Jessica & Grant's outdoor Victorian winery wedding

October 25 2013 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Hettinger Photography
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Photos by Hettinger Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Jessica, Graphic Designer

Her offbeat partner: Grant, Graphic Designer

Date and location of wedding: Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa, Illinois, — September 22, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted a relaxed, non-fluff kind of wedding. My first priority was getting the perfect cobalt blue Victorian gown made. The bridesmaid's found their own lacy white dresses while the guys wore vests, bow ties, and brown pants from the local farm store. We had cupcakes so there wasn't a cake cutting or any smashing of cake. We had a first dance only and really no structure after that for dancing. The guests knew what to do and got down anyway!

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Grant and I designed and printed all of the invitations and other stationary ourselves. I used the cobalt blue glass that I'd collected for years as decorations. We chose food that you'd see at a backyard BBQ and made sure there was plenty of wine and beer for our party-crazed friends and family.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We couldn't find the right officiant, so my bridesmaid, Maggie, stepped up to be our officiant about three months before the wedding. I had actually hoped that it would be a close friend in the end. I was just nervous about asking someone to take on that role. She got online and was ordained within a week. Maggie is one of my dearest friends and an amazing writer and soulful creator. She helped us rewrite the ceremony to fit the values and beliefs we had about marriage and partnership. Her presence and voice as the facilitator of our union was the dearest thing to me.

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We wrote five lines of vows to read to each other during the ceremony. I had wanted to do a handfasting, but I knew that with us being so nervous about speaking in front of so many people, we opted for a twist on the ceremony to keep it short. We held hands throughout the entire ceremony and as Maggie did a blessing reading, we held each others left hand in our right, palm up.

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My favorite moment: Grant and I met with Maggie before the wedding in a little spot hidden in the trees at the winery. We were able to sit down and be with one another for the first time all day. I remember sitting there, looking into his eyes, knowing that no matter how the rest of the day went, I'd be his wife at the end.

We were both nervous because neither one of us like speaking in front of others but I barely remember anyone around us during the ceremony. Everything seemed such a blur. I don't even remember the celtic band playing behind us on the stage.

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My funniest moment: After the best man, the groom's brother, and the maid of honor, my sister, made their toasts to us, the groom decided to do a toast as well. He thanked everyone for coming and making our day special. Then he broke out into the story about how we met. Long story short, our first day of meeting involved him telling an embarrassing story to a bartender and me overhearing it. I call it the "What tanning bronzer should not be used for" story. We started chatting after that and here we are six years later. Only a few of our friends and family had heard the real story. I remember the winery being filled with the roar of laughter from our guests.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Where did you have those placemats made? I really want to do something similar, but I don't even know where to start.

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