Remember the wedding style-induced fashion-gasm I had last week? Well get ready for more of it, because Janleen's been kind enough to give us the whole scoop!
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, Designer/DJ/Juggler
Location & date of wedding: Supperclub, San Francisco CA — September 5, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: My dad's friend asked him if he was walking me down the aisle, and he replied, "I don't even know if there's going to be an aisle!" So much of this was our version of wedding: reimagined.
Supperclub is this strange white-box dinner theatre/nightclub venue where everyone sits on beds along the room's perimeter. Our party started at 8:45 pm with a cocktail hour in the front all-red room, which we attended in party clothes, and then stole away to change into wedding attire.
There was no wedding party, but our friends and family participated a lot; our ceremony started with dear friends performing slackrope and double trapeze, and another friend officiated a beautiful ceremony. We did a dutch box for the ceremony, which his dad built and my mom finished, and family members each processed a piece of its contents. Instead of one aisle, we each entered from our own staircase on opposite sides of the room and met in the middle. We took the same vows, which we wrote ourselves and made everyone cry.
I wore knee-high eggplant fluevogs (sold to me by the recently featured Monika!) and a shrug and fascinator I made. My partner made his boutineer and my mom made my bouquet. A friend made cupcakes, and instead of a guestbook we had a photo station set up, complete with lighting, a stately wing-back leather chair and bag full of absurd props. And our first dance was to James Brown. Perfect.
Our biggest challenge: Our families are both in Ohio, so choosing to get married in San Francisco where we live was hard to settle on since it meant a lot of folks — Grandma included — couldn't make it. It took a lot of weighing options, but ultimately the wedding we wanted was in SF and our families were great about it.
There had been plans for one attendant each, wherein I dodged sister politics by asking my best friend. He promised to "stand where I told him and make a speech," but he ended up not being able to come at all. I cried, got over it, we axed the wedding party idea. And he made up for it with a killer video toast.
Not having a wedding party wasn't a big deal until the week of, when we realized that those are the people that are built in out-of-town family helpers, stuff-fetchers and question-answerers when all you want to do is get your makeup on — but we slogged through a little extra stress and management and it worked out. I made itineraries, maps and important contact info for the families spanning the whole time everyone was in town, and made it clear that if I was in charge of it, then the information was on the itinerary, and if the answers weren't on the itinerary then I wasn't in charge of it. And I carried extras in case anyone dropped theirs. It was funny, and no one got lost.
My favorite moment: The whole day was amazing, duh, but a few standouts:
Taking photos beforehand and walking through Yerba Buena Gardens having strangers compliment us and wish us well.
Saying our vows and feeling so connected to them after extensive negotiations about What Exactly We Are Doing Up Here And Why.
Having our parents be so happy and touched by how sincere and beautiful everything was (dad expected a freakshow and mom expected to travel 3000 miles to witness a spectacular and politicized mocking of the institution of marriage. Haha they made me!)
Also, at one point toward the end, we came to the 'fauxtobooth' and found that two friends had completely switched outfits and were posing for pictures — she in a black suit and skinny white tie and he in a short red dress and lace-patterned tights. I laughed so hard, and somehow felt like it was a perfect contribution to the party I wanted to throw.
My offbeat advice: Communicate to the bottom of things. Remember the questions, "What are my intentions?" and "What am I responding to?" Distill questions and conflicts as much as you can, remembering that people are bringing a lot of hangups and preconceptions to the table, and take your time. Also, pick a few things to care about and let the rest be. My sister-in-law told me, "You worry and worry and worry about all this stuff until the day of, and then it comes and there's all this stuff you didn't get done, and you just say, 'Oh well!'" Oh, it's true.
And spend the money on the photos!
Picking a venue that you love and that matches your vision for things means less money on decorations. We bought an orchid for each family table and called it a centerpiece, which was fine because everyone was captivated with how cool the place was. Easy.
If you're self aware enough to know what things are going to be conflict-ridden, budget extra time for them. The only thing my partner and I really ever got pissy over were our invitations — both being graphic designers, we saw this one coming; unfortunately, we dragged our feet because we anticipated a fight and at the end of the day only fought because we were time-crunched.
- PHOTOGRAPHER: Kyle Monk
- DRESS: Ivan Grundahl
- BOOTS: Fluevog
- HIS SHOES: Patent leather pumas tracked down on Ebay
- THANKYOU GIFTS: Etsy.com (SteamSociety, BreadandBadger), Scandinavian Details
- VENUE: Supperclub SF — they were a completely unflappable and a dream to work with; we got so much built in: sound system, rigging points, excellent dj, food and drink, staff, connections to performers had we not known our own… they were the best.
- PERFORMERS: double trapeze- Darrel and Lizette, slackrope- David Hunt
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: