Monica & Clint's literary garden wedding #Real Weddings: Midwest US#books#columbus#converse#handfasting#literature theme#military#ohio May 12 2014 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by: Shandi Wallace Photos by Shandi Wallace The Offbeat Bride: Monica, Researching Writer, Homeopathy student Her offbeat partner: Clint, Active Duty Military Date and location of wedding: Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio — June 28, 2013 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We decided to make sure we only spent money on the things we actually wanted. We didn't do favors or programs, 90 percent of the flowers were handmade paper, and all of the vases and books were purchased secondhand. Clint and the rest of the fellas in the party were told to wear whatever dress shirt they wanted, and any shoes would be fine. The ladies did whatever they wanted with their hair and makeup, and their shoes were up to them, as well. The things we focused our wallets on were the food, bar, and venue. We did dinner family-style, because we didn't want a buffet and plated meals have a tendency to get lukewarm. It also encouraged our families to get to know each other. Square tables with mixed parties helped that, too. 45 minutes before the ceremony the bar was open, so guests had their drinks and were seating themselves before the Lord of the Rings theme, which signified that the ceremony was about to start. Tell us about the ceremony: My brother Craig, our officiant, made an announcement after everyone was seated: I invite you to be truly present at this special time. The couple respectfully requests that all guests honor the sanctity of this moment by turning off your cellphones and putting down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. After everyone had processed, Clint got to do his favorite thing, address a crowd: To family and friends, it means the world to us that you made it here. Thank you for the support, encouragement, love, and laughter you have given us. You are our favorite people in the world. It is our hope that you have a great time, and remember tonight as the best wedding to which you have ever been. We had two readings, "To Love is not to Possess" by James Kavanaugh and "Love" by Roy Croft. Here were our vows: I give you that which is mine to give. I pledge to you that it will be your eyes into which I smile every morning. I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care. I shall be a shield for your back, and you for mine. I shall not slander you, nor you me. When we quarrel, we shall do so in private and tell no strangers our grievances. And I shall honor you above all others. Our biggest challenge: I was living in Florida at the time, and planning a wedding in Ohio. I took three trips to go to meetings with the caterer and venue. Coordinating everything else over the phone and internet was rough. I would not recommend it to anyone. I just made sure to try to not stress over things too much and go with the flow. My favorite moment: Two weeks after we got engaged, Clint got a no-notice year-long deployment. We had two weeks until he left, so we decided to take care of some paperwork ahead of time. My dad married us in Florida with a few witnesses. Clint's dad and stepmom came down from North Carolina, and some of my family were there. We asked everyone there to not tell the rest of the families, because we didn't want anyone to feel left out. So just having everyone who wanted to be there for us and support our relationship was one of the best parts! We got weddinged on Clint's R&R, so it was after nine long months of being apart that we got to see everyone and celebrate just being together. Knowing that he had to go back on his deployment for several months afterward made it even more special. Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? Clint was married once before and had really no say in the planning. This time he was involved in as many decisions as possible with him deployed. For instance, we picked music that was for both of us: Seating of the mothers: "Fireworks" from the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix soundtrack Bridesmaids/bridesman procession: "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri Bridal procession: "First Snow" by Boy in the Rain (I picked that song to walk to right after I met Clint. It made me think of him, us, and how our lives might be.) Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Photography: Shandi Wallace, my friend who drove from D.C. to Columbus while SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT to take our pictures Dress: Patricia South Bridal (the sleeves were added by a local seamstress) Veil: Sibo Designs Headpiece: Sibo Designs Shoes: ModCloth Bridesmaid and groomslady dresses: Dig For Victory Groomsmen and bridesman vests: Once Upon a Bustle Paper flowers: Tree Town Paper Wedding pies: Just Pies Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS In the New York Times: Grandmas as flower girls NEXT The 9 ways I'm making our vow renewal better than our not-so-great wedding Show/Hide comments [ 7 ] I LOVE this! The bride and groom booth look so in love and so stunning, and I especially love the "no camera or other device during the ceremony" rule, I think we'll do that as well 🙂 The purple and blue decor is gorgeous. Reply Sweet & lovely!!! Monica, your whole wedding 'look' — hair, veil, dress, makeup, smile — is absolutely perfect! Wish I had your hairstyle photos when I was wedding planning because I could've just taken them to the hairdresser and said "that's the 'do for me". Your puffy pie toppers are so cuddly and adorable! 🙂 And major props for making such a beautiful celebration happen during a difficult, long-distance situation. May you have joy together! Reply Thank you for your service, Clint! Reply What a lovely wedding (love Monica's veil!)… and in Cbus! My heart fluttered with joy at that 😀 Reply How fascinating! I love the color of the decoration and the 'no device' thing was just awesome. But you made such a beautiful bride… everything else paled. Reply Phew! This makes me feel a little better knowing it's possible to plan a wedding from a different state while he's stationed elsewhere. Congratulations. Everything is outstanding. I love the book idea. Reply Gorgeous wedding. One of our favorites! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.