The Offbeat Bride: Ember, Bartender/Barista
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, Project Manager
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We focused on fun touches like our Mario Bros-themed cake and centerpieces, and a Sand Trooper and multiple Star Wars props for the guests to play with while they weren't playing an actual board game they borrowed from the venue.
The day before the wedding, we went to Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle to gather the flowers for the big day. I planned on making my bouquet out of random seasonal flowers like the bridesmaids planned to do, but I found this beautiful, already assembled bouquet of oak leaves, fuchsia peonies, and wild mint. It screamed perfect northwest wedding bouquet to me I ended up using that and couldn't have been happier with that $10 bunch.
Right before the ceremony, Andrew's groomsmen stuck several boxes worth of Oreo cookies to the rear window of our car and tied PBR tall cans to the bumper. It was LOUD and those Oreos nearly refused to come off in the days ahead.
The reception was held at one of our favorite places, Card Kingdom/Cafe Mox. After having been regulars there for almost a year (you can play board games, drink beer, and eat bacon all night long) I started working in the restaurant side of the business. The owners were amazingly kind enough to allow us to host our reception there.
Our friend Blake offered to wear his guild-grade Sand Trooper cosplay and not only introduce us at the reception, but mingle with the guests and take pictures with them. He was a great sport and really made the evening fun.
Of all the traditional elements within our day, the one feeling I couldn't shake was how weird I knew I was going to feel during the first dance. It always seemed like a drawn out, awkward moment that people are supposed to stand around and watch. Andrew and I agreed to dance to “Open Arms” by Journey. The first half was danced seriously, then after the epic '80s drum lead up, ALL INTERPRETIVE DANCE.
Tell us about the ceremony:
I have a tiny, hippy family and Andrew has an average-sized family who keep tradition close to their hearts. It was really important to him to have a traditional ceremony and celebrate a classic wedding ceremony. As alien as it was for me, I was more than happy to oblige.
The ceremony was held in Snoqualmie, WA at Andrew's sister's house. It was a sweet and simple backyard garden affair with only the wedding parties and their partners attending.
My sister, Autumn, being the closest of my family, gave me away. It was beyond special, and it was our little way of adding a nontraditional touch to the ceremony.
We walked in to the ceremony to “May it Be” from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, and exited to the main theme from Star Trek The Next Generation. These were both performed by a live pianist, which was another way we got to inject a bit of ourselves into the moment.
Our biggest challenge:
The weeks and months leading up to the wedding felt like nonstop chaos. there sore SO MANY choices to be made and SO MANY people with whom to confirm those choices. It's easy to lose track of details and confuse one thing for another, especially when you don't have you or your partner's family around planning a wedding for you.
Keeping a Facebook group page with all of my bridal party was really helpful. as was assigning tasks you know they will enjoy doing goes a long way. I've learned from this experience that communicating exactly what you need and how you feel to the people there to support you is SO important.
My favorite moment:
After all the planning and buying and organizing over the course of so many months, in the end I had to leave it to the wedding party to do all the real work. They had two hours to turn a game store and restaurant into a wedding venue. I'll never forget the moment when we walked into a room filled with 120 of the people we love most and everything looked perfectly beautiful. It took my breath away. I don't know what I've done to deserve such amazing friends, but they really came through.
My very good friend, Cassie is a phenomenal baker and pastry chef. She agreed to prepare a traditional Scandinavian wreath cake called a Kransekake to honor Andrew's mother who passed away. It is a very time-consuming tradition and it was a beautiful and moving touch to the evening. She did a wonderful job.
Another good friend, Kyle, brought his hot dog vending cart to the sidewalk outside of the venue so our guests could get in a good late night pig out. It was so kind of him to do that for us.
My funniest moment:
Andrew and I were told it was time to cut our Mario Bros.-themed cake. I fed him his bite, and when I gave him the fork to feed me, he took another bite! The crowd went wild for that one.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Matt Goodrich
- Venues: Cafe Mox and Card Kingdom
- Wedding Dress: Eltsa
- Bridesmaids Dresses: ModCloth
- Flowers: Pike Place Market
- Food: Alki Dog
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!