Her Offbeat Partner: Blake Rainey, Musician
Location & date of wedding: The EARL, music venue and bar, Atlanta, GA — 1/11/09
What made our wedding offbeat: Blake and I met on-stage at an Atlanta music venue called The EARL during an event aptly named “The Happenstance.” It's kind of like the 48-hour film festival, but for musicians. Blake pulled my name out of a hat to play with him, we wrote and performed music together that night, and have been inseparable ever since.
We got married in a tiny ceremony in New Orleans in August of 2008, then decided that we needed to share the celebration with all of our friends and family, too. So, in January of 2009, we threw a giant party at the EARL, and got back on the club's stage together to get married, again.
We had a blast, and DIY'd nearly every single bit of it.
Our friend Goldman did the honors (he's a Buddhist Priest and internet reverend, as well as a kick-ass guitar player who plays in two of the four bands we asked to serenade the crowd.) My dress, headpiece, engagement ring, and our wedding rings all came from etsy. Invitations were designed by classic printmaker Hatch Show Print in Nashville. They looked like rock posters. Blake's band, The Young Antiques, played, as well as three other Atlanta bands we love. A friend DJ'd between sets. My best friend built a makeshift photobooth and snapped 400 amazing pictures of our friends and family. Another good friend took candid shots the entire night. We served food from our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, cupcakes from a local bakery, and made our own canning jar centerpieces.
Finally, to cap off the night, Blake and I did a rendition of The Pogues' “Fairytale of New York.” There's nothing like calling your new husband (jokingly, of course) a “bum and a punk” on stage, in front of your brand new in-laws.
Our biggest challenge: Blake's family is very religious, and we weren't sure they would consent to attending a wedding in a rock club and bar. But, after some debate and reassurance from us and my family, nearly every aunt, uncle & cousin showed up, including his 85-year-old grandparents. Everyone had an incredible time. We were thrilled, and so thankful that they came.
Other than that, I've got to say that nothing went wrong or was even all that stressful. We were lucky.
My favorite moment: There's two:
When I got offstage after singing The Pogues duet with Blake, my mother ran up to me excitedly and said, “I didn't know you could DO that! That was AWESOME!”
On stage, during the ceremony, Goldman read a gorgeous passage by Rumi, then mentioned to the crowd that we were already married. He then proceeded to re-ask us if we'd take each others' hands in marriage. Instead of “I do” we both said “We DID!”
My advice for other offbeat brides: Freaking out (about anything) is totally unnecessary. Why? Because things are going to happen the way they will happen. My best advice for curbing worries of any kind is to do what we did: Ask your very willing and very talented friends to perform simple tasks that are related to their very talentedness, and then trust them to do their jobs. That's it. That tactic turned out perfectly for us. We didn't raise our blood pressures a single point, and ended up with a fantastic, eclectic, personal night of great music, food and fun.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- Dress: Jane BonBon @ etsy
- Feather Headband: Vie Moderne @ etsy
- Titanium Wedding Bands: Shade Jewelry @ etsy
- Food: Mediterranean Grill, Atlanta (SO inexpensive and ridiculously tasty)
- Cupcakes: Atlanta Cupcake Factory (the nicest bakers in the South, as far as I'm concerned!)
Enough talk — Click on the photo below to see more photos from this post-elopement rock concert: