Her Offbeat Partner: Doug, System Administrator
Location & date of wedding: Rosy's Jazz Hall, New Orleans, LA — March 14, 2009 (Pi Day!)
What made our wedding offbeat: We're nerds. We met at a live-action roleplaying game and got together at a sci-fi convention. We have computers at home, we love Lovecraft, he reads comic books, and I collect old-school My Little Ponies. We knew we wanted stuff there that would represent the things we love.
- Cthulhu stood on the cake table along with the two “minions” that a friend painted to look like us.
- The engraving in our rings is the word “love” in binary — 01101100011011110111011001100101
- My wedding ring is titanium with a black diamond. Black diamonds are believed to have been formed in stellar supernovae explosions that happened millions of years ago. I love astronomy and science, and the idea of a SPACE ROCK is amazing to me.
We also insisted on finding a location that was a little quirky and utterly New Orleans. Enter Rosy's Jazz Hall. Exposed brick walls, black and white pictures of jazz artists, trees growing in the atrium, balconies, wood and tile floors, and a courtyard with blooming gardenias. Not to mention the food… muffeletta pasta, jambalaya, oysters cordon bleu, feta onion tartlettes, shrimp remoulade salad, spicy shrimp beignets…
- Groomsmen wearing Chucks.
- Having the bridesmaids party at a place where you make your own bath and body products.
- Going to Etsy for little handmade things like my hair flower and bouquet charm.
- DIYing my invites.
Thank you, OBBs!
Our biggest challenge: After the price of our favorite invites went up, we decided to go the DIY route. I ordered 5×7 invites, hot pink envelopes, and hot pink response cards. When we went to print them, we found out that the response cards were too small and thick to work properly in the laser printer. Doug figured we could order 8×12 hot pink paper, print four to a sheet and then cut them – no dice. Kinko's said the paper was too thick for their printers, so that was right out as well. Finally, we bought more 5×7 cards, printed two to a sheet, then took them to Kinko's to be cut. They worked out great and I even had people asking me where we had our invites done!
Another issue was the dress. I'm plus-sized, so that was an obstacle from day one. I wasn't going to do a fad diet to wear a dress for one day, and I didn't have enough money to drop on a custom dress. My only option was to hit up bridal stores. Some of the dresses the stores tried to foist off on me were ridiculous — bedazzled contraptions of lace and chiffon that had enough froth to rival the cake. I found a pale cream off the shoulder silk taffeta dress that laced up the back and wrapped in the front, from the Alfred Angelo catalog, no less!
My favorite moment: Seeing my flowers for the first time. My grandmother passed away in late 2007, and she always had blue hydrangea growing in her front yard. Since she was not able to be there physically for my wedding day, I wanted something to remind me of her, so I requested that my bouquet have blue hydrangea in it. I also got a photo charm of my grandmother and grandfather for my bouquet. When I saw it for the first time, I almost cried — it felt like she was right there with me.
On a funnier note, I LOVED the best man's toast. How many other wedding toasts end up more like roasts and include the word “vagina?” (I've got the video online if you want the link.) Even the photographer said it was the best toast he'd ever heard at a wedding.
My advice for other offbeat brides: Choose your battles wisely! As much as I loved the idea of an entire DIY wedding, it wasn't feasible for us with our budget, location, and time constraints. I went DIY with the things that I could, and the things I couldn't I either asked friends to help with or purchased through local stores or Etsy.
Etsy is your BFF. I would have never started looking there if it wasn't for wedding planning. There are some amazingly talented artists there that either have what you're looking for or can make it!
Figure out what you can scrimp and what you can splurge on. Having good photographs was important to me, and having good food was important to Doug. We spent a little more on the reception hall and the photographer, and tried to save on the florist, attire, and other things. I'm glad we spent a little more on the things we did.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- Reception hall – Rosy's Jazz Hall
- Photographer – Matt Foster
- Flowers – Bella Blooms Floral
- Rings – Titanium Era
- Dress – Alfred Angelo @ Pearl's Place
- Hair accessory – salchar @ Etsy
- Shoes – Aldo
- Bouquet photo charm – DesignsbyTami @ Etsy
- Garter – PiperEwan @ Etsy
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: