The Offbeat Bride: Jaime, Neuroscience Ph.D. student (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Thomas, Automotive Mechanic
Date and location of wedding: Bear Creek Mountain Resort, Macungie, PA — 02/02/2013
One of the readings was from “Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay”: “The Square Root of Three” by David Feinberg. Our first dance was a Deathcab for Cutie cover of “Earth Angel,” leading into a wedding party dance to “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry (from Back to the Future). A live guitarist played acoustic versions of David Bowie songs during the cocktail hour (a la The Life Aquatic). I also wore ruby red slippers reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz, and set up replicas of the four stones from The Fifth Element in the corners of the venue.
The cake options were lactose-free white cake or peanut butter and chocolate. My mother handled decorations, and created an indoor forest backdrop with lots of candle votives from several second-hand stores to create centerpieces for every table. There were thirteen children under six years old in attendance. To cut down the chaos, we supplied babysitters for the kids. After the reception, the after-party continued in the bar downstairs, various hotel rooms upstairs, and the hotel lobby until 4:00 a.m.
Tell us about the ceremony: Tom's family is Catholic, and mine's Lutheran, so we held the ceremony on neutral grounds: the dance floor of the Woodland Ballroom. We had one traditional bible reading, and, of course, the reading from “Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay.” The pastor referenced Groundhog Day, both the actual holiday and the movie. When it was time for the kiss, I dipped Tom (not an easy task in that dress), and instead of throwing rice or blowing bubbles, everyone celebrated with a champagne toast. The resort then let us go snow tubing!
Our biggest challenge: The major challenge was finding a good balance between our offbeat style and our families' traditional, rural Pennsylvania style. Some of our choices, like our honeymoon registry, required a lot more explanation and compromise than we expected. We didn't want to make our families uncomfortable (hence our natural hair colors and hidden tattoos) but we didn't want a cookie cutter wedding either. Some people say that your wedding is all about you, but I found that finding a compromise between my choices and our guests' choices was ideal.
My favorite moment: The most fun part of the night was when Tom and I got to go snow tubing in our wedding attire. Everyone on the mountain was cheering for us, and there was just no better way for us to enter married life then by barreling down a mountain.
The most meaningful moment actually came at the rehearsal, when we were practicing our vows. I saw my life flash in front of my eyes, but forward. I saw all the years we'd spend together, the kids, the bickering, the love and companionship. It was scary, but good scary.
My funniest moment: My father and I worked on a choreographed dance, and fooled our guests by starting with a slow, sappy John Mayer song before cutting to the Pennsylvania Polka and promenading all over the dance floor.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Acknowledge that this is an important day for your partner and everyone else involved. Make it a day that everyone can enjoy, and don't leave people out just because you think they won't get the theme or appreciate the offbeat nature.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I learned that my sister and I could be friends. We never got along because I'm more offbeat and she's the poster child for traditional. When I asked her to be my maid of honor, she really made the effort to get to know me and change our relationship from squabbling siblings to an accepting, understanding camaraderie.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Jared Polin
- Bride's dress, lace jacket, and the bridesmaids' skirts: Jeannie Edfort
- Bride's shoes: Irregular Choice Flick Flack
- Cake: Christie's Memorable Cakes
- Venue: Bear Creek Mountain Resort was just unbelievable. Words cannot describe how well run that place is.
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!