The offbeat bride: Jessicah, educational assistant
Her offbeat partner: Adam, bunny wrangler, rat handler
Location & date of wedding: The Guild Cinema, Albuquerque NM — January 9, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: When we got engaged, there was a whole lot of “FINALLY” from everyone we knew. We started from square one. Did we want to elope (I did, he did not). Did we want to have a theme (he did, I did not). We eventually got so tired of talking about it, we put it on the back burner and decided not to deal with it for a while. Eight months later, we realized we needed to get on the ball or it would never happen. We wanted it to reflect us: poor, punk, DIY and pop culture-loving atheists.
I have a huge extended family that I see all the time, he comes from a really quiet, small family. I knew from day one I would have a red dress (I knew this from age four, actually) and he knew he wanted a vintage tuxedo.
We couldn't afford any of the venues we looked at, and we started to get really discouraged. Until we remembered The Guild! The Guild is a local movie theater deep in our favorite part of town. We're both film lovers, and compete in short film competitions all the time. It's basically how our courtship started. We'd had dozens of dates at The Guild and a few of our film projects screened there. We know the owner and he let us have it for $300 on a Saturday night! We did absolutely nothing to decorate it, and even got out early enough so that the owner, Keif, could show a horror movie afterwards.
Tell us about the ceremony: Before our ceremony, we screened two short films we did in the days before the wedding. One was a movie montage of all the wedding scenes from our favorite movies (Beetlejuice, Spaceballs, My Wife is a Gangster) set to two punk rock love songs (“Ever Fallen in Love with Someone” by The Buzzcocks and “If the Government Could Read my Mind” by The Vandals).
The second film was a short mockumentary featuring our closest friends being interviewed about us with questions like, “What were your first reactions when you heard the allegations brought against Adam and Jessi?” I was waiting in the lobby of the movie theater, trying to peek through the doors so I could see, before walking out. It was great to hear everyone laughing and sighing at the right times. It was an awesome feeling.
Our ceremony was officiated by our dear friend John (who is taller than I am even when I wear heels. I think he's 6'6″!) He was amazing. We let him write the ceremony, which was the best mix of mushy and hilarious! I even cried and I never cry. He wouldn't let us even buy him dinner as a thank you, and we're still trying to figure out sneaky ways of paying him back.
My favorite moment: I think the most meaningful part was Adam's vows. We chose to write our own vows and keep them a secret. When we were actually up on stage, there was a bit of “I don't want to go first, you go first” and the normally painfully shy Adam lost the fight. When he started reading his vows, my jaw fell. He had written the exact same thing I had, down to obscure references. Everyone thought we had planned it, but I swear it was a total coincidence. My mother says that the look on my face was a mix of smug, horrified, overjoyed, and amazed.
Afterward, we wanted to give our guests time to get to the reception venue, so we walked around the neighborhood with my brother (our ride). We stopped into a local gelato place and actually had gelato and coffee, and watched the people walking around outside. It was such a normal, spontaneous experience inside this hectic, crazy day. It was nice to just sit back and breathe for a few minutes.
My funniest moment: Also in his vows, he promised to “be not a bad husband but a good” (reference to Metalocalpyse, one of our favorite shows) and declared that his “love for me was like a truck,” which had half of the guests and I in stitches at the Clerks reference. The other half had no idea why I was laughing so hard.
My advice for offbeat brides: You can let your freak flag fly loud and proud and as high or as low as you want. You can't tell from the pictures but I am normally a pink- or purple-haired, non-girly, way grungy punk girl with no makeup and no sense of a hairbrush. I got a lot of flack for dying my hair brown from my offbeat friends — but my pink hair would have clashed with my red dress. That was literally the only reason for going back to a natural color after five years. And you know what, I don't regret it at all. I went back to pink a few months later and everybody seemed assured that I had indeed regained my sanity.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? At the end of the day, we are still silly, crazy in love kids. We've known each other more than half our lives, and we have been best friends since high school. When I needed support, I got it from him. When he was freaking out about editing the video stuff, I'm the one that talked him through it. If we had never had a ceremony, never exchanged rings, we would still be giggling, laughing and playing together, because that's who we are. Our wedding was as much for everyone else as it was for us.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photographer: Jason at Kevin's Photography
- Invitations: Theresa Hawk
- Rings: made by our dear friend Jess'ca to our specifications from SnapdragonStudios
- Shoes: Free Radicals
- Tux: eBay
- Dress: Darlene's Bridal in Albuquerque
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!