The Offbeat Bride: Erin, Non-profit Analyst and Pole Fitness Instructor
Her offbeat partner: Ryan, IT Nerd
Date and location of wedding: El Chorro Restaurant, Paradise Valley, AZ — 10/24/2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our wedding was the week before Halloween (our fave holiday) and I have Mexican heritage, plus the wedding was in Phoenix, so you gotta have a Dia de los Muertos wedding! I also wanted a rainbow/multi-color palette, which let me easily work in glitter skulls.
Some meaningful details included having mariachis just like my parents had at their wedding, and I wore my mom's veil. Ryan's mom made the beads that adorned the boutonnieres and my bouquet, and I carried his grandmother's handkerchief just as she and all other female family members since have in their weddings.
Our luminaries featured the Mill Mountain Star in Roanoke, VA (Ryan's hometown), and our cocktail napkins were an homage to his Indiana farming family. My “sister,” Jolie, also made a cameo (she's actually my parents' Bichon-poodle). I guess that was meaningful, too…though she did have the audacity to wear white to the wedding — that B*TCH!
Tell us about the ceremony:
The thing that Ryan and I both love about one another most is our shared sense of humor, so I turned the traditionally sentimental first look on its head with a fake nose reveal. Ryan's reaction is still one of my favorite moments captured by our photographers. Also, one of his groomsmen had received a free — and horrible — wig the day prior, so “The Wig” became a humorous fixture throughout the evening.
We signed our marriage license during the ceremony in front of our guests. It was very significant to know that we were truly joining ourselves legally in marriage before them. A friend did a reading of an excerpt from a children's book, An Awesome Book of Love by Dallas Clayton. Ryan's sister was nine months pregnant and unable to travel to attend, but she was there via FaceTime.
The photographer also caught me grabbing Ryan's booty during the recessional — sorry, not sorry?
Tell us about your reception:
We bucked tradition and didn't do a first dance — Ryan's pretty shy and not a dancer — so we played three rounds of Cards Against Humanity with all of our guests instead. When they picked up their place card, a white response card was attached. We read the black question card, and gave our guests time via the Jeopardy-music to discuss among the table and submit the best response card. We read each of the 13 submitted responses and picked a winner. Is it any shock that The Wig won a round?
I didn't do a father/daughter dance since it's just not my dad's jam, so if he didn't want it, then so be it. My nine bridesmaids did a unique This Is Your Life-style toast, then everyone chowed down on burgers, tacos, guacamole, and French fries, and boozed it up with Prickly Pear margaritas. The night ended with a limbo competition, which has become an unofficial tradition at our group of friends' weddings.
What was your most important lesson learned?
While our venue took care of many elements, we did all of the other details ourselves. Thankfully, my mom is very creative and crafty, so she created the centerpieces. My advice would be to delegate and enlist friends.