The Offbeat Bride: Jolene, Writer
Her offbeat partner: Billy, musician
Date and location of wedding: The Hyeholde, Pittsburgh, PA — April 4, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
I've followed Pearl Jam to more than 50 concerts. As fate would have it, I met Billy, the love of my life, as he was joining the nationally touring Pearl Jam tribute band Ten. We fell head-over-heels in love, and suddenly I got to hit the road with my soul mate, taking Pearl Jam tunes from city to city. So, we knew we had to host a rock ‘n' roll wedding for our families and friends. There was lots of rock music, purple glitter, and surprises. We even used a rock concert photographer to capture the energy.
Tell us about the ceremony:
I walked down the aisle to Eddie Vedder's “Longing to Belong.” We thought it was a perfect song for our wedding day because it's about giving yourself to another person, and how beautiful but also terrifying it can be to surrender your heart.
I'd asked my dad to walk me down the aisle, but it turned out I was so excited, I left my dad in the dust! My dad held on to my arm while I nearly ran up to Billy and clasped his hands. I was grinning so hard. I was so excited, I didn't even think about where to stand, and I ended up on what is traditionally the groom's side. My bridesmaids quickly switched sides to stand alongside me. I barely noticed.
Our ceremony was brief and heartfelt. After the ceremony, my friend Suaz gave me the most meaningful compliment of the day. She said, “You looked like you were really present.” It had been my biggest fear that I would glaze over and miss the day in an anxious blur. But I didn’t, and Suaz helped me appreciate that.
Tell us about your reception:
After dinner, we kicked off the reception with Joan Jett's “I Love Rock n' Roll.” My maid of honor passed out blinking LED rings. Guests played in the photo booth or helped themselves at the bar. We hoped people would dance, and they did! The best part was when Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” burst onto the playlist, and our friends flooded the dance floor, mosh-pit style!
I loved our slow dance. The room dissolved when the music started. Billy and I danced to Pearl Jam’s “Future Days,” and to my delight, he sang the words to me while we twirled around. We spun, laughed, and sang right into each other’s grinning faces: “When hurricanes and cyclones raged/When winds turned dirt to dust/When floods they came or tides they raised/Ever closer became us.” It was exhilarating.
I also loved watching my parents have fun. They’re thoughtful, gentle, and unassuming people — but they’re not into weddings. This was nice for me because they never butted into my wedding planning. I expected my parents to have a nice time at my wedding, but I didn’t expect to see them have a blast. And I think they did. I’ll never forget dancing to The Von Bondies with my mom.
- Photographer: Rich Frollini Coda Photography
- Dress: Maggie Sottero's Savannah Marie
- Venue: Hyeholde
- Photo booth: Sweetpix
- Coffee Wedding Favor: Margaret's Fine Imports