Weddings are typically very traditional, combining elements of two individuals' religions, culture and history. These traditions -- perhaps the most famous being that a wedding should include "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue" -- can affect the dress, the ceremony, the vows and the reception. However, some couples are rejecting these notions and ditching the traditional for the personal. Thus, wedding planners are seeing an increased demand for so-called "nerd weddings," wherein couples incorporate elements from their favorite TV shows, movies, video games or books.
Bree Ryback started the blog "Capitol Romance" to create a site for nerdy wedding resources. "I love all things nerdy, offbeat and nontraditional when it comes to weddings, but mostly I just love couples that choose wedding details for specific, meaningful reasons." And that's the main reason for incorporating nerdy elements into a wedding: That shared, passionate fandom is a symbol of that passion they share for each other.
Of course, there is a wide range of possible displays of fandom. On one hand, there are small displays. For example, invitations might look like the TARDIS from "Doctor Who" or the round door of a Hobbit's house. "Capitol Romance" featured Jenn and Brent's wedding that had a number of video game references. The groomsmen wore cuff links featuring the green mushroom 1-up from "Super Mario Bros." because, not only did the couple love video games, but they also paired with the bride's jade engagement ring. Similarly, their cake toppers featured characters from the couple's favorite video game, "Street Fighter 2."
On the other hand, there are also larger displays of fandom. "Capitol Romance" featured Dianne and William's Pi-Day wedding, which stemmed from William's love of math and Dianne's love of puns. The couple decorated their reception with the digits of pi, served pizza pies (all vegetarian, the couple's favorite), and ditched the traditional cake for 14 kinds of pie for dessert (enough to take care of everyone's dietary restrictions). Additionally, they first met over a board game, so board games were featured on every table at the reception.
Of course, finding vendors to help create a nerdy wedding can be difficult. Ryback says, "I'd advise couples to view vendors' websites and previous works ... If a website has super clean, modern and expensive-looking events on their website, chances are they might not be interested in working your 'Lord of the Rings' wedding." For example, "Capitol Romance" featured Tess and Joe's Dr. Seuss-inspired wedding that was filled with colors and wild shapes, thanks to several vendors who produced bouquets, balloons, lighting and other decorations.
But if a couple has trouble finding vendors open to the idea of a nerdy wedding, there are other alternatives. Ryback notes, "Luckily, things like Etsy, When Geeks Wed and Geekvites exist. There are certainly many places on the Internet to find your nerd wedding details." Should that fail, DIY projects are always an option. Dianne and William brewed their own beer for their Pi Day wedding reception. And a childhood friend who bakes as a hobby made Jenn and Brent's "Street Fighter 2" cake.
Of course, if a couple wants to include nerdy elements in their wedding, some family members may push for something traditional instead. Ryback says this is an issue that comes up repeatedly on her blog. She tells people to look for the "why" in their decisions when including nerdy elements in their wedding. "If a couple met at a 'Star Wars' convention, well, then obviously this is a big part of, not only both their lives, but their love story too! Couples ... need only explain the reason why they are choosing this more offbeat wedding design." And by including some traditional items with the more offbeat, nerdy elements, Ryback says everyone should feel included.
A wedding is a celebration of the couple. "Let's remember that a wedding is REALLY about the act of getting married, and not so much the details that blogs and magazines put so much emphasis on," Ryback says. So whether traditional or nerdy, don't stress the details. Design a wedding that you and your spouse will remember. And whether or not your friends and family share those nerdy interests, they will be happy to see you happy and in love.