Offbeat partner: Grace, Waitress/Reservation Agent
Offbeat partner: Joel, Admin
Date and location of wedding: Anchorage Zoo Green House, Anchorage, Alaska — June 27, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our wedding was a mix of us wanting to keep it below a very certain budget and wanting to make it the most fun we could. The theme was sci-fi and we had fun with it. For starters, all of our centerpieces were hand-made by us, each being a scene from a TV show or movie we loved. These included Doctor Who, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Fifth Element, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. We also hid some dragons and unicorns in there as a reference to our favorite fantasy animals.
Beyond just the centerpieces, our tables also had table runners on them made by my wonderful mother to add some color to our tables. Following in the sci-fi theme was our outfits and our wedding parties' outfits. I chose a black dress that I adored, and accented it with galaxy Vans, a galaxy shawl, and a crystal crown. Joel went with a grey shirt, Star Wars suspenders, a Star Wars bow tie, and Star Wars Vans.
The bridal party each had a galaxy hairpiece and the groomsmen wore sci-fi bow ties. We also had lightsaber bouquets. The only member of the wedding party who did not get flowers was the “bubble girl” who we instead gave bubble guns and a sparkly tutu. The wedding was held at the zoo, meaning a lot of guests took advantage of it by coming early and exploring. We included an animal excursion which meant the guests got to see a tiger up close, too!
Tell us about the ceremony:
The ceremony started off with the wedding party walking down the aisle to “For the Dancing and the Dreaming” cover by The Hound and The Fox, from How to Train Your Dragon 2.
The ceremony was simple, but still fun. We started it off with the famous lines from the Princess Bride ceremony, then added a bit about us and our love story. For the vows themselves, we started with “Love is patient, Love is kind,” including the whole verse, then moved into references from movies, books, and TV shows. Some great lines were, "Love is going on an adventure even if it makes you late for dinner," "Love rolls a natural twenty with a vorpal weapon," "Love knocks out six-foot mountain Trolls, stuns Death Eaters, and defeats Voldemort," "Love is the final frontier. Love explores strange new worlds, seeks out new life and new civilizations. Love boldly goes where no one had gone before," "Love is the moment before you're frozen in carbonite, when the girl you've had your eye on finally admits what you always knew. Love is when you say I know," "Love is willing to brave all the levels, risk all their lives, and is always ready for player two." After all that, we had the exchange of rings, for that we changed an old Celtic set of vows into something more modern and equalizing.
Tell us about your reception:
The reception was mainly planned around the food and the animal excursion. We had a taco bar that was self-catered by myself, my mother, and the rest of my family. Crock pots are one of the most amazing inventions of our time for self catering. We had choices of beef, chicken, or salmon tacos as well as all the toppings, homemade guacamole, and ceviche.
Dessert was mini pies made by a local pie shop. We had chocolate, key lime, peanut butter, and berry pies, as well as our big berry pie. They were able to do cut-out faces of Darth Vader and Yoda.
What was your most important lesson learned?
The biggest challenge was the budget. We set one of $5000 for both the wedding and honeymoon, setting aside $2500 for the wedding. I won't be one of those brides who says that it was easy — it wasn't. Our venue was the most expensive part of the wedding at $955, and that was with a discount because we had problems with scheduling with the vendor.
We self-catered to save on food cost, as well as the pies and drinks were a wedding gift from his parents. Our photographer was his aunt who did it as a gift, then I edited the photos myself. Etsy was a lovely tool for finding the odds and ends at a great price. Tablecloths are a great buy off Etsy.
We bought my dress secondhand, and let the bridal party pick their own outfits and bought them the bow ties and hairpieces. We bought music from iTunes and made our own playlist. Everything we could DIY we did: centerpieces, table runners, signs, flowers, guest book, and pins, the book our officiant read from, arch decorations, and even more. One of the biggest ways we saved though was on rings by buying lower priced ones we loved instead of going to a normal jeweler. If you want to do a low-budget wedding, you can for sure, but know that it could be a lot of gifting and DIYing. For us it was the right choice and we had a ton of fun getting all the parts together.
Photography: the groom's aunt, Donna Miller • Pies: A Pie Stop • Drinks: Moose's Tooth and Kaladi Brothers Coffee • Venue: The Alaska Zoo • Dress: Second Run Dress Shop, BCBG Maxazria • Groom's Bow tie: Elena And Chris • Bride's Crown: JUDY and MADELEINE • Bride's Shawl: Fresh Prints of CT • Tablecloths: Your Chair Covers