The Offbeat Bride: Lauren, administrative assistant
Her offbeat partner: Chuck, Project Engineer
Date and location of wedding: The Landmark Loews, Jersey City, NJ — February 8, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Chuck and I wanted to do something in a unique venue, and plan an event that wasn't typical. Once we saw the Loews, that was it. It perfectly suited our shared love of movies and Chuck's propensity for rocking bow ties. We loved the idea of Old Hollywood glamour but we didn't want it to be overly serious and stuffy. We wanted it to be a laugh riot like a Katharine Hepburn movie.
We spent the bulk of our tight budget on the venue and catering. We liked that we could let the venue do the heavy lifting and focus on making everything we added to it personal and fun. That personality was the result of DIYing our faces off, and of course our friends and family. We hand-stamped our CD covers, hand-screened the CD labels, painted our guest book, and Chuck designed our escort cards. We also made our centerpieces, one of my favorite things, from cheap frames, velcro, and vellum. We gave LEGO superheroes some Old Hollywood flair for the boutonnieres, and added some LEGO block cufflinks to complete the look.
My father walked me down the aisle to “The Ecstasy of Gold” from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, and my first dance with Chuck was a completely unchoreographed by the seat of our pants dance to an upbeat song, “Jackie Wilson Said” by Van Morrison. We wanted the whole day to be, not only a celebration of us, but our cherished friends and family as well. We celebrated my amazing Aunt Dot's “30th” birthday with a cake, and surprised guests with a trophy and medals for best response to our Mad Lib RSVP cards.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We take our commitment seriously, but we also want life and being together to be a big goofy adventure. Christian, our officiant, surprised us by starting off in the best, most appropriate cinematic reference: “Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togevah today.” I started my vows by imagining what it would be like if we were an old New York couple on one of the couches between scenes in When Harry Met Sally.
We included one more contemplative reading from Madeleine L'Engle and a more whimsical reading from A.A. Milne. Finally, we exchanged rings using words from Jane Eyre: “I ask you to pass through life at my side — to be my second self, and best earthly companion.” Immediately following our first kiss, our DJ launched into bridal party introductions set to the Jock Jam Mega Mix which we had written with heights, hometowns, and nicknames like a basketball team. When we were finally introduced, it was to “Life's a Happy Song” from The Muppets.
Our biggest challenge:
We had a very specific contract with our venue which laid out a very specific time frame. We only had 12 hours the day of and that was it, which meant there was no time for a rehearsal and no set-up was possible until noon on the day of the wedding. Having made so many of the decorations myself and being a bit Type A, I had a clear picture in my mind of how I wanted everything set up. Unfortunately I was going to be deep in hair and makeup when set-up needed to start. The only way to overcome it was to just trust everyone around me, especially Chuck, who led the groomsmen over early to team up with some of my rugby teammates to get it all done. When I walked in a few hours later for pictures, I was overcome seeing everything I pictured made real.
My favorite moment:
I had written the bare bones of our ceremony for our good friend Christian, who would be acting as our officiant. It was the basic structure of everything and some of our views on marriage and commitment. It was wide open for Christian to fill in any way he saw fit, and we didn't know how he had done that until the ceremony itself. It was a wonderful and touching surprise to hear why he thought we were meant to be and it meant so much to us both coming from such a dear friend who was doing this amazing thing for us.
My funniest moment:
We cut our cake to the theme from Jurassic Park. Having never ceremonially cut a cake before, we stood there with our arms around each other and the knife poised on the very top edge of the cake for what seemed like eternity so we could get the pictures. And then, when we finally made the cut, the most majestic crescendo of John Williams' score happened to hit at exactly the same time. It was the most hilarious moment.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I learned so much about letting go. We originally planned to get married on our five-year anniversary, February 1. We never thought to check when Super Bowl weekend was. They never play it in cold weather states like New Jersey. Whoops! We simply couldn't get a block of hotel rooms to save our life. And so, after letting myself completely panic for about five minutes, we decided that we'll just get married the next weekend — and we did. Getting married was one big lesson in looking at the big picture and letting go of the little things.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Autumn and Craig Pittelli for Inspire Me Imagery
- Bridesmaid robes: Sunset to Sunrise
- Earrings: Design By Kara
- Hair Comb: FineNFleurie
- Cake: Cocoa Bakery
- Flowers: Purple Iris
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!