You might recognize these two from when when we showed off their sexy, gothy wedding porn a few months ago. Well here's the whole story on this vegan winery wedding.

Portraits

The offbeat bride: Alyssa, Crafty Concierge

Her offbeat partner: Brian, photographer

PortraitsLocation & date of wedding: Alexander Valley Hall, Geyserville, CA — October 3, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Brian is a photographer specializing in zombie/horror/faux crime scene photography for which I do all of the make-up and effects, so it was assumed from the beginning that any wedding we would have was just going to be offbeat by nature. With that in mind I really didn't want the whole thing too look too “gothy” or “halloweeny” which could have been very easy for us seeing as we are just naturally drawn to anything black/spooky/scary/bloody, etc. Even though we have a lot of offbeat interests we still wanted the wedding to feel like a WEDDING rather than a Halloween party. In the end the color theme was black and grey but with some natural colors and textures to accent.

There were many offbeat aspects to the wedding: We both wore all black and our small wedding party wore black and grey. We decided to write our own ceremony and had our very close friend Michael officiate. We had no less than six active photographers at any given point during the ceremony/reception because we just happen to be friends and family with some really amazing photographers that were kind enough to document our day from every angle. Even in Super eight and a photo booth!

A friend of ours made the vegan cupcakes and we had a delicious catered vegan Mexican buffet. Brian chose all of the music (with a little help from me for the ceremony and first dance) and a good friend was our DJ for the evening. We had so much help from all of our friends and family and couldn't have done any of it with out them.

We also chose to give a donation to an organization that supports marriage equality rather then spend money on favors.

We also chose to give a donation to an organization that supports marriage equality rather then spend money on favors. I wanted to include our LBGT community (and FAMILY) into our special day since it does break my heart that not everyone in the US can experience this life changing event legally. We simply put place cards on each table saying what we did and why, and everyone loved it and no one missed getting a favor instead.

Ceremony

Our biggest challenge: We were both amazed at the lack of things that went wrong during the planning process and on the day of the wedding.

There were, of course, a few small things that got fixed easily. The biggest issue was with my dress. I knew I never wanted to get married in white; the thought never even crossed my mind. But then the question became, do I wear black? Because the fact that everyone always just assumed I would made me want to rebel and show up in something different. So I found the perfect dress at a bridal store, asked if they had it in slate grey an ordered it. We when it arrived, it was not grey, it was some weird hybrid of turquoise and sienna colored treads. It was soo not me. The women at the bridal store were so helpful and understanding and with the help of the ladies in my life I decided to reorder the same dress in black. As soon as the 2nd dress arrived I knew I made the right choice and this was the dress I was meant to wear on my wedding day.

Another personal challenge was that originally I had a million different DIY projects that I envisioned myself completing all on my own. Eventually I had to let go of the thought pattern of “Is this unique enough? Will people be impressed by this?” yadda yadda. And you know what? Our wedding was wonderfully unique and definitely the best event I've ever been to. Not because of the handmade items that I had spent hours on, it was because of the people that were there. Because of the love everyone had for each other. And because, in the end, none of those little details matter is everyone has a drink in their hands, food in their bellies and good music playing through the speakers.

My favorite moment: The best parts of the wedding were really all just fleeting moments that I will never forget: the sweet things my brother said to me before I walked down the isle. My three-year-old nephew turning around during the processional saying “You're a princess.” (He still thought of me as a princess even though I was dressed in black, I love it.) Coming back down the aisle with my husband to one of my favorite Oingo Boingo songs. Dancing with my best girl friends and just having everyone we know and love in one room having a great time. The entire day was filled with love and loveliness.

My offbeat advice: Everyone always told me to accept the help that was being offered, and I admit that I didn't as much as I could/should have. I did all of the DIY projects myself (invites, photo booth backdrop, hair pieces, wreaths, napkin rings… the list goes on) but I had fun with them for the most part and saw it all as a challenge. I used all the help everyone offered the day before and the day of the wedding so I didn't have to do almost anything, it was so worth it. So my advice is to take people up on the help they offer, but use it wisely in the ways that will matter the most.

This is not really advice but something I didn't realize before the wedding, but am so happy we did it — having a person that knows each of us so well join us in marriage was so meaningful and made the ceremony seem much more intimate. Brian and I read some sample ceremonies and outlines, sat down one night and wrote the whole ceremony. We discussed it over Skype with Michael (our BFF/Officiant) and didn't even rehearse before our wedding day because we trusted that even if we stumbled on our words (which we did) and forgot lines (which we did) it would be that much more “real.” There is also something really wonderful about having your officiant be just as nervous as the bride and groom before the ceremony.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

Comments on Alyssa & Brian’s dark and romantic vegan wine country wedding

  1. Awesomely beautiful wedding! And I love the way you worded your donation card. I've been looking for a way to let the guests know that yes – we support marriage for everyone and that we will be setting a side a percentage of the budget to donate to a charity that supports that goal.
    I think we'll put something very similarly worded next to a jar of white knots with an explanation as to what the white knot stands for.
    Again – marvelous wedding!

  2. Cannot say enough good things about this post/wedding! Bride looks gorgeous. Love the tats! I have the same feeling that I want our wedding to be like a wedding and I want to feel like a bride instead of creating just a kick ass party. I want a kick ass wedding! And it looks like your wedding totally kicked ass. Great balance of wedding + couple. SO ELEGANT!

  3. The dark clothing goes SO well with the surrounding scenery; even though there's a lot of black, it seems warm and natural, rather than cold. I love me some black (it's pretty much all I wear these days), but it can be hard to wear it without looking kind of bleak – yet, you pulled it off beautifully.

  4. This is not really advice but something I didn’t realize before the wedding, but am so happy we did it — having a person that knows each of us so well join us in marriage was so meaningful and made the ceremony seem much more intimate.

    YES! My bridesmaid's dad is a city judge, and he is performing our ceremony. I've known him (and the bridesmaid, and the rest of her family) since I was six years old. I'm really psyched that he's doing our ceremony, and he sounded equally excited about it.

  5. This bride reminds me of Idina Menzel. A LOT. Gorgeous. Your whole wedding was very elegant, but very original. Kudos, and brava!

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