The offbeat bride: Whitney, Drama Therapist
Her offbeat partner: Sully, Poet
Date and location of wedding: Beech Tree Circle, Grand Junction, MI — June 23, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our talented and creative community of family and friends helped us put our stamp on the day. We found it very important to honor our grandparents, who could not make the trip, so we incorporated family quilts, my grandmother's hen-on-nest collection, and our parents' and grandparents' wedding photos to surround our handmade guest book.
Tell us about the ceremony: Sully's father Terry officiated the ceremony, we wrote our own vows, and we had original performances by the Speak'Easy Ensemble directed by Poetry Slam Founder Marc Smith, as well as Sully's sister Heidi on the ukulele. Our friend Victoria, from Whitney's Playback Theater Ensemble “All Things Story,” played the acoustic guitar and sang as guests arrived. Another friend, Nicki, performed “At Last.”
Both of our mothers carried a different wild flower to combine in one vase to symbolize the joining of two families. Later in the ceremony, instead of a unity candle, we each added a white daisy to the bouquet.
While “At Last” was sung, the rings were passed around in a cinnamon bark heart-shaped box. The congregation was asked to give a blessing or say a prayer over the rings before the exchange of vows.
Our biggest challenge: The usual hangups got in our way at times: how to keep the guest list a managable number, budgeting, logistics of day-of duties, relentlessly checking the weather report, last minute RSVPs and cancelations, finding a ladder tall enough to hang the paper lanterns, and when and where to get ice. Ultimately though, we took time out to communicate with each other, listen, and approach situations on a unified front. Between that and a small army of loyal friends willing to help, we were good to go.
My favorite moment: We wrote our vows separately, but combined them into a back-and-forth exchange. We are both criers, so it's a miracle we made it through them. Sully says that one of his favorite moments was seeing me walk down the aisle on the lake front to “Down to the River to Pray” by Allison Krauss.
My funniest moment: Sully's dad, while officiating, accidentally said something along the lines of, “Sully and Whitney have the kind of love that makes the world go wrong.” He then had to repeat himself and stress, “… the world go 'round.”
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were worried about ordering flowers in bulk from FiftyFlowers.com and having them shipped to such a small, off-the-beaten-path location. But they arrived on time, the Thursday before the wedding, and were in great shape. Our challenge was trying to keep them cool and shaded until Saturday. Our friend (who used to work in a flower shop) volunteered to arrange my bouquet, Sully's boutonniere, and the centerpieces.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Steer away from using the word “wedding” when talking to vendors, shops, or anyone trying to sell you something. The price automatically goes up when they know they've got you for something so big and special. Utilize your friends' strengths and creative talents. Chances are, you may know someone who has worked in a flower shop, knows how to use Photoshop and likes designing save-the-dates and invitations, can build a stage, does theater lighting, or owns a PA system.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Sean Dorgan
- Really incredible alterations: Julia Needleman
- Our dog Dilbert's custom tuxedo: Etsy seller RockinDogs
- Groom's maps of Indianapolis and Chicago cufflinks: Etsy seller Juanita.
- Leather-bound journals (groomsmen gifts): Etsy seller InBlue
- Mason jar napkins: Etsy seller CharlstonCharms
- Mason jar rubber stamp we used on our programs, CD's, and invitations: Etsy seller Sugarskull7
- Burlap love birds cake topper: Etsy seller Burlapdreamsweddings
- Bride's necklace and earrings: Etsy seller AzureTreasures
- Bride's lace gloves: Etsy seller Mammamiaeme
- Personalized wooden wall hanging guest book: Etsy seller SketchMeifYouCan
- Bridesmaids' bracelets: Etsy seller JenniferMoonBridal
- Pies: Crane's Pie Shop
- Bride's veil and clip: Etsy seller Prettayprettay
- Bride's shoes: Etsy seller DesignYourPedestal
- Bridesmaids' pinwheels: Etsy seller Rule42
- Recycled CD cases: Amazon.com
- Hanging mason jar lights were filled with water pearls and submersible LED lights were found on Amazon.com
- Groom's tie and pocket square: Cyberoptix Tie Lab
- Groom's suit: Ralph Lauren from Macy's
- Groosmen's suits: Wilke Rodriguez Gray Multistrip Modern-Fit Suits
- Shepherd's hooks we used to line the aisles: Deal$
- Caterer: CK Catering
- Tent, linens, chairs, tables, popcorn machine, and bar: Taylor Rental
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!
fashion: Cyberoptix Tie Lab