Photos by Faith Driven Photography and Sarah Boyce Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Lindy, Elementary Theatre Teacher (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Aaron, EmbroidMe

Date and location of wedding: Reflections on Spring Creek, Plano, TX — July 6, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: When Aaron and I got engaged, we wanted a wedding that reflected who we are as a couple. We're big kids at heart and felt that showcasing our love for Miyazaki films was the best way to accomplish our goal. For family who did not know who Miyazaki is, I described our wedding as a whimsical imagination-inspiring fairytale without the Tinker Bell aftertaste.




I was inspired by an Offbeat Bride post where they threw a plush instead of flowers. We took their idea and added a twist. The toss wasn't just for the single ladies. ALL ladies could participate, and if you caught the Toothless plush, you won a $50 Visa gift card. We did the same for the men, but instead of Toothless, Aaron tossed a ball version of Spider-Man.


Tell us about the ceremony:
Our pre-ceremony music included tracks from some of our favorite movies: Lord of the Rings, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Harry Potter, and Braveheart. The bridal party entered to The Piano Guy's version of One Republic's “Secrets.” My grand entrance was set to “Romantic Flight” from How to Train Your Dragon.


Aaron was raised Jewish, and even though he isn't practicing, I felt it was important to include Jewish elements in the ceremony. We stood underneath a chuppah my mom made out of silk wisteria, recycled tree branches, and my mother-in-law's chapel-length lace wedding veil from her wedding. Our officiant was one of Aaron's cousins who happens to be a Rabbi. He suggested that we include a ketubah as part of our ceremony. We used the wording of an interfaith ketubah we found and printed it on parchment paper:

As we embark on life's journey, we promise to love, cherish, encourage, and inspire one another. Our hearts fuse together, creating a unique bond with friendship and compassion at its core. Through this union, we vow to value and support each other, always striving to show sensitivity to each other's needs. We shall nurture one another emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, embracing our respective qualities, strengths and heritages. May we continue to grow together, maintaining the courage and determination to pursue our desired paths. We promise to celebrate life's joys with grace and overcome life's adversities with tenacity. May we maintain the intimacy that fosters trust, honesty and communication. As life partners, we shall strive to build a home emanating love, peace, charity and tolerance. Through each other's eyes, we see the world anew: may we be better together.

We also used the “What is real” reading from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.


When it came time for the unity ceremony, we had a head scratch moment. Lighting a candle or pouring sand did not feel like a right fit for us. Drinking from a kiddush cup didn't feel right either because Aaron doesn't drink and I didn't want him to fake that part of the ceremony. What were we going to do? After seeing the Vesica PiscisI puzzle unity ceremony on Offbeat Bride, it finally clicked. Puzzles and brain teasers were a big part of our relationship. We chose a 3D Totoro puzzle to use for our unity ceremony. The only trouble was wording. Ultimately, we pieced our own wording together:

Today, Lindy and Aaron have chosen to commemorate their marriage through the celebration of a unity ceremony. Instead of a candle, sand, or cup, they have chosen an alternate form of thinking and problem-solving to represent their marriage. This union is symbolized with pieces of a puzzle. Everything from 1000 piece puzzles to sudoku to riddles, puzzles have played a unique role in Aaron and Lindy's relationship.
Puzzles are a type of game or toy. Let your puzzle be a reminder to stop and smell the roses. Take time to play and enjoy each other's company.
Puzzles are also designed for problem solving. Let your puzzle be a reminder when conflicts arise to solve them together.
Please pick up your puzzle piece. Notice that each puzzle piece is unique, just as you are unique. Your unique pieces compliment and fit together to create a bigger picture. As you place the pieces together, your puzzle comes together, just as this marriage brings you and your families together.

Then came the breaking of the glass. After our smooch, we walked out and sang along to Blue October's “Balance Beam.”



Our biggest challenge:
Aaron and I are into a lot of things: anime, sci-fi fantasy, steampunk, dragons, renaissance festivals, D&D, MMORPGs, etc. We wanted our wedding to reflect all of those things, but getting them to mesh was a challenge. Deciding to showcase our love for Miyazaki and give head nods to our other interests seemed like the best solution. I made the groomsmen kanzashi flower boutonnieres with D20s as their center. Our table numbers were picture frames with us in our Renaissance costumes and doing other silly things. The groom's cake was a stack of books that included Aaron's favorite series such as Discworld, Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes, Ender's Game, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Incarnations of Immortality.





We had many DIY projects and time management became an issue. Over the course of two years, I sculpted kodama figurines. We printed mini movie posters and synopses of all his films. Our favors had movie stills printed and glued to wooden posts stuck in succulents wrapped with burlap (inspired by this post). The leaves for our wishing tree were hand-cut and images of kodama glued onto each leaf. We even created a hopping foot lantern from Spirited Away.

My Mom created all the silk floral arrangements used in the ceremony. She also recycled wood from their lakefront property to create the chuppa and trees. Last, but not least, she and her gal pals folded all the napkins and tied all the bows for the chair backs.


My funniest moment:
During the “garter” toss, my brothers and a friend from high school really got into it. After Aaron tossed the plush Spider-Man ball, they ended up in a dog pile and literally wrestled with each other to get it. After awhile, my friend from high school rose victorious with the plush clenched in his hand. Seeing adult men rolling on the floor and putting each other into wrestling holds was hysterical!


Another moment that tickled our funny bone was actually before the wedding. We were extremely lucky because our cake baker were also into Miyazaki. While she was decorating our cupcakes, she was horrified that our consultant had arranged for ivy leaves to decorate the cupcakes. “I can't use ivy leaves on a Totoro-themed cake! They should be Totoro's leaf hat!” Our decorator proceeded to sculpt fondant leaves modeled after Totoro's leaf hat and used those to top the cupcakes!

My favorite moment:
My father passed away suddenly in 2002 when a large clot hit an abnormally small vein in his heart. My aunts and uncles came for the funeral, but afterwards scattered back to their corners of the U.S. I had not seen nor heard from them in all that time. I felt empty, and like a part of myself was missing. I made a heart wish to reconnect. The opportunity came through Facebook. I found my California aunt and uncle and reestablished communication with them. That one act created an avalanche of reconnections with family members in Alaska, Virginia, and Texas.

On the day of our wedding, all of my dad's brothers and sisters were in attendance. My cousin, whom I had not seen in years, also crashed our wedding! I felt that hole in my heart heal and for one moment I felt my dad was with us again.


Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Dress: Alfred Angelo
  • Wedding Cake and Groom's Cake: Market Street
  • Photography: Faith Driven Photography and Sarah Boyce Photography
  • Wedding Decor and Flowers: My amazing mom!
  • Venue: Reflections on Spring Creek
  • Totoro Cake Toppers: Cute Art Store
  • Necklace & Earrings: D. Fox Jewelry Designs

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Comments on Lindy & Aaron’s Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki fantasy wedding

  1. Your aisle and chuppah looks like a faerie bower, and your dress looks like butterflies!

  2. Everything looks beautiful! The Miyazaki totally comes through with the flowers & decorations. You guys look fantastic.

  3. OMG TINY TURRETS!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry about the squee, there, but since I literally squealed at my iPad (the poor kittens were startled, even) it seems like the best way to express how I actually feel about it. I just got a bunch of little turrets on ebay, and I love love love someone else having them.

    You guys are awesome, your wedding looks perfect, and makes me chortlingly happy. Mazel tov!

  4. Congrats guys! I love weddings with a lovely family story. And your cake maker is amazing. It’s so great to find someone who cares.

  5. Quel magnifique mariage, j’adore le gâteau livres, tous mes voeux de bonheur et de longue et heureuse vie avec les entités de la nature

  6. Congratulation to you both for your this happy wedding and picture are very beautiful

  7. Yay! My first idea for our wedding was a Miyazaki theme and although that remains only in our music selection now, I still think it’s a lovely idea. I really like your Kodama tree and hopping lanterns!

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