Although oceans once separated Megan Harrod, a.k.a megski7, and her husband Thomas Suszynski, they have now found their groove living in the same country under one roof in Minneapolis. By day, Megan is an account manager at a marketing firm. By night, she’s a ski coach, spinner (as in the bicycle), Etsy-surfer and blogger. She prefers the title “connector,” as one of her many passions is connecting with people. Her wedding was one big expression of creativity, and gave her the chance to explore her true passion — party planning.
Yes, you read that right. S-U-P-E-R-H-E-R-O-E-S. Like the larger-than-life-muscles-galore figures who graced the pages of our Marvel comic books when we were kids. They conquered the world and the many challenges life threw in their direction; much like Tom and me. An ocean and 4,000 miles separated us for 18 months as I pursued my dream to live and work overseas in Prague, Czech Republic and Tom continued to work on his dream as an MD/PhD student tracking towards a career in transplant surgery in Minneapolis. Worlds apart, but connected by the fervor of young lovers sharing hundreds of love letters, we made a commitment to conquer the world as one. So as we began to plan our wedding, the theme happened upon us naturally.
One sunny summer afternoon while I was visiting Minneapolis, we were sitting in one of our favorite hangouts (The Bad Waitress), talking all things wedding-related. We both have strong personalities, love to travel, Tom’s family is Polish, I have lived in Europe on two separate occasions in my life, we are eclectic and passionate and we yearned to find a theme that would embody these many unique characteristics. In The Bad Waitress’s vintage-superhero-retro-diner-style cafe surroundings, we found even more inspiration. We adore kitschy diner food, comics and the combination of old and new; thus our vintage superhero, mid-century modern theme was born. Our “Super Wedding” was captured through the lens of Cat Norman, a massively gifted friend who traveled all the way from Prague to hang with us on our special day.
I am not so crafty myself, but since I adore DIY weddings, we took on a lot of projects ourselves (or I should say I took on a lot of the projects myself) and also looked to Etsy for inspiration for the big day. Our invitations, which featured a custom Megan and Tom superhero sketch, were one of my favorite features of the Super Wedding. Designed by close friend Phil Kjelland, these invites not only conveyed the theme and our personalities, but were also designed as an eco-friendly postcard.
We reserved the right to be picky, since it was our one and only big day and the venue was definitely an item on the list where we practiced selectiveness. We chose to take a risk on the Minnesota fall weather and have an outdoor wedding at Camrose Hill Farm. We were blessed with sunny skies and warm temps that set the stage for a beautiful celebration. My brother, a Christian missionary for AIA in Prague, traveled over the big blue ocean to perfectly deliver a heartfelt message about love and marriage (and of course the strengths and weaknesses of superheroes) as he officiated our ceremony and witnessed Tom and me exchange hand-written vows in both English and Polish. Plus, my brother is the only one who could ever understand our crazy, unconventional vision and agree to preside over a ceremony that included the joint suturing of my baby blanky as our unity symbol.
While I wore a custom designed dress by designer-turned-friend Eva Brzáková (from e:be) in Prague with a splash of red, cream and chocolate polka-dot detail, the bridesmaids wore vibrant aqua dresses with red hand-knit boleros (both fashioned by Eva as well) and red canvas TOMS shoes. In an effort to let the natural beauty of the surroundings make a statement, we decided to minimize the amount of flowers, opting instead to have apples from a local orchard as centerpieces.
Our superhero sidekicks (the wedding party) and our super family rallied like crazy in the days leading up to the weddings, stuffing welcome bags with candy and kraft paper bags with single servings of s’more ingredients (our favors), stringing lights, setting tables, writing the seating chart on window frames and vintage mirrors, arranging the candy in vintage dressers, setting up the games field, belting it out in an all-gals bluegrass/folk band called Dusty Porch Sisters (my bridesmaid Steph plays the fiddle) and more. My mother-in-law prepared numerous Polish traditional dishes, including perogies, hunter’s stew, and her mother’s oh-so-yummy walnut cake recipe. We loved everything about our wedding, but a few of our favorite parts were the games field featuring bocce ball and more, our makeshift photo booth, the “candy shoppe,” the bonfire with s’mores, the ice cream truck, and the wishing lantern ceremony.
My best advice to future brides is to go with the flow on the big day. It will not be perfect and certain things happen that you’d never expect, yet these are the things that make the day so unique and special. After all, we never would have imaged a visit from a singing batman (my mother’s cousin Diane brought costumes), but we just went with it. It may not have been perfect by everyone’s standards, but it was perfect for us.
Whether you’re a bride to be, or just love seeing what’s new in unique handmade and vintage finds for weddings, RSVP for Etsy’s Weddings email.
Are you planning a handmade wedding anytime soon? Share in the comments below!