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

  1. Seriously. Favorite wedding EVAR. Mine and the SO’s is going to be similar but with a more Eastern Shore vibe. LOVE the bluegrass and the simple, beautiful, delicate decor. <3

  2. Oh my. I can’t even tell you how much I adore your wedding. In fact, it’s SO much like I hope mine to be! I’ve already made my brooch bouquet (LOVE it), we’re working out plans with our bluegrass band now (I didn’t realize that “bluegrass” and “old time” music are not the same. Our band is actually considered “old time” music), and believe it or not, while I’m on vacation this week, I’m working on our vintage broadside invitations . . . JUST like yours! I’ve tried to find a vendor to do the invitations, but finally decided I’d have to do them myself. But I see that you found someone? I may try to contact them.

    Congratulations. You look beautiful and happy, and you had a stunning wedding.

    • thank you so much. oh my gosh, i had SO much for making my bouquet – especially since i’d been collecting them for years – and the turquoise one in the center was from my (late) granny’s turquoise collection. we had our letterpress invites done at Hatch Show Print in Nashville. They are awesome! I wish you love and happiness!

  3. If I ever find anyone willing to marry me, I am totally stealing every single element from this wedding! It is, by far, my favorite one yet!

  4. Our wedding was simply beautiful…it could never have happened without the help of our family and friends. Having many crafty and and handy people to help us the week of made this event the unbelievable day it was. Thank you to all that made it the best day ever….
    The Groom…

  5. Ahh, I love the “they really don’t care” thing! I mean, I love the whole wedding, but that–I’ll have to remember it so I can make my officiant say it. I always thought that part was kind of ridiculous–I would be SO upset if anyone I cared about enough to invite to my wedding told me not to marry the person I love. Thank you so much for sharing that!

  6. Yay! Another Indiana bride. 🙂 I might have to look into this place. It looks beautiful! I love all the bunting and ribbons.

  7. I am so, so excited to see this! My fiance and I are getting married at Hidden Hill in October, and we are totally in love with the place. Everything you did was just beautiful. It’s great to see some pictures of how it all turned out…makes me excited for our day!

    • great! janet told us she had one in oct. i wish you all the best. it will be very memorable for you & your guests!

  8. Yay Offbeat Indiana brides!!!! Always nice to see there are others out there. It can feel pretty lonely here in the cornfields.

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