This profile made me tear up a little bit. To everyone out there freaking out about wedding planning, remember what Ariel said in the book: If you're married at the end of the night, the wedding was a success. – Becca
The offbeat bride: Alexandria, freelance teacher (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Christopher, retail slave
Location & date of wedding: New Jersey — May 15, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: What we wanted was a rockin' party that truly represented us as people and as a couple, and, well… at least we got married.
- My husband helped me pick my beautiful purple wedding dress.
- I had a Maid of Honor, two Bridesmaids, and a Bridesdude (my brother). Chris had a Best Man, two Groomsmen, and a Groomsdudette (his sister).
- Both of my parents walked me down the aisle.
- Our non-religious ceremony was performed by the mayor of Riverside.
- Instead of a First Dance, my husband and I did a First Rock Band Song — “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon. I sang, he played guitar, my bridesdude played drums, and his best man played bass.
- Our cake topper(s) were our Rock Band character figurines.
It was all very “us.” But honestly, that's about all that went right.
- Due to issues with the DJ's sound equipment, our ceremony started almost two hours late, and then he started to play the wrong song for us to walk down the aisle to.
- The people working at the venue and the owner completely abandoned us, which is why I didn't give their name. I spent the night in our hotel suite crying.
You might say our wedding was offbeat mostly because it was such a disaster, really. But, what's important to remember is the wedding is not everything; life goes on, and we are truly happily married.
Our biggest challenge: Money was the first challenge, because we paid for this largely out of our own pockets. The best thing we did was open a separate bank account for wedding money. We actually never, ever set a budget — we just threw money at each thing as it came up. Tax returns, monetary birthday gifts — whatever extra money that came our way went straight to the wedding.
Then, of course, the venue completely flaking out on us was a challenge. They told us we'd just show up and get married and they'd take care of the rest — well, that wasn't true, at all. The owner disappeared when we were having issues with the sound system. In fact, although he said he would be working our wedding, no one saw him until the end of the night, when he was pushing us out the door. I had given him instructions on all the decorating stuff I brought, yet the staff came up to Chris and asked, “what do we do with all this?” We had no DJ, and no one to lead us through the night, as the staff looked terrified every time we asked them a question or to do something for us, like pour the champagne for the toast.
My favorite moment: Our ceremony was wonderful — it was short and sweet, romantic without being overly mushy, and just felt very genuine. Despite everything that had happened up until then, and all the anger I was feeling towards our venue and DJ, in that moment everything just melted away and all that mattered was that I was marrying my best friend (as cliche as that sounds).
That night we also learned what wonderfully supportive people we have in our lives. Chris' Best Man did everything he could to make things right — in fact, our grand re-entrance song was played on his cell phone, hooked up to a speaker!
And honestly, crying my eyes out in the hotel suite after the wedding was meaningful, because it reminded me how strong and supportive Chris is, and how I couldn't have asked for a better husband. He laid with me in the bed and simply held me as I cried. After nine months of planning had lead me to what I considered to be a complete disaster, that's what I needed. We cursed the venue, drank a bottle of champagne in the jacuzzi tub, and simply relaxed as husband and wife.
My advice for offbeat brides: I think my advice can go out to all brides, traditional or offbeat: Please remember, above all else, that your wedding is the celebration of the marriage — the life commitment — that is to follow. Whether one little thing goes wrong, or just about everything goes wrong, at the end of the day you have gained something that should be so much more important than a party: a husband, a wife, a partner, a soulmate, a friend forever. If you're true to yourself, the details won't matter.
Although I felt our wedding was a disaster, all I hear from my guests was how much fun they had talking to the people at their table, how much fun Rock Band was, and how awesome Chris and I looked. None of them even knew that we were missing out on dance party time, or that the people working the venue didn't put the star-shaped confetti all over the tables.
Chris and I are so pleased with being husband and wife, and it's not because of the party (or lack thereof) — we are enjoying our new titles for each other, although the relationship itself hasn't changed at all.
But I digress — this is supposed to be advice about wedding planning, ahem. Don't let a venue or vendor walk all over you, even the day of. If you don't want to have to handle yelling at someone yourself, ask someone ahead of time to do so for you.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? A wedding is just a glorified party — we were totally ready for the marriage, and that makes me smile more than my wedding has made me cry.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Gothic Wedding Dresses
- Chris' jacket and pants: Men's Wearhouse
- Jacket and a tie screenprinting: Urban Blazer
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!