We LOVE the dichotomy of this Chinese-cowboy New York and Texas karaoke wedding
The Offbeat Bride: Kate, voice actor and writer
Her offbeat partner: Winston, Army Officer
Date and location of wedding: At home in New York City and downtown, Ft. Worth, Texas - October 15, 2016
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We had to split our wedding into two parts: in New York City, where Winston's from, and we had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for his family. I wore a red qipao (it was $35 on eBay!)
Two weeks later we finished the matrimony in Ft. Worth Texas. It was a book-themed, boozy karaoke party on the roof of a great Tex Mex restaurant. I had a zero flower budget and made all the flowers with help from my mom out of book pages and dyed coffee filters.
All military service members were encouraged to wear their uniforms, and Texans to wear cowboy hats. Also, the bridesmaids and I had My Little Pony tattoos! I also wanted a very LGBTQ-inclusive wedding because I have many LGBTQ friends and have a big problem with the patriarchy and heteronormativity that sometimes accompanies weddings, so I made sure every vendor was LGBTQ-friendly before hiring.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our first ceremony was extremely special as it's part of his Cambodian/Chinese roots. First is an event called the gate crashing, where Winston and his groomsmen have to win games organized by the bridesmaids in order to "win" the bride. After that, we served tea to each elder of his family, plus my parents, to show respect and to thank them for raising us.
In Texas, our ceremony was more American-style. We walked down the aisle to a cello cover of Dashboard Confessional's "Stolen." I wrote the ceremony myself with a LOT of help from Offbeat Bride, as our friend, an Army chaplain-in-training, was the officiant. We got legal'ed a few months prior.
The readings included some the Dalai Lama, Neil Gaiman, and a passage from the movie Interstellar. I was pretty adamant about having a completely non-religious ceremony, but in the end I relented and allowed him to say a brief, ambiguous prayer. It was actually quite nice! The recessional was cello/violin covering "Don't Stop Believing," as I'm a small town girl and he's a city boy.
Tell us about your reception:
The reception was held in a restaurant within walking distance called The Reata, a Texan steakhouse themed after the movie Giant. All the decorations were DIYed by me and my mom. The centerpieces were vintage books I had collected and jars with book pages inserted. After dinner, we danced to a small jazz band and then the best part, KARAOKE! Karaoke started around 11pm and everyone was good and drunk by then, which of course always makes for good karaoke.