Sunday, March 31, 2013

For now...

Eventually I'll get around to reorganizing and re-linking all the wedding photos.  But for now, here are hilights!  Since there was pretty much no budget for decor and the "stuff", and this all coincided with my MA exam, I quite literally used what I had laying around, as did the museum. The only professional touches were with the reception, which was in such a lovely garden on Rutgers' campus, I couldn't bring myself to distract from the view with anything too odd.

So, this was a seat-of-the-pants, throw-it-against-the-wall kind of affair that people are still raving about.  My principal rule with regards to esthetics was "don't be nude", and my second rule was "relax and have fun".  The third, unofficial was "get me another whiskey sour", which I find a helpful mantra to live by anyway.

Programs, aged with coffee and oven time.  If I don't have to bake another damned piece of paper it'll be too soon.  These were the "punkiest" of "steampunk" touches, since I printed them out from RU's student printers.  All 50-odd of them.  There was no way to get more sophisitcated with design, and it was just too delicious to me to stick it to the (IT) man and use uni services for things other than papers and research.  The  little fake ads were from the lovely HP Lovecraft historical society's freebie pages for prop stuff.  Actually, that was a lot of help with the paper goods.  I should have sent them an email or something of thanks.

It's a Victorian brick!  This is Rutgers' Geology Museum, opened in the 19th century.  Now, sadly, it's threatened due to merger fuckery.  So it may not be a museum for much longer.

THE MASTODON.  OMG.  How cute is this?  The museum wasn't any more prepared for decoration than I was, so they offered to use whatever chairs were there, plus whatever linens they used for dinners and fundraisers.  And it was nearly free!  Fuck the fascism of wedding standards, *I* got wed under a skeleton! Also, those are heirloom peonies in the vase, which was an awesome neo-Victorian touch.

After the food, the largest expense was clothing.  And that wasn't much.  Pendragon costumes did my corset and James' jacket. We ordered "blank" hats and went to town. I wore one of James' dress shirts, and family jewelry, and he used suit parts from the closet.

We had a memorial table, because being dead is no excuse to miss a wedding.

Instead of the unity candle, or other similar things, we smashed our own geode!  People didn't know whether to "mazel tov" or not, but it's all good.  I figured if they could survive no color scheme, no diamonds and frills,  no sappy music (it was Bach, damnit), and readings from John Donne and Sagan, they may as well finish the ride and watch us hammer away at a rock.


And now for the craftage, in case anyone wants to go accessory nerding:

Flowers are pretty but too expensive, but there's a lot of supplies available on Amazon Prime, so a fan it was!  Besides, the Victorians loved them some fans, so I was more period than I intended.

I don't care if "gluing a gear on it and calling it steampunk" is gauche, but I liked these things.

One of the ladies' fans in progress.

That hat.  Omg.  This is the Wunderkammer Wedding Hat, a phrase which I chanted for about two weeks straight for the sheer silliness of it.  I like wunderkammer, and being a crafter, I have stockpiles of interesting beads, shells, bones, etc., as well as meaningful mementos from my dead folks, so I went with it. I decided that I wouldn't try to make it make sense, that I'd just keep gluing "objet" to it until it couldn't hold anymore.  

And finally, some pregame silliness.  This was pretty much the tenor of the entire day.  

Guests will mill around in my kitchen.  It's the law.

My one moment of allowing people to treat me like a "bride".  I decided to make fun of it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I'm reorganizing my drop box, so the photos will be unavailable for a little while. They are safely backed up to disc, so don't worry!

Below are links to Dropbox, where I have uploaded the photos.  All photos were taken by Kristy Bizdek and partner.  Here's her flicker stream in case you need a photographer any time soon.

Prewedding Shenanigans

Outside and Setup 

Entry into the Museum

Our lovely attendants

Vows and Stuff


Museum Decor


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Notes on unusual weddings

Firstly, we were very, very fortunate to be on the same page with our relatives.  They were endlessly generous and helpful, and very open-minded.  So we pretty much named our ticket in terms of decor and ceremony.  Not everyone is so fortunate, but there's always ways to work in something different.

  • Location - if you have an nontraditional location, nontraditional ceremonies tend to follow!  We used university facilities, having the ceremony in a Geology museum that has been around since the 19th century.  It wasn't a "normal" location, so our guests were ready for anything.
  • Script - before our officiant started the ceremony, we had a little "nota bene", a small outline to the guests saying what he would say and when, what would happen in the course of our ceremony, etc.  This took all of 30 seconds (this was a small ceremony), and reassured anyone who was put off by all the bones and specimens, and didn't know what to expect.  Don't be afraid to let your folks know what's coming - try to look at your ceremony and other wedding/union stuff from an outsider's perspective. 
  • Research - comb libraries, trawl the net, and above all, look at documents first.  Googling, say "humanist wedding ceremonies" or something similar can be a good starting point, but when I did it, I found a lot of repetition.  There's a lot of texts that can be made weddingable.  Who are your favorite writers, and how were they on the topics of love, trust, friendship, etc.?  Look outside of the "first hits" on search engines or heavily anthologized works if you feel stalled.
  • Examine everything:  is there a religious spiritual tradition you like anyway?  We really liked the unity candle and wine glass breaking.  My personal feeling is that if you learn about the original tradition, and tell people you're aware of the origins and the way you've changed it, you may offset the issues of appropriation.  But be sensitive.  Our geode smashing ceremony was taken as charming and (of course) unusual.  Again, we were lucky!  Mileage varies, naturally, but communicate with people so they know you didn't just play cultural tourist.

Honeymoon photos

The first attraction we visited was the Crane Point museum and accompanying trails, which had a number of cool things from a butterfly garden, bird preserve, and the oldest house not in Key West.  The museum was a small little nook, which I really liked, since small museums are often more personable - labors of love.  The trails were packed with awesomeness, and had gorgeous views at the end, making the humidity worth it :)

Our Crane Point photos

Key West had to be divided into 2 days since there is just so much to see.  So below is day one, with the Cemetary, the oldest house in the key, and various bits of prettiness.  And there's day two with the Hemingway house and related stuff.

Another place we went was the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West, which now counts as one of my mental happy places.  Exquisite!  Just go look :)

 We also went to the Dolphin Research center and the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, having a dorkily wonderful time (I like history and science with my vacations!)

There was also ample time for beach bumming, either just us or with Gobi!


Little known fact

The legal wedding was on the 11th of May, and while I treasure it, the "real" wedding was the 19th, with all y'alls :)

But, here's some pictures from our quickie City Hall do:

The wedding proper

Fans, fans, fans

This is gonna be good!

My fan came today - ooooh la la!

Got my bead on at AC Moore - 50% off sale for this brand, so I stocked up for the bridesmaids fans...

And here are the bottles and sprockets for the "wunderkammer" boutonnieres:

Figured for those who don't like the froof of feather fans, they can have tiny glass jars with "specimens" (eg minerals, crystals, shells, bones, etc.) jazzed up with the necessary (for any steampunk affair) cogs'n'sprockets.

Also got paper for the invites - now to make and send them in the coming weeks!  Very excited about those....I do need envelopes, though, but those can be found or made in a pinch!