The Offbeat Bride: Simone, higher ed administrator
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, small business manager
Date and location of wedding: Our home, Miami, FL — December 14, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The ceremony took place in a gazebo in our front yard, the dinner was hosted on our driveway, and the reception continued in the backyard, poolside. My mom was the officiant for our wedding and the three of us (including the groom) wrote the ceremony. Andrew's grandmother and my own participated as our “flower grandmas.”
We skipped out on the bouquet toss and the garter belt traditions because they aren't our style. And we didn't make a big fuss about cutting our cake, we just stepped aside with our videographer and photographer. Also, we asked a non-wedding photographer to shoot the wedding. She's a friend of ours and is renowned for her nightlife photography and we really digged her style. For our reception, we did full-on club-style lighting and a house DJ in our backyard because we wanted to dance the night away, as if it we were at a South Beach nightclub.
My mom was very into making everything from hand, from the chalkboards to a beautiful facade she created, featuring reclaimed wood and photos of our family members who have passed on. It was a very unique experience to get married at our home. I got to escape to my house when I needed, and as we were preparing throughout the day, we both kept running into each other. Right before I went into hair and makeup, we said our goodbyes — it was just a few hours between then and our first look.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Here is the blessing of the hands ceremony that we used, revised by Rev. Daniel L. Harris, read just before the exchange of rings:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge for both of us was trying to be stress-free. We faced a lot of anxiety the day of. We could barely eat our dinner. But thankfully, once we wrapped up our first dance, we had a blast from then on out.
My favorite moment:
There was a tradition I learned about, where each partner offers their ring to the other, then the rings are placed on each other's fingers. A line from this tradition goes like this, “Andrew, I cannot bind you to Simone. Only you can choose to do this. If it is your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.” And we thoroughly enjoyed our first look.
It was also very meaningful to have this video as a keepsake:
My funniest moment:
The funniest moment was absolutely when my mother decided to jump in our pool! A few groomsmen joined her and the party raged on.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?