The Offbeat Bride: Barbara, Operations Manager
Her offbeat partner: Ned, Paralegal
Date and location of wedding: Historic Catskill Point on the Hudson River in Catskill, NY —
September 13, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Ned and I knew that we wanted to have a wedding that was a reflection of our energetic personalities and our love for travel. Ned wanted a wedding on the water, and I wanted a barn wedding so we chose a renovated warehouse on the Hudson River to combine both of the elements that we wanted. I had the blank canvas for a wedding that I always wanted which meant a lot of DIY! I love crafting (and saving money) so it was definitely the best choice for us. The venue we chose was also an historic site, so prices were MUCH cheaper than many of the other options we saw. I am lucky enough to say that my husband was a huge help for planning and there is no way I could have done all this without him.
I knew I wanted to have a theme for our wedding and travel was the obvious choice. Ned and I met in grad school in Belgium, and this year we are moving to Vietnam to teach English. I chose “vintage” travel because I love old things and wanted to recycle as much as I could. I found old suitcases, cameras, compasses, maps, etc., and made each of the 25 different centerpieces myself. Instead of having table numbers we did each table as a different city around the world.
My two favorite decor elements from the wedding were the bar and the guest book. Ned had the idea for the bar and we bought two old doors, sanded them down and lacquered them. Then we placed them on three different wine barrels to create a bar. Instead of having a traditional guest book, we had our guests sign vintage postcards and pin them up on an open-backed frame to hang. It looked awesome when it was done.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We had planned on doing the ceremony outside on the water, but we woke up to a wedding day that was 60 degrees and rainy. Luckily, the venue was large enough to accommodate and inside ceremony and it worked out beautifully. My planner arranged mums on the dance floor as an aisle and used old suitcases as an altar.
Instead of having a traditional ceremony, we asked two of our closest friends from graduate school to officiate. Our two friends Amanda and Hugh did such an amazing job officiating. Months before the wedding, they came to us and asked us to describe how we met and when we fell in love. They told us to not talk to each other so that they could get our individual perspectives on it. Hearing them talk about our love and friendships was incredibly personal and touching. After that we each had an aunt read do a reading. Both of them were very different, and we loved incorporating some family into the wedding. I couldn't have asked for a better ceremony.
Then our commitments. I found these online and it felt perfect for us:
Do you promise to always stay by each other's side? Pledge to never say no to new experiences and to be spontaneous? To always keep an open mind and an eye on the horizon? To make every day an adventure filled with love and commitment? Do you pledge to continue to laugh at each other's jokes, even if they are not funny? Do you promise to always remember that your love was founded on a great friendship?
Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was definitely choosing to DIY the wedding while living 1,000 miles away from the location. While I had visited the venue before, it was difficult for me to envision all of the decor and what would look good. Our families were a huge help and we could not have done it without them. My mom found vendors in the area that were amazing to work with and did all they could to help us out from a distance. I did have to take a week off and come up to work on wedding things, but other than that we did everything from our home in Atlanta.
My favorite moment:
It was fitting that travel was our theme, because we had friends and family come from all over the world to join us. Several times throughout the night I tried to step back and really appreciate all the wonderful people that had come to join us.
One of the more meaningful moments, however, was when my husband and I were waiting for the ceremony to begin. We had just finished our pictures for first look and with our families. He took me behind the corner where we were alone, and we just hugged each other and laughed for a while. It was so nice that throughout the craziness of the day, we could have those few moments to ourselves.
The other part that really sticks out in my mind were the heartfelt speeches that were made. Our bridal party, officiants, my mother, and our aunts all had heartfelt speeches that brought us to tears. A wedding can truly be a reminder of the great people that you have in your life.
- Dress: Yvonne's
- Bridesmaid dresses: David's Bridal
- Veil: Rose and September
- Venue: Historic Catskill Point
- Flowers: Teddi's Flower Shoppe
- Hair and makeup: Salon Chic
- Photographer and photo booth: Heidi Benjamin Photography
- Vintage rentals: Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals
- Rentals (plates, linens, chairs, etc): Events Unlimited
- DJ: PJ the DJ
- Caterer: Little Italy