Monday, September 16, 2013

Wedding With Dinosaurs!

Friday night I went to the most amazing wedding ever, and it went a little something like this:

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The bride is Cake Wreck's very own Number1, aka "the other Jen," who moved away about a year and a half ago with her boyfriend Aaron [sob], but then they came back to Orlando for the wedding [yay!].

I'd been teasing Jen about her wedding cake, of course, until she broke the news that, though she would like one, there would be no wedding cake. A former CW writer without her own wedding cake? AW HECK NO.

So I cajoled her into sending me an inspiration photo, and then got John to do all the work ordering it from a local baker I've admired for ages now, Mercedes of Bake Me a Cake.

I won't keep you in suspense: the cake was awesome:

John also picked up those silver servers, and as soon as I saw the design I knew I HAD to embellish them with tiny colorful rubber bands:

This will be the first of many apologies for my terrible photos; the venue was as dark as your average laser tag arena - so, really dark.

Now, back to the dino-riffic stuff.

The wedding was held in the Orlando Science Center, in the dinosaur room - er, in case you hadn't picked up on that part. Heh.

However, first there was a cocktail hour in a huge exhibit room next door full of earthquake and hurricane simulators and such, plus they'd set up lots of retro games on small tables like these:

So for the first hour everyone drank wine and played games. :D

(I also spent a lot of time stalking the waiters with the hors d'oeuvres trays. Turns out little gourmet Bugles filled with mozzarella and fresh tomatoes are AMAZEBALLS.)

You could also get your picture taken on Mars with a variety of ridiculous props:

The guests had been instructed to "dress fun," so a few came in costumes, while others just wore bright colors. John wore his bright pink Cheshire shirt and striped vest. :D

We'd also been given glow bracelets on arrival, so everyone glowed prettily in the dark:

Check out the fun kitschy rocket on the card box!

The theme was kind of a science/dinosaurs/stars/colorful kid stuff mashup - just a few touches here and there, really, with lots of bold, bright colors.

Jen and Aaron were there greeting everyone as we arrived, and spent the first hour mingling, too,  spreading hugs and laughter and shining like diamonds (almost literally in Jen's case - you'll see in a minute.) Yep, no hiding the bride away here! Having them out made everyone so much more relaxed, and gave it more of a party atmosphere than a stiff-and-formal wedding.

After an hour we moved into the Dino room for the ceremony. I wish I had a video of how they came down the aisle, because it was hysterical.

Ok, picture this: A guy mounts the simple low platform with a boombox, holds it to the microphone - completely deadpan -  and pushes play. The opening chords of Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" begins to play. "By ya yaa, ba da da da da daaa..."

Everyone cracks up.

Then, to the sound of our giggles, Jen and Aaron saunter up the aisle, hand in hand.


It takes them all of 10 seconds to get to the platform, at which point the guy abruptly stops the music and we all laugh again.


The wedding was performed by Aaron's brother, who's also a minister. No sermon here, though; as John pointed out later, it was more like the Best Man's Toast with vows and a ring exchange thrown in. He opened with a quote by Doctor Seuss, and soon had us all giggling and sniffling by turns with references to Doctor Who (see how he's dressed??) and personal stories about Jen and Aaron.

Then the couple did their own vows, and we were all crying and laughing with them, too.

At the end, Jen and Aaron went skipping down the aisle to our cat-calls and applause:


After this came the EXTRA fun part: DINNER. 
(I have my priorities.)

The centerpieces were lab bottles filled with colorful floral beads, and everyone got astronaut ice cream to take home. Each place setting had a tiny square of canvas for us to decorate with markers while we waited to eat. (The couple collected the canvases later - I think they're going to assemble one giant mosaic!)

The food was self-serve, and included - get this - a macaroni-and-cheese bar (with toppings like bacon and broccoli), mini slider sandwiches, couscous, mandarin orange salad, and sweet potato fries. Served by the Triceratops, of course:

It was also freaking delicious. I think every formal event should have a mac-and-cheese bar now.

After dinner was a dance party (I don't dance. But it's fun to watch!), with a break after an hour or so for flambeed donuts with ice cream and - aw yeah - cake:

I've decided to just embrace my funky messed up photos. Look, IT'S ART.

The cake was a combination of red velvet - Jen's favorite - and almond, which was like pound cake, it was so dense and moist. In other words: NOMZ. Amazingly enough that little cake somehow fed everyone there, too, with two tins left over to spare! Considering John and I expected it to just be an extra for the couple and the family, I was SUPER thrilled about that. (There were about 80 guests there, and the cake was an 8 inch cube.)

As you can see it was hard for me to grab any good pics of Jen and Aaron for most of the night, but before we left I was determined to try again:

The blushing bride in her dancing hi-tops. :)

If you know Jen then you know this outfit is really just a glammed up version of how she usually dresses - makeup and all. She's the most colorful person you're ever likely to meet - in every sense of the word. And I can't even tell you how much I miss this girl.

Her skirt, train, and corset were custom made by an Etsy seller, but Jen added all of the rhinestones on the bodice. (I hear that took a while.) Also, if you looked very closely on the back, you'd see two googly eyes hidden in with the rhinestones. Ha!

And I JUST noticed there's a toy dinosaur in her hair bow. Awesome.

Here's one from the wedding photographer that shows off her hair and makeup a lot better:
Photo by Hannah Glogower

And here's Jen's dapper new hubby, Aaron, who is the sweetest sweetheart ever:
I know it's kind of weird to blog about a friend's wedding, guys, but I figured this one would be right up your alley. Hope you liked it!

Oh, and I'll end with one more official/professional shot  - because LOOK THE DINO IS EATING THEIR HEADS:

Photo by Hannah Glogower

Hee! This one better be getting blown up and framed, you guys!


  1. Looks like so much fun!! Love it when weddings aren't so formal and everyone can have fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is GORGEOUS. I am so impressed! Best wishes to your friends, and kudos to you for bringing the cake!

  3. What a great wedding! I need more interesting friends :(

  4. There is nothing not great about this wedding. Congrats to the bride and groom, and thanks for sharing this super fun event with us!

  5. Love the pics! I'm going to be attending a wedding at the Seattle Science Center in October...should be wonderfully geeky, as it is a Star Wars theme. I'll make sure to forward some photos. Gotta love the "casual" weddings :-)

  6. VERY cool! I love it when people aren't afraid to just be themselves.

  7. That is beyond Awesome! Congrats to the happy couple and thanks for letting Jen share your amazeballs wedding!!!!

  8. That sounds like the funnest wedding I've never been to! Congratulations to The Other Jen and Aaron! You are a gorgeous couple!

  9. I used to work at a natural history museum, and no one ever had a wedding this awesome there! I did sneak in for pictures after my wedding and have a shot of me being chased by the T-rex... and by sneak, I mean waltz right in with my photographer friends (and co-ex-employees). Oh, and my husband. Yeah, I think he was there. ;)

  10. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. This is fantastic! =D

  11. It's funny: I've been to alot of boring weddings and while spacing out, I try to imagine the most fun/extreme wedding possible. I would have never gotten's so cool to think this ACTUALLY EXISTS in reality.

    In related news, my cousin is getting married Nov. 1. I'll probably be daydreaming about this wedding.

  12. Say "I love you" in
    neon ceratopsid tulle
    and Martian plaid joy.

    Many years to the happy couple!

  13. How fun! I'm totally jealous of her bright, colorful hair. I so wish I could rock that look.

  14. The first phrase that came to mind just seeing the first pic was " a wedding!" And then you pointed out how the minister was dressed. Awesomeness.

    Thanks so much for sharing this....sooooo much fun!

  15. Wow I need more friends who have amazing weddings like this to attend! So cool! Also is that her real hair that is dyed that way? It looks just like an awesome rainbow wig my sister has. It is amazing that it is so bright and vivid! Color me impressed!

  16. Haha! MY first reaction to the first photo was - wait...dinos in Orlando...I know where this is going!

    Three cheers for the Orlando Science Center! That place meant more than Disney to me when I was a kid and I think has inspired me on the medical path I am on today - OSC really fostered a love for science in me, and I think this fun wedding, and Jen's personality, really sums it up!

    Thanks so much for sharing - this made a bad night a little bit better. What a beautiful, happy celebration. And also - CAKE!

    The dinosaur eating their heads is my favorite. Go trex!

  17. I wish I knew her, this seems so awesome. Dinosaurs and mac n cheese are pretty much my two favorite things with neon rainbows and rhinestones way up there. This is pretty much straight out of my wildest dreams and I love it. Congratulations to the happy couple! Now I need to find out how I can convince my boyfriend to marry me in the dinosaur room of the OSC.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this wedding. I'm not sure which I like more the mac'n'cheese bar or the photo booth with a MARS! background.

  19. What I love about this: "Being a kid again" is practically the whole theme of the wedding. From the dinos to the games to the outfits to the mac & cheese, everything reminds me of my childhood! LOL But somehow I suspect child-like fun is always a part of the lives of this happy couple, and they just wanted to use their wedding as a chance to share it with their friends and family. :)

  20. It makes me so happy to know that there are people like this in the world and it makes me even happier to know that they found each other. I wish all the best to the bride and groom.

  21. OMG. Rainbow hair? Dinosaurs? Googly eyes??? It's like Number 1 is who I want to be when I grow up!!!

  22. Oh, Number 1! Thanks so much for letting us share in the celebration! Congratulations to the bride and groom. I loved everything about the wedding. You two look blissfully happy!

    -Just Andrea

  23. I worked at a natural history museum years ago and the building was Art Deco gorgeous so we did have some weddings but my favorite was a couple dressed as "cave people". Not historically correct among the dinosaurs but fun.

  24. Love, love, love. My fiance and I both come from a long line of geeks, nerds, sci-fi fanatics, costumers, and historical re-enactors, so the only rule at our future wedding is that everyone has to dress up :)

  25. I'm sure I'm not the first person to mention this (or maybe I am?) but I would just like to encourage Number 1 and her new hubby to submit their spectacularly fun, gorgeous wedding to Offbeat Bride. As you may know, Offbeat Bride celebrates weddings that are "off the beaten path" and this one looks just perfect for the site! Just throwing the idea out there, all totally optional for them. Congrats to the bride and groom! :)

  26. Too cool! I love the colors! The dinosaurs! The games! The, the, the......ah fudge! I love it all! Looks like sooooo much fun!

    Congrats to the bride and groom! I hope their days are just as colorful, lighthearted and fun as their wedding ceremony! (Wow, ummm, yeah, sorry for all the exclamation points in here.......)

  27. Wow - how fun! Loved that they had the wedding they wanted and the bride wore a non traditional wedding dress. If I have to smile through clenched teeth and say how beautiful a bride is....... wearing a sleeveless white long train/high-low ug dress....... I may scream. But afterwards -- I don't want to alarm the wedding party. Thanks for sharing Jen.

  28. I found it funny the way you said "Served by the Triceratops, of course" because if there hadn't been a picture, I could just as easily assume there was someone dressed as a Triceratops serving the food....

  29. That is the coolest wedding ever! I love the games idea!! I am a "formal traditional..ish" kinda kid (ya know..white dress with bright pink converse..funny i have my entire wedding planned..but no groom to be found!) I am not sure how i feel about mac and cheese bar but i am a bit of a texture freak, if it doesnt have the right texture im gonna hate it and it will ruin everything!! Ruin all the things!! so i just avoid pasta lol. I should count how many times is squee at a post just to see if i am setting some kind of record! This made the start of my day fun!

  30. I have to admit, if I had to do my wedding over again I would definitely lean more towards cool geeky fun rather than the more formal event that we had. This looks like such an amazing time!

  31. WOW!!!! AMAZING! I can only hope my own wedding will turn out so amazing!

  32. This makes me kinda sad. Because I wish I had the courage to be as colorfull as the bride is. I somehow feel like that on the inside, but I'm too insecure. I do have some freaky color in my hair, but only strands, and only one color at a time. I dress in a combination of black and my current hair color. I do makeup in my current hair color, but very much toned down. Still, people tell me I'm crazy because of my hair and style. Oh well...

    I love, love, love the post though, and the wedding they had, and thank you very, very much for sharing it here! Congratulations to the happy couple!

    1. Just go for it :) you will be awesome..When I finally started being er.. "loud and proud" lol i guess about the things i loved (mis matched socks and mismatched converse) crazy hair (which i haven't cleared with my boss yet i don't think she will mind though.. after i cut my hair for locks of love next year i am thinking of bright electric blue ) i just feel better, and the people who love me.. yeah they may look at me and go "honey you are almost 24.." but that is about it because well.. they love me, and have accepted that i am an odd ball of colorful, saturday cartoon, disney loving, craft wishing i could do, wax :). And if people think you are crazy so what? The people who love you will love you no matter what, and if they dont.. well then they didn't really love you, only the image of you, that you put out there.. Rock on, be awesome :)

  33. OMG -- Love it all, and Congrats to the couple! We are celebrating a big event in 1.5 weeks, and I think we need Hungry, Hungry Hippos on the cocktail tables. Hope the couple won't mind my "borrowing" (ie blatant rip-off) of their idea.

  34. That is so my science/dinosaur loving daughter's future wedding!!

  35. What a fun wedding! I think I am going to have to steal that macaroni-and-cheese bar idea sometime...

  36. I love this wedding!!! And I love it when couples are out & about to greet people at the very beginning. We did this at our wedding too and it eased my anxiety by 100% to not have a "big reveal" aisle walk. <3 This wedding looks like it was so much fun and you can get a real sense of the couple's personality and warmth with each detail.

  37. Love the 3rd from last photo of the 2 of them -- the look in his eyes is the look my dad always had for my mom; my parents marriage was one of the best I've ever known and if his look is anything to go by, their marriage is going to be wonderful. I wish your friends, Jen & Aaron, all the best.

  38. I'm a wedding officiant in the Orlando area, and I must say this is one of the most original and fun weddings I've ever seen! When a wedding is "off the beaten aisle," it's always something special!!! And the Orlando Science Center is a great spot!

  39. Wonderful! Looked like it was very fun, lots of celebrating. What a great venue! Love the idea of a mac n cheese bar! Jen and Aaron look like a very fun couple. All the best to them!

  40. I have a friend who got married at the Orlando Science Center with the dinosaurs, too -- I loved the photos from their geeky wedding!

    It's such a neat venue, and I wish I had been secure enough with myself years ago to push for a nontraditional wedding, too!

  41. I just want to climb inside these pictures!! What an amazing wedding, Thanks for sharing this!!!!

  42. My eye was instantly drawn to those awesome cake servers. Then I read that the colorfulness is all your doing, and I'm so not surprised. Brilliant touch of detail.

  43. Both my girls have an eye for things that are bright and poofy and my little one is especially enamored with dinosaurs. Thank you for a possible peek into my future. :)

  44. Ohhhh, they look so happy! And I'm happy for them. People should have the wedding of their dreams - and Jen and Aaron certainly did. May they live long and happy lives together, and always have as much fun as they did at their wedding. Bless you, kids.

    Thanks, Original Jen, for sharing with us.

    Merry from Annie's Book Stop/Sharon, MA

  45. Omigosh thisbis the best wedding ever!!! :-) But my favorite part is the bride's hair!

  46. This is an AMAZING wedding.

    My son, uh, he's only 16, so... this is WAY down the line, wants a GEEK wedding. Themes like Harry Potter, LOTR, Star Wars, etc all in one big party. You'd think I'd be worried that his wife wouldn't like that, but I have no doubt the child will marry his geek-mate.

  47. I love it!!! If/when baby daddy and I get married, we want to have a costume wedding. It's good to see that it can be done without being silly (in a bad way). Best of wishes to the bride and groom!

  48. Thank you, Jen and John for such a lovely coverage and tribute to Jen and Aaron. I'm so glad I was finally able to meet you guys, and put faces to the names and stories that have kept me in stitches for so many years. xo Jen's Mom.


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