The offbeat bride: Emily, Community Outreach Coordinator at a local Humane Society and Part-time Radio Jock (and OBT member)
Her offbeat partner: Wil, Student and Part-Time Best Buy Employee
Location & date of wedding: My Dad's historical re-enactment site, Russiaville, IN — August 15, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We took everything we loved and rolled it into one crazy night. We picked our favorite colors, our favorite foods and drinks, our love of the outdoors and our friends and family and made it ours. We had an outdoor Garden Party, ceremony, reception and after party all in the same place. We had Mead, candy, cakes and a full catered meal, three tents with seating for over 200 people, a movie screen to show old silent films on, a stage for a live band during the Garden Party, fancy Port-o-pots, paper lanterns, lights and Asian accents everywhere. I wore a red dress, he wore a tan vintage suit, we encouraged guests to dress “Garden Party Chic” and people wore hats.
Our mutual best friend Seth got ordained so he could marry us, we wrote the secular ceremony together. We had our Best Man and Maid of Honor read from an Edward Monkton book, and our flower girl carried a sucker. I guess she was more of a candy girl? We wrote our own vows and read them to eachother without even crying (totally didn't think I'd get through that).
We LOVE Marshmallow Peeps, so they were part of the eccentric theme. Peeps were hidden in the bouquet and were the inspiration for our giant Peep cake. We had a candy buffet for guests, a photobooth and our food was both vegan and omnivore friendly — grilled onsite and served Russian style. It really was a reflection of us!
Our biggest challenge: Wil and I were childhood friends. Like so many, we lost touch after high school. Five years later, we met again and realized that our years of friendship and mutual shared interests left us with a very solid foundation for a relationship. After the first night of catching up, we just knew. We were inseparable after a week, and decided to make our lives together. We made a lifetime commitment to one another, but as the black sheep of conservative families, we felt serious pressure to get married. We agreed that since we were already committed to our relationship, this would be the best way to show respect.
Unfortunately, not everyone was happy for us, and it made wedding planning very difficult. There was opposition to our secular ceremony and some serious family drama. However, we are both so grateful to the OBT for their continued support and responses to my blogging. Without them, we would not have felt the support to see this through!
On a lighter note… we had a hilarious issue with Wil's suit. We ordered a $400 custom-made Dr. Who replica suit three months in advance, which had still not arrived the Tuesday before the wedding. I had a minor freak out, and we spend HOURS the Thursday before looking at shops for a suit. I had almost given up when Seth, our BFF and officiant, sent us links to a vintage clothing store. There we found the PERFECT suit for $12… and he looked so handsome!
My favorite moment: Honestly the day went by so quickly… but it would still be hard to pick just one moment. I had friends come from all over the US just for this, I was jumping up and down every time I saw one of them, some of them I hadn't seen for three years!
However, I will never forget standing on the bridge, looking at the crowd and holding hands with Wil, and looking at Seth conducting the ceremony and facing the crowd. Our Seth, sarcastic, quick witted and always confident, was doing his usual, amazing job. And then I noticed his hands. They were holding the book he had paper-clipped his wedding notes in, hilariously titled “Discipline,” which was, of course, befitting of his personality. He was clutching the book so hard that where they met the pages, his fingertips were white from his grip, and his hands were shaking. It was then that I realized the weight of this, the commitment we were making in front of all of those people, and just how much it meant to Seth and us to get it right.
My offbeat advice: Forget the “theme” wedding. You'll drive yourself nuts and go overboard. Instead take everything you love, everything that represents you and your mate as a couple, and make that day YOURS.
We had Asian accents representing my two years living with my friends in China, a movie screen and old silent movies representing Wil's obsession with film, an outdoor wedding on the farm where I grew up, Mead from the winery based in my college town, our favorite candy, all of our friends, and were even married by our best friend Seth, who now refers to himself as “The Reverend”. It was so “us,” and it was amazing! Focus on the things important to you, and you'll definitely have a great time. And so will your guests!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- I LOVE my photographer, we found him on OBB! Jamie Owens, J. Scott Photography — he even set up a photobooth for us, and takes photos in a journalistic style. He's AMAZING.
- Our invitations were by hand made recycled paper from Twisted Limb Paper of Bloomington, IN. They even put flower seeds in the paper, so guests could plant their invitations!
- Our caterer is the owner of a local restaurant in Kokomo, IN. He was so great — he'd never even heard of quinoa but was so willing to try something new. He even brought most of the candy for the candy buffet! He grilled meat and veggies on site, brought cases of Mead, made a quinoa side-dish, and even made that AMAZING Peeps cake! Tom Trine, Owner, The Windmill Grill, Kokomo, IN.
- My florist, Karen Peelle, is also a friend and board member at my workplace. She did a beautiful job- but unfortunately she doesn't have a web site.
- All fascinators were made by Jade of Sweet Grass Mill on Etsy.com.
- Wil's ring is a titanium alloy with a blue adonmized center, and custom engraved with “You're my favorite everything.” From ZoeAndDoyle.etsy.com