The Offbeat Bride: Michelle, Riding Instructor (and Offbeat Bride member)
Her offbeat partner: Adam, Chef
Date and location of wedding: New England Carousel Museum, Bristol, CT — October 12, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding day mission was to throw a really fun party. We picked the carousel museum as our venue because it was such a cool space, plus the working carousel was a huge hit with everyone. We wanted good food, good music, and all of our friends there. I lucked out by having a groom who was super into wedding planning, so we had a lot of fun along the way. We’re both big geeks, so we knew that would factor in heavily to the details and as swing dancers we knew we weren’t going to do a traditional first dance. Our wedding was also on my mom’s birthday, so we surprised her with her own cake before we cut ours. She definitely wasn’t expecting that!
I DIYed the vast majority of our wedding stuff including dress alterations, my kick ass garter belt, comic book boutonnieres and cufflinks for the guys, hundreds of paper flowers, carousel dinosaurs, the caramel apple bar, cake and dessert, invites, save-the-dates, programs, signage, card box, and on and on.
Tell us about the ceremony:
One of our best friends officiated our (unplugged) ceremony and it could not have been more perfect. Even though marriage is serious, we wanted the ceremony to be short, sweet, and fun. We had geek references galore (The Princess Bride, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Dresden Files, Dark Tower) and our vows included silly things like promising not to murder the one who sings in the shower and to always dispatch of spiders in a timely fashion. We ended with a handfasting and closed the ceremony with by ringing a gong.
Our biggest challenge:
Weddings can bring out the beast in people and we did get a handful of people who took issue with our vision and weren’t quiet about it. However, we expected that going in and mostly got a kick out of their horror. Expecting pushback definitely made it easier to manage– as did being the ones paying for stuff. Anytime someone criticized something or tried to force their ideas on us, we just smiled and said “It’s already done,” or “we’re not talking about it because we want it to be a surprise.” Luckily, it was only a small group who gave us shit and on the day of, we were both far too busy and far too happy to pay them any mind.
Our other challenge was enforcing the no kids rule, especially since we unapologetically made specific exceptions to it. We had a blanket no kids under 16 policy (there would have been many!) but allowed Adam’s nephew and my barn girls. I say own your guest list and invite who you want. Inviting one does not necessarily mean you have to invite all of any particular group, be it kids, cousins, werewolves, etc.
My favorite moment:
I have the bestest family ever in the form of my Maid of Horror and our Master Chief of Ceremonies, and having them up there with me after everything the four of us had made it through in the previous year was amazing. In the words of Harry Dresden, “I don't care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.” Creating our own family was definitely the best part of getting married.
My funniest moment:
One of my funniest moments was definitely the start of our first dance. We knew we wanted to do something fun and fast, but we threw everyone for a loop by starting out with the cheesiest love song we could think of, the Titanic theme. You can’t really see it in the video, but the looks on people’s faces were priceless — everything from confusion to horror and outright disgust. It was hysterical.
There was also an epic NERF battle at the hotel that I found hilarious, but I don't think the hotel did!
You’re not a bad bride if you don’t have a gaggle of girls helping you make shit.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
One thing I will say that goes against most advice is you don’t have to delegate. There’s nothing wrong with getting things done yourself — you’re not a bad bride if you don’t have a gaggle of girls helping you make shit. It is possible to get a million DIY projects done by yourself as long as you start early enough and actually enjoy doing that kind of stuff. Audio books, Netflix, and wine are the lifeblood of solo DIY sessions — plan accordingly!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?