Danni & Zach's intimate backyard burlap-covered wedding #Real Weddings: Southern US#backyard#birdcage veil#brooch bouquet#couples of color#crafty wedding#custom dress#DIY#floral print#kentucky#multi-colored dress#origami#print dress#short dress#small wedding#tattooed bride October 11 2012 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Shelli Quintos The offbeat bride: Danni, poet working in retail Her offbeat partner: Zach, sous chef Date and location of wedding: Groom's parents' backyard, Lexington, KY — May 19, 2012 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We got married in the backyard of the house where my husband grew up, and two blocks from the house I grew up in. We cut herbs from our garden the morning of the wedding and used Bulleit bourbon bottles for their vases and used a lot of burlap in the decor. The groom's sister and her husband transformed half of the garage into a beautiful burlap-draped event space where we kept the buffet, which was food from a local Cajun restaurant, roasted baby root vegetables, and lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) made by my grandmother. We tried to keep things simple and personal, which for us meant walking down the aisle to The Delfonics' "La-La Means I love You" and having our best friend and former roommate, Erich, marry us. My sister and her friend Jaime were the photographers, and my friend Seth was the bartender. I started working on wedding crafts (with the help of many friends) six months prior, and just kept myself occupied with an ongoing project until the date. I made origami cranes, Shrinky Dinks, stamped chinese food boxes with felt fortune cookies, baby herbs in pots, hankies for cry babies, herb-infused cocktails, a brooch bouquet. Tell us about the ceremony: Zach and I stood between two fake cherry blossom trees decorated with gold origami cranes and LED lights, while our good friend Erich read some meaningful and sweet paragraphs. Then our friends Kat, Kevan, and Amanda each read to us from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, an excerpt from a poem entitled, "The Country of Marriage," by Wendell Berry, and an excerpt from a Rumi poem entitled "This Marriage": this marriage be wine with halvah, honey dissolving in milk this marriage be the leaves and the fruit of a date tree this marriage be women laughing together for days on end this marriage, a sign for us to study this marriage, beauty this marriage, a moon in a light-blue sky this marriage, this silence fully mixed with spirit" Our friend Valerie also wrote a beautiful paragraph, quoted James Baldwin, and challenged us to have a "daring kind of love." A couple of days before the wedding, Zach and I went to have coffee and write our vows together. They ended up being sweet, fun, and… weird. Erich read them to us starting with "Zach and Danni, do you promise…" and ending with "…to love each other through the good, the bad, and the ugly." I cried my eyes out into my grandmother's handkerchief, and then we drank sparkling rosé with our small party. Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was keeping it small and knowing when to compromise. I think people have certain ideas about weddings and marriage, and as soon as you mention it, they start to tell you what you need. Even complete strangers would tell me what I "had to" do or have. I'm pretty passive, so it was difficult (yet rewarding) to know when to agree and when to politely decline. My favorite moment: Our officiant Erich wrote and said a few beautiful paragraphs for the ceremony about knowing Zach and I when we were just "hanging out" and how we have become role models in our relationship, that had us all bawling. My sister cried her eyes out during the whole ceremony (even though she's the tough, bad-ass one). My advice for Offbeat Brides: Ask for help, especially from people who have had their own weddings, or just people you want to hang out with. In addition to sister's photography and my grandmother's lumpia, my best girlfriends helped with everything from crafts to bachelorette party fun, my mother-in-law and father-in-law helped with decor, and my out-of-town friends helped set up herbs, burlap, and tables. I couldn't believe how willing and productive everyone was. What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I learned how much love and support I have from my community of friends and family and teachers, and it made our wedding feel more like our families were coming together instead of just the two of us. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Bride's dress: Etsy seller DigforVictory. I absolutely LOVE Eleanor. She made the dress to my measurements and it came wrapped with a sachet of lavender. Plus, it was a damned good deal. Bride's shoes: Seychelles from The Black Market in Lexington Decor: Room Service Gold birdcage veil and rhinestone fascinator: Etsy seller TessaKim Watch: Etsy seller Alfrescouniquegroup Photography: Shelli Quintos Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS A courthouse wedding with a bed and breakfast bash NEXT Give your guests YOUR camera for instant gratification wedding photos at the end of the night Show/Hide comments [ 14 ] This wedding rocks. Yay Lex weddings! Was the Cajun food from Bourbon n' Toulouse? Everything is so gorgeous. You guys look like you had a blast. 2 agree Reply The cajun food was actually catered by Gumbo Ya Ya! 2 agree Reply I love the burlap-covered garage! I would have never known it was a garage, it's beautiful. How do you get it to drape so nicely? Lovely wedding! 2 agree Reply I totally get that you all cried during the ceremony. I cried a little reading this! Reply That is the loveliest damn garage I have ever seen. Congratulations, you have a beautiful family and community! 3 agree Reply That Zach is a hoot! He looks like a fun guy. 3 agree Reply The little "hankies for crybabies" sign has made my day today. I just might steal this idea. LOL. 😀 1 agrees Reply Yay Lexington weddings x2! 🙂 1 agrees Reply yay super fun times! Reply What a lovely day! The bride has a beautiful dress. Also, The Country of Marriage is my favourite poem about marriage. Reply The burlap looks lovely. Also loved the herby cocktails. yum! Reply Your wedding was beautiful and you seem to have included all the coolest parts of Lexington! I also love your slightly oversaturated photos! <3 Reply I adore this wedding, absolutely wish I had been there! Love Danni's sister's dress too, gorgeous, the pic of the two of you on the sofa is a treasure. Did the same designer make her dress too? Reply I actually bought my dress from a local boutique in Lexington called The Black Market. I can't remember the name of the designer but if you really want to know I can get back to you with it. Thanks! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. 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