The Offbeat Bride: Angelina, Librarian (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Bobby, Martial Arts Instructor
Date and location of wedding: Colt State Park in Bristol, RI — May 26, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We'd toyed with the idea of a Parkour wedding for a while before we even got engaged, but after Bobby used Parkour to propose to me, it really just had to be done. The art of Parkour is a movement discipline about getting from point A to point B in the most efficient manner possible by overcoming obstacles with techniques involving running, jumping, and climbing. Both of us have been doing Parkour for several years, and came together as a couple because we kept running into each other at jams (Parkour meet-ups), and partaking in the art together. We train and host jams together all the time, and it has really become a huge part of our lives. This is why we wanted to use it in our wedding to represent our relationship.
Our wedding did still have some traditional elements: I wore white, we had a cake, everyone dressed semi-formally, I had a bouquet, we slow-danced, etc. We did, however, do a lot of things rather differently than the norm. We crafted a Parkour choreography to represent our relationship. We had our groomsmen vault a block before escorting the bridesmaids down the aisle. My dad helped me onto a railing where I then performed a cat leap to a block and climbed up it, while Bobby was waiting for me not at the altar, but at the top of his own eight-foot block, after having been escorted down the aisle by his mom.
After the wedding itself, we invited everyone present to play on the obstacles we'd built for the ceremony. We learned a tango to surprise and entertain our guests after our first dance. A lot of the details were done ourselves, and we managed to actually be under budget because of this, which was great, because we were then able to use that money for an awesome Hawai'ian honeymoon.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We started the ceremony with a little story that was read by a friend of ours:
Once upon a time there was a librarian. She liked her library good and quiet. There was much shushing of the patrons. One day, a ninja came into the library, and silently walked up to the information desk. He startled her when he asked her where the ancient ninja scrolls were kept. She'd never been sneaked up on before. The librarian led the ninja to the part of the stacks where the scrolls were. The whole way there, he made not a sound. “This man is a dream!” she thought, “So quiet! So careful! I will have to ask him to go out with me.” The ninja was so impressed that she could easily locate the ancient knowledge he had sought for so long, that he simply had to know more about her. When she asked him out, he said yes. They went on a date and fell completely in love with each other. A bit later on, they got married and lived happily ever after. The end.
Perhaps that's not exactly how it happened, but over the years, Angelina and Robert have bonded over their shared interests in parkour, martial arts, learning, and going on adventures.
Angelina: I love you. I trust you. I am yours forever. When I'm standing at the edge of a gap, I know you'll catch me if I misstep, slip, or don't stick the landing. Because of my faith in you and your faith in me, I promise to jump.
Bobby: And when you jump, I promise to catch you if you fall. I love you, I trust you, I am yours forever. With every leap I take, you are my voice of encouragement and my voice of reason. Because of my faith in you and your faith in me, I will grow beyond my limitations.
Angelina: I promise to encourage you to improve and overcome. We will get up when we fall, endure when we are weak, and be always together moving forward.
Bobby: We will live an exciting life together, though we may need to stop from time to time to catch our breath, we will do it together with a smile.
Our biggest challenge:
Finding a venue was probably the biggest challenge, because there aren't exactly pre-existing places that cater to events like ours. At first we wanted something outdoor on a building with great architecture, but we couldn't find anything like that which also had room for people to watch. Then we tried looking indoors, at gymnastics and obstacle course gyms, but none of them were suitable or within our price range. What we wound up doing was finding an open outdoor venue and building our own stage and Parkour setup. This was difficult not just because it's a lot of work and we didn't have a lot of time to do it in, but also because it had to be portable and able to be set up and taken down in relatively short amounts of time. These logistical problems were attended to by Bobby, who has an engineering/math/science background and was able to figure all that out.
Another big challenge was the weather. It was unusually cold and windy for the end of May, and this made many guests too cold to stay for extended fun, and it made keeping things on the tables nearly impossible. It was also a really hectic day in general, and things kept going wrong. But we just rolled with the punches and adapted, which is something that years of Parkour, which is about adaptive movement, had sort of trained our minds to do.
My favorite moment:
An accidental meaningful moment came about because of the weather. It was the kind of weather my late mother was famous for bringing to any kind of outdoor event she attended. At one point near the end of the ceremony, the weather got so bad that I yelled into the sky that I got the picture that she was watching, but could she cut it out now? And then the rain immediately stopped and the sun came out, after which there was a rainbow.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Food truck catering: Food Extrovert
- Photography: Neoklis Martin
- DJ: Michael Illian
- Building supplies: The Home Depot
- Groomswear: Men's Wearhouse
- Men's shoes: Know Obstacles
- Bride's outfit: Shopesiam, Frederick's of Hollywood, and a lot of creative sewing by my friend Becka
- Bride's shoes: Kalenji
- Favors: Bok Choy Boys (mailed out later with thank-yous)
- Cake: decorated ourselves, but deliciously baked by LaSalle Bakery
- Flowers and hair: done by my two sisters, Sandy and Gabby, respectively, with help from the rest of the family unit
- Registry: Honeyfund
- Wedding card box and so many other things: Jennifer Blake
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!