The Offbeat Bride: Rachel, Nonprofit Site Coordinator (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Jacob, Game Designer
Date and location of wedding: The Gallery Event Room, Plano, TX — April 5, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jacob and I were paying for the wedding ourselves, so we needed to keep costs pretty low. The most important thing that made this easy and ultimately made our wedding special, was hand-making basically everything and accepting the help of friends. My best friend and her father made the wedding cake as a gift, my former youth pastor officiated for the low cost of a couple beers at the pub, and we had many parties watching Disney movies and sewing fabric flowers.
I love making music mixes so instead of a DJ, I spent hours upon hours crafting a dance playlist that ended up being a hit. I drew the Adventure Time save-the-dates and we made the invitations, the bouquets, the backdrop, the decorations, the programs, and the Minglo. We gutted a lot of wedding traditions and I fought my natural controlling instinct by putting a lot of trust in my friends. Ultimately, the day felt so special, and everything managed to come together in the last two days, thanks to my amazing community of friends and chosen family.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We had a handfasting, two readings, and a bit of talking from my pastor. But we really didn't know that much going in. Jacob and I kept our readings secret from one another, and I didn't know what my pastor was going to talk about or even what our vows were going to be. I trusted Troy, my former youth pastor, a great deal and we sent him a link of vows that we agreed with and told him to have at it. Before the day of the wedding we got together a few times and just hung out and talked. We ended up loving the result.
Troy told a story about me as a little teenage ball o' sass for God. He had Jacob give him money in an expertly set-up gag, had us take shots of cinnamon sake, and had important people in the room give us decorated eggs for fertility. Our handfasting was beautiful and the vows Troy picked were better than I could have hoped for. As soon as we were pronounced husband and wife, we kind of started, well, making out. Embarrassing as it is to admit, Jacob and I had practiced our kiss beforehand. All of that practice went out the window with the excitement of being newly married!
Our biggest challenge:
Last summer, I made the decision to cut off my unhealthy relationship with my father. We had no contact and I made it clear to him that he was not invited to the wedding. For months before the wedding I was anxious that, despite not knowing the date or location, he was going to crash like he'd been threatening to do. I was sure that I was going to be anxious the entire day. The day of my wedding, I didn't even think about him. At the end of the day, after we'd run out and were sitting in our car preparing to drive off to the hotel, Jacob commented, “And your father didn't even show up.” I had been too caught up in all the joy and love of the people that had come to share my wedding day with me that I hadn't even given those anxieties a second thought.
My favorite moment:
The moments that I got with my younger sister all day were very meaningful to me. Our mother passed away when we were twelve and things have often been difficult for the two of us since then. I especially love the photos of the two of us. We both really felt our mom's presence the whole day. In the morning I gave all my bridesmaids their handmade bouquets that I made. On each bouquet I had attached a small hamsa charm that I had spent time praying and meditating over with wishes for their lives. I wrote down these prayers in letters along with a few things that I valued about each of them. This ended up being a very emotional moment. We all cried together and I felt so glad for their friendship.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
The most difficult thing was to accept other people's help and favors. Everyone wanted to buy us food, open their houses to us, do favors for us, and help us with preparations. I am someone who has the unfortunate combination of being somewhat controlling and not wanting to inconvenience anyone. Letting go and letting people help me was hard, but it was also the best thing I could have done. If I had not let go, things absolutely would not have come together at the last minute like they did.
We also ended up doing a couple of traditions that we hadn't intended to do (cake cutting and first dance), and they were some of my favorite memories of the night. This was an important reminder to not get too caught up in being special snowflakier-than-thou and just let myself enjoy getting married!
My funniest moment:
The most fun moment was when we were in the middle of a circle at the end of the night belting “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Jacob and I were planning to leave afterward, so when the line “Got to get right out of here” came up near the end, he grabbed my wrist and started bolting for the door. Our friends started whooping behind us and we ran out into the rain and drove off into the night. Usually he is not a particularly spontaneous person, but that whole night he just seemed so happy and free. Almost every picture in our wedding photos is us laughing because we couldn't be serious.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Michele Shore
- Dress: Aisle Be There in Lily from ModCloth
- Shoes: Freesia in Seafoam Multi from Seychelles
- Earrings: World Market
- Hair and Makeup: Tracy Melton
- Paper Lanterns: Paper Lantern Store
- Catering: Chef Cassy
- Uplighting: DIY Uplighting
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
decor: DIY Uplighting