Offbeat partner: Kym, Conservation Program Manager
Offbeat partner: Ema, Veterinary Student
Date and location of wedding: Kitsap Memorial Park, Kitsap Peninsula — June 18, 2016
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
There was a very loose Princess Bride theme, because we wanted to have a beautiful, woodsy, fairy tale party, but we also wanted to have a sense of humor about it.
Tell us about the ceremony:
The weekend prior to the wedding, Ema and I hiked up the mountain range you could see from our ceremony site, and said our vows to each other up there in the company of a curious mountain goat. We now have that mountain range on our wedding bands. It was very romantic — but also very funny, because it was a really intense hike, and we thought we were not going to make it a few times thanks to more ice than expected and being unsure of the mountain goat's intentions.
The ceremony was supposed to take place in a small grove, but due to the weather, we ended up scampering to hold it under the pavilion. All our friends and families were smushed in together, and midway through the ceremony the clouds started to lift and we had some beautiful light come in over the water. It was very intimate and touching to have everyone be so close to us.
We had Ema's sister officiate, and she put together a beautiful, non-traditional, non-religious ceremony. Ema and I wrote our own vows, and at the end her sister pronounced us "gay married!" which brought down the house. We also got the idea to collect flowers from our families along the aisle to make a bouquet (an idea we got from Offbeat Bride!). When we started walking, we realized we were on the wrong sides, so we got flowers from each other's families. It was actually a really lovely moment, and everyone thought we did it that way on purpose.
Tell us about your reception:
Oh man, after the second the ceremony was over, we really let loose! We had some Princess Bride-themed decor, a cornhole game, a giant Jenga set that our friend made for us (Jimga, actually, because his name is Jim), and life-sized beer pong. The setting was so beautiful that we didn't need a lot of decorations, just some wood branch candlesticks that Ema had made (from a tree on the property where we met), pages from the Princess Bride, and heart-shaped crayons I made so people could color on the tablecloths which were white craft paper.
Ema and I split the playlist, with her half being fun soul and Motown music, and my half being pure pop music. The dancing was amazing, with an epic rendition of "Wrecking Ball" being a personal favorite.
Ema's aunt made us five different flavors of wedding cake, and we served the cake with champagne to keep people happy while we took some pictures after the ceremony. We also had a DIY photo booth, and looking at the pictures the next day was hilarious. Finally, we had a group campsite and bonfire afterwards, where everyone crowded around to finish off the Fireball and the cheese plates.
What was your most important lesson learned?
I think my biggest piece of advice is that it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. There were times during the night before and the day of the wedding when I felt stressed (especially about the weather) or overwhelmed or annoyed that people had flaked or whatever, and then I felt so guilty afterwards about not feeling 100% giddy and awesome and lovestruck the entire day. I spent most of the time having so much fun and feeling tons of love and gratitude for our friends and families, though.
Our intention had been to just have a big fun party, but there is no way to avoid a certain amount of drama and expectations around an event like a wedding, particularly one that has been given so much weight in our popular culture. So cut yourself some slack, feel your feelings, and then focus on all of the parts of the day you really loved, because that is what will stay with you in the long run.
- Photographer: Christopher Gendron Photography (so great!)
- Dress: Used, from Tradesy
- Venue: Kitsap Memorial State Park