The Offbeat Bride: Amanda, freelance artist
Her offbeat partner: Lee, business intelligence analyst
Date and location of wedding: Green River Community College in Auburn, WA — April 26, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I always wanted a fairy tale wedding. But while I love princesses, that's just not my style. So we had a somewhat different story: “Once upon a time, a knight in shining armor fell in love with a beautiful dragon.” As soon as I thought of that phrase, I knew exactly how things should look, and the illustration for our invitations was the first thing I created. I've always wanted to be a dragon!
There was zero chance of me wearing a white dress in the first place (they're gorgeous, but not on me). Obviously, a Dragon Queen should wear blood-red and regal plum. I got it custom-made by Tova Marc at Wedding Dress Fantasy, and it was completely perfect for me. I also made myself a draconic headpiece, for an extra touch of dragon. I might just wear it all the time.
My mom made me a train out of some sparkly purple fabric, with scalloped edges to look like dragon wings floating behind me. She did a great job! Lee, however, looks really good in white, so my Knight in Shining Armor wore a white tux. And I don't mind saying we both looked damn good!
A big part of our relationship is the game Magic: The Gathering. We would never have met without it; he works at Wizards of the Coast, the company that makes the game, and my brother-in-law also works there, so that's how I met all of my Magic friends. We both love to play the game, and he even proposed to me with a custom Magic card he'd designed.
To incorporate Magic into the wedding, I made all the flowers based on powerful Magic cards, just like in my tutorial: a Gilded Lotus for each bridesmaid, and four Gilded Lotuses and one Black Lotus for me. For the Magic players reading this, yes, we had a LOT of mana at our disposal.
Our rings are also Magic-related. Both our rings have five gems, one in each of the five colors of Magic spells. Although if you don't know the meaning behind it, they still look pretty and colorful.
For the groomsmen and bridesdude, I made boutonnieres. They were shaped like little shields, with chainmail hanging off them. They were a relatively last-minute project; I started them two months before the wedding and didn't finish until a few weeks before — but I got them done! But seriously, start your DIY projects sooner than I did. Don't be like me.
Our wedding music was full of stars. Lee and the wedding party entered to a Vitamin String Quartet cover of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine theme, and I entered to “Coronation” from the Stardust soundtrack, and we exited afterwards to “Throne Room/End Title” from the Star Wars soundtrack. I got chills when I came in and everyone stood up and I saw Lee up there smiling at me. Movie and TV soundtracks are great for dramatic wedding music!
Lee and I weren't fussy about the food, as long as it was edible, but I insisted that it be edible for everyone in attendance. I had people tell me their food allergies and sensitivities when they RSVPed, so I could make sure the venue catering had a menu such that everyone could find something to eat. When you go to an event where you can't eat the food, that event feels like it's not for you. We wanted to make sure our wedding was for everyone.
For our reception, we had karaoke, because Lee and I go to karaoke all the time. Our karaoke guy runs the best karaoke anywhere, in my opinion, and has become a dear friend of ours in recent years, so it was obvious that we had to hire him for our wedding. He did a great job. Lee and I kicked it off with a duet of “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen, which, if you've seen the movie, is not awfully romantic, but that kinda just made it better to us.
Instead of a bouquet toss, we went a rather different route. At the wedding of some friends a couple years ago, they got all the unmarried folks of all genders on the floor, and said, “So, we thought about doing a bouquet toss and all that, but we realized that for us nerds, there's one surefire way of telling who's in first place.” And they brought out a hand-knit blue shell from Mario Kart. Long story short: Lee caught it for me that day, and for our wedding we passed it on in the same manner. Hopefully we'll see it again at another wedding someday!
Tell us about the ceremony: We had my brother-in-law officiate, and he tends towards the theatrical and loves to talk in front of an audience. In the Knights and Dragons wedding narrative, he was a Wizard. He wrote our entire ceremony, and it struck exactly the right balance of entertaining and meaningful, fun and feelings. Since he knows both of us so well, he was able to tell an incredibly personal account of both of us, and how we got together, and how our relationship works.
Lee and I both wrote our own vows, and took completely different approaches to writing them, which is fitting for us. His were short, sweet, and silly, referencing a lot of the things we both like. Mine were more serious and heartfelt.
We have a video of the whole ceremony, as well as the first dances and toasts, and we plan to watch it every year on our anniversary.
Our biggest challenge:
I'm really bad at relinquishing control, so I tried to do nearly everything all by myself. However, I knew that on the day itself I definitely did NOT want to think about anything but having a good time. Luckily, our friend Teresa is the absolute best, and when I asked her two weeks before the wedding if she'd be our day-of coordinator, she agreed, and she kicked ASS. She ran through the rehearsal with us, and kept everything working smoothly all through the ceremony and reception, and anytime anyone had a question I could just tell them to talk to her so I could enjoy myself. She's a hero, and I decided that in the wedding narrative, she was my Fairy Godmother.
My funniest moment:
Several times leading up to the wedding, my dad asked me what song we were dancing to for the father/daughter dance. I refused to tell him. “Oh, you'll see,” I said. As we were walking to the dance floor for the first dance, he asked again, “So what song are we dancing to?” And I just grinned.
The music started, and he immediately started laughing. The song was “The Versatile Rooster” by Travelers 3, a humorous folk group from the sixties. It is a ridiculous song, one that Dad used to sing for us kids when we were little. So the whole time we were dancing (and my dad is a good dancer, he and my mom go out dancing every week), Dad is fighting not to fall over laughing. He did pretty well, though! You can see the whole thing on our wedding video and hear the silly song for yourself [Ed: Dad really is an awesome dancer!].
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Sleeveless dresses with sequins and beading on the sides look gorgeous, but the soft, tender insides of my upper arms were very displeased by halfway through dinner. Something to consider during the design or alteration stage.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Jenny GG Photography
- Dress: Wedding Dress Fantasy
- Stockings: Gal Stern
- Shoes: Dance Shoes Online
- Rings: Green Lake Jewelry
- Karaoke: Baby Ketten Karaoke
- Videography: Rashad Miller
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!
photography: Jenny GG Photography
dresses: Wedding Dress Fantasy