As some of you already know (especially if you follow us on Twitter), we got married! We can’t claim to be a power couple like Jennifer and Tim, but we’re pretty fucking pleased with ourselves.
Our cats are happy for us too. Thrilled, even.
If you have a Facebook account, you may have noticed many of your friends getting married, or announcing their intentions to do so. You may even be considering marriage yourself–particularly since everyone can actually get married now!
Great weddings celebrate the interests and personalities of the happy couple, and as geek culture becomes more mainstream, geeky elements are popping up in all sorts of places. Sites like OffbeatBride attest to the amount of interest for this sort of thing. So we thought we’d have a Very Special Geekly Article to talk about it.
For many reasons (i.e., we didn’t want to weird out our parents), we with went many traditional elements. Nevertheless, we still managed to infuse things with our personalities and we want to share that stuff with you! Not just because we’re insufferable braggarts, but also in case someone is looking for geeky wedding ideas, especially ones that can fly under the radar.
Initially, we had wanted to assign everyone to themed tables. There would have been a Studio Ghibli table, a Mario table, a Lord of the Rings table… At one point, we even wanted to assign specific characters to each guest, so that their place card at the table would show a character who reflected them. Harry was quite excited about the Ravnica table, where each of his Magic-playing friends would have been assigned a different guild leader.
Alas, families balked, and changes had to be made. We wound up with traditional place cards. But it gave us a different opportunity to be creative.
As it happened, opting for more traditional seating arrangements was even better, because Harry got to design a game! The goal of the game was to help guests get to know each other:
Obviously, a number of our tables were made up of family members or guests from a particular place in our lives (college friends, especially, tended to get whole tables to themselves). But there were a few mixed tables, and in those cases, the game helped to start conversations.
Of course, to break the ice, you need some dice. We showcased the gamers in us by making custom dice as our favors. Christina found that Chessex takes orders like these, and with a little help from the artist who designed our invitations, was able to turn this:
Chessex was incredibly easy to work with and patient as we figured things out, and the work they did was amazing. They can put pretty much anything on a die.
The tiny lovebird motif was something we made sure appeared over and over again–it was on our invitations, our programs, and our signature tree. We also incorporated the theme of “birds” generally, with tiny paper crane place markers and a birdcage for cards.
We did not want flowers. This mystified almost everyone, but Christina hates the idea of flowers as symbols of romance. There’s nothing worse, symbolically speaking, than finding something beautiful, killing it, and then watching its carcass wither on your table until you finally have to throw it out.
So instead, because both of us are also academics, we used books. These books, specifically (they’re not particularly geeky, but Christina got a bunch for free…it’s a long story):
This made for a nice opportunity to give the game a point beyond conversation: guests could “win” the books based on table consensus.
Most ceremonies include music when the wedding party process in and out, and most receptions involve some dancing, even if just a playlist from an iPod. These are great opportunities to add songs of personal significance from favorite video games or TV shows. The production values of video games, especially, are getting to the point where it’s not hard to find orchestral versions of themes, which allows you to incorporate geeky music you like that won’t sound overtly like “video game music.” Of course, if you want to be overt, don’t let us stop you.
We used this orchestral version of the Final Fantasy theme and a short selection from the Spirited Away soundtrack during the ceremony. As guests were seated, we had Dearly Beloved (from Kingdom Hearts) on loop. The older guests couldn’t place the music, but the younger guests could get in on the reference.
We talked about having musical cues during the ceremony (like the Zelda treasure chest theme), but eventually nixed the idea.
Generic cake toppers are pointless. Either have something cool or don’t bother.
Ideally, your bridal party and readers are the people who understand you best in the world, so getting them gifts that relate to your shared interests should be easy and fun! There’s no need to go the monogrammed flask and bathrobe route if you don’t care about those things.
For the bridesmaids: how better to celebrate getting ready than with a little moon power make-up?
For the groomspeople: ties are traditional (or for the groomslady, an on-theme necklace), but a more personal gift is always nice. Harry gave each person on his side of the party a small game he thought they’d enjoy, including Coup, Sushi Go!, Stuff and Nonsense, and Forbidden Island. The best part is, then you can play those games! And if you go with smaller games, they’re not too pricey. These ran between $15-$25 each.
For the readers:
You have any number of options here. We recommend picking something your reader will like.
For the gamer, we recommend a dragon scale dice bag:
Seriously, check that thing out.
We also recommend comics or graphic novel selections. Perfect for the trip home, when you’re tired and/or hungover and don’t want to read anything intense or stare at a screen.
The wedding had to be subtler, but once we were married, we got to call the shots. We took a short honeymoon (or mini-moon) to Providence, RI, where we got to see this guy:
And Christina got a few of these:
And Harry got this: