Clara & Justin's massive mix of geekery and love wedding

August 22 2013 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: JP Langlands

We teased this contender for most geeky references ever in a wedding a couple of weeks ago, and now you'll get the whole story AND all the fandom references we know you want!

Bride and Groom
Photos by JP Langlands

The Offbeat Bride: Clara, Physician

Her offbeat partner: Justin, Network Administrator

Date and location of wedding: Stonehurst, The Robert Treat Paine Estate in Waltham, MA — June 1, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted our wedding to be as personal as we could make it. We tossed out anything we didn't feel connected to, like the garter toss, the first dance, and clinking glasses. Instead we looked at each facet and tried to figure out how to make it represent one of our geeky interests. Our save-the-date started it off with a postcard showing off over 30 different references to TV shows, movies, and video games that both of us enjoy (see the key here!). It was made by our friend, Violet Hope. We made our wedding invitation based off the Doctor Who blue invitation from The Impossible Astronaut, with vintage stamps bought off Etsy. 

Save the Date

Wedding ring smelting

We made our wedding rings through A Wedding Ring Experience a couple months before the wedding. It was really fun to smelt the metal, file, roll, solder, hammer, and more to make them ourselves. The jeweler, Ann Cahoon, was awesome. It's definitely more expensive than just buying your wedding bands, but it made the process much more meaningful and cool. 

Fire Flowers!

We chose musicians (cello, harp, and flute) who played music from Zelda, Myst, Kenshin (an anime), The Princess Bride, and Castlevania. Our processional was a song from Kenshin ("Na Go Mi"), and our recessional was "Once Upon a Time" from The Princess Bride. We had a DJ who played songs from Diablo, The Shining, Twin Peaks, and Myst during dinner. I also got him to play a mix of "Single Ladies" with a World of Warcraft parody song called "Ninja Raiders." Subtle but great nod to WoW. Our flower girl's basket was a Mario question mark box, and the flowers were fire flowers, also from Mario.

Bride and Groom

The groom's outfit is a cosplay of the Eighth Doctor of Doctor Who, whose waistcoat was custom made by Harper Della-Piana of Seams CoutureThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them. My dress came from Etsy with modifications of the appliques by myself. It was very low priced ($170) but did take some effort to make it look the way I wanted. I changed into another dress (from White House Black Market) after the dinner which was great because it was a terribly hot day.

Table 2

Portal Turret

The centerpieces were plushies referencing movies and video games: Portal Turret, Adipose, Enterprise, AT-AT, Bilbo and Gandalf, Link, Protoss Probe, Bacon (because… bacon!), and a Chain Chomp. We gave them away with a raffle in which the guests submitted their name cards for the centerpiece they wanted. 

Centerpiece Boxes

Console Cake

Console Cake

Our cakes were AMAZING, and were made by Cakes by Erin. One was a Portal-themed cake, which showed a completed level that I custom wrote with some friends. There were internal lights so that the portal effect could be seen. It was done with two brides and two grooms set up with two interior rooms made to look like the other sides. The other cake was Doctor Who-themed as the Eighth Doctor's console. It's incredible the amount of detail they put in.

Portal Cake

TARDIS close up

We also had a TARDIS photo booth! The groom's best friend worked eight months to make a full sized TARDIS from scratch. A month before the wedding, we drove out to his place six hours away and rented a U-Haul to bring it back. We kept it a secret from most of our wedding guests. Everyone loved taking photos in front of it, and the event security police officer even took a photo! We brought some props for our guests to use, incorporating even more references (Sherlock's deerstalker, a Doctor Who scarf, and the mask from The Princess Bride to name a few). The TARDIS now resides in a tidy corner of our living room until our next adventure. The thread about the build is located here.

Seating Chart

Our seating chart was made as a Starcraft theme as if you were about to start a game. Each "team" became a table. I made it using GIMP a couple weeks before the wedding and had it printed poster-sized.

Program

Our wedding programs had a map of the venue done in Harry Potter style. Our table cards (numbers also listed in Riven numbering system) listed the food on one side, and a "can you spot the reference" quiz on the right side.

Table Card

Our wedding favor was a custom absinthe spoon with a Doctor Who symbol (Seal of Rassilon) made by Artifacture Studios.

TARDIS journal

Sample guest pages

Our wedding guest book was actually individual sheets of custom Doctor Who-themed pages with a request for people to write stories of how they met us or future adventures with us. We left them on the dinner tables with pens so people could write in them during dinner. The envelope box was painted by me to look like the Horadric Cube from Diablo.

Horadric Cube with gifts

Bride and Groom

Tell us about the ceremony:
Our officiant, Kezia, worked with us to craft our own ceremony text. We chose from her samples on the asking and the vows, but there was a whole storyline about how we met and our relationship. Justin wanted to include a reading from a Rush song, so I helped by looking through some possible choices and we decided on "Ghost of a Chance." Another fun part is that we had plenty of outtakes on our ceremony text where we thought up hilarious alternate versions. We placed some of the outtakes in the wedding program for people to read while they waited for the ceremony.

Vesica Piscis
Vesica Piscis unity ceremony!

Bride and Groom

My favorite moment:
The first look was a beautiful and happy moment for us to see each other completely made up. Later on, even though we didn't have a first dance, Justin and I danced several songs together. This was amazing because Justin generally refuses to dance. But he put that aside and we shared many lovely moments being together on the dance floor. Also, the sudden realization that all the people we loved from all the pages of our lives were all in one place at the same time, all enjoying each others company for one night, was simply marvelous.

Appetizers

Dinner

My funniest moment:
I heard about this afterwards, but my nephew, the ring-bearer, started picking up the flowers after his older sister dropped them down the aisle. His mom had to gently coax him away from cleaning up after his sister. Then when I walked down the aisle, my train picked up all the flowers and dragged them down the aisle to end up in a nice little pile when I reached the rug.

Photo Booth

Singing

Stonehurst

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  1. Hey, I remember that wedding! 🙂 It was, in fact, as amazing as it sounds. And the Adipose sits proudly on the bookshelf in our living room.

  2. OMG! This wedding is amazing and geeky and fun and ya'll were SOOOOO detailed. I love, love, love it. It literally makes me a little teary how cool and personal it all is. <3

    • Oh Kenshin! Such beautiful music. They also played Kimi wa Dare for our reception. You have the music sheets? I bought a book of the music from a Japanese store off eBay.

      • While the wedding is awhile away, we're extremely budgeted; we were planning on just playing the mp3 from whatever music player we'll have handy :\ but thank you for the advice on where to find them, if our situation changes ^.^

  3. I love the idea of using River's journal as a guestbook – you could even ask people for stories "from the future" (wibbly wobbly timey wimey and all) How did you do the guestbook? Or rather, how did you bind it all together in the end? Did you get a cover somewhere?

    • I bought the cover from someone who was offering blank journals on the Replica Prop Forum (www.therpf.com, the most insane place of people who make incredible replica props), asking if I could just have the cover without the insert. I haven't bound them yet, because I'm a little worried some of the text will get covered (I tried to leave margin but people wrote on the edge of the papers anyway). Also I'm not sure exactly who to ask to get it bound. Right now it's sitting loose-leafed on our coffee table.

      The text on the sheets say "Write an anecdote about Justin and Clara. Ideas: How you met them, a hilarious moment, future adventure with them." We did have a mix of how-they-met stories and made up stories. Each sheet had a different image on the back. Some were hand drawn by Justin, others were filched from various Doctor Who books and prototype drawings.

  4. The Vesica Piscis unity ceremony is so beautiful!!! Can you speak about that a bit- what pieces did you put together during the ceremony, will it be altered/accessed on an anniversary, did you make it yourselves?

    • In this photo:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/98586369@N05/9242470073/
      you can see the different parts. There are three pieces to place. Justin's father made it for us. He does wonderful wood work, as you can see. We asked him to make something based on the vesica piscis, and he sent us ideas and photos as he went along. Justin placed the top piece, I placed the bottom piece, then we placed the center piece together. The center piece has a very strong magnet embedded within, that connects to a piece of metal on the back of the frame. You can remove the piece by sliding off the metal washer from the back of the vesica piscis (for repairs, for example) but it's meant to just stay together. Here is the ceremony text:

      Celebrant: The Vesica Piscis is an ancient symbol that can be found scattered throughout the pages of history — from the scrolls of ancient Greek mathematicians to the ironwork adorning the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England. Today, Justin and Clara use this symbol as an expression of their unity: a simple geometric design conjoining two circles, two people, together in perfect balance. This symbol is created by adjoining two identical circles such that the edge of one lies at the center of the other. These two overlapping circles represent the spiritual world on one side and the physical world on the other. Justin's father, Cully, took it upon himself to hand craft this unity puzzle in celebration of their marriage. Each type of wood and detail was lovingly chosen to compose an elegant design.

      Justin, embodying the spiritual through his joy in humanity's narrative, paints the picture of what might be.

      Justin, please place your piece. May your dreams guide you both.

      Justin places his piece.

      Celebrant: Clara, embodying the physical through cherishing the tangible, shapes the path of what might be.

      Clara, please place your piece. May your aspirations guide you both.

      Clara places her piece.

      Celebrant: Between these pieces is the lens, which is created with both of their circles.  Please place the center, together.

      Justin and Clara place the center, then return to their original places, facing the guests.

      Celebrant: Like the Vesica Piscis, though they are each separate people, today they become one.

      • Thank you so much!! What a beautiful, timeless, and ancient way of demonstrating/visually illustrating unity… very, very awesome 🙂

  5. Awesome! My FH and I are doing something similar with the centerpieces and themed tables but I don't know if I can give them away lol. Any chance you still have that GIMP file for the seating chart? I totally want to use that for our next LAN Party (modified of course)!

  6. So much great geekery! I am a big Dr. Who buff myself and I was so impressed by the great and unique ways they worked in the fandom, especially the groom's cosplay!

  7. There are not enough words in my vocabulary to describe just how fracking amazing I think your wedding was. How awesome!! Also, congrats. 🙂

  8. Hi, Clara! I was given permission to invite you to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Prom! We'd love if your and your hubby can make it and if you'd be willing to bring your TARDIS. Please, let us know if you can!

  9. My fiancee and I are considering Stonehurst as our wedding venue, and when she came across this page, she sent me the link.

    I've been looking at your Save the Date card and answer key, and I was wondering whether the key has an omission. Against the Ark of the Covenant crate, between the Myst Linking Book and Kaylee's Parasol, there is a triangular cylinder.

    What is that? Is it the Xel'Naga Artifact from Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, or something else?

    Also, would you accept Spirited Away as an alternate source for susuwatari?

    Congratulations on your marriage, and nice job with everything. It's all impressive. And while your geeky accoutrements steal the show, your food looks absolutely lovely as well.

    • Here's my really late reply. The triangle cylinder is another of the fifth element blocks, so we didn't repeat the answer. And Spirited Away is a totally acceptable answer for the susuwatari!

      Stonehurst was beautiful. Just be careful about the heat! We didn't think June 1st would be hot but it ended up being a 90+ weekend. No A/C made it a bit sweaty but everyone managed. The food was ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS. They did a great job. And they kept finding us to feed us hors d'oeuvres and drinks during the reception which I very much appreciated.

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