The Offbeat Bride: Becky, Counseling Teacher
Her Offbeat Partner: Andy, Math Grad Student
Location & date of wedding: St Joseph's Co-Cathedral and Sunset Ballroom, Burlington, VT — 01/03/09
What made our wedding offbeat: To save money, we got married during the “off-season,” which was sweet because we wanted to show our family and friends a good old time in our current hometown in Vermont and… what's more picturesque than Vermont in winter?
I didn't want the drama of having hurt friends' feelings when I picked my wedding party, so I kept it all in the family and had my brothers and Andy's sister as my bridesmen/maid. It was the best decision ever, and I did not for a moment miss having a gaggle of gals around the morning of the wedding. Quietly getting ready with Caroline and letting the boys join the groomsmen was just the right pace.
I DIYed the hell out of the day — veil, hair comb, flowers, programs, favors, centerpieces, my mini-cardigan. I felt really proud to have put in my own time and effort for our day, and things turned out beautifully. Also, my grandmother and old roommate tag-teamed my sash, Grandma sewing and my roommate embroidering and doing beadwork, and it's the most beautiful reminder of the day.
Our proudest offbeat part of the day was our music. Because we met in college marching band, our good friend played the tuba during our ceremony, and my mother sang. Although mom was somewhat wary when she found out about the tuba, warning me, “not to make a mockery of marriage,” the music was really beautiful and very us.
Finally, we danced to the sage music of the Flight of the Conchords.
Our biggest challenge: We met in college, and are from different states. There was no good location to have the wedding that would be easy for everyone to travel to, so we threw caution to the wind and took our chances with Vermont in January. My mother was terrified a snowstorm would leave us without guests, but the weather was beautiful. And although fewer people came than we had planned on, the most important people (as they always do) made it and had a great time.
My favorite moment: My Dad got a couple bottles of Middleton Irish Whiskey for Christmas a couple years ago, and he was “saving them for a special occasion.” When my brother and I both decided to get married within six months of each other, Dad instituted a traditional toast welcoming the new family members after the ceremony and before the reception. It was nice to have a private moment with Andy and my family before the insanity of the reception started — and our photographer got some great pictures!
My advice for other offbeat brides: It's ok to do something traditional if it's you and ESPECIALLY if it makes thing easier. We did our reception at a hotel, and it was catered and there was a DJ and everything. For while I was upset that I hadn't tried harder to do something original with the food, or hire a cool band, or decorate my own reception hall. But the food was delicious, I didn't have to worry a bit about anything the morning of the wedding, and they followed my instructions exactly and set up the reception exactly as I would have liked it.
Other than that, plan your day so that you have as little do the morning of as possible — especially if you have an early wedding. We got married at noon, and my only responsibilities were getting my hair done and throwing on a dress. It was great.
Make sure your guests have fun. We really wanted the people who made the trip to know we had thought of them, so we provided lots of maps and suggestions for things to do in town (including phone numbers for taxis, since a lot of people didn't rent cars), threw a giant bowling party instead of a rehearsal dinner, and timed the ceremony and reception with virtually no wait time in between. And just to make sure no one was bored, we left crossword puzzles on their plates for when they arrived — this also proved to be a great ice-breaker for tables with mixed groups.
- Paul Saunders took our pictures.
- Our reception was done by Waterfront Catering/Moonlight Entertainment
- My dress is from David's Bridal — for a dress I was only wearing once, their sale prices were perfect!
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: