Lacey & David's Mad Hatter garden tea party with an umbrella canopy

March 25 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Tricia Davidge
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Photos by Tricia Davidge

The Offbeat Bride: Lacey, Costume Designer

Her offbeat partner: David, Engineer

Date and location of wedding: McCloud Guest House, McCloud, CA — July 21, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We really didn't know what kind of wedding we wanted to have until we ventured out to the Black Rock Desert for our annual trip to Burning Man, in August 2011. There was an art sculpture out there that was the most beautiful thing either of us had ever seen. It was a gazebo, sitting in the middle of the desert, full of white umbrellas, with lights flying through them like rain in a rainstorm. Immediately, we knew we wanted to recreate the energy, beauty, and vibe that we felt the moment we saw those umbrellas. After making the decision that we must have hanging umbrellas at our wedding, our theme slowly built itself. We were going to have a "Mad Hatter Garden Tea Party!

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David and I are very fortunate that we have so many talented, awesome friends and family in our lives who helped us make it all happen. My best friend is an amazing chef, and she took on not only the roll of maid of honor, but she also planned and prepared our entire menu for 150+ people! My sister Tricia is a photographer, and she gifted us with her amazing eye for photography. My sister Stacey is a pastry chef, and she made us an amazing cake.

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I'm a costume designer, so I made bits and pieces of all the outfits as well as other things I just couldn't find elsewhere: my train, David's tails (which were as long as my train!), the garden fairy dresses, the tablecloths, and 160 napkins.

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The name tags were especially fun to make. We put random directives on them like, "Look left! The first person you see with blue eyes — sit next to them!") Also, David and his father are both engineers, so together they were able to recreate the umbrella sculpture for over our ceremony space and dance floor, and help create the frame wall for pictures.

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A month later, we were back at Burning Man, in our full wedding get-ups, walking to The Temple to say "I do" once more. Almost everyone who attended our wedding at Burning Man had been with us in McCloud for our first ceremony. It was so special to get married again, at The Temple, at our favorite place on earth, Black Rock City.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We were married by my maid of honor's dad, Allen. I've known Allen, his wife Kathleen, and my best friend Jamie since I was two years old, and David's family has known their family for about 20 years as well. I've always loved Allen like a father, so he was the perfect officiant for us. He wrote all of our vows, and never had us read them until we were standing at the altar, getting married.

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Our biggest challenge: I would say the biggest challenge was how much everyone took on. We all knew it would be a lot of work making, assembling, and taking down every bit of the wedding, but none of us realized it would be so exhausting to complete all of it! There was never time to actually have a real rehearsal, a nice dinner, or even time to chill the night before or the day of. I bit off more than I could chew, and it got passed onto everyone who helped! I can't imagine what would have happened if we didn't have such amazing people in our lives.

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My favorite moments:

  • Watching all eight garden fairies, in the dresses I made for them, waddle down the aisle.
  • Watching my sister put the top tier on our cake as she completed it.
  • Sitting in the garage with all my girlfriends making all the bouquets.
  • Putting rings on my step-daughters' fingers.
  • Fooling everyone by starting our first dance to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," and then having it spin into "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as we spun into a contemporary ballroom routine we had taken months to learn.
  • Watching two of our best friends lead two of the best bands I've ever heard.

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My funniest moment: When David used the cake cutter to put the cake into my mouth! Oh wait… maybe it was the bear walking through the lawn just behind the stage in the middle of the party?!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Beautiful, and meaningful. It looks amazing! Great work.

    Ps – we're kindred spirits. I had a Mad Hatter Tea Party Bridal Shower! πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! It was unreal!

      That's awesome πŸ™‚ Mad Hatter Tea Parties are the best!

  2. I just love burner weddings! Both the BRC and the McCloud ceremonies looks so beautiful and perfect. πŸ™‚

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    • They were a gift from David… I have no idea where he found them! They are made out of Mother of Pearl

    • Thank you! The umbrellas were our favorite part too πŸ™‚ They turned out even more amazing than the original structure that inspired us to do it!

  3. This wedding is the MOST!!! I wanted to Pin it so bad—is there a reason why I can't?

  4. Found it—apparently my computer was slow loading the image! All Pinned and ready to go!!!!!!

  5. The processional in the desert is like the most beautifully, amazingly trippy dream sequence ever!

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  6. Cool wedding! Where did you find all those identical umbrellas? I'm planning a rain storm themed wedding and I'm having trouble finding so many.

    • David did a lot of research online. He can't remember what the site was, but it was out of NY, and we ended up only paying about $2 per umbrella! Sorry we can't remember the site! It was almost 3 years ago that we ordered them!

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      • hye there! i know its kinda late but i was thinking about doing the umbrella canopy for an event in my university but i just dont know how you guys did it. Can you please give me detailed explanation about how you guys hanged the umbrella and maybe the materials used? please please please reply asap. Thanks a bunch πŸ™‚

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  7. The pictures from Burning Man…the background looks so perfect, it almost looks like a Photoshop. I'm in awe. So gorgeous!!!!

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    • I mean, to be honest, everything is so stunning. But those in particular, I was like, "NO WAY!" I can't even contain myself.

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  8. Hi Lacey,
    Was forwarded this webpage to check out, what a lovely story, congratulations!
    Happy you liked the umbrellas and that it in some part inspired ideas for such a beautiful day. Hope to see you on the playa sometime!
    All the best,
    warmbaby x

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  9. Would love to see the first dance to Home if there is a video online somewhere that you don't mind sharing?!?!

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  10. It's so wonderful that you and your sisters could work such magic together! I wish I had such a diversity of talented friends and family members, but pretty much everyone I know is either a musician or a physicist, so no bakers or candlestick makers.

  11. Love the originality of this wedding. My fav part are the umbrellas. Not sure how they were lighten in diff shades? Photography is amazing.

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