The offbeat bride: Maya, Musician/artist/massage therapy student
Her offbeat partner: Adam, computer engineer
Location & date of wedding: Austin Museum of Art, in the community room — 8/8/09
What made our wedding offbeat: I'm new in Austin and Adam also has friends all over the country, so people flew in from everywhere to join us. We had to have a cool party, but on a budget. The community room at the Austin Museum of Art was a perfect little chapel for us! And it fit the “Starry Starry Night” theme we were going with! Adam and I are both sky/astronomy geeks (his first gift to me was a high-powered telescope, because he wanted me to have the stars).
I handmade the invites, blue and gold and arty stars. Our ceremony Backdrop was a mural we painted together. The groom's one request for the party? “LASERS.” (Love him.) Adam's brother/best man works at the US embassy in Uganda and presented us with an African fertility statue during his speech. He also had the guys' jackets made by a tailor in Uganda. The minister was one of my best friends from NYC who's a poet and got ordained just for us and ROCKED it.
The bridesmaids were given the color midnight blue and told to do their own thing entirely with dresses. We had a “Starfairy” instead of a flowergirl, complete with wings. Cross-cultural nods in the ceremony: We jumped the broom AND broke a glass. Also, I used to DJ, so it was important to me to be in charge of music. I put together the playlists ahead of time and we plugged a laptop in to the soundsystem. I didn't leave the dance floor all night!
Our biggest challenge: Aside from money (even on a budget, its still hard to swallow spending so much on a party)…
All my bridesmaids and my minister flew in from NYC. Nobody in NYC drives, really, and I didn't take into consideration how much driving around and chauffeuring I was going to end up doing. Between airport and hotel runs and trying to figure out how and where to entertain everyone in such a short window of time with not much energy or sanity left by the time they got here — it was overwhelming and frustrating.
It was a sweet wonderful blessing to have my friends with me, but I would have planned out the logistics of that much differently given the chance to do it again.
My favorite moment: The whole thing was unbelievable. You can see in the photos where it looks like i'm holding my breath because of all the gasping I was doing that day.
But the most unbelievable moment came right after the ceremony which ended around 6:45pm. Adam and I were walking with the photographer from the museum to the capitol building for some pictures, and as we crossed the street we saw over downtown, seemingly right over the museum where our ceremony just took place, a RAINBOW. At this point Austin had been in the middle of a drought that lasted the whole summer so there hadn't been any rain.
My offbeat advice: Even if you are planning something different or simple or low budget, be sure that you are planning. And whatever you are wearing, know what it is well in advance. The most common wedding anxiety dreams, that both my husband and I were having, had to do with whatever part of our wardrobes hadn't been sorted out yet.
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Photographer: Tanya Saenz