We gave you a little taste of Caitlin & Rob’s wedding back in one of the first monday montages. Remember that Nom Monster Wedding Card Box? Well, here is the actual wedding story! -Coco
The offbeat bride: Caitlin, Software Consultant (and OBT member)
Her offbeat partner: Rob, veteran and student
Location & date of wedding: Grandparents’ Residence, Eastport, ME — July 10, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: After six years together (four of which were spent mostly apart due to my husband’s Army enlistment and Iraq deployment) we finally decided to get married, surprising just about no one. We went into our wedding planning knowing that we needed something offbeat, unique, personalized, laid-back, and budget friendly.
So, in the spirit of true Offbeattitude, we:
- Got married at my grandparents’ seven acre property overlooking the ocean in Maine.
- Wrote our own vows and asked a few loved ones do some nontraditional readings (including a passage from a book written by Caitlin’s grandmother).
- Featured a lopsided wedding party.
- Sang (and rocked) our own first dance song.
- Walked down the aisle to “We Belong Together” by Ritchie Valens.
- Encouraged (and bribed) our guests to wear Chuck Taylors.
- Provided a fully-stocked baked potato bar instead of a traditional meal.
- Witnessed some spontaneous pseudo-karaoke.
- Completely eschewed the garter and bouquet toss.
- Hit up Etsy for just about everything including bouquets!
Oh, and we hired a Nom Monster to serve as our wedding card receptacle.
Our maid of honor read “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, and Rob’s sister-in-law read “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton.
My sister surprised us by reading a passage from a book written by our grandmother. The book details the early days of their relationship; this particular passage details my grandmother’s anxiety about their first date, and ends with the sentence, “If you’ve ever danced with John, you know that heaven can wait.” By the end of it everyone (including the bride, groom, officiant, and guests) had a tear in their eye.
Our vows were simple and heartfelt.
Rob said, “You are my voice, you are my better half. I promise I’ll always love you no matter how crazy you think you are, and I will always love you because of how crazy you actually are.”
Caitlin drew her inspiration from a Tom Robbins quote, and promised Rob to “Always make our marriage a priority, not an option.” She ended with a quote from an Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode: “You know, captain, every year of my life I grow more and more convinced that the wisest, and the best, is to fix our attention on the good, and the beautiful. If you just take the time to look at it.”
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was the fact that I travel every week for work, and that we lived four hours away from our ceremony/reception site. It was also difficult to have to plan everything since the venue was a family member’s residence. We overcame this by leaning on our family members and friends, who all stepped up in a BIG way. Caitlin’s cousin and her husband gave us the tents and tables for free, and our parents provided all of the food and hired their friends to help with the bar, chairs, and so much more. We were so fortunate to have so much support throughout this whole process.
My favorite moment: First, gathering flowers for the centerpieces together before the ceremony. At the ceremony itself, hearing Caitlin’s sister read from her grandparents’ love story. Caitlin’s grandmother passed away three months shy of our wedding, and it was so powerful to hear her words come alive again. We loved hearing each other’s vows, which we didn’t share until our ceremony. We also had a total blast singing in front of all our families and friends. Finally, looking out at our wedding and seeing all our loved ones, who were almost as happy as we were!
Also, I really enjoyed walking down the aisle with my dad, and our dance together. As a surprise I played a song that he had sung to me and my sisters when we were kids, “The Bowling Song” by Raffi. He was absolutely blown away. I could tell it meant the world to him.
My funniest moment: We had originally chosen four songs to play at our reception as a surprise for our families. The first, “When She Begins” by Social Distortion, went off without a hitch. But eventually our bass player (and groom, ahem) got too drunk to play the songs. We started “Dirty Glass ” by the Dropkick Murphys, got partway through and had to start over again! Our crowd loved it and laughed right along with us. We never did play our third song, “The Likes Of You Again” by Flogging Molly (complete with fiddle) because our bassist was curled in a ball underneath the porch steps.
Our bartender was actually a music teacher, so he stepped in to play bass with the groom and drummer for “Church On Sunday” by Green Day and “Don’t Think Twice” by Mike Ness, both of which might have been missing some lyrics, and a guitar solo or two!
My advice for offbeat brides: I would say to raise each other up no matter what happens. Make time for each other, smile at one another, and make the marriage, not the wedding, your priority.
My husband was just as involved in the planning as I was because we had a shared vision. It was our first big joint venture and we made sure to treat each other with respect. We compromised when our opinions differed and gushed when they didn’t. Keep the lines of communication open and make time for lots of cuddling.
Finally, lean on family and friends wherever you can.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? That marrying your best friend is just about the most awesome thing you can do! I think it also helped me, personally, become more confident and assertive, and to hone my own planning skills. Rob says that the most important lesson he learned was that “alcohol numbs the extremeties and makes it very difficult to play the guitar.” 🙂
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!