The Offbeat Bride: Joanne
Her offbeat partner: Jeff, Electrical Engineer
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Jeff and I fell in love with each other while driving through Napa on a beautiful Spring day. Since we are both amateur race car drivers and nerdy engineers, we thought it was only appropriate that our wedding to take place on the world's longest racetrack, nicknamed “The Green Hell,” the Nürburgring in Germany.
We have family from America, Canada, and Asia, so Germany was a great mid-point for everyone to meet up, celebrate with us, and travel Europe. Although our wedding planner, Mosaik Hochzeitsagentur, helped us tremendously by coordinating events in Germany, we DIYed some important pieces in the wedding to make it unique to us. I painted math equations from our engineering fields on my veil to show off our nerdiness, 3D-printed a heart-shaped puzzle ring box, and rented a McLaren MP4-12C to drive down the aisle.
My father passed away when I was young, so I saved him a seat and put his pictures on my heels to signify him walking me down the aisle. After the wedding on the racetrack, we took some pictures with vintage cars that were there for the ADAC vintage car race before heading off to the Castle Schoenburg.
Our photographer took some beautiful and romantic pictures for us in the castle secret garden, and some pictures of us climbing on walls and doing things we were not supposed to do. After that we had a small and intimate reception in the castle restaurant with some yummy German wine.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our friend officiated the ceremony and shot bubble guns after. I did wear a Chinese dress for the reception, but that's pretty much the only cultural tradition that we did.
Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was convincing some of our family members to travel to Europe for the wedding. It was hard on people who had never traveled out of the country before. We had to learn to move on from arguments even when no apologies were offered to us.
My favorite moment:
Aside from the exchange of vows, I think it was the moment that I saw that my dad's seat was empty, but my mom was there and so were my relatives from Hong Kong. At that moment, I had never been so aware that my dad was no longer with us, but that made me treasure the rest of my family that much more.
My funniest moment:
I am a fairly small girl (5'2″) and the McLaren driver seat was way too big for me even with my 4″ heels. We had to stuff the seat with pillows so that my feet could reach the gas pedal.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
We planned a big part of the wedding by ourselves and we learned to work and communicate with each other. More importantly, we learned to trust that the other person will get things done when they say they will. Planning a foreign wedding forces you to go with the flow and place tremendous trust in people. We didn't meet our wedding planner and our photographer face-to-face until the night before the wedding (we Skyped during prep.), and we didn't even see the ceremony site and the reception hall until the event was taking place. We had the privilege of working with some amazing people, and we just trusted them to do their job well.