The Offbeat Bride: Jessica, hairstylist
Her offbeat partner: Mikel, railcar mechanic
Date and location of wedding: Treaty Oak, Jacksonville, FL — October 18, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We made it as simple as possible. We had our mothers there as witnesses, Mikel's good friend as the officiant, and Mikel's daughter there so our new family could do this together. We wrote our own vows, took photos, and then went to brunch. The reception was the next day so that we could keep the stress levels in check. We had lots of fun choosing purple accessories and I dyed his hair teal and mine bright orange.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We both wrote our own vows. We did it under a 200-year-old oak tree at 9:30am. The weather was perfect. We had our matching purple, gray, and white Converse sneakers on, he had on purple suspenders and I had a purple petticoat.
Our biggest challenge:
Because we were having such a small ceremony, we couldn't really reserve the Treaty Oak. We showed up hoping another couple hadn't reserved it for the same time. Turns out we were the second couple of three who had arrived that morning for a quick wedding ceremony!
My favorite moment:
My beautiful bouquet was a gift from my boss. Having our mothers there was huge because they had both been diagnosed with breast cancer when we got engaged. Riley, Mikel's daughter, was climbing the tree while we took photos and I gave her my bouquet after the reception. We wrote our own vows and actually chose the same closing sentence without realizing it.
My funniest moment:
Our cake was made the night before as a gift from Mikel's sister. She asked what kind of cake we wanted and without hesitation we both chose “funfetti!”
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Focus on each other. All the details and stress of traditional weddings were very unappealing to us, not to mention the outrageous budget required. We kept a small budget (we spent under $5,000 altogether). We chose to spend more money on the honeymoon (London and York!) than the ceremony and reception.
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