Cat & Scott's low-class high-rise wedding

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Photography by Joe and Libby Crimmings
The Offbeat Bride: Cat Rocketship, painter

Her Offbeat Partner: Scott Kubie, media consultant, man-child

Location & date of wedding: Tallest skyscraper in the state, Des Moines, IA — April 18, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: As an artist with a bunch of artist friends, we made everything that we could. The wedding posse made hairpieces, signs, bouquets, corsages, center pieces, favors, jewelry, invites and cakes, and decorated the ceremony and reception sites. We didn't have colors, just a loose theme of, "bright colors, round things, industrial and vintage."

Rocketship Wedding

Our friend wrote and officiated the ceremony, which was at the top of the tallest skyscraper in the city. We hosted the reception at our coffin-factory-turned-studio space which featured Jimmy Johns sandwiches, PBR in a can, and a Nannerpuss cake.

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I was in a serious accident two months before the wedding, and our friends came through for us in a big way. We had already just wanted a big enjoyable party-wedding, and their hard work and love for us made the goal even stronger.

In the end, our wedding was about our love for our friends as much as it was about our love for each other. We are only children who have gotten as far as we have because we've found sincere, hard-working, lovely people to spend our lives with.

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Our biggest challenge: The accident was the first challenge, but I remember when I was still in the hospital and someone asked if we would postpone the wedding. We hadn't talked about it, but looked at each other and said, "No."

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Still, until the end of March we weren't sure whether I would be walking without crutches or a cane by wedding day, and all the hobbling made it a pain to sweep an old factory floor and hang 30 strings of lights and a bolt of tulle. BUT the hard work of our friends and the wedding posse kept us on track and on time.

Rocketship Wedding

My mom had a hard time grasping the vision of the wedding, and understanding that essentially Scott and I are low class people who drink low class beers and eat low class food … and that we really only cared about having a fun evening. She was worried about how the food and decor would come together to an enjoyable event, but in the end she seemed to realize that we know how to throw a good party, and that everyone enjoyed themselves.

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My favorite moment: I didn't get nervous until a few minutes before the ceremony. Hanging out in the classy bathroom with my ladies and holding back my nervous stomach was fun.

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cat_scott-300 (Large)My other favorite part dealt with our getaway car. In high school I drove a 1951 Chevy truck, which hasn't really been functional since I left home.

My dad had her fixed up and hauled her five hours over here. Scott and I rode in the back together on our way to photos, and together in front with my dad to kill time before heading back to the ceremony. It was fun private time between the two of us, and a nice moment for us to spend with my dad, as well. Lots of people hollered at us from the street about the truck.

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My advice for other offbeat brides: Weddings don't need to be a stress-fest. I hate to say, "If I can do it with a broken leg and a jaw that's wired shut, you can." But… that's what I'm saying. It took a lot of long nights and hard work, but we didn't have to get too stressed about the wedding.

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cat_scott-335 (Large)Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?: My invites and programs were designed by my maid of honor (quickly becoming a professional maid of honor), Dani Ausen. She's a freelance graphic designer who has a soft spot for wedding invitations. She can be reached at dani.ausen@gmail.com

The photography was done by Joe and Libby Crimmings. You can see his work (and covet his skills) at http://joecrimmings.com.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

  1. Hooray! Iowa! We were actually considering their ceremony spot for both the ceremony and reception–I was wondering how they managed to have their "low class" wedding using the building's "high class" caterer. But I see they went elsewhere. 😉 Lovely!

    1 agrees
  2. I am a central Iowa bride to be that has the same mother! Thanks for giving me hope that I can be an Offbeat bride in central Iowa.

  3. This is my favorite type of wedding. Simple but beautiful and creative, interesting but unpretentious. I love the details like "we can has wedding", the typewriter guest book, the truck getaway, and the beautiful hairpieces – it's just a great collection of all these unique ideas.

    Most of all, congratulations for doing it all after a serious accident. The essence of marriage is that you have promised to be there no matter what kind of shit life throws at you, so that both of you *know* that the entire world could go to hell in a handbasket and you'd still have one person to come home to, one person to stand by you, and one person to come with you, no matter where life was headed. Good for you for surviving something that would break other "fair-weather" couples.

  4. Oh my! I was surprised to see this this morning. Just realized that I totally spaced this, but Dani also designed the hairpieces, and sells those. Her email is in the article. My ladies make everything.

    Midwestelle, 801 Grand was great to work with and pretty inexpensive, even including the champagne toast.

  5. You two are such cool people and your friends absolutely love you! We all shared in your joy and love whether we were there or not. Congratulations again!! Thanks for sharing your story with everyone

  6. I'm so glad everything worked out for both you and Scott; what wonderful friends and details! I loved the "We Can Has Wedding" and the cakes! You looked lovely, too. That truck is badass.

  7. Maybe its because my grandmother saved a bottle of moonshine in a real bottle marked XXX for my wedding, but I fail to see the low class here! The whole thing looks fantastic to me, and fun!

  8. OMG!! NANNERPUS WEDDING CAKE! I can't even say how excited I am about that! I thought I was the only nerd who really loved Nannerpus (and subsequently felt really dorky, in addition to thinknig that no one had any idea what I was talking about). So so so happy to see your gorgeous wedding and most wonderful cake!

  9. OMG. I just looked through your photo album and I realized something — I met you! My fiance and I did a walk through of 801 as you were setting up for the ceremony!! (You might rememeber us…blond girl, black guy, randomly wandering through your ceremony room while you were making the flowers?!?)

    Ha! I even looked at my calendar–sure enough, on April 17 we did the walk through.

    Small world, indeed! 🙂

    Congrats!

  10. oh, i ADORE the nannerpus! my whole family has to deal with my instantaneous laughter each time the commercial comes on. 🙂 that has to be the most kick ass cake ever!

  11. ITS NANNERPUSS! Are you kidding me! I love it! We wanted one to but no one knew what we were talking about! This wedding is fanfreakintastic!

  12. Nannerpuss was delicious, too.

    Joe and Libby totally rocked the photography and Dani killed the invitations and other collateral. Definitely check them out if you're getting married in the midwest.

  13. Cat-Where ever did you find that gorgeous vintage wedding dress? Congrats on the nuptials despite the obstacles. You, your hubby, family and friends did an outstanding job. I'm so in love with the paper flower bouquets. They turned out great! Did you buy an e-book for them?

  14. Rosa,
    It's actually not a vintage dress, but you'd never know it. It's a Maggie Sotero that we got for a steal in my tiny hometown dress shop.

    The paper flowers were their own obstacle! We found some tutorials through Martha Stewart weddings– all online and in PDF form. We were just going to order some paper and make our own templates. I made a few and realized that we needed some of the thicker crepe paper that came in Martha's kits. Then the accident happened and by the time I got around to ordering paper, the kits were discontinued and the instructions were no longer online!

    We ended up stumbling upon a few kits in stores and I did some e-digging to find that the instructions were still online, just not linked anywhere. Between those and regular crepe, it all worked out.

  15. Thanks for the quick reply Cat. It is a lovely dress…but Maggie is probably out of my price range. Maybe I can get some of your good luck:) I'm in love with the paper flower idea and have done some searching myself. I'm glad to see how nice yours turned out. By thicker paper, do you mean the duplex crepe (2 pieces bonded together, usually different colors)?

  16. Duplex crepe – yes. Yeah, the flowers were SO cool and probably cost $130 total. For maybe 75 branches of the dogwoods, 8 corsages and 8 bouts, four bouquets. Pop me an email if you would like and I can email you the templates and intructions– I think I still have them on the computer at home. catrocketship at gmail.com

  17. Ok. So Cat's last name is really Rocketship? And according to her website, Scott took her last name, so now you are both Rocketships? That is so freaking AWESOME.

    Gorgeous wedding, too!

  18. Bright, round, industrial, and vintage! I tried explaining this EXACT concept to a florist on Wednesday and he looked at me like I said a racial slur or something! Your wedding looks awesome and I hope you are 100% better now!

  19. Love love love your dress, Cat! And I love how flexible your theme was! Now can someone tell me where the "we can has wedding" is? I missed it!

  20. This is probably my favorite wedding ever featured on this site. Nice job on maintaining your priorities, from one low class bride to another.

  21. Low class my ass! This wedding looks like a lot of fun and the view from your alter is just stunning!

  22. I love this wedding! The details are so great! I especially love your peacock hairpieces – we are doing peacock colors for our wedding. May I ask where you found them?

  23. Yes! Dani, my professional maid of honor made them. She's going to be making a fresh batch for selling at our local Market this month. Send her an email: dani.ausen@gmail.com to inquire about selling. She doesn't have an etsy.

  24. Hi Gina,

    I actually made the peacock hairpieces. I don't have my Etsy set up quite yet, but I am going to be making a lot of new clips for an upcoming sale I'll be participating in. If you would like to check those out as I make them to see if you're interested, or if you want to order custom, let me know!

  25. Congrats! The high-rise, low-rent approach is fun and frugle, looks like you two made the most of it, with a lot of help from your friends.
    I almost cringe when invited to weddings, they are almost universally tedious, boring and overdone. Yours I would definitely attend and whoop it up!

    Best wishes!

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