The offbeat bride: Jamie, copy editor aka word freak

Her offbeat partner: Mengmeng, system manager aka computer guy

Location & date of wedding: Beautiful historic YWCA building in downtown Fort Worth, TX — January 16, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Despite my family being religious, we skipped the church and minister and had a secular wedding (more on that later). My brother-in-law was the officiant, and we created the entire ceremony ourselves, ditching what we didn't like and adding stuff we thought sounded more like us, which made it personalized.

We wanted to wear sneakers instead of fancy shoes. We chose matching Rocket Dogs in honor of our dog, a Welsh Corgi named Ein (short for Einstein), who is a bit crazy and super fast like a rocket!

Rocket dogs and colorful tights!

Our wedding party was gender-blind, at least on my husband's side, because he had two Best Women and a Groomswoman.

Groom and his peeps

We tried to save some money while also doing things that were personal and meaningful to us. We carried fans instead of flowers (I've never liked the traditional wedding bouquet and didn't want one), had an iPod instead of a DJ, and DIYed our centerpieces. They were made from things that had personal meaning to us: Welsh Corgi stuffed animals for our dog, longhorn stuffed animals for my husband's college team (UT), mini 1967 Chevy Impalas for my favorite TV show (Supernatural), and model ships from the TV show that we both love and that we met each other through (Joss Whedon's Firefly). We gave them away to our guests afterward as a memento.


Serenity centerpiece

I designed our wedding programs myself, making them into flyers promoting our wedding like it was an awesome new play, and establishing the “Jameng” theme (Jamie + Mengmeng = Jameng; it's a nickname our friends gave us).

Front of Program

And for favors, we had personalized chopsticks, which ended up being a good thing because there were a lot of extras that we wound up taking home. It always makes me happy to pull out one of the sets of wedding chopsticks at dinner.

Rings and Chopsticks

Tell us about the ceremony: It was a very personalized ceremony. Because my brother-in-law was the officiant, we were able to personalize every little detail. We each picked out a reading (his was “It's Only Time” by The Magnetic Fields and mine was “somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond” by E.E. Cummings); we did a hand ceremony, and we gave roses to our mothers as a sign of love and respect.

We also wrote our own vows. We decided we wanted a mix of touching sentiments and funny stuff in them. When my husband promised to cheer for my TCU Horned Frogs (so long as they weren't playing against his Longhorns), and I promised to support him as he tried to increase our Xbox gamer score, it was simultaneously the sweetest and funniest moment of our lives. Then we followed that up by using the Indiana Jones theme, “Raiders March,” as our recessional.

Groom first sees bride

Our biggest challenge: My family is very religious, but my husband is an Atheist. So we wanted to do something that would be light on all the “God stuff” for him, without being too alienating to my family. We solved it in two ways. First of all, I had already fallen in love with a non-church venue that was very classy and beautiful, and my family ended up thinking it was lovely even though it wasn't a church. Score!

The wedding party

But that was just a warm up for the biggest hurdle, which was the officiant. Obviously, my family was expecting us to have a minister of some kind, but my husband-to-be was leery of the idea. We went back and forth on the subject for several months without an answer in sight, until one day the perfect solution basically fell into our laps. Originally, my brother-in-law was going to be my Man of Honor along with my sister (his wife) who would be the Matron of Honor, but he overheard us discussing the officiant issue and offered to do it for us. He leads the choir at his church, and we're very close, plus my family loves him.

Everybody laughing! :-)

So even though I think there might have been a few raised eyebrows initially, it ended up working out perfectly. Plus, it made the day extra meaningful for my husband and I to have somebody who knows us so well standing up there with us, rather than a stranger who just happens to be a minister.

My favorite moment: The moment when the music began (a piece of score from The Last of the Mohicans called “Cora” that I've always loved and imagined being played at my wedding) and I began my walk down the stairs and then down the aisle, I swear my heart started beating a mile a minute, and it was at that moment that everything felt real. I was getting MARRIED! And then when we reached the front and Mengmeng took my hands, it was totally nerve-wracking, and yet also completely awesome and exhilarating at the same time. It was one of the most powerful moments of my life.

Here comes the bride…

My funniest moment: I think the vows were pretty funny and so was the first dance. Our song was Toto's “Africa,” and that got quite a few good-natured chuckles when people realized what song it was.

More dancing!

Also, the throwing of the “bridal Corgi” was a pretty funny moment. You see, since the wedding party carried fans instead of flowers, there was no bouquet to throw. However, I didn't want to throw a fan because they were made of wood and could hit somebody in the head or something! So we found an extra Welsh Corgi stuffed animal from the centerpieces, and that's what I threw. Tossing a miniature version of my dog over my shoulder in lieu of a bouquet definitely made me laugh!

Bridesmaid caught the "bridal corgi" (in lue of a bouquet) and gets the pretty fan!

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We wanted to use a small, local caterer instead of a chain, but the one we chose totally flaked on us, which left us scrambling for a new one at the last minute. We ended up going with Central Market because they could work us in on such short notice. They were so nice and professional, not to mention reliable.

Kevin's got a corgi on his head!

My advice for offbeat brides: Pick one or two things that are your “must haves” and work your budget around those. For us, it was the venue and photographers. Those were the two things we wanted to splurge on, so we cut back everywhere else (e.g. iPod instead of DJ, no videographer, no flowers, DIY centerpieces, etc.), and we don't regret it one bit. We had exactly the wedding we wanted, and we kept it to a reasonable price.

The cakes!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? If you're going to do something that you know not everyone will really “get,” just try to be happy and optimistic when you explain it to them. I know it sounds a little corny, but you get more flies with honey, and your family and friends will be more accepting of your wedding choices if you call them up simply bursting with happiness about that beautiful non-church venue or how you're using fans instead of flowers. When you're happy, it makes other people happy, too.

jameng 090611 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Sending off the newlyweds!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photographers: Bella Pop Photography. They were super friendly and really care about making each wedding special. If you're planning a wedding in the DFW area, I highly recommend them!
  • Bride's and bridesmaid's dresses: Alfred Angelo
  • Fans: Asian Ideas
  • Sneakers: Rocket Dog
  • Cake: The Cake Guys. They were super nice and really excited about creating our Firefly groom's cake with the ship Serenity flying out of it.

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Comments on Jamie & Mengmeng’s geeky Corgi-loving wedding

  1. I love the asian elements, and his ring is frikkin sweet!
    Where did you get those personalized chopsticks? I want them! Not for our wedding, just for life. 🙂

  2. Can I just declare my undying love for the bridal chopsticks? My intended loves Chinese food, why didn’t I think of this? I’m going to start calling all of our favorite local joints to see if one of them would cater, then I, too can have these kick azz favors!!

    Jamie, where does one go about getting these amazing sticks??

    • Hey, I posted some links to personalized chopsticks in my reply to the comment above yours. Maybe one of those would work out for you? Good luck! 🙂

  3. yeah serenity!

    Everything looks lovely and sweet and everyone so happy!

    Love all the corgi touches!

  4. I have to ask if you named your dog after Ein from Cowboy Bebop? Cuz I was totally going to do that lol!
    Your wedding was beautiful and I love the fan instead of flower idea!

    • Yes!! I love Cowboy Bebop!

      I remember thinking I was so clever when I decided to name him that way back when, and then I got on the internet later and discovered I was hardly the first to think of that idea, lol. Ah well, c’est la vie. 🙂

  5. Aren’t corgis just the best? We have a little one year old pembroke puppy and she is also crazy and about once a day runs around in circles as fast as a rocket. Super fun wedding! I can tell you had a blast. And really, what else matters?

    • Yes, corgis are awesome! Ein is 6 going on 7 now, so he’s calmed down a bit, but he can still run fast as a rocket when there’s something in it for him! (usually food or treats, lol)

    • Yep! He thought it was unfair that only the bride gets to have the bling, and I agreed with him. He got his a little later than I got mine, though, because he took longer to pick out a design he liked, lol!

  6. It’s all beautiful, but I’m really digging your cakes. I especially love how you incorporated the double happiness character throughout. We put that on our invitations in red. I’m pretty sure no one else knew what it meant, but it made us happy.

    • We had red invitations with the double happiness character on them, too! Most people at our wedding didn’t know what it meant either, but my husband’s family did, and I think they appreciated it. 🙂

  7. Oh, this wedding looks like SO MUCH FUN! I love your centrepieces – we’re naming our tables after spaceships and I so wish we’d been able to find models of each one instead of boring flowers 😛

    • Oooh, I didn’t occur to me to name our tables fun names! I wish it had. That’s a great idea! 🙂

    • Yeah, I knew I wanted colorful sneakers, but I was initially just going to do Converse or something. Then I found Rocket Dogs and it was just too perfect. 🙂

  8. I absolutely LOVE this wedding! The chopsticks, the fans, the cakes, the stuffed corgi throwing, the programs, the fact that the groom has an engagement ring too, the bride’s striped stockings and sneakers! It’s all fabulous and the bride and groom just look like they were having so much fun. What a great looking wedding…congratulations!

  9. What a fabulous-looking wedding 😀 is that an N7 shirt I see on the groom, there? And I totally squee’d when I saw the corgi plushies – I have the very same one, my girlfriend bought it for me as an anniversary present because we’re not in a position to own our planned Pembroke puppy yet (to be called Nom, short for ‘Necronomicon’). Corgis are gorgeous, your wedding looks gorgeous!

    • Yes, it is an N7 shirt! We both love Mass Effect and are counting down the days to volume 3, lol! Somewhere we did a picture of him in the N7 shirt/black jacket combo and me in my wedding dress w/ matching N7 hoodie over it!

      And also, what an awesome corgi name! 😀

  10. Enjoyed reading this article. Brought back lots of memories for me. 🙂 And your wedding was definitely fun, as well as unique. It turned out great!

  11. personalized chopsticks!?!?!?! holy canoles! i less than 3 you for this! i already want to use personalized fortune cookies as invites, then i saw the chopstick wrapper tut on the homepage, the dress i REALLY want just got released in black and has the little frog clasps down the front, and you missy! you show me personalized chopsticks! i could squish you! xoxox

    oh, and the last pic in the pron…LOVE IT! and your rings…and well, hell, the whole dang thing! great job!

    …wandering away muttering about personalized chopsticks…

  12. Dude. I’m dying over the cakes and especially the Serenity center pieces(/ornaments?) Squee.

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