The offbeat bride: Susana, PhD Student
Her offbeat partner: Carlos, Psychoanalyst
Date and location of wedding: Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico — July 15, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: Carlos and I met at a gothic party and, as corny as it sounds, it was love at first sight. After four years of being together, we wanted to tie the knot. We have very eclectic tastes, but I believe it was present all over the event.
I wore a black and white dress and black shoes. Our invitations were designed by our friend.
I made the boutonnieres with feathers. There was meaningful DIY stuff, like the ring book (we LOVE reading), and bookmarks and pins with our monograms.
We designed our candy table, the cake, and made a cake topper that is a replica of us. We had finger food and not a regular dinner. Carlos loves hats, so he had a custom-made top hat — so gorgeous.
We didn't want a huge party, but it was almost impossible with our large Mexican families. So the we had 230 guests on our list, after a lot of effort cutting it down.
At the reception, Carlos and I danced to “Just Like Heaven” by Katie Meula, and my dad and I danced to “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, which was awesome. After that, it was insane, non-stop dancing for all.
Tell us about the ceremony: Carlos and I are Catholic, so we wanted a Catholic ceremony. We got married in the city cathedral, which was built in 1777, so it's a huge and beautiful old building. The priest was a friend of my father, so the ceremony was very personal and had a strong and beautiful message specific to us. Some of our friends and family read the lectures, made the universal prayer, and even sang the Psalm.
We gave flowers to the Virgin of Guadalupe, a very common tradition here in Mexico, and we had a lasso (another mexican tradition) made from Chiapas amber, that a couple of artisan friends made for us.
At the end of the ceremony, two of our friends played some music outside the church, with a bagpipe and a flamenco box.
Our biggest challenge: My wedding dress! I didn't know what I wanted and didn't want to spend a fortune. I found one on eBay, a very cheap and nice one, so I bought it. I wasn't aware of Chinese replicas (oops), so when the dress arrived, it was a huge deception. The dress was $200, but with the importation tax and the shipping, it was almost $500. So I stuck to the idea of wearing that dress, because it had been my mistake, and I should take responsibility. We tried everything to make that dress look good.
One month before the wedding, in the middle of a dress crisis, I remembered a dress that almost a year ago I had tried and loved, but didn't buy because of the price. So I called, and yes, the dress was still there. It fit perfectly and the store gave me a huge discount. So I bought it and voilà!
My favorite moment: I was wearing my great-grandmother's engagement ring on my right hand. It was very beautiful, antique gold with a ruby. She gave it to me a while ago, and I knew this was the perfect moment to wear it.
Another very special moment was our choreographed tango! We were not nervous about the church, our first dance, or the civil ceremony, but we were SUPER nervous about the tango. We had been practicing for three months, but the last week before the wedding, we didn't have the chance to do a rehearsal, so we were actually shaking. Thankfully, we didn't make a mistake. See a video of the wedding, including the dance!
My funniest moment: Tossing the bouquet and the garter. We chose the song “L'amour” from the Carmen opera, but in the Goran Bregovic version plus some other Balkan songs. We were dancing around the dance floor. It was great.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Besides the tango, we were afraid that people didn't enjoy our wedding, because it didn't fit the traditions or people expectations. But that fear was unfounded.
My advice for offbeat brides: Many people will tell you how to do stuff, or how you must respect tradition. It's important to be respectful when saying “we will take your advice in consideration.” In the end, you can ignore them if necessary, but without hurting any feelings.
Also: cheaper is not always better.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Photoptika
- Shoes: Bordello
- Venue: Calicanto
- Church: Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Monterrey
- Photo booth: Party Pics
- Dress: Allure Bridal
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!