The Offbeat Bride: Karrie Lynn, Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire
Her offbeat partner: Matt, Mechanical Engineer by day, Jedi by night
Date and location of wedding: Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL — September 1, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Once someone meets Matt and me they can easily see that we are huge Star Wars fans. Our wedding was centered around our love for Star Wars. Each of our centerpieces was a diorama of one of the many planets from the Star Wars universe. We also incorporated our love for LEGOs and had minifigs as favors, and on the boutonnieres, bouquets, and corsages. We personalized each minifig for the person wearing it.
We knew we wanted to get married at Starved Rock Lodge because we are both big on the outdoors, Matt being an Eagle Scout and me being an avid spelunker and outdoorsy type. We loved the views and the caverns. We just knew this would compliment our personalities well.
I had my brother walk me down the aisle, and when Anita, our officiant, told the guests why my brother was walking be down the aisle, I lost it. She said, “Karrie is being escorted today by someone she describes as one of the most important people in her life. He has given her support, encouragement, and the gift of loving science fiction. He has been her therapist, a parent, her partner in crime, and her best friend.” My brother turned to me (trying not to cry, yet laughing) and said, “Damn you kid, why must you say nice things about me?” We walked out to the main theme of Star Wars.
Tell us about the ceremony: Matt and I knew we wanted to have a non-religious ceremony and we knew this would cause some disappointment for his very traditional parents. We decided we had to be authentic to ourselves and who we are, which is not religious but more of a mishmash of beliefs that fit us. We concentrated on finding a celebrant who would fit us perfectly and found Anita. She was able to tell our love story and incorporate all the things we love and love about each other into an amazing ceremony.
We had a hand fasting which made me so happy. We asked Matt's sister Sarah to make our hand fasting cord because she means a lot to us and has been very supportive of us and our relationship (and she is super crafty!). We also had Sarah read “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton and his other sister Rachel read “I Love You” by Erich Fried, as translated by Roy Croft.
Our biggest challenge: There were a few along the way: budget, family issues, but there was one that seemed to be more of a challenge for the people around us: I was 14-weeks pregnant on our wedding day. This was a joy of joys for us, since I was told with stage 4 endometriosis and one ovary that I would never have children. We were astonished to be pregnant.
Despite this, I began to receive a few disparaging comments along the lines of “Why didn't you just wait? You're going to ruin your wedding,” and “OMG what about your dress, your dress!” We knew what a blessing this child was and felt a dress is just a damn dress and a wedding is one damn day. I was not going to feel bad about this child. If anything, it made our wedding a bit more meaningful knowing we had this amazing gift and we were getting married as a family. I will say thank you to the lovely seamstress at David's Bridal, when my dress did not fit at the first fitting she made sure my dress fit on my wedding day and with some room to give, no less.
My favorite moment: The whole ceremony just wrecked me. Anita did such an amazing job telling our love story that I cried the whole time with laughing in between the sobs. The vows threw me for a loop and were incredibly meaningful. However, before the ceremony we spoke with Matt's step-grandmother and she told us how to have a wonderful marriage and how to stay in love. She told us how much she loved his grandfather (who had passed many years ago) and how she showed him everyday how much she loved him. She would write little love notes on the mirror and leave notes in his pockets so he always knew he was loved.
She told us that the first thing you do in the morning is tell each other “I love you” and have it be the last thing you say to each other at night, so your day begins good and ends good. She then told us how proud of us she was and that she was wearing her wedding outfit from her marriage to Matt's grandfather, and both Matt and I lost it right there. (There is a lovely picture of my most ugly cry face at the very moment she told us that.) The whole conversation meant so much to us… and always will.
My funniest moment: The Best Man was the funniest thing about our whole wedding and reception. He gave this amazing speech on his life-long friendship with my husband Matt and all the things they been through. He told some hilarious stories, but by far the best was how horrible and notorious my husband's farts were. I think everyone was laughing so hard and tearing up. It was fantastic. Then at the reception he did a dance routine to “Barbie Girl” with our friend Bob and they were amazing.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We planned an outdoor wedding with a lot of pictures to be taken in the caverns near Starved Rock. Unfortunately, it was raining all day — storming pretty bad. So we had to get married inside and nix all the cavern pictures.
I was sure I was going to be devastated and heartbroken when I checked the weather the night before the wedding, but I wasn't — I was just so happy to be marrying Matt that I just let it slide. I remember laying in bed the morning of the wedding and hearing the rain. I rolled over to Matt and kissed him and told him how happy I was just to be his wife, and that today was going to be the best day.
Our photographer Genevieve was awesome and kept checking outside so we could get some photos outside. She also came up with a lot of photos to do inside and made us feel great during the whole day.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: If someone is not liking where your wedding is heading… stop telling them about the wedding. If they ask about planning, just say, “It's going well.” No need to have people criticizing your wedding — it just makes you second guess yourself. Yes, some people will frown on your ideas and decisions, but you are not out to please them, focus on yourself. The people who enjoy your wedding are the people who know you best and love you no matter what. Don't be afraid to tell people “no” or go against tradition.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The only thing that matters on that day is that you are getting married to the person you love. Do not stress on anything; it's not worth it. It's okay to cry during your ceremony. Lean on the people you know who are there for you. It's okay to let go of a project or process and have someone else help you. Breathe.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant: Anita Vaughan
- Photography: Genevieve (and her assistant photographer Jaime) from TrueLee Photography
- DJ: Get Up and Dance
- Dress & Bridesmaid dresses: David's Bridal
- Flowers: Save on Crafts
- Hairpiece: USA Bride
- Hair and Makeup: Headhunters Salon & Spa
- Cake: Mo at Starved Rock Lodge
- Tuxes: Buy 4 Less Tuxedo
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!