Kate & Jonathan's barefoot in the Shire book-geek wedding

Updated Mar 15 2021
Photos by: One Eleven Images
Photos by One Eleven Images

The Offbeat Bride: Kate, Chef

Her offbeat partner: Jonathan, CNA

Date and location of wedding: Tekoa Country Club, Westfield, MA — June 9, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jonathan and I were barefoot the entire day, apart from when I walked to the first look spot. We did a handfasting, and Jonathan's best friend got ordained just so she could perform the ceremony for us. We nixed some traditions: no bouquet/garter toss, no speeches apart from a very brief toast, and focused on our love of books and Lord of the Rings.





We had a lot of DIY projects that we completed with friends and family. All of our centerpieces were stacks of books mixed in with bud vases of flowers that a dear friend made for us, and paper lanterns that Jonathan made. My mom, maid of honor, and I made all of the cupcakes. My mom also made the top tier cake and carrot cake hedgehogs, and my niece's flower girl dresses. My maid of honor put together the boxes for the favors, and another 'maid hand-embroidered a Neil Gaiman poem for our guestbook.





Tell us about the ceremony:
We took our vows from a handfasting ritual, but we wrote our own definition of the ribbons we were using. When our officiant tied each different color, we had these little things that she said that meant something to us about what the color represented, most of them being geek references:

  • Blue was trust or loyalty: "May this ribbon remind you that 'the bad guys hardly ever quote Star Wars.'"
  • Brown represented stability. Our officiant said, "May this ribbon remind you that in times of stress. A well-timed cup of coffee or cocoa may very well save your life."
  • Green was growth: "May this ribbon remind you that 'the road goes ever on and on.'"
  • Purple was creativity: "May this ribbon remind you to 'always make good art.'"
  • Red was passion or love: "May this ribbon remind you that 'once you are real, you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.'"
  • White was hope: "May this ribbon remind you that love should always start and end with hope." "While we remove these ribbons today, the bonds they represent remain unbroken and eternal."


After we kissed and ran, our officiant stood there for a moment and quoted Lord of the Rings: "I regret to inform you that this is the end. I am going now. Good-bye."


My favorite moment:
Because everyone pitched in, we had very few vendors, and almost everything came from our friends and family. My good friend Karen did all of the floral work, but the flowers accidentally got frozen the night before, so she used flowers from her own garden instead. Everyone who could came and helped set up the room beforehand. It meant a lot to us to see our loved ones come together the way they did to make everything possible.


My funniest moment:
While we were dancing our first dance to "Rainbow Connection," the version from the original Muppet Movie, I heard my niece ask my brother, "Daddy, is that Kermit singing?" And then when we didn't realize that when people clink their glasses with silverware it means we're supposed to kiss. I thought they were just being noisy.



What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Take a step back and breathe. I do Krav Maga training, and keeping on my class schedule really saved my sanity. I needed those breaks of doing something completely unrelated to just wind down. And don't forget to take time to just spend with each other! Shut the phones off, go to an undisclosed location, and just spend some time together.



Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Good grief, the similarities to my wedding are… astounding. Navy blue bridemaid dresses, same first dance song, same theme, even the bride and I are both going to sport curly blond bobs and glasses. Great minds and all that!

    Seriously, beautiful wedding. And the flower girls are completely adorbs!

  2. I ADORE this – very similar style to want I'm picturing for my wedding. I want to know where you got the vest for your gent – my MIL and I were planning on making hobbit-esque vests for our groomsmen.

  3. This looks like so much fun. What a fantastic idea to change the handfasting ceremony to suit you. I hope you don't mind if I borrow the idea.

    And the hedgehogs! So cute.

    I love Lord of the Rings and books and I love how you incorporated these into your wedding! So beautiful, so creative.

  4. This makes me so happy, this is the theme of my wedding too! You have given me some wonderful ideas, thank you!

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