Put on your goggles and your neo-Victorian gear, because this is STEAMPUNK WEEK! Today we've got an unexpectedly steampunk wedding with pumpkin wine chillers, kilts, and a fabulous handfasting.


The Offbeat Bride: Betsy, Risk Analyst

Her offbeat partner: Seth, Elementary School Custodian

Date and location of wedding: The Olde Gahanna Sanctuary, Columbus, OH — October 6, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We didn't intend to have a theme, but after I made the decision that I wanted my dress to be neo-Victorian, and then we began adding clocks and clockworks to the wedding decorations, we began to realize that the wedding was starting to look a little, well, steampunk. It wasn't the original intent, but we decided to just go with it.



My mother made the jacket I wore over my dress, proving that she is amazing. Mom also made the vests for Seth and his best man, Chris, and the skirt for the flower girl. Seth made our rings, and the handfasting cord, as well as flowers that were used in my bouquet. Seth's dad, Mark, made the table numbers for us. My friend Cliff made our cake topper, which was a diorama of Seth and I in our wedding gear slaying zombies.


I made my own bouquet, with the help of my amazing friends, spending hours making button flowers and Seth making chain mail flowers. I also made my sister's bouquet, decorated the flower girls wings, and decorated the suitcase we used for cards. Our families helped us make the aisle decorations, decorations for the tables, book page paper chains, stamp the favor bags, carve out pumpkin wine chillers for every table, glue together the cupcake stands, and so much more.


We had the ceremony and the reception in the same location to make things easier for our families. The Sanctuary is a retired church, which had the pews removed, but all of the stained glass windows and soaring ceilings remain. We had room for the DJ, food tables, seating for everyone, and a photo booth, and still had room to dance.


We came down the aisle to a piano version of “White Wedding” (since Seth's last name is White), and more people got the joke than I thought would.

Our wedding favors were 1″ buttons and gaming dice, because we got together through gaming.


Tell us about the ceremony: I am a pagan, so when Seth and I began the wedding process, I asked if we could include a handfasting. We found that many ceremonies included a handfasting followed by the exchange of rings, which is what we chose to do. The vows we recited during the handfasting were found in the book, Handfasting and Wedding Rituals, by Raven Kaldera and Tannin Schwartstein, called “heart-binding vows.”


For the ring exchange we wrote our own vows, in the form of promises to each other:


I promise to answer any sports-related question to the best of my knowledge without annoyance or agitation. I promise to fully grow up when you ask me to, and not a second before. I make it my solemn mission to have you know, as I have always known, that you are beautiful. I will wake up every morning at five o'clock to pack your lunch and have dinner waiting in the fridge when you get home. You will always have a shoulder to cry on, and ear to bend, and arms to hold you. I will always open doors for you, even if I have to shove you out of the way so I can get to it first. And finally, I reaffirm the first oath I swore to you: if you fall, I will catch you.


I vow to you that I will always be waiting for you when you get home from work so we can talk about our day before we go to bed. I vow to always take care of you when you are sick, and to baby you through it even when you are milking it. I vow to sit for hours listening to you talk about math, science, Marvel, binary, and anything else that takes you, with rapt attention and interest even when I don't know what you are talking about. I vow to give you complete control of the kitchen, unless you ask me to cook or something needs baking. I vow to never take life to seriously and to always be ready to laugh and be silly with you. I vow to be your companion through all that life brings, good and bad. I vow to support you in everything you do, and to be the biggest fan of your life. I vow to make you the holder of my heart and to trust you with it for the rest of our lives.


Our biggest challenge: Seth got laid off in December of 2011, so we were planning and arranging for our wedding with no guarantee that he would have a job. We were lucky that he got hired back on in April, but there were several months where things were very up in the air. We also ate through a lot of our wedding savings to pay bills, so as we moved along, many more things had to come out-of-pocket than initially expected. We made it all work though and got through with only a couple of stress-fueled breakdowns.


My favorite moment: Seth and I made the decision to walk down the aisle together, rather than me be given away. While standing outside waiting to come into the hall, we just linked hands and squeezed, and looked at each other for a moment. It was simple, but perfect.


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Comments on Betsy & Seth’s unexpectedly steampunk DIYed handfasting

  1. I am not normally a fan of button bouquets, but this one made me rethink that. Absolutely gorgeous, and handmade to boot- amazing!

  2. I love the pumpkins! Everywhere pumpkins! Pumpkins are going to have a major theme in my wedding as well (I love them!). Might have to nab this idea!

  3. I love the clock on the table with the Happily Ever After sign because it is just like the one my aunt got my parents as a wedding gift. Like, it’s difficult to walk into the house of a midwestern couple who’ve been married for 20+ years and not see one of those. I love that it’s a little retro and old fashioned and sentimental but not cheesy.

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