The offbeat bride: Alex
Her offbeat partner: Jim
Location & date of wedding: Ceremony was in his dad's beautiful backyard and the reception was at the K of C hall, St. Clair County Michigan — September 18th 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: We got away with a lot on a little budget. The bridesmaids' dresses were perfect, dirt cheap, and re-wearable. We'll wear the shoes and the jewelry again. We're even decorating our place with the decorations from the wedding. I mean, you get your hands on that much film, you can't just let it go to waste.
I got my chest piece a few months before the wedding so it would go with the theme. (I was already planning on getting the same thing before we were engaged.)
I got pink hair, because, hey, pink hair is great, I've wanted it for a while, and what better time to do it?
The photographers were friends and gave us out of this world deals. We got two wonderful photographers for way under what we could have got for just one person and we had photographers who knew us taking our pictures on the most important day of our life.
My whole life I'd been talking about having The Throne Room song from Star Wars play while I walked down the aisle … but a couple friends decided that this was no good, so we walked back to that song during the recessional instead. When it came on, I laughed so hard I was almost crying. The timing was perfect.
Our biggest challenge: There was the ever present “You're way too young to be getting married.” I'm nineteen; he's twenty-three. We're the exact same age distance as my parents, so they don't care.
I always responded with “Well, my Grandma got married at seventeen and my mom got married at eighteen … so I figure I'm pretty old for my family's standards — gotta get a move on.”
We also had my Grandpa tell us he was paying for the wedding in full, and then have a change of heart (probably after he saw our wedding invite of cartoon likeness of us on the hood of a 1950s sedan surrounded by evil hearts!).
My favorite moment: We had Jim's cousin preside over the ceremony and we had a very close friend of ours, and my uncle do readings of their own during the ceremony so those things were very special. So was the fact that both my parents walked me down the aisle. They're both my best friends.
Jim would say his favorite/most meaningful moment was when I got the balls to go up on stage and sing to him. I had been planning that the entire engagement and he never knew. I got his brother and two friends to play the music to Candy by Candye Kane (originally done by Big Maybelle). It's one of my favorite songs of all time by my favorite female vocalist. Singing solos in front of large groups of people has always scared me. I just can't do it, but I did it that day and he loved every minute of it. I still don't think I sounded very good but that's okay.
My funniest moment: I didn't want any flowers at all at the wedding — what I did want was popcorn. Lots of popcorn. Popcorn balls shaped like flowers. We made them and set them and they looked good — funky and like a two-year-old made them, but good.
About ten to fifteen minutes before the ceremony started, they started falling apart. My bridesmaids were spraying those suckers with hairspray, pining them, gluing them and nothing was working, but somehow mine was okay. So I said, “Just bunch yours into popcorn balls and shove them onto the base of the bouquet. It'll look bad but people will know it's popcorn.”
Halfway through the ceremony one of my flowers just plopped right onto the ground in front of me and I just started laughing. I thought it would make me crazy, but at that point all that mattered was marrying my soul mate.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The mother in law. We've had a sort of rough past. But she was a God-send during the whole thing. She held the bridal shower at her house and pretty much paid for everything with the help of one of her many siblings who I'd only met a handful of times.
She helped so much … it was just really touching. And ever since then we've been great. After five years we're finally getting along great and she's told me she's glad to have me as a daughter in law.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Many many things didn't pan out the way I'd wanted, but one thing stayed the same from start to finish. I married my best friend. That's the most important thing. Everything else is just small stuff. After a while I just stopped freaking out when little things happened, took a deep breath, looked at the little half smile I was getting from the man I was about to marry, and everything else just faded away. Just remember the love and nothing else will matter.
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!