The Offbeat Bride: Cristina, Funeral Director
Her offbeat partner: Adrian, Property Manager
Date and location of wedding: World Forestry Center (Cheatham Hall) in Portland, Oregon — September 22, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had a lot of craft nights in preparation for the wedding. We have amazing friends that came over on many occasions to help put wedding decorations together. My maid of honor and I were still working away on duct tape flowers early into the morning of the wedding.
It was super important to me to have an all-vegan wedding. We found a caterer that did an amazing job at putting together a great vegan menu and we didn't advertise the fact that it was vegan until after dinner. People had only great things to say about the food and it seemed we did a good job of convincing the skeptics that vegan doesn't have to equal weird. We also ensured that the hand soap in the bathroom was vegan and that no one in our wedding party wore any silk, leather, wool, etc.
I tried on some white wedding dresses, but I knew that white wasn't right for me. Finally, I went into a dress shop in the mall and found the perfect pink and purple dress. It's like it was made for me!
Our dog was our ring bearer. It meant so much to us to have her in the wedding. She did such a good job and got a lot of “awws.”
My friend Jenny volunteered to belly-dance at the wedding. We didn't really tell people about it so that it would be kind of a surprise. It was a hit and we are so grateful to Jenny for such an awesome wedding present!
We thought it would be a good idea to have some random toys at each table for our guests to play with. Adrian knew it would be fun all along, but I was a little worried that people wouldn't play with them. Man, was I wrong. Adrian was right — people loved them and we got so many great pictures and video of people playing with toys.
We used WeddingMix by StoryMix instead of a videographer to do our wedding filming. What you do is select a package, they send you a number of Flip cameras depending on which package you selected and also give you a code for an iPhone app. Those people that download the app can then be part of the process! Throughout the night, people filmed various scenes and they all got uploaded onto Storymix's website at which time we went in and selected which clips we wanted in the video. After that, they edit the video and voila, a wedding video for a lot cheaper than if you hired someone to film. It was so fun seeing what people came up with. It's like leaving disposable cameras around for pictures, but better!
Tell us about the ceremony: Because of the shape of our venue, we decided to come in through different side doors and meet in the middle instead of walking down the aisle.
We wrote our own vows and Adrian also read a Romanian translation of “You Are My Sunshine.” When our officiant asked for the rings, Adrian's nephew walked our dog Juniper down the aisle so that we could unhook the rings from her doggie dress.
As we placed rings on each other's fingers, we also held pinkies so as to pinky swear that we were committing to each other.
For our unity ceremony, we used an idea we saw on Offbeat Bride. We decided to do a chemistry experiment where we had baking soda and vinegar in two separate graduated cylinders that we then poured into an Erlenmeyer flask that also had vinegar in it. The idea was that it was supposed to have bubbled up and caused a reaction, but unfortunately it had been sitting out for so long that it didn't quite work out like we expected. We had to laugh it off and move on.
My favorite moment: We were so overwhelmed with the number of people that showed up. We live in a state where same sex marriage is not legal, so we were a little afraid that people would not treat our wedding as a real wedding. However, that was totally not the case. We sensed no discrimination from any of the vendors we talked to and no one batted an eye when we invited them to our wedding.
Because we were not getting legally married, we were able to have a little bit of flexibility with the ceremony. Our friend Sanjay who officiated our wedding, was able to put together an amazing ceremony without having to consider the boundaries of being an ordained minister.
I'm Romanian and as a completely unexpected surprise, Adrian had my cousins help her translate the words to “You Are My Sunshine” in Romanian. This just made my heart melt. She often sings it for me in English and it has become meaningful to us so for her to translate and read it during the ceremony was just so thoughtful.
My funniest moment: All the toasts our friends and family gave were great. They were meaningful but also had a lot of humor.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: You go into planning really excited about doing something different and not following unnecessary tradition, but somewhere along the way you do get a little worried that maybe you should have stuck to some of the normal wedding things. Just ignore that feeling because if you do it your way, you and your guests will appreciate it. People may be confused at first but then they seem to have an “aha” moment when they realize it makes sense because they know you and this is who you are.
Make sure you can walk in your shoes. I found the most amazing shoes that I was so sure I would learn how to walk in. Cut to the night before the wedding where I am freaking out that I have no clue how to walk in such tall heels. My maid of honor and I had to rush from store to store looking for back up shoes. I found some cute ones but I had to hold up my dress all night because it was not meant for heels that small.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Emporio Bridal
- Wedding Planner: Wed Portland
- Catering: Catering At Its Best
- Photography: Michael Hacker Photography
- Cristina Hair: Rebecca Johnson-XO Salon
- Adrian Hair: Kelly Wishart
- Videography: Weddingmix by Storymix Media
- Photo booth: Chaotime Photobooth
- Donuts: Acme Donuts
- Chocolate Fountain: Dippity Doodads
- Rings: Monkeys Always Look
- Dog Dress: Pup R Wear
- Veil: Vintage Box 1947
- Chair Covers: Chair Cover Factory
- Glass Bottles: Luna Bazaar
- Vases: Blume Box
- Archway: Oriental Trading
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
film: Storymix Media
decor: Luna Bazaar