Derek & Joey’s neon halloween gay punk beach wedding

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So You’re EnGAYged readers might be familiar with this wedding, but we are peeing our pants with excitement at the first ever groom/groom wedding featured on Offbeat Bride! We already know you love them. -Becca

October 17, 2010 - Halloween Wedding
Photos by Ashley Stauber

The offbeat groom: Derek, Zappos.com Customer Loyalty Rep (and Tribe member)

His offbeat partner: Joey, Bookseller

Date and location of wedding: Overlook Park, Corona Del Mar State Beach and The Newport Beach American Legion, CA – October 17, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: From the get-go, Joey and I knew we wanted to have a wedding that was reflective of who we are. We figured that since we were gay and getting married, our families would be expecting us to do something different anyway, but man, were we wrong there. We abandoned all the conventional ideas of what a wedding should be and instead embraced our favorite holiday, Halloween, and kicked it up a notch with our punk rock roots.

Monogram pumpkinFor our reception, we were lucky enough to have a beautiful venue on the docks of Newport Harbor. While we definitely wanted our wedding to be a classy affair, we knew a chic white-linen dinner party wouldn’t be reflective of us. Instead, we decked out our venue with pumpkins, lights, bright purple and orange linens with spiderwebs, horror movie names instead of table numbers, and the most amazing DIY floral centerpieces, which my mother made for us. We tried really hard to DIY just about everything.

October 17, 2010 - Halloween Wedding

WeddingTell us about the ceremony: We elected to have a spiritual inclusive wedding ceremony officiated by a friend, where we incorporated one of our favorite traditions from Judaism (neither of us are Jewish, but we’re big fans 🙂 ) — the chuppah. We spun the idea a little on its side and chose to have our closest family members support the beams of our “spiritual home,” and asked them to give the marriage their blessing. It meant a lot to us to have our families stand side by side with us and say they approved of our love.

October 17, 2010 - Halloween Wedding

Skele-TONGSOur biggest challenge: Our road to the wedding day was tumultuous to say the least. Not every family member was supportive of our gay wedding.

However, this event definitely drew a line in the sand for the rest of our family who gave us the most overwhelming love and support. When you are surrounded by that kind of love, its hard not to see the bright side.

Spooky BoozeThere were plenty of other problems as well: our venue’s event coordinator didn’t show up, it was supposedly destined to rain (it didn’t), there was family tension, at the last minute our venue decided we could no longer bring our own alcohol, and a police officer tried to shut down the ceremony. We overcame all of these obstacles by being flexible — the more flexible you are in your plans, the easier the problems are to face.

October 17, 2010 - Halloween Wedding

October 17, 2010 - Halloween WeddingMy favorite moment: Our ceremony by far was the most unforgettable experience of my life. I’m surprised by how little I remember from our reception and how much I remember from that ceremony. It was definitely the part we got the most guest feedback on. We were lucky enough to have a longtime family friend play our processional (“Thirty Three” by Smashing Pumpkins) for us on the violin.

Joey is NERVOUS

Escort Card KazoosBefore the wedding I was definitely having a world class freak out. My Mom (who was my escort) took my hand and squeezed it and said, “This is finally happening. I’m so proud of you,” and in that one moment she put me all at ease.

Both of our vows were decidedly silly but still meaningful. My vows to Joey were written as “The ten million things I love about you,” which ranged from always saving me the last cookie in the box to his bottomless support and generosity.

Cake CuttingJoey’s vows definitely laid a path of tear-based destruction across our entire pool of guests. My favorite line was “you’re my sunshine, my only love, my voice of reason, my Charlie Brown.” He also promised to never make me listen to Radiohead (with the note that if I gave them further listening I would love them).

Joeys Vows

Maids of honor singing "Fod Good"Other amazing moments were our family speeches, the impromptu version of “For Good” from the musical Wicked two of my Maids of Honor sang, dolphins and seals jumping in and out of the ocean during our photos, and our friend reading “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.

JUMP!

Glow in the Dark Fangs from our Candy BarMy funniest moment: Aside from Joey’s vows and our officiant telling the guests to “get it together” when everyone was sobbing, one moment sticks out. We had assembled at Overlook Park and were in our places preparing to go out for the processional when a woman approached my half of the wedding party and said “Is this a wedding?” I was too busy freaking out, but my friend Lara enthusiastically said “It is!” The woman glanced around and said “Where is the bride?” Now for those not in the know, Orange County is shockingly conservative, so my face must have gone straight green. Lara without skipping a beat said “It a wedding with two grooms actually!” The woman laughed and with the most excited face I’ve ever seen on a stranger exclaimed, “Ooooh! That’s even better!!!” She actually stayed and watched the ceremony.

Goth wedding party photo

October 17, 2010 - Halloween WeddingWas there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The aforementioned rain forecast. Our entire wedding was 95% outdoors and there was an 85% chance of rain that day. Our venue had told us this wouldn’t be a problem and we could move the festivities indoors; however, they double-booked that day and had a singles meet-and-greet in the indoor space. The solution they provided us with were these awesome pop up canopies, which gave our space a tent-wedding feel while still keeping everything open so our guests could enjoy views of the harbor.

First dance to "Brand New Colony" by Postal Service

Non Traditional Toasting GlassesMy advice for offbeat couples:

  • Never forget it’s just one day.
  • It’s okay to have a breakdown if you need to, so long as you do it privately and are never rude to those who are helping you.
  • Be good about your Thank You cards. You may be burned out, but people’s feeling get hurt.
  • For gods sake don’t do that “spend the night apart” stuff — there is way too much stress going around prior to the start, and you are taking away your most valued support.
  • Finally, resist the urge to elope 3/4 of the way through your planning. At the end its worth it.

Husbands <3

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? To stick with your gut about things you care about, but be open to other people’s awesome ideas. Also, we learned that our families love us more deeply than we ever knew.

October 17, 2010 - Halloween Wedding

Homemade Limoncello "Alice" inspired FavorsCare to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Flowers: My Mom
  • My amazing photographer and maid of honor: Ashley Stauber
  • Our exceptional cake: Cinderella Cakes
  • Decor: Most of our decor came from Michael’s, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and elbow grease

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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