Rachel & Nick's black, red, and beach-all-over music-loving wedding

January 27 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Henry Umana
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Photos by Henry Umana

The Offbeat Bride: Rachel, chef (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Nick, Registered Piano Technician

Date and location of wedding: Hotel Laguna, Laguna Beach, CA — October 5, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Music is a very big part of our lives. We met while working at a live music venue in Los Angeles, so it was very important to us to have good music everywhere. From using a Leon Russell song as our vows, to hiring our friend's seven-piece soul revue band, music was everywhere in our day.

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The wedding party walked down the aisle to the theme from Carrie and the theme from Cannibal Holocaust, so I also got our love for horror movies in there. My processional music was the Simpson's title theme, and we walked out of the ceremony to Roxy Music's "Out Of The Blue." Our first dance was to the Beach Boys' "Forever." I danced with my dad to Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias' "As Time Goes By." And Nick and his mom danced to Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is." A little bit of everything for everyone in our selections made it fun.

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We didn't have a wedding cake, but rather, had wedding churros. I was also barefoot all day and night, which was awesome.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
While planning the wedding, the one thing that eluded me was the ceremony. While Nick wasn't too involved with wedding planning, he did write the ceremony. I gave him a few quotes I liked and he turned it into a real ceremony. We used the quote from Shall We Dance as our marriage address:

ERIN: In a marriage, you are promising to care about everything. Do you promise each other to care about the things, the bad things, and even the mundane things? All of it every day?
NICK and RACHEL answer together: We do.
ERIN: By promising this you are saying "your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will witness it." Do you promise to witness each other's lives?
NICK and RACHEL answer together: We do.

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We picked Leon Russell's "A Song For You" lyrics as our vows. Instead of promising each other anything, we just wanted to say a few nice words.

RACHEL: I give you this ring as a reminder that:
I've been so many places in my life and time
I've acted out my love in stages but
There is no one more important to me
I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for my life, 'cause you're a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together

NICK: I give you this ring as a reminder that:
I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I hope you see
There's no one more important to me
I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for my life, 'cause you're a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together

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Our officiant was hilarious, which helped calm our nerves. She is stand up comic Erin Foley, and has known Nick since he was six. At the end, she pronounced us "totally married." If you can get a friend to officiate, I cannot recommend it enough. She was great, and it felt personal, like hanging out with friends.

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Our biggest challenge:
Long distance planning was hard. We live in Boston, but we met while living in LA, so most of our friends and family live in Southern CA. My grandmother in San Diego wouldn't be able to fly across the country, so it was a no-brainer to get married in California. That meant I wanted an awesome beach wedding. So right after we got engaged, we flew out to venue hunt. That was the toughest two weeks of the entire thing. We burned up a lot of miles trying to decide on where we could get married on the beach.

Then when it was wedding time, we had one week to actually get everything together out in LA: shipping what we could online, racing to buy any flowers we could find (thankfully, white calla lilies!), and trekking LA county collecting Dollar Tree vases. We got it all done and it was very hectic, but the week of planning and running around meant it only took 30 minutes to set things up day of.

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My favorite moment:
We didn't know if my brother was going to be able to attend because his wife was at the end of an incredibly difficult pregnancy and she could have had the baby any day. He made it, and I was incredibly grateful that he took the time for that. And really, just getting to spend the day with people we've been separated from by 3000 miles for the past few years was amazing.

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My funniest moment:
Oh, the dancing — all the dancing. Originally we didn't want kids at the wedding. Then we decided we wanted our nieces and nephews in the wedding party. Then we realized a few cousins wouldn't be able to attend if we didn't allow kids. Then we realized that left only two other guests whose kids would be banned. So we let them all come. And they danced like nobody else. Also, it is my mom's family's tradition to dance together to the Rolling Stones, which always makes for some great laughs.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: We friendored everything except photography. Henry and Tracy of Human Artwork made us feel like we friendored everything. So nice, professional, and they took amazing pictures. I hope everyone hires them for their wedding, no matter where they're getting married!
  • Officiant: Erin Foley
  • Band: What has seven powerhouse, soul-loving members and comes with two hot go-go dancers? Our wedding band The Magnificent!
  • DJs: Chris McCleary and Maria Stevenson (you can find them DJing some of LA's wonderful rock bars)
  • Invitations and all other papery things: my awesome wonderful best lady, Christine Costanza
  • Dress: Eden Bridals
  • Sea shells and beach glass: Deltona Seashells

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME

  1. I can't lie: I clicked through solely to see more of the bride's gorgeous tattoos. Stunning! Congratulations on a beautiful wedding.

    9 agree
  2. Gorgeous! I second the tattoos comment, they are stunning. You two make a beautiful couple. I love all the music and lyrics you incorporated into your day ­čÖé

  3. I love how the detailing on your dress blends with your gorgeous tattoos to become one swooping design. And your hair jewellery, Rachel…! So much pretty.
    Nick, you did a fine job with the ceremony. I teared up a bit just reading the excerpts here.
    May you have a beautiful life together!

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