The Offbeat Bride: Leslie, Journalist/Editor, Hooper
Her offbeat partner: Stevan, Project Manager/Digital Marketing
Date and location of wedding: Bush Tabernacle, Purcelville, VA — October 26, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We started planning something more traditional, then found a venue we loved and threw it all away. There was video games, foosball, ping pong, a photo booth, roller skating, and my hula hoop collection.
The bouquets were made of lollipops I bought wholesale online. I found my lanterns on Craigslist, and I bought my tablecloths from a wholesaler online, then sold them to a restaurant.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our readings included some that I found here on Offbeat Bride with a selection from “First Poems” by Rainer Maria Rilke, “Some Things Go Together” by Charlotte Zolotow, and “Union” by Robert Fulghum. I really liked the idea of a handfasting and what it meant, as well as the tradition behind it. I made our handfasting cords myself the week before the wedding, while watching a Friday the 13th movie marathon. One is in fall colors that match our wedding, and the other is in the colors of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team, to show some love to our Michigan roots.
Our biggest challenge: Budgeting. We really didn't want to go into debt because of a wedding, and we paid for it ourselves. The hardest part though was cutting the guest list. Our families are really spread out, so no matter what most people would have to travel, and we couldn't afford the 250-person guest list our entire families would create. We chose to invite just our closest family (parents, grandparents, siblings, nephews, and nieces) and our closest friends. We had about 65 guests total.
My favorite moment: I love that somehow it ended up being only me and my mom in the room when I put my dress on. That was special. I also loved that we took pictures in the same pumpkin patch where we got engaged.
My funniest moment: The funniest part of the ceremony was when Steve went to grab my ring from our officiant too early. She had to stop mid-sentence to tell him “not yet,” and everyone was cracking up. My three-year-old niece, Carolina, also provided constant entertainment. During the speeches, she slowly walked up to Steve as he was thanking everyone for coming out, then just stood next to him looking out at everyone. She didn't want to talk, just stand with her new Uncle Steve.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Be open to suggestions. You never know how your family may end up surprising you. I had originally wanted a Halloween wedding but Stevan thought it might be too strange. When we showed my mom the venue, she immediately went “Halloween theme!” I was shocked that she not only supported the crazy thing I wanted, but also thought it was a great idea.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Be confident in your choices. Our wedding was a little strange, so I was terrified everyone would think it was too strange and have a terrible time, but it was a blast. I DIYed a lot of stuff, and wanted to do so much more, but you have to be reasonable about the time and energy you have.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Garter: Lucy Bridal Boutique
- Cake toppers: Masked Rabbit Crafts
- Custom ties: Cyberoptix Tie Lab
- Photography: The Happy Couple
- Lollipops for bouquets: Candy Warehouse
- LED hoop: Atomic Pro by Astral Hoops
- Shoes: Irregular Choice
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
fashion: Cyberoptix Tie Lab