Offbeat partner: Lauren, Post Production Coordinator
Offbeat partner: Dan, Software Developer
Date and location of wedding: The Carondelet House, Los Angeles, CA — March 3, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We wanted to create a dark, moody vibe without going to over the top goth. We wanted our wedding to reflect who we as people and as a couple. We both love the macabre. We decided to have our wedding have reflect elements of death (skulls, etc.) and life (lush plants, etc.) to represent the end of what came before as it transitioned to the new life we were creating together.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We wanted our ceremony to be feminist forward. I opted not to have my father walk me down the aisle. He instead accompanied my mother. We decided to do our first look before the wedding to take the edge of the emotional pressure. Afterwards, we preceded our wedding party (who walked in to “Light of The Seven” by Ramin Djawadi; we are big Game of Thrones fans) and walked down the aisle together as equals. We walked down the fern-lined aisle to “Together We Will Live Forever” from The Fountain soundtrack (one of our favorite movies).
Dan's brother performed the short ceremony. We opted to write our own ceremony and vows as we are both Atheists. In doing this, it felt really personal, authentic, and we got to have fun with it. Dan and one of his groomsman even built the arbor we performed the ceremony under. Each aspect of the wedding was truly a labor of love.
Tell us about your reception:
We definitely utilized Etsy in an effort to support small businesses/artists which is important to us. We sourced everything ourselves or created it, instead of renting to keep things aligned with our budget. Our reception was strictly vegetarian/vegan as we are both vegetarians. Our guests were very open and respectful of this. We set up our dining room to feel like a royal court gathering from Game of Thrones (minus the bloodshed). We had a lot of silly speeches, and all had a really great time. We opted not to do a cake, and instead had a cheese wheel. I am a HUGE fan of cheese.
After dinner, I swapped into a black dress so we could perform our choreographed first dance. We were nervous we would skip a beat, but we pulled it off! It was a fun thing to practice up until the wedding that gave us a little reprieve from wedding planning. Our guests joined us on the dance floor, and we danced the night away.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Wedding planning can be stressful. It's totally normal to stop in all the chaos, and ask each other if you should just elope. At the end of the day, it's worth it though. We aren't going to look back on our wedding and remember the hiccups. Weddings are made up of a thousand tiny moments. You will miss some of them (taking photos! ugh). Some of them won't work out the way you planned, but it's important to grab on to as many of them as you can. They're still all the moments that make up your wedding day. The moments are fleeting. We think it's important to pass that knowledge on. Plus, it's fun to look back and laugh about it later on.
It can also be a challenge facing family members who disagree with your lifestyle choices. It's your wedding at the end of the day. Do it your way! If they don't respect you, they don't have to come.
We found it challenging finding wedding decor that fit our style. The wedding industry is getting better, but it's still a lot of the same stuff out there. And expensive! We think DIY was a fun way for us to become more invested in our wedding, and helped bring our own personal flair into everything. Don't be afraid to try to create things on your own, but be careful not to overextend yourselves.
Photographer: Katie Branch of Tyler Branch Photo • Dress: Custom designed by Aria Brides • Suit: John Varvatos • Floral Design: Birch & Bone • Venue: The Carondelet House • Jewelry: Blood Milk and Rouge & Wolf • Hair: Margie October for Hairroin Salon • Resin Bird Skulls: Hysteria Machine • Table Place Holder Stones: Design to Flourish