The Offbeat Bride: Melina, barista
Her offbeat partner: Austin, cook
Date and location of wedding: Friend's Barn, Fort Townsend State Park, Port Townsend, WA — November 13, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our Friday the 13th barn wedding was built from the concept of simplicity. We got married only four months after getting engaged so every decision we made had to be quick and final. I've never been big into weddings so I originally wanted to get married at the courthouse, but he has a huge family that all wanted to come so we decided to do a very simple and budget-friendly shindig.
Neither of us really knew what a traditional wedding entailed, and when we started doing research, we figured out that none of the traditional stuff was our style. We really wanted the day to feel like an intimate backyard get-together with close friends and family so that we could really focus on what was important.
We also chose to go a different way with our attire. My dress was a rose-printed skirt from Etsy and a maroon top from JCPenney, and Austin wore simple slacks with a cardigan from Urban Outfitters. We wore matching Doc Martens for our shoes because we knew it would be rainy and muddy and that they would complete the vibe we were going for. The photography was probably the most important thing to us and I'm so thankful that we found Jonas because he helped so much in planning out the little details. His help and his work helped make the day just absolutely perfect, and his photos were everything we could have ever wanted.
Tell us about the ceremony:
The park had a quiet little amphitheater where we had everyone just gather around with their coffee and pastries while we exchanged vows. We didn't have bridesmaids, groomsmen, music, or any aisle to walk down so when it was time for the ceremony to start, we just walked everyone over. It had just started to rain and was freezing out so everyone had umbrellas and jackets and were huddled together.
Austin's dad officiated for us and started with a few nice words and some wedding puns, then we exchanged our own written vows that we may or may not have both written the night before. I cry really easily and only got three words out before my voice cracked and I let out an, “Oh shit” that I definitely didn't mean for everyone to hear, but they all got a good laugh about it. Austin is a guy who puns at every available chance, so he started his vows assuring me he wasn't going to make any jokes, just lovey-dovey stuff. It all took maybe fifteen minutes, then we kissed and led everyone back to the barn for the reception.
Our rings were one of my favorite bits. Austin's was a handmade wooden ring we found from Etsy and mine belonged to my great-grandmother. We didn't have any alcohol, just because we both love coffee and wanted to have that be the drink of choice, but we did have a couple of people sneak some in which gave us a laugh when we finally saw the pictures.
Tell us about your reception:
Our reception was in a beautiful little barn and my mom made and decorated everything on her own. We had a charcuterie table with meats, cheeses, crackers, and homemade hummus, and another table full of pastries and coffee, along with an amazing local coffee truck outside. Our caterers made the most delicious authentic paella, both a meat and a vegan option. We found them and our coffee truck from the Port Townsend Farmers Market and they were both just really wonderful and kind people. We also had an amazing and beautiful red velvet cake that fit our vibe perfectly.
My mom made the centerpieces herself by cutting the bottoms off of wine glasses and setting them on wood platforms with candles underneath and each table had a different Mad Libs book. We didn't really want any dancing or partying, so we set out board games for people to play. Instead of a photo booth, we had a “selfie station” with selfie sticks.
Because our wedding was on a Friday the 13th, we wanted to have a creepy element, so we had little skulls and creepy decorations all around. Our guest book was a blank copy of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased from Beetlejuice.
We also had a Nightmare Before Christmas cake topper and brought Jason masks for us to take photos with, and we had old B&W horror movies playing on a projector all night.
What was your most important lesson learned?
I think the most important thing we learned was that a wedding is just one day. There were so many things we wanted to do and a lot of things we worked really hard on that didn't get used because there just wasn't enough time. The day goes by so quickly that it's very hard to be present, so I think my advice would be to just take a deep breath.
The day ended up being exactly what we had imagined, but both of us agree that it wasn't The Best Day Of Our Lives — and that's okay! After the wedding is over, you have the rest of your lives to make wonderful memories together that don't require any major planning or stress.
Also don't be afraid to ask for help! My mom was our saving grace, and without her I don't think it would have been half as amazing and I'm thankful for all her help.
- Dress: E&W
- Photographer: Jonas Seaman
- Coffee Cart: Gypsy Coffee
- Caterer: Paella House
- Cake: Sheri's Sinsational Sweets