The Offbeat Bride: Holly, orientation and commencement coordinator at a small college (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Fernando, IT wizard
Date and location of wedding: Secret Garden, Fairy Wing Forest, Minnesota Renaissance Festival — September 21, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We got married in a small secret garden at the Renaissance Festival that only allowed space for twelve guests. We chose not to have a wedding party and considered everyone a guest of honor. I even wrote biographies about everyone on the back of the Daily Prophet programs I made, and had other Harry Potter-inspired details as well.
Neither of us particularly like being in the spotlight, so we wanted a very small, short wedding that suited our personalities. The fact that we wanted something small also helped us save a lot of money, since we both would rather spend that money on good eats and good beer! I wrote the ceremony, which was reflective of us as a couple and as individuals, from the Ravenclaw-colored theme, to the vows that ended with “I accept the terms and conditions.”
Immediately following the ten-minute ceremony, we were able to attend one of our favorite Ren Fest shows: the Danger Committee! It was really nice to get married during a bigger event because right after the wedding, no one really was even paying attention to us. There were so many costumes and other Renaissance shenanigans that the pressure was off.
We didn't want a formal reception, so a month later, we had a line dancing hoedown with some of our friends and my line dancing troupe, the Sassy Steppers, who all happen to be over the age of 55! Why not have a wedding reception at the local senior center?!
In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you… the right person will still think the sun shines out your [bum]. That's the kind of person that's worth sticking with.
My mom read excerpts from I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warberg. Fernando is a man of few words and didn't want to write his own vows, so instead, I wrote vows that were recited by my best friend/officiant, and we simply agreed to them by responding, “I accept the terms and conditions.”
Fernando, do you take Holly to be your lawful wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do you part? Do you promise to always say yes to ice cream, to never put pineapple on pizza, to always fix the Wifi when it goes out, and to always love Holly, even when she refuses to call pop ‘soda?'
Holly, do you take Fernando to be your lawful husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do you part? Do you promise to always say yes to ice cream, to never put pineapple on pizza, to always try turning it off and on again before asking Fernando to fix the Wifi, and to always love Fernando, even when he refuses to call soda ‘pop?'
At the end, we closed with our secret high five instead of a kiss!
Our biggest challenge:
We only had a few weeks to plan everything. For the most part, that worked out in my favor. My job involves planning commencement (graduation) twice a year, and that's enough event planning to make me want to tear my hair out! The fact that we only had a few weeks helped to at least condense the stress into a smaller time frame. I simply had to make decisions quickly — no hemming and hawing about what dress to get, no formal invitations were mailed out, and I chose jewelry that I already had or things that could be shipped quickly via Etsy. I emailed a college friend at the last minute to see if she'd have time and interest to take a few photos. Luckily, she did!
- Related: Read about more short engagements in our tag archive
My favorite moment:
The Renaissance Festival is a place we both love, and had extra meaning as a venue. They ended up having an opening on September 21st, which was my grandma's birthday. She passed away a few years ago and I couldn't think of a better way to honor her memory than to have our wedding on that day.
My best friend not only got ordained to be able to officiate, she also made my bouquet, veil, and Fernando's boutonniere. Fernando's friend Ashley owns a flower shop and made corsages for my parents. My mom raced against the clock to knit me a shrug, and even made sure to make it the Ravenclaw-approved colors! It was so special to have the people closest to us surround us with such support and care, and to have our wedding exactly the way we wanted it: short, sweet, and nerdy with lots of subtle and not-so-subtle references to Harry Potter!
My funniest moment:
The secret garden where we held the wedding is also home to a small pond. My three-year-old nephew kept himself entertained for the duration of the ten-minute ceremony by throwing rocks into the pond. At one point, we heard a giant splash and I thought he had fallen in! It turns out he had just thrown a really big rock into it.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- “Always” necklace: NerdyTreats
- “Mischief Managed” rings: Family House Stampin'
- Photography: Allyson Wonderland Photography
- Dress: Modcloth
- Shrug: “Reading in Bed” pattern, Ravelry
- Bouquet, veil, and boutonniere: my best friend, Senja
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!