The Offbeat Bride: Rachel, marketing for the book publishing industry
Her offbeat partner: Matthew, marketing, research, and analysis
Date and location of wedding: Historic hotel, Summit, NJ — June 7, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Darth Vader walked me down the aisle. Four years ago my dad passed away, and I didn't want my walk down the aisle to be a sad thing. I wanted it to be fun and something that my dad would have loved. I'm positive he would have approved of my approach. We didn't tell our family about the surprise until the rehearsal. I don't think they really believed it until it was happening.
I'm an honorary friend of the 501st Legion, the incredible Star Wars costuming group. I've also worked with them for years on events through my work in book publishing. They are such great people, and to honor their appearance, we made a donation to Make A Wish in their name.
I surprised Matthew with a Delorean during cocktail hour. Initially I had some trouble trying to find one since the cars that are movie replicas are in short supply (and pricey to rent). I reached out to a local Delorean club, and they were amazing. I was really just hoping to delight Matthew, but our guests LOVED taking photos in the car, too.
Back to the Future and Star Wars is enough of a theme, but we're also crazy cat people who love our pets. To include them (without doing something too off-the-wall), we had a custom cake topper made that featured us and all three of our cats plus our sweet orange tabby who passed away a few months before the wedding. He had a little halo.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We had a really lovely arch, and my one big DIY project (gold glitter star garlands) hung from it along with flower garlands. We saved a lot of money DIYing them, but boy, did it take a long time.
A friend of ours, the fellow who took Matthew's online dating picture and encouraged him to use the site we met on (OkCupid), got certified as a minister online. We wrote the ceremony together incorporating the philosophy of Joseph Campbell, readings from The Princess Bride and the children's book I Like You, along with the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass.
And did I mention the part where Matthew fought off Darth Vader with a movie replica lightsaber before it all started?
Tell us about your reception:
Matthew and I practiced a dance to our first song, so that's how we kicked things off. His uncle is a singer in a doo-wop band, so he sang two songs, “Unchained Melody” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” It was amazing.
A little later I had my favorite Zumba instructor come and lead two dances. It was total joy dancing like a maniac in the company of my favorite people. And now at Zumba I smile every time we dance to those two songs.
I had the groom's cake made in the shape of Delorean. That was another surprise for Matthew. And I had my brother (a graphic designer) edit the Enchantment Under the Sea poster from Back to the Future to include our wedding date.
What was your most important lesson learned?
If you had asked me at the start of the planning if I would have chosen to get married at a hotel, I would have said “no way.” This hotel was lovely, but I'm not a hotel kind of girl. But it soon became clear that it would be super convenient for our out-of-town guests, reasonably priced for yummy food and fabulous cheerful service, and easier for me to manage. That meant I could focus all my time and attention on the details that really mattered to me and Matthew.
We had cocktail napkins with fun facts about us, lots of cool indie art scattered about in the theme of Star Wars and Back to the Future, pom-poms for guests to shake, really fun programs with art based on our cake topper, pins, and stickers — not to mention costumed Star Wars characters and a Delorean. Whatever we could think of doing we did. And I loved it all.
- Photographer: Erin Robbins, Enchanted Celebrations
- Dress: Bridal Bliss Designs
- Belt: Icing101
- Venue: Grand Summit Hotel
- Cake Topper: The Small Object
- Shoes: Irregular Choice
- Hair and makeup: Mercedes Crescimbeni, M. Crescimbeni Hair and Makeup Artistry