The offbeat bride: Shana, Renewable Energy
Her offbeat partner: Bill, Renewable Energy
Location & date of wedding: Our farm in Gouverneur, NY on August 2nd, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: First, it was on a rundown, beat up, muddy, treacherous farm. There is no barn to speak of, and everything has been abandoned for a couple decades. We warned guests of snakes and potholes, and asked them to bring hiking boots and tennis shoes (they needed tennis shoes for the groom's cup tennis tournament on our front lawn).
We invited children galore! We gave them toys and candy and games! We gave the adults the same treatment and everyone was happy. Our band was warm, happy and an incredible presence (Hunger Mountain Boys deserve all the bluegrass business in New England)!
They had cool duds, even cooler, historic instruments and just a super stage presence. I grew our centerpieces in my garden, fed people on the famous Binghamton New York chicken spiedies, and our altar was a hunk of wood torn from our farmhouse. Our port-a-potties were the best available, air conditioned and spotless. Never, ever skimp on the loo.
Our biggest challenge: Pie management and dealing with the weather. Everyone has to deal with weather when it's an outdoor wedding! Ours was rain-sun-rain-drizzle-thunder-rain-sun. There was no point in trying to anticipate what the crazy weather was going to do, so we covered the chairs with huge tarps and hoped for the best.
Never, ever skimp on the loo.
Had the groomsmen been ready on time, we would have finished the ceremony with scant minutes to spare before the downpour. Unfortunately, the tarps which were meant to cover the chairs were suddenly the tarps that covered the guests. All 128 of them moved 1/4 mile in unison underneath the tarps- in what we could only call the “Blue Turtle”. Some got drenched, others muddy, but they all bonded and will forever remember the day.
In addition to a small cake, we had pies. 18 of them. We had to bring them from the restaurant in Rubbermaid drawers, and find a way to display, protect and serve them. They were decimated in minutes by guests ravenous for sweetness. Feed your guests pies and you will never go wrong.
My favorite moment: Watching my groom and my aunt win the groom's cup five minutes before the ceremony was about to start. He hadn't even begun getting ready- but was so happy he was beaming.
My offbeat advice: Do as much in advance of the final week as possible, hire a fantastic and energetic person to keep tabs on your day (not a wedding planner: mine was the best waitress in town), don't get worked up about weather, serve your favorite food and keep it simple.
Try new things (tennis, flags and a bonfire), plan to have more going on in the day than actually gets accomplished (we didn't do about 1/2 the stuff we planned but were never bored), get bright and fantastic bouquets, smile all day, hire a fun and talented photographer!
Inform your guests in a brochure before the wedding, take a moment to thank your parents regardless of what they did, print and display photographs of all your family's weddings… Don't worry about favors, just have a candy table and make eye contact with everyone you can as you proudly walk down the aisle.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: