Very special thanks to Ashley (the fabulous photographer of Derek and Joey's big ‘ol gay wedding) for her help with this profile!
The offbeat bride: Jessica, Crazy Cat Lady (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, Consultant
Location & date of wedding: Bischwind Bed & Breakfast, Bear Creek, PA — 10/2/2010
What made our wedding offbeat: We actually got married a year before in a quiet, just-us, courthouse wedding. We both knew we wanted something more, and we really wanted to include our families, so we started planning for a faux-wedding for a year later.
From the beginning we knew we wanted to feel like we were in a Tim Burton film — grass and fiddlehead ferns everywhere! We also wanted to keep it very small about 30 guests. To include our siblings, we had a gender-blind wedding party: my brother and sister stood with me and his sisters stood with him.
Our reception was more like a dinner party. We played Richard Cheese music in the background all night. It was funny waiting to see who noticed and see their reactions. Grandma is still sure we were playing Sinatra. Since we aren't the dance party kind, we went cosmic bowling after dinner with most of our guests. Bowling, arcade games, booze, and pizza until the early morning.
Tell us about the ceremony: A friend married us in a short, simple, non-religious ceremony. We had a hand blessing, blessed by our mothers and a ring warming to include our whole family. Our sisters read an excerpt from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and a poem called Cat Heaven. We exchanged rings to the vows from Corpse Bride.
Our biggest challenge: We dealt with one vendor in particular, a decorating company, who went completely vendor-zilla on us. They were completely unprofessional, even to the point of scolding us like school children and throwing us out of their office because we were unhappy with their designs. We ended up losing a lot of money just to get rid of them and learned a valuable lesson about giving large deposits to anyone. Luckily, we found someone even better who came through at the last minute and helped us on cost to make up for all we lost. But they couldn't make up for the loss of sanity caused by the first!
My favorite moment: We included our mothers in our hand blessing. They each got up and read the blessing to their new child-in-law. They both had to take pauses to hold back their tears of joy.
My funniest moment: It took both moms and three bridesmaids to try to bustle my dress and no one could. Andrew had to come over to do it for them. Everyone laughed, noting it was the first time they've seen a wedding where the groom was the only one who could bustle the bride's dress. He's just really good at problem-solving.
My 13-year-old sister helped me with my dress while we were taking photos. Daniel, our photographer, wanted some authentic laughing shots and told my sister to slyly make us laugh. So she started invisible hula hooping and singing “I'm Too Sexy.” It's safe to say the laughs were real.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were supposed to be married in a super cute, creepy chapel across from the B&B. Unfortunately, the floor caved in the week before the wedding and the whole ceremony had to be moved to the B&B. Luckily, we were still able to take some photos with it and in the cemetery next to it, and the B&B did a great job with the ceremony on the patio.
My advice for offbeat brides: Make sure your vendors understand your vision before hiring them. Triple check this! Don't fall for false excitement and flattery. Because there are some vendors that are only capable of doing one type of wedding.
Don't be afraid to go small! We were worried about how this would work for us because of divorced parents and huge extended families, but it really was special to be surrounded by the people who have known us forever and to have their love filling the room.
Start your day an hour earlier than you think you should. I was a bit rushed in getting ready and that extra hour would have made all the difference.
- Bride's Dress: Michelle Roth
- Wedding Party Dresses: White House/Black Market
- Ties and Scarves: Cyberoptix TieLab
- Bride's Headpiece: Boring Sidney
- Bride's Shrug: Countessa
- Tea Cups: Trixie Delicious
- Bride's Ring: Eidel Precious
- Groom's Ring: Zoe & Doyle
- Stationary: Momental Designs
- Flowers: Central Park Flowers
- Photographer: Daniel Lanton
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!