The offbeat bride: Carla, Custom Cabinetry Designer and All-Around Design Maven
Her offbeat partner: Matt, South Carolina National Guard Adjunct General Executive Assistant
Date and location of wedding: Bryson City, NC — October 29, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Matt and I decided to elope sometime in the fall of 2011. But after a few weeks of consideration, we realized that having an actual wedding with our closest friends and family was pretty important to us. However, the idea of having a big, traditional wedding in some pre-conceived venue just felt completely wrong. We wanted to have an event that felt unique to us and celebrated what we loved most: each other, fall, our close family members and friends, our pets, and a strong visual aesthetic (not necessarily in that order).
We decided to have our wedding on the deck of a mountain cabin with a great view, which was also where we stayed for our honeymoon. This was one of my favorite aspects of the wedding. We had the wedding at the perfect time, at the height of fall leaf color, right before the sun set.
We decided against having a wedding party, as we both didn’t know how to play favorites with our friends and family. Our wedding was casual, laid-back, and we were lucky enough to have our friends and family be very involved with helping to pull it all off.
We limited our guest list to immediate family and grandparents, and close friends only. This way we only had the people who cared about us the most there.
Tell us about the ceremony: We are not very traditional, and we didn’t want to have any meaningless traditions in our ceremony. So we kept it short and sweet, read a meaningful poem by e.e. cummings, “I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart),” wrote our own vows, and made references to the mountains we were overlooking. We also had a fire pit to keep everyone warm during the ceremony. It nearly caught my dress on fire, but we loved it anyway. And later, we were able to use the fire pit to make s’mores!
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was that we decided to do all of the food and decorations ourselves. This was almost a bust, as one hour before the wedding the only people at the cabin were my husband, my cousin, and myself, and no food had been made or decorations set. However, after everyone arrived we were able to have everything set up and kick off the wedding (albeit 45 minutes late).
My favorite moment: The ceremony was my favorite part. We wanted to make it as personalized as possible, and left out all the traditional parts that weren’t necessary or required by law. We wrote our own vows, and of course had Matt’s beloved family dog, Manfred, be our ring bearer. We also requested that the officiant take a moment to consider those who could not be with us on our wedding day, specifically my Aunt Jan who died a few months before and was like a mother to me.
My funniest moment: The funniest moment was trying to get Manfred, Matt’s miniature sheltie and our ring bearer, to actual bring the rings to us. My mom made a a beautiful pillow for him out of a larger vintage lace pillow, and it looked adorable on him. However, we had a fire pit that we stood a few feet away from to help keep me warm during the ceremony, and the fire scared him a lot. At the moment when we needed the rings, Matt called Manfred who came initially, but then he ran away with the rings, came back, and ran away again. Eventually Matt was able to get the rings off, but nearly dropped them in the slats between the wood of the deck!
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Don’t try to take on too much yourself. Too much doing-it-yourself is just too much work for your wedding day, which always whizzes by like a blur. Personalize it as much as you can without overwhelming yourself.
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Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!