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!
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.
We had the lovely Mary Todd Lincoln show up at the end of our ceremony to congratulate us.
Our neighbor brought his drums and other percussion instruments to get the party started.
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.
And just when things were settling down, and guests were digesting their dinner, in swoops a mariachi band.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our wedding party included four “Petal-throwers” (more commonly known as flower girls), and Boba Fett as our usher/survival kit hander-outer.
Andy had his own processional, where he shook hands, hugged, and thanked our guests for coming, as he made his way down the aisle.
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.”
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.)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Juliette Longuet
- Cake: Eat Cake Milwaukee
- Shoes: Seychelles
- Photography: Amarie Photography
- Flowers: Four Sisters Floral
- Catering: Rupena's Fine Foods
- Birds of Prey: Schlitz Audobon Nature Center
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!