The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine

The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine
All photos by Wild About You Photography

The offbeat partner: Megan, Offbeat Empire editor for 10 years, and food and travel blogger

The offbeat partner: Mike, TV writer and producer

Date and location of wedding: Redwood House: Mike's mother's home in Anderson Valley, Northern California — June 24, 2017

The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine
We used Mike's toy AT-AT that we grabbed from his mom's attic, as our card holder.

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine
These are the signs that we placed on the driveway to show people where to go.

We met at a Game of Thrones viewing party and podcast, and we really bonded over our love (read: obsession) with food. So when it came time to plan our wedding at Mike's ancestral — Redwood House — we combined the things that brought us together: Game of Thrones and food. Thus, "The Redwood Wedding: All Men Must Dine" was born. And man was it awesome!

The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine
Pictured here is Mike and me in my two forms: unicorn and Cersei, and the dress my HUSBAND had to literally rip off of me because I danced so hard the zipper broke!!!!

We kicked it off with these Game of Thrones Save the Dates, and then emailed people our Honest Trailers wedding invitation video! (What better way for a writer/producer and a pop culture nerd to announce their wedding!?)

Then I set about having my dream wedding dress made. I went into a custom dress shop — RMINE in Studio City — and said, "I want a dress that looks like a unicorn sneezed on it." And they created this magic…


I was lucky enough to have a stylist as a bridesmaid, and Kimmy (who you might recognize from this musician wedding) outfitted every single person in our wedding party…

Can we talk about how hot my wedding party is?

Both our wedding parties were mixed gender and contained married couples. (I got greedy and had a Best Man AND a Hand of the Queen — pin and all…)

Of course, Mike also had some awesome Thrones-y fashion details too!
We surprised Mike's wedding party with Game of Thrones-theme wine boxes.
Yes, that decanter says "Fuck yes, I'm gonna marry the fuck out of you."

We had even more Game of Thrones references than that though. See how many you can catch…

Tell us about the ceremony:

I felt like the ceremony was the most important part of the whole event. I wanted it to include as many of our loved ones as possible, and have the right amount of gravitas + humor.

We wanted our wedding program to look like TV credits.

The processional

I had my ex-husband mix a couple special music cues for our processional, including music from Game of Thrones and a secret music surprise…

The secret song was a gorgeous acoustic version of "our song." And I worked my tail off to make sure Mike had NO IDEA it was going to be played. It worked a charm. Seeing is eyes simultaneously light up and tear up when he heard it is one of my favorite memories of our ceremony.

I also loved the fact that, because I had my dad support me down the aisle, my mom had no one to walk with. So Mike offered to escort her down the aisle. She said she could feel his heart beating so fast when she took his arm, and it made her feel so close to him. Awwwwwwwww!

And speaking of "awwww," our dog Pita also strutted her stuff down the aisle, escorted by my Hand of the Queen.

This unicorn skull held our rings.

The ceremony itself

Was long AF and involved two officiants and seven friends, and it was like a perfect dream come to life. If you want to know more about how we pulled off a two officiant ceremony, and read our script, clicky here.

Ariel making me laugh and cry with her reading on friendship. You should really ask her to publish that reading. It's SUPER good.

We took "the seven blessings" — a traditional Jewish ceremony — and turned it into "the seven ingredients" (to both make a subtle nod at Mike's Jewish heritage, but in a way that felt authentic to our actual religion: food). You can read more about that here.

I also read my vows off my cellphone, but I made it look like a giant ice cream cone!

Here's a secret about me, I've been writing my vows to Mike since the moment I knew I wanted to marry him… which was reeeeally soon after I met him. I went in going, "I'm going to make this fucker cry." And not only did I make him cry (for the first time since I've known him!), I apparently made the entire audience cry too. I may have overshot the landing.

Look it's Catherine and Caroline who you may know from such websites as THIS ONE!

If you want to see/hear my vows, you can head over here.

Tell us about your reception:

The very first consideration: The food!

Mike and I love going to food festivals, so we wanted our reception to have the feel of a food festival — lots of yummy bites and no man goes home hungry! My very first food suggestion (read: demand) was that we serve chicken and waffles.

The fork says "forking since 2015" and the spoon says "shout out to Spoon Nation."
One of my favorite details of our wedding was our menus.

So we scoured the bay area for the best chicken and waffle truck (that would also make the trip out to the middle of nowhere and serve a wedding of 150+) and we found it with The Waffle Roost! We served chicken and waffles three different ways, plus mac and cheese and collard greens.

Yes, that fork says "I <3 waffles."

For extra full tummy measure we also brought in an awesome slider truck from the Bay Area. Me So Hungry Too offered up three different sliders and sweet potato fries…

Then our caterer rounded out the menu with Game of Thrones-inspired appetizers. He based this menu on what he thought would be served at a current wedding in Dorn:

  • Lamb or Eggplant Dolmas with Local Pinot Leaves
  • Roasted Gypsy Peppers with Shitake and Piquillo Stuffing
  • Fried Pita Wedges with Hummus, Pickled Red Onion, and Tarragon
  • Local Chevre Laychee and Smoked Salmon Stuffed Gougères

And, of course, we had signature cocktails that represented us. Mine was the "Arya Snark," which included a champagne gummy bear with a sword, that fizzed in a kir royal.

For dessert we brought in Smitten to make their amazing liquid nitrogen ice cream. It was dessert AND entertainment…

And we also had a S'mores station, wonderfully named "House S'moremont"…

The decor

Like I've been unafraid to say before, some of my favorite things about weddings are the details. So I got, well, detailed with the decor…

The reception table with everyone's "name card."
All guests had to find which "house" they'd been "sworn" to.
Every table's house banner was modeled after a real house in Game of Thrones, and their "house words" were tweaked to be about food.

The "place cards" were wine bottle stoppers — the name on one side, their house banner on the other.
All our tables had edible centerpieces and themed trinkets from our lives. Like Mike's juggling balls, and cassette tapes of films he's made.

You can read more about our edible centerpieces, and how ACTUALLY ATE THEM after the wedding, over here:

House Hollywood was all about, what else, but The Industry and The Dodgers!
Here's the House Hollywood table in action.
This was one of my favorite centerpieces.
Is it weird that the "iron throne" decal was one of the first things I purchased for the wedding?

The entertainment

Lawn games

I even Thrones-ified our Giant Jenga set!
This was our wedding logo, it's now our life logo.

Exploring the property

My friend Jenny did some casual Daenerys cosplay!

Photo booth

Our photo booth was "all men must dine" themed — props from Game of Thrones + food items.

The Empire girls + Trista from Altar Image

Dancing

I'm pretty sure I spent the bulk of the reception just dancing my ass off. Mostly with Ariel.

What was your most important lesson learned?

After almost a decade of working for Offbeat Bride, I knew a lot about planning a wedding. So I got the chance to take my own best advice:

This is my wedding planner Holly. Clearly she is the best.

Hire a great wedding planner and photographer and chill the fuck out

My first hire: Wild About You Photography. My second: Events by Holly Gray. And that kick-ass combo resulted in a near-perfect wedding.

While it looks epic in photos, this dress was WAY too long.

Trust the professionals, but also trust your gut

I say "near-perfect" because the two things that went "wrong" were two things that I was talked into against my better instincts. For example, my dress was too long. I wanted it hemmed shorter, but was told by my stylist and the designers that it looked better long. And they were right! It does! But then I almost broke my neck several times slipping on it on the dance floor. Don't be afraid to override the pros when you're not feeing comfortable.

You know you've hired amazing vendors when your dessert people say "I have one can of liquid nitrogen. Wanna do something cool with it?" And your photographers stop packing up to go home, to shoot a final, smoke-filled, shot for your wedding.

Vendors — aka. "how to throw the perfect Northern California wedding"

I think I was saying "what the hell would I have done without you Kimmy!???" You know, after she styled me and put on my shoes, and before she was about to get the boys dressed next. (Also, note Ken's pitch perfect shirt.)
Forking and spooning set by Grace Began to Grow
The inside of our rings say "You're my favorite."
Cheers to kick-ass weddings, bitches.

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  1. YAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

    I don't know what more I can say but that. Congrats, Mike and Megan!!! <3

    3 agree
  2. Was this really only 1 day??
    TWO tremendous dresses! ( Although not clear when Dress Cersei was worn. )
    Pleeeezzzz tell me there's a "House Carnal Desire" up there!
    And can we talk about the food?!?
    Or as I like to think of it: "OMGTHEFOOD".
    I looooove food stations and buffets and finger food! I love how you have chi-chi nibbles next to chicken and waffles. I love it when the host says "look I'm just going to put a whole bunch of stuff out there and you figure out what you like" because MUAHAHAHA… I LIKE ALL OF IT!

    …Sigh…

    • Good questions!

      This was actually held over 3 days, but this is only photos from the second day. 😉 The 3rd day had juggling and high wire walking.

      The Cersei dress is from my cosplay closet, and I offered it up to the photo booth!

      There was a House Carnal Desire, but then some guests cancelled and I had to kill some Houses as well. 🙁

      "look I'm just going to put a whole bunch of stuff out there and you figure out what you like" <– THIS forever.

  3. This is an incredible wedding! I'm glad it was everything you hoped for. Can I ask what your budget was?

    • Oof. So so much. WAY more than we planned on spending. I don't recommend planning a big wedding at a non-wedding venue in the middle of nowhere if you want to stick to a budget. 😉 Luckily we don't regret one penny of it (and we can write off a lot of it, since most of the attendees were also work colleagues).

  4. It's been a LONG time (The Beatles "Wait" is now in my head) since I've commented on a wedding, but MEGAN YOU SLAYED LIKE NO OTHER HAS SLAYED BEFORE! So so so so so so happy for you and your hubs and the OBB empire.

    Also, your hair. Can we talk about that? How often do you get it done to look that amazeballs?

    xo
    L

    • Thank you!!! I'm honored by your rarified comment. 🙂

      So the hair: It was Special Wedding Hair. I showed my hair person a photo of The Dress, and said "go crazy." And that's what she came up with. It's a million different colors, including extensions, and it looked amazing and was total pain in the ass!!! I'll never do it again. I usually just go to her once every two or three months and let her dye my hair whatever purple-ish color she wants. 😉

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