The Offbeat Bride: Maria, Graphic Designer (and OBT member)
Her Offbeat Partner: Dave, Roofer/Musician
Location & date of wedding: The Music House Museum in Traverse City, Michigan — Oct. 17, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: We waited a long, long time for this. Dave and I met on the school bus and have been best friends for sixteen years. After nine years of putting off a wedding due to financial reasons, we finally decided to tie the knot at the courthouse (for health insurance — so romantic). We wanted to keep it a secret until the real ceremony, two years later, but Dave's mom found out and soon did everyone! Getting sick of family grilling us with questions, we decided, on a whim, to plan the ceremony and get “weddinged” in just six weeks! All for under $4000.
Held at an historical museum containing automated instruments from the early 1900's (music is a very big part of out lives), the ceremony and reception was small, intimate, and casual. Everything was DIY: my dress was a custom made repurposed vintage slip, my sister made the cake, we did an iPod reception and my Aunt emceed, I made my own bouquet and invites, and my brother married us (he got ordained online).
The entire affair was very lax — no sweating the small stuff — in fact I asked everyone involved to bring their own individuality to it and surprise me! Dresses didn't match, we didn't rehearse properly, but we didn't care! It turned out funny (we had the whole crowd cracking up during vows) and meaningful. Just the way a wedding should be!
Tell us about your ceremony: It was so small and intimate that we were almost standing on top of each other! Everyone could hear us and it was like we were just sitting around our living rooms, giggling and laughing. It was perfect, and highly recommend having a small ceremony.
What were the most meaningful moments of your wedding?: Dave's vows. He ended with a quote from Grumpier Old Men: “Maria, out of all the fish in the sea, you are the only one I want to catch and mount over my fireplace.” The crowd roared in laughter!
My brother (“fake” minister) started the ceremony by saying, “We're gathered here in this historical music museum to celebrate what all music, and nearly every Beatles song, is about — love… Except ‘I Am The Walrus.' No one knows what that song is about.”
The museum director, Patte, lost her husband of fourty-two years just a few months ago. Our wedding happened to be on her anniversary. So instead of spending her first anniversary alone, she got to celebrate it with us! We did a surprise toast in her and her husband's honor, and presented her with a fall chrysanthemum to plant in the museum's garden in rememberance of us.
What was your biggest challenge: Planning a DIY wedding in six weeks.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great?: My brother marrying us — he's quite sarcastic and offensive, so I was sure he would embarrass me. But, he did great. In fact, it was the most touching thing anyone has ever done for me, it turned out amazing, and I am forever grateful.
Advice for other offbeat brides: Getting married is exactly like planning a trip to the amusement park. You plan your adventure for months in advance. You are brimming with excitement. But when that time comes, when you are getting strapped into that seat and you know there's no turning back — it will scare the crap out of you. All rational thought will go out the window. You are going to turn into someone else. You are going to say, “Where is this money coming from? What was I thinking? I can't do this! I will look ugly! Can't we just elope?”
But you know what? It's all NORMAL. Everyone goes through it. Stick with it, you'll be glad you did, no matter how many butterflies you have in your stomach. Because trust me, after you get off that ride, you are going to say “AGAIN! I want to go again!” Because it's going to be the best day of your life.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- My photographer was AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING!!!!! The best decision I ever made. She's fantastic with people, extremely talented, and willing to travel: Southby Photography
- My dress was a custom made repurposed slip from an Etsy artist. She did a fantastic job from some simple direction I gave her. i highly recommend her work!: Muir Hughes
- I designed buttons as favors and used my favorite button company, Busy Beaver! I've worked with them through my job many times and they are great! Buttons are a cheap, easy, and fun way to do favors!
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!: