The Offbeat Bride: Shanon, Small Business Owner
Her offbeat partner: Brandon, Senior Account Manager
Date and location of wedding: Agave Road in Katy, Texas — October 11, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
While Brandon and I met at college in Kansas, I was born and raised in Texas. We decided to have a long two-year engagement because half of our guests would be traveling down for the wedding in Texas, and I knew I wanted to DIY pretty much everything for our Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings wedding.
Ever since I can remember, I've been obsessed with Lord of the Rings, and Brandon and I both grew up reading and watching Harry Potter. Both of these play a huge part in our lives and we knew we had to incorporate them into our wedding.
I used coffee filters and poster board to make the flowers for all seven of the bouquets. I then used sword hilts as the base of the flowers. My own wedding bouquet sword was a weird-but-pretty imitation of Narsil from Lord of the Rings.
I tried to add in other geeky touches such as changing the titles of the food we served to Elvish names, and I made a wedding cloak rather than get a veil. The seating chart was split in half between Hogwarts and Middle-Earth locations, and our ring bearer was a Hobbit who carried a pillow book version of Lord of the Rings. I also made little Evenstar necklaces for my bridemaids, and our guest book was made up of five different wooden keys the guests signed, each representing our favorite fandoms and hobbies.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Since I made almost everything for the wedding (centerpieces, programs, menus, seating chart, boutonnieres, etc.) and Brandon had been there every step of the way during this DIY madness, I asked that he help me set up the morning of the wedding because he knew what needed to go where. This meant that he saw me before the ceremony, in all my pre-wedding glory, running around like a mad woman screaming for tape or something with curlers falling out.
However, after the first 30 minutes of sprinting around the venue to set up, things got really chill. Like, surprisingly chill. We could arrive five hours prior to the ceremony to set up and get ready and everyone on Earth told me that this would not be enough time for everything I said I needed to do (set up centerpieces, set up the s'mores bar, get hair and make up for nine people, decorate, do a first-look, etc) but, thanks to the help of our wedding party, family, and my amazing coordinator, we did it!
At the start of the ceremony, my bridesmaids walked down the aisle to “Concerning Hobbits” from The Fellowship of the Ring, followed by our little Hobbit ring bearer nephew, and finally, as “The Kiss” from Last of the Mohicans faded in, my dad and I started down. I made a ribbon that said “Always” that our pastor draped around our hands in a mini handfasting ceremony.
Tell us about your reception:
Since many of our wedding party had spouses and children, I didn't want to separate them or have a head table. We opted to have a little sweetheart table instead, and we loved it!
For our cake cutting, we pre-hid an axe under the cake table to bring out as a surprise and used it to cut the cake.
One of Brandon's cousins hand-knitted us Hogwarts house scarves and gave them to us at the reception. Brandon was so excited that he wore it the entire night. I didn't shed a tear until my maid of honor gave her toast, and then I lost it.
I forgot to get/make one a tossing bouquet, so I used the bow bouquet my maid of honor had made from my wedding shower presents and that worked out great. For the garter toss, Brandon put the garter around a football with $10 tucked in it, and the guys really fought for it.
What was your most important lesson learned?
One of the most important lessons I learned is that if it's important to you, you should do it. Right before the wedding, my business I had just started got a lot of publicity and my sales spiked. I was trying to juggle my business and the wedding. Brandon sat me down and said “which of these wedding projects in most important? Which NEEDS to get done?” and honestly, all of them mattered to me. Thankfully, Brandon helped me through everything, from cutting out 150 round menu cards to tying little jute bows around the s'mores favors we gave out. Even after two years of working on it, I still had to have a few emergency craft nights with my maid of honor and future in-laws, and I couldn't have done it without them.