The Offbeat Bride: Rachel, retail associate & designing-girl-at-heart

Her offbeat partner: Andy, pharmacist

Date and location of wedding: Trimborn Farm, Greendale, Wisconsin — June 2, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: It was a day in the life of our brains! Come on in, family and friends! Oh and by the way, we are also getting married. Along the way there was fun and games. In addition to having an interactive ceremony, we had lots of stuff to keep our guests entertained. There were hula hoops and old-timey games like hoop & stick and graces, (appropriate since we were on historical property).


During the reception we had a “Sax-Off,” where guests dueled and jammed during the sax solo in “Careless Whisper,” with REAL saxophones!

Formals with Boba Fett

That's not all! We had a few special surprise guests, too! Boba Fett was our usher, apparently taking a day off from bounty-hunting to graciously hand out our wedding survival kits.

Formals with Mrs. Lincoln

We had the lovely Mary Todd Lincoln show up at the end of our ceremony to congratulate us.

Drum Jam

Our neighbor brought his drums and other percussion instruments to get the party started.

<Wedding Vulture

And oh yes, at the tent across the field there were birds of prey. Yes, real birds. I am proud to say I had a wedding vulture, two wedding owls, a wedding peregrine falcon and a wedding kestrel.

Wedding Owl

Mariachi Band

And just when things were settling down, and guests were digesting their dinner, in swoops a mariachi band.

Wedding Survival Kit

Holy crap were there handmade details! I mentioned Boba Fett handed out our survival kits. These were inspired by my husband's Rocky Horror Picture Show past. I designed the topper, and inside was a book-style program (also designed by moi), bag of rice, Kleenex, mysterious cards, and mysterious envelopes.

Barn Reception Decor

The table decor was all DIY, too, with each table having its own color scheme. Chair back covers (which were inspired by this post, BTW!), table runners, and centerpieces were all lovingly handmade.

Our Woodland Cake

Another favorite crafty, DIY detail was our cake toppers! We love raptors. I love owls, so I made a lil' owl bride with a flower crown to represent myself. Andy loves hawks, so I made his a hawk with a little tie.

Kiss in the Kiln

Tell us about the ceremony: Andy and I were married at a historical farmstead that was nature-y and rustic, but not too far away from civilization. The ceremony took place in front of the lime kilns on the property.

Petal Thrower

Our wedding party included four “Petal-throwers” (more commonly known as flower girls), and Boba Fett as our usher/survival kit hander-outer.

Andy's Processional

Andy had his own processional, where he shook hands, hugged, and thanked our guests for coming, as he made his way down the aisle.

Boho bride & Military man

The Petal-throwers, who were called such because we encouraged them to throw petals every which way, were next down the aisle, and then I followed them with my brother as my “Handsome Escort.”

Whoever here…

The ceremony was about a half hour long, and our goal was to be fun, silly, interactive, entertaining, and yet still heartfelt. Our Officiant Extraordinaire began the ceremony with a fun sextupleted negative, to basically let people know this was not going to be a usual wedding: “Whoever here doesn't not want this marriage never not to fail, please don't not raise your hand now.” (I still don't know whether you should raise your hand or not.)

Read more about the unity sandwich ceremony HERE!
Read more about the unity sandwich ceremony HERE!

Our ring exchange ceremony rhymed and mentioned Pi and for our unity ceremony, we had, or rather made, a Unity Sandwich.


Guests participated in a “Choose Your Own Recessional,” where they voted by brown or yellow card (these were the “mysterious cards” I mentioned in the Survival Kits) whether they wanted me to have my preferred recessional, or whether they wanted Andy to have his preferred recessional.

I Won

I won and guests opened up the mysterious envelope that corresponded to my choice. Inside that envelope was the lyrics to “Never Gonna Give You Up,” so guests could sing along! We walked/danced back up the aisle while we were showered with another component in the Survival Kits: rice.

Mary Todd Lincoln, our surprise guest

After we took a ride around the crowd on my old bike (so everyone could get a chance to throw rice at us!), we went back to the front, where THE Mary Todd Lincoln (yes, President Lincoln's wife!) surprised our guests, congratulated us, and even shared a tender story about her courtship with Mr. Lincoln.

And then came the rice

My favorite moment: Of course the vows. We both wrote our own, full of tender promises and quirky inside jokes. I almost cried, but I think my adrenaline was pumping so much I just couldn't! Plus, the Declaration of Intention was both heart-warming & funny. Instead of saying “I will,” Andy and I both exclaimed “Absolutely!” And when our guests exclaimed “absolutely” for their part, I'm sure I had the most gigantic smile on my face.

sandwich gif 112812 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

My funniest moment: For our unity ceremony, we made a sandwich. It was pretty awesome. We had set up a candle on our altar (to make people think we would have a unity candle), and when it came time for the unity ceremony, our officiant explained what each layer represented. [Editor's note: We've shown you all the layers of this mighty sammich before.] It ended with, “And that, dear friends and family, is a unity sandwich! You may now…take a bite.” It tasted pretty good, too.

Reading #1

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The readings! Luckily, my sister and brother-in-law had brought the book I wanted them to read for our ceremony, which was “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton.

Reading #2

But the for the other readings, I had left the books in my car. Which I did not take to the venue. So we didn't even realize this until our officiant announced the readings. Andy and I looked at each other with forced smiles and mouthed “Where's the books? Do you have the books? What are we supposed to do now? Ahhh crap.”

Reading #3

And then Andy whispered “Wait. I can do this. I know these poems.” They were two Shel Silverstein poems: “Listen to the Mustn'ts” and “Happy Endings?” And so instead of his sisters reading from the forgotten books, he remembered them line-by-line! It worked out pretty well, and I was pretty darn amazed.

Hooping in the Zone

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Don't just do something because you think that's what's SUPPOSED to happen at weddings. Think about the most important aspects of your wedding. Do these really reflect who you and your partner are? And you might also want to ask yourself: What do I want my guests to learn about us as a couple? Having these questions in mind helped us to have a wedding that was authentic to us.

Barefoot bride

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? We have pretty awesome, open-minded, wonderful people in our lives! Despite all the “offbeat” stuff that was included in our wedding, there were really no naysayers. I was always a smidge worried that someone just wouldn't get it, or worse, be offended by the silliness, but that just didn't happen!

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Comments on Rachel & Andy’s rustic quirky interactive historical farm wedding

  1. Wow! I love all the weddings on offbeat bride, but this is one that makes me wish I was there! Thanks also for giving me a push toward doing what I want with my wedding no matter how silly!

  2. How amazing! You two had such a fun and authentic celebration! And what an adorable bride. Congrats! 🙂

  3. This is my favorite Off Beat Wedding to date. Wow. I am amazed by the amount of fun and awesomeness. I think the Choose Your Own Recessional was my favorite.

  4. Oh my gosh! Best idea ever! I am doing a very music-heavy wedding/reception and I love the pick your own recessional for everyone to sing to. What was in the survival kits? I would love to know.

  5. This is probably my favorite wedding here yet. I don’t think I’d have a single element similar in my own wedding, but I love how truly unique it is. These people made it completely their own and RAN with it.

  6. This is totally awesome, love the bike, the location, the solution to “Whoops forgot the books for the readings,” the choose-your-own-adventure style recessional, the ecstatic look on the brides face, the dress, the unity sandwich – everything… Congratulations, it looks like it rocked.

  7. If this was a day inside your brain that’s where I wanna live! Looks AWESOME. Good thing you know you’re lucky to not have naysayers 🙂

  8. Oh. my. gosh. As a HUGE fan of silliness, this looks like the most FANTASTIC wedding. I have a new favorite OffBeat wedding. 🙂 Congrats to you two, and a hearty salute for creating what looks like a fun, heartfelt, and memorable day!

  9. I love this – and now I must have hawks and owls. MUST! At every event ever!

  10. The looks on everyone’s faces in every single picture says it all, this looks like one seriously fun wedding.

  11. LOVE IT!!! You guys were to encompass exactly what I am trying to do (wedding on 8/31/13)…..YOU HAD SO MUCH FUN!!!! Everyone always says that my fiance and I are a lot of fun and that we like to be silly, so that is exactly what I am trying to convey in all the planning. The theme of my wedding…Classy with a little funk thrown in for flavor!!

  12. ok, that´s it. if the doctor ever comes along to take me on a trip, we´re ging to crash your wedding because it is the most awesome thing ever!!!

  13. You guys are so cute and this looks so fun! So many ACTUAL unique ideas too! One of my favorite weddings I’ve seen on here, which is of course saying a lot!

  14. One of my most favorite weddings EVER. Much happiness to you crazy kids!

  15. This wedding looks so fun I wish I’d been there. So much to love and now I want real owls on our big day.

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