Jen & Randy’s handmade traditional family party wedding

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 | Photography by C. Barrow Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Jen, Artist and printer (and Offbeat Bride member)

Her offbeat partner: Randy, Private school maintenance/grounds

Date and location of wedding: Arden Gild Hall, Arden, DE — March 9, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding date was just a few days after our 10-year dating anniversary and we very much wanted to celebrate our wedding with our friends and family through a more traditional style which fits our personalities. It helped us to use the pre-existing constructs, like using the Episcopalian service/vows and going with the caterer's standard flow of events. Since there was a small-ish budget, we called in favors to area professionals that we (okay, my dad, who's a local musician) knew and made as much stuff as we could. Most of the decor was stuff borrowed from our own home and I, with the help of any one who was willing, made all of the flowers by hand. It was a lot of work but in the end it was so worth it — the day was filled with so many joyful experiences.

bouquet and boutonniere

upcycling decor

Hugs for dad

Tell us about the ceremony:
Although both of us grew up with the Christian (Protestant) tradition, neither of us are active in church these days. After trying unsuccessfully to contact Randy's childhood pastor, my dad suggested we talk with the Reverend at the church where he plays music professionally for their holiday services. Her personality fit with ours really well, as did the Episcopalian ceremony, and so it just kind of worked out nicely. I am very spiritual but not dogmatic by nature so it was very important for me to work with an officiant who felt comfortable.

receiving pledges of support

first reading

Our readings were Romans 12: 9-18 and “On Marriage” from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet.

the kiss


entry way


melon flower


Our biggest challenge:
My biggest challenge was that life doesn't pause just because you're planning a wedding. I was laid off mid-year, and when I did find another job I was unexpectedly put on third shift working overnights for a couple months. Working third shift was incredibly isolating and I had a very difficult time with trying to adapt to a new schedule. A lot of things that I wanted to have done well in advance ended up being done in the last two months before the wedding when I had gotten back on a day shift. At that point, two months out, I really needed to focus on just wedding prep in order to get everything I wanted to do done, which ended up feeling pretty isolating as well. I reminded myself often that it was temporary and the wedding would be over and I would get back to my art and hobbies and regular social programming at large soon.

Randy: The hardest part was keeping up with working on stuff so that it didn't all come down to the last minute with everything else that was going on.

Bridal procession

My favorite moment:
Jen: A friend of mine told me it looked like I forgot how to breathe when I was walking down the aisle with my dad. I think she might have been right. Holding Randy's hand through the beginnings of the ceremony and hearing the happy squeaking of our infant niece in the crowd helped me to breathe again.

Randy: Hearing our parents pledge their support to us (which is part of the Episcopalian ceremony) was my favorite part.


My funniest moment:
During one of the toasts, our friend was reminiscing about having lived with us in college and Randy's dad called out “yeah, and they threw you out together!” which cued quite a bit of laughs. Later, when we cut the cake and didn't smoosh it in each other's faces, we had some groans of sarcastic disappointment so I rushed off to find an innocent bystander and booped my friend on the nose with icing. Then my 92-year-old grandfather then came over and booped me on the nose with icing.

dancing with dad

first dance


last dance

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Comments on Jen & Randy’s handmade traditional family party wedding

  1. What a wonderful way to get your wedding dress – and it looks dreamy on you! Love the flowers, too!

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