The Offbeat Bride: Lindsey, Retail Fashion Manager & Model
Her offbeat partner: James, Tattoo Artist
Date and location of wedding: The Castle at Turner Falls in Davis, Oklahoma — September 8, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
If I had to put a label on it, I would call our wedding a "Gothic Midsummer Night's Dream." We made sure to include a ton of natural and rustic elements like crystals, logs, animal bones, and balanced those raw materials with dark elegant pieces to get that "we just magically threw together a fancy party in the woods" vibe. James and I are both artists, so it only made sense that almost all our decorations/accessories were made by us. We used home decor, thrift store finds, and stuff found in the woodlands behind our house to create the look we wanted. It should be noted that we did ALL of this prep work before even booking a venue!
We had known since we had gotten engaged that we wanted an outdoor wedding in the forest, but after months and months of searching we were still coming up short. All the Kansas City area venues were either way out of our price range or didn't live up to our expectations. After almost losing hope of finding a place that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, we suddenly remembered a little place in Oklahoma where we took one of our first vacations as a couple. We had made the trip a few years earlier and I fell in love with the little castle on the site. I remember thinking to myself that if I ever got married that castle nestled in the middle of the mountains would be a fairy-tale ceremony spot. Only one problem: Turner Falls was seven hours from our house. And just like that we were planning a destination wedding. Life is funny like that sometimes.
Tell us about the ceremony:
James is agnostic and I'm Pagan, so we wanted a ceremony that reflected and balanced both of our belief systems. We used a fusion of Offbeat Bride posts (this and this) in addition to our own private vows to craft our ideal ceremony script.
In addition to our private vows after the public vows, we smudged the area with sage beforehand for another extra touch. My sister was our officiant in addition to one of my bridesmaids and that made our experience that much more special. To stay with our nontraditional theme, I had my dad and mom walk me down the aisle. I had always pictured sharing that moment with both of them, and I'm so happy I got the chance to have both of my parents there by my side.
Tell us about your reception:
Since the wedding was so far away from our family's hometowns, we rented a cabin on the lake about five minutes from the ceremony site so we could have the reception and the sleeping arrangements on the same property. The cabin had a gorgeous deck that overlooked a little lake, so we took advantage of that and used it for our dance floor and food tables.
James and I took the unconventional route at almost every turn and our reception was no exception. We made our own food, set up our own decorations, and even played our own music through Bluetooth speakers instead of hiring a DJ. Not only did our DIY skills save us money, but I had a ton of fun coordinating it all. Without the help of our friends and family though, we couldn't have pulled it off. Our cake came from a small town baker who is my mom's neighbor/friend, my friend Sonia made my veil for me, and my bridesmaids helped me set up the perfect reception and finish the cake and food.
One of my absolute favorite favors from the wedding reception were our custom guitar picks we had scattered on our card table. Shout-out to my Aunt Connie for those! My husband and I are both musicians, and though it was a small thing, it was easily one of the biggest hits at the reception. Our wedding and our reception were truly group efforts and I can't thank everyone involved enough for going along with our crazy plan to give us the wedding of our dreams.
What was your most important lesson learned?
I tend to be a perfectionist, so going into planning I had to remind myself not to let minor setbacks ruin the big picture. It sounds cliché, but my best piece of advice is to not sweat the small stuff. (I definitely had to remind my perfectionist self of this when my flower girl showed up in a lavender dress instead of maroon.) In the end a few little things definitely went wrong, but instead of worrying about those things, we just focused on our day and each other. At the end of the day I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was the perfect wedding for us, hiccups and all.