The Offbeat Bride: Erin, 6th Grade English Teacher
Her offbeat partner: Tim, Machinery Mechanic
Date and location of wedding: Abbie Holmes Estate in Clermont, NJ — October 15, 2016
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our wedding had a loose theme of books, cats, and glitter. I really wanted my four cats to be at the wedding, but it wasn't possible, so I had to just let my cat lady status show in other ways. I wore cat shoes and had a cat purse. We had our cats added to our cake topper, cat paw chocolate pops favors, and made sure to have cat ears at the photo booth. And, of course, used a cat lady wedding hashtag: #ErinAndTimGetMeowied.
I'm an English teacher and generally nerdy, so I incorporated my love of books by using books as centerpieces, scattering books throughout the venue, having a book-themed guest book, and book page flowers. The book page flowers were all handmade by myself and one of my bridesmaids and went into all the bouquets and in some of the vases, as well. I also made our own newspapers for our ceremony programs.
I used as much gold glitter as I could without making everything look super gaudy. I painted and glittered a ton of old bottles and vases for the tables. Tim and I also hollowed out a bunch of old hardcover books (and used gold glitter on some of the spines of the weirder titled books) and planted succulents in them. To add to the cat lady wedding theme, I put cat figures in the planters, too.
Tell us about the ceremony:
I'm pretty bummed we weren't able to participate in the pre-ceremony, really, because I feel like it must have been a blast. We had a mini cocktail hour before the ceremony, where guests could get some non-alcoholic drinks or partake in bourbon apple cider to pregame while the DJ played songs by Vitamin String Quartet, who do classical covers of pop songs.
I designed and made our programs to look like a newspaper — it had a featured article, a crossword puzzle, editorials, horoscopes, and even two personal ads from me and Tim, “w4m and m4w.”
The bridal party came out to Vitamin String Quartet cover of “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths and then my dad walked me down the aisle to the Vitamin String Quartet cover of “No Alarms and No Surprises” by Radiohead.
We were married by one of my best friends from high school, who doubled as a bridesman. His ceremony was amazing and hilarious, we spent so much of it laughing. He incorporated all kinds of wacky things about our lives and legitimately worked lines from “Mmmbop” (Hanson was always my thing) into our vows.
As we exited to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates, our guests threw confetti hearts made from book pages inside of dictionary page cones, also DIYed by me.
Tell us about your reception:
We wanted to keep our reception laid-back, so we had the room setup with a variety of low-top and high-top tables and couches inside the dining room and out onto the back patio with no assigned seating. We had a temporary tattoo station where people could have our names, our initials, or our faces tattooed onto themselves. We also had a fire pit on the back patio with a s'mores station.
Our invitations boasted an “Epic Dance Party” and our amazing DJ definitely delivered. He really nailed our musical interests after seeing our requests list. We had so many awesome '90s songs playing and had a blast dancing with our friends and family. We even got to Rick Roll our guests during the cake cutting.
Our wedding was for adults only, with the exception of Tim's 16-year-old son, so there was a big emphasis on partying, letting loose, and having a blast. We bought a variety of craft beers and had ceremonial Irish car bomb cocktails with our bridal party.
Possibly the greatest part of the night, though, was when two of my bridesmaids made an announcement that their gift to us was outside: an ice cream truck! I don't think either of us had ever been so happy: hanging out with our favorite people, drinking good beer, and eating ice cream cones (with sprinkles).
What was your most important lesson learned?
If you're DIYing things, get started on it earlier than you think you should and ask for help. I did a LOT of the DIY stuff myself, mostly because I waited too long to begin, and it resulted in not getting everything done that I wanted to get done. I had planned on making cardboard cutouts of my cats and just didn't have time unfortunately.
Also, make sure to spend time with your partner at the wedding. It seems silly, but Tim and I spent a lot of time dancing and hanging out with our friends and family in separate areas of the wedding, but not so much time dancing and hanging out with each other. I wish we had made an effort to set some time aside together, besides our first dance, a quick meal and our eventual trip to the photo booth at the end of the night.
- Photographer: Alison Dunn Photography
- Venue/Caterer: Xenia Catering at the Abbie Holmes Estate
- Dress and Veil: Pixie Pocket
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Unique Vintage
- Florist: Primrose and Company/Everly at Railroad
- DJ: DJ Nate at Terrace DJ
- Photo booth: Photobooth Planet, Philadelphia
- Cupcakes: Sweet Mercy Cupcakes
- Cake: made by a bridesmaid's mom, Paula
- Cake Topper: Artifice Producciones
- Groomsmen Gifts, Personalized Beer Mugs: My Sister's Boutique
- Bridesmaids Gifts, Hand-Painted Lockets: Khara Ledonne