The Offbeat Bride: Ashley, software engineer (and Offbeat Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Dan, physical chemistry graduate student
Date and location of wedding: Solitude Mountain Resort, Solitude, Utah — July 18, 2015
Tell us about the ceremony:
My sister kicked off the ceremony before the processional with a hilarious welcome speech warning people what they were in for. She also asked people to respect our wishes regarding an unplugged ceremony and not stand for the processional.
Our ceremony seating was set up as a semi-circle with three aisles (two on the side, one down the middle), lined with tiny windmills. The wedding party entered through the side aisles from the opposite side that they ended up sitting and high-fived in the middle. Dan and I walked down the side aisles at the same time with our respective parents and met in the middle. We stood on opposite sides from tradition because Dan is left-handed, and the tradition stems from needing your sword hand free to fight off other suitors.
We worked very hard to craft a ceremony script that was short, fun, memorable, and personal. We borrowed heavily from Offbeat Bride. Dan and I wrote our own vows, which included Mad Libs that required audience participation, references to Frozen, and me getting Rick-rolled. I think they were the perfect combination of funny and serious. I cried, and even Dan choked up a little, which prompted an unscripted hug from me.
We had a ring bear, which was passed around for a ring warming. Our programs were video game-themed, with sprites from Mario and Zelda. All of our processional/recessional music was instrumental versions of songs from Zelda OOT, including “Lost Woods,” “Zelda's Lullaby,”” and Gerudo Valley.”
What was your most important lesson learned?
Most of our wedding planning overlapped with graduation and a new job. Balancing that and all the work involved in planning a wedding was sometimes stressful. To help, we had a huge spreadsheet with a list of everything to get done, including deadlines and dates. Every weekend we set aside half a day to accomplish whatever was on the list for that week. We also hired a wedding planner.
While our wedding planner was helpful leading up to the wedding, we really realized how invaluable she was the day of the wedding. I can’t imagine trying to decorate the ceremony and reception space and coordinate all of the events that day without her. If you’re on the fence about a wedding planner or day-of-coordinator, I would highly recommend finding room in your budget for one!
We did photos before the ceremony, so guests wouldn’t have to wait for us before dinner. We also had our cocktail hour before the ceremony (but after photos, so everyone could attend). This helped guests relax before the ceremony, so we got the laid-back, fun vibe we wanted and made sure guests weren’t starving or stuffed with appetizers before dinner. It also allowed for late comers to come on their own time and not miss any of the ceremony.
We had a relief table with sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles, and tissues for the ceremony. Our ceremony was unplugged, so no one’s view was obstructed by someone trying to get a picture. The seating was just two rows deep to try and give everyone a great view.
- Venue: Solitude
- Wedding Planner: Hoopes Weddings
- Photo booth: A Day to Remember
- Wedding Photographer: Dani Christensen Photography
- Welcome Dinner Photographer: Sarah Shoots People
- Wedding Cake: Salt Cake City
- Hair/Makeup: Brianne Austin
- Welcome Dinner Dress: David’s Bridal
- Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo
- Groom’s Suit: Formed Fit Custom
- Bow ties: Bows By Dori M (groom’s mother)
- Programs: The Write Image
- 3D Print of Couple: Zeni Kinetic
- 3D Print Centerpieces: Tres Geek Shop