Remember the little-red-riding-hood vampire kiss? What about the hipsteriffic groom’s gear of awesome, complete with glittery anatomical heart belt buckle? Of course you do, and you’ll never forget the whole hooded, Twin Peaks-themed, black and red shebang! -Becca
The offbeat bride: Lisa, Personal Chef (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Dave, Writer
Location & date of wedding: Kitsap Memorial State Park, WA — July 31, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: In one year, we collected, crafted, diy’ed, re-used, borrowed, recycled, asked for favors and stayed local as much as we could. I’m proud to write that I never cracked a wedding magazine!
We asked friends and family for help setting up the hall, taking photographs and videos, being DJ/sheriff/techies/sound engineers, doing the bride’s hair/make-up and performing songs during dinner.
All of our utensils and foodware were biodegradable and compostable. We asked family members to let us borrow table cloths and mason jars. Our meal was from local farms and ranches and beer was from our local brewer.
Our best friend Bryan got certified online to officiate, too!
We wanted the day to be an intimate, honest reflection of who we are as a couple and what we love. Twin Peaks, fairy tales, the woods, camping, log cabins, family reunions, and Summer Camp Talent Shows were all floating themes we had throughout the planning process. Our wedding became an intimate three-day family reunion in one park (fifty people total).
We LOVED Ariel’s wedding ceremony, so we used many parts of that, including the yichud. 🙂
We also wrote our own vows and kept them secret from each other. That was nerve-wracking but it turned out better than we thought it would. And, it added an element of surprise to such a planned event. We kept them at two minutes a piece so the pressure wasn’t too high for memorizing them.
Other things we included were a handfasting, a verbal declaration of support from our families, a shout out to very badly needed marital civil rights for our gay friends, thanking our parents, a ring exchange, and a bell ringing.
Our family is totally Christian. We are agnostic. We never used the word god in our ceremony. So we were a teeny bit worried they would wince during our handfasting, yichud, gay rights spiel, bell ringing, etc. But, it was the opposite. After the ceremony, we had so many people come up to us in tears saying it was a really meaningful, personal heartfelt ceremony.
Our biggest challenge: Staying on budget! We paid for half of our $10,000 wedding and we had a year to save up and plan. We had to constantly have budget meetings for not only the wedding budget, but how it was affecting our real life budget. These meetings could be draining, but they were important to our sanity. It was important that we had some kind of financial stock in our wedding so we could keep it about our ideas rather than “our investors.”
My favorite moment: Seeing our family and close friends show up at 8 am the morning of our wedding to help set up our reception hall was so very touching. I cried when I saw my family drive up since it was the first time seeing them in a while. It was really neat seeing people from both of our families working to together to make our reception look and feel truly personal and handmade. We wanted our day to be about family joining together and that is what made it that way.
Also, Dave and I decided at the last minute to get ready together rather than separately for the day. Our mantra for the day became, “better together.” We even managed to take a nap an hour before we started getting ready! I can’t recommend this highly enough. I couldn’t sleep that well, but it was a good time to meditate and be still and quiet before a huge party. Staying together the whole day just made sense. We’ve been together for nine years, so why would we spend any time apart on our most important day?
My funniest moment:
1. Dave reached for the wrong ring out of our officiant’s hand. Granted, maybe they shouldn’t have both been in his palm to choose from, but I knew before he reached that he would pick the wrong one. This got a big laugh from our audience.
2. We had already gotten to our ceremonial spots and I turned to our wedding party and Dave and told them I had to pee. They all concurred I had time before our targeted 6 pm start time, and the audience would have to wait regardless. They spoke the truth and pee I did go. It was fun coming back to the waiting crowd and future husband. We never planned a procession, but when I came back from the bathroom, I guess that was sort of my “pee procession.”
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I lost some sleep over setting up our reception hall, but having our family help out made it so easy. We finished setting everything up in two hours. It was easy breezy. The funny thing was, the catering company was supposed to break down the space for us (we paid them to do so) and at the last minute they acted like they had no idea they were supposed to do this. They quickly adapted once we told them it was part of our contract.
The people we didn’t pay (family) showed up on time and worked efficiently to set up the hall. The people we DID pay to break down after the reception, acted confused, required extra help, and didn’t communicate clearly. Thank goodness family was still around at the end of the night because they got everything wrapped up nice and neat for us.
My advice for offbeat brides: Don’t be afraid to delegate and ask for help. Even if your friends and family give you a hard time, they love you, and they will do it. This will save you sleep and money. The personal touch your family and friends add to tasks you ask of them is always way better quality than anything you will receive from a professional who only cares about being paid. And afterward, they will have their own stock and memory of the event because they were involved.
If you have a year to plan, spend the first three-to-six months doing research and looking at wedding porn. Then step away from it all. This helps the show become more you.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The ceremony is all that matters … and don’t worry about buying too little beer.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!