Her offbeat partner: Andy, Teacher's Assistant, Singer, Cartoonist, and all-around good guy
Location & date of wedding: A beautiful estate in Cortland Manor, NY (aka middle of nowhere) — July 10, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: I am not very traditional, but my family — scratch that — my mom is. But I think we managed to convert her. We made a lot of things ourselves and we tried to be as earth-conscious as possible. I made our ceremony decor, the clergy sash, and the girls' hair accessories. The centerpieces were made from wine bottles and bean cans.
I had a friend from high school make a Millennium Falcon groom's cake for Andy out of Rice Krispies. She used actual blueprints to make it incredibly detailed. I added a beard to Han Solo and painted Leia's hair blonde to mimic us.
We also used our guests' creative RSVP cards to decorate the foyer. Our officiant was my high school mentor, so I was able to write the whole ceremony. Our flower girls were actually “bubble girls.”
My brother who is a dance instructor taught everyone a social circle dance called “The Barn Dance.” Now this is burned into my memory: “step, hop, step, hop, turn the girl around.”
I am a big Gwen Stefani fan and she inspired me throughout the planning. I sent her an invitation but she didn't come. 😉 But I did have a little Gwen doll with a dress like me. Other Gwen items included a LAMB cuff, L by LAMB perfume, and two pairs of Harajuku Lover shoes — one heel and one flat.
I had two dresses because as much as I loved my gown, it was definitely impractical and I couldn't dance or sit in it very well.
We also asked people to submit photos and videos via text message to our blog so those who were not there could see it instantly. I posted a blog about it as well.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our officiant was an ordained interfaith minister. I wrote the ceremony in a pretty book for us to keep and write about other special family moments.
I also loved the idea of a Jewish Ketubah, so Andy made something similar. It's a beautiful marriage certificate and a promise to each other to hang on the wall. Plus, it starts with “Once upon a time” and ends with “happily ever after.” We signed the legal and decorative certificates in front of everyone.
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was satisfying my mother's expectations. My mom really wanted to have the big family wedding. I gave in on the type of wedding but I had to put my stamp on it.
My favorite moment: Our vows were funny because even though they were a surprise, they were uncannily similar. We both talked about how well we balance each other and how we want our life to be an adventure.
I really liked that when I looked back at my mom during the ceremony, she gave me a thumbs up. It was such a relief that she was enjoying it and I will always remember it.
My dad and I danced slow at first before switching to “Suavemente” and salsa dancing. I'm 50 percent Puerto Rican on my mom's side, and salsa dancing is something we do regularly.
My funniest moment: The funniest moment had to be when my five-year-old nephew punked our friend Rev by scaring him. Only one person saw it happen but everyone knew about it by the end of the wedding. Poor Rev may never live it down.
The other moment might have been when I was asked to take Andy as my husband and I said “I SUUUUUUURRRRRRRREEEEEE DO.”
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? It was raining very hard in the morning. I was waiting for the girls to get their nails done and ended up walking around Wal-Mart thinking, “If I have to make an indoor wedding with just the items in Wal-Mart, what would I do?” We had the backup plan but thankfully didn't need to use it. By the time we got to the venue, the rain had stopped and things were clearing up.
One of the coolest moments was seeing the glorious sun shining as we left the cermony. I have been so fortunate in my life and this is just one of those moments you reflect on.
My advice for offbeat brides: MORE TIME, LESS PEOPLE! Everyone asks you for advice after you have your wedding and this is what I tell them. If I had to do it over again, I would have done it exactly how I wanted to do it originally, which was 24 of the most important people in Vegas for the weekend. Instead we had 150 people for six hours!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? A marriage is not made on a day with a dress and flowers, it's made between two people when they realize that they can get through anything together. I found Andy almost six years ago this October and cannot wait for every new day together.
So if everything does go wrong with the planning, you should still walk away with your one and only.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: La Reine, Waltham Bridal Shop (Pronovias Gaudi)
- Dress Hanger: Custom order from Etsy seller LilaFrances
- Earrings and second dress necklace: Etsy seller GenevieveJewelry
- Watch/Bracelet: eBay, but it's LAMB by Gwen Stefani
- Hair Stuff and boutonnière: Etsy seller SweetGrassMill
- Shoes: Harajuku Lover by Gwen Stefani from Zappos.com
- Presents for bridesmaids: Harajuku Lover by Gwen Stefani from 6pm.com
- Other presents: Etsy seller MindysEmbroidery and Etsy seller Chrissy's Creations
- Eco-friendly coasters: Eco Promos Online
- Groom's Suit: Men's USA (After searching every physical store possible! It was such a good deal too.)
- Groom's Tie – Historical Emporium
- Ceremony Book: Amazon.com
- Toasting Goblets: Made by me at a ceramic store
- Favors: FavorFavor.com
- Millennium Falcon cake: Mimco Cakery in PA (email)
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!