Kimmy and Erik "party forever" at their gorgeous, earthy, live music showcase wedding

OMG, y'all! Who wants to see Managing Editor Megan's first time as a bridesmaid? Come for the live music (the groom is a musician), but stay for the fashion (the bride is a stylist).

ErIk & Kimmy Got Hitched!
Photos by Oliver Barth

The Offbeat Bride: Kimmy Erin, Stylist

Her offbeat partner: Erik, Musician (and former Man of Honor at Megan's wedding)

Date and location of wedding: Topanga Canyon, CA — October 12, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We knew from the moment we made our relationship official that we wanted this to be forever. And we didn't much care for the titles of boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife — that didn't matter so much as us just being together. So to us, getting married meant a great party to celebrate forever, which is to say, we wanted to officially #partyforever. In fact, our response cards even read "Yes, Party Forever!" or "Partying in spirit!"

wedding party cray cray
Can you spot the Offbeat Bride editor in this photo?

And party we did. Set in Topanga Canyon, an earthy artsy enclave in Southern California, near each of our hometowns, the wedding was centered around fun. Even though everything went wrong, as can happen in a brand new (but beautiful) venue, the day was unequivocally magical.

kimmy and erik fashions

The 120 partiers were shuttled to the event on a (at times frighteningly bumpy) dirt path, so we embraced the seemingly perilous ride and played the "Indiana Jones" soundtrack in the shuttles. Once everyone made it to the venue, they were greeted with wine, champagne, and cucumber mint water, as well as chipotle-spiced chickpeas and bar snacks.

Sonus quartet

The ceremony featured strings from LA's incredible Sonus Quartet, with all music arranged by the groom.

After the ceremony, we were whisked away to enjoy magic hour on top of a nearby hill while the guests enjoyed a full bar of cocktails, including a whiskey tasting station (the groom's drink of choice).

the view

the table of succulents

Dinner was family-style and the theme was "Califrenchican" — an eclectic and mostly vegetarian mix of California, Mexican, and French foods (a mashup of our favorites). The butternut squash goat cheese enchiladas were a hit, as were the fish and carnitas mini-tacos.

baguettes by Citron with mixed China

Each person got their own baguette (branded with our combined initials "KEEK") as soon as they were seated, complete with lavender honey butter and a rosemary sprig from my mom's garden.

Table Cards
The hand-dyed-by-the-bride reception cards.

the beautiful wedding cake

Dessert? Was like an attraction. My sister-in-law (a professional attorney, not baker, but should somehow be both in life) spent weeks baking six types of cookies and a three-tiered, four-layered chocolate and yellow cake.

We don't need utensils

Other family members also contributed home-baked desserts, including brown butter sea salt marshmallow treats, flourless chocolate cake, gluten-free cranberry white chocolate cookies, and Nutella-swirled dark chocolate chip cookies. It was amazing.

Tell us about the music…

laughing through our first dance

Our first dance, Ryan Adams' rendition of "When the Stars Go Blue" was sung by local duet Sometimes We Sing Together. Although we took dancing lessons the week before, I found that I couldn't step backwards in my dress with the bustle up! We spent most of the dance just laughing and swaying.

Test out dancing in your outfit before the wedding day, guys!

Erik's dad's band ROCKS. The photo of Megan is kinda of the best photo of a party goer dancing EVER.
Erik's dad's band ROCKS. The photo of Megan is kind of the best photo of a party-goer dancing EVER.

My dad and I danced to Beige Music's rendition of "God Only Knows," and Erik and his mom danced to Patrick Park's cover of "Forever Young."

Erik's dad's band, The Flatland Mountain Rock Band took over from there, playing the classics and getting the entire party on the floor dancing.

Josh Kelley and the groom rocking out.
Josh Kelley and the groom rocking out.

Next up was Josh Kelley who performed Bruno Mars and his own song, Special Company, where the groom rocked out on a super dope bass solo.

Following was Skyler Stonestreet and the closing act, Paul McDonald, who brought the house down with a country rock version of "Gin and Juice." [Editor's note: Seriously, it was one of my favorite musical performances of all time. -Megan]

Kimmy and Erik's party rocked

Time to unplug! Once we could no longer have amplified music, Ethan Gruska of The Belle Brigade took the stage with an acoustic guitar and sang chill songs as guests were invited to roast marshmallows with 10 types of gourmet chocolate for s'mores. Pizza was delivered just in time to greet the guests as they boarded the shuttle back down the dusty path, this time to the tune of our own recording (also featured on our wedding favor CDs) of "Oh My Sweet Carolina."

Hilairious vows

Tell us about the ceremony:

The ceremony began with everyone, including our dog Eli, walking down the aisle to the string quartet playing Sia's "Breathe Me." I was in tears over the arrangement — it was sick. In my excitement in the moment, I even ripped my dress three times, while reaching up to hug the tall groomsmen before they walked down the aisle.

Then I walked down with my parents to "Something" by The Beatles, with an electric guitar part played by our friend David.

Kimmy and Erik ceremony

We are both from mixed religious backgrounds and chose to create our own ceremony, based loosely on Jewish tradition. We were married by long-time friend and Jazz singer Kathleen Grace, who opened with an awesome moment of silence to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings and the moment.

We also had couches for our bridal party to lounge on during the ceremony. No standing required!

Eight-tiered candelabra and the couches for the wedding party
Eight-tiered candelabra and the couches for the wedding party

We adapted the Seven Blessings to include our family! We asked each parent and the families of our brothers and sisters to bless us with a theme. They had to write their own, and present it with their family. They then lit a candle in an eight-tiered candelabra — we lit the first one. It was awesome. It made the ceremony long, but it was worth it!

And then the moment of silence to enjoy the moment, and remember those who were not there, was super beautiful.

We did it! We got hitched!

the bouquet

Our biggest challenge:

Finding an affordable venue, staying on budget, and managing other people's expectations! We wanted a beautiful venue, but didn't have a lot of money, and we also wanted to accommodate tons of people, but didn't have the loads of cash to make it happen.

I think we just tried to ask for as much as possible from our friends in lieu of gifts (for example: the music!) and from our vendors in hopes that a hot Topanga party was something everyone would want to be in on! We think it worked.

the Girls
The perfectly mis-matched bridesmaids.
Best Friends Ever
Singing "Say Yes."

My favorite moment:
Our surprise. Our friends, about 30 of them, all took the stage to perform Elliott Smith's "Say Yes." It was amazing. Heartfelt, beautiful, and so sweet. We have the best friends.

Our vows. We both wrote our own, knowing we were both going to end with When Harry Met Sally's "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." But we didn't realize that we would promise so many of the same things to each other: to be each other's support and advocate in life and art, and be each other's managers, and for Erik to take out the trash.

ErIk & Kimmy Got Hitched!

Our sunset photo shoot. It was our first time through the hectic day that we got to be together with our hilarious photographer, and we were able to let go of any drama and just be together in a most beautiful setting.

Our desserts. We really wanted our community to be a part of the celebration and homemade desserts felt like an amazing way. There was so much love in every beautiful and delicious morsel. We ate cake leftovers everyday for a solid two months after the wedding. Happily.

Eli and Megan
Eli looking handsome walking down the aisle with his auntie Megan.

My funniest moment:
So many! Our dog walking down the aisle with bridesmaid Auntie Megan, and him sweetly begging for attention during the ceremony. Erik's honest and sweet vows that included "when you hear a noise in the middle of the night, I will get up and see what it is."

kimmy and erik do the horah

Oh, there was also that moment when a waiter bumped into my chair, upending red wine all over my dress, which resulted in a barrage of cold water being thrown on my lap to keep it from staining — and all while my father was giving his toast. That was pretty hilarious.

Huddle Up!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Never lose sight of having fun. No matter what drama is happening, just breathe, and dance, concentrate on each other and you'll start having a great time.

Also, I realized that Erik and I make a damn good team, and we're really good partiers. But that's kinda a "no duh."

ErIk & Kimmy Got Hitched!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Music:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Fantastic wedding! Did you have someone on hand to manage sound and/or act as a "stage manager"? What did you do for music between tear down and set up of the music acts? And how to manage all of that gear?

    1 agrees
    • Thank you, it was a blast! So yes, we actually asked Megan's hubby Aaron to manage sound (he does it for a living, so it was kinda too perfect!) and cue the musicians to stage. Erik did tons of pre-planning to set it up in a foolproof order. AND, we had Aaron trigger a playlist to play between sets to fill the time between the transition- jazzy standards for mellow times, pop hits for the dance-y stuffs. Also, we asked all of the musicians to play the same gear, other than the trumpet player and accordion who obviously had to bring their own. Erik set up all the gear at 10am that day with a few groomsmen to help! It was a long DIY DAY!

      2 agree
      • Then Erik asked me to be the "musician wrangler" — making sure everyone knows who's up next. Although this is how he put it in the email:

        5 agree
  2. Wow, everything about this made me happy just reading it, and then the picture of Eli…aahh so precious!!!! Also, I once bumped into the groom and bride's elderly relative in a wedding reception buffet, spilling (not very hot) coffee on her and making me kind of want to die, but I would do that again a thousand times before I would want to be the waiter who spilled red wine on the bride's unbelievably gorgeous wedding dress….yikes!!

    1 agrees
  3. B-e-a-utiful!!! The dress, the scene. I love the idea of couches!!! Especially since you had a long and wonderful ceremony. Eli looks adorable and of course who could not enjoy all those lovely photos of Megan!!!! Also seriously, your dress (and you) looked phenomenal. Did you pick a theme for your bridesmaid dresses or did the colouring just magically meld together?

    1 agrees
  4. Doooood, this is my DREAM WEDDING: 1) Outdoor venue, 2) live music, 3) family style dinner. And I LOOOOOOOVE your music choices, too. "Breathe Me" is such a beautiful song. I'm swooning over here.

    Definitely bookmarking this page for future reference.

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