The Offbeat Bride: Trisha
Her offbeat partner: Tina, Ship's Officer
Date and location of wedding: Larson's Barn in McGregor, MN — October 17, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We had kind of a vintage country harvest theme. We really wanted to highlight the season and the beautiful setting of a small lake in northern Minnesota. We didn't want it to feel too stuffy, and it was important to each of us to incorporate some of our family traditions. Trisha is Minnesota born and raised; Tina is an Italian French Canadian.
The barn we rented is usually used for polka dances. We decorated it with vintage lace, old antlers we'd collected, lots of twinkle lights and candles, and hand-picked dried flowers and fall foliage. We DIYed our corsages, boutonnieres, favors, and table numbers.
Tell us about the ceremony:
An old friend of Trisha's performed our ceremony. Instead of a traditional ring exchange, we had a beautiful handfasting. Tina's mom did a reading to explain the ritual and her long-time best friend and best man, Andy, bound our hands with cords we'd braided while we were apart (Tina works on freighters on the Great Lakes and is away for a few months at a time).
Tina's sister Lisa read an anonymous romantic quote to start the ceremony, and Trisha's brother Jansen closed with an old Apache creed borrowed from their parents' wedding ceremony. Tina had written her vows months in advance, and managed to keep them hidden from Trisha until the last moment. In true form, Trisha waited until the night before the wedding to write hers. They included the line “I promise to be truthful in all things — even shoe shopping.” It was all kind of traditional and kind of silly and absolutely perfect.
Tell us about your reception:
We started the reception with a grand march to the theme song from “Game of Thrones,” and our DJ surprised us by mashing it up with “TNT” by AC/DC. (Get it?) Instead of a guest book, we asked folks to write notes on vintage postcards and leave them in a mailbox Trisha's mom had decopauged. For favors, we gave guests homemade jams and hand-embroidered hankies with cute sayings like “best day ever.”
For dinner, we had a pizza buffet. Tina found a great traveling wood-fired pizza truck. Up in that part of Minnesota, the options for catering are pretty limited, so this was an incredible discovery, especially since it fit into our tight budget. We'd found a cake-maker at our local farmer's market and had a very simple chocolate-mocha cake with vanilla buttercream, which we decorated with fresh rosemary from our garden and a custom-made bear-and-unicorn cake topper from Etsy.
Tina's dad surprised us with an amazing toast — we had no idea he was such a gifted public speaker — and Trisha's maid of awesome, Amy, cracked us all up with a killer game of “Never Have I Ever” in which she highlighted each of our proudest moments and our epic love story. After pizza and speeches, there was lots of drinking and dancing. Trisha serenaded Tina with “At Last” shortly after dinner. There was a tender first dance, a father/daughter dance, and a dollar dance, and then just lots more dancing and keeping warm at the bonfire out behind the barn.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Trisha learned to chill the F out. Tina learned that you can do it [yourself] if you put your back into it. Trisha spent months having anxiety about having too much anxiety on the big day. We were all shocked when she was the coolest cucumber in the entire wedding entourage. Basically, we learned that the little stuff really doesn't matter all that much. It was truly a lesson in how to let go and enjoy a special thing while it's happening.
Also, when folks tell you to stop and savor the special moments, listen to them. It's really true — the day flies by and memories get blurry. We were both so touched by the people who traveled from all over to celebrate with us and from the huge amount of love and support our families and dearest friends gave to us.