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naia-the-gamer avatar 2:13 AM on 12.17.2008  (server time)
Weddingtoid: How I Nerded Up my Wedding, without Frightening the Relatives

I first met ZeroAtma in the fall of 1999. I was beginning my sophomore year in college and he was starting his freshman year. We both moved in early, so we pretty much had only each other to talk to, as we lived in the same dorm. Iím not sure if it was the huge dragon poster in my room or my SNES, but he knew I wasnít like most girls. We became best friends overnight, and shortly thereafter (I was oblivious back then) we started dating. We quickly discovered the love for video games we both had and it became a huge part of our relationship.

Five and a half years later, Zero surprised me in the middle of the night in my Minneapolis apartment (he lived in Michigan at the time) with an engagement ring, a serenade, and two of our friends to capture the whole thing on film. I was surprised, and a bit groggy. It was 1:30 in the morning, and he underestimated how long it would take to drive from Ann Arbor to Minneapolis. Our own careers put off the wedding itself until after we moved yet again to California, and thought it would be nice to get married on the day we started dating, October 11th.

So what does this have to do with video games?

Like I said before we both love video games, probably a bit too much. Itís the subject of many of our conversations and our non-gaming friends know how much we love them. It was only expected that our wedding reflect that. Iím not a huge fan of dancing and always joked that we needed video games to play at our reception, otherwise I would ditch it after an hour. The joke slowly became a reality. Iím here to share the ways I geeked up my wedding, but at the same time, kept it affordable, classy, and gave the illusion that it was a normal wedding. I figured someone out there may be getting married soon and may want ideas. Either that or you can be entertained by all the geeky things we did.

The Invitations
I donít know how many of you are married out there, but invitations are expensive. When I saw Nintendoís press release for Super Paper Mario back in 2007 I loved the idea that they sent wedding invitations. It became the inspiration for the invitations we used. I bought cardstock and made my own, putting a picture of Peach and Bowser at the altar to put in the center of the invitation. The invitations cost about of third of what they normally would, and everybody loved them. No one had to question whether this was for our wedding or not.

The Music
DJís are expensive and play a lot of terrible music at weddings. I opted to pick out everything and plug an ipod up to speakers at the reception hall instead. While the main part of the reception had fairly traditional rock and jazz music for a wedding, the dinner music and ceremony music is where the inner nerd came out. I wrote an original tune for the processional, but did an arrangement of the Final Fantasy prologue music for the recessional. This is the same tune heard at the end of Final Fantasy IV when Cecil and Rosa get married and so I thought it was appropriate. One friend of ours, who was familiar with the game, cried when she heard the music, which was sweet. It made me feel like I made the right choice. At dinner all of the music played came from Dragon Quest. The composer Koichi Sugiyama has conducted and performed arrangements of all of the tunes from his games, which was great to have as background music. People unfamiliar with the games thought I was playing traditional classical music. I also threw in a little bit of music from Bioshock, because Iím in love with the soundtrack.

The Entertainment
I had music for people to dance to that wanted it, but off to the side I had a few TVís connected up to a couple of Wiis. I had Wii Sports for the non-gamers, and Smash Brothers for the gamers (we were supposed to have Boom Blox too but we forgot the game at the last minute. Weddings arenít perfect). Many of Zeroís older relatives enjoyed Wii Sports and it was great to have our old college friends, many with which we played Melee back in the day, to enjoy the successor.

The Cake
This is the one I know many of you readers want to see. Iíve talked about my wedding cake on Retroforce Go! asking for ideas. We wanted it game themed, but wasnít sure which game at first. We debated everything from Mega Man, to Kingdom Hearts, to Dragon Quest. We decided on Final Fantasy IV because the game has a special place in both of our hearts, plus two of the characters get married at the end!

We went with a three layer traditional cake of which the top layer has blue crystals (which came out a bit large, but oh well), a middle layer with airships and chocobos and a bottom layer with the characters from the game. We brought in pictures of the airship, crystal and chocobo sprites for the baker. To make things look nicer, we got edible images of the characters, which we placed around the bottom layer of the cake. The crystals and ribbon around the cake were blue because it was our wedding color. Finally our cake topper was none other than our figures of Cecil and Rosa that Square Enix released in conjunction with Final Fantasy IV for the DS.

Our wedding was a fun day and unique for us. To the average stranger it looked like a typical wedding, but for those closest to us, it was nerdier than any other wedding they had attended ever. I wouldnít have wanted it any other way.

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