Emily & Mitchell's rainy steampunk geodesic dome wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

Put on your goggles and your neo-Victorian gear, because this is STEAMPUNK WEEK! Today we've got a purple and bronze steamy bonanza with a geodesic dome ceremony and some adorable vows.

Sheila Photo
Photos by Sheila Simmington and Amanda Kenney

The Offbeat Bride: Emily

Her offbeat partner: Mitchell

Date and location of wedding: A friend's backyard (The Bayshore House) in Sarasota, Florida — March 11, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We decided to go with purple and bronze as our colors — purple because it's my all time favorite, and bronze because it's a great color for a steampunk theme. We held the wedding in our friend's backyard between a huge, beautiful, rambling old Sarasota house called "The Bayshore House" and Sarasota Bay. My family is Catholic and Mitch's is Jewish, but neither of us is particularly religious. In the end, we opted for a Jewish ceremony, but we tweaked (or simply left out) many of the traditional elements to make it fit our style. We had a wonderful Rabbi who was happy to accommodate our requests.

Sheila Photo

Sheila Photo

Sheila Photo

We didn't want to sink ourselves or our families into debt over the wedding, so we found as many ways as possible to do a low-cost wedding. We didn't have any live flowers, but instead used a lot of DIY crafts as decorations, like images of Jules Verne book covers and antique typewriter keys as table centerpieces. For my bouquet, I used artificial flowers from the home of my recently deceased grandmother. My sister painted and arranged them with some peacock feathers and created a custom wire wrap for the base.

Instead of ordering a big cake, we ordered small cakes in different flavors for each table (with the idea that people could mingle and try different flavors). We were AMAZED at what delicious, beautiful cakes we got from the Publix Bakery!

Sheila Photo

We used an iPod (and a playlist we spent weeks building) at our reception, and later on in the evening an AMAZING band (Jake Pinto and Friends), who was friends with the owner of the house, showed up to play.

Mitch and I, who lived in Colorado at the time, both flew into Florida for the wedding, since both our immediate families live there. Many friends and other family members were not able to attend, so we decided to do a live web broadcast of the wedding.

Sheila Photo

Tell us about the ceremony:
Instead of renting a wedding arch, we borrowed a friend's geodesic dome and decorated it with a bunch of purple tulle and a chandelier from an antique shop (that was given to us for free when we told them it was for our wedding). Mitch's Aunt, who is an incredibly talented violinist, provided the music for the ceremony.

Probably our favorite part of the ceremony was our vows. We found vows similar to these online and tweaked them to fit us:

I, Mitchell, before these friends, family, and assorted freaks assembled, do take this minx to be my wife, my friend, my lover, my hot water bottle, my companion in life, my enabler in trouble, and my poster of bail.
I will care for and protect you, nurture you and support you, tell you when you are being a pain, and adore everything about you.
I promise to love you tirelessly through the perfect times and the merely fabulous times, regardless of how often you get distracted by something shiny.
I vow above all things to remain unchanged in this, even if I should (oh, a bird!) be momentarily distracted by something shiny myself.
I promise to encourage your compassion, because that is what makes you unique and wonderful.
I offer you my solemn vow to be your partner and lover, in sickness and in health, despite your hippie frou frou BS and kitten-squeezing and tree-hugging ways.
In good times and in bad, in joy and in sorrow, I give you my heart, my love, my life.
I love you, now and (oh, something shiny!) forever.
I, Emily, take you, scruffy-faced one, to be my husband, my friend, my lover, my tormentor, my companion in life, and my instigator in trouble.
I will love you unconditionally, support you in your goals, honor and respect you, without TOO much sass (except on days ending in "Y").
I promise to love you faithfully through the perfect times and the merely fabulous times, regardless of how often you are "ADD boy."
I hereby promise to resist the urge to drag you out of bed by your toes when we're inevitably running late.
I offer you my solemn vow to be your brat in sickness and in health, despite your namby-pamby whining.
In good times and in bad, in joy as well as in sorrow, I give you my trust, my love, and my soul.

Sheila Photo

Sheila Photo

Our biggest challenge: My number one fear throughout the entire wedding planning process was that my outdoor, sunset, picture-perfect bay-side wedding would get rained on. I kept telling myself that rain isn't super common that time of year, and it wouldn't happen. So, of course, despite perfect weather and gorgeous sunsets the day before and after the wedding, it rained more that afternoon than it had in the last month combined. The rain ruined so many of our plans. My parents, who are musicians, were supposed to play for a cocktail hour before the ceremony but couldn't. This could have totally ruined the day, but I tried to stay positive and focus on all the things going right, and the fact that I was surrounded by so many family and friends who were there for us that day.

Sheila Photo

My funniest moment: Mitch's mother bought a mounting board for our Ketubah (Jewish wedding contract). The Ketubah was supposed to be attached to the mounting board after we signed it, and then Mitch's sister would carry it up the aisle for the ceremony. In the pre-wedding chaos, someone turned the mounting board into a "parking" sign! Mitch's mother was a little frazzled by this (she was playing wedding planner for us and had a LOT to worry about that day). The Ketubah was mounted on it anyway, and when Mitch's sister carried it up the aisle during the ceremony, she turned it over and did a little parking dance!


Sheila Photo

Sheila Photo

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. I love the geodesic dome in lieu of an arch- it's like a lil commitment cocoon!

    PS- Those vows are super adorable!

  2. I adore everything about this!! Your guests, the dome, the outfits, the vows, the pictures, your socks!! Adorable!!!

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