The offbeat bride: Stacy, housewife and sideshow performer (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Tony, copier salesman
Location & date of wedding: The Ridglea Theater, Fort Worth TX — September 19, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: Tony and I are both theater people from way back and have a flair for the dramatic. We wanted to get married on Talk Like A Pirate Day, because we have a pirate party every year. It's something we both really enjoy. But our families were a little unsure of the whole pirate theme. I assured my mother that we weren't having a pirate-themed wedding, we were having a fall-themed wedding with pirate accents.
We did a lot of DIY. I made our wedding cakes, all the eye patches, and bubble sticks for favors. We self-catered, made the flower girl baskets, and created our own invites and programs. I purchased a wedding dress and altered it pretty significantly.
My father's band played the reception. He's 63, and is a rhythm guitarist in a classic rock band.
Oh, and I ate fire. I'm a professional fire-eater and sideshow performer, and my family had never seen me perform. So, the looks on everyone's faces were pretty awesome.
Tell us about the ceremony: We included a hand blessing that I found on the Tribe. Together we recited the e.e. cummings poem “I carry your heart.” Tony is Christian and I'm an atheist, so it was kind of a struggle to find vows with which we both felt comfortable. In the end, we had both secular and Christian influences.
My primary concern was with the officiant. I wanted the opening lines to be the “Mawwiage” bit from The Princess Bride. Our minister, who is a friend of Tony's, totally obliged me. He even made his own vestments and the mitre (pope hat).
Our biggest challenge: One of our biggest challenges was the fact that our venue almost got sold out from under us. The Ridglea is a historic theater and has been in need of some repairs for a while. The financial company that owned the building was trying to sell it. (Not the tenants we were renting from, they were awesome.)
So Tony and I took up the “Save The Ridglea” torch. He got in touch with a lot of people, talked to the Fort Worth City Councilman who was involved in the process, attended meetings, and managed the online groups.
Ultimately, we prevailed and the theater wasn't closed. The venue has been subsequently purchased by the owner of a local “Smoke, Gift and Party Shop” chain. They plan to renovate the theater, get it the appropriate historical designation, and re-open it as a multifaceted entertainment venue!
My favorite moment: I think the most meaningful moments for me were the unity candle that we lit with our children and cracking jokes with my father as we were waiting to walk down the aisle.
Overall though, the most meaningful thing was how many people contributed to the success of the event. My parents brought food, my godmother served cake, my friends helped with crowd management, and my best friend's mother made our flower girl dresses.
My sister-in-law took the week of the wedding off to help me. My friend Regina gifted our wedding rings to us and my cousin donated all the flowers and vases from an event she'd organized two days before the wedding. Even the people we hired to do things were friends. It meant so much to us that so many of our family and friends worked so hard to make the day amazing.
My funniest moment: I'd say the unplanned funny moment was during our hand blessing ceremony. The line included something about “his hand will lift your face up to his.” I'm a good deal taller than Tony, and at that point, I looked up over his head. It got a pretty good laugh.
The funniest moment of the reception was something I didn't even see until we got the pictures back. The guitar player standing behind me in all of the fire-eating pictures was unaware I was going to be doing it. He is jaw-droppingly surprised in almost all the photos. On the video, he is just losing it!
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I'm not sure there was anything that we expected to be a total disaster. The only major snafu we encountered at all was the music during the bridal party's entrance. It was supposed to be “Storybook Love,” the ending theme to The Princess Bride, but the CDs got mixed up. It ended up being “The Ballad of Love and Hate” by the Avett Brothers. It was still wonderful, just a little unexpected.
My advice for offbeat brides: Don't be a control freak. I kind of wish I'd been able to let go of a few things, so I could have enjoyed the process more. Instead, I was running around like a crazy person trying to do everything myself because I felt like I couldn't trust anyone to do it right.
Ultimately, it didn't matter, and I wish I'd let the people who wanted to help actually do some more things instead of trying so hard to make it perfect all by myself.
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? He'd been married before, and their wedding was very, very small. So this time, we really wanted to include everyone. And I mean everyone. We sent out around 300 invites, and most of them actually attended.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Camille La Vie
- Rings, cuff links, and bridesmaid necklaces: Custom-made by Regina Tanasescu
- My dad's band: Longshot
- Photography: AdVance Photography
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!