The offbeat partner: Erin, Technical Writer
The offbeat partner: Jon, Documentation Specialist
Date and location of wedding: The Historic Smithville Inn, Smithville, NJ — October 31, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our colors were “Suffragette colors” — ivory, purple, and green, with a splash of yellow.
We had a slight Victorian/old-fashioned theme. Because the wedding was on Halloween, we also made it a point to take pictures with some of the zombies at the Smithville Zombie Walk. A Smithville shop, The Underground, hosts the Zombie Walk every year. Jon and I usually participate in the walk with friends, so they were kind enough to arrange photos with the zombies for us during cocktail hour.
My mom gave Jon an antique sapphire and diamond stick pin to match my engagement ring and wedding band. All of our jewelry was antique. We also made and framed vintage signs for the bar, photo booth, and guest book. My mom gave me a '20s enamel mesh purse and one of my grandmother's embroidered handkerchiefs. Jon and I bought fairy baskets and filled them with candy to have at our nieces' seats for the reception, and sang “Happy Birthday” to our niece, Talia, and Jon's Dad, Charlie, who were both born on Halloween.
My mom made us the pumpkin card holder — she hand-strung white pearls all over it and added flower accents to match our floral arrangements.
Jon proposed to me in New York City in front of one of my favorite paintings at the Frick Collection while it was on loan from the Mauritshuis in Holland (Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring). I had a few photos taken at my mom's in front of her copy of the painting.
Tell us about the ceremony:
The musicians played '20s-era love songs and Celtic arrangements while guests were being seated. As a surprise for Jon, I asked the musicians to play “The Song of Storms” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, while the gentlemen took their places. Our families and bridal party walked out to “Downstream” from the game Braid, and I walked down the aisle with my dad to the instrumental theme from The Princess Bride.
Our officiant (and friend) did a Victorian ceremony and traditional vows that we edited together. We had four readings at our wedding: e.e. cummings, [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in], an excerpt from Corelli's Mandolin, a wedding poem by Neil Gaiman, and a reading from the Song of Songs.
As our flower girls/nieces, Corinne and Talia, were halfway down the aisle, Talia ran to the front and then back down the aisle to her dad, and banged on the door where my dad and I were waiting, to let her in.
Tell us about your reception:
Our centerpieces were white pumpkins filled with flowers, accented with curly willow branches. Our florist put votives and white pumpkins throughout the venue.
Because I love to bake, my mom and I baked cookies for each guest. They were vanilla sugar cut-out cookies in the shape of pumpkins to compliment the centerpieces. We decorated them with a stiff vanilla buttercream, crystallized sugar, and white sugar pearls. I bought miniature frames and made our escort cards on my computer using an Art Deco-style font.
As kids, my best friend Erin (this Offbeat Bride!) and I loved Hanson. She requested “MMMBop” and a few of our high school friends joined in for a sing-a-long. This also happened with my friend Rob with Savage Garden's, “I Want You.”
Our DJ humored us by closing out the night with a “Piano Man” sing-a-long led by our good friend, Chris.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Before our wedding, a friend told me that it may sound obvious, but to make sure to spend time with your partner at the reception. She also said that Jon and I should make it a point to stop, take a breath, and really process what was going on around us, to really appreciate it. We stole a few moments to ourselves, and I'm so glad that we did — the entire day was beautiful and overwhelming, and over far too soon. In all of the planning, you can lose sight of what the day is about.
Also, find a photographer you're comfortable with. Jon and I are both shy people, and being photographed all day can be stressful, but through getting to know our photographers, Jonathon and Peter, we were more at ease and they were able to make the process a lot of fun for us. They even found us a giant moon to recreate a 1920s paper moon photo shoot for our engagement photos.
- Photography: Jonathon Peter Photography
- Florist: Pocket Full of Posies
- Dress: eBay
- Bride's Shoes: HexHeartHollow
- Invitations: White Dove Invitations
- Salon: Sublime Hair Boutique
- Barber Shop: The Smithville Barber Shoppe
- Musicians: Grace Note String Ensembles, Grace Note String Trio & Harps Wedding Music (violinist and cellist)
- DJ/Photobooth: Over the Top Entertainment
- Bridesmaid Gowns: Nataya's Downton Abbey Tea Party Gown in Antique Silver
- Cake: The Bake Works