The Offbeat Groom: Steve, Commercial Litigation (and Tribesdude)
His offbeat partner: Kimberly, Recent Masters in Social Work Graduate
Date and location of wedding: Spirit of Ethan Allen III, Burlington, VT — 06/08/2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We met as sports bloggers for competing sites, so the colors and decorations focused on the teams that we love. We also invited a few fellow bloggers and posed with site-related merchandise, which was the first time we had met them in person despite working together and being friends for seven years. We paid for the wedding ourselves, so we were extremely budget-conscious. We kept everything small and simple, with just a few dozen friends and family.
We spent some time on DIY projects, and the DIY cupcake wrapper flowers seemed like a strange idea at first, but they turned out extraordinarily well. We made the programs, centerpieces, and table cards ourselves, spending hours at copy shops to get everything finished the week of the wedding.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Kimberly and her father walked down an aisle lined with soccer scarves from our favorite teams. Every major American city has their own specialized United States scarf, so we borrowed one for Burlington to go with ours from Tampa. We had a brief introduction from our officiant (Kimberly's brother-in-law, who became a Justice of the Peace for a day). We wrote our own vows (which included references to Doctor Who, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the phrase “I'll love you until you cheer for Manchester United or the Boston Bruins.”
Neither of us are big on religion or tradition, so our officiant read out of a collection of H.P. Lovecraft. Instead of a wine box, we went with a whisky box with a bottle of Cabin Fever, a maple syrup-flavored whisky.
Our biggest challenge:
The logistics of planning a wedding from 1,500 miles away were exhausting (The wedding, and her family, were all in Vermont, while we live in Florida). I wrote quite a bit on the Offbeat Bride Tribe about the trials and tribulations of selecting vendors and getting things planned. Also, dealing with the expectations and opinions of others without moving away from something that was genuinely us was actually a growth moment for the two of us.
Additionally, when you're a couple that base their lives around work, bar trivia, drag queen bingo, and sports, it's incredibly difficult to pull off a wedding that represents your interests without it looking like a ten-year-old's birthday party. When we discussed a new idea or decoration, we would talk it out, then let it simmer for a few days. Afterward, we'd give it a Yay or Nay, and if it didn't work, we discussed alternatives. This was especially important because our families are not sports-oriented, and we wanted to balance being true to ourselves without alienating our families.
My favorite moment:
We loved the self-written vows, and we set aside a moment at the start and the end of the reception to be alone. Right after the ceremony, we sat underneath the captain's seat on the boat alone, just us and the photographer. That gave us time to sit and process what happened, have a drink, have some of the food, and it was a built-in time for the photographer to get his dinner as well, without missing a chance for a good shot.
At the end of the night, we had a “Last Dance” song (Kermit's “Rainbow Connection”) and the staff of the boat escorted everyone down to the entrance. Then, while everyone was on shore, we stayed, and had a final dance together (Weezer's cover of “Rainbow Connection”), all by ourselves. That is when we both finally broke down and cried like we were small children. We had kept everything bottled up all day being too busy to enjoy the happiness. That song gave us time to just drink in the emotion, and was a perfect end to the night.
My funniest moment:
Our wedding actually ran ahead of schedule (unheard of, right?!), so our pre-planned Spotify dance music playlist ended early. So, I was reminded by one of our guests that I had promised if his favorite soccer team prevented Liverpool from winning the title, I'd sing their trademark song at the wedding. As a result, we ended up with an impromptu karaoke session of “Glad All Over” by the Dave Clark Five. Then, we started to sing “Sloop John B,” but changed the chorus to “This is the best trip we've ever been on.” The boat's captain heard us singing it, and left his post to come join us for the last verse.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
There's actually two big lessons we learned. The first, as Kim says, is “Get your poop in a group.” Our vendors were incredibly thankful that we had a Google Doc for everything. Timelines, guest lists, seating charts, all of which were available at a moment's notice on our phones, tablet, laptop, etc. It made planning so much easier.
Additionally, designate someone to take care of everything at the end of the night. After a full day of an emotional roller coaster, the idea of packing up all the decorations and trudging our way back to our hotel room was agonizing. Add in the rented wingtips and the shoes that may not have been fully broken in yet, and your feet may feel like they're falling off by the time you're trying to figure out whether or not you remembered to get the card box.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Needleman's Bridal
- Cupcakes: New Moon
- Sound System: Buch Spieler
- Photographer: Portrait Gallery
- Venue: Spirit of Ethan Allen III
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!