Amanda & Jason’s classy galactic Star Wars extravaganza

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 | Photography by Erik Holladay

It's getting close to one of our favorite holidays, Star Wars Day! Stock up on your geeky quotes, get your lightsabers ready, and use The Force. May the fourth be with you!

Photos by Erik Holladay

The Offbeat Bride: Amanda, Program Analyst

Her offbeat partner: Jason, Student of Secondary Ed, Social Studies, and Earth Science

Date and location of wedding: Battle Creek Country Club, Battle Creek, MI — May 4, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jason and I began talking on May 4th, International Star Wars Day, back in 2010, because he liked some of the Star Wars quotes I was posting on my Facebook wall. So, it was perfect to not only have our wedding on May 4th, but also have a Star Wars theme. We still wanted a classy and semi-traditional affair to please our families, but were able to blend our Star Wars theme with some traditional aspects.



We were also on a bit of a budget. To save money, I designed my own save-the-dates and printed them as magnets, and made my own R2-D2 card box, among other things. Where we couldn't do it ourselves, we did a lot of bargain hunting.



We tried to tie in our theme in subtle and yet unmissable ways. I designed our cake, and it was made into wonderful reality by our good friend, the owner of NOM Baked Goods. Each tier was a different planet from the Star Wars universe (and a different flavor of cake!). The toppers were Han and Leia with our hair and eye colors.



Instead of assigned seating by table number, we did assigned seating at tables named after different Star Wars characters. Each table had a character, their picture, a quote, and the Star Wars movie the quote appeared in. We also had a projector and screen available to use for no extra charge from our venue, so we streamed all three original trilogy movies all night long. That was a big hit, especially because it gave people something to do while we were outside taking photos.



Of course, it wouldn't be a Star Wars wedding without some representation from the 501st Legion, so we had Darth Vader and a Sandtrooper escort come to take pictures with us. The 501st asks that you donate to a charity instead of paying them directly, so we donated to Doctors Without Borders.


Tell us about the ceremony:
We wanted something really personal but still approachable for the ceremony, so we started with a generic Unitarian Universalist ceremony and modified it to our liking. Our good friend Liz, who is an ordained minister, performed our ceremony and incorporated every nerdy thing she could into it (because Star Wars is not the limit of our geekery!). She read the ceremony out of her TARDIS notebook, and was wearing a Green Aes Sedai shawl (from Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series) under her Sith robe, which was closed with Arwen's brooch from Lord of the Rings. Oh, and as a surprise to us, the first line she started our ceremony with was, “Marriage is what brings us together today” in the traditional Princess Bride style (followed by a quick, “Whoops — wrong movie!”).

May_the_Fourth_13For the music, we used the soundtracks of the Star Wars movies. The parents were seated to “Princess Leia's Theme,” the bridal party walked down to “Hologram/Binary Sunset,” and we used the Throne Room Title as the bridal processional.

Here were our vows:

Amanda, I love you more than my love for Star Wars. I look forward to a lifetime in search of adventure as we travel the world together. I will cross any ocean just to be with you. Together we can withstand anything: late trains, late planes, and even Darth Vader. Come with me and we will explore the world and make it ours. Each trip will be another adventure that we call our place. Every city will be special because we will explore it together. I'll take part in any rebellion you want and pledge my life and love to you, Princess.
Jason, I love you so much. When I first met you, I thought you were too good to be true. I've been all over the world, and to think that the perfect guy was just around the corner was crazy to me — but I guess I'm crazy because here you are. I love that you are my player two when we play video games together, and that you are my heating blanket when I'm cold (which is always). I want to thank you for being patient with me when I'm fashionably late and when I have to make sure the bed is made before going to sleep. When I'm with you I can't help but feel anything but happiness. For the rest of my life I promise I'll travel with you, game with you, read with you, and never let you get trapped in carbonite. I can't wait to see where the rest of our lives together will take us. I love you.


Our biggest challenge:
We wanted to have a non-traditional ceremony, both to incorporate our geekery and because Jason is an atheist. But my family wanted us to have a formal Christian ceremony held in a church. After researching venue after venue, we not only ended up compromising on the church by having the ceremony and reception at the same place, but also on the ceremony wording itself. It took a lot of tactful discussing but eventually people realized how important a custom ceremony and a fun location was to us, and it worked out for the best in the end!



My funniest moment:
The photo booth was really funny. We originally didn't think it was necessary, but my mom really wanted to have one. It turns out that it was a big hit — and one of the best parts of the night was thanks to two of our friends who realized they could carry the cardboard cutouts of Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 into the photo booth with them. We love looking through all the photo booth pictures where people posed with their favorite characters. There were a few surprising ones, too: we got photobombed by some of the country club's employees and we were also mooned!



My favorite moment:
Our first dance was amazing. It was to “Do You Want To Know a Secret” by the Beatles. We are both really big Beatles fans, so all the big dances were to Beatles songs. The DJ was also a Beatles fan, and to introduce our dance, he did a really great Ed Sullivan impression and got everyone to come gather around the dance floor. They all sang the “doo-wops” in the background of the song while we danced. We are both very shy, but this was intimate while being lighthearted and fun, so we got over our nerves pretty quickly.


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Comments on Amanda & Jason’s classy galactic Star Wars extravaganza

  1. This sounds amazing! I am interested in projecting movies at the reception too, and wondered whether you left the sound on, or used the subtitles, or both? Did you do it in the main reception room, or somewhere else?

    • Hi Banhshidh!

      We projected in the main reception hall, right next to the bar (so people could see the screen both from their tables and while standing in line for a drink). We didn’t have speakers available, so we just did subtitles. The DJ still had some music going during that time so there was something in the background. And it was on the opposite end of the hall from the DJ/dance floor, so it wasn’t a big distraction to leave on the rest of the night either.

  2. This looks so fun! The FH and I are huge nerds too and we both grew up watching Star Wars. Ive been thinking about asking the 501st Legion to “Wedding Crash” our ceremony before I walk down the isle. How did you make your save the dates?

    • Thanks LadyDarth! It was an amazing day! I highly suggest getting ahold of the 501st in your area. Watching people’s faces as Vader appeared was hilarious!

      For my save the dates, I actually made them in MS Paint, with a whole lot of patience and use of the color dropper tool. 🙂 I downloaded the Star Wars style font for free online. And believe it or not, the Return of the Jedi style logo is Times New Roman!

      Good luck with your planning!

    • The 501st is coming to our wedding but a word of advice, DEFINITELY book them in advance. We’re making a donation to the charity of their choosing and they have big event the same day as our wedding (in October). Luckily one family offered to come because they were previously planning on running a marathon that got canceled 🙂

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