Remember that neat crossword puzzle cake we showed you a little while ago? Well, here's the cool couple that created it!
Her offbeat partner: Andy, Paramedic
Location & date of wedding: Hotel Donaldson, Fargo, North Dakota — September 6th, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We'd been together for the last five years, and neither of our parents held high hopes we'd make each other “honest.” Announcing our engagement and showing off the ring (a wicked cool Victorian engagement ring the Andy helped design for me) made both families a-twitter.
Both of our families are scattered throughout the country–we live in Georgia, but our parents are in California, North Dakota, Arizona, and Alabama. We wanted to do something that reflected us, our commitment and our singular idea of marriage. We wanted to have it in a location that was OUR choice.
Unfortunately, two weeks after Andy popped the question, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This made wedding planning much easier. It had to be in Fargo, North Dakota, and it would have to be soon. And any frill or elegance or tradition that couldn't fit – To damn bad.
- We had e-vites, instead of paper invitations.
- We scrapped the attendants and had Deputies (we gave them deputy stars to wear).
- Our neighbors from Georgia flew up and were co-officiants for us.
- Our head Deputy made my bouquet and all associated flowers out of paper and watch parts. So badass.
- Our cake was a crossword puzzle that we made. To coincide we posted the “clues” in frames so everyone could see.
- Before the seven pm ceremony, we had a cocktail hour. Both the bride and groom hung out with guests, chatting and drinking.
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest physical challenge was that three weeks before the wedding, we had to change the event from a backyard wedding to somewhere else: in Fargo. Have I mentioned we live in Georgia? We scrambled for about six hours, and found the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. It fit our needs, but it meant that we had to change the catering, the invitations, and reconstruct our budget.
The biggest emotional challenge was my father's decline. I worried he wouldn't be healthy enough to attend, and we worried that the weekend would end up being for a funeral instead of a wedding. But he was there, and was great! It was what he held on for. He passed two weeks to the day after the wedding. He was a superstar.
My favorite moment: Katie: My favorite moment was actually the cocktail hour we had before the wedding. Everyone just showed up, got themselves some delicious snacks, a nice drink (open bar), and mingled. Even though our wedding was small at thirty-seven people, it still felt crowded and exciting.
Andy: My favorite part was that the whole thing felt more like a well-appointed dinner party and not a wedding.
My advice for offbeat brides: It's easy to get wrapped up into getting what you want for your wedding. Sometimes it takes a catastrophe to show you what is really important. It was important to me to have my dad at my wedding, and to also give him a last hurrah.
One significant piece: we didn't want a videographer. It seemed like a ridiculous expense, but one of my friend's dad's flew out and video-ed the whole thing. He put together a DVD with music and wedding pictures within the week. Having that disc with my father laughing, talking and not in pain is the greatest gift I've received.
The wedding day is for you and your partner, true, but it's also for posterity. That's why the dress is expensive (even though mine wasn't. My Deputy rocks!).
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Venue: Hotel Donaldson, was our location for the wedding and reception. It had exceptional food, drink and service. I can't say enough about how great they are.
- Flowers: Kellie, my Head Deputy. She'll do it for you, too! She has put up a custom flower making page on etsy.
- Cake: Nichole's Fine Pastries in Fargo
- Dress: Dillard's, and sparkled up with Swarovski crystals that my Head Deputy and I bought at a bead shop, which she hand-sewed on. She also made my “tails” that are detachable.
- Suit: Andy's suit was a Hugo Boss–the most expensive single item for the wedding, but well worth it.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!