Best Wedding

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Adventure awaits at this steampunk meets Dungeons and Dragons wedding

Adventure awaits at this steampunk meets Dungeons and Dragons wedding

Offbeat partners: Caro & Colleen

Date and location: Kellerman’s Event Center, White Bear Lake, MN — 04/23/2022

Our steampunk meets Dungeons and Dragons wedding at a glance:

We used the idea of “Adventure Awaits” throughout our wedding. We tied in elements of steampunk, D&D, games, and a lot of our fandoms, but we really thought about and wanted to impart our sense that life is an adventure and marriage is the not the beginning, but the next step. There are ups and downs, problems to face and overcome, treasure to find, taverns to take a rest in – but we are committed to facing those things together. We also wanted to tie in our friends and family as party members. No one goes on an adventure alone, you form a party. You need support and assistance along the way.

Our wedding website had a kind of video game D&D theme (I made most of it in Unity) with our wedding party as our party members. For our head table decorations we 3D printed and painted ourselves and our wedding party as D&D characters defending our town against an invading dragon. No one faces life alone and we celebrate the people who are there for us along the way.

We also really wanted the wedding to reflect who we are. We put a ton of time and effort into crafting for the wedding. I did all the designing for our save the dates, invites, menus, etc. I 3D printed the invites and they turned out amazing.

We made all the centerpieces ourselves based on things we love. All 14 were different, from Escape Room to Fallout to Pokémon. We made our bridal and bridesmaid bouquets (the florist added the flowers) and a lot of our jewelry. It was a ton of effort and totally worth it.

Tell us about the steampunk meets Dungeons and Dragons ceremony:

We had a good friend of ours, Emeric, officiate the ceremony and he did an amazing job. One funny part – there’s a line in our vows “to communicate fully and fearlessly”. Colleen did her vows first and missed the line – she couldn’t remember “fearlessly” and had to ask for it to be repeated. Emeric repeated it for her but she looked panicked that she had forgotten. I squeezed her hands and told her “it’s fearlessly, not flawlessly” and everyone oo’d. We were asked several times later if that part had been scripted, which it hadn’t been. It was accidental, but “fearless, not flawless” is a great lesson for us to keep in mind.

We walked out to “Everything is Awesome” from the LEGO movie and totally forgot to collect our bouquets from our bridesmaids.

Tell us about the steampunk meets Dungeons and Dragons reception:

The reception was definitely the best part. We had included a three question mini-quiz in our online RSVP and used it to assign everyone one of 6 D&D style classes (fighter, mage, etc).

Everyone’s favor bag (with their table number) included an icon of the class they were assigned on the front as well as a sticker for their class, a card explaining what the class was and giving examples (such as Gimli, Achilles, Mulan for fighter) for people not familiar with gaming.

They also got a quest list. The quests were designed to be easy, fun and social, such as “have a dance battle”, “take a photo where you’re backstabbing someone”, “be quietly smug about being the smartest one in the room.” They also were asked to travel to each table and guess the theme of each, which meant they ended up talking to a lot more people. We ended up with great photos from the quests. They could turn in their quest list at the head table to take some treasure (chocolate coins in our wedding colors) as a reward.

In their bags they also had a custom D6, D&D themed tea and their guest book page, which we styled to look like a character sheet. They were incredibly fun to read after. We were worried people wouldn’t bother with them or with the quests but people got really into it. We had a lot of people tell us it was the most fun wedding they had ever been to.

I didn’t want to do a traditional father/daughter dance so my whole family did a choreographed dance to “Friend like me” instead.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?

Be willing to ask for help. We took on a lot for the wedding and occasionally needed to off-load tasks onto our amazing friends and family. Also be mindful of what your partner is willing to do and that their excitement about participation in wedding planning is not the same as their excitement about your marriage. I LOVED wedding planning. The creativity, the checklists, the spreadsheets, all of it. Colleen…not so much. She loved our wedding and she adores me, but her tolerance for wedding planning was about 5-10 minutes at a time every few days. We figured out how to have mini planning meetings with defined goals and decisions, how to keep choices more definite and less open-ended for the sake of her mental health. My mom and bridesmaids were absolutely happy to talk wedding for hours on end with me – which tied back to celebrating our support network.

Do what is exciting for you. I was super excited to do a ton of crafting for our wedding. I learned a ton of new skills, abandoned projects that didn’t work, came up with new ideas and tried those instead. But I also thought there were things I had to do, like decide the standing order of my wedding party. That stressed me out more than any other thing in the entire wedding. I hate ordering people. I agonized over it for hours then realized I didn’t have to do it at all. I contacted my bridespeople and said hey, let me know what order you want to stand in, I refuse to decide this. They happily did it for me.

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