Offbeat partner: Megan, writer and photographer
Offbeat partner: Luke, writer and musician
Date and location of wedding: Theater in the Pines Campground, Provo Canyon, Utah — August 11, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Luke and I have been counterculture since long before we met. As a musician, he’s been in bands of all sorts and created his own ambient experimental albums. I’ve been shooting metal and hardcore shows for over a decade. And we’re both writers of fantasy, horror, and non-fiction. We both study heady subjects like religion, history, and philosophy. We both worship camping and the outdoors. Finding each other was like breathing fresh air for the first time in years.
When we got engaged, we knew we didn’t want a typical wedding. Instead, we wanted to incorporate some of the wonderful things we enjoy together into an expression of our love. When we found Theater in the Pines, we knew it was the perfect venue for us: a stone, medieval-looking amphitheater in the middle of the woods of Provo Canyon. Because it was a National Forest campground, it was very cheap to rent, and even came with a campground area with farm tables already set up for our reception.
We picked black and burgundy as our colors to match our dark aesthetic. For my bridal look, I wanted to go high drama. I ditched the white dress and found an asymmetrical wine-colored dress and, with my bridesmaid Haley, built a one-of-a-kind elk antler headdress so I could look like a forest goddess. My bridesmaids went full witch coven in their choice of black dresses, while the men wore burgundy. It was an accident of fate that Luke wound up in all black, but he looked sharp as hell, so it was a happy accident
Tell us about the ceremony:
I’m an atheist, and Luke isn’t traditionally religious, so we asked our officiant and dear friend Henry to write us up a ceremony that would encompass our love of nature and the feelings of grandeur, beauty, and eternity that we both feel when we’re out in the woods together.
Our couples’ album is Panopticon’s “Autumn Eternal”, a gorgeous work of atmospheric black metal with a rugged bent. Luke and the bridal party entered to the album’s first track, and my bridal song was the beautiful closing track “The Wind’s Farewell.” It was perfect accompaniment to the natural setting. After Henry’s beautiful speech, we each read vows to each other we had written ourselves before exchanging rings. It was a short, sweet ceremony.
Tell us about your reception:
Luke and I aren’t big into loud parties; we are both pretty introverted. For our reception, we simply wanted all our friends and family joined together to eat, drink, and be merry. We ordered local artisan Italian food from Caputo’s Deli, and instead of cake, had a selection of homemade pies for dessert.
We had lovely speeches given by Luke’s father, our best man Pete, and maid of honor Genevieve. The rest of the time we spent mingling with our visitors, some of whom had come from thousands of miles away, and enjoying the scenery while the soundtrack to Elder Scrolls: Skyrim played in the background. We even had some deer drop by to visit in the field right next to our reception! It was peaceful and perfect.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Let people help and love you. It can be very tempting to try and accomplish things by yourself, but even with a wedding as simple as ours, there was no way in hell we could have pulled it off without our friends and family. And if you want something “weird” or nontraditional, stick to your guns and go for it. People may not get it or even like it, but I wouldn’t trade our unique day for anything. It was truly OURS.
Photographer: Annie Taylor Hall Photography • Dress: Macy’s • Headdress: Antler base by Idolatre • Jewelry: Pakabone and Delezhen • Flowers: Beehive Floral Company • Venue: Theater in the Pines Campground, Provo Canyon, Utah