Offbeat partner: Aja, Forensic Toxicologist
Offbeat partner: Wes, Mechanical Engineer
Date and location of wedding: Private neighborhood clubhouse/pavilion on the river marsh, Augusta, GA — October 7, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
The theme was TIM BURTON. We didn't want a Halloween wedding. We didn't want a wedding specifically themed after any of his particular movies. We wanted our wedding to be a regular, beautiful, fancy wedding, but through the eyes of Tim Burton — TWISTED.
We requested black tie attire for the guests and kept the wedding colors to black and white — with lace incorporated anywhere I could get it. The only pops of color were from our flowers — which were hues of a sort of bloody fuchsia, maroon, and light pink– my favorite of all being the black dahlia, which were used as the boutonnieres as well.
We did have some movie-specific elements, such as the photo op which was a recreation of the hill from Nightmare Before Christmas. We wanted a different backdrop for guests to take pictures with. So a friend of mine actually built the hill by hand from scratch — it was 17′ long and had stairs so it would look like you were ascending the hill, and a platform to stand atop it for photos. Another friend of mine carved the heads of Adam and Barb from Beetlejuice out of foam and painted them by hand. We used them as decor on the cake table then later adorned them during the reception.
The best thing about this marriage is that we had been best friends for years, then when I finally left a toxic relationship, he asked me out and I said no. Twice LOL. Then finally I realized: why am I trying to set this great guy up with my friends and coworkers?! I need to say yes!
Tell us about the ceremony:
Music as the guests took their seats included Victor's piano solo from The Corpse Bride and instrumental music from Twilight. Our ceremony used vows from The Corpse Bride. I walked down the aisle to a custom made rendition of Calvin Harris ft Rihanna's “This Is What You Came For” because well… everybody's watching her, but she's looking at you!
My engagement ring stone was pear-shaped, but I always refer to it as being the shape of a blood droplet. Wes's wedding band is referred to as “the ashen one” — a reference to Dark Souls 3. My aunt was our officiant and she had us answer questions about each other weeks before and we weren't allowed to know what each other answered. The ceremony was almost entirely a complete surprise to us but it was so personal and wonderful and tear jerking and laugh inciting. She's also an opera singer and sang Ave Maria while we honored both my parents and Wes's parents with a flower ceremony of black dahlias.
Our flower girl Kadee is the daughter of our friend Ryan who built the Nightmare Before Christmas hill. We consider ourselves to walk a fine line between “normal” and “dark” sides, so for some attendees of the wedding (mostly Wes's family), some elements of the wedding were a bit of a surprise or shock. Despite this, we wanted the wedding to be fun for everyone. We didn't want a typical ring box so we made a quirky but beautiful ring holder. Most everything in the wedding was handmade, including our invitations.
Tell us about your reception:
Wes is part of a group that spins fire and LED poi or glow sticks, so some of his friends who share the same talent/hobby gave an awesome fire performance for our guests. Also there was lots of rave lighting and glow hoop and poi spinning at the reception.
An inside joke we have is that over the years, Wes would always Rick Roll me, like even at the worst times like 5am when we're up and tired and getting ready for work, then suddenly I'd hear “never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down…” So at the wedding, he surprised me by singing the entire Rick Astley song to me in front of everyone!
I love rock/metal music, so for our toast, our bridal party changed the words to “Tribute” by Tenacious D and presented us with “The Best Toast In The World,” complete with toy guitar solo. Our first dance was to Alanis Morissette's “Head Over Feet.”
All of the centerpieces were DIY and I loved them so much. One had flowers in tiny little nooses hung over mirrors — their souls reflected in the mirror. Tim Burton elements were found throughout in black and white stripe and spirals. One was inspired by the aliens in the original War of the Worlds movie — a giant beautiful crystal eye with huge feather eyelashes, staring out at the guests. The third were black branch trees sitting atop a huge black spiral. We didn't have a wedding planner so when we went to cut the cake, we couldn't find our fancy cake cutter, so we cut the cake and fed each other off a rather large kitchen knife.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Biggest challenge was not spending a fortune. We cut costs by making anything we could by hand. It worked out in the end, but I did not realize how much TIME it would take. My best advice to couples out there looking to save money is to make sure you have plenty of time. Even when you think you're on schedule, make sure you have everything done at least a month in advance.
A good friend of mine is my hair and makeup stylist who also hosts a yearly special FX hair/makeup show called Monster's Ball, so she was big into our theme and my makeup and also is who made the Barb & Adam heads on our cake table that we wore. Another friend did my nails and hand painted sand snakes (from Beetlejuice) — one on each foot that came together on big toes to kiss.
We also had a custom Tim Burton inspired Snapchat filter. LED balloons for the sendoff were supposed to represent the ghost of each guest floating ominously above them (each was connected to hair tie for guest's wrist so wouldn't be let loose and harm the environment).
Photographer: Laura Fulmer Photography • Second Shooter: Keaton Elise Photography • Videographer: Sugar Peach Productions Photography + Cinema • Dress: Allure Romance • Makeup/Hair: Halo Salon & Spa • Nail art: Shawn Johnson, Nail Artist • Flowers: Rachel Frisell Design Studio • Cake: Crazy Cupcake Lady • Food: Shane's Ribshack