Beth & Garrett's nerdy boozy musical kickballer wedding

December 5 |  
Photos by: June Lion Photography
Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding
Photos by June Lion Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Beth, Photographer and graphic designer (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Garrett, GIS Mapping Guru

Date and location of wedding: Pendarvis Farm just outside of Portland, Oregon — September 7, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Beer was a major theme of the day, and our guests sat on picnic blankets in the forest which was decorated with hops vines. Our flower girl tossed (or chucked violently at guests' heads) hops cones, which are used in making beer. We made the table decor and boutonnieres with beer ingredients, too. We had happy hour and a trail mix bar before the ceremony so by the time our Elvis officiant came down the aisle, people were liquored up and cheering.

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

We're major tech nerds and wanted to film our own invitation. Even though we shared almost all of the wedding information exclusively online, as well as had high-tech interactive aspects of our outdoor wedding, we had a strictly unplugged ceremony (except for Garrett's surprise selfie right after the kiss).

Here is the invitation:

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding
Trail mix bar!

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

We met many of our friends via kickball, so after the ceremony, we played a short game followed by lawn games and a talent show instead of cake cuttings and first dances. We encouraged people to take and share photos throughout the day by creating a scavenger hunt with prizes, then the images would appear on the projector above the stage. People could earn merit badge buttons by participating in different events, and we had "camp counselors" walking around handing out badges and answering questions. They could also refer to their illustrated Camp Epic Wedding Survival Guide. We made a barley wine which was part of the ceremony, and handed out a wedding-themed home-brewed IPA along with commemorative coozies.

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Tell us about the ceremony:
When we first started dating years ago, our friend made a joke about saving us money by dressing as Elvis and marrying us so we didn't have to go all the way to Vegas. We held her to that! I came down the aisle to "The Imperial March" played on the violin, and cried from that moment all the way through to the kiss.

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Elvis talked about the importance of community to us and asked guests to promise to hold us accountable and support us in years to come. Following that, friends read "Scientific Romance" by Tim Pratt, which is the sweetest, nerdiest, and most on point thing to our relationship that could have ever been written. Plus, we were really glad that our fairly conservative parents found the mention of a time traveling, auto-erotic threesome hilarious instead of appalling.

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

We created a ceremony where we drank the barley wine from mugs created by Garrett's late grandmother, and then passed it around to everyone on stage. The ceremony talked about how barley wines change and develop a more complex flavor with time, and how we had bottled the whole batch and plan to drink one on each anniversary.

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

At the rehearsal dinner party, we had people secretly write down pairs of things (like "Batman and Robin" and "Fred and Ginger") on slips of paper and give it to one of the wedding crew. Then instead of "husband and wife," Elvis drew a paper from a hat and that was what she declared us (David Bowie and Iman was chosen!). It was really fun!

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Garrett and I decided we'd get our rings tattooed later, so we settled on drawing Sharpie marker versions of the rings on each other in place of an actual ring exchange. Garrett's vows were a few funny little stories about us, and mine were about all the things I couldn't promise him, but how the desire to want to be able to is pretty damn romantic. I don't know what kind of superheroes those people are — the ones who can swear undying love for all eternity. Though, if they can promise eternity, maybe they're actually Asgardian gods or Time Lords or vampires! Here were my vows:

Believe it or not, I'm only human, and human nature makes it impossible to keep all the promises of perfect intentions. I can't swear an undying love that will outlast eternity. But I CAN promise that for as long as we are together on earth you'll know how much I love and respect you.

I can't swear a future full of expensive gifts or lavish trips around the world. But I CAN promise to be by your side through the everyday adventures and be ready to dream up new ways to experience the world around us.

And it's illogical to swear that we'll always be happy and never disagree. But I CAN promise to try to understand your side of the argument and remember that because we're on the same team, that makes us capable of anything we put our minds to.

I never needed a Prince Charming, and I'm glad we don't live a world of "happily ever afters" because with you, our friends, and our family, I get to have a lot of 'happily here and nows.'"

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Our biggest challenge:
I had some personally difficult moments connected to concerns that people would think we were "trying too hard." I also had a lot of guilt around the money and the unbelievable generosity of our parents. But I think the biggest issue of all was my extreme underestimation of just how many details I needed to delegate to people. I can't even fathom how half the things got done because I don't remember telling anyone, "Hey, after kids go to bed will you put out the s'mores bar and write the names of all the ingredients on the chalkboard with the chalk pen?" yet somehow it magically got done.

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

My favorite moment:
When I was standing at the top of the hill watching my wedding crew walk down to the stage, they were laughing and dancing to the music and our guests were cheering and clapping and hooting. All totally unplanned. I've never seen that at a wedding before, and it meant so much to me that people knew they were there to celebrate and have a good time. (okay, it probably didn't hurt that we gave them all a ton of booze beforehand).

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Then at the end of the night there was a moment on the back patio where two dozen people from different parts of our lives were jamming along with the farm owners on instruments, and anything that would make sound including buckets and musical saws. They started playing "I'll Fly Away," and our parents and older family members were suddenly there, and everyone was singing their hearts out in a deafening chorus of voices. Truly incredible.

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

My funniest moment:
My favorite funny moment was at the ceremony. Our dads leapt into the air and chest bumped before taking a seat. It was pretty out of character for both of them, but a little surprise they'd worked out beforehand.

Then a friend with a slow-mo camera went around all day filming guests and compiled this hysterical masterpiece of slow-mo schlubber face action:

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Beth + Garrett's Camp Epic Wedding

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. So many things to like! The venue looks wonderful, your friends, families and officiant seem like awesome people, and your vows are just lovely.

    2 agree
  2. Ohhh, how delightful! The surprise selfie and the "I now pronounce you…" make me laugh. That last picture makes me sigh with all the romantic butterflies. What an adorable bad-ass couple!

    1 agrees
  3. Yep, completely jealous of this wedding. Totally, 100%. It looks like so much fun, and so touching.

    2 agree
  4. I want to be at that wedding! That slow-mo schlubber face video is too funny! I love the trail mix bar idea too.

    0 agree
  5. This wedding is so full of WIN I can't even stand it! I love the bride's admittance that she cried through the entire ceremony. So endearing. I thought I was bad crying for my entire walk down the aisle! I just love tears at a wedding. All that emotion bubbling to the surface! It's precious. I also love all the guests playing kickball BEERS IN HAND! That's the only way to play kickball, right?

    Congratulations!

    2 agree
  6. This looks like LITERALLY the best party ever! Everyone looks so happy, and it seems like you were really true to who you both are as individuals, and as a couple. <3

    1 agrees
  7. Garrett and I had a ton of planning dates over beers through the process. Some of the best and most unique ideas were his. I fully maintain his creativity is because he doesn't use pinterest! ha!

    1 agrees
  8. Kerry-
    TOTALLY! I warned my photographer ahead of time that when I laugh really hard I make a horrible horse face and when I cry (which there was a looooooot of) it's equally bad. I told her I wasn't self-conscious about either and to just roll with it. She did an amazing job of capturing the emotion and somehow making the horrible faces look sweet and wonderful.

    1 agrees
  9. This is so great! Your wedding definitely has the feeling I'm going for in mine.

    I'd love to know how you created your "camp guides" Did you get them printed or diy them? (I'm trying to figure out how to do booklets without it breaking the bank.)

    0 agree
    • Kind of both.
      I wrote out all the information we wanted to include in the guide/program which was pretty extensive. We put so much thought into every aspect of the day we wanted to share that with people and every time I'm at a wedding I'm like… oh "dinosaurs, that's cool. I wonder what the story is behind that." So I wrote logistical things like the camp schedule and how to play the different yard games plus food explanations including special diet notes, the list of photo scavenger hunt items (such as 10 people doing air guitar, knowing this meant people who didn't know each other were probably going to have to be in the same photo together!) and more 'behind the scenes' info like "WTF, is Elvis doing here?" and "But which one's the maid of honor?"

      Then I got together with a couple friends at a pub and we drunkenly doodled on sheets of paper to illustrate the various guide sections. I scanned them, added them to my guide layout and sent it to print at a local printers. My guide was 10 pages plus cover (22 sides) and only cost $181 for 100. We did all our invites and RSVP digitally so we could save that money to use for the guide books. (and it DID save a ton of money, OBB will post how we did that really soon!)

      If you're interested in how to DIY the printing too I'll add it to the blog post I'm writing up. It's time consuming but you could probably save some money that way if you're doing fewer than 30. The size and style are based off of Aaron Draplin's Field Notes notebooks. Ask any printer and they will probably know what you mean!

      0 agree
      • Also would love to hear what you asked for, etc. on getting the booklets made. I've been looking the past few days and the internet is not helping me.

        As a side note, I loved so much of your wedding, thanks for sharing.

        0 agree
  10. OH MY GOD THE SCHLUBBER FACE VIDEO….. I'M DYYYYYYIIINGGGGGG

    3 agree
    • ha ha ha ha!!! Riiiiiiiight?!? Best wedding present ever! I collect photos of people doing schlubber face at parties (and sometimes clients too if they're up for it) and add them to my schlubber face tumbler. So this was especially thoughtful…. and fucking hilarious.

      0 agree
  11. Holy shit, the schlubber face vid was AWESOME. I also really dig the trail mix bar!!

    0 agree

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