Offbeat partner: Lindsey, School Nurse
Offbeat partner: Joshua, English Teacher
Date and location of wedding: The Franco Center in Lewiston, Maine — August 19, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We both love literature, miniatures, dogs, and film, so most of the wedding had some aspect of those themes included. We made a bookcase arch which was basically the only ceremony decor in addition to what was already in the beautiful venue. I made the boutonnieres out of photos of the groomsmen's pets and some greenery.
I made all the bridesmaids dresses in different jewel tones. I love retro style clothing and color and I couldn't find what I was looking for in the stores, so I made them myself! I also designed my wedding dress and a friend who is a talented professional seamstress constructed it. It had a removable floor-length skirt with a tea-length dress underneath. All of the dresses (including mine!) had pockets. I wore my mom's veil which was very special especially since we got married on my parents' anniversary. My twin sister wore it when she got married last year as well.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We were married by a friend who is a pastor (and sometime-magician!) and the ceremony was in what used to be a Catholic church and is now a beautiful concert venue. Josh walked down the aisle with his mom and our collie, Arthur, who was determined not to stay calm or quiet. I could hear him barking as I was waiting to walk in with my dad. Luckily, we had someone to retrieve him and bring him home. The aisles were raked at a pretty steep incline and I was glad I had my dad with me to keep me upright.
We had four readings from television, film, and literature (Quotes from Andrew WK, Pushing Daisies, Wings of Desire, and Great Expectations) and my sister sang “The Book of Love” by the Magnetic Fields.
It was a warm day and neither Josh nor I do well in the heat, so we were sweating bullets. Luckily, I had a handkerchief from my parents in my pocket. I thought I was subtle about passing it to Josh but the photographer captured it. Josh's nephew was our Ring Bearer and he carried our rings in a hollowed out copy of The Princess Bride. We wrote our own vows and I was surprised at how serious most of the ceremony turned out considering how goofy we are normally.
Tell us about your reception:
The favors were books wrapped in beautiful paper with stamped library cards inside. The guests signed the “spines” of books on a print of our dog in a library and left notes in a card catalog. The escort cards were in the shape of golden retrievers, basset hounds, corgis, and collies, and my sister made treats for people to bring home to their canine friends.
The centerpieces were miniatures of places (real and fictional) that are special to us or somewhere we'd like to visit. Some were 3D puzzles, some were playsets from our childhood, and some I made from scratch out of printed photos and foam core. My sister commissioned a card box for us that looked like a dog house with a beautiful painted portrait of Arthur.
Josh used to DJ regularly, and with the help of a groomsman, managed to somehow DJ and part-time MC our reception while simultaneously visiting with our guests. Our cake was covered in buttercream “clouds” and the venue helped us hang a hot air balloon above it.
When we went to cut the cake, we did not expect that there would be cardboard between the layers so there were several seconds of futile poking before we gave up and let the caterer disassemble it. We have several family members who are musically inclined so we were treated to some live songs at the reception, including my dad, a family friend, and Josh's family. My sister's and Josh's brother's toasts were both an awesome mixture of loving and embarrassing, and my dad made a toast and sang as well.
What was your most important lesson learned?
I wish I had written a list for the photographer and also a schedule of events for the wedding party and the venue. I have a background as a stage manager and director and I found it difficult to be “in the spotlight” instead of arranging things behind the scenes. Luckily, our photographer was also a friend and she made me feel more comfortable and made great suggestions.
We were engaged for a year and nine months and I still don't think I started all of the DIY projects early enough. I know a lot of people thought I was crazy for making the bridesmaids' dresses, but I'd do it again! We had tons of help from family and friends in planning and decorating and transporting people to and from the venue. I had to cut some projects I didn't have time for but the big things were all done.