Martha & Daniel's low-impact redwoods wedding (with many pretzels!)

October 23 2014 | offbeatbride
Photo Shoot in Mountain View Cemetery

The Offbeat Bride: Martha, Bookstore Manager and Designer

Her offbeat partner: Daniel, Payroll Administrator

Date and location of wedding: UC Botanical Gardens and Cloud 9, Berkeley, CA — August 3, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We tried really hard to make our wedding as low-impact, local, and sustainable as possible without going broke. This translated into me getting my wedding dress used and Daniel's entire outfit being made in America (which was pretty hard to do, actually). We also used all compostable flatware and plates which we ordered in bulk. Vases, platters, and other accessories were found at estate sales, and we gave lots of things away after the wedding.

Lucky Pretzel Wedding at UC Botanical Garden & Redwood Grove

Etsy was also a huge help in keeping it local. I specifically did vendor searches for California and the West Coast as much as possible. Finally, having friends and family who were florists, hair stylists, builders, bakers, brewmasters, seamstresses, photographers, and calligraphers made our dream wedding possible on a very limited budget. Hurray and thanks again to all our friends!

Lucky Pretzel Wedding Production

We designed our own marriage crest. Our last names are Pettit and Dietzel, so when you put them together you get a Petzel which is pretty close to a pretzel. We had gone to Germany and Oktoberfest last year, and it was a very special trip for us as Daniel's ancestors were from a small town in central Germany that we visited while there. We also ate lots of pretzels and both of us love German food. We used our wedding pretzel crest on our program, the laser-cut coasters I designed, a tiny flag that was on our wedding cake, and on the thank-you cards we sent out.

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

We put a Buckminster Fuller dome and tiny astronauts on our wedding cake, along with a tiny homemade flag. The unspoken theme of our wedding was "adventure," and we tried to add in elements of that in lots of small ways. The astronauts and the dome on our cake with the tiny flag were a bit of an inside joke for Daniel and I as one of our favorite podcasts, Harmontown, always talks about colonizing the moon. So our cake was our own little moon landing, complete with our flag and dome.

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

We knew we wanted to have a traditional element to our wedding, but didn't want to do a bouquet toss or garter belt as we didn't really dig either of those traditions. We started researching traditions from both our cultures and we found this cup ceremony and it just seemed perfect. We asked a good friend to read the story and another good friend to pour the wine. What we didn't know was that they would get three other friends to help them make it a show. One played piano while two more friends acted out the story. It was hands-down one of the best moments of the reception.

Lucky Pretzel Wedding at UC Botanical Garden & Redwood Grove

Lucky Pretzel Wedding at UC Botanical Garden & Redwood Grove

Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was something we worked really hard on and we used Offbeat Bride quite a bit for this aspect of the wedding. We pieced together lots of ideas from different things we found online and had three readings. We didn't want any religious themes, and we wanted to emphasize that the origin of weddings isn't exactly known. We also have poly and gay friends and we chose readings that were not explicitly about hetero-only relationships. We included a passage from "Life Without God" by Douglas Coupland, "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams, and "To A Stranger" by Walt Whitman.

Lucky Pretzel Wedding at UC Botanical Garden & Redwood Grove

Lucky Pretzel Wedding at UC Botanical Garden & Redwood Grove

Our biggest challenge:

The biggest challenge was having a close family member threaten to not attend my wedding if a certain thing didn't go their way just three days before the wedding. It was very hard and Daniel and I had to go to a last-minute couples therapy session to talk about it, but we got through it. Therapy was really important for me in processing all the emotions that come with family conflicts and I highly recommend it.

My favorite moment:
The moment that we walked down the aisle and saw everyone sitting there from all different points in life was pretty damned meaningful. I was also clinging to a handkerchief wrapped around my bouquet that had belonged to a very dear friend that had passed away the previous year suddenly, so she was in my heart, too. But the most meaningful moment was reading our vows. It took all my strength to keep from totally sobbing, I was so overcome with emotion.

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

My funniest moment:
A very good friend agreed to do burlesque at our wedding but didn't tell us what the song or routine would be. She pulled us up on stage, put dog collars on us, and it was pretty much the best thing ever. [NSFW photo here]

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
The most important thing I learned was that despite being with my partner for close to a decade, we still had communication challenges, especially when it came to navigating the complicated waters of planning a big event. Planning our wedding brought us even closer together which I didn't really think was possible. Also, on a lighter note, I learned that estate sales are the best thing EVER for a DIY bride.

Lucky Pretzel Reception at Cloud 9

Cloud 9 Wedding Reception

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Hey everyone! Bride here, there was a few things I forgot to put in my post.

    1. The spotify link for our pre/processional/post music if you are curious:
    http://open.spotify.com/user/mgpettit/playlist/2Nb1w5wOicBCy5uX6pl9Ja
    My fella also made the playlist for the reception/dance party music, but that was on an ipod and was too big to recreate in spotify 😉

    2. My friend the burlesque dancer is Laika Fox:
    http://laikafox.com/

    3. My ceremony dress is for sale on craigslist: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/clo/4725734985.html

    Thanks for reading about my wedding and let me know if you have any questions!
    Martha

    1 agrees

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