The offbeat bride: Claudia, Adoption blogger/Director of Social Media

Her offbeat parter: Michael D'Arcy, Mr. Neighborhood Watch and Daddy

Location & date of wedding: Ceremony: “Peace Park” / Reception: Local punk rocker, Snapper McGees in Uptown Kingston, NY — August 19, 2007

What made our wedding offbeat: Eight years, a house and two kids later… In 2007 our anniversary fell on a Sunday, we realized that if we didn't get married then, we would have to wait even longer. We would have eloped, but my husband was an only child and his mother INSISTED on being there, so a huge party was the answer. 183920609109_0_ALB

So the local bar owner gave us free run of the pub, and he gave me the dress (he has a rockabilly store in CT). I think I spent more time futzing over the design of the invitations than anything else. Oddly enough, I designed the invitations after tattoos. Afterward we both ended up getting the tattoo from our invitations! 133041970306_0_ALB

It was a potluck, everyone pull together, insane affair, with sugar skulls, Mexican day of the dead, punk rock, rockabilly, tattoos, pirates, whatever! No theme. After a godly cocktail hour, we went across the street where my husband's best friend's in-laws married us in the park, amongst whoops and hollers from the guests.

Our wedding march was Metallica playing the Imperial Death march from Star Wars with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Then my sixteen year old son's hard core band played.

The best thing was that ALL my kids were there for the first time ever, even my oldest, who was given up for adoption at birth. He had never met his other three siblings before came. So it was the best day of my life. 168818509109_0_ALB

My favorite moment: The fact that all my kids were in the same room for the first time in my life. My youngest three got to met their oldest brother, for the first time. I was surprised that Max (my oldest) was able to be there. I had hoped he could come, but didn't want to disappointed if he couldn't make it. However, my husband made sure that he showed up. So within three seconds of getting there, I was in tears!

My funniest moment: I think the wedding march to Metallica doing Star Wars was funniest for me. Or that we took over the whole town that day!
Our biggest challenge: It was actually a zero stress wedding. We had the cocktail hour first, so we almost forgot to do the wedding part! And the cake, people were demanding to eat cake, but I was busy dancing! 539676509109_0_ALB

My advice for offbeat brides: Save your money for a house and just have fun that day. Really, it's a huge party! That's all… it's not going to be perfect and someone will cry. Just forget about the Barbie fantasy!

Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? Yes. The first time I only knew the groom for three months to the day we got married. So this time I waited eight years. I overcompensated a bit. 466036509109_0_ALB

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It's not the dress, it's not the cake, it's not the money, it's the people surrounding you. I had everyone I loved there: my family, my friends, my neighbors and my kids. THAT was the most important part. We were ALL together.

Care to share any vendor/shopping links?

  • I made everything but my dress
  • The decor was from Oriental Trading Co.

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Comments on Our “two kids & eight years later” New York punk rock wedding BASH!

  1. My fiance is from Kingston! Wow, how crazy. He actually proposed in Woodstock when we were there in March…. Cant wait to show him the pics tonight. Maybe yall know each other!!!! Congrats on your wedding. What a beautiful place to wed!!

  2. This was very cool!! I love every detail! And your shoes are fabulous dahling!!

  3. your dress made my heart do a backflip – where on earth did you get it???!! and it’s weird, i don’t know you but i welled up at reading how happy you were that all your kids could be there. that’s so beautiful. *hug* x

  4. @ Brani.. How funny! Small world.. and chances are.. we probably know him! My husband knows EVERYONE!
    @Tina.. thank you! The shoes were actually from Burlington Coat Factory and cost 15 bucks!

    and the link to my blog is funky..and I can’t get the edit thingy to take a hyperlink.. so for those interested in adoption stories: http://www.musingsofthelame.com

    Thanks all!

    • So I literally just read your entire adoption story from your site…wow, what an amazing sad/breathtaking story. Thank you for sharing it.

      Back to the wedding in particular…I think you just convinced me to have a colored veil! That is hot!!

  5. This is by far my favorite wedding featured on the site. Not just because you had so much fun, but the story of your oldest son being there just really touched me (even though I have no kids of my own) and that’s really rare for a story about kids to make me feel all weepy.

    Congratulations on having such an awesome day!

  6. I got home at 10 and read this; it’s now nearly 2am. I’ve been reading your blog from the link to the photos of you and Max, then came back and re-read this. Tears are streaming down my face…and i’m notorious as the girl who didn’t even cry watching “My Girl”! Your story, complete with 2 happy endings, put real perspective into my life tonight.Thank you.

  7. Thanks all!!
    Good to know that my online ability to make people cry extends to Wedding sites as well.. It’s my Secret power. Sorry for th lost sleep.. I do that too I am told!

    • Nooo! Your wedding was bliss–pretty in punk! Potluck! Candy skulls! It was the happy ending(s) that got me; nice to know they really DO exist..

  8. The Death March music made me smile. It’s very similar to what some offbeat Australian brides I know have done – walk down the aisle to AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’. I love weddings with a sense of humor.

  9. Thanks for sharing your story. Great that all your children were there to celebrate with you. My adopted son came to my wedding years ago. It was the first time I had seen him since birth.

    I did want to make a suggestion though.

    You said, “…even my oldest, who was given up for adoption at birth.”

    As the birth mother of an adopted child and an adoption advocate, I always try to stress that a more positive way to refer to adoption is “placed for adoption” rather than “given up for adoption”.

    • Hi Theresa..
      I consider myself an advocate of adoption reform: I lobby for adoptee rights, and I speak out against the National Council for Adoption and their coersive practices, and well.. for ME.. as a birthmother adoption was NOT a positive thing in my life.. and I refuse to use language that makes other people feel good about needlessly separating mothers and children.
      I LOST my child to adoption. It created much pain and grief and continues to for the last 23 years.
      Look at who designed the “positive adoption language” and who promotes it in our socity? It was engineered by the social workers and adoption agencies that make the profit from the legal transfer of our children. They want you and me to feel like we had a real choice and it is suppose to feel good, but it doesn’t and it never will.
      I’d be more than happy to discuss this further, but I suggest that we take it to a more fitting area such as my blog.

      • I am so sorry to hear this…for me personally, I did place my son for adoption. I did not give him up. It was an informed and positive decision that I stand by as one of the best choices I’ve made in life.

        Regardless of whomever designed “positive adoption language”, I find it a better way to describe my choice. I did not go through an agency or a social worker though. I chose my son’s adoptive parents through a midwife, who had their “profile letter” in her files and their adoption lawyer handled all the legal details.

        It is heartbreaking and tragic to think of mothers being coerced into giving their children up for adoption, so I appreciate your efforts to work against capitalistic and institutional/religious forces that are a part of such separations.

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