The offbeat bride: Juli, Photographer and Legal Assistant
Her offbeat partner: John, Airman and Security Guard
Location & date of wedding: White Castle, St. Louis, Missouri — February 26, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: I had been with my (now) husband for a little over two years and we were talking about getting married, but we knew the funds would be the biggest issue. I had been married before (big mistake!) and my parents weren't about to pay for another wedding.
My husband is in the Air Force as well, and so five months of our two years and two months-long relationship have been spent apart due to his military training.
We found out about a radio contest where couples could register to win a wedding inside a White Castle where food, flowers, a minister, and cake would be provided. We both thought it sounded completely insane, but also fun, so we signed up. We didn't think we would win. Well, we did!
Everyone we knew was surprisingly excited and thought it would be fun, laid back, and memorable. Apparently White Castle has been doing weddings for a few years now, as a play on their Valentine's Day tradition of taking reservations and laying out table linens and decorations for couples on V-Day.
Not many people get to say they got married in a Castle!
Tell us about the ceremony: I found a secular vow set online and modified it slightly. We are not religious really, and it was important for me to make the vows meaningful without being spiritual. I also wanted there to be a line about accepting love and friendship in all of its many forms, because I support gay rights, and gay marriage, and my Man of Honor is gay. I didn't want a traditional, “man and wife” vow set.
Our biggest challenge: We had a lot more people coming than we were originally allotted food and space for, but the White Castle corporate representative and the radio station representatives both totally accomodating. They fed almost twice as many guests as we were originally allowed!
My favorite moment: Mostly, I just loved how supportive and completely on-board our friends and family were.
My funniest moment: I kissed my husband at the end of the ceremony and he had my red lipstick all over his face!
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We didn't really have a photographer due to funds or time, but the groom's step-dad came forward and took some really great photos with his new Canon that he carries around all the time!
My advice for offbeat brides: I planned my first wedding in eight months, and it was a complete rollercoaster of stress. John and I still had some stressful situations to work through this time around, but overall, only having one week to get it all together was a blessing. I didn't have time to become resentful of anyone in one week!
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? My first wedding was a big, white, traditional affair. The only alternative aspect was that my ex and I rode off in a white hearse that said “till death do us part.”
This time, it was all about fun, spontaneity, and our friends and family. I wouldn't change a thing. We are going to have a big reception later in the year or early next year to include anyone that couldn't attend our White Castle ceremony.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It's not about fancy venues, fancy food, or fancy anything. It's about companionship, love, support, and having a great time celebrating life with your loved ones.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Antique Hat with Russian Veiling (which I re-purposed into my veil): Warson Woods Antique Gallery, Manchester, MO
- Dress: Deb
- Shoes: Steve Madden Kitten Heels
- Bouquet and Groom's Boutonniere: Walter Knoll Florist
- Cupcakes: Jilly's Cupcake Bar and Cafe
- Ceremony hosts: 105.7 The Point Radio
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!