O Hai

The Offbeat Bride: Bethany, Teacher, Early Childhood (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Joe, Retail Slave

Date and location of wedding: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Morganton, NC — December 15, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had a super low budget, southern Baptist-friendly wedding. I wore a dress with color in it, rainbow shoes, and a miniature top hat fascinator, dyed my hair red, and rocked my glasses. Joe and I had matching dragon heart necklaces and toasting glasses, and he went natural with his poodle hair. I DIYed as much as I could (like jingle bell boutonnieres), and family and friends came out of the woodwork to help. Our ceremony contained music from the Legend of Zelda symphony, the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, and Howl's Moving Castle, and we made really lame jokes in our vows. All of this was followed by a Christmas-themed reception of cookies and cocoa in the fellowship hall.


Cufflinks, Buttonhole, and Handfasting Cord


Tell us about the ceremony: We had a traditional Christian ceremony, but included a handfasting. Here's an excerpt of the handfasting section:

Know that since your lives have crossed, you have formed ties between each other. The promises you have made today and the ties that are bound here will cross the years and will greatly strengthen your union. Woven into this cord, instilled into its very fibers, are all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together. With the fashioning of this knot do I tie all the desires, dreams, love, and happiness wished here in this place for your lives. The knot of this binding is but a symbol of the bond you have created in your hearts. Understand, either of you may drop the cord, for as always, you hold in your hands the making or breaking of this union. By this cord you are thus bound to your vow. May this knot remain tied for as long as love shall last.


Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was acceptance. Not necessarily of our offbeatness, but of our relationship and the fact that we're becoming our own people. But despite discouragement, we focused on our love and our new life that we are forming together (as cliche as it sounds), and it was all we really needed. By the time the wedding rolled around, we were able to put all of our problems aside and truly enjoy the day.


My favorite moment: The way everyone seemed to go entirely above and beyond what we expected. Our cake was a (surprise) gift, we had friends and family (and another Offbeat Bride) come from all over the country bearing gifts, and we had support from the least expected places.


My advice for Offbeat Brides: Sometimes your mental picture isn't going to match the finished product. Your dress might be the opposite of what you imagined, you may not be able to afford to get married under a dinosaur, and there may be different people celebrating the day with you than you had planned. And you know what? It's fine. In fact, it's better than fine. If an expensive wedding is out of your budget, then it obviously isn't you. If you end up replacing a bridesminion with a good friend you made on the Offbeat Bride Tribe who lives on the opposite end of the country, then that is how it was meant to happen.

Ornament Bouquets
Check out how to make these!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Que sera, sera. What will be, will be. The morning of the wedding, I had truly accepted in my heart that everything would work out from there (and if it didn't, there wasn't much I could do about it), so I was able to relax and have fun the entire day! And I will definitely second some advice that I saw multiple times: take some special time for just the two of you to get away from the stress and let the situation absorb.

Funny Faces

Na na na na Cake Toppers

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dresses: Unique Vintage

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Comments on Bethany & Joe’s geeky winter church wedding

  1. Oh my Bethany! Everything is as gorgeous as it was when I was freaking out over the first batch of photos.
    You look absolutely beautiful and the two of you make for the most handsome couple.
    I wish you a lifetime of happiness…

    And I simply can not wait for the day my own OBT best friend will join me on my wedding day. (that’s you by the way lol)

  2. Everything looks awesome!!!

    I have to say I just let out a squeak of excitement. We are using Savory Spice Shop for our favors as well! Good choice! 😉


    • Really? Fantastic! We did Thai Green Curry and Native Texas BBQ Rub 😀 Plus, the shop let us bag it ourselves, which was super fun!

  3. Yay for NC! I had to laugh at your husband’s job title of “retail slave.” I felt the same way when I worked for Target.

    I loved your glasses! So pretty too. Also, high five for Batman on a cake!

  4. I was SO excited by this post because this upcoming December I’m going to be having my own geeky winter church wedding! Aaah!!

    I must know where the cake topper came from. I want to get a Superman one for my man. Way too cute!

    • The topper was actually two of the Pop Heroes toys by Funko (we found them at a comic book store, I think, but I’ve seen them in Hot Topic and Spencers in the mall)

      And your wedding is exciting, too! Best wishes! <3

      • Thank you! <3 I'll definitely submit a post afterward…I'm kind of "offbeat lite" but I think it will count!

        I also have to tell you how totally gorgeous you are! I LOVE the red hair. I wish I was brave enough to dye mine red. Simply stunning. You look so lovely. 🙂

        • FYI, I think I have also seen the Funko toys (including the superheroes) at Barnes and Noble, if you have one of those around you. 🙂

  5. “If an expensive wedding is out of your budget, then it obviously isn’t you.”

    THIS. So often I feel like I have to apologize for the low-budgetness of my wedding, but you’re right. We’re not rich and going all out for a single day event doesn’t jive with my idea of good money management. Maybe that’s why so many weddings on offbeat are budget weddings. Those without money have to say “no” to so many things that they start really thinking about what to say “yes” to.

  6. Hey! One of my friends from long ago was in this wedding! I was clicking around because I loved your aesthetic, and I saw her! ( Andrea, btw.) Aside from that, I wanted to say that I am impressed that you had a SBC minister who would be game for a handfasting. Progress!

  7. Thank You for the wording, I have been struggling to find anything I like for our handfasting!

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