When we feature both weddings with barns, AND tentacle posts, it can only mean it's BARNACLE WEEK! Today we've got a lovely Midwest barn setting, some adorable fur babies, and a sweet, poetry-reading grandma.


The Offbeat Bride: Lauren, Safety Label Overlord (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Steve, Optical Tech

Date and location of wedding: Crazy Man's Hideaway, Veedersburg, IN — September 14, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The idea for our reception venue was to make it feel like a bigger version of our home: comfortable, friendly, and homey. We both love the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, and we knew that it was going to be the song we walked down the aisle to. Everything just sort of built from there! We spent about a year hoarding old bottles, vintage luggage, and quilts in our teeny tiny apartment. I almost forgot I had a couch.

WEDDINGrise Kingdom



We let everyone pick their own clothing, and we told our vendors (and crafty family members) to just do what they do and surprise us. That led to the cutest cupcakes and wedding cake we could have wanted, some amazing celebratory ribbon wands, a stunning bouquet, and some awesome table numbers and seating chart. We are blessed to be surrounded by so many talented, big-hearted people. It truly was a group effort, and it made the celebration that much sweeter.


Tell us about the ceremony: Everyone walked down to “Home,” ending with Steve and I walking down together. I honestly only remember three things from our ceremony: my mom's big smile, my Gramma leaving her reading (“Will You Love Me When I'm Old?” by Tessie Berry) behind at the barn, and Steve smiling at me, saying “I do.”


Our friend's uncle Troy stepped in to officiate after our original officiant opted out. Troy did a great job. Here is an excerpt from his introduction, adapted from “History of Love” by Diane Ackerman:

We are here today to encourage, celebrate, and support the love that Lauren and Steve have for one another, and to share in their joy as they pledge their love and commitment before us. We celebrate in the ways life has led them to one another, and how their love has brought them to the place where they now stand today. But love is such a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful. It has altered the flow of history, kindled works of art, calmed monsters, cheered the forlorn, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love's spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable? Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization. The heart is a living museum and in each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, are our moments of loving, and being loved.


UntitledOur biggest challenge: My work schedule was our biggest challenge. I work at least six days a week, 10-12 hour days, and that just doesn't leave a lot of time for wedding planning. Luckily for us, my dad is a full-on Samuel L. Jackson-style bad-ass, and flew up from New Orleans to slap our wedding into shape before it embarrassed all of us. If we didn't have him there to help us, we probably would have crumbled under all of the pressure.

Also, on a much more personal level, I had a hard time finding a dress I could wear because of my asymmetrical breasts, due to a past infection. When I started looking at wedding dresses, I was overcome with anxiety. I started looking around, and I found Beth, a local clothing designer in Indianapolis, who made my simple cotton dress for me. The final fitting came, and the last thing on my mind as I looked in the mirror was anything about my chest. I'd recommend a custom dress to anyone who's dealing with fit problems.


My favorite moment: Having our entire family there was amazing. I honestly thought my heart was going to explode all day. It really does give you this huge boost of confidence to look out at this sea of smiles, knowing that everyone out there wants the best for you. Plus, we are one scattered family: Alaska, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Indiana are just a few of the states you'll find us in. In the end, it was a family reunion with a wedding in the middle.

Gramma's poem reading also meant a lot to us, and to my family. My Grampa knew hundreds of poems and riddles by heart, and loved to recite them to us when we were growing up. We asked my Gramma to pick something she thought he would have wanted to read. She found “Will You Love Me When I'm Old?” in a book she bought for him when they got married in 1953.


My funniest moment: When it came time for Gramma to read her poem during the ceremony, she popped up from her seat and shouted in her hilarious Wisconsin accent “OH NO! I've forgotten it! Oh, Lord! Oh no!” We had an extra copy for her, but you know how you can tell your grandma that you're not hungry and she still fills your plate and asks you what you want for dessert? Something like that started to happen:

Gramma: OH NO! I've forgotten it! Oh, Lord! Oh no!
Me: No worries, Gramma, we've got another up here. Come up, come up.
Gramma: Lord help me, THE BARN! IT'S IN THE BARN!
Me: That's okay. I've printed one, get up here, girl!
Gramma: There were gnomes on the back! I put gnomes, ya know, because Grampa liked them so. Oh, and they looked like you, too. Oh my.
Me: It's okay, I promise. I have one up here, come here!
Gramma: Oh my, oh lord… oh goodness, me. Oh my.

It took her another minute before she could really settle down and read the poem!



Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was worried that I'd end up having to have a first dance. It's not that I refuse to dance in public, so much as I just have respect for people, and I make Al Gore look like a Britney Spears backup dancer. My protests were ignored, but those photos turned out to be some of my favorite shots! Do I look like I'm being chased by invisible bees in most of them? Yes. But they make me laugh, and they make me remember how much fun I had that night, so I love them.



My advice for Offbeat Brides: I am a MAJOR people-pleaser by nature, and if you are too, you know it can be a painful trait. I caved-in more than I thought I would: wearing white, having multiple wedding party members, having food catered, etc. And still, some of the people who were demanding these things had poor attitudes that day. If you find yourself in this position, and you know that standing up and unleashing the good ole what-for isn't in you, then I suggest this: squeeze your partner's hand as tight as possible, look into their eyes, and remember that you're getting married to the coolest person you've ever met in your entire life.



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Comments on Lauren & Steve’s homey family reunion barn wedding

  1. While an exceptionally lovely story and a nice wedding, I’m afraid I focused on a small element: that tattoo on your back: it looks amazing!

  2. “we told our vendors (and crafty family members) to just do what they do and surprise us”

    I kinda love this! It lets creative people express their creativity, and probably show off their own specialties which means you get the best from everyone. And resulting eclecticity sure seems to have turned out quite charming for you two. Congrats! 🙂

  3. I love the photo with your dogs!

    And my grandma had a Wisconsin accent too. 🙂

  4. I love this story. I almost burst into tears about the story of your grandma and how she read the poem her grandpa would have read ” will you love me when Im old?”. my daughter has a body type that none of the wedding dresses would work for her so I am custom making her wedding dress, but into two pieces because she is not a dress person. So custom making dresses are becoming more common than most think these days. Personally I think custom dresses are more personal and prettier than store bought dresses. Congratulations and Beautiful wedding pictures!!

  5. So touching and so hilarious. I laughed out loud at the part about your grandma. I love how colorful and laid back, but seemingly, accidentally put together everything looks. Congratulations!

  6. Great wedding song choice, especially for such a nice homey wedding. Grandma’s poem was incredibly sweet, and such a moving idea for a wedding.

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