Offbeat Couple: Jess & Sarah
Date and location of wedding: Earth and Old Stones Farm, Greenville, Ohio 10/30/2021
Our Middle Earth Tolkien wedding at a glance:
This was a Tolkien/Lord of the Rings themed wedding. Everything from the rustic location to the decor to the wedding favors tied back to our love of Middle Earth.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our officiant gave a brief intro & my brother read “Everything I Have to Tell You About Love” by Neil Gaiman:
This is everything I have to tell you about love
This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.
This is everything I've learned about marriage: nothing.
Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.
It's not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it's what they mean.
Somebody's got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn't want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.
It's not two broken halves becoming one.
It's the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together.
So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing,
like a book without pages or a forest without trees.
Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else's love, nobody else's marriage, is like yours,
and it's a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.
And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.
And that's all I know about love.
Our ring exchange was short and on theme:
Two rings to rule them all
Two rings to find them
Two rings to bring them all,
And in this marriage, bind them.
The officiant then read from “The Ballad of The Hobbit”:
The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.
The greatest adventure is there if you're bold.
Let go of the moment that life makes you hold.
To measure the meaning can make you delay;
It's time you stop thinkin' and wasting the day.
The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
This was followed by closing words and the pronouncement.
At one point, we were all upstaged by one of the barn cats who decided to strut down the aisle and then directly in front of the officiant.
We also decided to forgo a traditional flower girl and had the Flower Dudes instead – two of our friends who danced down the aisle and tossed leaves.
Tell us about the Middle Earth-themed reception:
We tried to keep our reception laid back and fun, with food and drink available at all times (as any befits any proper hobbit party).
My brother, who is a professional opera singer, sang for our first dance, and then we opened the floor for everyone to enjoy themselves. This led to one (fake!) sword fight, which was ended when I stepped into the fray. Then everyone ate, drank, and danced the night away.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your Middle Earth wedding?
The biggest challenge for us was figuring out how to stick within our budget. We were very lucky and blessed to have incredibly talented and generous friends and family who helped by making centerpieces, assisting with decorating, performing, and helping teardown the following day. We could never have done it without them.
One of our biggest expenses was the photography package, and it was worth every penny. There are plenty of places you can save money. We draped white sheets and used faux greenery from craft stores. Pay for good photos! You'll be so glad. In the last 3 days leading up to the wedding, we had a major issue with a vendor and a couple smaller things that fell through. It was very stressful, and we were thankful to have a lot of support from our friends and family. In the end, though, the event went beautifully.
Vendors behind this Middle Earth wedding:
- Venue: Earth and Old Stones Farm // @eosfarm_
- Photographer: Johnny Darwish with Images by Daniel Michael // @danielmichael_photo
- Officiant: Ria Roth
- Cake: The Cakery
- Dresses: David's Bridal
- Tiaras: PernCirclets
- Elf Ear Cuffs: Thyme2Dream, Heavy Metal Fantasy Art, Alexandria Style
- Wedding Favors (LOTR themed candles): MM92 Infinite Photo
- Handfasting Cords: Handfasting Heaven
- Goblets: Bubba Jones Brew Cups
- Bouquets: Wood Flowers Co
- Invitations: Midnight Revels