Wedding Gift

The offbeat bride: Heidi

Her offbeat partner: Ed, Statistician

Date and location of wedding: An opera house turned skating rink turned venue near Lansing, MI — March 5, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: We had no bridal party, we had no flowers, our ceremony was in the same room as our reception, the whole thing cost $6,000, and our theme was artichoke and asparagus, our favorite vegetables.

Decorated head table

For our guest book, I had my guests draw and write us a message with crayons on individual sheets. I planned the whole thing from square one in six months.

Coloring guest book

HeidEd Sign 2

Tell us about the ceremony: All told, our ceremony was about 15 minutes long. We didn't really feel the need to do much beyond making it legal when we first started planning the wedding, but in the end I was glad we decided to incorporate something meaningful to emotionally seal the deal.


When we were officially man and wife, we turned around and all of our guests waved ribbon wands at once. It was so awesome. (I'm smiling just remembering it.) I even gave them all a thumbs up before we walked to the back of the venue for our receiving line.


Our biggest challenge: Getting everything done! We had 90-some confirmed guests, which meant that for the DIY items each guest would receive, I had to make 100 of them. 100 ribbon wands, 100 programs, 100 guest book coloring sheets, etc.

Book ring holder

My husband and I were both in grad school when the wedding took place, and my husband's PhD comprehensive exams wound up getting scheduled two weeks before our wedding. They don't tell you that shit until like six weeks before the exams themselves.

Also, notice the pom poms on the ceiling? Those are 1,250 hand-dyed coffee filters sewn in to balls of 25. I promise I am not a crazy person. I just like making crafts… a lot. My friends helped too.


My favorite moment: Our ceremony was pretty amazing, and my dad's toast was very special. The runner-up for most meaningful moment, though, was when someone said our wedding seemed very personal. I was so oblivious to the fact that my wedding was, for lack of a better word, “weird” when I was creating it.

Anti-floral boutonnieres

My funniest moment: During our ceremony, I read from “Goodridge Vs. Department of Health” by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, and my husband followed up with reading the lyrics of “I'm Sticking with You” by Velvet Underground. Our guests laughed out loud, particularly those who know my husband well.

Pictures in the snow 1

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was most worried about bad weather affecting our relatives' abilities to make it to Lansing in March. I'm from Fargo, ND and my husband is from Mena, AR. Everyone who flew in made it just fine, though.

My bouquet!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I learned that I'm really hard on myself! Also, when people leave your reception early en masse, it might just be because the roads were getting icy, not because you threw a bad party.

We did it!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

Inspired by Heidi's killer DIY? Check out some similar tutorials: carved-out ring books, coloring book-inspired projects, fabric flowers, VIP buttons and badges, and name banners!

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Comments on Heidi & Ed’s artichoke and asparagus-themed handmade wedding

  1. A fellow Lansing-ite here! The Opera House is on my list of venues to check out for our wedding sometime next year. It looks lovely! PS: LOVE Soup Spoon Cafe!

    • The venue was probably the hardest thing about getting married in Lansing. There are not a ton of options, and many of the traditionally “nicest” ones are crazy expensive.

      • I have been noticing that. Plus, fiance and I homebrew, as do many of our friends, so finding a place where we can bring our own alcohol is an added layer of difficulty. But your wedding looks like it turned out beautifully!

  2. I love any wedding porn that includes pictures of dessert! Very beautiful. I love the veggie theme.

  3. What a gorgeous wedding! I love the cartoon of you guys, and the way you’ve got your names lit up in lights. How did you do that, out of curiousity?

  4. Crazy adorable! I love these two and everything about this wedding. Veggie themed? So fantastic – and sooo lovely and classy. Two thumbs up.

  5. You two might just be the cutest bride and groom I’ve ever seen. Seriously adorable!

  6. what a gorgeous wedding! i adore the invitations – so pretty and unique!
    congratulations, and best wishes to you both x

  7. Wow, what a beautiful wedding! I really admire your DIY dedication. Also, is that an artichoke and asparagus tattoo? RIGHT ON!

  8. I’m going to echo a few others and say you two are seriously too cute for words together.

  9. Hey! MY husband is from Mena, Arkansas! And I’m from Michigan, but not Lansing.

    The wedding looked lovely. The poms are great!

  10. Fellow Lansingian here! The GLOP was definitely one of the choices on our venue. We ended up not using it (using the English Inn instead).

    Your wedding is so beautiful! I love the simplicity of it. The danger with the GLOP is that too much can be done very easily. I think you straddled the line quite successfully.

  11. What a theme! You two pulled it off so well! Congratulations! I am in love with the overall awesomeness of how it all came together! You both seemed so happy and relaxed.

    I love your portrait! Was that your invitations too? Who created it? The line work and color is absolutely breathtaking!

  12. amazing! thats all i have to say, your photos look beautiful! i loved your idea of the crayons and paper for your quest book. may have to steal that hehe, once your quest had written notes on the paper where were they put ? and also how do you have them now? in a folder etc? =)

  13. My husband and I had our reception in the Grand Ledge Opera house, too! It’s a beautiful place. Imagine my surprise when I was led to this lovely post from something completely different–and it turned out to be about someplace so close to home. I loved it there.

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