Offbeat partner: Beth, Technical Writer and Small Business Owner
Offbeat partner: Stace, Harley Davidson Motorcycle Mechanic
Date and location of wedding: Maroni Meadows, Snohomish, WA — September 17, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We had a geek adventure wedding theme, incorporating a few of our favorite things in every way we could (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, The Elder Scrolls, Dungeons & Dragons, The Princess Bride, Game of Thrones, Firefly, New World Magischola, and more). We encouraged everyone to come in costume (and most did! With props!), and we made wands as favors, as well as rheoscopic fluid potion bottles, dragon eggs, and all of the food (from our fandoms).
We decorated the tables in different fandom themes with our own collection of geek and Renaissance fair paraphernalia. We wrote our own geeky vows, on scrolls, and our D&D GM was our officiant. The location was outdoors amid greenery — basically the Shire. Overall, the event was silly, geeky, and relaxed, an authentic reflection of us as a couple. It was also pulled off on a shoestring budget, planned and crafted over the course of two years, with day-of coordination by our amazing cat-herding friend Ruth (who was eight months pregnant at the time).
Tell us about the ceremony:
Due to logistics of the site (and the fact that I insisted the ceremony take place in the gazebo on the pond), we arranged so my dad handed me off to my husband halfway up the path to the ceremony site. There was a beautiful moment where he hugged my husband before kissing me, and both of them were teary-eyed. Then my husband and I processed to the gazebo.
We wrote out own vows, which were deeply personal but riddled with geeky references. A surprising number of people caught the fandom jokes and obscure nods to things, but above all, our vows focused on our love for each other. We asked our officiant to have fun with it. He opened with the entire “Mawwaige” speech from The Princess Bride, which was perfect, because I had processed in with my father to The Princess Bride main theme.
The ceremony itself was brief — the officiant's speech, exchanging vows, exchanging rings (“With this one ring, I make the unbreakable vow”), the kiss, and being introduced as a married couple. We recessed to Flaming Red Hair, from Lord of the Rings (a jaunty tune). Then guests were encouraged to help themselves to food, drink, and games while we took family portraits.
Tell us about your reception:
The reception was at the same site (still outdoors), under a tent. Given that the ceremony was at 1:00 p.m., we served appetizers and noshies, along with wine, beer, sparkling juice, coffee, tea, and water. Food included homemade sweet rolls (Elder Scrolls), fruity oaty bars (Firefly), lembas (Lord of the Rings), cheese snipes (New World Magischola), fizzing whizbees (Harry Potter), and more.
The buffet table was decorated and featured handmade signs (done as a wedding gift by our lovely friend Dylan), handmade potion bottles, and handmade dragon eggs. Every decorated, themed table had at least one game and one coloring book, so groups were encouraged to mingle and socialize (and the kids there had something to do).
Our sound engineer played our wedding iPod mix (over eight hours of music, from pop songs to movie scores, that related somehow to our relationship) as background music. We deliberately didn't schedule timed events, to keep the schedule relaxed. Guests ate and chatted, which is exactly what we hoped for. The moment the ceremony ended, it started raining (and didn't stop for days), and the temperature dropped. Despite the gloom, most people stuck around for hours to socialize, and had a lot of fun. True to tradition, my husband and I got a small plate of food but had absolutely no time to eat anything (we were too busy being hugged, complimented, and congratulated by loved ones). We did manage to squeeze in a dance, to the same tune we got engaged to.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Things will go wrong, during planning and the day of, but if you're married at the end of the day, you've won. Planning and crafting and baking for over a year for this event caused plenty of stress in our relationship. It took a year to find a venue we could afford. The first printer mutilated our wedding invitations, which ended up being sent two months later than expected. My planned wedding outfit fell through three times (until I found Hersera's), and my husband barely got his outfit before the wedding.
Only eight of my husband's relatives showed up. Our officiant dropped one of the rings in the water by accident, 20 minutes before the ceremony started. I was 30 minutes late to our pre-ceremony first look because my helper couldn't get my dress laced up. My specialty bridal cocktail went missing (the only casualty of the event). It rained the entire reception. But all of these things make for highly entertaining true stories. None of them prevented me from marrying the love of my life, or enjoying my wedding day, or giving an enjoyable party to our guests. The best advice I can give is just to roll with it. Know those unexpected blips will make great party stories and bonding moments between you and your spouse. And also, ride that high of being surrounded by happy loved ones for as long as you can.
- Photographer: Lemonade Photography
- Dress: Hersera's Art at the Altar
- Venue: Maroni Meadows
- Bouquet: Wedding Flower Balls
- Sound Engineer: Starborne Sound
- Hair & Makeup: Pinup Salon
- Hair Crowns: Jewelz by Jewelia