The Offbeat Bride: Alison, Editor (and OBT member)
Her offbeat partner: Matt, Marketing Administrator
Location & date of wedding: Wedding at the Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon In Iceland, Reception at The Free Library of Philadelphia — 09-09-09 wedding and 09-26-09 reception
What made our wedding offbeat: We got married at a glacier lagoon in Iceland.
Flying our closest family members to Reykjavik then driving them six hours across the country and back in a busy but beautiful four day trip. We were married by a fantastic Asatru priestess, who worships the traditional Norse gods. We drank out of a horn! I wore pink (and in Iceland a giant blue cape).
We then went on our honeymoon in Paris (awesome!) and came back for our reception at the Free Library of Philadelphia where we drew inspiration from the Library.
We had library card seating cards, book invitations, bookmark favors, author and book table names. And we got inspiration from the theme of Jules Verne-ian adventure — hot air balloon and floating ship centerpieces, castle in the sky cupcakes.
Instead of a cake cutting, we had gingerbread versions of ourselves and bit off each other's heads. And since we met in film school, we projected musical scenes from films during cocktail hour.
Tell us about your ceremony: We didn't totally know what we were going to get with an Asatru ceremony but it was really great.
In the Asatru ceremony, the priestess makes the circle sacred then the bride and groom enter. We make our vows and drink from the horn. And then at the end, everyone is welcomed into the circle and anyone who wants to can speak and drink from the horn. Johanna included the four elements, noting both their creative and destructive powers, and we really wanted nature to be a big part of the ceremony so we appreciated that part greatly.
What was your biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was really just the culmination of all the little challenges.
As far as destination planning goes — Once we got to Iceland, Icelanders were as nice and friendly and helpful as the guidebook says. But in the planning process, they're just like very chill over there. Particularly about getting back to you. So finding out all the necessary info, like about getting legally married for instance, was a lot of work. I am not that chill. But persistence, and starting early, were key.
Our reception was supposed to be on a beautiful terrace overlooking the city, but it got rained out (or rained in rather). There were supposed to be four balloon centerpieces but we ran out of helium after one (that tank lies!). But you just gotta roll with it.
Also, my ideas were bigger than my ability to execute them. I am not actually a crafty person, but the kind of things I wanted also did not exist if I didn't make them myself. And it turned out, at least in my case, that DIY was not actually cheaper — especially since I had to try some things more than once.
What was the funniest moment of your wedding or reception?: At the reception there was a fun impromptu moment when we were on the steps taking pictures and everyone starting yelling, “Slide! Slide!” and we slid down the banister.
Advice for other offbeat brides: Start early and leave yourself the time and room in the budget to mess up and keep trying.
If you are bargain shopping, which we certainly were, leave yourself a whole lot of time to research, call, show up, wait for the sale, haggle, research again. It took me six months to get Icelandair to quote me a price for group airfare that was acceptable to my budget. For other items, I waited for sales and bought several things from wholesalers. Also, try your best to find vendors and helpers who get what you're doing.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- Gingerbread: Ginger Betty's, Quincy
- Necklace: Milady Jewels, Etsy
- Cupcakes: Flying Monkey, Philadelphia
- Boots: Timberland
- Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss & Burberry
- Supplies for DIY: I got a lot of stuff at World Market (baskets, firefly lights, ships, etc…) & a lot of supplies from the Fashion District in LA. My dress fabric was from Mood.
- Catering: Soup To Nuts Cuisine
- The dress was handmade by a local designer.
- The rings are from Todd Alan Studios
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: