Rita Marie & Sergio's intimate celebration of marriage

By on Feb 6th

The Offbeat Bride: Rita Marie, secretary of sorts (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Sergio, Investigator

Date and location of wedding: St. Paul's Chapel, Walnut Creek, CA — December 21, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of the marriage itself — everything else was simply icing on the cake. We met each other in April 2012 online and were married in December 2012. We tried to keep everything meaningful and stress-free. I don't know how brides who plan large weddings do it! Even our small wedding of eight filled up the days leading up to it. Sergio's mother is an Episcopalian priest in the Bay Area, and because we were getting married around the holidays (her busiest time of the year) we knew we would have to fly to San Francisco to accomplish that.

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We were supposed to get married at the Palace of Fine Arts, but the wedding day proved to be rainy, cold, and windy. We didn't want our guests to suffer in the cold, so we moved the wedding indoors to the chapel at Sergio's mother's church. It was a lovely venue, and our photographers agreed to move locations. We then re-planned everything as an indoor wedding just one day prior to the wedding day!

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The photographers even hung around town shopping until we finished the wedding dinner so that they could photograph us in the town square in front of the giant Christmas tree with the lights lit. That was an unexpected surprise and super sweet of them!

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The groom arrived at the chapel the morning of the wedding while I was getting my hair done. He prepared the chapel alongside his mother and our florist, a family friend and member of the church. He even prepared our reception area. He is such a sweet man — I know I am blessed to have him. He wanted everything to still be lovely, even though there were a lot of last-minute changes and additions due to the weather.

A cookbook functioned as our guest book — guests could write blessings and well wishes in it. Now every time we cook a recipe from it we remember our loved ones. We both love to cook, so that happens often!

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Love these custom-painted Kid Robot Munnies!

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I made the wedding cake toppers, date signs, and Mr. and Mrs. signs. We had blankets made with the date and "San Francisco" embroidered onto them for favors (for the previously planned outdoor wedding). Everyone liked them as mementos anyway, even though they wound up not being necessary.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We had a ring warming ceremony at our shower in our hometown in Texas before heading to San Francisco. When each of our guests touched the rings, they silently said a prayer, blessing, or sweet words to us. It was really memorable and so appreciated.

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The new wedding program in the Episcopalian faith does not require the father of the bride "giving the bride away," so I was able to have my mother and father walk me down the aisle. We participated in all the traditional wedding readings and holy sacraments. Because our wedding party was so small, everyone had a part in our wedding, either by reading or saying a prayer.

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Our biggest challenge: Letting everyone know that we were having a small wedding in California instead of a large wedding in Texas. We both have a lot of friends and family who would have wanted to be a part of the wedding here in our hometown. Everyone was supportive of our choice and celebrated with us in various ways before we left.

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My favorite moment: I loved returning to the honeymoon suite that my brother had arranged for us. There were chocolates, rose petals, and champagne. We decided to stay in that night and order pizza and drink champagne. It was memorable and relaxing.

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My funniest moment: I walked into the chapel to Pachelbel's "Canon in D," but we two-stepped out to The Highwaymen's "Waiting for a Long Time," a country song. No one expected it, so everyone laughed.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Take time to really remember the reason for the wedding: the blessing that you met the partner of your dreams are sharing a great commitment.

Make sure there is time carved out in the day where you can be alone with your partner. I am so grateful that Sergio and I had those moments at the end of the day. Our plan was to go out on the town by ourselves and celebrate, but staying in that night provided for such a great memory we will have with us forever.

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Get the good photographer with whom you feel comfortable. Our photographers truly helped make our wedding awesome and now we have great photographic memories.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? We learned that sticking to your budget pays off. We were able to buy a Wii U with our budget excess.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!



They ♥ OBB; we ♥ themThis post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: