The offbeat bride: Julie Ke, Sign Artist
Her offbeat partner: Jonny, Chef
Location & date of wedding: Forest House Lodge in Foresthill, CA on October 10th, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: I have never been the “wedding planning” kind of girl, and never thought too much about weddings until I met my Jonny Boy. We are both pretty offbeat in our daily lives, so it only made sense that we should plan a wedding that truly reflected our personalities.
I am an artist, and I have always loved Art Nouveau, and Alphonse Mucha, so, I decided to take that as our inspiration. Jon was very involved in the planning and general decision making for the whole affair. My Mom and I designed my dress, and she sewed it all. Jon wanted to wear something equally fancy, so my Mom also made his tuxedo jacket and vest. The wedding day was never about “me”, it was always about “US.”
We had the wedding at an historic inn that used to be a bordello for the Foresthill Miners. We got the entire inn for two nights, so all of our guests stayed with us the night before, and the night of the wedding. The hotel also had an awesome game room, so people were playing pool, ping pong, shuffleboard and Rock Band late into the night!
The whole wedding was DIY, from designing the invitations (with help from my amazing artist Uncle), to centerpieces, to feather fascinators to the birdcage veil. We are grateful to have so many amazing people in our lives, and we weren't afraid to ask people to donate their talents to help us with projects.
We also asked our guests to dress up in 1890s to 1920s attire, and EVERY SINGLE person did! We were blown away! It was truly one of the most joyous events of our lives. I approached the entire wedding as an art project, and I couldn't possibly be happier with how it all turned out! 🙂
Our biggest challenge: I would say our biggest challenge was dealing with the wedding budget. Although we DIY'd everything we possibly could, the wedding was still not cheap! We made a lot of sacrifices the year before, including staying at my Dad's house to pay down our bills. We didn't want to go into debt to pay for the wedding, but the budgeting was certainly hard.
We cut our guest list a few times, and prioritized what we wanted for the wedding. I wouldn't budge on the photographer (Tinywater Photography – SO WORTH IT!) and Jon wouldn't budge on the food (we had a sit down dinner, and it was great!), so we tried to budge on everything else!
My favorite moment: This is a hard question to answer! There were so many amazing moments…
My ultimate most favorite moment would have to be the ceremony. Our ceremony took place in a small meadow overlooking a vast valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. As I stood at our “altar,” looking into the eyes of the love of my life, I could hear the quiet echo of nature to my left, and the tangible love emanating from our family and friends to the right of me. Our ceremony was beautiful, and written just for us, our vows we wrote ourselves. We both cried, and I think all of our guests did, too. It was truly an amazing moment.
I also loved our bouquet party that my maids and I had the night before. I bought a bunch of flowers from Trader Joe's, and the girls and I all made our own bouquets. While we made the bouquets, we could hear all the wedding guests playing pool, shuffleboard, ping pong and Rock Band in the game room right next to us. It was so great knowing that everyone was having such a good time, and I didn't have to worry about playing “host.”
My offbeat advice: Your wedding is an expression of the love shared between you and your partner. Don't worry about other people's expectations for your event, and do what symbolizes you two as a couple. We looked into all the traditions in a “standard” wedding, and then changed them to fit us, and got rid of things we didn't like. ENJOY IT! Have fun, and don't stress! Don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, trust me, they want to help!