Kerri & Kai's feathers and koi fish DIY wedding!

September 1 |

Looking at lake

The offbeat bride: Kerri, Hairstylist (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: Kai, Therapist

Location & date of wedding: Edgewater Lodge, Whistler, Canada — June 19, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Since it wasn't legal for us to get married in California where we live, we had a destination wedding in Canada.

Ring Monkey
Ring monkey

Our save the dates were postcards of our date written on our feet. We made all the invitations with a block print that our sister carved and we used magazines as envelopes.

I worked all year making the centerpieces and bouquets out of feather boas and flowers that I sewed from fabric. The "feather girls" threw feathers and we had a ring monkey.

We had koi fish printed on all the vests that we found in thrift shops. All the vests wore converse and the dresses wore cowboy boots.

We made gift baskets for all of our guests. We filled them with drinks, snacks and toys. For wedding favors we made family cookbooks: a collection of recipes from both sides of our families. Thank you card

For our guestbook we had people write on a chalkboard and take pictures in our Photobooth. People took silly pictures in our photobooth that we latermade into post cards to send as thank you cards. Our place cards were written on rocks. After the reception we had people make a wish for us and throw the rocks in the lake.

Half way through our slow wedding dance we busted out the Beyonce "Single Ladies" dance. And we had firedancers!

Tell us about the ceremony: We did a handfasting/knot tying ceremony.

Commissioner: Kerri and Kai have chosen this handfasting ritual to literally symbolize tying the knot. May we have the ribbons please?" ( The Mothers walk up the ribbon and hand one to Kerri and one to Kai.)

Tying the Knot
'Tying the knot!' Awww

Commissioner: "Kerri and Kai, these two distinct ribbons represent your lives before this day: individual, unique and special. They were woven out of the wisdom, strength and love of your family and friends who have helped shape you into the individuals standing before us today. As you each take your ribbon and join it with the other, let it symbolize the joining of your two lives as one. That you may each retain the individuality that makes you unique, but recognize the strength created by joining each one together into an impenetrable knot.

Kerri and Kai: Tie the knot together

Commissioner: "As these two ribbons are infused as one, so are you!"

Then my mother did an native american blessing:
Smelling the FeathersNow you will feel no rain, for you will be shelter to each other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be a companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you.
Soon you will go to your resting place, to enter into the days of your togetherness.
May your days be good and long upon the earth.

Our biggest challenge: The wedding was suppose to be outside on the grass next to the lake. However, about twenty minutes before the ceremony started the clouds rolled in and it started to rain. So we moved it inside where the reception was. All the tables were pushed back and the chairs were arranged quickly so that we could stay on track. It was a little haphazard but I remained very calm and just went with the flow. In the end, I think it made it even more intimate and beautiful since we were all closer together. IMG_3234

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We found the band on Craigslist Canada. Well, it wasn't actually a band but one girl who had a Myspace. She said she could pull together a band if needed. Since it was the only music we could afford and she sounded good on her own, we went for it.

The band turned out amazing. Everyone danced! They even pulled off an amazing trick for our first dance. We started out dancing to "She's Mine" by Brett Dennen. Then half way through the drummer and base player pretended to get in a fight. Then they turned on "Single Ladies" by Beyonce and started doing the single ladies dance. It was a big hit, but it had the all the guests scared into thinking the band was breaking down.

Single ladies Dance
Single ladies dance!

My favorite moment: The weather was beautiful on the morning of our wedding. A bunch of us got kayaks and canoes and paddled around the lake. It was so much fun to spend time with all of our wedding guests and relax before the big event.

The whole ceremony was so amazing and emotional. While I was waiting to walk down the aisle I had to fight the overwhelming urge to start crying. We had written our whole ceremony, so every part meant so much. Reading our vows was very emotional.

Fire dancers
Firedancers!

My funniest moment: Of course the little feather girls had not practiced throwing their feathers. So they did not really know what to do. They walked a couple feet down the aisle and dumped their feathers in a clump. Then they dropped their baskets and just wandered off. Great ice breaker.

My advice for offbeat brides: If you want to DIY then start early. My projects took forever but I slowly chipped away at them. Plan ahead and finish everything in a timely manner. Then on the day of you can just relax and enjoy.

Dress girls
The 'dresses' in their boots!

Get inspired. Look at magazines, websites and thrift stores. Make a look book for your dream wedding. Then try and figure out how to make those things yourself for cheaper.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? How amazing it is to have so much love and support from all my friends and family. The majority of my wife's family did not show up to the wedding, which was hurtful for her at first.

Hand painted Koi fish shoes
Hand painted Koi fish converse!

Since it was a destination wedding, everyone had to work pretty hard to get there. That made our wedding so amazing because we were surrounded by all the people that we love, who also love us. So even though only a third of the people we invited came, it was all the people who we really wanted there and in return they really wanted to be there.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Beautiful wedding! I love the fish shoes :) It always makes me happy to see couples who can't marry at home marrying in Canada- I love that our government has the guts to seperate government and religious tradition and realize it's discrimation to tell two people they can't marry because of their sexual orientation.

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  2. What a great wedding! The bouquets are amazing :) How exactly did you get put them together?

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    • I got cheap boa's online and then cut them into chunks that I wrapped around wire for a stem and taped it on with duct tape. I did a bunch of different colors of feathers on different stems. I also made flowers out of different fabrics using this video below to create different texture and color. I also taped them onto wires. Then I arranged them like you would a bouquet and taped all the wires together and wrapped them in ribbon. You could use floral tape for this part.

      http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Make-Fabric-Flowers-178519575

      Let me know if you have more questions. I have more close up pictures too.

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      • I agree with Christy… the bouquets are super cool! They almost look like flames in the photos.

        You and Kai look amazing together and I wish you both many years of love and happiness!

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  3. I'm really happy that you two were able to have such a lovely wedding, and I hope that CA gets their head out of…well ya know…soon. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the koi shoes! I'm going to go orders some right now.

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  4. Such a beautiful wedding! Congratulations! I love the picture with the mountains behind you and your looking at each other, really gorgeous!

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  5. Wow, those shoes are amazing! congratulations, and I'm glad you could get married here in Canadia, eh?

    Just an interesting side note, that native american wedding blessing is actually from an old western book and the movie "Broken Arrow," and doesn't actually have any ties to native culture – Rebecca Mead talks about it in her book "One Perfect Day: the selling of the American wedding." It's still pretty though! I just think it's important to not incorrectly attribute it to a culture that didn't actually ever use it.

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  6. Congratulations!
    I was smiling the whole time I was reading! I loved your ceremony, the American Indian blessing was very touching.
    The koi and feather details are very charming.

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  7. Congrats to both of you! You're a really sexy couple.

    I will tolerate Canada's continued independence from the US because of stuff like this.

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  8. Wow. I am in awe of your creativity – feather bouquets, gorgeous shoes, fantastic thank you card ideas…. congratulations, your wedding looked gorgeous. :)

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  9. i LOVE the color of the bridesmaids dresses. i also love the artwork on the sneakers and vests, but my favorite is the sneakers with the wedding date. i showed them to my husband and when he saw the teal and orange he was like, 'what was the theme, miami dolphins?' ROFL!!

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  10. As far as great and interesting creative ideas go I was more excited and inspired by your wedding than any other one that I've read, and on a site chock full of creative wedding genious thats something! It was beautiful congrats!

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    • Thank you so much!! I was so inspired by all the weddings on this site, it really got my creativity flowing!!

      This comment means a lot to me;)

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  11. Keri, I am so disappointed I could not attend but I so feel the love from all of the pictures I saw. We need to get together for another Thanksgiving sometime in the future. Best love for the future!

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  12. Congratulations again Kerri and Kai and I was glad to be a part of this very creative wedding.

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  13. Congrats! You two look like an awesome couple, and the wedding looks fab.
    Awesome!

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  14. I don't know why, but this wedding just grabbed me so much! I know you two went through a lot to do this and you can just see love and how happy everyone was to be a part of your day. I think I might be stealing the boa bouquet idea, it's awesome!

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  15. Your weddings sounds so beautiful and creative! Can I ask, how did you put together the cookbooks, what materials did you use?

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    • If you give me your email address I can send you the PDF of the actual cookbook. We tried to cook as many of the recipes as possible and take pictures of the recipes and us eating them. We also put them in the books like a manuscript with spiral binding and clear plastic covers on heavy weight paper. We found a copy place near the university that gave us a really good price. We did all the picture pages in color. Let me know if you want the PDF. I did all the pages in Photoshop but you could do it in word or publisher, whatever you know how to use. We got recipe from everyone in both families that would turn them in. I think it ended up being about 13 a book. Everyone loved them. It was a huge hit.

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  16. It was sputacular! Super creative, and unique. I love the way you and Kai look in the pictures. Fabulous…

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