Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Unlikely Locales

William and Jessica Cundiff bucked convention with a wedding at the Rudyard Kipling.
photo by Aaron Weber

Say goodbye to tradition and do your own thing at one of these offbeat wedding venues

It's been said that every little girl dreams of her wedding day. It's also been said that every little girl wants to grow up to be a princess. To continue this outdated cliche, one would also assume that everyone gets married in a church and that every wedding reception requires bland food and a bad cover band.

This is great for people who still live in the 1950s, but many of our parents' children have creative ideas all their own.

For starters, churches, synagogues and the like are no longer considered the requisite venue for people for whom religion is not a defining element. Add that to a desire to save a lot of money and, suddenly, creative types are freed up to find some more offbeat wedding venues.


The Magnolia Bar and Grill at Second and Magnolia in Old Louisville is well-known for many things to Louisville's young lovers: cheap drinks, a well-stocked jukebox and many chances each night to find companionship with someone whose favorite band is probably the Misfits.

Despite the devotion it inspires, most of its regulars haven't actually gotten married there. Jen and Will Davis did.

Will's brother, Justin Schotter-Davis, attended their wedding on a Monday afternoon in May 2006.

"They had their ceremony in the Mag's tiny yet cute backyard," he said. "There were really cute party favors on the table and I gave my best man speech atop the bar in a drunken haze. Apparently there's video of that somewhere which should certainly prevent me from any sort of reasonable employment."

Their officiant, a heavily tattooed gambler, went online to purchase his license to wed the couple.


How do you go about getting a license to get married in, say, Waterfront Park?

"We didn't," said Jennifer Goodman, who was married in the downtown park in 2004. "We just sent an invitation to everyone. We were there for half an hour and then took off."

Friends showed up in an array of outfits, from dresses and sport coats to shorts.

"We had our friend ordained online. He had been at another wedding earlier in the day and had gotten drunk, but he made it through our ceremony," said Goodman, who works in development at Louisville Public Media. "We stood on those mounds they have, by the playground there. Our friends could see us but they couldn't hear anything."

After the ceremony, the couple and their guests celebrated at the Mag Bar.

Even though some parents might be disappointed with such a non-traditional ceremony, Goodman's were supportive.

"I give great credit to my parents," she said. "They are very religious, but they didn't get in the way."


"I don't have any sentiments or affections for religion or the law, so a lot of the more traditional items of 'marriage' go out the window right there," said William Cundiff, who was married at the Rudyard Kipling last year. Cundiff and his bride-to-be didn't work with a wedding coordinator. Instead they approached the event by following their instincts, listening to ideas from friends and ultimately doing what would be the most fun — and meaningful — for them.

The Old Louisville restaurant/performance hall was everything they could have wanted.

"I was introduced to the idea many years ago when (friends) Rob and Becca Pennington had their reception there and the band I was in at the time, Tyrone, was asked to play," Cundiff said. "It was a lot of fun. I should also add that I love the fact that The Rud is in Old Louisville, which, due to this sort of 'questionable' location to some people, was an excellent way of weeding out some of the tight-asses one wouldn't want to have at a wedding, anyways."

Cundiff's current band, Lucky Pineapple, played at the reception.

"(Owners) Ken and Sheila (Pyle) were fun to work with on it," said Cundiff, who works at 21c Hotel downtown. "I think they asked immediately if Lucky Pineapple would be playing, which I am not sure we had given much thought to in the beginning. It made sense, though; bandmates both past and present are the closest thing I have to family here. It was a very warm wedding — a lot of family, friends, fun and such. It was a perfect day."

Dan Cassidy and Jennifer Goodman were married in Louisville's Waterfront Park in 2004.
photo by Jenny Yager

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