The offbeat bride: Michelle, Assistant Teacher (and OBT member)
Her offbeat partner: Jacob, Chemistry graduate student
Location & date of wedding: Jacob's grandparents farm on the lake, Eutawville South Carolina — March 14, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: First the date: March 14th is pi day. We were talking about pi day in the car after I'd come back from China, and I suggested using it as our wedding date, as it's memorable, geeky and an idea we could play with.
Then the location: I'd always wanted to get married on a property we owned, so the money spent and work that went in could be used again. The only problem was that this property is no longer a residence, and hasn't been used often in the past ten years. Plus there are fire-ants and other hazards on the property, so we had to use words like “rustic” to give people an idea of what to expect.
Then there were little things like, we only had one best man, and no bridal party. Our officiant was a friend from college. We had assorted alcohol, wine, and beer because we just went to the liquor store and bought what would work. Our awesome BBQing caterer made a “kick ass salad” for our friends who had dietary restrictions. Jacob's grandmother made our cake, and we had pies to supplement to make sure we had enough dessert.
Tell us about your ceremony: Our officiant began with explaining why pi day was such an appropriate day for us to be married on. How pi is a transcendental number which means algebra fails to explain it, just like language fails to explain love.
We had two parts to our vows the first included words from an American Indian Blessing (in part): Above you are the stars, below you are the stones. As time does pass, remember; Like a star should your love be constant, Like a stone should your love be firm.
It worked out really well to use that as a blessing because one of Jake's few rules was he didn't want the day to be about god, he wanted it to be about us. Then we had our vows when we exchanged rings.
Unfortunately we didn't manage to hand off our video camera (that we bought for the wedding) to anyone so we didn't get the ceremony on video. But we can renew them in five years on the big pi day if we want to.
Our biggest challenge: If you have lots of family and friends coming in from out of town be ready for it to be difficult (don't even try saying goodbye, my family said Aloha which worked much better). My mother's and father's sides of the family had never even met before so it was awesome to have so many people in one place. I really wanted to spend time with everyone in my family, his family, and our friends who had all flown in. There is no way to split your time evenly, so just roll with it. The whole weekend was crazy, running around seeing everyone, which really left us exhausted, but really happy.
My favorite moment: Walking down the aisle with my dad. “Sealing our union with a kiss,” then being announced (which was improvised by our officiant). I was so anxious before that moment, then walking back up the aisle with my husband I just felt so happy, like I didn't have to worry anymore.
Having the support and love of Jacob and his parents when I was sad about my parents leaving, meant the world to me and my parents.
My advice for offbeat brides: Try to go green (at least a little). I know it may seem difficult, and I always felt like I didn't do enough. Then I was reading one of the recent OBB posts that Megan wrote: Eco Friendly Wedding Tips. And I realized that we had done most of the things she talked about, and took more ideas/inspiration from books, personal intuition and treehuggers.
Oh, and have fun with it. What's the point if you're not having fun? And be sure to take silly photos, we would love to have more of them than we do.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Roll with the punches.
If you are doing a wedding that is DIY set aside ten minutes when everyone who has volunteered to help you is present, and go though a list of the things you would like to see on the wedding day. That way someone else knows that the guestbook needs to get there, someone can borrow the feather boa, and the cameras with ribbons can be distributed/borrowed for the day. I was the only one who knew everything that needed to be done, and wasn't at the wedding site, so I got messages though about what was on my mind (umbrellas for decorating), but not the other little things.
But in the end, they are little things, and it's all an incredibly fun weekend, which brought Jacob and I together legally, and will hopefully encourage us and our far away families to get together more often (not just for weddings).
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Brides Against Breast Cancer, who's warehouse is right near where we got married.
- Food: Caterer was great and fun to work with.
- Invitations: Seal-n-send, they don't carry recycled paper, but its just one sheet for each guest so it cuts down on waste, and is cost effective
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!