Katie & Mike's small, black, autumn day wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Photos by Kelly MacDonald
The offbeat bride: Katie, Barista (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: Mike, Software Developer

Location & date of wedding: Derby Warf, Salem, Ma — October 31, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We had a Halloween wedding in Salem, Ma. If that wasn't offbeat enough, we were engaged for two years, but it only took us two weeks to plan the wedding. Once we decided to elope everything fell into place.

A friend made my bouquet.

We found our photographer two days before the ceremony on craigslist.

Our guests all wore black — even though it wasn't planned.

IMG_8184It was suppose to rain all day and yet it was the first Halloween in years where it was a beautiful, bright, seventy degrees (which was fortuitous because we didn't have a back up plan for where else to get married).

We had a ring warming ceremony and it worked out that the three people who represented our past and future together could be included in the ceremony with us.

A few funny things that happened included, a loud plane passing by as I began my vows, our officiant didn't say who exactly should say their vows first so Mike and I spontaneously rock-paper-scissor battled for it, and finally, we didn't have a traditional reception.

After the ceremony and after the pictures, we spent the day walking around the crowded streets, constantly reminding each other that "You're my husband!" or "You're my wife!" After waiting so long to be married, it was so wonderful to just be married that nothing else mattered.
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Our biggest challenge:
IMG_8157Our biggest challenge was having huge families who couldn't be invited. With families spreading all over the eastern seaboard and numbers in the hundreds, we felt that, if we couldn't accommodate all or even most, we should just elope and celebrate with them when we could. After running this decision by our parents and grandparents first and getting their blessing, we started to make plans. Eloping was the best decision for us, and though we wished it could have been a big party, it was truly perfect for us.

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How much does the best man's skull tie rule?!
My favorite moment: Listening to Mike's vows that were making me so emotional and then getting the chance to say mine. As I was trying to keep from letting my voice crack, a plane flies over head and takes what seems like an eternity to fly by, giving me just enough time to gather myself and get the words out.

Also, having our best man say a few words about our relationship, since he's was the major reason we got together in the first place.

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The couple changed into costumes later in the day.
And finally, calling all of our families and having them share in our day even though they were miles away.

My funniest moment: When setting up the ceremony with the officiant, one of my requests was that she would say "Do you take ___ as your partner" instead of husband or wife. When the time came, she asked Mike if he'd take me as his wife. When she asked me if I'd take Mike as my husband I said "I take you, Michael ____, as my PARTNER!" I think I put too much emphasis on partner cause I ended up yelling it, and got a good chuckle out of everyone, including myself.

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The weather! Halloween in New England always means rain, and yet on that day it was a blustery, beautiful 70+ degrees out, which made my sleeveless cocktail dress very comfortable.

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IMG_8412My advice for offbeat brides: Evaluate what is most important, write those things down and always think back to those initial things because everything and anything can be forgotten in the chaos of wedding planning. Also, for us anyway, the most important decisions were the hardest to make. They're your decisions to make so take a deep breath and take the plunge. Coming from someone who planned her wedding in two weeks, for under two grand — you don't need a lot of money or time, just awesome friends and family and a "que sera sera" attitude to make the wedding a reality.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The ceremony is only a day but the marriage is as long as you make it. We waited so long to call each other "husband" or "wife." Yet, since that wonderful day, nothing really has changed about our lives together but that one title and that's sort of comforting.
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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Cute! I love the way you've described the emotions, and how you made an effort to make family comfortable with your decision. You've struck the perfect balance!

  2. Ahh! I love this. I live in Salem (we actually moved there a month before our own wedding) and I love seeing all these pictures in my hood. The laying-in-leaves shots are spectacular.

    • Although, i HAVE to ask — how did you deal with the crazy traffic and the crowds on Halloween in Salem?! You look pretty comfortable, but I remember the gridlock and the wall-to-wall people… how did you get in and out of town?

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, our photographer was awesome and really captured the season in those pictures.

      As for the traffic we really lucked out, all we had planned for was to meet up with our officiant and photographer around noon and get married. We must have arrived in Salem early enough because most of the crowds hadn't shown up yet. So we got married without a hitch and spent the day and night with all the people that make Salem so crazy on Halloween.

  3. Can I just say that for only planning in a couple of weeks that is one of the most beautiful and awesome weddings I have seen. I love how amazing your photographer was, especially for just finding him on Craigslist!

  4. You guys looks so awesome! You look like a rock band or sexy vampires. Or both! I love the simplicity and all that matters in the end was that the two of you got to solidify your commitment, which is what all thin is about!

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