Toni & Nam’s offbeat lite garden wedding with monsters and games

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 | Photography by C. Van Rensburg Photo

The Offbeat Bride: Toni, Office Manager

Her offbeat partner: Nam, Customer Support and Sales

Date and location of wedding: The Wright House, Mesa, AZ — April 13, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had a monster- and game-themed wedding at The Wright House. We had a game table so that our guests could play Boggle or Yahtzee during what is traditionally cocktail hour, but for us was more of a mashed potato bar hour. There were a ton of small monster touches that my mom had fun finding: monster pencils, eyeball pencil sharpeners, monster gift bags for the little kids (full of monster-themed gifts like books and bibs) for the GIANT three table candy buffet. There was even monster soap for the bathrooms.





Tell us about the ceremony:
All of the pre-ceremony ambient music and processional/recessional music was orchestral video game music. The wedding party walked up the aisle to “Iris,” the end theme from Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box and then back down the aisle to Lindsey Stirling's “Zelda Medley.” The rest of the music played was a mix of Final Fantasy, Professor Layton, Soul Calibur, Suikoden, Super Mario Bros., Ace Attorney, and Gitaroo Man. I had a lot of fun hunting all that music down.


Since Nam's dad passed a few years ago, he walked both his mother and my mother down the aisle. The ceremony itself was secular and pretty short and sweet. We wanted the ceremony itself to be as short as possible since neither of us wanted to be the center of attention that long.

The ring exchange was hilariously awkward. Nam had forgotten to take his silver ring off that I gave him when we started dating 10 years ago, and it was a ring he always wore on his left hand ring finger. So I ended up having to put his new ring above it. And for some reason, when Nam put my wedding band on me, he didn't push it all the way down. He stopped just underneath my knuckle. I don't think anybody really noticed, except maybe our photographer.



Our biggest challenge:
So I'm going to be completely honest here: I was not a hands-on bride. The mere mention of wedding planning and table settings and flowers and wedding dress shopping made me run in the opposite direction. My mom planned 99.9% of this wedding, while I threw ideas at her occasionally. For me, the only challenge was trying to convince my parents that the Frankenstein flats I bought were totally wedding-appropriate footwear. After about a week, we settled on a compromise that I would wear them at the reception and find other shoes for the ceremony.


If you asked my mom what the biggest challenge was, I'm sure she'd tell you it was trying to get me to willingly participate in the wedding planning. I love you, mom! Sorry for being so difficult.

Etsy Hairpins

My favorite moment:
Nam tearing up as he repeated his vows was definitely tops. He had originally wanted us to write our own vows, but I'm terrified of public speaking. Two days before the wedding, he finally gave in and let me pick one of the pre-written ones our officiant had. Even though they were pre-written vows, they were so utterly perfect and very true to us.


My funniest moment:
We did an anniversary dance where all the married couples went on the dance floor and the DJ slowly took them off by how long they'd been married. He got everybody off the dance floor except my 5th grade teacher and her husband. When he finally reached their number (over 60 years!), her husband collapsed on the floor. It was adorable and hilarious.


There were lots of really funny moments during the little games we played during the reception too. There was a moment in the shoe game when the DJ asked which one of us had the most wedding ideas, and I put both my shoes down and stole my mom's shoes!





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Comments on Toni & Nam’s offbeat lite garden wedding with monsters and games

    • She had so much fun planning my wedding, that she helped the neighbour’s daughters with their weddings after mine. I seriously thought she was going to open a wedding planning business for a while there. 🙂

  1. You have an awesome mom! I love all of the monster details, your fabulous cake & cupcakes, , that sick venue, your dress, and your Frankenstein flats.

  2. What a labor of love! Your Mom rocks. Love that she took your oddball ideas and ran with it. You and your husband GLOW in these photos – congratulations & thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the “having them dance the number of years they’ve been married” idea. You guys also had one of the most artfully laid out candy buffet’s I’ve ever seen.

    • My husband and daughter kept teasing me that I let the candy/dessert buffet get away from me. I wanted to have all of my daughter’s and her husband’s favorite candies and desserts, plus the cannoli. I wanted. lol. I combined that with my crystal, monster sucker stands (2 of them) and monster labels with googly eyes. I think it was memorable especially with the two signs I had made. One sign said, “All you need in life is a friend…who has chocolate” and ” Life is short Eat dessert first”.

  4. Love this! So fun and adorable and awesome! I hated wedding planning so I totally get where you’re coming from. Haha. Every time someone would tell me, “You’ll miss planning when it’s over,” I’d just say, “No I wont. And I will never plan a wedding again.”

  5. You both look so happy and beautiful. I love the photo with your husband in his Aloha shirt at the reception. Both your veil and fascinator are gorgeous too. It looks like so much fun.

    • The Hawaiian shirts were my husband’s idea that the guys jumped on. The thought of getting out of their suit jackets and ties really appealed to them. It also fit in with the light, playful and whimsical atmosphere we were trying to create.

      Toni wanted a rhinestone Birdcage veil and a fascinator. I found an amethyst and rhinestone brooch in an antique store I thought would make a nice bridesmaid gift. The minute my daughter saw it, she wanted it for herself. I hot glued it onto the fluffy feather and added a clip to the bottom of it. That was the beginning of the purple flowers onToni’s dress and the color of the necklace and shoes as well as her choice of dress color for her bridesmaid.

  6. You look so beautiful in your dress and veil! They look just perfect for you 🙂

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