The Offbeat Bride: Theresa, dressmaker, seamstress, and artist
Her offbeat partner: David, artist
Date and location of wedding: Roshambo Farms, Healdsburg, CA — September 28, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Roshambo Farms is a private organic farm that belongs to our friends Naomi and Tim. Much of the food was prepared there on-site, with Tim providing homemade sausages and grilled rib-eye. A few friends got together in the morning and made fresh tomato and green salads. Bloomfield Farm in Valley Ford donated a case of vegetables, and Naomi made beautiful roasted potatoes. One friend brought a spread of home-cured pickles, peppers, sauerkraut, and pepper jellies which paired beautifully with the sausage and potatoes. We had a chef friend from San Francisco make a huge white bean salad for the vegetarians. A friend who is a local baker made our yellow cake with raspberry filling and fresh fruit.
I really wanted a cheese and fruit table rather than passed appetizers. I thought it would be a treat to have leftovers to snack on if the guests stayed late dancing into the night. One of the bridesmaids presented us with a fantastic selection of cheeses, salami, nuts, and local olives. Another friend brought his own cache of home-smoked salmon. We filled out the menu with fig and quince spread made from our own trees as well as fresh fruit. Wine was provided by Cechetti Winery in Sonoma.
The site itself was so lovely that it did not need much in the way of décor. Juan, our friend who is a florist, used found objects, garden flowers, fruits, and branches to create bouquets. The bridesmaids and mothers had been set on the summer task of hitting yard sales in search of vintage table linens and cloth napkins. The only stipulation was they were to be natural fiber and white or off-white. After washing and pressing the napkins, we set up a table of moms, nieces, and nephews and wrapped vintage silverware and tied them with grey ribbon.
Two close friends who also happen to be event planners coordinated much of the day. They helped with set-up and created beautiful tables by covering simple folding tables with unbleached muslin purchased on a roll and set the places by rolling craft paper for place mats and setting with simple cream dinnerware and tumblers.
For the bridal party and family, we covered round tables with grey tablecloths and layered vintage linens on top. The floral arrangements in old silver cream and sugar containers were some of my favorites. For the sweetheart table, I had found a set of vintage yellow velvet chairs at a thrift store. I thought they were fun and romantic, a bit over the top — a perfect fit! When the maid of honor stood to give her toast, she revealed that the chairs had belonged to her great aunt and uncle and had been donated to the thrift store upon their death. She had grown up seeing the chairs in their home and the aunt and uncle had been a great example of enduring love to her and she wished the same for us. It was a wonderful coincidence.
And of course there was music! As a nod to David's Eastern European heritage as well as a recent trip we had taken, we chose a Balkan Band to carry us from dinner to dancing. Balkan music is high-spirited, and the spiral dance form was another way to create the feeling of bond between family and friends.
David is an artist and welder. He made the large-scale bicycles for previous events; they were brought along and enjoyed by all. He also made the metal floral sculptures, which held water and flowers and had a center flame that was lit at night. He, as well as the groomsmen and other friends, created the steel arch that we stood under for the ceremony as a part of his bachelor weekend. All of these pieces now stand in our garden and remind us of our wedding.
I am a dressmaker and specialize in handcrafted bridal dresses. I didn't realize, though, that making my own wedding dress was quite a different thing than creating one for someone else. I love wearing tanks and skirts, which influenced my choice of the high-neck sleeveless bodice and full skirt. I also like color in wedding dresses but felt pulled by tradition, so I decide to make two layers: a fitted halter underdress in taupe grey silk charmeuse covered with an overdress of French alençon lace in off-white. Now I have the option to wear each piece separately, and took the silk underdress on my honeymoon to Palm Springs.
A close friend who is a stylist gave me the gift of hair and makeup. David, along with the help of his sister, shopped San Francisco until they came upon Al's Attire in North Beach where he had a custom slim fit suit made in charcoal wool. The morning of the wedding, I picked my bouquet from my own garden, something I had fantasized about since I was a girl. I also made David's boutonniere out of succulents picked from his cactus garden.
To top it off, David wore his father's gold wedding band and I wore a 1930s diamond and gold engagement ring from David, along with and small Victorian gold and diamond band I dug up in the garden.
My favorite moment:
Our wedding turned out to be not just about our commitment, but a celebration of the love and support of the community of family and friends who worked to help create this day. We are both artists and are involved in creative projects in other aspects in our lives, so it was only natural to want to create things for our wedding. But to say we did it ourselves would not represent the fantastic community who came out to help.
There were certain things we both felt were important: good, simple food from sustainable sources, a beautiful environment that was fun and relaxed, and as much as possible, to use materials that were sustainable, re-used, or sourced from our community. Oh, and, of course, a Balkan band!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Jessamyn Harris
- Venue: Roshambo Farms
- Dress: Dorothea Couture
- David's sculpture/art: Wheelhouse Fabrication
- Catering: The food was prepared by Naomi, the owner of the estate where the festivities were held, and her team, with the produce coming from the Roshambo grounds as well as friends/guests Jess Flood and Nick Papadopoulos of Bloomfield Farms in West Sonoma County and Cropmobster.
- Flowers: arranged by Juan Mendoza of LE Jardinier Vintage-Garden-Floral
- Hair and makeup: Ashley Allred of Muse Hairstyling
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!