Aubrey & Tom’s Jazzy, German Custom-Filled, Peacock-themed Wedding

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The Offbeat Bride: Aubrey, Grad Student — Higher Ed. Administration

Her Offbeat Partner: Tom, Chemical Engineer/Environmental Consultant

Location & date of wedding: St. Thomas Lutheran Church and Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Van Wert, OH — 21 Feb 2009

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What made our wedding offbeat: I think our attempt to bring back our old ancestral traditions, ironically, is what gave our wedding the most offbeat look and feel to our family and friends. In their own words, they had never seen anyone do a Fir Bough Walk for luck, or Nuremberg Two-sided Bridal Toast; they never would have thought to decorate the reception like the Rhine River Valley Wine Region or play Hide-and-Seek with German gnomes. But we thought it was the thing to do since both of our families predominately hail from Deutschland, and we had already decided to honeymoon there.

For the hide-and-seek gnome game.

The rest of our not-so-average-ness came from our desire to make or do as much as we could, so we could save a bundle. For instance, we both agreed that learning the new skill of woodworking in order to build 8′ arbors and wine crates to use in our reception decorations would allow us to save enough cash to drink a “few” more beers at Oktoberfest later on our Honeymoon, and wouldn't that be a lot more fun than spending the cash on rentals we didn't really like anyway?

Another example of DIYing to save some green was making peacock feather fans and boutonnieres instead of using flowers. The colors were gorgeous, and besides, photography still isn't scratch-n-sniff. We also made the invites, programs, dessert, and cake stand. It all amounted to an under-budget and personal wedding.

Our biggest challenge: The ICE! We had a winter wedding in the country and an ice storm, that made travel nearly impossible for guests and vendors alike, blew in! (I know, mother-in-law. You told me so.) Many guests and my friend-turned-wedding-coordinator-for-the-day, in fact, did not make it. Despite the worry about people traveling, the disappointment of not seeing certain guests, and the hiccups created by not having our organizational support there, we were determined to have a lovely, enjoyable wedding. And we did!

My favorite moment: Our first dance sticks out in both of our minds as a favorite moment. We choregraphed a dance to “What a Wonderful World.” The live jazz music we had for our reception set such a romantic and peaceful atmosphere that it was easy to be caught up in the moment.

The music is definitely what made the night. The Performing Arts Center was absolutely dazzling by itself, but to hear such elegant music resounding throughout the entire two-story Grand Lobby made for a very enjoyable evening. Many guests commented how nice it was to be able to sit and relax and still have a conversation without having to raise their voices.

My advice for other offbeat brides: DIY as much as you can TOGETHER — it is better than any amount of pre-marital counseling anyone could get! Also, don't get so caught up in “your day” that you forget to enjoy it. Consider that someday you might have ideas for, or want to be a part of, your progeny's event just as much as your loved ones do for yours. The wedding really isn't that important in the whole scheme of things.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?: We built, made, or did most things for our wedding. However, we did use some fabulous vendors! We highly recommend each one of them!

Enough talk — show me the winter wedding porn:

Comments on Aubrey & Tom’s Jazzy, German Custom-Filled, Peacock-themed Wedding

  1. Beautiful! I love the peacock feather "bouquets" and the rockin' purple shoes. I also really appreciate the step back to old traditions long forgotten. The gnomes are too cute!

  2. That gnome is so cute, with his disproportionately enormous eyes filled with wonder.

  3. Thanks for sharing. This is the most relatable and personable wedding I think I've seen on OBB yet!

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