Offbeat partner: Annie
Offbeat partner: Collin
Date and location of wedding: Godparent's Garden at StoneHouse Artifacts, Bellingham, Washington — July 14, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Collin and I live in a very funky, folk community. We actually met in a ukulele class at a folk music festival, so when it came to our wedding aesthetic, it was going to be just as unique and beautiful as our lives are. During our two-year engagement, our friends and family offered up their many skills and talents which came together to create a very distinctive wedding.
We were married on my godparent's seven-acre property in the middle of a stunning meadow and the reception was in their beautiful garden. They had never hosted a wedding before (and probably won't again), but you would never believe that if you had seen the place. My mother spent months sewing the white and green bunting that spanned from tree to tree; she also made my dress.
Collin and the groomsmen built our arbour, from which hung my great-grandmother wedding veil. Hay bales from a friend's barn were covered in a local roasters coffee bags. Friends played their instruments amongst the trees. The well-stocked open bar was built by another friend. There were planters of flowers erupting with colour that my mother and I planted together, food immaculately cooked by my father, a stunning canvas tent that we spent the night in, and many many more things created by our friends and family.
Our wedding's theme was community. Our favourite weddings have been ones where each person felt like they had brought something to contribute to the day, where each guest had a part in the festivities.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was short but stunning. I had six bridesmaids and a bridesman, Collin six groomsmen and a groomsmaid. The bridesmaids wore stunning olive-green dresses, individually chosen by each bridesmaid creating a stunning effect with each groomsmen's tweed vests. After the wedding party and Collin with his parents arrived, there passed a moment when everyone wondered where I was. I then appeared at the far side of the meadow riding one palomino horse while leading another horse behind. I galloped up the hill in the stunning dress my mother made for me.
I walked down the aisle with both my parents. All the while, five of our friends played upbeat Celtic music. The ceremony had two readings, “The Good Morrow” by John Donne, and “Love Is Friendship Caught Fire” by Laura Hendricks. We also wrote our own vows. Both of us spoke of our love for adventure and exploring the world together. We have always travelled well together.
My vows ended with a twist, however. Hung all over the arbour, scattered at the end of the hay bales, everywhere, were folded paper cranes. I had been secretly folding paper cranes, 999 to be exact, and my vows were written on the last crane. I wished that we would not only stay true to our vows but we would have a long joyful marriage full of adventure. We danced back down the aisle showered in lavender and rode off into the sun on the two horses.
Tell us about the reception:
The most amazing part was the musical surprise. Collin and I had no idea that two of my cousins, one of the bridesmaids, and two friends, who had never played together, created a jazz band. They had even composed original music! Even though we would have our "first dance" later (we choreographed a dance to She and Him's “Time After Time” and Walk the Moon's “Shut Up and Dance”) our real first dance was to music created by our dearest friends.
We had tons of lawn games (croquet, ladder ball, corn hole, etc.) that people enjoyed while drinking beer and cider from three local breweries, and many cocktails. The food was prepared by my father, Italian porchetta, salmon, Australian spiced beet salad, and many more dishes. One of my bridesmaids, Katrina, created our stunning cake, with three tiers each individually flavoured. There is a tradition on the English side of my family that the cake is cut using my great grandfathers WWI sabre. Since it couldn't be brought over from England, my mother got a replica of Gandalf's sword!
Other special moments included our guests lighting votives that were set afloat on the pond in the night, digging up a bottle of whisky that we buried a month before the wedding to ward off the rain, sneaking off with Collin to finally eat cake, and having a friend call a square dance that got everyone up out of their seats.