Zack & Alene’s Nerdy Board Game Wedding

Zack & Alene wanted a casual, fun and nerdy wedding – something that was perfect for them. “We knew all along that we didn’t want to do a traditional dinner and dancing wedding, and there was never a chance of there being a church ceremony (neither of us has ever attended a church service outside of weddings and funerals),” the couple explained. “We settled on an afternoon of games and hors d’oeuvres because we’re both nerdy, think appetizers are exciting, and I like to go to bed early.  It’s not our proudest tradition, but Zack and I go to my parents’ house most Saturday evenings and play games with them – it’s one of the highlights of my week, and we always have fun, so we decided to extend that feeling to our guests.  The reception space was filled with couches and ottomans, and then we had a few little tables brought in – it was laidback and jolly, and the games gave even people who didn’t know anyone else something to talk about and bond over.”

They didn’t want to conform to what anyone expectaed a wedding to be so they opted for an afternoon and achohol-free reception at Overture Center for the Arts, a performing arts centre. “We don’t drink and we didn’t want to blow our wedding budget on booze, so we had a non-alcoholic bar.  Two bartenders were there to mix up non-alcoholic cocktails and make espresso drinks.  Since it was the afternoon, no one really minded the lack of alcohol – and they got to try some new things. My specific request had been elderflower syrup, and we had a good time drinking elderflower sodas and lemonades.”

“A couple of time people asked me if I was growing out my hair for the wedding (NO), if I was going to start tanning (NO), and what I was planning to do to cover up my tattoos (NOTHING),” the bride continued. “I didn’t want to look like someone else on my wedding day – I’m a short-haired, alarmingly pale, tattooed woman, so why would I want to hide that?  I don’t look like everyone else most of the time, and I didn’t want to look like every other bride.  When I told some coworkers that my shoes made me way taller than Zack, they freaked out.  I felt like a rock star, though, and Zack’s used to my ridiculous heels, so it was a non-deal.”

Huge thanks to Zack & Alene and their photographer Jamie for sharing this awesome wedding with us today

Photography Credit: Jamie M Swanson Photography
Venue: Overture Center for the Arts
Bride’s Dress: Premiere Couture
Bride’s Shoes: Calvin Klein
Bride’s Necklace: Gift
Bride’s Hair piece: Etsy
Groom’s Suit: Thick as Thieves Los Angeles
Groom’s Glasses: Warby Parker
Groom’s Cuff Links: Alexander McQueen
Cake: Carl’s Cakes in Sun Prairie, WI
Flowers: J. Kinney in Madison


  1. KAT!!! Thank you for featuring this! So exciting and fun…I’m so thankful.

    And thanks everyone for the kind comments about my photography. Much appreciated. 🙂

  2. rachel

    this couple melts my cold heart a little. i love her shoes and dress, especially the bluish/purple tulle. normally i don’t like colored tulle, but she makes it fantastic. they are just adorable together.

  3. Jamie M Swanson

    Kat! Thank you so much for the feature! And thanks everyone for the sweet comments about my photography. It’s an honor to be featured here, so thanks again Kat!

  4. I always blog stalk and never feel the need to comment, but I LOVE this post. Everything about it. Especially the purple peeking out from the dress!

  5. I, too, love everything about this post! I heard bits and pieces about this wedding from the bride’s uncle who is a dear friend of mine, but you know guys . . . NONE of the details came through so I greatly appreciate being filled in. What a wonderful tribute to your day Zack and Alene.

  6. I love, love, love these photos-Jamie is awesome! What a cool wedding-these ones are my favourite. Totally individual with a huge amount of personality. Gorgeous.

  7. Laura

    I helped Alene custom design her dress at my boutique and I have to say it turned out amazing!!! I completely love every part of her day, from the board games to her hair, the groom’s suit, her killer shoes, – I LOVE IT!

  8. Alison

    My fiance and I are eloping – but if we weren’t doing that, I would totally want to have a fun afternoon of games and sweetness like this. Love it. And she is gorgeous in her dress! And great photos! Love Love Love!


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