Offbeat partner: Jennie, composer & music teacher
Offbeat partner: Alex, data manager
Date and location of wedding: Tea Room, Gambrill State Park, just outside of Frederick, MD — October 22, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
The D&D geek theme started because I had the thought to myself, “you have encountered a wedding ceremony — roll for initiative.” We both thought it was funny, and it sort of spiraled from there that all of our favorite nerdy things could be incorporated.
We rolled a D20 instead of clinking glasses, added the character classes for our Adventure Party (since we each had mixed-gender sides), named the tables after the temples from Ocarina of Time instead of just numbers, and threw a Mario Kart blue shell instead of a bouquet. One of my favorite touches was the card box that my sister painted to look like a treasure chest from Skyward Sword. We were both kind of stunned at how well our vision came together — it helped that we were engaged for two years, and our friends really stepped up and helped us bring everything together perfectly.
I knew right off the bat I wouldn’;t be wearing white and didn’;t want to spend a ton of money on a dress I’;d ultimately wear once, so I bought a dress on eBay…and when that made me look like a Disney villain, Alex’;s mom did some truly magical alterations and custom embroidery that turned it into my dream dress. For the ladies of the party, the only rule was “find a black dress in which you feel good.” My sister, best lady friend, and I made glitter flats, and my mom made D20 earrings and sashes — all in green for the ladies on my side, and blue for the ladies on Alex’;s side. Then the guys rented vests and tuxes in their colors as well.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We hired a bagpipe and drum combo to play us in and out. We walked down the aisle to the Game of Thrones theme and walked out to the Deku Palace theme from Majora’;s Mask. I’;m a pagan and Alex is an atheist, so it was important to both of us to write a ceremony that met halfway. Our friend and officiant, Malissa, helped us write the ceremony to incorporate the pagan traditions of lighting a unity candle from smaller candles (which we did in our respective colors: green for me, blue for him), a handfasting, and jumping the broom. We wrote our own vows and otherwise kept it short and sweet.
Tell us about your reception:
We didn’;t want to blow our whole budget on catering, so we ordered from our favorite sandwich place (shout out to Alex’;s parents for organizing everything!) which I think was well received. We had a small venue and pushed its seating capacity to the maximum, so there wasn’;t space for a DJ; fortunately, our little Amazon Echo did the job perfectly with a Spotify playlist. Our friend Viktor emceed for the day and I think we hit the sweet spot between planning fun things (we did a variant of the shoe game in which everybody participated with colored flags) and letting our guests kick back and hang out. Not a lot of our friends are big into dancing or anything, so just having time to talk with us and each other was great.
I have so many favorite moments! One of the biggest ones that stands out in my mind is when my best friend, James, rolled to make us kiss and failed (it was a DC of eleven — any lower and the roller had to kiss someone), then turned to his girlfriend and DIPPED HER! They both looked so happy and Alex and I were just beaming at how much love was in the room. Another favorite moment was when, during the shoe game, Alex stopped paying attention for half a second and accidentally admitted I’;m the better Pokémon trainer. Hehehehehe.
What was your most important lesson learned?
We had a few challenges. First and foremost, Alex’;s family is enormous and they are all very close. Each of his parents is one of 5 siblings! We had a very DIY venue with a hard max of 70 people, but we definitely felt we pushed the space to its limits with 60 guests, and nearly half of that was Alex’;s family. Our original vision for table set up ended up being way too cramped, but we were able to Tetris our way around the situation and the solution ended up looking way better.
Weddings have a tendency to bring out family/friend relationship issues that may have been boiling under the surface. My best advice would be to surround yourself with the people who love and support you, not just for your wedding but for your life, and who make you feel good about yourself when you spend time with them. This was the hardest lesson I learned this year but in the end, I had my chosen family surrounding me on my wedding day, and I couldn’;t have asked for a better one.