The Offbeat Bride: Katy, Homemaker
Her offbeat partner: Joe, Support Account Manager
Date and location of wedding: Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis in Bowdoin Park, Wappinger's Falls, NY — June 8, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Joe proposed on my birthday last year. We spent the next year trying to decide what we wanted to do for our wedding. We know we wanted to do something in New York so that my grandparents would be able to be there. The end of March rolls around and I'm realizing that The Cystic Fibrosis Walk was coming up, which I was always involved in. Then it hit me: why not get married at the walk itself?
The challenging part was that it was early April when we got the final okay to have the wedding at the walk, which meant that I had until the end of May to put a wedding together, and about six weeks to get everything made and shipped up to my grandmother's house. It wasn't easy, but we somehow managed to pull it off.
We also wanted something that was going to be meaningful but still showed our true (nerdy) selves. So, in addition to having the ceremony at the walk for cystic fibrosis, we threw in a bunch of little nerdy things throughout the reception. My dad and I baked cupcakes the night before which were topped with Han Solo and Leia figures, and I added little flags which said “I love you” and “I know.” We also had our rings engraved with those lines.
I created my own design for t-shirts for the charity walk, which the organizer decided to also make into a banner for the walk. We then used it as our guest book for everyone to sign. I made about 80 pinwheels that were used as favors as well as about 12 double-headed pinwheels that were used on the tables as centerpieces. I had made little stickers that said “Blow Away Cystic Fibrosis” that were on all the favor pinwheels.
My funniest moment:
We had a quick ceremony hidden back in the trees at the park. We didn't have a wedding party, and there weren't even chairs for people to sit on. The ceremony went by fast but was still intimate and funny. The officiant got to the end and said, “Does everyone support the love of Katy and Melissa?” Melissa is my cousin, who was also my witness/ring holder. It was very funny.
Then when I had to cut the ribbon to kick off the walk, the scissors they gave me were extremely dull and would not cut the ribbon. After about a minute of me flustering and trying to get it to cut, even with Joe holding it stretched out, he took matters into his own hands (literally) and just ripped it apart. I don't think anyone noticed, but it was certainly hilarious and everyone knew about it by the end of the day.
My favorite moment:
It was amazing just to be able to have a wedding at all. I have cystic fibrosis. So when I was born the life expectancy was not very long, and getting married was something my parents weren't even sure was going to happen. So being able to share our day with the cystic fibrosis community really meant a lot to us.
We do the Walk at Bowdoin Park every year and raise money for the foundation. Joe and I decided that we didn't want to register anywhere or ask people for gifts — instead we just wanted everyone to make donations. We ended up raising over $6,000 for the foundation!
After the ceremony, Joe and I got to stand under the balloon arch and thank everyone who made our day possible. We then got to cut the ribbon to kick off the walk. It was a pretty great feeling seeing everyone cheering us on and being so supportive.
Also, being able to wear the dress that my grandmother married my grandfather in 62 years ago was something I will always cherish. She gave me her dress when I was 14 since I was always sewing and crafting something. Once I decided to wear it, I knew it was going to be a challenge. My grandmother was a smaller size than I am, so it needed a serious overhaul. I took it completely apart and then put it back together again.
I made the train detachable, and made a short dress that I could wear the rest of the day. I added some black satin, some black lace and a colorful tutu to add a little of me into the dress. But I tried to keep the elegance with a pearl/lace trim. My grandparents loved it!
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- Photography: Jennifer Reilly
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Comments on Katy & Joe’s pinwheels, vintage dress, and a walk for a cure wedding
Congratulations! This made me cry happy tears a little bit. I love the Leia and Han Solo figurines!
Wow, what a beautiful wedding. This was really cool to read because I also have CF and my life expectancy wasn’t very long when I was born, either, but I’m 22, in great shape, and I’m getting married in just over a year! So great to see another CF bride. It’s a challenging illness to deal with, but having a supportive significant other and family make it so much easier, and the amount of love in these photos is awesome. I don’t even know what else to say, this whole thing just makes me so happy.
This was very inspiring. What a great way to incorporate your passions, humor, charity and community in one wedding. Not to mention your decorations and dress were beautiful and fun.
This is awesome. Your dress is awesome. It’s just all awesome!!!
I loved reading this! This was such a great idea. I have Cf too and newly engaged. I stumbled across this site and was so proud to read your story!
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