The offbeat bride: Stephanie, wedding photographer
Her offbeat partner: Peter, prop builder and jewelry designer
Date and location of wedding: Luna Park, Montague, New Jersey — September 23, 2007
What made our wedding offbeat: There are several things that made our wedding unconventional. The obvious one would be the purple and black dress I wore. We didn't have maids of honor or groomsmen. With the ceremony in New Jersey and the reception in New York, things were complicated enough without adding a wedding party, and I've seen too many fights and hurt feelings over making these choices.
We paid for everything ourselves. We didn't have an aisle to walk down. Our officiant wore a crown and sash over his suit. Our cake was chocolate and peanut butter with purple frosting and silver bats on it. We served all vegan food, and it was delicious!
Tell us about the ceremony: We were married in Luna Parc, an amazing house in Montague, New Jersey. Ricky Boscarino, the home owner and officiant, has spent many years turning it into the amazing place it is. We were cautiously optimistic before meeting him. I figured anyone who has renovated a house to look like that must be some insane genius! We have visited other unusual houses in the U.S. and met some really scary people, but Ricky is totally level-headed.
I wasn't interested in making an entrance, so Ricky did it for me. He was the last to arrive, blowing a goofy bicycle horn to announce his entrance. We gave out raffle tickets, not telling guests at first what they were for. The winners got to sign as witnesses. We didn't want to choose anyone to sign because I've seen too many people get upset that they weren't chosen for something.
I was so nervous, I was cracking jokes the whole time, trying not to be so serious. I'm not a person who is used to being the center of attention, so it made me nervous to be watched by so many people. The fact that I was getting married was not the hard part at all!
Our biggest challenge: We thought it would be a good idea to hire a Greyhound bus to take our guests from New York City to Montague, which is about three hours away. The bus was giving the driver trouble on the way to the ceremony, and he decided not to call his dispatcher for help. He just sat there until we needed to leave and made multiple attempts to start the engine, all failing. When all this was happening, they eventually sent a second bus and failed to give him proper directions. Some people had driven their own cars or had rented a car, including us. Others had to resort to waiting for the bus to start. We tried everything to get transportation for all the guests.
The bus eventually got started, but the driver failed to get the guests to the reception. He eventually got to New York City and the guests just took the subway to the party. We were about three and a half hours late to the reception after everything. It turned out okay in the end, but it was such a horrible stress, really putting a damper on an otherwise amazing day.
My favorite moment: After we kissed, my husband grabbed my waist and spun me around. He's never done that before, since he's usually not spontaneous in that way. It was such a sweet, touching moment for me. It showed me how happy he really was.
My funniest moment: Although neither Pete nor myself are Jewish, we decided to break a glass to honor our Jewish friends. I was sure to remind everyone that if Hitler had won the war, I'd have no friends. I was trying to be funny, but found out one of our guests found the comment very touching and got emotional. Also, a few months after the ceremony my father was asked by his friend how the wedding was. He replied with “It was a real freak show.” I couldn't have been happier!
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Due to the bus breakdown and insane traffic, I thought we were going to miss our own party. It was a real exercise in restraint, but I managed to hold it together with amazing feats of self-control. I didn't want our friends and family to see me cry. In the car, I was planning alternatives in case we were not able to have our party at the venue we paid for. A picnic in Prospect Park in Brooklyn was my best plan on the fly.
But the bar where we had the reception, Union Pool in Brooklyn, was AMAZING! There were guests that just came to the reception, who were waiting for us to arrive for more than three hours. We were on the phone with the coordinator, who had everything under control, organizing the caterers and opening the bar for everyone. Luckily, they had no other events booked after ours so the party was extended. They were so kind and sympathetic, and we will always be thankful for how well they handled everything.
My advice for offbeat brides: I don't know if this qualifies as advice, but I'm glad:
- we paid for everything ourselves
- we didn't have bridesmaids, groomsmen, a best man, or maid of honor
- I'm obnoxious enough to tell people they are not invited when they try to hint that they want to attend. (Yes, this happened a couple of times.)
I wish I would have:
- had someone help us pack up/clean up at the end of the night
- chartered several smaller vehicles for transporting guests, instead of one big one
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Outside of my vehicle lesson, if your meat-eating guests are hungry enough, they WILL eat your vegan food!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Ceremony: Luna Parc, Montague, New Jersey
- Reception: Union Pool, Brooklyn, New York
- Dress and Suit: Lynda Cohen Kinne and Daniel Kinne
- Catering: Foodswings, Brooklyn, New York
- Cake: Vegan Treats, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- Sideshow Banner: Dana Noffke
- Photos: various friends and family
- Music: Cult of the Psychic Fetus and The Brides
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!