Here We Go!

The offbeat bride: Stacy, actor, arty/crafty goddess, and office drone

Her offbeat partner: Bob, musician and farm equipment service manager

Location & date of wedding: Hidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden, Utica, Indiana — September 25, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We had a creative hand in almost everything. The dress, the rings, the groom's outfit, decor, and music. We had it outside and essentially in the backyard of Bob's aunt and uncle's house which is also the location of Hidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden.

Our Cool Invites!We wanted it to be casual, musical, and fun. It was going to be a crafting test for my mad crafting skills, as well as for handmade touches by family and friends.

We are over 40 (well, I am anyway) and Bob has been married before, so we didn't want a wedding party or many of the other typical wedding traditions. Instead, Bob's daughter served as our lone wedding party member as Maid of Honor, ring bearer, and vow book holder.

It's Offical! Time to Shindig!

We walked ourselves to the wedding stage that had been built by both of our dads and decorated by moms, friends, and cousins. Everyone walked in behind us. In place of a wedding party, our closest friends and family were “VIPs” and wore ribbon corsage award pins made by me.

Ribbon Award Corsage Pins

We wrote our own vows, had a special moment with the daughter of the groom, and gave her a necklace made by an aunt.

Special Gift for Groom's Daughter

Bob and I had actually gone to high school together and dated briefly back then. We reconnected as adults on Facebook and we knew it felt right. We had love notes from high school and present day hanging in the trees.

Love Notes & Paper Cranes

We had barbecue from Famous Dave's with pie and cookies instead of a wedding cake. And we were serious about not doing a traditional reception. We had a really great bluegrass band called Relic to start out the entertainment. Then we had an open mic night and talent show. The plan was to have a variety of music mixes at the ready on the iPod but we had so many amazing performances and special toasts that we barely got to play any of them!

Relic Performs

We set up a homemade photo booth with mustaches and lips-on-sticks. There was also cornhole bean bag games and a golf “closest to the pin” competition. The two of us performed some musical numbers as well.

Mustache Antics

Bride & Groom Perform

Tell us about the ceremony: I really loved when our officiant said:

“Real love is not total absorption into each other; it is looking outward in the same direction together. Love makes burdens lighter because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can be involved with life in ways you dare not risk alone. It should never be said of either of you that you show more concern for a friend than you do for each other. More kindness, gentleness, and concern needs to be shown in the privacy of your own home than anywhere else. Indeed, your home should be a haven from all the confusion and craziness the world will create.”

Bride Reads Her Vows

Then he asked the guests:

“And to all of you witnessing the vows they are about to make, will you do all in your power to support these two persons in marriage?” Witnesses: “We will.”

Memory Lane Photos

Our biggest challenge: Doing everything ourselves was a challenge. The morning of the wedding was overwhelming having to get up super early to put everything together ourselves. There were plenty of people there to help us with our vision, but vocalizing what we needed done was a challenge. Finally when it seemed our vision was coming into focus, we left instructions with family and friends for remaining to-dos and went to have massages and get ready. THAT did the trick!

Vintage Brooch Bouquet

Spread the Love

My favorite moment: It was great to just hang out with everyone before the ceremony. Everyone was involved with the wedding from planning and setup to ceremony and reception. And everyone was special, not just a wedding party. Our officiant was a friend of mine from college. Having it at a family location made it feel comfortable and the barbecue and pies were a hit!

Reading our own vows and having a special moment with Bob's daughter was super special and tear-inducing. Hidden Hill provided an abundance of photo opportunities and things to do for everyone.

Hidden Hill & Vintage Banners

The Bride & Groom Pose

Lastly, all the Maker's Mark was a gift from Bill Samuels, Jr. (the owner of Maker's Mark), who is a friend of Bob's uncle. That went over really well. And it was special because our first adult date was a visit to the Maker's Mark Distillery.

Maker's Mark Favors

My funniest moment: We had the officiant say: “If anyone here thinks that these two should not be married, they really don't care.” It really lightened the mood and set the tone for the day.

Then for our talent show, we had a steampunk duo called White City Rippers who performed with a theremin and an accordion. It was a head-scratching hoot!

White City Rippers!

My advice for offbeat brides: Be ready to give up on some ideas that you don't really need or for which you don't have time or money. For example, we really had a vision of having mismatched vintage plates and things for all the tables. Then it became just for the head table. Then we realized that since we weren't having it at a reception hall or having a catering service, we'd have to clean up all the dishes. In the end, we had nice scalloped-edged plastic plates.

custom buttons for fun & merriment

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Having the love and help of family and friends was what made it the most remarkable and memorable. There are certain things that you dwell on the day of the wedding, but just let it go and enjoy the moment and the day.

Our Official Seats

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Comments on Stacy & Bob’s handmade bluegrass talent show wedding

      • Score 15,000 for relaxed and FUN-AS-HECK!!!!
        Oh my goodness, this was such a breath of fresh air! I see so many over-40 weddings that are stodgy, 500.00 package deals from Eureka Springs or Vegas. It’s so nice to see the effort and sweet, light-hearted fun that went into this wedding.
        Stacy, I just gotta say it. You don’t look a day over 35! I mean that, you are so full of joy and peace that you appear in the prime sunshine of your life. The best years are to come, eh? 🙂 CONGRATULATIONS!

        • wow! thank you so much. indeed. it was Fun-as-heck! my stepdaughter asked just this weekend if we could do it again this year! =)

  1. Adorable. Everyone looks lovely and relaxed and I love the natural light filtering through everywhere in your photos. I’ve thought about doing the open mike thing myself. And I feel ya on the dishes issue.

    Congratulations on throwing a perfectly gorgeous wedding.

      • This wedding was awesome. The type that not only the bride and groom have a great time but everybody felt a part of it in a very special way. Thank you Stace and Robert for a fantastic time and a very blessed event…..Julie

  2. First, let me say that the bride looks gorgeous. I love the tendrils framing her face in the picture of her reading her vows

    Second, ooh! ooh! Brooch bouquet FTW!! I am quickly becoming obsessed with brooch/button bouquets.

  3. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

    All the little personal touches, the details, the favors, the photos…..all of it, simply wonderful!

  4. you are such a beautiful bride! 🙂 while i dont know much about bluegrass, i love the simplicity, love and deep thought that went into the little things.

    your minimal makeup – you don’t need it! the venue. the band and their outfits… your awesome chair signs. love love love!

    congratulations to the both of you!!!!

    • thank you everso! yeah, the hubster has been schooling me on the bluegrass…{the old stuff is hard to listen to for very long} but so much bluegrass is infused with different styles and visa versa – you learn to appreciate the musicianship of it. {well, i did anyway} =)

  5. OMG! The talent show! The medals! The buttons! The Makers Mark! 🙂 What an amazing personal ADORABLE wedding!

    I’m so glad our labels were a part of this! It just looks like a good-ole fashioned good time wedding!
    (Now, if only EVER wedding could be like this :))
    Congrats again to you both!

  6. I’m sorry, the bride is over 40?! Has she been living in an oxygen tank? Because she looks about 22 – AHH-MAZ-ING!!! Love the fabric banners (I’m making some for my outdoor wedding – I hope they turn out as nice!).

    And this lovely wedding was right near my hometown (Madison, Indiana), so it is now my favorite OB wedding ever. 🙂 CONGRATS!

    • =) wow! thank you! yes..actually i’m 41 & 1/2! since you asked…no, not an oxygen tank but have been using sunscreen & retin-a for a number of years…and i’m pretty sure the extra chub keeps the wrinkles filled in! thank you & best of luck on your wedding! OH, the banners were awesome. we kept a few to hang in the house & to have for outdoor parties and the rest are being made into a quilt! best~stacy

      • oh and! hidden hill is having a bluegrass festival on september 10th – you should come & see it in person! we’ll be there! =)

  7. This is beyond glorious. Bluegrass! Bourbon! A sweet, sweet dress! Agree with the others that I would have LOVED to be a guest at this wedding. Got to go listen to Mountain Soul now…

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