The Offbeat Bride: Hanae, Environmental Educator (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Shawn, Insurance Guy
Date and location of wedding: The Farm Kitchen in Poulsbo, WA — May 27, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted to have a relaxed, happy wedding that was fun for our guests and reflected who we are as individuals and as a couple.
There are several things that we feel passionate about: native plants, our chickens, our love of the Seattle Sounders, and our friends and family, so we planned a celebration that highlighted those things.
I am a big fan of creating and crafting so a lot of the smaller elements were DIYed by me, including the chicken cake toppers, my shoes, the aisle decorations, the jam favors, and the centerpieces.
We also had a lot of guest participation elements as well, since we wanted our guests to be entertained: lawn games, the word search on the back of the programs, an ice cream sundae bar, and paper crane folding (with instructions).
Tell us about the ceremony: From the beginning, we knew we wanted it short. We're not religious so we had a lot of options to choose from. We wrote our own vows while on a fro-yo date and had a dear friend officiate for us.
We also chose to do a traditional Japanese sake ceremony called San San Kudo to reflect my Japanese half. This is a ceremony where sake is poured into three different cups and both bride and groom take three sips from each cup alternately. Since three is a lucky number in Japan, three sips from three cups to equal nine is even luckier. We included it before our vows and our officiant explained the whole ceremony while we were doing it which was nice, since a large portion of our guests were not familiar with the tradition.
Our biggest challenge: The guest list. We had more arguments over that than anything else wedding-related combined. Even though it got a bit dicey at times, every time we would get into an argument or would get frustrated, we would remind ourselves that some things were out of our hands and that in the end it will work out. There were some unexpected guests who showed up on the big day, but it was totally fine.
My funniest moment: Our photographer, Grant. It wasn't a single moment, but he was by far the funniest person at the wedding. All of our pictures turned out so well because he was not only a photographer, but an entertainer as well. He was so enthusiastic about his work and was so excitable that you couldn't help but laugh as he was taking your picture.
We also had a funny moment when during our vows, Shawn said "I do" really quietly and I nudged him and told him to say it louder. Then he yelled it into the sky.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Remember who you are and don't care what society tells you a wedding should look like. There were some wedding traditions that we really didn't like and so we left them out and didn't care that there were some elements that we left in that some might call "wedding cliche."
What we ended up with was an amazing party. We did (almost) everything that we wanted while also keeping an open mind to others' suggestions. I stayed calm and made sure to remind myself that it's just one day in the grand scheme of things. Oh, and make sure to live in the moment on the big day!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Have a day-of coordinator. Our venue required one, so we had to pick someone, but I would recommend it for all weddings whether it's a requirement or not. We had my dear friend do it for us and she did such a stellar job that we were able to enjoy our day and not worry about any of the logistics.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Grant Horiuchi
- Dress and alterations: Victoria's Bridal
- Caterer: Essence of the Thymes
- Bridesmaid's gifts: Toms shoes
- Groomsmen gifts: Sounders Scarves
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!