The offbeat bride: Rebecca, Social Worker
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, Journalist
Location & date of wedding: South County Museum in Narragansett, RI — August 7, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: Andrew and I wanted a family-friendly party with good food, entertainment, and enough activities to occupy guests of all ages. Our wonderful wedding planner Patti, of Fancy Tomato Events, helped us pull this off. Some of the more offbeat details: a wedding party consisting of two best men; a barnyard tour with sheep, chickens, and other animals; lawn games; and a New Orleans-style jazz trio featuring my uncle, cousin, and a singer/burlesque performer named Miss Cherry Delight.
Both the ceremony and the reception were on the grounds of a former farm, now heritage museum, so there were lots of quirky exhibits and sights like huge whale bones, antique farm equipment, and a display of vintage toys.
Tell us about the ceremony: My aunt Kathleen became a Universal Life minister in order to officiate our wedding. As a close relative and friend, she was a wonderful choice. But beyond that, Kathleen is a brilliant wordsmith, an award-winning poet, and a soulful, witty, loving person.
She crafted a beautiful, personal ceremony complete with a poem about love dedicated to Andrew and me. It truly could not have been a more perfect way to represent how Andrew and I felt about marrying one another. A friend of Andrew's also read Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 and his father read Touched by an Angel by Maya Angelou.
We tweaked the traditional bridal party and chose to have just two attendants: Andrew's cousin Adam as his Best Man and my brother Kevin as mine. Andrew's two teenaged sons walked him down the aisle and both of my parents escorted me.
Our biggest challenge: Much of Andrew's closest family members live on two other continents and weren't able to make it to the wedding. My family, on the other hand, is ginormous and live relatively close by. I was concerned that Andrew and the few family members who were in attendance would feel overwhelmed by the crowd of my family and friends.
Given this, we also wanted to keep the guest list under 75 (something that's almost unheard of on Long Island, where we live). In the end, we decided that there were some people we absolutely could not leave out and the list grew to just under 100. But it was wonderful to have everyone there and now I can't imagine it any other way.
My favorite moment: We chose to get married in Rhode Island, even though we live in New York, because it was close to the place where I'd spent my childhood (and parts of many adult) summers. My Nana had lived there every summer for almost 50 years and she died in January of this year. It meant a lot to me that, although she didn't make it to the celebration, she knew that Andrew and I would be getting married in a place that she loved.
My funniest moment: Both of our best men gave funny, clever speeches. My brother was especially funny when he referenced our favorite movie, “The Hangover,” and told Andrew and his sons that they were now a part of his wolf pack.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Thanks to our wedding planner, I really wasn't worried that anything would be a disaster. My biggest concern was that the day would be hot and humid and Andrew and I would be a sweaty, gross mess. Luckily, it was a dry, beautiful day — one of the best of the whole summer.
My advice for offbeat brides: While it is important to make your wedding what you want it to be, there are probably lots of other people in your lives who love and help and support you. You can compromise to make those people happy in big and small ways without losing yourself and your vision in the process.
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? This is my first marriage. Andrew had been married before but had never had a wedding. It was awesome having his two sons involved in the wedding and they really enjoyed it, too. I love being their stepmom and wanted the wedding to be a celebration of that as well as of my commitment to Andrew.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I learned that we are loved by many people who are happy that we are happy. Also, as much as I tried to be the “cool, relaxed bride,” having a wedding can be anxiety-provoking and I just had to accept that getting nervous about some of the details didn't make me a bridezilla.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photographer: A Bride's Day Photography
- Bride's dress: Cecilia bridesmaid dress in champagne from jCrew
- Silk flowers for bride's hair: Etsy seller Ayawedding
- Wedding planner, flowers, and cake: Patti, owner of Fancy Tomato Wedding and Event Design. Her husband, Doug, made our cake.
- Caterer: Blue Rocks
- Custom cufflinks: Etsy seller DLKdesigns. One is a map of Narragansett, RI, where the wedding was, and the other is a map of Sydney, Australia, where we went on the honeymoon.
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!