Ryan & Brookes' crunchy, vegan, theatre wed-fest

Updated Mar 15 2021

This week at Offbeat Bride is meat- and dairy-free — it's Vegan Week! Day 3 of Vegan Week brings us Brookes & Ryan's beautiful outdoor wedding. -Becca

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Photos by Adam Hess

The offbeat bride: Brookes, stay at home mama and group fitness instructor (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Ryan, special education teacher

Location & date of wedding: The Temple Stream Theatre in Temple, ME — September 18, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was like an awesome mix tape — it featured all of our completely rockin', enjoyably diverse, unbelievably talented friends and family coming together to help make our day beautiful.

IMG_7535We knew we wanted our wedding day to be an expression of our love for each other and our son, as well as our personal values and interests. We drew up a rough outline of our ideas and let everyone who wanted to contribute color in their own parts.

For favors, I spent a week harvesting wild blackberries from our property and made over 100 jars of jam — plenty for our guests and some to store for us for the winter. I also baked sixty mini-loaves of bread to accompany the jam. Ryan made the necklace I wore from river stones from our favorite swimming spot, and I made the cake topper and all of the table decor.

IMG_7598The results were completely amazing. There was delicious, vegan, organic food and flowers from our farming friends, Lou and Yaicha. Our vegan cake and over 100 cupcakes were from my grandmother. Beautiful photographs were taken by fellow camp counselor alum, Adam. My gorgeous, custom designed hemp silk dress was made by our college roommate and art quilting/seamstress friend, Celina. Funky music was played by our friends in the band, Mumbasue. Our toasting glasses were made by our glassblowing friend Josh.

PICT1262We had our ceremony nestled in the foothills of Western Maine. Ryan and I met while we were in college in the next town over and spent our weekends scaling and skiing the mountains in the area. The Temple Stream Theatre is a magnificently charming school house-turned theatre that dates back to the 1800s. Marionette puppets adorn the walls and while the band was jammin' out, our guests had the option of booty shakin' on the floor or relaxing in the stadium seating.

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IMG_7430Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote our own ceremony. We wanted to include a ring warming ceremony, so while the rings were being passed around, our sisters and friends read what they had selected. Our friend Amber and Ryan's sister both read poems by Rumi, our friend Randy read a selection from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Game Secrets, and my sister Valerie read A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton.

IMG_7539After the readings, we read our vows to each other and exchanged rings.

We had originally planned on including our seventeen-month-old son Rowan in the ceremony. I decked out Ryan's childhood radio flyer wagon with ribbons and flowers and the plan was to pull Rowan in it down the aisle with us, but he fell asleep right before the ceremony. He and all of the other children had a really good time playing with the wagon later in the afternoon though!

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IMG_7516Our biggest challenge: We had the date set for almost a year ahead of time, but didn't actually start planning actively until two months beforehand. Whoops!

So the biggest challenge for us was getting everything organized and completed on time. When our son took his naps during the day and went down to bed at night, I had to sacrifice my usual chore doing/relaxing time for wedding related activities.

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IMG_7537My favorite moment: We organized the ceremony ourselves and we asked our sisters and two of our best friends to each read a selection of their choice. Ryan's mom had prepared a surprise reading she had written about her and Ryan's fathers wedding day and their wishes for us. It was incredibly moving and beautiful. My sister also wrote a toast that paid tribute to her first impressions of Ryan while we were all still in college: "That guy with the MOHAWK who came into the sandwich shop to flirt with my sister while she and I were working!!!"

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IMG_7421My funniest moment: We forgot to bring a stereo for our intro/outro ceremony music, so we had to frankenstein an ancient disc man with no display screen to some old speakers. It worked okay for our intro but it wouldn't play for our outro, so we spent a few minutes standing there while our friends tried to make it work. Then, all of a sudden someone started singing The Beatles "Eight Days a Week." Everyone joined in and we walked back down the aisle, beaming and laughing.

During the reception our seventeen month old son, Rowan, was a cloth diaper booty shakin' dance machine. It was amazing and completely adorable.

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IMG_7523Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Seriously, the only thing that was a total pain in the ass were the cupcake towers. I got six of them for a dollar each and they all said 'Happy Birthday' so I planned on painting them with acrylic. I took me three different colors of paint before I got one I liked. I was a cupcake tower diva.

IMG_7515My advice for offbeat brides: Communicate clearly with your partner and any other folks helping you out. My grandmother wasn't sure what "vegan" meant, so the original batch of cupcake frosting had lard in it — not vegan, so we had to start again! Also, if you are open to others helping you, LET THEM! Seriously, we could not have pulled it off solo. And don't be afraid to tell others about your vision for your day — we were surprised at how receptive our most 'mainstream' family members were.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Relax and enjoy it.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
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Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. A Lovely Love Story is one of my favorites. Your wedding looks so perfect. And your friends and family obviously love you. I'm thrilled that you got to include so many personal details from your friends (the toasting flutes, the dress, the cake, etc.)

    Congratulations 🙂

  2. They are- there were some non veggie folk in attendance : ) The chickens they came from belong to friends of ours and are very happy, free rangein birds : )

    • So I should prob add that the meal we planned was entirely vegan but our friends are a potluckin bunch, so some of the food that was brought along was not vegan : )

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