The offbeat bride: Lindzy, Museum Education Manager (and OBT Member)
Her offbeat partner: Davido, Manager of White Water Rafting Program
Location & date of wedding: River Camp, Lotus, CA — October 10, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: Our goal was to throw an awesome party in celebration of our choice to spend the rest of our lives together. It took us six years to make this decision and it was well worth taking our time to make marriage our own!
We met as white water guides and first began to build our relationship in a camp beside the river. The culture of the folks we run with tends to be fun-loving, slightly crusty and down to earth. Therefore it seemed only natural to have our wedding in that same place and bring our extended family and friends into the beautiful, quirky river circle.
Furthermore, the river camp was universally accessible, which was important to us and allowed everyone to participate.
We started off with a ring warming and sage smudging, then moved onto the slightly more traditional ceremony before we floated away for a little while.
The riverbanks provided hours of entertainment, the jumpy-house was bouncing 'til midnight, the bonfire flickered till the following morning and people wandered to their tents or campervans whenever they were ready.
Our community was so giving that I am sure we haven't yet realized all that they did to support us on our day! They brought a variety of homemade wondrous foods and gifts to share: giant pots of soups, smoked turkey and brisket, huge salads, sangria, wedding cake, florist skills, elbow grease, pumpkin carving, a wedding quilt (instead of a guestbook), cookies-on-a-stick and much much more.
Our biggest challenge: We had a lot of the usual challenges that come with getting married (money, guest list, etc.) but the biggest challenge it seemed for us was how to define exactly what the marriage that we were creating meant to us and how to articulate it.
What helped was when we chose our wonderful friend Victor to marry us (he had a small disclaimer that he was still in Seminary School and that he had only assisted marrying gay couples when they were legal in SF, but that was why we chose him). Anyhow, between his guidance, a book called "Getting the Love You Want" and some Buddhist-inspired wedding vows we were able to come up with a ceremony that felt accurate to us. And we were ecstatic with Victor's interpretation of it.
Ultimately we realize that our marriage is going to mean different things as we move through time and we will continue to learn to define it as we move through each new each day.
My favorite moment: When we got ready to do our vows Victor, our officiant, surprised us by asking our family and friends to also take the opportunity, should they choose, to quietly recommit to a loved one by holding their hand and joining in on the vows with us. It was a sweet way to share our day with the people we love and so many of them told us how much they appreciated being able to participate in that way.
We also really enjoyed floating away on our boat, it gave us a few minutes to ourselves. Everyone asked us what we talked about during that time. It was something to the effect of, "Holy shit we're married!" and other things. It wasn't that we said that much, but that we got to be together and settle into the idea of "spouses for life" even though we'd been talking about it for a long time.
Oh and when one of the little boys told me I looked like a princess!
What was the funniest moment of your wedding or reception? One of my favorite comments came from my brother-in-law who had married into family. He said, "Wow, that was so fun and there wasn't even any fighting!"My advice for offbeat brides:
1. Arrange for help that is helpful!
2. Orient your helpful people to your wedding site.
We developed a wed-site on nearlyweds.com and on it we put all sorts of useful information including hints at ways people could help if they wanted to and could. And many people did very helpful things (like the aforementioned food and handmade items), not all of which we had originally imagined, but added so much to the day! That being said, there were also things that we artfully tried to redirect or find a different place for because we needed the help that was going to be somewhat self-sufficient.
As much as we tried to organize beforehand, there were little details that slipped through the cracks (like having someone in charge of telling people where to put the appetizers). Luckily, it got taken care of because there were amazing, thoughtful people lined up who also knew their way around the camp.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
We tried to use as many organic, local and family owned shops as we could, which was actually pretty easy and much more economical since we (meaning our friends) did a lot of the prep work of the stuff for us. The one main exception was our flowers, which we picked up for $40 at Costco the day before.
- Dress: Wai-Ching
- Etsy: Dolores Petunia
- Diestel Free Range Turkey Ranch
- Boudin Bakery
- Photographer: Jeffrey Hubis Photography
- Placerville Brewery
- Boa Vista Orchards
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!