extravagant wedding that didn't fit me at all. My bridesmaids were surprised when I asked them to pick out their own dresses, and everyone kept asking if I was sure I wanted to wear blue for the ceremony. In the end though, it was just how we'd envisioned it. I think everyone learned so much about the kind of couple we are through our wedding.
My favorite moment: When everyone read the cards aloud. We still have the cards and read them on our anniversary. My nephew was the cutest. He wished for us to have a lot of love, a swimming pool, and Pokemon cards.
My funniest moment: The funniest moment was when we read the wedding vows. My husband had been telling me that his vows were epic. When he read his vows, he compared me to a potato plant. What he wrote was actually very sweet, but when he said that I reminded him of a potato, I couldn't stop laughing. It wasn't what I was expecting at all!
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was incredibly worried about Trevor making the food for our ceremony, but he insisted on doing it himself. It actually turned out fine, and he had a great day cooking with his brother. He'd made a timed list so the day would go smoothly, and he actually stuck to it! I still can't believe he was able to make all of that food for everyone.
My advice for offbeat brides: My husband was very picky about our wedding, so I'd suggest sitting down with each other to find out what's important for both of you, then find a way to compromise and make that vision work.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photographer: Beverly Hills Photography. They spent two entire days with us and we'd hire them again in a heartbeat. I can't thank them enough for the beautiful images they captured.
- Vegan cake: Stephanie's Bakery in San Diego
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!