The Offbeat Bride: Chris
Her offbeat partner: Joe, Sales Associate
Date and location of wedding: Bartram's Garden, Philadelphia PA — September 13, 2014
Our boho wedding at a glance: We had our wedding at Bartram's Gardens, just outside of Center City where we live. We planned an end of the summer wedding where we could do the ceremony, pictures, and reception all outside and all at the same place. We only had a few requirements: casual feel, good food, flowing cocktails, and great music. The girls picked out their own vintage-inspired sundresses and I made them all hair accessories to match. I wore a vintage-inspired wiggle dress with flowers in my hair, and Joe wore plaid (the only kind of shirt he owns).
I did my own hair and makeup, and proudly wore my $20 thrift store shoes, while Joe rocked some new Doc Martens. We wrote our own ceremony and vows to be done in the gardens, but of course it poured all day. We had to pack everyone into the small barn which is from the 18th Century and beautiful — not too shabby as a backup plan.
My sassy mama played guitar and sang, as my dad walked me through the makeshift aisle, and my best friend happily married us. The ceremony ended with my father yelling “LET'S DRINK” and we did… a lot.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We wanted our ceremony to reflect us as best as possible so we wrote our own ceremony and vows. They were short and sweet, but full of meaning. Being in the barn actually made our ceremony even more intimate than we had imagined. You could hear every laugh and see every tear. We said our choked-up vows standing shoulder to shoulder with our family and friends, and then lightened up the mood even more with some nontraditional “I do's.”
Christine and Joe, do you agree to support and love each other unconditionally, throughout your many years together, no matter how many silly or serious, happy or sad, boring or extraordinary days lie ahead?
Do you both agree, to continue to explore new things together, partake in wine and cheese, have impromptu dance parties, and forever and always love David Bowie, until death do you part?
Do you Joe, agree to be Christine's forever fashion advisor, tissue carrier, backseat driver, and loving life partner?
Do you Christine, agree to be Joe's forever lunch packer, OCD counselor, hair stylist, and loving life partner?
These rings will signify your never ending love for each other, as well as a reminder of the vows promised today. The vows have been said and rings exchanged. Now lets seal this with your first kiss as husband and wife!
Our biggest challenge:
My biggest challenge was my dress. I knew from the beginning that I didn't want a traditional gown, but I kept an open mind. I went to several bridal shops and tried on gorgeous dresses, each one lovely in their own right, but at the same time just not for me. I normally wear vintage/vintage-inspired pieces from the '40s, '50s, and '60s, so I wanted my wedding dress to reflect that style. I wasn't finding anything I liked, so my mom and I decided to make one ourselves. I come from a long line of seamstresses and my mom had made several wedding dresses in the past, as well as all my prom dresses, so we were pretty confident this would be an easy task. Turns out we were wrong.
I drew up a sketch, we found a couple patterns to match, put it together, and tore it apart more times than I'd like to remember. Joe came home to a crying bride-to-be, covered in shreds of tulle and lace. He reassured me that no matter what I wore I would look perfect, then proceeded to hand over the credit card, and told me to find what makes me happy. I went onto my favorite pin-up site, and ordered my wedding dress that cost me $100 one month before the big day. I fell in love as soon as I put it on and knew it was the one.
My favorite moment:
Our first dance was the most meaningful to me. We danced to “After Hours” by the Velvet Underground, a song we had danced to more times in our apartment than I can count. It's also the same song we had danced to half naked and drunk in the living room the night Joe proposed on his birthday. and it's the same song I sang over and over in my room when we had first met, when Joe had made me a “mix tape” aka, playlist on Grooveshark. I slowly realized I had found my musical soul mate via several “mix tapes” which we still listen to today. Who knew that three and a half years later I would be dancing to that song with my husband in front of our closest family and friends?
My funniest moment:
The funniest moment of the wedding was during the ceremony. Joe was saying his vows, and Valerie, my oldest sister and maid of honor, was crying so hard. I mean like you're-PMSing-and-watching-The Notebook-crying. Sobbing profusely. Sobbing so hard, I stopped Joe mid-vows and turned around to give her my hanky; she obviously needed it more than I. Ava the flower girl then looked up and said “Mommy stop, you're embarrassing me” and the entire barn filled with so much laughter you could no longer hear the rain pouring outside. I felt like my heart may explode on the spot from so much happiness.
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently?
Joe married young and didn't have a lot of say in his first wedding, so this time around, we agreed that we would each have veto power to any ideas or decisions. He was very involved and very opinionated. My sisters may have called him groomzilla a couple times, but I actually loved every minute of planning with him.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
- Flowers: Carl Alan Floral Design
- Catering: Diverse Catering
- Photography: Love Me Do Photography
- DJ & videography: Lovesick
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!
photography: Love Me Do Photography
Comments on Chris & Joe’s dancing barefoot in the rain wedding
The photography is great! Lovely wedding.
Your wedding has the glorious feeling of love through all the pics. Congrats on your marriage!
Thank you so much! Wish we could do it over again 🙂
Is it bad that as soon as I saw the dress, I recognised exactly which one it was? You looked absolutely beautiful in it!
Thank you!! I LOVE that dress – I want it in every color 🙂 ….and I will definitely be wearing it again!
Thanks for posting!! Christine and Joe are the best and we loved photographing them!
LOVE LOVE LOVE this wedding! and might I just add that you have the coolest looking dad EVER! 😀
You two had me beaming like a fool in a zombie-packed mid-finals week college library. By far you have become my new favorite OBB couple and your love radiates through every shot.
Many wishes of love, happiness and drunk dancing in your future!
<3 <3 Thank you for the sweet words 🙂
Wow, nice photos. Looks like a lot of fun.
Wow, what a great looking ceremony! I was pleasantly surprised that I recognized your venue, I’ve been looking for good locations and Bartram’s Garden is one I was thinking of looking into… I noticed that your cake is vegan… did you have the caterer do vegan/vegetarian food? It’s so hard to tell if there are good vegetarian options for the vendors that venues work with!
Our caterer was Ken from Diverse Catering. He is amazing. He made veggie/vegan options for dinner, as well as gluten free with no problems. We got our cake from Sweet Freedom Bakery, but Ken from Diverse also does desserts, so you don’t necessarily have to use a different vendor for that. Happy planning 🙂
Christine, you are such a stunning bride! I loved your hair, that dress, everything! You’re a true beauty!
This photos and all people and events on site looks like pure perfection!
Okay, Lovesick, you win. I’m getting married next month and basically binging on wedding porn right now (you know, for fun), and that video was pretty much the best ever. And I love this wedding. And…. **sniffle sniffle** sorry, gotta go.
Watching this video and reading thier story made me cry so hard!!! Happy tears mostly. I’ve been engaged quite a few times, when I was younger, but this time I definitely felt something different. Watching thier video reminded me of what the wedding is really about and how much I can’t wait to be married, this time finally to the right one! Cheers to you two, may God bless the road ahead of you!
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