The Offbeat Bride: Laura, Case manager for a Homeless Assistance Team
Her offbeat partner: Steve, Medical Student
Date and location of wedding: The Space Downtown, Charlottesville, VA — November 1, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Steve and I LOVE brunch, so we had a morning ceremony followed by brunch with a Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar. We kept the wedding simple with no bridesmaids or groomsmen and had a total of 40 guests. All of the details of the reception were all DIY, mostly done by mom, thank goodness for her! We made our own music mixes on an iPod and listened to our favorite songs.
We also hired a local chalkboard artist to draw on the panels behind the bar. The left lyrics are from our song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and the right lyrics are from a song that Steve wrote and used in his proposal. The mountain in the middle represents our love of hiking and is actually a drawing of a picture we took on one of our hikes in the Blue Ridge mountains.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Steve and I are not religious, so we were excited to be able to script our own ceremony. My brother was very helpful with the script and we all had thoughts that went into the ceremony. The ceremony included taking a moment to remember my father and Steve's grandmother (who passed away last year), hearing answers to questions that Steve and I were given to each other before the wedding, a music/love metaphor, and a reading by my Uncle (“Union” by Robert Fulghum).
We also used a reading that I saw on Offbeat Bride for the ring exchange:
This is the point in the ceremony where one usually talks about the wedding bands being a perfect circle, with no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings do have a beginning. From the depths of the earth, rock is dug up. Metal is liquefied in a blazing furnace, and this hot metal is poured into a mold, cooled, and then painstakingly polished. Something beautiful is made from raw elements. You see, love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It's the process of making something beautiful, where there was once, nothing at all.
Our biggest challenge:
Steve and I wanted to have a small, quaint wedding. I come from a very small family so that was easy for me, but half of Steve's family is Italian, so needless to say, it was very hard to break it to the everyone that most of his family (and basically half his hometown) were not invited. In the end, we let people know what we envisioned for our day and they ended up respecting our decision.
My favorite moment:
My brother, Evan, became a one-time officiant for our wedding and he was the perfect person to officiate. He was so eloquent with his words and it was so special to have him perform our ceremony. He really connected with Steve when they first met so I really felt like this was the ultimate way of my brother telling me he approved of the man I was marrying. Since my father passed away in 2008, having my grandfather walk me down the aisle was very significant. In remembrance of my father, Steve wore a set of my father's cuff links.
My funniest moment:
We asked one of our best friends to make a speech. I lived with her in Boston for seven years and she and Steve bonded quickly, so she knows us well. Her speech was full of advice, stories, and quotes, and it made us and our guests laugh. Also, it was very windy outside when we were taking pictures, so some of the faces my mom made were priceless!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
If it's possible, I recommend taking pictures after your ceremony and reception if it's early enough. Since we had a morning wedding, we took pictures after the reception and our photographer was able to be fully creative without the time constraints of getting back to a reception. Also, Steve and I appreciated the heck out of my mom. Since I'm not a fan of planning or crafting things, she stepped up and helped plan and make all of the details of the day.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Voyage by Mori Lee
- Venue: The Space Downtown
- Photography: Brinn Willis at Almira B. Photography
- Hair and makeup: Virginia Glenn
- Flowers: Verde Natural Florals
- Cupcakes: Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe
- Chalkboard Artist: Jeremy Harris-McDonnell
- Shoes: Madden Girl
- Decorations: Sally White, the bride's mother
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!