The offbeat bride: Jennifer, Marketing/Communications (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Dean, Pest Control Technician/Aspiring Student
Location & date of wedding: Old World Village, Huntington Beach, CA — November 7, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat:
We had our wedding at Old World Village which is essentially a small faux German village where our city holds Oktoberfest. Our ceremony was written by the two of us, and our reception was horror movie-themed. Our reception hall had the feel of an Eastern European bar, with stained glass windows an an iron chandelier.
Our wedding cake was made to look like chocolate blood was dripping down and our cake toppers were a zombie bride/groom fashioned to look like us. Each of our tables at the reception had a different horror movie assigned to it and hanging from our manzanita centerpieces were photos from that movie. We had Halloween, Horror Movie Icons, Zombie, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre tables. Our first date was watching horror movies together, so it only made sense to carry that into our wedding.
Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote our ceremony together, and we both knew we didn't want anything super long where the meaning is lost because no one is listening to what is being said. Our ceremony clocked in at just under six minutes long.
Our friend, Sam, performed our ceremony and had become ordained just to marry us (thank you Universal Life Church). Another of our friends performed a reading that I found thanks to the folks of the Tribe. Dean and I both have tattoos of a heart with a keyhole that we each got long before we knew each other. When I found this reading it made me cry with how perfect it was.
“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.”
Our biggest challenge: Being a mediator for different family conflicts and sometimes the center. Effective communication is what got us through this process. Also, the DIY challenges were difficult to figure out. Our guest list grew by ten people who were invited to the wedding but didn't RSVP. Once we realized that we only had a set up for 60 people in mind, my Mom and I went out and bought a few things last minute and assembled another manzanita centerpiece the week before the wedding.
My favorite moment: Hearing Dean's vows to me and reading my vows to him. We had kept them a secret until then. It was one of those moments that truly only belonged to the two of us.
Also, the speeches from our friends and family and how many people wanted to speak on our behalf. We also had an amazingly intimate moment after the ceremony where we both cried and just said “We're married.”
My funniest moment: During our wedding, Dean pulled out his iPhone, where he had stored his vows. He finds himself waiting in his work truck a lot so he would write his vows when he thought of something. When he pulled out his iPhone, everyone chuckled, including me!
Also, I had just walked in to the reception after talking to some friends who had to leave early, and I heard Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody” start from my wedding playlist right as Freddy Mercury sang “Mama.” Everyone in my reception was singing LOUDLY for the whole song.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I expected there to be a lot more of a clash of personalities. But seeing everyone laughing and enjoying themselves put any fears I had aside. I also had several disaster scenarios in my head that never came to fruition (centerpieces breaking, me tripping and falling, things/me catching fire, etc).
My advice for offbeat brides: Sometimes it's better to keep your ideas to yourself and everyone you already know is on your team. Someone with a different set of ideals can make you feel bad about your decisions, and criticize your wedding which, let's face it, is no fun at all.
Make sure your expectations are clear and heard. Don't assume that your Bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, or Best Man know what is expected of them — if anything.
If you have a team of people you trust, I highly recommend having them set up the reception for you. I laid out a list of instructions/inclusions for my team and had already gone over what needed to be placed on what table and it made me feel so relaxed that it was all set.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Bolero: Blue Velvet Vintage
- Bride's shoes: Cristina Beller
- Fascinator: Etsy seller Mandiesue
- Photography: Kevin Wu Photography
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
dresses: Blue Velvet Vintage