Book Arch

The Offbeat Bride: Cindy, Strategic Planner

Her offbeat partner: Sam, Pricing Manager

Date and location of wedding: Sodo Park in Seattle, WA — September 8, 2012


Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Sam and I really wanted our wedding to reflect all the geeky things that brought us together. We also didn't want to take ourselves too seriously, which meant a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and subtle pop culture references.

Sparkler Sendoff

We actually got this vibe started early on, with a wedding website that was meant to both inform and amuse. The wedsite included a non-romanticized and fully hyperlinked story of our courtship, fun faux profiles of the wedding party, an album showing off our engagement shoot at the Seattle Public Library, a haiku page, and What to Wear guides for both the gals (Geena Davis edition) and the guys (Sean Connery edition).

First dance (to Rainbow Connection)

Many thanks to Offbeat Bride for helping us inject authentic real-world into our planning — from alternatives for the tradition of “giving the bride away,” to suggestions for first dance songs (we went with “Rainbow Connection”).

Red Dwarf trumpet call

When you're watching a stand-up comic, you know how the best parts are where you feel like you've been let in on an inside joke? I'd like to think our wedding let our friends and relatives into our world. For example, Sam and our friend/officiant walked in to the trumpet call that starts the Red Dwarf theme music, and I walked down the aisle to a mashup of the Bridal Chorus and The Imperial March.

xkcd invitations and replies

Our wedding stationery was xkcd-themed.

Dalek cake

Our cake was Dalek-inspired.

Lego Astronaut

The boutonnieres were made of LEGO.

Home Brew

The beer was home-brewed.

The printed programs and ceremony were scattered with references to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Captain Planet, Battlestar Galactica, and to Friends of the Seattle Public Library's epic book sales.

Book/flower centerpieces

The wedding was also a bibliophile's wet dream. We used books to decorate the aisles and tables.

Ceremony under arch

We were married under a book arch. The arch was made by Lola Event Floral & Design, but many of the centerpiece books were from our personal collection.

hollow book card box

My mom even commissioned a hollow book box, which we placed on the gift table to hold greeting cards.

Aisle decor

We complemented these elements with paper decor, including large paper pinwheels that hung behind the arch, and bud vases filled with paper flowers and crinkle-cut paper.

Bridal bouquet

All of the bouquets and corsages were also made of paper. The paper flower bouquet had the added bonus of disguising my vows, which I folded up and tucked between the petals. No pockets? No problem!

aisle walk to book arch

Tell us about the ceremony: We wanted to have a very personal (and secular) ceremony, so asked a friend to officiate. I think it was a pretty standard format, but with personal touches throughout. For the reading, we selected an excerpt from So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, thanks to this Offbeat Bride post about silly wedding readings.

Recessional (to Stuck in the Middle with You)

We also asked our friends and family to recite a simple pledge of support: “We the friends and family of Cindy and Sam // promise this day to recognize their union // to honor and support them // and to love them always // as they join today in the bonds of marriage. // So Say We All!”

Ham it up

Our officiant had planned to close the ceremony with a hearty “Live long and prosper!” but I think that by that point there was a lot of smooching and cheering going on, so it may have been omitted.

Sodo Park

My favorite moment: As traditional as it sounds, I really loved being walked down the aisle by my dad. Because he's my dad. And he's awesome.

Sam and his guys

Two other parts of the ceremony really stand out for me: the friends & family pledge of support, and the vows. Sam and I are blessed to be surrounded by folks who are in wonderful relationships, and who have managed to be married or together for decades without getting glommed into an amorphous “we.” This means a lot to me. As a cherry on top, we had our guests end their pledge of support with a rousing, “So say we all!” Battlestar fans appreciated that.

My gals with their paper bouquets

As for the vows, Sam and I wrote our own, and they felt very true. In true form, mine didn't come together until the very last minute — and Sam's meandered a bit into philosophy and logic. That's Cindy & Sam for you.

Photo Booth

My funniest moment: At one point, Sam showed up on the dance floor wearing a helmet and goggles. I don't know why or how. Just know that it happened.

Sodo Park Herban Feast Wedding Photographer by Rubin Photography0086

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? In my family, our idea of a disaster is still being hungry after dinner. (Of course I exaggerate, but we do take our eats very seriously.) We may have gone to the other extreme for this event, but it worked out fine. We even had an ice cream station where the vendor whipped up flavors on the spot. I was a little surprised at how HUGE a hit that was.


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Comments on Cindy & Sam’s geeky bibliophile wedding

  1. Congratulations! This is full of awesomeness! I wonder if I can find a way to DIY an arch like yours… 😀

  2. That book arch is a very cool idea. Love the dress.. very pretty. Great pictures!! Congratulations!!

  3. OMG – you’re my twin! I would have put *exactly* all the same geek references in mine! So glad to see Red Dwarf love!

  4. What a brilliant wedding! I love the book arch and so many of the little details. That cake is amazing too.

      • I saw this at the bottom of an article about the book arch. “To the Lola Event Floral & Design team for all the great pieces and long hours of mindless book drilling.” I’m betting rebar, a drill, and a base.

      • I know her…I bet she would do a guest post. I love working with Emily. She is SUPER DOOOOPER creative.

  5. This is a lovely wedding overall, but I am completely in love with the book arch.

    Her dress is very pretty too.

  6. Awesome! Your wedding looks like exactly what ours would be if I were creative enough to come up with all that stuff. As I scrolled through your post, everything I saw, I said, “I wish we’d thought of that!!”

  7. Is the card box available for rent or purchase (or does anyone know of a tutorial to make your own)?? I would love to use something like that for my upcoming wedding!

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