Offbeat partner: Beth, Art Teacher
Offbeat partner: John, Pipe Fitter
Date and location of wedding: Wildwood Park for the Arts, Little Rock, AR — June 9, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our wedding was a big, fun, love fest! My husband and I chose to do a music festival theme, because we met at Wakarusa, a music festival in the Ozark mountains. We wanted to be surrounded by nature on our wedding day, so our wedding was held at the beautiful Wildwood Park for the Arts.
I am an art teacher, so I wanted our wedding to be an explosion of color. Each of my bridesmaids wore a different tertiary color on the color wheel. We also incorporated as much color as we could by using colorful tapestries on the tables and by hanging rainbow ribbons in the trees. Our day was fun, whimsical, and full of love. I also chose the rainbow theme because I am a HUGE advocate for the LQBTQIA+ community and several of my bridal party are members of the community. It was extremely important to me to have a day that felt inclusive for all of my friends and family and celebrated LOVE in any and all forms.
Tell us about the ceremony:
The ceremony was held on a grassy lawn in front of a beautiful lake. Our altar was made of two simple wrought iron columns with strands of dangling flowers in between. Our ceremony was non-traditional and non-religious, and based on love and music instead.
The wedding party walked down the aisle to songs by Frank Ocean, and I walked down to "So Far to Go," a hip hop song by J Dilla. My stepfather performed the ceremony which included the story of how we met, our shared love of music, especially hip hop, and ended with a quote from a song by Metallica.
Tell us about your reception:
Our reception was super fun, and of course, non-traditional. It was held inside the lobby of the Wildwood Park theatre, and decorated with twinkle lights and colorful tapestries. Instead of having a typical wedding cake, we made a giant eight-foot tall donut wall!
We didn't have typical fancy wedding food either. Instead, we had a southern-style buffet with fried chicken, catfish, mac and cheese, cornbread, and other southern side dishes. I definitely was not one of those brides that "forgot" to eat. After dinner, there were a few toasts, then everyone headed out the pavilion to dance. The pavilion was decked out with string lights in every color, and the DJ's light show made it a party! Best night of my life!
What was your most important lesson learned?
The most important lesson I learned was to make sure to read though the ENTIRE contract for all of your vendors BEFORE you book them. There are a lot of small details in contracts that you might overlook when you skim through it the first time. I overlooked the length of time that alcohol could be served at my venue, which was kind of a big deal to my wedding party and guests.
I also learned to not get too stressed out and take planning one step at a time. Yes, planning is stressful, but everything will get done eventually. Try to find room in your budget to hire a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator. There is no way we could have made it through the day stress-free without our coordinator. And lastly, HAVE FUN! Enjoy your day, and soak in all the love.