The offbeat bride: Kacey, Helicopter Pilot
Her offbeat partner: EZ, professonal badass
Date and location of wedding: The Westin Alexandria, VA — January 27, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: On the surface, our wedding probably looked like a fairly traditional wedding — ceremony and reception held in a hotel venue, bride wore ivory with an accent color, etc. But we're kinda like a scratch-n-sniff. When you scratch the surface, you get a whiff of some serious underlying offbeatness, and a lot of tongue-in-cheek.
One example: our ceremony music. My father and I didn't walk in to the bridal march. Nope, we walked in to the Imperial March from Star Wars. Yep, Darth Vader's theme song. It only seemed right, since as a little girl I totally wanted to marry Darth Vader. (Apparently I've had a bad boy fixation from a very young age).
I wore a custom-made corset/skirt combo from Starkers! Corsetry. It was actually two skirts, one that was long and ivory and traditional-ish, and one that was short and blue and flouncy for dancing.
Our rings were made by Brent & Jess, and featured our fingerprints on the inside. During the ceremony, our officiant, Molly, talked about that, and we worked that into the promises we made during the ring exchange portion of the wedding. Our ceremony was entirely unique, written by Molly, EZ, and I.
The entire purpose of the day was to celebrate our relationship. We are fairly standard, but quirky, tongue-in-cheek, a little bit cheesy, and all about the good times. So, the wedding was not extremely offbeat, but, as they say, the devil is in the details.
Tell us about the ceremony: One of our readings was from The Irrational Season by Madeleine L'Engle:
But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.
To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.
An excerpt from our ceremony:
The Beatles were wrong when they said, “All you need is love.” As anyone that has been married for more than a minute will tell you, it takes a lot more than that to make a marriage last. It takes:
compassion, understanding, a thick skin at times, and an extreme amount of stubbornness.
Well Kacey and EZ have proven to be some of the most stubborn damned people I will ever meet …
And here is what she said about our rings:
The wedding ring was placed on the ring finger of the left hand because it was thought that the vein from that finger ran directly to the heart. The rings that Kacey and Eric have chosen, imprinted with each other's fingerprints, are a constant reminder to each other of how they have touched each other's hearts and overcome obstacles to be together.
Our biggest challenge: Well, we had a few challenges, and strangely enough, the answer to all of them was the same: Lindsay Cameron, my badass wedding consultant and planner extraordinaire!
The first challenge was starting to plan a wedding while deployed halfway around the world. Lindsay did all of the legwork to help me choose a venue, florist, and baker.
The second challenge was the ice storm that hit DC the day before my wedding and cancelled flights all over the country… including the one that was to bring my photographer, Offbeat Bride's own Megan Finley, to me!
My favorite moment: The entire ceremony was incredibly meaningful. Since we weren't having our ceremony in a religious venue, we wanted it to be pretty secular, but still contain an element of the spiritual. Our officiant wrote the entire ceremony, with input from my husband and me. She found some amazing quotes about the nature of love and marriage, and we worked together to incorporate things such as our fingerprint rings and our vows.
In addition, giving our daughter the heart-shaped fingerprint pendant that matched our rings was incredibly meaningful. I felt like it was important to have some kind of tangible symbol of the ties of our new family. And what better symbol than badass jewelry? 🙂
My funniest moment: Oh, my goodness, I'm not sure I can choose a funniest moment.
Maybe when my dad heard the Imperial March March for the first time (he didn't make the rehearsal because of the ice storm) and said, “Are we really walking in to this?”
Maybe it was when my husband went for my garter under my skirt and I threw my head back in the chair in fake ecstasy.
Maybe it was when I and my kilted male guests started doing the can-can on the dance floor.
But this might have been my favorite of cool moments, though it's not really funny: My makeup artist and good friend, Bill, was at the wedding with his boyfriend. Bill and I went to school together, and he's an Air Force veteran. There was a moment during the cocktail reception where Bill and his boyfriend were talking to several active duty friends of mine and my husband's, and they were all swapping war stories about deployments to various locales, etc. I stood back and took a look and smiled, because here's Bill, his arm around his man, and here are these entirely macho badass dudes, and they're all telling war stories … and no one has a problem with any of it. Bill's gayness was a complete non-issue; they were all just veterans swapping stories. And that, to me, was pretty badass.
My advice for offbeat brides: Make sure the day is about the two of you: your relationship, not just you or not just him or not just your family. And have a planner, or at least a “day of” coordinator. I couldn't have pulled this off without my planner, even without the ice storm!
And bookmark Offbeat Bride. Seriously.
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? I actually had a wedding this time. 🙂 Which was great.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I think the thing I learned from the wedding planning and the wedding itself is that it's not just about what I want. We tried very hard to make the day not “my day” but “our day,” and according to him, we succeeded.
I realized that a wedding is a little bit like military training in that it's a semi-stressful experience that is designed to build individuals into a team. Granted, it was a lot more fun than a lot of the training that I've done in the past to become a helicopter pilot… but still, the principle stands. When people go through stress together, they form a bond, and that's what happened here. Which is the whole point, right?
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Mary Kate McKenna Photography
- Dress: Starkers Corsetry
- Rings: Brent&Jess
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Comments on How planning my wedding was like being in the military
So happy to see the whole story on your wedding! And I must say your ceremony is quite touching!
Beeyooteefull. I love the readings you chose! 🙂
Okay, I’ve got a question, though – how did you get the blue glowy things (goblets and cube-y things) to be all awesome and blue and glowy like that?! I was all “oooh… preeettttyyyy…” because I’m basically a magpie and shiny/sparkly/glowy things do that to me.
That was my florist’s idea! Basically, we filled the goblets and cube-y things with iridescent little “craft gem” thingies, under which we buried one of those submersible blue LED lights. I was pretty happy with how it came out. 🙂 Glad you liked it!
I would love to see the second skirt (the blue one)!
And, I have to ask, why is the groom wearing sunglasses throughout?
This is explained in their first article, which is linked above:
“EZ’s right eye was shot out during his last deployment, he wore sunglasses for the wedding.”
Oh! I completely missed that part. Thank you for letting me know. I was curious if it was symbolic in some way.
I believe that first article has a picture of the reception skirt as well. 🙂
Absolutely LOVE the fingerprint jewelry. Probably the coolest wedding bands and whatnot I have seen in a very long time. I love how the officiant found offbeat quotes. I am definitely sharing the Madeline L’Engle quote with my fiance. Congrats to this beautiful couple!
Hey, sweets…”offbeat light,” LOL…good description, though. Oh my gosh, that gown corset, drooooooooooool.
Absolutely love your penguin cake topper!! It’s adorable!!
I’m glad I’m not the only one crazy enough to use the Imperial Death March! haha My dad knows about it ahead of time though – he’s excited!
“I realized that a wedding is a little bit like military training in that it’s a semi-stressful experience that is designed to build individuals into a team.” This is a great analogy, and this quote is going in my wedding folder. Working together is where it’s at!
I absolutely love your penguin family caketopper and the tables, blue cheese table, Blues Brothers table, that is awesome!! Your daughter is beautiful! Congrats to all of you!!
“In addition, giving our daughter the heart-shaped fingerprint pendant that matched our rings was incredibly meaningful. I felt like it was important to have some kind of tangible symbol of the ties of our new family. And what better symbol than badass jewelry?”
I love this idea! 😀 Might have to do something like this for my son from my previous marriage.
Beautiful wedding. Sounds like it was perfectly YOU. My wedding is actually going to be similarly offbeat light with lots of devils in the details. 🙂
Your shoes! Where are they from?
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