My wedding was amaaaazing. Of course it was. Family, friends, some guy who’s the love of my life. The perfect place (the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, with an underground comic book artist theme), the perfect date (New Year’s Eve – when we’d had our first kiss), the perfect dress (Celtic nature goddess, creamy crocheted lace, my ass looked great). That morning, on a whim, my Dad hired an accordion player off the Pearl Street Mall. You’d roll your eyes and call it all so terribly twee if this wedding had actually happened in this century. Instead, some of our more mature guests looked bewildered, or muttered a little prayer for the husband-to-be. It was all I thought my wedding could be.
But then I saw it: Heather and Bobby’s wedding featured in Offbeat Bride and Dunafon Castle’s website. Like one of Stefon’s nightclub featured on SNL, this occasion had everything: Dungeons & Dragons, cosplay, horns, fairy wings, pirate talk, blessing stones, customized leather armor, historically accurate beards, pearl elf earrings, Orc… Pot… Pies.
Was I jealous? No. Was I inspired? Oh, yes. I was ready to renew my vows regardless of the price, the embarrassing sideways glances, or my darling husband’s discomfort. It’s clear, nothing’s too customized in weddings these days, and going Deep Geek to showcase a couple’s interests and personalities is easier than ever before. If you love science, superheroes, board games, men in tights, or even Blucifer the Demon Horse down at DIA, take advantage of the cultural acceptance of all things nerd when planning your wedding. The modern wedding industry bends over backward these days to make any couple’s dreams come true. Farm-to-fork vegan feast? No problem. Polaroid engagement photos? There’s a photographer for that. Sword hilt bridesmaid bouquets? Check out a DIY video online. The sky truly is the limit for every bride, groom, Party of Two.
Back in my day, adding a Celtic Knot was the safest way to sneak a little Lord of the Rings into your ceremony and keep the more devout from noticing. Plaiting together ribbons and forming a Celtic Knot ends many a Christian ceremony and Pagan hand fasting these days. It’s also smoothed the way for brides to look farther North when planning their big day.
Blame Disney for opening the doors to Viking marauders at the next Nordic wedding you attend. “Frozen” did not end in a wedding like most Disney princess films do, but it did have a dress. Elsa’s ice blue sheath, with its own diaphanous cape-like train, magically replaced the tired, old Cinderella gown for thousands of brides-to-be. The first Elsa-inspired wedding gown, by Alfred Angelo, appeared at Bridal Fashion Week this fall. But don’t stop there. With only a few modifications, your plain wedding becomes a sophisticated affair.
Incorporating Scandinavian accents to your wedding works, because it adds seemingly fresh elements to time-honored traditions. Scandinavian art uses clean, folksy lines that seem exotic right now because we’re so used to thinking of(historically inaccurate) horned Viking helmets, rough furs, and heavy metal stylings. Winter is the best time to shop for Northern, after all Sinterklaas is Danish, and holiday festivals and craft fairs abound. At the very least, hit the Ullr Festival in Breckenridge to welcome back the God of Snow and do some shopping or skiing. January 11- 17, 2015.
And don’t forget, traditionally, Norwegians drink local beer at weddings. What could be more Colorado than that? Serve enough and sooner or later someone will show up wearing an outrageous hat.
Back in the modern world, being connected brings its own problems. Like crying babies and unsupervised youngsters, technology has become unwanted guests. Want a modern wedding? Unplug it.“Be nice, unplug your device,” might shock a few selfie addicts, but your photographer will appreciate it. Chalkboard signs show up more and more. Some photographers even offer discounts. Consider adding a photo booth. Many booths include event details and print a second copy right on the spot for instant gratification and party favors your guest will never forget.
If you think your guest will become restless with no Candy Crush, add some activities. Think Victorian yard Games like badminton or croquet rather than beer pong. Card and board and tabletop games like dominoes or Hungry Hungry Hippos can fill the time waiting for the cake cutting, and can also keep folks from returning to the bar too many times. Some brides incorporate the fun and nostalgia of kids games for the grownups, adding a carnival feel to the reception. Rent a popcorn maker and old fashioned candy and you’re set. Shop second hand stores or invite your guests to bring their favorite games along. Just be sure to ask your venue what they allow before setting up the badminton net or Bocce balls.
Now that it’s legal, not everyone wants to wait. Not weed weddings, silly, but civil unions and true legal acceptance of gay marriage. Person One and Person Two may not sound as romantic as Groom and Groom, but we’re getting there, and County Clerk and Recorders are making it easy to keep weddings Cheap and Sweet. Fill out your forms online, bring your loved one and your legal IDs, social security numbers and $30 and be on your way. You have 35 days to make it legal. Whichever county you choose doesn’t matter, but remember that the Weld County Clerk and Recorder only takes cash.
Don’t wait for the judge; the fastest and tastiest way to tie that knot is down at Voodoo Doughnuts on East Colfax, less than two miles East of the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s office. For only $255 you can bring in two dozen of your favorite people and get a double dozen donuts, two lovingly decorated wedded donuts, heart centerpiece and a big pot of coffee. The best part is they are opened 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Make your reservations ahead of time. Give them a couple of days to schedule you in.
The magically binding (and absolutely legal) ceremony usually ends in candy sprinkles tossed over the happy couple. A party for 40 is only $350. A Voodoo employee will renew your vows for only $35. Donuts cost extra, but less than a usual slice of wedding cake. Like the Weld County Clerk and Recorder, Voodoo Dougtnuts only takes CASH.