The Offbeat Bride: Sarah, Operations Manager
Her offbeat partner: Rob, Data Analyst
Date and location of wedding: Thornewood Castle, Lakewood WA — April 11, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
The theme to our wedding would be best described as unseelie (dark fairy) geekiness. We are former goths who love video games and RPGs, and we wanted our wedding to reflect our tastes. My mother actually found our venue, I had no idea there was a castle in the middle of Lakewood, but it was perfect for our needs. Moss, mushrooms, and birds made our dinner tables seem very fae, while the sword we used to cut our cake and our cake topper were more fantasy/RPG.
Both our outfits were a real manifestation of who we are. My dress was my own design (with tons of help from my tailor and Pinterest), and Rob's outfit was a cultivation of serious Google-fu and some gentle suggestions from me. We were very careful to make sure we each felt confident in the outfits we decided on and we're chuffed with the outcomes. It also made our photos really nice because you/we could see us in different levels of attire in the day. Some with glasses, some with pauldrons, so you really got the fairy tale and the geekiness at different points in our wedding.
It was an overseas wedding for us, I planned almost everything from Australia. Skype and email and myself became tri-besties. I didn't meet a single vendor (other than my tailor) until three and a half weeks before my wedding. The groomsmen's suits couldn't be confirmed until days before the wedding.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We personalized our ceremony a LOT. The bridal party walked down the aisle to Vitamin String Quartet's rendition of “What's This” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I walked down to their version of “Starlight” by Muse. Our recessional was “Still Alive” from the game Portal.
During our ceremony we had my parents do readings in between the vows and the unity ceremony. My mother did a bit from The Velveteen Rabbit about realness and my father did the wedding vows from Dax and Worf's Klingon wedding ceremony from Deep Space 9. For our unity ceremony, we made a cocktail and talked about how each aspect of the drink represented our special joining. We also had my maid of honor's husband as our officiant, which meant we could basically create our own vows. It was important to us that they reflected what we actually wanted to promise to each other in our marriage. For example, we added in thoughts on how we would be dedicated to each other first, then our family — knowing that we wouldn't have children and that this mostly meant that our blood relatives, our non-blood relatives, and our loved ones would be most important to us.
Tell us about your reception:
I think I stressed about the food the most. Did you know Australians make fun of our sugary bread? My caterer couldn't provide sugar-free bread. They could get bread using sugar substitutes, but not sugar-free. Weird huh? One of the many interesting food challenges I came across.
Our reception was at the same site, so no one had to travel that day, but half our guests flew in from Australia that week to attend. My family is from Washington, while Rob's family is in Melbourne, Australia. We decided on having the wedding in America to give my family the best opportunity to attend with the plan that we would have a second reception in Melbourne for Rob's much larger family (we're still working on that last part). We were very lucky that so many of our Australian friends could attend, because two of my bridesmaids and all three of Rob's groomsmen were from Melbourne.
My favorite part of our reception would probably be the burlesque show we had. Or maybe the cake cutting? I had never used a sword to cut cake before.
All in all, the wedding and reception were very small and intimate. I got a chance to have real conversations with all my guests and thank the ones who traveled across the world to attend. I have a bit of a problem with crowds, so it was perfect for me and everyone got a chance to spend some quality B&G face time.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Hire a coordinator if you can, you can get them for different levels of help and day-of planners are super great at making sure your day runs well. Hire the best photographer you can (a good photographer captures the special moments of your day to make it look amazing!). Pay off things ASAP, and don't wait until that day. Rob spent 45 minutes at our reception trying to get Paypal to work. He's still upset about it.
Rob was involved with most of the choices of our wedding, and it was more special/personal for both of us because of that. I picked two things I liked, he picked one of them. Sometimes it was the incorrect choice. Sometimes we'd argue about it. Learning to compromise is hard, but rewarding. Find a system that works for you.
- Photographer: Robert Wojtowicz Fine Art Photography
- Dress: Linda Jane Doble
- Venue: Thornewood Castle
- Florist: Sublime Stems
- Cake Decorator: Wagner's Bakery
- Armor: Mask World & Andracor Leatherwear
- Groom's Coat: Leatherotics
- Cake Topper: Anna Crafts
- Caterer: Budd Bay Cafe
- Coordinator: Fawn Wedding & Event Design