Devon & Joe’s amusement park picnic wedding

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 | Photography by Lisa Matthews
Photos by Lisa Matthews

The Offbeat Bride: Devon, Writer

Her offbeat partner: Joe, Design Engineer

Date and location of wedding: Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA — June 23, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted the wedding to be fun for us and everyone who attended, and to not break the bank. Our venue, Knoebels Amusement Resort (one of the last free admission amusement parks in the country) was the natural choice for us. My husband and I both have fond memories of going to the park as kids, and we even joke that we'd probably crossed paths numerous times and just never knew it. The staff there is amazing and very family-oriented.


We chose to have our wedding in front of the haunted house ride because the sign that reads, “Haunted House, A Terrifying Adventure in Darkness” is just too perfect not to have a wedding photo or two taken in front of it. That's just the kind of dark humor my husband and I share.


I wore a masquerade mask instead of a veil and carried a fan instead of a bouquet. Our centerpieces at the reception were made of lollipops and other candy.

My husband and I are blessed to know many very talented artists, and we wanted to make them and their work as much a part of our wedding as possible. My gown and our wedding goblets were made by artist friends. Our officiant and our photographer are also very good friends of ours. Their involvement made it that much more special. And thank goodness my mother is an event planner!

Knoebels has award-winning park food, so we chose to have them cater the reception. We gave books of ride tickets as wedding favors to make sure everyone could go have a good time post-picnic.


Tell us about the ceremony: Both of my parents walked me down the aisle. My mom carried my stuffed dragon, Draco, because I don't go anywhere without him… including down the aisle. We wrote our own ceremony, which was officiated by Lori, our fabulous, tattooed, theatre and performance artist, lady-of-wisdom friend.


We had two readings, “Annabel Lee” and “Skin 2” by Shane Koyczan. For those not familiar with “Skin 2,” it's a bit risque. We've gotten endless pleasure watching our wedding video and seeing the looks on people's faces upon hearing it.

We wrote our own vows, and tossed a naughty coin to see who got to go first (more about this below). I promised to love him “like it's my mutant power” and he promised to be “maliciously monogamous.”


I walked down the aisle to “To the Stars” from the Dragonheart soundtrack, and our post-ceremony music (because we didn't technically walk out, we got on the haunted house ride) was “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness. A special shout-out to my super-awesome brother for handling the music for us.

The “recessional!”

Our biggest challenge: The guest list was most definitely our biggest challenge. We had to keep it small because I had been laid off at the day job and we simply couldn't justify the cost of a huge wedding. My husband and I both laughed at the suggestion that it would be hard to keep it small until we actually started writing the list. It turns out, we both have HUGE families and more friends than we thought. No one would think that's something to agonize over, but alas, I agonized over that list for weeks.

In the end, I had to accept that if people couldn't understand the size of our families and the monetary constraints, then they probably weren't the kind of people we'd want at our wedding anyway. It all ended up fine, thankfully.


My favorite moment: My maternal grandfather passed away shortly before the wedding. I learned, after his passing, that he really liked poetry, and I now have a couple of books of his in which he'd marked his favorite poems. We had already planned to have “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe (my favorite poem) as one of our readings, and then I discovered that my grandfather had it marked in one of his books. So my cousin, who was also my maid of honor, read it from his book. I think my eyes got extra misty hearing it that time.


My funniest moment: This won't sound funny at first, but bear with me. The night before the wedding I had a major meltdown because I thought I'd lost my vows. And by major meltdown, I mean inconsolable-on-the-floor-sobbing-with-snot-running-out-of-my-nose meltdown. I found the vows, had another beer, and went to bed.

Fast forward to the ceremony. When Joe didn't pull out a piece of paper to recite his vows, I thought, “How sweet, he memorized them.” No. He'd left them in his wallet with his best man and had forgotten completely. What's even funnier about that was that we had just gotten into the wallet to find our special coin (a naughty T&A coin given to Joe by our officiant ages before) to toss to see who got to say their vows first.

The poor man thought I was going to be really angry, but in my head, I was laughing because of my silly meltdown the night before. Of course, he'd missed the meltdown, so he had no way of knowing that I was losing it in my head. He did say his vows to me at the reception, so all was well.


My advice for Offbeat Brides: If planning an offbeat wedding, I suggest getting the legal part done first. Joe and I were actually married two weeks prior to our wedding by the sweetest Justice of the Peace in the world in a little restaurant on the dock close to our home in Connecticut. Best. Idea. Ever. It relieved a whole lot of stress, because even if the big celebration had been a disaster, we were still married.


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Comments on Devon & Joe’s amusement park picnic wedding

  1. LOVE Mayfaire Moon! So happy to see the work featured on an OffBeatBride post!

    Congrats to the bride and groom!

  2. Oh yeah, I’m in love with your wedding. The dress is gorgeous and I moaned when I saw your cake and cupcakes. So freaking fabulous.

    I love Draco! I had to have my stuffed animal at my wedding too 🙂

  3. This was my favorite childhood park! Do they still have the Phoenix? I rode that rattly deathtrap so many times. Congrats, you two look great!

  4. I love this park. Great idea. I will think of you the next time I am there. Hopefully many times this summer.

  5. Knoebel’s is my very favorite place on earth and I’ve totally thought about getting married there! I’m so happy for you that you guys did!

  6. I always wanted to get married at Knoebel’s when I was little! I had the whole thing planned out. 🙂 That is so cool!

  7. There aren’t words for how much I love the fact that you picked the Dragonheart theme as your processional music. I suppose it was only fitting, considering that Draco was present 😉

  8. I was actually walking into work at the park and saw you two riding around the front of the park. Congrats, and I love the decorations and your dress!

  9. Hi Devon! If you see this comment, I’d love to get in contact with you and ask you some questions. My BF and I are actually planning a Knoebel’s wedding, too (It’s my favorite place on earth) and I’d love to talk to someone who’s done it!

  10. Devon! I just had an idea about a knoebles wedding. Could I ask a few questions. Thanks!

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