The Offbeat Bride: Monica, system analyst and jewelry-maker
Her Offbeat Partner: Eric, animator and artist
What made our wedding offbeat: Eric and I both have issues with our respective faiths of origin. After I realized that the wedding I'd always pictured would mean that we were starting our marriage with false premises, we chose a church closer to our spirituality. Who better to guide us on this matter than Stephen Colbert? A guest on his show led us, after internet research, to Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Iman Pres is a focal point for progressive community activism; one meeting with the director showed us that we'd come to the right place.
We had a limited budget, a lot of loved ones, and a heckuva load of creativity. So we went to work. My dress bought on eBay and a custom corset from Dark Garden that cost double the dress price, plus Mom's handmade 40-year-old veil. Eric in a Utilikilt, tuxedo tails, and spats he made himself. Custom jewelry I made for myself and everyone in the wedding party.
All artwork done by Eric; all printing done by me or my cousin. A shout-out against Prop 8 to start the ceremony. Exiting the church to the Monty Python theme on organ. Giant inflatable gold Moai and a bellydancer borrowed from our artists' co-op. Raising money for City of Hope – if you want us to kiss, don't clink your glass, pay some cash! Centerpieces based on deceased Disneyland rides. Favors of crayon boxes and a guestbook that encouraged everyone to draw us pictures. A cake made by family friends, with self-decorated WALL-E and Eve cake toppers. Plenty of disco and swing-dancing to the iPod, including a mad punk polka with the co-op. And an afterparty at a local tiki bar that I only partially remember!
Our biggest challenge: Dealing with the invites.
Some people were punctual as a Swiss watch in response. Some people had to have their replies beaten out of them. Some people who swore hard that they'd be there, then RSVP'd no, or worse, didn't feel like coming at the last minute. Fortunately, we were having too good a time to stop and curse out the flakes!
My favorite moment: Our kiss in front of the congregation with the crowd roaring in my ears like a scene from a movie? The “Weird Al” Yankovic polka? The applause I got when I gave my bouquet not to an unmarried woman but to the woman who had worked the longest amount of time (60 years!) of all the women present at the reception? The whole day was a happy blur.
My advice for other offbeat brides:
1) Have a binder or a portable filing case with every scrap of your wedding paperwork in it. This caused great peace of mind.
2) Put the money you will use on the wedding into a high-interest online account. It will generate interest while you wait to use the money for various payments.
3) Keep your eyes open for untraditional bargains. For example, the favors were $0.22 each because I bought the crayons at Target‘s back-to-school sales.
4) The bride and groom can only control the bride and groom. No matter what you do, the wedding WILL be a flashpoint for other people's “stuff.” Know it going in, and keep each other calm!
- Flowers: Vons in Hermosa Beach, CA.
- Eric's ensemble – Kilt from Utilikilts. Tuxedo jacket and shirt from World Wide Tuxedos. Cravat from Gentleman's Jabot. Vest from Scotweb. Did I mention he made his awesome spats?
- Corset came from Dark Garden in San Francisco.
- My tights came from www.WeLoveColors.com.
- Wedding Coordinator: Mina Schneider of Picturesque Events.
- Cake: Joy Sakaguchi of Sugardrop Cakes.
- PA System rental: SSR Sound.
- Photographers: Photograph Photograph.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: