The Offbeat Bride: Maria, Clerk
Her offbeat partner: Bob, freelance cinematographer
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: People couldn't believe that we wanted to get married outside in the winter and that we were going to snowboard in a suit and dress. I also made my own cake. Here's how it all went down. The Tuesday before, we loaded up a trailer with wedding decorations, dresses, tuxes, food, alcohol, a keg, and all our ski gear, and headed to Peek’n’Peak ski resort in New York. We are from Ohio so I guess technically we had a destination wedding.
We held a rehearsal of the ceremony and then had dinner at a cozy little snowmobile bar in the area. The next morning we had our ceremony at 12:30 then went snowboarding with about 35 of our friends and family. Since it was mid-week we practically had the entire resort to ourselves. While we were boarding, our moms and the family and friends who weren’t on the slopes, set up a club room at the bottom of the resort for a mini reception. My mom had prepared tons of food in advance and we set it all up in the room, along with one of the wedding cakes I made for us. After the mini-reception some people traveled home. The people who were spending the night all partied in our condo with us. We did a lot of ski shots that night. Ski shots are when you take an old pair of skis and take the binding off then glue about four magnets spaced out across them. You then have four shot glasses with magnets on the bottom that you put on the skis and 4 people stand in a line and tip the ski up together and do the shots.
We drove back to Ohio the next day (Thursday) and I finished making my second wedding cake for our reception that we had on that Friday. We had about 160 people at the reception. All the guests were invited to both the reception and ceremony, but only about 60 came to the ceremony. Our reception was pretty typical. As our guests entered they were greeted with a shot table and we had customized shot glasses as our wedding favors. The seating cards were made to look like ski lift tickets. Since Bob is in the film industry, the best man’s speech was actually a movie pitch about our life. He had everyone cracking up. We had a great DJ that had the dance floor full the whole night. We had so much fun.
Tell us about the ceremony:
The ceremony was short and simple. We were lucky enough to get a condo that had a big porch that wrapped around the back and it overlooked the ski slopes, that is where we held the ceremony. It was only about 12 degrees out so it was freezing but it was a sunny day with gorgeous blue skies. Our guests waited inside the condo to stay warm until right before we started and we had told them not to wear dress clothes but to come in warm winter outfits. I loved how informal it was, all our friends and family were just gathered around us in ski gear. Our wedding party all had dresses and tuxes, but we told them to wear jackets, hats, gloves, etc. They all refused because they didn’t want to “ruin” the look of our wedding because we were out there in a tux and dress. I felt bad that they were so cold, but I was also touched that they wanted to put up with the cold for us. I did give all the girls matching gloves and pashmina scarfs to wear, so at least they had those on.
I walked out to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of “Wonderful Tonight,” which is our song. We also had a unity candle ceremony. Since it was so cold and we were outside, the candles didn't actually stay lit. We expected that and had told the officiant to just go with it whether they were lit or not. It ended up working out because she was able to fit in some extra stuff about us working together in life-like we were working together to light the candles and how just like we were having difficulty lighting the candles we would have difficulties in marriage we would face and overcome together. Bob's grandfather did a reading from the 1st Corinthians. We had given him a shortened version to read because we didn't want to make everyone freeze for too long, but he decided he was going to read the entire excerpt anyways, which we still laugh about. We exchanged rings, read our vows, and then had our first kiss as husband and wife.
Right after the ceremony, everyone piled back into our condo to warm up, and we had a champagne toast. Then we jumped on our snowboards and went snowboarding together for the first time as husband and wife.
Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was all the uncontrollable and unknown variables we had to deal with. The weather in New York in late February could be anywhere from warm and sunny, rainy and cool, or a full-blown blizzard and anything in between. We rented a condo and planned to hold the ceremony outside of our condo, but the resort doesn't tell you in advance what condo you get. Some of the condos are actually across a small street from the slopes, some have backyard areas and others are right up against the hills and covered with trees, some have big driveways, others have enough room for one small car. We weren't sure where we would be able to actually set up the ceremony site and put our guests until we got there the night before. We also didn't get to know any details about the club room we rented at the resort. Would the room be big enough, would we have enough tables and chairs, would there be enough outlets, if any, for all the crock pots and heating trays for our food?
We overcame these challenges by being prepared. We had a plan A, B and C for almost everything. We tried to think of anything and everything that could happen and how we would deal with it. If the weather was terrible we would hold the ceremony inside the club room, or possibly the condo, depending on the size of each and the number of guests. Not only were we prepared for all kinds of situations, but we had an amazing support group of family and friends and our awesome wedding party that all pitched in and helped out to make our crazy wedding run smoothly.
My favorite moment:
The most meaningful moment for me was actually our entire ceremony. It wasn't so much of a moment as just a general vibe from our family and friends. First of all our wedding party was so helpful with unloading the trailer and helping to set everything up, the groomsmen shoveled off the entire porch without even being asked. Our mothers did so much work preparing breakfast did so much work preparing breakfast for our entire wedding party along with snacks for the whole day and then all the food for the mini reception in the evening. The guests started arriving and there was just this insane amount of excitement and happiness in the air.
While we were out snowboarding after the ceremony all of our friends and family that didn't ski or board helped our moms heat up food and transport it from the top of the resort where our condos where down to the club room at the bottom of the resort. No one asked them, we would not have expected our guests to be put to work but they all volunteered to help. The same thing happened for clean-up — no one was asked or expected but everyone pitched in. It was so very special to spend our big day with people that were not there out of obligation, because it is easy to find an excuse not to attend an out-of-town, middle of the week wedding taking place outside in the cold, but because they truly wanted to be there for us. I will never forget the love, happiness and excitement and appreciation I felt the entire day of our ceremony.
My funniest moment:
I think the funniest moment was at our reception during the garter toss. Somehow they convinced Bob’s grandfather to go out there for the garter toss. Our friend actually caught it but quickly handed it to Grandpa. Little did Grandpa know that traditionally whoever catches the garter then puts it on the leg of whomever caught the bouquet. One of our friends had caught the bouquet. You could imagine how funny it was trying to explain to Grandpa what he had to do. The DJ had this sparkly gold jacket that he kept making people wear and somewhere in the process Grandpa ended up wearing that as well.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: David's Bridal
- Ceremony Photos: Kayan Buteyn Photography
- Reception Photos: Steve Orzel
- Custom shot glasses: Factory21
- Birch log unity candle holder: Crafts By Merle
- DJ: Troy Entertainment
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!