Jodi & Mark's art deco vintage horror movie rooftop wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

We saw Jodi and Mark's awesome custom-made horror movie posters last week and now we're getting the whole scoop on this rooftop wedding with horror movie flair.

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Photos by Matthew Turner

The offbeat bride: Jodi, Paramedic (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Mark, Paramedic

Date and location of wedding: COVA Hotel Rooftop, San Francisco, CA — June 21, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: We decided to blend traditions from both of our cultures that we thought were important to have. My husband is Filipino and I'm Cuban, East Indian, Jewish, Irish, German, and Jamaican. We wanted to include some of our favorite things: zombies on our wedding website, vintage horror movies decor, art deco style, and a rooftop location. We had men, women, and dogs on both sides of the wedding party. Our rehearsal dinner was at a baseball game (Giants vs. A's), because that's where we met.

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WoLfman Vz The Mummy

Due to our budget, 95% of the wedding was DIY! We cut our cake with an axe. Mark remade vintage horror movie posters with the wedding party in them. We also had a vintage popcorn maker and movie candy for folks to munch on during the ceremony and cocktail reception. Our homemade photobooth was a big hit too!

We had a reception in Hawaii (where I work) for friends and family on the island who weren't able to make it to the mainland for the ceremony.

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Tell us about the ceremony: I wrote the ceremony. I did a lot of research online about different traditions. Our good friend became ordained online and performed the ceremony. My husband danced his way down the aisle. We had Filipino, Jewish, and Hawaiian aspects in our ceremony.

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The ceremony included an explanation of the Chuppah, Shehecheyanu (a Hebrew prayer), honoring those not present with memorial candles, a Filipino cord ceremony, a community vow of support, and a blessing of the wine. We also had an explanation of Yichud and the breaking the glass.

This was our Hawaiian wedding blessing:

E ka Haku, e kokua mai ia maua e ho'omana'o i ka manawa a maua i launa mua ai,
Lord, help us to remember the time we first met,
a me ke aloha nui i ulu ai ma waena o maua.
and the strong love that grew between us.
E kokua mai ia maua a ho'ohana i kela aloha i na mea ma'amau i'ole e ka'awale.
Help us to apply that love in practical things so nothing divides us.
Ke nonoi ha'aha'a nei maua I na hua'olelo 'olu'olu a piha me ke aloha,
We humbly ask for kind words filled with love,
a no na pu'uwai makaukau mau a noi i ka huikala, a e huikala aku
and for hearts always ready to ask forgiveness, as well as to forgive.
E ka Haku, ke waiho nei maua i ko maua male'ana i loko o kou lima. Amene.
Lord, we leave our marriage in your hands. Amen.
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These were our wedding vows:

I, Mark, take you, Jodi, to be no other than yourself
Loving what I know of you
Trusting what I do not yet know
With respect for your integrity
And faith in your love for me
Through all our years
And in all that life may bring us.
I promise to try to be ever open to you
And above all, to do everything in my power
To permit you to become the person you are yet to be.
I give you my love.

I, Jodi, take you, Mark, to be no other than yourself
Loving what I know of you
Trusting what I do not yet know
With respect for your integrity
And faith in your love for me
Through all our years
And in all that life may bring us.
I promise to try to be ever open to you
And above all, to do everything in my power
To permit you to become the person you are yet to be.
I give you my love.

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Our biggest challenge: Unfortunately, we had a few since we were planning a wedding in San Francisco while in Hawaii. Our biggest challenge was dealing with the guest list and changing my last name. I was very stressed, but Mark and my Maid of Honor were supportive in the decision to do things our way. The family members who were questioning my decisions finally did end up being supportive as well.

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My favorite moment: It would have to be the ceremony as a whole, but the honoring of family members who were not present was a big one for me. It was overwhelming emotionally, and I couldn't contain the tears as our officiant read a prayer while we were lighting the memorial candles. Many family members had passed away prior to the wedding, but it really felt like they were there in spirit. I had lost my dad to suicide, so it was especially hard emotionally not to have him there. Mark secretly handed me a tissue and whispered a joke to make me laugh to help me get through it.

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My funniest moment: Mark's dad was performing the Filipino cord ceremony and he misplaced the cord. So when our officiant asked him to come up to us and tie the cord, he looked very confused and was fumbling around. Everyone in the crowd was dead silent. My bridesmaid Melissa came to the rescue and handed her long pearl necklace to Mark's dad to use as the cord. It wasn't quite long enough, so we stood very close for the rest of the ceremony. Everyone laughed and tragedy was averted!

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? It happened to be the hottest day ever in San Francisco, and the venue did not have air conditioning! Who would have thought San Francisco could get to 95 degrees? The banquet room was an oven. Our cake and cupcake icing was melting. Flower arrangements and the bouquets were wilting. HOT HOT HOT! The front desk staff stored my flowers in a cool office and brought them up right before the ceremony. Friends staying at the hotel brought fans from their rooms to cool down the banquet room. My bridesmaids whisked our cakes off to a fridge to stay cool until dinner. So many people pitched in to help.

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I had three dresses! Well four, if you count the Hawaiian reception dress. I started out with my dream dress, but when it finally arrived a month before the wedding, it fit, but I wasn't able to sit down in it. Diana at Starkers CorsetryThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them made me another skirt to match the corset top that I could sit in. The only problem was that there was a mail and UPS strike at the Canadian border that delayed it getting to me.

In complete panic and two days before the wedding, it still was not here and I had to look for another dress. Luckily, I found a quinceañera dress shop that had an amazing dress just in my size and in stock. I should have bought a lotto ticket that day. So when UPS finally showed up at 8:00 p.m. the night before the wedding to my surprise, I quickly pressed it and prepared to have three wardrobe changes.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Stuff will go wrong, so just go with the flow when that happens. Guests will ignore the unplugged wedding signs. DIY is not always cheaper, and go on your honeymoon right after the wedding if you can. We had to clean up the venue the next morning (not fun when hung over) and be out of the hotel by noon and be back at work the next day. It would have been nice to be able to savor our celebration longer before jumping back into the daily grind.

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Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? I was married before and we didn't have a ceremony, party, or even a nice dress due to lack of money. We just signed the paperwork and didn't involve anyone. This time I wanted to share the day with my friends and family and have it be fun. Money was an issue this time too, but with the help of friends and family, we were able to put together a bad-ass party.

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Reception #2: Hawaii!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Having a wedding coordinator is a good idea, even if it's a dependable friend, not involved in the wedding, who knows what needs to be done. It's less stress for you and lets you enjoy your day more. I thought I could get away with not having one, and I feel like I missed out on so much. I wasn't able to relax until it was almost over because I had to deal with all the little issues that came up.

The event coordinator at the venue was incompetent at best and she was mandated to be there. I wasn't able to depend on her to do what needed to be done, and she didn't follow directions. I should have been enjoying the best day of my life and the lady was bumming me out.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

They ♥ OBB; we ♥ themThis post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides:

  1. That first wedding dress is to die for! I also want to steal your puppy ring bearers. I also love your cake toppers!

  2. woooah crazy I literally live right next door to the Cova hotel!

    This wedding is awesome!! Everything looks amazing. You totally rolled with the punches and I find that super inspiring.
    and the memorial candles are really touching and beautiful. Congrats to you both!

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