The offbeat bride: Lisa, research/data analyst, grad lecturer, and all-around grad student

Her offbeat partner: Dan, manufacturing engineer

Date and location of wedding: The Dunwoodie Golf Course, Yonkers, NY — November 26, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: When we set out to plan the day, we approached it as if we were just planning a party, except a much larger one than we've ever hosted before. We wanted to do most everything ourselves to save money, be creative, and to infuse as many details as possible with homages to the geeky things that we've long bonded over.

Both of us played to our strengths for our solo responsibilities. I was responsible for graphical and document design, including a mock Magic the Gathering card-style invitation. I also designed a wedding program adorned with Brian Froud-style artwork.

Save the date

Cupcake tower, and D12 cardbox (DIY by the groom)

Dan loves to cook, so he worked to make a variety of homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate. He also constructed a beautiful D12-shaped card box. We made most everything else together, including the centerpieces that involved collecting branches in Dan's parent's backyard, and then glittering the hell out of them. It was a mish-mash of our combined love for science, gaming and geekery, my love of '80s fantasy and horror films, and Dan's love of candy-making.

Dan and Lisa, entering

Tell us about the ceremony: Initially, we weren't sure we really wanted to do a ceremony and had planned to marry in an administrative building and reserve the rest for a big party. But one of the main reasons we decided to do a full ceremony was the realization that we could construct something that reflected our values, and was chock full of humor and nerd-cultural references.

Our vows were reasonable. We didn't wish to make “promises,” but instead opted for probabilistic estimations. We also wanted to underscore how very ordinary we believe love and partnership to be, and how the act of becoming legal spouses pales in significance to the intimacy of setting shared goals and planning a life together.

Dan and Lisa, married!

Our reading came out chapter six of “A General Theory of Love” by Lewis, Amini, and Lannon. We made selections from this chapter pertaining to how we as individuals are shaped by our shared experiences and attachments to others. This is not just metaphorically, there are actual physical changes in our neural circuitry as we form and expand on a collection of memories we share with an intimate partner.


My favorite moment: In the moments just before the ceremony, I had this odd sense of panic about the script. I wrote the ceremony with the full intention for it to be more funny than anything else, and there was this moment where I wondered, what if they don't laugh?

Having a rather non-traditional approach to the wedding can leave some guests confused as to how they should behave. I had worked to created an FAQ page on our wedding website to quell some fears folks had about dress code and other details. But it was like it just occurred to me all at once that I never told anyone the ceremony was really meant to be funny, and what if they felt they shouldn't laugh, perhaps believing that this would be rude.

Not more than a minute or two into the ceremony, when the first real punch line was delivered by our officiant, the room swelled with laughter. At that point I relaxed, looked at Dan, and we just giggled the rest of the way through it.

Man of Honor, speech

Dan and Lisa

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Online vendors and retailers are terrific. We had little trouble Googling whatever the thing was that we had in mind. However, it can be frightening to place orders with companies/sellers you've never done business with, and just hope that you have it in time for the wedding (and it is actually the thing you have in mind). We found that reading customer reviews proved to be invaluable in identifying quality products and sellers.

But those reviews won't exist if we don't write them. So my main piece of advice is that if you purchase something for your wedding online, and it ends up being wonderful or horrible, you should submit a review stating it. Even if there are already reviews that you read that helped you make your decision and you'd only be reiterating, it still provides added data, which is almost always good. And give details, there is no need to be shy.

Game table

River's Table

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? There will be people in your life, whether they were guests or not, who will dislike your wedding. This cannot be prevented. Embracing this, and deciding not to give a shit about it, is far more healthy than sacrificing even one tiny piece of your own happiness.

Wedding Party

Dan and Lisa

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Comments on Lisa & Dan’s gamer geeks in love wedding

  1. Ooooooh! I love! The picture in front of the dinosaur bones in their slideshow is so cool!!! They did a fantastic job and it looks like they are so happy and in love 🙂 Congrats!!

  2. Games at a wedding, YES! We’re having a table full of games, too, and some people are putting their noses up at it. We’ll see who’s playing a drunken round of The Game of Things at 10:30, now won’t we? Beautiful wedding, congratulations on the awesomeness and bravo on making it about who you guys are as a couple. 🙂

  3. Sorry, the D&D geek in me has to point out that’s a d12, not a d20. Nitpicking aside, I loooove the wedding!

    EDIT: OH. I didn’t realize the caption was for the d20 STD (Is it a save the date? that’s what it looks like to me). I was looking at the cupcakes and the gigantic die next to them. My bad!

    • Yeah, I think when they captioned the pic with D20 they were referring to the STD image I made featured just above it. I think, anyway 🙂

  4. You really rocked that fabulous purple dress! I wish you both much happiness.

  5. I’m not sure if I’m missing something, but it says your ceremony and reception were at a Golf Course… but I see tons of pictures at a museum! Did you guys do wedding photos at the museum, or did you have parts of the wedding there?

    • We had our first date at the museum of natural history, so we went there for some pictures. We got a lot of funny looks, but it was a great time.

  6. ‘There will be people in your life, whether they were guests or not, who will dislike your wedding. This cannot be prevented. Embracing this, and deciding not to give a shit about it, is far more healthy than sacrificing even one tiny piece of your own happiness’

    I try to remember this. Thanks for reiterating it!!

  7. Thank you so much for this – I’m getting married in less than 2 weeks, and we’re integrating board games into our reception (we met while playing the electronic version of Catch Phrase!). I really appreciate seeing how you integrated your love of games into your ceremony/reception. I also felt I really needed to hear your last line about not worrying whether (when) a guest dislikes something about your wedding – so important to remember as the wedding gets closer. Thanks again!

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