Remember the amazing Austenland-themed shower? We've got the ENTIRE STORY of the bride's equally enchanting Sailor Moon-themed wedding to share!
The Offbeat Bride: Michelle, event planner, fashion designer
Her offbeat partner: William
Date and location of wedding: Oviatt Penthouse, downtown Los Angeles, CA — December 6, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Okay, no laughing allowed. I had a Sailor Moon-themed wedding. But perhaps not the rainbow colored, anime-poster ridden melee of sad artistic choices that you are expecting. Since William and I are fairly fashionable adults with an pretty serious otaku problem, we finally landed on the perfect mash-up of classy and nerdy for our big day: we had an art deco, Sailor Moon-inspired wedding. We both love anime, manga, and video games, and we actually met in Japan when we were both English teachers in Osaka. We loved that the wedding was a reflection of our otaku-ness, as well as our love for all things fancy.
The plan was to have an elegant, grown up wedding, with a highly stylized injection of Sailor Moon design into every nook and cranny! Utilizing the extensive archive of beautiful Sailor Moon imagery, such as the lockets, wands, and symbols from the manga and anime, as well as the influence of Art Deco moon and stars designs, pulling together the decor, graphics, and fashion into an elegant nerd wedding was an event planner’s dream! I have extensive wedding planning and decorating experience under my belt, and was confident I would be able to do something to suit our tastes.
We were on a very limited budget, and it almost all of it went to the venue food and drinks. I was crafty and made everything for the wedding except for the flowers with the help of my awesome friends.
Some aspects I loved:
- My Sailor Moon Cutie Moon rod (made by my awesome friend Grant Imahara) and bridesmaids Sailor Senshi Wands (made by my Maid of Honor, Yume) in lieu of bouquets
- Giant Silver Imperium Crystals as centerpieces
- Giant vintage Moon in the photo booth made by our friend Kate
- Awesome Sailor Moon wand and compact props we made by printing and mounting to foam board
- The AMAZING venue: The Oviatt penthouse is like three venues in one
- The dangling paper stars I sewed together that were attached to the backdrop of our ceremony arch
- Custom wedding bands that mirror each other in pattern, but mine is shaped like a Moon Tiara with a tiny moon and stars etched into it with diamonds
- Groomsmen and groom's metal filagree moon boutonnieres I made in three hours
- My art deco-inspired Moon tiara, moon necklace with fire opals, and bracelets I made myself, using vintage brass stampings I found on Etsy and the fashion district. I also made star tiaras for my bridesmaids.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Here were some of our music choices:
- Processional: Fragments of Memories, “Potions” orchestral version, from Final Fantasy VIII (theme from the town Winhill)
- Bridal March: “A Maiden’s Policy,” Piano Fantasia version, the Sailor Moon R ending theme song
- Recessional: “Sakura Kiss,” Strings version, opening theme song to Ouran High School Host Club, anime version
The only cosplay at our wedding was our sweet “star” girls, dressed in Serenity dresses my mother made for my nieces. They threw paper stars and moons instead of flower petals. Our ring bearer, the groom’s nephew, wore Tuxedo Mask’s medallion and snuck the mask into his front pocket. He was a trooper, but we could not get him to wear the mask!
We had our wonderful friend and groomsman, Glenn, be our officiant for our wedding. We first panicked about hiring a stranger to be our officiant, but we knew that would make it so uncomfortable for us, so we asked our friend, who a few years earlier had done that quick five-minute certification thing online for California, and he crafted a wonderful ceremony for us. I guess the only downside to having one of your best friends be your officiant is that poor Glenn started choking up at the beginning of the ceremony and I had to pat him and say, “there, there!”
Our biggest challenge:
My wedding dress was lovingly made by myself with help from my friends that I will never forget it. However, it was the devil in terms of stress. It was about a year's worth of work to design, source materials, and construct that monster, and I foolishly chose techniques that I had never tried before (embroidery and hand sequin-ing). I tend to over-complicate things, and although I loved my dress, I think it took about 10 years off my life. I finished it the week before the wedding.
My favorite moment:
I'm so happy we did a first look before the ceremony. It helped erase a ton of wedding jitters and helped me feel like we were both facing the wedding (and all the decorating and coordinating that still needed to happen that day) head on, together. When I saw Will for the first time about three hours before the wedding, I knew everything would be fine.
The ceremony itself was really great. Writing our own vows and promising each other that we would share everything (except the comforter), and solve any problem together (except how to fix the wireless in the living room) was such a roller coaster of emotional tears and laughing out loud.
My funniest moment:
Our bouquet and garter toss was like a crazy kawaii showdown of wills. Because I had a huge moon rod, I was definitely not throwing that. We also hated the idea of the awkward garter display, so the day before the wedding, I was looking around the house for something else to throw. I had these two plush bunnies I had made for one of my fashion shows a few years back, so we brought those to throw instead. My toss went normally, and my girlfriends fought nobly for the rabbit, but the groom's toss was absolute hilarity and chaos. The men JUMPED ON and OVER each other to try to get the bunny, knocking it out of each other's hands over and over until it plopped into the hands of our friend Matt, who was standing quietly in the back, not even trying to catch the dumb thing.
Also, we really loved the music of Guardians of the Galaxy, so everyone laughed when our Grand Entrance was to the tune of “Hooked on a Feeling,” and Jackson 5's “I Want You Back.” It was especially funny when our guests realized that for our first dance we weren't going to be sappy and sweet, but instead reenact Chris Pratt's fun moves and dance to Redbone's “Come and Get Your Love.”
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Asking for an accepting help is very very difficult for me, as someone who loves to DIY everything myself and is constantly afraid of being disappointed if I ask for a favor and that person is unable to pull through. However, my friends, time and again, all came through for me and helped me in every aspect of my wedding, even though I thought I would be alone in doing everything. My wonderful friend Aimee made my wedding dress with me, my maid of honor Yume did all of my wedding graphics, my friend Sheyne became the day-of coordinator when I decided I really shouldn't do that, our buddy Grant created the amazing Cutie Moon Rod despite being super busy with work and travel, and on and on and on. I can't even list all of the favors I now feel indebted to. But I love my friends and I'm so happy that they helped make our day magical.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Shannon Cottrell Photography
- Photo booth: Snap Yourself! Photo booth
- Print designs: Yume Ninja, Graphic Designer (can literally design ANYTHING you need for any occasion)
- Star Cake: Hansen's Cakes
- Flowers: My Wedding Blooms
- Makeup: @TessxMoney
- Bride's shoes: Irregular Choice
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!