Christie & Steve's Lord of the Rings, Celtic, tango dance party wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

Tango

The offbeat bride: Christie, Biologist

Her offbeat partner: Steve, IT Manager

Location & date of wedding: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and Terrace Gardens at Ken Caryl — September 26, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We were inspired by Lord of the Rings and Celtic culture.

My wedding dress and the groom's tunic was sewn by Steve, the groom himself! He makes costumes for fun so he decided to make our wedding attire. My wedding dress was blue and silver and his tunic was gray and silver, both were inspired by costumes from Lord of the Rings. I just could not imagine being in a traditional white dress when my favorite color is blue, so we built the color scheme around my dresses, I had a second one for the reception.

I created the invites, programs, silk flower bouquets, centerpieces and entryway decorations. We made a play list of Celtic music for the ceremony; I walked down the aisle to "The Mist Covered Mountains of Home" on the flute.

Stark Trek garter!

We wanted a guest book that had more than just a signature or "Best Wishes" written in it from each guest. I printed 8.5 x 11 pages for people to fill out with a box at the top for a 4 x 6 photo, that I would affix later, a box for a memory of the bride and/or groom and a box for words of wisdom. Our guest book attendants took pictures of everyone as they entered the reception hall all dressed up. It seemed that guests were better able to think of something to write given the prompt and we received many touching sentiments about marriage.

Our biggest challenge: Being a non-religious bride and groom and having two sets of religious parents, that was the biggest challenge.

Wedtiny_0029In the beginning it was a bit of a battle since we didn't want any religious readings what-so-ever. We discussed the issue and finally decided to have my mother do a reading and the prayer. Even though we aren't religious it was touching and a loving gesture that my mother played a big part in the ceremony. A prayer and reading from my mother, whether I believe what she believes or not, was very meaningful to me. I look back at the wedding and wouldn't have had it any other way. We made the ceremony very personal with a Shakespeare reading, a wine ceremony and the benediction of the Apaches but my mother pouring her heart out and blessing our wedding in her way made the wedding that much more special and personal.

My favorite moment: I think the moment that most sticks out in my mind is my brothers' toast. He recounted a phone call we had when Steve and I were starting to get serious. He described me telling him that, "He gets me, Scott. Other guys have enjoyed me or been amused by me….he GETS me!" It was a great toast and so touching how much of that conversation my brother recalls.

Other moments I recall are the constant dancing! Steve and I started it off with a choreographed tango, and then there were our parents' songs that were played at their weddings, and I also embarrassed my brother by having him dance to Macho Man like when he was a toddler! Of course the Hokie Pokie, Chicken dance and lots of disco! My aunt and cousin even did some sexy zumba lessons on the dance floor with all us girls. Everyone was on the dance floor, including my grandma. The two who caught the bouquet and garter belt weren't shy at all and treated everyone to an impromptu flirty dance. We may have planned the wedding but our family and friends MADE the wedding!

My offbeat advice: Don't give in on the ideas that are most important to you.

I feared my mother was going to be upset I didn't want a white dress but she surprised me and even encouraged me to also get a blue one for my second dress, even when I was considering white. I loved both my blue dresses! Do make sure to still consider your family, it's an important day for them too, and some things may be very meaningful for them, consider that even if some of those things are "traditional." I gave in a little for my parents' desires and still had a dream wedding that was so much fun and still "us".

Find ways to incorporate your passions or hobbies into the day. For us it was fantasy, we love to go to conferences like DragonCon; it was only natural for Steve to sew my dress. Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Celtic design and nature… I found some way to incorporate our eclectic tastes and make a wedding that was totally us.

Dragons and ivy abound.
Remember to laugh at whatever doesn't go right the day of, just have fun; a perfect wedding doesn't mean that everything goes as planned. Often times the hiccups are what you remember and laugh about the most, long after the flowers have wilted.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

  • Since we made our outfits I can't help you there but if you have the money a great place I got some ideas for the dress can be found here: Rivendell Bridal
  • Circlets- mine was purchased from here and for Steve's circlet we came up with a design and described it to the maker Camias Designs
  • Photography- old friend, located in Phoenix, AZ Excellent photographer, so glad we flew him up to do our wedding! Still Frames by Nick
  • Cake- best carrot cake ever! Loved it! Cakes by Kristie.
  • Flowers- I made the flower arrangements and got most of the supplies here silkspecialties.com.
  • Grooms Ring- he wanted a titanium ring, so I found this site, only problem he had was choosing one! Furthers.com.
  • Inexpensive dance shoes- love these shoes. We'll continue with lessons since it's so fun and I'll be heading back here for different styles that's for sure.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45986343@N05/sets/72157622965209665/show

  1. Wow! Your wedding looks wonderful, congratulations. I think the photo of you and your bridesmaids is my favourite, both because you all look wonderful and because it's reassured me that my mum is wrong when she says if I have them in non-matching blue dresses and I'm in a blue dress too no one will know who the bride is.

    The whole thing looks like so much fun!

  2. I love how you incorporated your family into the day. While you gave space to your mum and she showerd her love to you, you showed love to her by allowing her that space! Often on offbeat bride there is family drama going on and brides often says in their profile 'stick to your guns! Do it your way'. I found it encouraging to read how you gave in a little and how much you got back for it.
    And I love your blue dresses/theme and 'crown'! And the Denver Botanical Gardens, great place to have your wedding!

  3. OMG, I love the groomsmen photo! I mean, I love everything about this, but that made me guffaw. Outloud. In the cube next to my boss.

  4. OMG YOU'RE THE BRIDE THAT MADE THE FREAKIN' AMAZING FLAGS! I saw your flags in the obb flikr pool, and they're beautiful! I can't afford the $40 ones they have online. If you don't mind me asking, how on earth did you do it and make them look so amazing and professional? I don't think I'm talented enough to do it, but I'd love to learn your secrets, lol, if you care to share.

    And congratulations to both of you! You look beautiful and so happy! I love the dress, you have a very talented husband!

    • Thanks! I basically used a cotton quilt fabric, really cheap (and cotton part is important for the iron transfer step) and made a template of cardboard in the shape of the banner. Sewed two pieces together and then turned it right side out until it was crisp. For the designs I found what I wanted online and printed it out on DARK FABRIC iron on transfers. Then ironed it on and painted the images in the silver I wanted. For the top that was left unsewn I folded the ends over a dowel that I had painted silver and sewed it up. Really simple and honestly was one of my first sewing project since middle school! Very easy to do!

  5. Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments! We had a blast and loved our wedding. That's why I love this site, there are so many unique weddings with truly happy couples!

  6. Beautiful wedding! Could you possibly tell me where you got your engagement ring? It's absolutely gorgeous!

  7. Amazing, love how you worked in the LoTR and fantasy elements, and I yay for doing a tango for the first dance, I'm hoping to do a tango it was always my favorite back when I was doing ballroom dance lessons in college. It's so great that your family and friends obviously had such a good time, and got into the dancing and fun of everything; my biggest fear with my wedding is that people won't get into the spirit and enjoy the festivities.

    • Best suggestion to make sure people aren't afraid to dance….open bar. Worked well for us but we are mainly Irish and Italian on my side and Polish and German on Steve's side so it worked well!

  8. I was just wondering, where did you get the hanging lanterns? They are adorable! I've been looking for some affordable ones, but I can't find them anywhere!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.