The Offbeat Bride: Margie, nanny and amateur composer (and Offbeat Bride member)
Her offbeat partner: Steven, programmer at Apple
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: As a kid, I always knew that I wanted rainbow-colored bridesmaids, so that was the first thing I planned when we got engaged. We had a ton of elements that we tried to make truly “us”: our first dance to “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid, a marzipan-flavored cake with a rainbow surprise inside, and five flower girls and three ring bearers who all held kid-sized hand bells. Our ceremony pianist did an amazing job of making up a song that would sound good behind the cacophony of eight children randomly playing eight different bells.
I walked down the aisle to a piece I had composed as a gift to Steven back when we were dating, and we also had everything from Bach to the Dire Straits to Handel's Messiah as part of our ceremony music. I had both the a capella groups I've been in in recent years perform at the reception, too.
I had great fun with my bridesmaids DIYing things like the sparkly rainbow-colored flower girl shoes, the flower girl headbands made of star wire, and all of the centerpieces and the table decorations. We used action figures in glass jars for the cake table. Steven spent literally all day one Saturday crafting a Companion Cube card box out of sparkly cardstock.
The ceremony was held at the church I grew up in (and where my parents were married 30+ years ago). And since the reception was at a science museum, they had volunteers come to the reception to staff the exhibits. I think the bridesmaids spent about half an hour on the earthquake simulator.
Tell us about the ceremony: I was raised Methodist and my husband is atheist, so it took us a while to agree on the ceremony readings. We had a long-time family friend (who is also a minister at a Methodist church) perform the ceremony, which was very meaningful (she even wore a rainbow stole to match our theme). I'm a singer and my degree is in composition, so I wrote a choral piece in lieu of writing my own vows and asked many of my choral singer friends to perform it at the ceremony (see it here!).
Steven wrote me a poem which was incredibly sweet:
Complementary (©2012 Steven Moore)
You are the art to my mathematics,
The anthropology to my archaeology.
You're astrology to my astronomy,
And you're faith to my science.
And yet, you learned calculus,
And you taught me music theory.
And you showed me the stars,
And you know inertia is a property of matter.
You're the constant that completes my square.
The third that makes my fifth a chord.
You're the Cygnus for my Orion,
As irresistible as gravity.
You're my magnetic opposite:
I can't help but be attracted.
I never knew I was unbalanced,
Until you stabilized my life.
We are identically different, you and I.
You're the beautiful reflection of my passions.
You level the triple-beam-balance of my life,
And you play the best red cards for my greens.
Without you, I'm only half as good.
With you, we're amazing.
Without you, you're all that I need.
And with you, I am complete.
Our biggest challenge: We had some challenges with last-minute guest list dropouts. I also left my beautiful bouquet that I had spent a fortune on in the ready room during the cerermony (oh well, at least it was in the pictures). But the worst was how, the day before the wedding, Steven dropped all the mirrors for the centerpieces down our concrete stairwell and all but two of them shattered. We had to send the groomsmen to every Michael's in a 50-mile area to find replacements on such short notice, and somehow they pulled it off in time. I still can't believe it. Finally, Steven came down with a serious migraine just after the ceremony. Thankfully, we had plenty of pain killers on hand, and he was able to make it through the entire reception.
My favorite moment: My mom handmade my dress and we designed it together. I'm 6'4″, so there's no standard dress sizing for me. She put little touches into it that were incredibly thoughtful — lining the bodice with space-themed fabric I loved when I was seven, for example, and the rainbow tulle underskirt. I am forever grateful to my mother for making such a gorgeous and perfect work of art for me to wear on my wedding day. The other part that was really special was singing a song with my dad in lieu of the father/daughter dance. He had a stroke a few years ago and lost almost all movement on his left side, but he can still talk and sing.
My funniest moment: I was incredibly stressed out the whole day, and especially when we were heading to the reception. My bridesmaids circled around me and instigated an impromptu Hokey Pokey dance, and then we played the hand-clapping game “Down By The Banks.” It was amazing to just be ridiculously silly for 15 minutes, and it relaxed me so much.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Prepare for everything! Allow a ton of extra time and supplies for everything, so when all the centerpiece mirrors get broken, or the flower girl wrecks her dress, there's enough time and resources to fix the problem. Pick the wedding party carefully, because they will probably save your sanity more than once.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress (bride): handmade by bride's mother
- Dress (bridesmaids): Alfred Angelo, style #7193
- Jewelry (bride and bridesmaids): Claire's Accessories
- Bride's hair and makeup: Umbrella Salon
- Photography: Joe Homsy Photography
- DJ, Videography, Photo booth, and Lighting: Sound In Motion, Inc.
- Cake topper: Cake Topper Studio
- Dress hanger: Good Looking Hangers
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!