Offbeat partner: Brandilynn, graduate student
Offbeat partner: Diane, pharmacy technician
Date and location of wedding: University Club at University of California, Irvine — October 30, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We love all things Halloween and horror movies, so there was no question about the theme of our wedding: Hallowedding! We both wore floor-length lace gowns and veils, one black and one ivory. My favorite part of my dress was the black and gray sash with spider emblem that Diane made.
Guests were asked to dress up in costume, and just about everyone did. We had everything from an adult male Winnie the Pooh to a life-like gruesome Jason Vorhees. The venue staff and vendors even dressed up! The costumes were a great way to achieve the lighthearted, memorable, and fun vibe we wanted. To create this vibe, we had free-flowing candy, spooky signature cocktails, crazy cotton candy made-to-order, candy apple favors, a home-made photo backdrop, and a caricaturist dressed as Vincent Van Gogh.
And of course, a Handbook for the Recently Deceased as our guestbook. Our table numbers were horror movie characters that matched our cupcake cake. Our sweetheart cake was orange and black with portraits of Michael Myers, Lon Chaney (Phantom), Beetlejuice, Wednesday Addams, and the Grady twins from The Shining (our favorite movie).
Our reception area was dark with a soft orange glow from the uplights and flickering candles. The dance floor had bats swirling around and ghostly apparitions danced on the wall. A “Ghoul Love” homemade banner hung from our sweetheart table and captured the creepy yet romantic wedding we desired.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Since Diane’s parents are dearly departed, we decided to walk ourselves down the aisle. Our venue had two separate walkways that meet up in the center before the main aisle so it worked perfectly. We played Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” as my parents and bridesmaids/bridesman proceeded down the aisle. The ring bearers, our nephews (3 and 5), donned Luigi and Yoshi costumes. As soon as Yoshi made it to the front he loudly asked, “Can I have my toy now?” and everyone laughed. We walked down the aisle to the “Ice Dance” by Danny Elfman from Edward Scissorhands, and joined hands before walking down the aisle.
As private people who would be emotional on the big day, we wrote a short ceremony and opted not to say vows. We had a handfasting ceremony to honor Diane’s Celtic roots and were bound together with a homemade orange, black, and white cord. When our officiant and good friend went to remove the bindings, they didn’t come off Diane’s hand! She nervously exclaimed, “I really want to be married!” and got everyone laughing.
We sealed our vows with a kiss, “Once for luck, twice for love, and thrice for long life.” We got a huge surprise as our lips slid all over the place because of the shiny lip-gloss! We laughed and covered our mouths because this can only happen at a lesbian wedding! Diane gently wiped the lipstick off my mouth and teeth. We faced the crowd and departed to Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” which was both upbeat and creepy at the same time.
Tell us about your reception:
We both love Phantom of the Opera so we did our grand entrance to the theme song and quickly transitioned into Lana Del Rey’s “Once Upon a Dream” for our first dance. The DJ played Halloween-themed songs during dinner and guests snapped and sang along to the Addams Family theme song and “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from the Haunted Mansion. We had more snapping (and twirling!) in the father/daughter dance to “My Girl” by the Temptations.
When it was cake time, we cut a super big slice and took bites without utensils. We twisted arms to drink champagne and Diane surprised me by chugging the whole glass! We had a costume contest with multiple categories, but saved the best for last with the Party Pooper category. We bought a “poop” emoji costume and forced the “winner” to wear it, which ended up being my mom’s boyfriend. It was the funniest moment of the wedding.
We had a mixed-gender bouquet toss, with both of us throwing our bouquets at the same time to the song “Tubthumping.” Luckily, it wasn’t too violent. Our DJ gathered all of us on the dance floor for a group picture. First a serious one, then one of our favorite dance move, and before we knew it, we were dancing to “Thriller.” Slick!
Other highlights of the night included the conga line to Beetlejuice’s “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)” by Harry Belafonte and line dancing to “Brick House” as an ode to House of 1000 Corpses. Of course, we had to play “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry sometime during the night and I went nuts!
What was your most important lesson learned?
It was the venue’s first same-sex wedding and we were nervous. What we hadn’t anticipated was that the coordinator was really excited to do a same-sex wedding. She had some great ideas and creative solutions to the unique challenges of same-sex weddings. We had a blast planning the wedding because we didn’t have any restrictions or traditions to follow.
The biggest challenge was my dress the day of. I don’t know if I had lost too much weight or if I was sweaty, but my dress kept slipping down and was longer than expected. I wasn’t able to step backwards safely and could not waltz for our first dance. It was a huge bummer because we had taken ballroom dance classes and choreographed our own dance, but we had to let it go. We told the DJ to cut our first dance song short and ended up slow dancing. Our DJ “frontloaded” our wedding, which I highly recommend. We did all of our activities back to back and then spent the rest of the night dancing. We cut out a lot of traditional events simply because we didn’t want to do them [e.g., bridal party, bachelorette party (not sure how that would work anyway), money dance], and that saved time and money for everyone.
I am a big fan of writing everything about your wedding day down as soon as possible while it is still fresh in your memory because details fade so quickly. I spent several hours writing down everything I could remember in the days following the wedding and ended up with about 20 pages detailing the best day of my life!
- Photographer: Darnall Photography
- Cake and cupcakes: Pin-Up Cakes
- Cotton Candy: SugarSpin
- Caricaturist: Cameron Canales
- DJ: Battleson Entertainment
- Hair and makeup: Kimberly Boyenger
- Flowers: Ven Nguyen Flowers and
- Dresses: Demetrios