It's a bird, it's a plane… it's Offbeat Bride's comic book-clad and caped superhero theme week! Get in the telephone booth and change into your wedding-gawking superhero tights — you're in for crime-fighting fun.
The Offbeat Bride: Angie, customer service representative for a payroll company (and Tribesmaids)
Her offbeat partner: Drew, technical operations project coordinator for a movie studio
Date and location of wedding: The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN — October 13, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: My husband and I live in Los Angeles and both work in the entertainment industry. We met in part due to an old revival theater in town we both frequented. As movie lovers, we wanted a venue that somehow incorporated the cinema, but it was also important to us that we be able to have the ceremony and reception in one place. My mom has multiple sclerosis and traveling is difficult (hence the wedding back home in Minnesota). We hit the jackpot when we found The Varsity Theater & Cafe des Artistes in Minneapolis, which throughout its years has been a vaudeville theater, a movie theater, a night club, and (currently) a live music venue.
We wanted to keep things laid-back, relaxed, and entertaining, without too many of the trappings of more formal, traditional events, so we chose a Sunday afternoon in October. We commissioned an artist friend to draw '40s serialized comic book-themed invitations, which were a huge hit. One guest told us she normally avoids weddings, but after seeing our invitations, she decided this one might be worth checking out.
I made the flowers for my bouquet and the boutonnieres out of comic books. Our guests sat, cabaret-style, at their tables for the ceremony, which opened with a humorous short film we made about the day we met. After the ceremony, the Loring Pasta Bar catered a delicious buffet and hot cocoa bar, with cupcakes taking the place of the wedding cake. We had an open-air photo booth, to take advantage of the really cool stone walls of the venue.
The attendants made everyone feel at ease, and the guestbook full of photo strips and messages is priceless. The venue has a row of televisions built into the actual base of the bar, and we played a DVD of romantic scenes from our favorite movies on a loop throughout the reception, and we created a playlist of background music with selections from movie scores and soundtracks.
Tell us about the ceremony:
As guests arrived, the Varsity Theater's giant screen was down, hiding the stage, and to start the ceremony we played a short film we made about the day we met, featuring puppets, movie clips, and awkward reenactment (we are not actors). As the film faded to black, “The Wedding March,” as performed by Queen from Flash Gordon, played. The screen rose, revealing the two of us and our officiant already standing onstage.
Geoff, our officiant, wrote a beautiful introduction, and my friend Emily read “Love Monkey” by Edward Monkton, which is a sweet story about life experience and finding your mate (and monkeys, of course). We opted for a short, secular, but fairly traditional vow and ring exchange.
We did not have a wedding party, but we invited our witnesses, my sister and his cousin, to the stage to sign the marriage certificate during the ceremony. Drew's family is Jewish and I was raised Catholic, but the ceremony was completely secular, so it was important to me that we incorporate that “legally binding” moment into the ceremony. Geoff pronounced us husband and wife, and as he said “You may now kiss the bride,” “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals started to play (Adventures in Babysitting, anyone?!) and we ran off the stage, through the tables and up the stairs to the mezzanine to have a moment to ourselves before the food, family, and fun got underway.
Our biggest challenge:
Planning a Minnesota wedding when we live in Los Angeles and our wedding planner lives in Tampa was a huge challenge! It was truly cross-country wedding planning. I don't know how I would have done it without Drew's sister, a wedding and event planner who offered us her services. She proved over and over again that she is a seasoned and talented professional. Once we settled on the Varsity Theater as the venue, their event planners took a lot of the stress out of it, too.
My favorite moment:
We asked our friend Geoff if he would be willing to become ordained and officiate, and were honored when he quickly agreed. Geoff is a college friend of Drew's, and when we first started dating, Drew was talking to him about whether or not it was too soon to call me his girlfriend. Geoff ticked off a list of reasons before asserting, “I declare you boyfriend and girlfriend.” We thought it was completely fitting to have him declare us husband and wife, as well. Since we had a friend from Drew's past officiating, we asked a friend from my past, my best friend Emily, to do the reading we had chosen. She did a beautiful job.
My funniest moment:
Our friends' four-year-old daughter was featured in the short film we showed, and was in attendance. Other guests would approach her to tell her what a good actress she was, and she would respond (as children do) “I know.” My uncle asked for her autograph and she told him she didn't have “one of those.” So precious! There were a handful of little girls right around that age at the wedding, and they all got along well and ran around having fun. I don't know how the parents felt about it, but I was so glad the kids were there, as they were definitely entertaining.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
No matter how offbeat, or laid-back, or casual you are intent on being, remain open to the suggestions of those who have been there before. I was dead-set against real flowers, because our venue was already so eclectic and pretty, and I was making paper flowers for my bouquet and the boutonnieres. I thought real flowers were silly and completely unnecessary. Both mothers, a couple of aunts, and my sister-in-law (the wedding planner) all gently encouraged me to be open to a couple of statement arrangements on the stage and buffet tables. I gave in and the result was amazing! Richard Anderson, the house florist of the Varsity Theater, did such a gorgeous job and we got so many compliments on the unique displays.
I was also very ambivalent about having a videographer. Months after the fact, I'm so glad I was talked into it! The day, as they say, went by in a blur. I remember the warm, fuzzy feelings, but now we can relive it whenever we want. Considering the multimedia event we created, I'm surprised in retrospect I was against it to begin with.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Unique Vintage
- Photography: Hilary Roberts
- Venue/Catering: The Varsity Theater and Loring Pasta Bar
- Cupcakes: Angel Food Bakery
- Photo Booth: Time Into Pixels
- Wedding Planner: Lesley Cohen, LelyCo
- Invitation Art: Steven Wells
- Invitation Printing: Color Images
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!