Libby & Jobe's vegan/vegetarian picnic wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
A sh*t load of flowers eh?
The bride's caption on this photo reads "A sh*t load of flowers eh?"

The offbeat bride: Libby, Pediatric Office Manager/child holder-downer (and OBT member)

Her offbeat partner: Jobe, Central Office Tech

Location & date of wedding: Columbia Park, Portland, OR. — July 26th, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Jobe wanted a court house wedding, but I have a lot of important friends and family that I wanted to share our day with (I'm a cancer survivor, and eight years ago I wasn't sure if I would ever get to this point in my life). I just wanted to have a big party with vegan and vegetarian food, and promised Jobe a three – five minute ceremony.

Rings
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We rocked the picnic wedding

We didn't have a "theme," and the colors were "happy and bright." I ordered some supplies for decorations and just handed them off to family and told them to have at it! Another friend did all the flowers for us (I just told her to do what she wanted with what was in season). A friend's mom made our vegan cup cakes and I baked 150+ short cakes two days before the wedding (along with six pies, two berry crisps and a berry cobbler).

Vegan Cupcakes
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I had an "entourage" and told the ladies to wear a black dress that they felt good in.

8 mins. total

Jobe had no groomsmen, unless you count the cardboard cut out of my brother, who also served as the ring man. We had a friend (and fellow cancer survivor) officate, and he read our vows off the back of a local microbrewery's menu.

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Our wedding truly had the help of friends and family to pull it all together.

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Shhh....

Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was that my mom passed away suddenly and unexpectedly three months to the day before our wedding. We were engaged for what ended up being twenty months, waiting to hear when my brother, who is in the navy and stationed in Japan, could make it back. We could never get a date from him, so I went ahead and booked the park five months before the wedding. I told him to send us a photo, and we would make sure he was there for photos.

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For the first fifteen months we didn't really do any planning, beside knowing we wanted a party with vegetarian food. After my mom passed, and helping plan the "Celebration of Sharon" in two weeks, I didn't feel like planning a wedding anymore. I asked a cousin if she would take over, and I would just round up supplies and let her do what she wanted with them. So many friends and family jumped in to help and our day turned out amazing! The night before the wedding I was watching a movie with my dad and sister, and wasn't doing any last minute DIY or panicking.

Shoes

My favorite moment: I know it's sappy, but the whole day was. From showing up and seeing everything that everyone had done come all together, seeing everyone there (we didn't hide before hand, and were greeting guests right until we walked down the aisle), having a completely vegan/vegetarian picnic even when people were worried (they were saying it was BYOB, bring your own burger), Jobe having to go put his suit back on after changing because we forgot to take pictures of just the two of us, the whole day kicked ass.

8 mins. total

My offbeat advice: Don't fold on what you would like, but also be flexible (Heat wave starts — get fans! Brother can make it? — Cardboard cut out! Need extra hands — just ask!).

Dessert buffet

We wanted veggie food, and stuck to our guns, even though there was only four true vegan/vegetarians there out of about 140 people. Allowing some one else to take over most of the details and just giving them the supplies to work with sure made life easier for me. Knowing that even if you don't do everything you hoped to (wedding bingo, yard games, actually saying hello to everyone there…) the day will still be awesome.

Oh, and hand your camera to a friend with a good eye for photos. I gave mine to a friend, and she handed it back to me after the wedding. The next morning we got to look at photos on the preview screen and actually see what all happened that day. Our party lasted about five hours, but it only felt like thirty minutes.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

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  1. I am also planning a wedding picnic! Thanks so much for the great inspiration, best wishes to you both.

    I want your awesome turquoise shoes! I have looked everywhere for some cute ones that weren't killer heels. Too bad Imelda's and Louie's isn't set up for online purchases because they would have just made a sale.

  2. I may borrow the cardboard cut out idea since my bro may not be able to make it. I can understand not wanting to plan since my mom passed away last year, but good on your family and friends for taking charge. It sounds like you have a great group of people on your side.

  3. How inspiring. I love that your wedding is such a celebration of living, which I think really honors your mother's memory. And those are the coolest turquoise shoes I think I've ever seen.

    I'm not a religious person but the pictures of my wedding bring to my mind the very essence of being "blessed." You are blessed! Congratulations!

  4. I love the laid back feel of this wedding. Reminds me of how weddings probably were back in the day when everyone pitched in to make it special. Great job!

  5. I love this. I'm so sorry to hear you lost your mum so close to the wedding but the fact that you two just kinda went "we wanna be married; friends do your stuff!" was amazing! I'm a bit of a control freak but seeing how beautiful your wedding turned out makes me think it might be easier to let my friends and family run with their ideas a bit more.

    Congratulations!!

  6. I love the cardboard cutout! It seems like you two came up with a good compromise. A picnic sounds great about now if it weren't for this snow.

  7. I'd love to know what food you actually did serve and what you did to make the vegan/vegetarian meal work for everyone. I'd love to do a completely vegan/vegetarian reception, but I'm facing A LOT of resistance on this from all sides (including my FH who thinks it would be rude to our predominately carnivorous guests).

  8. You inspire me! Giving up the every-detail-must-be-thoroughly-planned mentality resulted in a wedding more beautiful than many Martha-fests. Love it.

  9. I love your picnic in the park wedding! You say you didn't have "colors", but I see a kind of aqua theme here. Love it! The shoes, the shoes! You guys are darling. I've been thinking about going to Portland for my "wedding moon". All of Oregon looks so awesome!

  10. Good for you for sticking to your veg food! And the pictures are gorgeous! I'm planning a vegan wedding (both my fiance and I are vegan), and I had an argument with my father this past weekend about the need to have "just one meat dish" on the menu. Any advice for dealing with the "Bring Your Own Burger" type family members?

  11. People had three choices for boxed lunches (at that is a wonderful way to go! Cheaper, and quicker to get everyone served. Added plus, the place we used composts, so they came back and picked up all the trash from the meal so it could be composted). BBQ tofu with a citrus slaw, and potato salad (vegan), Grilled local summer veggies with cheese on a local made bagette with pasta salad (veg), and a hand made tuscan white bean burger with artichoke anoli with pasta salad (veg). We also had a PBJ option for kids, fancy PBJ that is! I was told after the wedding that one set of relatives opened their boxes, and then went and put them back on the table, but a loss for them, not for us. Everyone else said the meals were wonderful, and didn't miss the meat. An added bonus was that I wasn't worried about everyone getting food poisioning from having mayo/meat sitting out in 90 degree weather. We also had an insane amount of desserts in a buffet (pies, strawberry short cakes, vegan cup cakes, cobblers, crisps, and key lime cheese cake) so no one had to go hungry.

  12. A few people made comments to me before the wedding about the veggie food, but I just held my ground. My mom had even talked about bringing a big crock pot of meaty chili for people, but I said that wasn't going to happen. For years, being the veggie in a family, I've hade to make the compromises at big event meals (yeah! salad and bread for me!) and on our wedding day we wanted to not worry aout what we couldn't have, and instead focus on everything we could! Plus we felt there was no need to have to kill animals so people could celebrate with us, that is not our life style, and we weren't going to ignore our beliefs for one very important day in our life so people could have one meal with a chunk of meat. There are really wonderful veggie/vegan meal options out there!

  13. What a lovely wedding! I really dig weddings in the park.

    Also, never ever apologise for where you got your dress! You look lovely in it! So there! 🙂 Also, everyone's experience is different – for instance, David's Bridal, is the ONLY bridal store where the employees were actually nice to me! Everyone else was rude, tried to sell me a dress I clearly didn't want, or just plain ignored me.

  14. Okay, I think we're wedding twins or something – not only did I recently buy the SAME dress from David's Bridal (of which I'm no longer a hater – they were super-nice to me and I love the dress I found), but I bought the same color sash as well! And I'm looking for a park to hold our reception in cuz we want that same laid-back vibe. And to top it all off… you're in Portland, which is where we're going for our honeymoon!!

  15. Okay, now we're even MORE wedding twins than I originally anticipated. Last minute, one of my bridesmaids is not going to be able to make it… so we're replacing her with a cardboard cutout! Thank you so much for the idea – she loves it, and can't wait to see all the photos "she" is in! 🙂

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