The Offbeat Bride: Sariah, actor/student
Her offbeat partner: Josh, trade's helper
Date and location of wedding: Tybee Island Lighthouse, Tybee Island, GA — September 8, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The wedding started out as a one-day affair, but quickly turned into a weekend party. Most of our guests came in from out-of-town and I am so thankful that we got to spend so much time with them. We had a rehearsal dinner/cook-out party the night before. Then we had the wedding, with the bars and beach afterward. And then lunch dates the next morning. It was a great, non-stop celebration with the people that meant the most to us.
We chose Tybee Island because we went there the first night we met. It's a beautiful island, and we wouldn't have had our wedding anywhere else. We were lucky enough to find the Lighthouse where we could have the ceremony and the reception. And there was so much natural beauty on the island that we barely needed to decorate.
We collected wine bottles from everyone we knew for a year to make our centerpieces. My bridesmaids filled them with sand that morning and we spent a few days before the wedding tea-staining the paper for the “messages in a bottle.” I made my bouquet and my bridesmaids' flowers over many episodes of Buffy. Our friends and family all came together with their crafting abilities, help, and advice. It was a wedding made by a village.
Our catering was a delicious “brinner” (breakfast for dinner) of bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, spinach, egg, and cheese biscuits, hash browns, fresh fruit, and water and sweet tea. It was a dry wedding, and our reception turned into turned into a glow stick dance party under the stars. Everyone had glow sticks on all night.
After the reception, we all went back to the hotel and changed. Then we went out to the bars on the island and hung out on the beach and the pier with our friends until around 2:00 in the morning. The next morning we saw everyone off and got to grab lunch with some friends before starting our honeymoon. I still can't believe how much time we actually got to spend with all of our guests.
Tell us about the ceremony: We kept the ceremony short, sweet, and secular. Our officiant was a good friend that was already ordained online. I loved having a friend that had helped us grow together and was so close to both of us be the one to stand with us and help us make our family. Our sister-in-law read from Plato's Symposium, and our officiant read the ceremony out of a copy of “The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.” We wrote our own vows and had officiant-led vows. I loved having the two sets of vows because we were able to get creative and express how we felt about each other, but also have that tradition and shared promises that so many weddings before us had.
My brother is only 10 years old and I really wanted to include him in the ceremony. We didn't have a flower girl or a ring bearer, but my brother held onto Josh's ring in a plastic Pokeball.
Josh didn't write his vows, but instead chose to improvise them. I chose to write my vows down and keep them tucked in my dress for safe keeping. I didn't think through to the part where I would be pulling a piece of paper out of my cleavage. There's a section of my vows that I still say to Josh all the time and really show the type of people we are: “You're the Ash to my Misty, the Link to my Zelda, the Tuxedo Mask to my Sailor Moon, and the Lily to my Marshall.”
Our biggest challenge: Finances were a huge challenge for us. Our families couldn't contribute much, and we knew going into it that we would be paying for just about everything ourselves. We quickly cut out all unnecessary traditions and expenses and focused on the bare minimum: food, location, and places to sit. Luckily, we have a huge group of talented and supportive people who really made the day come together. We didn't have to spend money we didn't have. We stuck with our budget (okay, so we went over a little bit) and had a weekend of fun, love, and community.
My favorite moment: After the ceremony and our freak rain storm, a beautiful rainbow appeared right by the Lighthouse. The rain and some vendor difficulties really cut into picture time for the two of us, but this glorious rainbow made for some sweet photos.
One of my favorite moments of the wedding weekend was the night before the wedding. I insisted on Josh and I sleeping in separate locations, so I stayed the night in the hotel we had blocked off for our friends and family. Josh and most of his groomsmen stayed at our house the night before, and I don't even want to know what shenanigans went down that night. But I loved going two doors down to hang out with my aunt and cousins, smoking cigarettes and drinking on the beach with my dad, and sharing a hotel room with four of my closest friends. They say you should get a good night's rest the night before, but we may have stayed up until 4:00 a.m. WORTH IT!
My funniest moment: The ceremony had just started, and here comes this white cat down the aisle like he owns the place. He sat down on a chair next to one of Josh's cousins and watched the entire ceremony. He then stayed for the reception, also in a chair at a table. The cat was also included in the glow stick dance party. I still don't know where that cat came from, but he was a great unexpected guest.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Don't feel bad if sometimes the planning gets to be too much. It's overwhelming. There's a lot to do and a lot of people and a lot of changes. It's okay to have a moment. Don't feel guilty about it. Take a breath or a shot or a good cry. You'll feel so much better.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Catering: Thrive, A Carry Out Cafe
- Photography: Sean and Sue McCarthy
- Dress: Forever Yours
- Alterations: Bridal Mart
- Tent, table, and chair rental: Classic Party Rentals
- Day-of coordinator and videographer: Lauren Leasure
- Cake: Cake It Away!
- Venue: The Tybee Island Lighthouse
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!