Ryan & Kesslan's rockin' rainbow weekend dance-fest

June 11 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Jason Comerford
RyanKesslan0503
Photos by Jason Comerford

The Offbeat Groom: Ryan, Author and Freelance Editor

His offbeat partner: Kesslan, Flight Attendant

Date and location of wedding: Community Center in Redmond, WA — August 20, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Kesslan and I started dating in high school, but have been best friends since long before that. As kids, we really bonded over our love of the bright and colorful things in life, and we knew we wanted that special connection to be showcased in our wedding. We booked a weekend stay for all of our families and the bridal party at a retreat lodge in Cle Elum, WA. While there, we hosted a cake baking and decorating competition. All of our guests participated, and the best cake got cut at the wedding! It was a blast, the cake was more personal, and we saved a ton of money by not buying from an expensive decorator.

RyanKesslan0136

RyanKesslan0278

RyanKesslan0266

RyanKesslan0337

484160_577588388919058_823265876_n

24440_577588045585759_2139305398_n

216728_577587955585768_24037902_n

We held the actual ceremony at a Community Center in Redmond Ridge. The building was nice to begin with, but by the time we finished decorating, it was almost alive with color! Rather than having a traditional white wedding, we went with rainbow, to celebrate the bright and colorful things we had bonded over as kids. There was multicolored tulle, streamers, and paper lanterns. Each of the tables sported a different color tablecloth. Even our broom party (bridal + groom = broom. Duh.) showed off the colorful theme!

RyanKesslan0209

RyanKesslan0259

RyanKesslan0456

RyanKesslan0463

RyanKesslan0474

RyanKesslan0476

Tell us about the ceremony:
Instead of a slow procession down the aisle, we asked several of our friends to help us choreograph a dance down the aisle to Owl City's "When Can I See You Again?" (See it here!)

RyanKesslan0522

We ran the ceremony ourselves (with a little help from the best man and maid of honor) and went through the legal paperwork with the officiant after the whole shebang was over. We felt like it was more personal this way.

RyanKesslan0548

Our biggest challenge:
By far, the most difficulty we faced was with our budget. I had just graduated from the University of Washington the previous March, and we had moved TWICE in the last year. All in all, we were paying for the wedding with credit cards and sweat. In hindsight though, I think that actually made the whole experience more enjoyable. We were forced toward creative alternatives to traditional wedding concepts, and each new thing we did or didn't do, just made our wedding that much more personal.

RyanKesslan0561

For example, we didn't hire a caterer. Instead, we bought a bunch of party-sized deli wraps from Costco and cooked up some meatballs in a few slow-cookers. Instead of paying for a bartender the whole night, we just offered a few premixed cocktails out of drink dispensers. Rather than hiring a DJ, we signed up for a free month of Spotify Premium and downloaded a playlist to a laptop that could project over the venue speakers.

RyanKesslan0562

My favorite moment:
There were two moments during the day that, I think, really stood out to Kess and I. The first was within the ceremony itself. See, when I proposed, I read a list of promises that I meant to be my wedding vows. During the ceremony, I reread those promises. Kess, on the other hand, had written up her own list of vows, and listening to her read those vows aloud to me was one of the happiest moments of my life. They ranged from making me chicken noodle soup whenever I got sick, to pretending to let me win every once in a while on Super Smash Bros.

RyanKesslan0910

The other moment was during the speeches. We didn't expect many speeches since much of our family is introverted and most of our friends, we thought, were too busy to plan anything. We were so wonderfully wrong. Person after person got up to the mic, giving speeches, reading poems, or even just cracking a quick joke about marriage. We had never felt so blessed, or so loved, as we did then. To top it all off, my little sister, who is 16, adorable, and so shy you could wonder how she ever participates in class, got up in front of 150 people and gave the most moving speech I have ever heard. Some of our favorite pictures from the wedding are of her standing in front of everyone with her yellow shirt and white suspenders, while several of our bridesmaids are trying not to cry in the background.

RyanKesslan0701

RyanKesslan0711

RyanKesslan0629

My funniest moment:
The funniest moment of the wedding was after the ceremony when Kess, the maid of honor, my best man, the officiant, and I went out back to sign the official paperwork. Right as we were about to sign our names, my best man and best friend, Nick, panicked a little bit. He yelled something about jumping over a rock one more time before I got married forever, then ran off and disappeared into the woods. We were still laughing when he reappeared almost five minutes later.

RyanKesslan1158

For Kess, the funniest moment came just after that, when we re-entered the building to a sea of orange. Apparently, my grandpa — a man known for his eccentricity and hilarious quirkiness — had passed out almost 200 orange bandannas to people as they cycled through the buffet line. He was teasing us, on a rather large scale, for our habit of wearing colored bandannas in summertime.

RyanKesslan0632

RyanKesslan1006

RyanKesslan1064

RyanKesslan1081

RyanKesslan1185

RyanKesslan1226

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Kesslan's dress: alterations by Victoria's Bridal Couture — they were super friendly, and blew us both away with the speed and quality of their alterations.
  • Photography: Jason Comerford — they were fun, dorky, professional, and surprisingly cost-effective. Honestly, every picture they sent back was awesome, and the hardest part of the whole wedding was narrowing down the photos so we could put them in an album after the whole shebang was over!
  • Accommodations: Huntley Lodge and Retreat — for the three days preceding the wedding, we hosted our families and the bridal party at a retreat lodge in Cle Elum with a hot tub, a comfortable communal area in the lodge, a large TV for movie nights, and a fully stocked kitchen.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME

  1. I nearly cried too, when I read about your cute sister's speech and the bridesmaids trying not to cry in the background. I was banning speeches from our wedding cos I thought noone would do that for us… now I need to find a tissue.
    super cute adorbs wedding!

    4 agree
  2. I LOVE the look of your wedding! It's so cheery and bright! My wedding is coming up in 2 months *stifles panic* and we are doing a similar rainbow motif. You got me so excited all over again! Thank you for that.

    PS: Totally steal the phrase "broom party." Genius. Especially when it gets slightly confusing with men and women on both sides of the aisle.

    4 agree
  3. Loving this so much!
    People keep asking me if my wedding is going to be too colourful. I'm going to show them your wedding and say "See, you can NEVER be too colourful!"

    1 agrees
  4. I'm pretty sure I need your punch dinosaur even though I never make punch. Where did you get it?!

    I LOVE all your rainbow-y goodness. I bet Ariel just squeed all over the place when she saw your pictures. (Does Ariel squee?)

    1 agrees
    • Cassie- We actually found it at a Value Village and we couldn't leave it behind!! 😀
      Thank you for all the wonderful comments! We LOVED our wedding and I'm so happy that others do too!

      • What an adorable and fun wedding! Love it! Thank you for sharing!

        I also love the dinosaur bowl and am so sad to hear that I probably won't be able to find it to use in my wedding (and home!).

        Those rainbow paper flowers are exactly what I have been looking for! Can you share instructions on how to make them, please?!

        • Those were actually duct tape flower pens! My little sister made them! You might be able to find an online tutorial if you google "duct tape flowers." It takes some practice, my first one was nooot great, but my sister's made so many she's gotten really good! If you want to contact me through my blog (just click on my name), I can see if my sister will make and sell them to you! She does all colors and designs you can think of! Let me know 🙂

  5. Just stunning!! Especially live the photos and the colour, the dress!!!!

    I'm very interested I how you ran the ceremony yourselves… Love that idea 🙂

  6. This is one of my favourite weddings ever! That entrance dance was fabulous and I love all the colours and pure joy everywhere. So wonderful.

    2 agree
  7. I've been searching high and low for something close to a rainbow/multi color wedding gown that is not to bright..My girlfriends are getting married in two years and she has found her dress, however I believe it be the result of photoshop colors onto a wedding gown. Was your amazingly gorgeous dress a regular dress with tulle under it in multiple colors? Or did you have it all made? Just love such a happy bright wedding you all had!!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.