The Offbeat Bride: Karen, PC coordinator / data analyst (and OBT member “Karen”)
Her Offbeat Partner: Doug, System Administrator
Location & date of wedding: Rosy's Jazz Hall, New Orleans, LA — March 14, 2009 (Pi Day!)
What made our wedding offbeat: We're nerds. We met at a live-action roleplaying game and got together at a sci-fi convention. We have computers at home, we love Lovecraft, he reads comic books, and I collect old-school My Little Ponies. We knew we wanted stuff there that would represent the things we love.
- Cthulhu stood on the cake table along with the two “minions” that a friend painted to look like us.
- The engraving in our rings is the word “love” in binary — 01101100011011110111011001100101
- My wedding ring is titanium with a black diamond. Black diamonds are believed to have been formed in stellar supernovae explosions that happened millions of years ago. I love astronomy and science, and the idea of a SPACE ROCK is amazing to me.
We also insisted on finding a location that was a little quirky and utterly New Orleans. Enter Rosy's Jazz Hall. Exposed brick walls, black and white pictures of jazz artists, trees growing in the atrium, balconies, wood and tile floors, and a courtyard with blooming gardenias. Not to mention the food… muffeletta pasta, jambalaya, oysters cordon bleu, feta onion tartlettes, shrimp remoulade salad, spicy shrimp beignets…
Also, thanks to the glorious Offbeat Brides that have come before, we borrowed a few ideas:
- Groomsmen wearing Chucks.
- Having the bridesmaids party at a place where you make your own bath and body products.
- Going to Etsy for little handmade things like my hair flower and bouquet charm.
- DIYing my invites.
Thank you, OBBs!
Our biggest challenge: After the price of our favorite invites went up, we decided to go the DIY route. I ordered 5×7 invites, hot pink envelopes, and hot pink response cards. When we went to print them, we found out that the response cards were too small and thick to work properly in the laser printer. Doug figured we could order 8×12 hot pink paper, print four to a sheet and then cut them – no dice. Kinko's said the paper was too thick for their printers, so that was right out as well. Finally, we bought more 5×7 cards, printed two to a sheet, then took them to Kinko's to be cut. They worked out great and I even had people asking me where we had our invites done!
Another issue was the dress. I'm plus-sized, so that was an obstacle from day one. I wasn't going to do a fad diet to wear a dress for one day, and I didn't have enough money to drop on a custom dress. My only option was to hit up bridal stores. Some of the dresses the stores tried to foist off on me were ridiculous — bedazzled contraptions of lace and chiffon that had enough froth to rival the cake. I found a pale cream off the shoulder silk taffeta dress that laced up the back and wrapped in the front, from the Alfred Angelo catalog, no less!
My favorite moment: Seeing my flowers for the first time. My grandmother passed away in late 2007, and she always had blue hydrangea growing in her front yard. Since she was not able to be there physically for my wedding day, I wanted something to remind me of her, so I requested that my bouquet have blue hydrangea in it. I also got a photo charm of my grandmother and grandfather for my bouquet. When I saw it for the first time, I almost cried — it felt like she was right there with me.
On a funnier note, I LOVED the best man's toast. How many other wedding toasts end up more like roasts and include the word “vagina?” (I've got the video online if you want the link.) Even the photographer said it was the best toast he'd ever heard at a wedding.
My advice for other offbeat brides: Choose your battles wisely! As much as I loved the idea of an entire DIY wedding, it wasn't feasible for us with our budget, location, and time constraints. I went DIY with the things that I could, and the things I couldn't I either asked friends to help with or purchased through local stores or Etsy.
Etsy is your BFF. I would have never started looking there if it wasn't for wedding planning. There are some amazingly talented artists there that either have what you're looking for or can make it!
Figure out what you can scrimp and what you can splurge on. Having good photographs was important to me, and having good food was important to Doug. We spent a little more on the reception hall and the photographer, and tried to save on the florist, attire, and other things. I'm glad we spent a little more on the things we did.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- Reception hall – Rosy's Jazz Hall
- Photographer – Matt Foster
- Flowers – Bella Blooms Floral
- Rings – Titanium Era
- Dress – Alfred Angelo @ Pearl's Place
- Hair accessory – salchar @ Etsy
- Shoes – Aldo
- Bouquet photo charm – DesignsbyTami @ Etsy
- Garter – PiperEwan @ Etsy
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Comments on Karen & Doug’s WedCon 2009!
Everyone looks so happy and like they’re having so much fun! Your wedding looked great. Congratulations!
Ohhh my gosh, I LOVE your little Cthulhu! Brilliant! Looks like so much fun.
This is a dream come true! Even though my nerdiness is not precisely of this variety, I love it. I sent this to my friend who’s planning her handfasting–she made me a Cthulhu felt Easter egg and her fiance has developed his own RPG, so this is totally up their alley. Yay for nerd love!
Oh girl. You rock. You are just GLOWING in those pictures.
I 01101100011011110111011001100101 your ring engraving!
OMG OFFBEAT BRIDE FTW!
@Michelle – you can have a little Cthulhu too! Google “My Little Cthulhu”. It comes with Cthulhu and two “minions/victims”.
@midwestelle – thanks!
Yes, it’s so clear they are happy and a fun bunch! That’s a wedding I would’ve liked to attend.
My fiancÃ© and I met at a con (he was running programming there). =) Geeklove is the best love! Congrats!
Nerdy yet classy! Or is it classy yet nerdy? Either way, love it 🙂
Matt Foster was our photographer too and he is AMAZING. Definitely book him if you are getting married in the New Orleans area!!!!
The bride looks so beautiful!! And I loved the detail about the blue hydrangea in the bouquet- very touching.
I know you guys! Your wedding looks awesome. I go to Coast Con all the time and other local conventions. I was actually thinking about doing a “con” for my wedding too. Awesome Awesome Awesome!
@JediBev – I know you too! We remember you from CoastCon (back in the day, haha) 🙂 Thanks!
Karen, everything is beautiful! It’s great to see another plus-sized bride who’s into being herself and not dieting, and beyond that, everything looks fantastic! I can’t get your beautiful venue out of my head, especially the ceremony shot. Congratulations on a gorgeous event that reflects who you are. Love it.
Because my husband and I run a convention together, we thought of doing a wedding con (we called it MK-Con), but we didn't have the money to do it how we would have liked and went with outdoor geek fest instead (it was very like a convention, though). Our wedding is, like, four or five pages back.
I'm sure it was a ton of fun! I think more nerds should have interesting weddings. All of our nerd friends have let their parents pressure them into doing the whole "normal" thing. Bleh! 🙂
I got engaged at a con LMAO. We are both geeks too. He proposed as we were cosplaying!
Good luck to both of you! Also we are from Louisiana too!
I'm also a huge geek…I have a tattoo of "love" in binary on my forearm influenced by my man. We met online and enjoy tabletop and Magic together…I can only hope our wedding is as fantatic and unique as yours!
That is awesome. We play magic and tabletop as well! I alter magic cards—> http://www.tstarmagic.com
I love love love your dress! It looks gorgeous on you.
Could you tell me the style number? I've not seen one I loved this much in all my searching.
My dress is an Alfred Angelo, style 1148. http://bit.ly/c94a9 Good luck!
What a great wedding! Huzzah to geekdom! 🙂
What a great wedding! Huzzah to geekdom! 🙂
I'd love the link to the toast. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and expressed your true natures. I love the idea about the flower and charms for your grandparents. My best friend died this spring and I will want to recognize her at my wedding, along with my mom who also has passed on. Thank you for another wonderful idea of how I could do that. Best wishes!
Here's the link:
It might not quite be safe for work – no crude language but it's a bit risque. Best wishes to you as well!
I was wondering what your invites looked like? I’m just as nerdy and we are doing a similar nerdy type wedding and I can’t find anything that involves d20’s for the invites. I’m just wondering if yours had anything like that?
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