The Offbeat Bride: Kerry, Service Coordinator
Her offbeat partner: Kevin, Account Manager
Date and location of wedding: The Overlook Shelter at Arrowhead Park, Neola, IA — May 25, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted a very joyous, colorful, bright ceremony, so I wore a midnight blue corset gown with a peacock feather and flower crown, and Kevin wore a lovely gold brocade vest over a dark green shirt. We had ribbon wands for the kids, and a maypole dance at the beginning of the ceremony.
Instead of a unity candle, we created a “Chalice Commitment Ceremony” as a way to cement our affirmations to each other. When we finished our affirmations, we each poured a different kind of mead into the chalice. We then offered each other a drink. We found it to be a wonderful way to complete our affirmations prior to the big kiss!
Our wedding party consisted of a matron of honor, man of honor, best man, and best lady. We loved having our best friends up there with us, and making those roles match the people we really cared about, rather than allowing the roles to dictate who we chose to stand with us.
Neither one of us was particularly excited about a diamond engagement ring. Plus, it didn’t make good sense to me to spend a large sum of money on a ring I wouldn’t really appreciate. Also, it only seemed fair that Kevin get an engagement ring too, so he found a beautiful sterling silver band with the moon and stars engraved in it, and a lapis stone!
Finally, we decided to pick a completely new name, EarthSoul, as our new last name, which reflected our spirituality and our love of nature.
Tell us about the ceremony: We are both Earth-Centered or Pagan, and it was really important to us to have a ceremony that reflected those themes. Our officiant, Shawna, is a Unitarian Universalist Minister, and she incorporated the Goddess and God into our ceremony, which I really appreciated. At the same time, we did our best to keep our wedding understandable, since we had people of all different faiths attending.
Our biggest challenge: Some of our biggest challenges were related to the weather. We were having an outdoor wedding, and the forecast included the possibility of thunderstorms. The last week of the wedding, we decided to go ahead and rent a 20×40 canopy tent, and I’m so glad we did! It gave us peace of mind, and even though it rained mostly in the morning before our ceremony, the canopy tent provided some sunshade during our ceremony when the sun was out.
My favorite moment: I loved having good friends of ours reading poems that mean a lot to us. Our friend Nicole read Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” and our good friends Nathan and Amy read Kahlil Gibran’s essay on Marriage from “The Prophet.” This was really special because this reading had been at their own wedding, and it felt great giving them that role.
Kevin mentioned that he loved the moment when we were walking down the aisle (or grass in our case), and he saw his mother, crying with joy. He loved reading the affirmations that we wrote ourselves also. My dad, who is not emotional at ALL, got teary and told me it was a beautiful ceremony.
My funniest moment: We had a Doctor Who photo booth at the reception, complete with life-sized cardboard cutouts of David Tennant and Matt Smith. We called it our “pair o’ Docs!” Things got really groovy when friends started dancing with Matt and David out on the dance floor. Our good friend Abby even asked permission to take Matt Smith as her date to another wedding! She plans to dress him up all fancy.
Kevin said his funniest moment was when all the guys got up and danced to Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” at the reception.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
You really don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding if you get creative. Getting married at a county park in Iowa saved a lot of money on a wedding venue. I also learned to let go of control a bit, and not worry so much about things being perfect.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Ben Devries
- Bride’s dress: Tracy Robertson of Azrael’s Accomplice
- Groom’s outfit: Gentleman’s Emporium
- Groom’s vest: Twin Roses Designs
- Gluten-free wedding cake and cupcakes: Bliss Bakery
- Caterer: Celebrate Catering (a home-based, family-owned business, and they make all their food from scratch!)
- Attendant’s gifts, ceremony tapestry, and engagement rings: Next Millenium
- Flowers, corsages, and flower crowns: Pam at Corum’s Flowers
- Chalice: Understory Pottery
- Canopy tent: Gibbs Rental
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
dresses: Azrael’s Accomplice