The Offbeat Bride: Tiara, Future Librarian
Her offbeat partner: Paul, Future Nurse
Date and location of wedding: Rosehill Community Center, Mukilteo, WA — April 4, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our wedding was going to be small because of our tiny budget, and we wanted to be surrounded by people who truly loved us. We also wanted it to reflect who we are as a couple, which meant that we were going to stuff our wedding with as much nerdy, pop cultural things as we could.
It was a bit of a coincidence when we found out our wedding date was not only the release date for Captain America: Winter Soldier but also Robert Downey Jr.'s birthday. It seemed fitting that our save the dates were a tribute to him and the internet. I also made it a mission to find the most bizarre and interesting photos of Mr. RDJ to be our main centerpieces.
We decorated with the Harry Potter books, dungeon dice, paper flowers, and the tables were named after Beatles songs. Our guestbook was Jenga pieces and our wedding favors were chocolate TARDISes and Han Solo in Carbonite. I spent hours on those chocolates and paper flowers and dungeon dice boutonnieres but they were worth it.
Food was going to be a small affair. We opted not to serve cake since pie is superior in our eyes. Each pie was named after a character from Supernatural and served with root beer.
Music was super important to me. I've always done that movie thing in my head where a big moment in your life is happening and a certain song will start playing. I wanted to experience that moment all day long and Paul was adamant about being able to dance. I spent hours compiling playlist after playlist of music. It was perhaps the funniest part of planning a wedding.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was jam packed with awesome music. Paul walked to “The Imperial March.” I knew I wanted to walk down to The Lumineers' “Ho Hey” but our party was so small that we improvised and asked everyone to join up and sing and dance at the end so we didn't have to cut the song down.
I asked my mom to walk me down the aisle which seemed fitting to me since she brought me into the world. My dear friend was kind enough to become officiated to marry us and dress up like one of the Doctors for our wedding. It seemed fitting since he was the wisest person we knew and also happened to have a degree in physics. He then proceeded to wow us with this reading. Here is an excerpt:
“Today is special because of the nature of space-time. It's a necessary consequence of the continuity of time; each interval must be unique. Every fragment of experience is distinct from every other, before and after. But that's not really what we mean when we call a day special. What we mean is that some event is occurring on that day, and that event is one that won't recur, and one that is worthy of our collective attention.
And yes, there are plenty of things that make today special like that. It's Robert Downey, Jr.'s 49th birthday. It's the day of the theatrical release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in North America. Oh, also, Tiara and Paul are getting married today. And we all came out dressed in our Sunday best to enjoy the beautiful weather. And there's going to be pie! And that all makes today into one of the coolest weddings I've ever been to. It makes today very special. But that's not what makes today important.
What makes today important isn't what sets this day apart from all the others. Today is important because of the way it's just like every day that's passed since Paul and Tiara met. Today's important because of the way it's just like tomorrow and all the days to come for as far our puny human minds are capable of imagining. And beyond. It's important because of love.
Now, I feel pretty qualified to make bad jokes about space time but when it comes to love I'm going to rely on someone else's words for the moment. The author Robert Fulghum didn't write this about the people gathered here today but he sure could have. He said, “We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness and call it love.”
And that love isn't something that's just going to happen once, and end, the way this ceremony has to. That love began quite some time ago, and it's grown and enriched the lives of the two wonderful people standing up here. It's brought us here today. And after the day is done it'll continue to grow, and to bring joy to their lives and to the lives of all their family and friends. And that's just frakkin' awesome.”
We couldn't quite agree on our vows. Paul wanted to elaborate philosophical poetry about my eyes and I couldn't find prose that could properly express what I felt for him so we borrowed from another offbeat couple for our vows with a few amendments. We proceeded to read these vows from our phones because we are cool like that.
We kissed to Glee's cover song of “Tongue Tied” It felt just like that scene where the cast walks down the halls of the high school and everyone is cheering and throwing confetti.
Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge for us was the guest list. I have a much smaller family and circle of friends than Paul. This is why we decided to pay everything out of our own pocket. We didn't want our wedding to become something people could barter. Family is really important to both of us, but at the same time, we knew we couldn't accommodate everyone. That's something I feel all couples need to decide early on and stick with it. Don't allow yourself to get pigeonholed. It is okay to be a bit selfish. This is your wedding and as long as you are tactful and gracious, people will likely be respectful of that.
My funniest moment:
I think the funniest moment was when we had our first dance. It was to an internet song called, “Nerdy Love Song” by Jimmy Wong & Megghan Camarena and it is very sweet and very long. Somehow, I had failed to realize that the first dance meant we would be dancing solo with all our friends and family watching. As someone who avoids dancing in front of others on a regular basis, I immediately went into super “hawk”-ward mode and started mindlessly complaining to Paul about how we were dancing. “This is so prom!” I tend to babble about anything when I'm nervous and spent the majority of the song doing just that until Paul kindly told me to chill out and just enjoy being married. Looking back at it, it was pretty humorous.
My favorite moment:
Because of the way our time worked out at our venue, we ended up having our rehearsal an hour before the wedding. My dear friend, whom I called my “David Tutera,” arranged our first look at the Mukilteo Lighthouse. I had spent the night in a hotel across the street with my family while Paul had stayed in our apartment so we hadn't seen each other or spoken. There had been a lot of tension and raw nerves up to this moment but when hesaw me, it was like a huge wave of relief hit me. It was absolutely wonderful.
The other was my grandmother. She had passed way right when Paul and I had started dating. I felt it was important to have her there so I placed her picture on the back of our centerpiece so she was facing us at our table. I really do feel like she was with us. Especially since we had so many signs of horrible weather but by the time we had our ceremony, the sky had cleared up.