Very special thanks to Ashley (the fabulous photographer of Derek and Joey's big ‘ol gay wedding) for her help with this profile!

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The offbeat bride: Jessica, Crazy Cat Lady (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Andrew, Consultant

Location & date of wedding: Bischwind Bed & Breakfast, Bear Creek, PA — 10/2/2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We actually got married a year before in a quiet, just-us, courthouse wedding. We both knew we wanted something more, and we really wanted to include our families, so we started planning for a faux-wedding for a year later.

5490300130 1581a9fb40 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)From the beginning we knew we wanted to feel like we were in a Tim Burton film — grass and fiddlehead ferns everywhere! We also wanted to keep it very small about 30 guests. To include our siblings, we had a gender-blind wedding party: my brother and sister stood with me and his sisters stood with him.

Our reception was more like a dinner party. We played Richard Cheese music in the background all night. It was funny waiting to see who noticed and see their reactions. Grandma is still sure we were playing Sinatra. Since we aren't the dance party kind, we went cosmic bowling after dinner with most of our guests. Bowling, arcade games, booze, and pizza until the early morning.

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Tell us about the ceremony: A friend married us in a short, simple, non-religious ceremony. We had a hand blessing, blessed by our mothers and a ring warming to include our whole family. Our sisters read an excerpt from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and a poem called Cat Heaven. We exchanged rings to the vows from Corpse Bride.

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Our biggest challenge: We dealt with one vendor in particular, a decorating company, who went completely vendor-zilla on us. They were completely unprofessional, even to the point of scolding us like school children and throwing us out of their office because we were unhappy with their designs. We ended up losing a lot of money just to get rid of them and learned a valuable lesson about giving large deposits to anyone. Luckily, we found someone even better who came through at the last minute and helped us on cost to make up for all we lost. But they couldn't make up for the loss of sanity caused by the first!

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My favorite moment: We included our mothers in our hand blessing. They each got up and read the blessing to their new child-in-law. They both had to take pauses to hold back their tears of joy.

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5490299142 6509b6b88a m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)My funniest moment: It took both moms and three bridesmaids to try to bustle my dress and no one could. Andrew had to come over to do it for them. Everyone laughed, noting it was the first time they've seen a wedding where the groom was the only one who could bustle the bride's dress. He's just really good at problem-solving.

My 13-year-old sister helped me with my dress while we were taking photos. Daniel, our photographer, wanted some authentic laughing shots and told my sister to slyly make us laugh. So she started invisible hula hooping and singing “I'm Too Sexy.” It's safe to say the laughs were real.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were supposed to be married in a super cute, creepy chapel across from the B&B. Unfortunately, the floor caved in the week before the wedding and the whole ceremony had to be moved to the B&B. Luckily, we were still able to take some photos with it and in the cemetery next to it, and the B&B did a great job with the ceremony on the patio.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Make sure your vendors understand your vision before hiring them. Triple check this! Don't fall for false excitement and flattery. Because there are some vendors that are only capable of doing one type of wedding.

5489705105 c293b63018 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Don't be afraid to go small! We were worried about how this would work for us because of divorced parents and huge extended families, but it really was special to be surrounded by the people who have known us forever and to have their love filling the room.

Start your day an hour earlier than you think you should. I was a bit rushed in getting ready and that extra hour would have made all the difference.

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Comments on Jessica & Andrew’s rollin’ Burtonesque glam wedding

  1. WOW! That dress and those accessories are awesome! Just beautiful. Love the alternative non-dancing activities and decor, too.

  2. Your wedding looks amazing! Could you please tell me the excerpt you used from the Hitchhikers Guide? My fiancé and I are big fans, and are looking for readings.

    • I will post for you as soon as I find it. I know I found it on the OBT, tho. 😉

  3. totally agree with the advice about getting ready an hour before you think you should! even if your ready early, no rush is a beautiful thing (and ps im in love with your dress!)

  4. You dress! The centerpieces! The floor f*#%ing caved in?! Crazy… I love the subtle Burtonesque-ness of your decorations that give that other worldly feel of his movies. Congrats!

  5. THANK YOU!!! I’ve been catching glimpses of this dress on Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss and I kept thinking it was just gorgeous, but I couldn’t find it anywhere online without knowing who designed it. Plus I couldn’t figure out how i would feel about it on a curvy girl like me, since most of the women on that show decided they didn’t like it and so they didn’t show the whole dress or give it a lot of screen time. I am so happy now that I know how to look for. Absolutely gorgeous bride!! And I swear that is the prettiest bouquet I’ve seen in ages, it even makes me re-think my decision not to have a bouquet at all. I could gush on and on. I just everything about this. (Oh, and the picture of the bride reading just tops it all off and makes me wish this woman was my friend. :D)

  6. I love that you guys went bowling afterwards, haha 🙂 And I too, am interested in what passage you used from Hitchikers Guide… Also, good thing the floor caved in *before* the wedding, and not during! 😀 Congratulations!

  7. Thank you, everyone! Still looking for the passage, my hubby said it was actually from So Long And Thanks For All the Fish. He’s the fan and the one who picked it. He said he saw it in the comments of the alternate reading post here. I will copy it when I have access to his computer.

    I loved my dress it was really perfect on. I watch Say Yes and can’t believe it gets cast aside all the time! I didn’t want a white dress but this one did it for me! And Kleinfeld was so amazing.

  8. Those flowers are the awesomest wedding flowers I’ve ever seen. And your dress is gorgeous. I just love all of it!

    • I believe you’re talking about the fiddlehead ferns, but there are also eggplant calla lilies and succulents.

  9. Omg this is the most gorgeous bouquet I’ve seen! Wish they were close to NY 🙁

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