Bri & Ian's Stress-Free Celebration of Love and Vegan Pastries!

By on Nov. 13th

The offbeat bride: Bri, Pastry Chef-in training and Ex-Weather Forecaster

Her offbeat partner: Ian, Computer Nerd and Library Lover

Location & date of wedding: The Fremont Troll (ceremony) in Seattle, WA and Ian's sister's backyard (reception) in Seattle, WA on September 5th, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: I proposed to Ian in December of 2007, and gave him a fantastic sterling silver engagement ring. We had a family-only ceremony at the Fremont Troll (a giant statue of a troll under a bridge!). Apparently a tour bus came by during the ceremony, but Ian and I were so engrossed in all the lurve that we didn't even notice!

The wedding was "us" through and through. We had a friend make our wedding bands, my sister played a song on the guitar, I sewed myself a sparkly purple skirt, and Ian wore his favorite shirt.

We threw a backyard party for all of our friends the next day, complete with oodles of homemade vegan pastries (made by yours truly – I'm in pastry school right now!). We played croquet on the lawn in the backyard and drank beer until the sun went down. We're both homebrewers, so we brewed up a big ole batch of a fantastic Belgian-style Dubbel to share with everyone.

We went on a tour of breweries in Oregon for our honeymoon – it was fantastic! We tried 76 beers in one week. Finally, we decided it was important for us to have the same last name, so Ian took my last name.

The wedding couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was fantastic and it was very inexpensive and pretty much stress-free.

Our biggest challenge: Actually deciding to start planning the wedding and making decisions. We were both afraid of the stress that comes with weddings, and we didn't want to have that sort of thing taint our celebration. Ultimately, we decided to throw most traditions out the window (or turn them around) and just do something that we were sure would be fun, cheap, and stress-free.

There was only a bit of backlash from a few people (not family members, luckily) over the fact that Ian decided to take my name.

My favorite moment: Walking across the street to the Troll with our families. I didn't expect to feel nervous, but I did!

My offbeat advice:I made all of the pastries for our backyard reception. Annoyingly, while I was in the process of working on these, people kept saying, "Oh no, don't do that! Don't over-exert yourself". Baking is my passion and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my time in the weeks leading up to our wedding. I know my limits, and I know what I love… so I just ignored those people. Know yourself and don't listen to stupid advice.

Having the stress-free family-only ceremony and the reception the next day was the best idea we had. There was no schedule for anything, just "we'll start the ceremony around four-ish, whenever everyone gets here" and "the garden party will start around 2pm!"

Lastly, in the words of Charlie Papazian (homebrewing guru): "Relax… Don't Worry… Have a Homebrew!" (Or some lemonade, or a glass of wine!)

Enough talk — show me that wedding porn: Click the photo below to see shots from Bri & Ian's Stress-Free Celebration of Love, complete with a troll!