Zeva & Andrew's nerdy costume love adventure wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
 
Photos by: Carrie Swails Photography
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Photos by Carrie Swails Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Zeva, MSW Student (and Offbeat Bride member)

Her offbeat partner: Andrew, Inventory Managment

Date and location of wedding: Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster, CO — August 2, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Traditional has never described our relationship, so a non-traditional wedding was destiny. We met during a table top gaming group in college, and nerdy is a lifestyle for us. I started this whole wedding thing off by proposing to him with a box I painted to look like a Companion Cube and filled it with nerdy sayings (which then became our ring box).

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We have been long time gamers, cosplayers, and geeks, so the wedding had to match. Costuming is actually a pretty big part of our lives, and we didn't feel like there was a better time to make some awesome new stuff and then ask our guests to come in costume as well. I never wanted a white dress, and we both wanted things we would be able to wear again so that helped us figure out what we wanted to do. It really helped that our amazing photographer (and high school friend) was encouraging of geekery during our engagement photos because it helped us set the tone for everything else. We even decided to have a game table and a costume contest! Overall, we wanted people to have as much fun as possible without too much expense.

We ended up needing a lot of help in making our vision come together on a limited budget, so our families and friends were vital to it happening. The list of things we did to try to minimize cost but maximize fun was extensive. We and our families made most of our garb, our food was catered by a family friend, our families did all of the decorations, my uncle preformed the ceremony and we provided our own entertainment. We stole a lot of ideas from Offbeat Bride including making people roll a giant d20 to make us kiss instead of clinking glasses, creating leather flowers as boutonnieres, and dismissing people to get dinner by playing Apples to Apples.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
When we started planning I told him that I wanted a handfasting. He is Christian and I consider my faith as a mash-up of a lot of things, but a handfasting is something that always spoke to me. We chose to each independently pick a cord to represent ourselves. Then we each asked our families to find things that would symbolize their feelings or blessings for us and tied them to our chords. During the ceremony we asked our Shield Maidens (we each had one) to tie them together around our hands. It was really special to us to have our closest friends be able to do this for us so that friends, family and individual was all involved in making us a couple.

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A few weeks before the wedding the friend who had originally agreed to be our officiant had to cancel. My uncle is a pastor and it was such a blessing that he was willing to do the ceremony for us. It brought more Christian sentiment to the ceremony which was appreciated.

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The Butterfly Pavilion lets people release butterflies during ceremonies, and we really liked the idea. His sister did a reading for us while we opened the box, and she dressed like a fairy with butterfly wings to match. The butterflies didn't fly much when we opened the box, but it was still really nice.

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Our biggest challenge:
Time and distance were our biggest struggles. Shortly after I proposed, I was accepted to my MSW program and we made the choice to move almost 1300 miles across the country for it. We picked out our wedding and reception venues a week before our move and did our engagement photos only three days before. It meant that a lot of the planning and prepping was left to our families in Colorado because we were so far away and I was so busy with school. There were a lot of emails and phone calls between all of us to try to make it all happen. In the end we basically had to give them our thoughts and trust that they would follow through with things to the best of their ability. His family took our vague decorating ideas and blew us away with what they came up with. It was nerve wracking, but letting go of strict ideas and letting our families run with things was really helpful.

We also had a lot of struggles around making sure everyone could eat meals due to allergies and food restrictions. We really weren't sure we would have dinner until about two weeks beforehand, and figured out our ice cream bar with only about a week to spare. It all worked out without any problems, but it was nerve wracking.

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My favorite moment:
We spent months working together to make all of the pieces of our costumes, and despite the fact that we saw most of the pieces individually we hadn't seen each other in full costume. We chose to do a first look and reversed typical roles so that I was the one turning to see him. It was amazing to finally see everything together and see how handsome he was in all his glory. Hours of blood, sweat, and tears totally paid off.

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Generally speaking he doesn't show much emotion, so when his voice quavered during his vows I nearly cried with joy. I will never forget that moment.

We had friends and family come from all over the US, and got lucky enough that a few that were out of the county were in town at just the right time. The majority of people came in costume and it meant so much to us for people to join in our fun. It was especially amazing to have almost all of our family in costume, most of which were handmade and brought from all over the country for the occasion. It was touching that so many people were willing to come from all over to join us, and dress up too! It was like a reunion, especially after haven't seeing most of them in over a year.

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My funniest moment:
The costume contest was amazing! People really got into it, and we saw a different side of some people. My aunt got really into her Professor Sprout costume and had all of us laughing, especially my Harry Potter-loving high school friends. We had some friends do versions of Charlie the Unicorn, Pink and Blue, and included a mini skit for their presentation. It was a ton of fun to see them all.

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One of our friends owns a life-sized remote controlled R2D2 and he agreed to pilot him as our ring bearer. He is very skilled at making him feel just like from the movie, and can make him dance. We also have a friend who fits in a C3PO costume. Watching them dance together at the reception was super fun, and everyone loved it.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Oh man, dealing with food allergies and restrictions is a huge issue for my fiance and I also! Right now we are looking for caterers, and we are uncertain how to proceed with the list of allergies we have from guests. We have several guests who have celiac disease (so gluten-free is a must), a few others with diabetes (will need sugar-free dessert options, though this is less problematic), and the food allergies are as follows: applies and anything made from apples, onions (what the heck, right?), eggplant (less of a problem, since I simply cannot stand eggplant anyway), grapes, bananas, and chocolate.

    So um, anyone have any advice for handling such a variety of food issues? Help would be much appreciated, as we are sort of at a loss right now.

    • We asked everyone to RSVP on our website and we made food options for people to mark. It let them say exactly what they couldn't eat so it made it easier for us to keep track of. We ended up doing a variety of different sandwiches and simply changing toppings and bread. It wasn't very formal, but it was as flexible as we needed. Creative thinking seems to be key to it. Have you had any thoughts or wants so far? I hope you get it figured out.

  2. man oh man, i am digging this wedding…so much fun stuff.
    Also I am on the HUNT for an R2D2 ring bearer in SoCal…thats the droid I'm looking for…

    • You can try looking for droid builders near you. Try looking around on astromech.net and maybe you will come across someone willing to help out. We just happened to get lucky, and it was super fun. I hope you find the droid you are looking for. 🙂

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