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.
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.
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.
We wrote our own vows, had a special moment with the daughter of the groom, and gave her a necklace made by an aunt.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Vintage fabric banners: Etsy seller Jumpupanddown
- Design your own buttons: Etsy seller Marajane01
- Awesome pies: Williams Bakery (812) 284-2867
- Barbecue: Famous Dave’s
- Jam labels: Etsy seller Gersoncurse
- Bands: Relic Bluegrass Band and The White City Rippers
- Groom’s outfit: Gentlemen’s Emporium
- Bride’s dress and petticoat: Audey
- Custom Rings: Etsy seller AdziasJewelryAtelier