Her offbeat partner: Carter , build and release computer engineer
Location & date of wedding: Hakone Gardens, Saratoga , CA — September 20, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: When a Pagan, tarot reading, Fluevog Pimpette decides to marry a Floridian, blond/blue eyed, computer geek, atheist, your wedding has to be offbeat! We found our middle ground in having the wedding in an amazing Japanese Garden, which was alive with nature and her beauty. We did almost everything ourselves and don't regret any part of the year of collecting cutlery, making cherry blossom center pieces, and searching Craigslist for the perfect table cloths.
The ceremony itself was performed by my dear friend who is also an amazing Priestess and therapist. We designed a ceremony that honored both my traditions and Carter's belief in the Darwin. My dear friend performed Into My Arms, by Nick Cave as our musical offering. We wrote our own vows and also wrote love letters to each other that we heard for the first time at the ceremony. We released doves at the end of the ceremony.
Since I am a belly dancer, my dance sisters (Red Lotus Belly Dance) performed at the reception. Our uber talented friend, Chave, belted out a medley of amazing jazz standards. We decided to have a potluck dinner since we are surrounded by vegan, kosher, wheat-free, lactose-intorelant foodies and knew that having everyone bring enough food to feed six to eight people would create an amazing spread.
Our biggest challenge: Honestly the biggest challenge was figuring out how to organize the potluck. The Jewish mom in me was worried that their would not be enough food for everyone (wrong!). I made Victorian styled food cards where people could write what they brought, and created on Google Forms an amazing form people could fill out. The form was my life saver. The geek in me loved that it converted everything into a spread sheet where I could see the balance of what people were bringing and what we needed to provide (we supplied chicken, desert, beer/wine and some appetizers). It totally worked.
Other issues included nicely wording that we didn't want children under seven attending. No one complained.
Finally, we had less than an hour and a half to set up a wedding for 120 people. Thank the gods for my friends who volunteered their time and talents to helping us do a whirlwind setup!
My favorite moment: I would have to say the love letters and the dove release. Being able to tell Carter why I loved him so much in front of all our friends was so important. It was such a ritual. Hearing his letter to me made my day and just validated how much I adore him.
The doves were a slight splurge but were worth every penny spent. One of my maids of honor released four doves, the best man another four. Carter and I released two to the wonderful sound of More Than This by Roxy Music.
Really the whole wedding went by so fast, I would say it was all my favorite moment!
My offbeat advice: Take your time. Choose what is important to you. Learn to compromise between what you want and what your partner wants — you will be doing it all your life anyway. 🙂
My other bit of advice is to hire a day-of coordinator. Whether it is a good friend or a pro, I couldn't have have made it through our wedding without her. She kept me in line, organized the volunteers, and had us running on schedule.
Finally, if something doesn't work, breaks, etc., just take it in stride. Your day will be fabulous even if you don't get every last light up!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? If I didn't make it myself, I bought it from independent vendors who are either local or stand by my code of sweat shop free, conscientious products. What ever I didn't keep, I donated to appropriate charities.
- Dress: Dark Garden
- Boots: John Fluevog
- Hat: Hey-Sailor
- Cupcakes (vegan): me and Sibby's Bakery (super yum) — Sibby's Cupcakery
- Wedding Cake: Cake Coquette
- Groomsmen vests: Gentleman's Emporium
- Invitations: EnFin Voila on Etsy
- Favors: Custom blend chocolate lip balm by Apothekerri. (Note: her site is being updated.)
- Venue: Hakone Gardens. Not the cheapest venue but since it is a non-profit organization anything after 2500 dollars is tax- deductible. SWEET!
- Henna: Darcy from Henna Lounge
- Photography: Kristine Adams and John Pettitt
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: