The Offbeat Bride: Laura, scientist (and OBT member "2girls4PDX")
Her Offbeat Partner: Gosia, attorney
Location & date of wedding: Shakespeare Garden, Portland International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon — 06.20.09
What made our wedding offbeat: Well, first we're girlie-dress & makeup-loving gay ladies. We couldn't agree who had to change her last name, so we played a Name Change Soccer Game the afternoon before the wedding with our guests, and the winner's team got to pick our new last name. In a total upset, Laura (who is completely unathletic) and her team won, and she scored the winning goal. It served as a great icebreaker for everyone to get to know one another.
Our biggest challenge: Dealing with one vendor who was very unprofessional and could not guarantee IF or WHEN they would deliver what we had ordered. Also, they only accepted cash and there was no contract to be signed which made us nervous. It eventually worked out, but it was stressful to be unsure if they would follow through on the day of the wedding.
Also, I suspect no one cared about this except me, but I was really stressed about matching our two dresses. We didn't want to be matchy-matchy, but we also wanted to look like we belonged together. My lovely girl had found a silver dress on clearance at Ann Taylor Loft a year before that she just adored and wanted to wear. That left me trying to find a dress that I liked that would work with hers.
I scoured the internet for all-bride, all-dress weddings to get ideas for how ladies coordinated so that they looked like a couple, but at the same time both looked like themselves. I found a dress I loved at Nordstrom and started making a black sash for it to match the bridesmaids. My mom had the genius idea to make a gray/silver sash that matched Gosia's dress instead and I have to say that I love how it turned out! We matched enough that we looked coordinated, but not in a cloying or inauthentic way.
As an added bonus, once I made the sash for myself, I thought why not make a cute accessory for our dog, Piishka? She had an adorable ruffled collar that matched us as well.
My favorite moment: The party afterwards!
The photobooth was the highlight of our wedding –- we booked the photographer specifically because we loved his blank white setup. We had a blast taking photos together and with our friends. I don't know that either one of us had ever laughed that hard before, and of course it is great to have the photos to look back on now. I love that my favorite pics of our wedding are of my wife and I with inflatable guitars, feather boas, and silly hats. Also I love the photos where we're jumping and in mid-flight… very appropriate metaphor for a wedding, I think!
My advice for other offbeat brides: Prioritze. Cut out anything you don't care about ….various traditions, extra guests, etc. That way you can take care of the things that matter to you without being overwhelmed.
Complete all DIY aspects of the wedding at least 1 week in advance so that you can enjoy spending time with friends and family when they arrive. I did a lot of DIY stuff –- I made the cake topper, a collar for the dog, a sash for myself to match my bride, team t-shirts for the soccer game, all corsages, boutineers and bouquets, wedding doughnut cake stand, props for the photobooth, etc. Everything but the bouquets was completed well in advance, and I think that was the single best thing I did for myself to prepare for the wedding.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- Photographer: The amazing and very fun John Fenger
- Harpist: Also amazing and great to work with, Kate Petak
- Reception Location: Portland City Grill. The view was to-die-for and they were totally professional and generally fabulous.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: