The offbeat bride: Erin, teacher
Her offbeat partner: Chris, photographer
Location & date of wedding: Treasure Island Beach, Florida on November 1st, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: We live together with our four children (two mine, two his, all ours). This wedding was not just about the two of us, but about merging to become this big, crazy, wonderful family.
I said vows to Chris's biological children, and he said vows to mine. It just formalized the incredible bond we already have with each other. We didn't have bridesmaids or groomsmen, we walked down the aisle together, and we skipped the bouquet toss and garter business, and most other expected elements of the modern American wedding.
Our wedding cake was a cupcake tower with a zombie Spidey and Mary Jane cake topper. I wore a black dress with hot-pink crinoline, and my husband wore a matching pink tie and black Chucks. Our kids chose their outfits, and we all ended up coordinating amazingly!
We planned the whole affair ourselves, but could not have done it without our Moms and my sistercousin Tara, who is my very best friend and who also got married this year. My husband really made it all happen: finding vendors, keeping everything organized, and putting up with me! He is the fucking greatest.
Our biggest challenge: Keeping our wedding small. I come from a huge family, and weddings in our clan are always gigantic, wonderful affairs with hundreds of people and dancing into the night. I love attending these weddings, but it's not what I wanted for mine.
I live in Florida and most of my family is back in Boston, and I didn't feel comfortable planning a huge event that required the logistics of dozens of people flying in. I know we hurt some feelings, but I tried my best to diplomatically and sincerely let my family know how much I loved them, and that I hoped they would understand that I wanted a small, intimate, understated wedding.
My favorite moment: Walking across the beach to the ceremony site and seeing our family and friends all turning their heads to look at us. Everyone looked so happy and beautiful.
My brother was the first person I saw, and true to form, he got up and started doing this dumb-ass dance. At that moment I was so incredibly happy that we had done this wedding our way – informal, authentic, full of joy and full of US.
My offbeat advice: Laugh it off. Seriously. A waiter spills a glass of red wine on your father-in-law's white shirt at the reception? Laugh it off. Your fiance says something heart-breakingly insensitive about your dress or hair? Forgive him/her and laugh it off. Your photographer disappears on you a week before your wedding (yes, this actually happened to us)? Laugh it off, decide that it was meant to be, and find a better photographer. You are going to need large doses of humor to get through planning and going through with a wedding.
Enough talk — show me that wedding porn: Click on the picture below to see the awesome shots from Erin and Chris' PB&J Get Brady-Bunched on the Beach wedding!