Kaci was the lucky winner of Whitney Lee Photography’s Offbeat Bride bridal portrait contest. You probably squeeeed at her fantastic 1920s gown and head piece. Or maybe it was her wings or the awesome junkyard venue that got your blood pumping? Either way, there is all that and more (Unity Volcano ceremony!!) at her lovely weddidng. – Becca
The offbeat bride: Kaci, Improviser, Freelance Artist and Actor
Her offbeat partner: Roy, Improviser, Theater Owner and Computer Programmer
What made our wedding offbeat: We picked a fun, funky, artsy location (The Cathedral of Junk) that is just a few miles from our home in South Austin and super affordable (Vince accepts donations). It’s just in this guy’s backyard. There were basically no rules and we liked that.
We chose our outfits based on what we personally like — The Victorian Age and the 1920s.
Our wedding party was more of a Greek chorus than a line of girls and boys (and a dog) on either side of us.
Roy wrote a love song the morning of the wedding and sang it to me while playing his ukulele.
We rented out the back patio of an old Austin BBQ/Music-Venue staple called Hill’s Cafe and served tons of beer, BBQ, and fried Southern foods. We bought dozens and dozens of delicious and colorful cupcakes in multiple flavors because we are children.
We partied late into the night, threw flowers and garters in the air because its fun and held hands surrounded by paper cranes, jelly beans, and rusty old beer signs.
Our biggest challenge: Making the day our own while still making it an enjoyable event for everyone involved. When we thought about our wedding day, we knew we were going to have to take an occasion that is imagined a million times and make it our own. We want to experience authentic moments in our lives, not packaged ones. To that end our philosophy was — keep what we like, buck what we don’t, and create when we want — really *think* about everything involved and why it is there.
We picked a beautiful and interesting location, made beautiful by its mass collection of junk.
We left religion out entirely and, instead, focused on our beliefs of honesty and sincerity in the ceremony.
I didn’t take his last name. In fact, we plan to create an entirely new last name.
We just let the event speak for itself. After [everyone] saw that we weren’t being ironic or making a joke of the event, but were truly sincere and committed, they were all won over. It was amazing to me to see how happy everyone was after the ceremony. Friends and family both said they believed it to have been a moving and personal experience, and thanked us for allowing them to be apart of it with us.
My favorite moment: Watching as 200 people sang along to the chorus of a wedding love song Roy had just written and they had just heard. That moment was just bursting with so much love and joy that I want to hold it in my mind forever. Young and old, friends, family, and even people drug along to the event who didn’t know us sang with wide smiles on their faces.
My advice for offbeat brides:
- Get your lovely and eager friends to help you. We could not have had the tightly run ship of a wedding day without our wonderful friends who helped. They sprayed the site down for bugs, ran to pick up last minute items, ran the sound equipment, decorated the venues, managed the ceremony and reception as if they were shows, contacted and communicated with all the vendors, and so much more. We are so lucky.
- Really think about every aspect of a wedding, its symbolism, and whether it’s right for you. Keep what you like, and don’t do what you don’t believe in. We did what we wanted with enthusiasm and sincerity and so even the skeptics were won over.
- Don’t spend all your time planning and thinking about the wedding. You do have a life to live, you know. Live in the moment! I sometimes took months off planning and we still got everything taken care of. Don’t believe that everything has to be done half a year in advance. Enjoy the engagement!
- Shop around for local vendors that really care about you and your business. They will be so much more helpful and attentive. Our cupcake baker is just one woman who runs the business on her free time and she was so amazing. She gave us a free tasting hosted inside her home and promised to make us a dozen cupcakes of our choice for free on our anniversary. Now that’s service!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?