These two brides had a rustic redwoods wedding (despite a big challenge with some fiddlers!)

Updated Nov 24 2015
 
Photos by: Molly Gilholm
Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride
Photos by Molly Gilholm

The Offbeat Bride: Shannon

Her offbeat partner: Jen

Date and location of wedding: Camp Campbell, Boulder Creek, CA — August 30, 2015

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

We definitely wanted a rustic/DIY-themed celebration, and felt that the venue was the most important part of that theme. Once we secured Camp Campbell, Jen's creative wonder went wild! Everything from building a bar out of pallets, to enlisting her friend to paint burlap signs and personalized name tags for jars, this was definitely in her wheelhouse. Everything about it was just perfect, mostly because of all the love and detail that went into planning it. We couldn't have been happier with our wedding in the woods.

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Tell us about the ceremony:

We hired a DJ/vocalist duo named Toast & Bells, who interestingly enough I found through a Craigslist ad I had written, but all but given up on when I got their message. We still get compliments on the vocalist, Rachelle. We walked down the aisle to her version of Melissa Ferrick's "Anything, Anywhere," which if you've heard it, you know that the lyrics can melt any heart.

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

While the ceremony mirrored traditional, we did our very best to make it anything but. Rather than be "given away," I had my brother walk me halfway down the aisle, and then Jen came to meet me. It was more of a joint meeting in the middle, rather than a transaction. We also wrote our own vows and were married by a good friend, and fellow social justice activist, Ernie, who was ordained online. There was supposed to be a reading by our friend, Katie, but we missed it, so she read it during the reception. It was called, "Things I learned about love, from Shannon & Jen, James Baldwin, and Ranier Rilke."

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

As far as decor, we were in a natural redwood chapel, so there wasn't much that could top it. We did add a gigantic rug on the stage that we picked up at a garage sale, though, and now it's in our bedroom.

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Tell us about your reception:

We were in a huge field surrounded by a majestic forest (in spite of the drought), so lawn games were a must. People played cornhole, signed our handmade guest book (also from pallets), took photos in the open air photo booth, and just hung out. We didn't want the reception to be too organized, so we had a loose timeline and really just went with the flow. We ate delicious organic food, played the shoe game, a few of our friends gave speeches, and we had our first (unrehearsed) dance to Rachelle singing "Diamonds" acoustically. That song had just came out when we met back in 2012 and everywhere we went it was playing. It seemed fitting that our first dance as a married couple be to it.

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

The most touching moments for me, though, are when all 90 of us gathered in a huge circle to say the Serenity Prayer before our meal, and when Jen gave the most moving impromptu speech ever. Words can't convey how moving each were. If you were there, you know. In lieu of favors, we made a donation on behalf of each of our guests to San Francisco-based suicide hotline, TransLifeline. We did give out personalized Chapsticks, though. It's not a lesbian wedding if there's no Chapstick involved! The end of the night was spent around a fire ravaging s'mores, honoring how blessed we were to have such an incredible celebration.

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

What was your most important lesson learned?

The fiddlers were our biggest challenge. Someone told us in the early planning stages to prepare for anything and everything to go wrong, and now we know that firsthand. After finding and signing a contract at our dream venue, the planning seemed to happen naturally and without many hitches. Then, just a few months before the wedding, we got a call saying that there's been a terrible mistake and we were double booked with a group of 250+ fiddlers! We panicked, of course. The save-the-dates had already gone out, people had booked flights to California, vendors were booked and paid. We had to get married that day and at that location.

Rather than get into all the sticky details, I'll just say that in the end, everything worked out beautifully and there wasn't a fiddler in sight on our wedding day. We learned a lot through that experience: how important it was to stand up for each other, to be patient with one another & others, and most importantly to have faith in the Universe. The best advise I can give is recycled, just remixed: Prepare for things to go wrong, because they will. And regardless of what that thing is, just breathe through it.

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Rustic redwoods wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Vendors

Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. I am in LOVE with the fashion choices going on, here. Everyone looked amazing, the venue looked amazing… Looks like such a great celebration.

  2. I LOVE Jen's suit! And that little ring bearer! And the CEREMONY SPACE!!! Gorgeous! Congratulations, you two! 🙂

  3. Hello there

    Thank you very much for the following email messages.

    Ray-Ban and Oakley Warehouse Retailer here. I'm simply writing to inform you we will offer you $19.95 for all models of Ray-Ban

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.