Shauna & Jeff's faerie tea party swamp wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Photos by friends of the couple

The Offbeat Bride: Shauna, Mental Health Counselor

Her offbeat partner: Jeff, Mental Health Counselor

Date and location of wedding: Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, FL — December 22, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I wanted to get married in faerie wings and a purple dress. Jeff's doublet was a spectacular suggestion from a friend, and both of our garments were hand-crafted with love by friends and family. We cast aside quite a few traditions, including deciding to walk down the aisle together symbolically as equals going from one part of our lives together to the next. We didn't have a wedding party, so we decided to carry wooden boxes with our rings and vows in them for both functional and aesthetic reasons.

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I didn't have a garter or throw a bouquet. My aunt and my mom did all the decorations, including acquiring clear glass teapots for the flowering tea centerpieces. We also pulled the whole thing on a small budget — we really only splurged on the DJ and caterer, which were totally worth it!

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Tell us about the ceremony: We chose a pagan ceremony with religiously-neutral language. We wrote our own vows that we carried up with us to the altar, during which Jeff told me "You are the most amazing, terrifying woman I've ever known," and I let Jeff know that I promised to be his "vile beastie" always. We blended inside jokes with traditional sentiments, and we were both crying by the end. It was short but lovely, and my friend who officiated was absolutely stellar.

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Our biggest challenge: The whole process was actually pretty painless, but I almost didn't have wings to wear, which really would have broken my heart! The ones I had ordered did not arrive on time, but luckily one of my guests had an extra pair, so she let me wear her gorgeous green Luna Moth wings, which ended up being absolutely perfect!

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My favorite moment: The most meaningful moment was being able to have Jeff meet my grandparents, which was actually the entire reason for having the wedding in Florida to begin with, since they are no longer able to travel. Being with my close friends and family was the best part of the whole day.

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My funniest moment: I realized when I got to the venue that I really had no idea what the schedule of the day was supposed to be, so we pretty much made it up as we went along with some guidance from Mark, our amazing DJ. We spent a lot of time just sort of standing there awkwardly.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I definitely learned that weddings can be fun and inexpensive and still be very memorable. If I were to do it over, though, I might do programs or at least have a schedule in mind to avoid getting there and really having no clue what was going on! Because we had friends do all of the photos, we didn't get an really good group shots, which, in retrospect, really would have been nice to have.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Simply gorgeous. The wings and his doublet are so perfect! The accessories are perfect! The purple dress looks amazing on her.

    Also, Blooming. Tea. Centerpieces. Best idea EVER! I'll be borrowing that one if I can work it in.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! The tea was a lot of fun, and we gave away the teapots to everyone who helped out with the wedding at the end of the reception.

  2. What a pretty wedding! I think the flowering tea is my favorite!

    Just a note to the admins though, this is filed under "Western US" I knew as soon as I saw the background of the first picture that it is in Florida.

  3. LOVELY!
    and the flowering teas as centerpieces are very original.
    so glad you didn't have to go without wings!

  4. I don't know if you noticed, but in that very first picture, the palm fronds (?) make it look like your groom is wearing wings too!

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