The Offbeat Bride: Jess, online editor
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, assistant manager
Date and location of wedding: The Lodge at Elk Valley in Divide, CO — September 26, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We chose a fantasy/sci-fi literary theme for our wedding, and we asked people to come in costume as their favorite literary characters. We had guests dressed as Jedi, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan and Wendy, fairy tale princesses, elves, hobbits, and more!
My mom is a costumer for film and stage, so I designed my dress, and she made it — a green, thai silk, corseted, medieval-style dress with hand-embroidered details, including a “Z” on the back. She also made the groom's vest, the best man's vest, the bridesmaid's dresses, a vest for a bridesman, clothes for the flower girl and ring bearer, her own dress, a vest and hat for my dad, and hats for all of the groomsmen. She is also a professional wedding coordinator, so she organized most everything about the wedding.
My husband's name was Zaferis, and mine was Farris, so we chose to combine our names into one: Zafarris.
Our best man was my husband's 11-year-old nephew, who has cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair for most of his life. When he was very young, my husband helped him improve his speech and fine motor skills by singing “You've Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story with him. At the wedding, our nephew walked down the aisle with a walker and gave an excellent speech that included him singing “You've Got a Friend in Me.” There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Tell us about the ceremony:
The ceremony was very brief; I wrote it, and it was officiated by our friend, who dressed in gray in order to resemble Gandalf. It was a secular ceremony that included references to Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, Skyrim, Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and more of our nerdy favorites.
Tell us about your reception:
We set up a tent for the reception, but people sat around the fire and ate s'mores outside of the tent too. The tables were decorated with books categorized by fantasy/sci-fi literary realm: Middle Earth, The Wizarding World, Deep Space, etc.
We ate a smorgasbord of divine foods, the most prominent of which was a whole pig that was roasted by the groom's brother. Instead of a cake, we had a cheesecake bar and a selection of pies.
My husband's family is Greek, so we danced to some traditional Greek songs, and our moms took a photo together with a bundt cake with flowers in the middle as a reference to the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
My husband and I danced to “Best Love” by Paul McCartney and the Steep Canyon Rangers; my dad and I danced to “Brown Eyed Girl.” and my husband and his mother danced to “When You Wish Upon a Star” by the Eels.
We set up a scavenger hunt in which our guests had to find out facts about our families and locate keys hidden in the books decorating the tables. The keys were each titled differently: the Key to Happiness, the Key to Life, the Key to Jessica's heart, etc.
What was your most important lesson learned?
The neighbor adjacent to The Lodge attempted to shut us down by suing the venue for noise violations, so we had to go speak before the city council about a month before the wedding in order to ensure it would go on. We won, and it went on! Unfortunately, we had to compromise by setting up the tables and the dance floor inside a tent, which made it a little cramped.
• Photographer: Zack Berlat
• Dress: Custom made by Kathy Farris
• Venue: The Lodge at Elk Valley
• Caterer: Buffalo Gals Catering
• Hair & Makeup: Studio West Aveda Salon
• DJ: Larry Gallegos, via Al's Formal Wear
• Guests donated to: Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center