The Offbeat Bride: Laura, Industrial Designer
Her offbeat partner: Seth, Industrial Designer
Date and location of wedding: Scoggins Farm, Monroe, NC — July 28, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Seth grew up loving superheroes and comic books, particularly Nightwing. I had grown up obsessed with Batman and Batgirl. We bonded over the topic until Seth gave me my first comic book, Ballistic Romance #1 (the story of how the two got back together), and in the back was a note from Seth asking me to be his girlfriend. Years later, after he worked up the courage to jump out of a plane… and propose to me, we decided to bring out the theme of what bonded us at the beginning and have a Batman-themed wedding. These characters had been a lifelong dedication for us and it only seemed appropriate.
The ceremony was to be fairly traditional, but the reception was fair game. Half of the reception was to be dedicated to Batgirl (Barbara Gordon, aka Commissioner Gordon's Daughter) and the other half would be dedicated to Nightwing (Dick Grayson, aka the first Robin). Batgirl's side was based off of the Gotham City Police Department and had a mugshot wall with props, pool tables, and poker tables. The Nightwing side was based off of Grayson's home base, Haly's Circus, and was complete with bouncy houses, pony rides, carnival candy, cotton candy, smoked turkey legs, hot dogs, barbecue, ice cream, juggling, and balloon animals.
After we were unable to cut our guest list down to under 300, we decided to cut as many costs as possible so we could invite everyone who played an important part in our lives. We replaced flowers and decorations with home made comic book flowers and balloons which cost us a total of $110. The groom's parents made the cake and custom Bat-Signal for us as a wedding gift, and my little brother dug out his old Happy Meal toys to use as the cake toppers. The decorations and paintings were all done by friends and family members as wedding gifts. We saved thousands of dollars overall by doing work ourselves.
Tell us about the ceremony: We used the song “Everything” by Lifehouse for our entrance. The family members and wedding party made their way down the aisle wearing black hero masks. Once the music built up, everyone took their masks off and at the climactic point (right when the song switches on the drums and electric guitar), the doors swung open and my father and I walked down together.
When the pastor asked for the rings, I looked back at my sister and a look of panic struck across her face. She had forgotten the ring in the dressing room! Luckily, she and I both knew what we had to do, so we both tried to keep straight faces and pantomime her handing me the ring. We were doing great until the pastor looked down and realized there was only one ring in his hand. Then he looked up and saw my our smirking faces trying to hold down a laugh, and he just about lost it on stage.
Instead of a unity candle, we sealed our vows in a clear resin so we could put them on our mantle to remember our promise to each other. So my parents gave me the resin, and his parents handed him the hardener. We went back to our table to mix the resin and set the vows and Seth whispers “Do you know what you're doing?” To which I reply “No. I forgot to read the directions.” So once again, we faked like we knew what we were doing, trying to hold back a laugh.
After the ceremony, we left the church to “The Adventure” by Angels and Airwaves. Our wedding party put their masks back on and were told to have fun and do whatever they wanted as they were coming back up the aisle. Most of them danced all the way up, but one very tall groomsman (6'7″) got down on his hands and knees and very speedily crab walked all the way back up the aisle!
Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was time management. We had chosen to do several things ourselves so we could save money, but we weren't as good about budgeting the time. I had started making the comic book flowers three months in advance, but completely underestimated how many flowers were needed just for six bouquets.
By the week before the wedding, we were still painting the cityscape curtains, making the church decorations, making the flowers and boutonnieres, finishing the cut-out, putting stickers on lollipops, making reception dresses for the flower girls, and more. We were even out at 2:00 a.m. before the ceremony buying champagne for the toast. I think I got about eight hours of sleep the whole week. In retrospect, we should have hired a coordinator to help us with time management and the reception. After all of that, we were so frazzled that we forgot to pour the champagne at the toast anyway!
My favorite moment: The ceremony was so exciting for me and Seth that we didn't really pay too much attention to what was going on around us. When we arrived at the reception, the wedding party was hiding behind a curtain of the Gotham skyline that we all had to run through as they announced our names. When they called us, Seth and I ran through a tearaway wall in the center and that's the first time we really saw the guests. We looked out there and saw nearly 400 people who had come from all over the country to be here just for our wedding. It was beyond amazing to see that this many people cared about us and wanted to be there.
At the end of the reception, we had our grand exit as running through a tunnel of punching balloons onto our escape motorcycle to the theme of the 1989 Batman movie. The Dark Knight Rises had come out the weekend before our wedding, and neither of us had seen it yet, so we headed to the theater for a post-wedding show. We walked into the theater still wearing our wedding gear, and there were almost 100 people from our wedding there to watch it with us. Our friends are amazing.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? DIY in advance! Very, very far in advance. And always treat everyone you know with respect, and apologize when you make mistakes. Our wedding wouldn't have been what it was without all of the help and talents of our friends and family.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photographer: Dianne Personett Photography
- Dress: Maggie Sottero Decadence
- Shoes: Converse Knee Highs, Supra Sky Top II
- DJ: Jammin JP
- Hair: Katherine Southerland at Harmony Salon
- Venue: Scoggins Farm
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!