piracyThe offbeat bride: Grace, teacher

Her offbeat partner: Mike, software engineer

Location & date of wedding: Church of St. Mary the Virgin and The Lexington, NYC — June 6, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We kept our wedding very small, under forty people. Although we had a traditional nuptial mass there were unusual touches, like the bride in a blue dress and a hat, instead of a white dress and a veil.

There was a lot of DIY touches as well, like the flowers, the dress, the cake, the invitations. Instead of a DJ we used our laptop. The reception was a cruise on the Hudson and East Rivers. We had a prairie dog burrow cake (because we love prairie dogs) and after dinner, switched our old-fashioned hats for pirate hats and other paraphernalia like guns and swords, eye patches, parrots, and treasure chests.

Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was getting everything done in time. A few things weren't finished until the last minute. We dealt with it by pulling together in the final days before and working until everything was finished. A few things weren't even finished until the last minute. The hem on the bride's dress wasn't finished until two and a half hours before the wedding and the mother of the bride's suit (also DIY) was finished half an hour before!

My favorite moment: There were so many sweet little moments just between Mike and me. Another memorable moment was while the priest was preparing the altar for communion. Live coals were spilled on the carpet which caused some people to dance about in order to stop the conflagration!

My advice for offbeat brides: If you want some really special, personal touches, get friends and family involved. But with loose directions in order to leave them room for creative freedom. A friend set free to create the perfect sign-in book or a brother left to figure out how to arrange pirate decor enjoy the opportunity to be creative, and it makes them part of the whole process. It allows them to offer their talents as gifts, not just minions doing you a favor. Also, photograph all parts of the process including the preparations — I really wish we had taken way more pictures of our friends and family doing flowers, decorating the boat, etc.

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Comments on Grace & Mike’s hat-tastic church wedding, with a pirate cruise reception

  1. Your dress and hat are beautiful! You looked timeless and classic. I always enjoy seeing OBT weddings in fancy churches.

  2. The bride’s outfit reminds me of something someone would wear in a Jane Austen novel, but with a bit of a modern twist. Love it!

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