The offbeat bride: Emily, Graphic Designer
Her offbeat partner: Tom, Book Editor
Location & date of wedding: Tom's parent's property in Brackney, PA (near Binghamton, NY) — July 4, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: Tom's parents throw a big Fourth of July party every year, so when we were planning our summer wedding on their property, it only made sense to make our wedding the big Fourth of July party for the year. When we realized a wedding on this date would equal free fireworks on every anniversary, it was a done deal.
My dress was put together in bits and pieces with lots of help from my “Master of Style” (my costume designer friend Sky). Tom wore the kind of outfit his grandfather would have worn to such an event: khaki pants, blue blazer, and red tie.
As Tom and I are both musicians and have musically talented friends and family, we decided to create our own wedding band for the reception. A month or two before the wedding we picked some songs and requested that anyone who wanted to be in our “Brackney Ramblers” band show up at noon the day of the wedding. It seemed like everyone wanted in and we were able to create a pretty sweet set.
Our musician friends also jazzed up the ceremony. The recorder duet recessional was such a big hit that the crowd demanded an encore. And there were all kinds of fireworks all day.
Our biggest challenge: We were throwing a wedding, which by nature is a bit more formal, in a place where many of the guests were used to attending very informal parties. We had to find a way to clearly, yet tactfully, let people know that some things might be a bit different this Fourth of July.
For example, we offered the option of camping on the property to out-of-town guests who wanted to save on hotel costs (or just wanted to be around for the late night campfire adventures). But we knew we couldn't let all of the campers have open use of the same showers and bathrooms used by the wedding party.
Most of the folks who opted to camp were used to hanging out in Brackney and being able to go wherever they want. I was afraid people were going to hate me or hate our wedding because we couldn't offer them toilets. But as it turns out everyone was cool with it. We were very upfront with the camping guests so no one was surprised. We made sure the Porta-Potties were clean and pleasant and reserved an extra room at the hotel for campers to shower in before the wedding.
My favorite moment: My sister-in-law and cousin decked out a tractor with lace, cans, and a “Just Married” sign. At the end of the ceremony, Tom and I ran up the hill to the tractor and drove off. We ended up in a secluded field covered with butterflies! It was the most perfect place to have a moment of peace before heading back down to the madness of the reception.
My advice for offbeat brides: Remember that you're planning a party. Every time I started to feel bogged down by details, I reminded myself that we were planning something that was supposed to be fun. Years from now your guests aren't going to remember a dang thing about your favors or napkin colors but they WILL remember having an awesome time.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Bride's dress: Unique Vintage
- Bride's pettiskirt: Petticoatqueen's eBay store
- Photographers: Van Zandbergen Photography
- Flowers: My friend, Daiva Deupree
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!