The offbeat bride: Danielle, kindergarten teacher
Her offbeat partner: Gonzalo, PhD Student
Date and location of wedding: Urban Light Studios, Seattle, WA — August 4, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Both Gonzalo and I wanted our wedding to feel like a true celebration. We absolutely dreaded the thought of people sitting at big tables, waiting for things like dinner and dancing to be announced. We opted for a few key things that made our wedding special to us, and captured a true party feel.
Our venue, Urban Light Studios, is a photography studio that is already funky and interesting to look at, so decorating was really unnecessary. It's set up in a way that forces people to get up and move. Each room is connected to the next, and they are all full of fun things to look at and explore.
We had all of our friends involved in creating our wedding. I held crafting parties and we enlisted our artistic friends to help get all our projects done. Everything from the invitations, D&G marquee lights, chalkboard signs, the guestbook, bouquets and flowers, desserts and dessert stands, jam jars… everything was created by the hands of our friends and family, making each detail special to us.
Tell us about the ceremony: My husband is Mexican American, and so it was important to us to be married by someone who spoke Spanish. Luckily a dear friend, who is bilingual, was willing to get ordained. During the ceremony, we included readings in Spanish and a traditional ritual called The Lasso, which is like a giant rosary that gets wrapped around the couple's shoulders, and symbolizes unity. It was given to us by Gonzalo's aunt, blessed by our friend, and placed on us by our wedding compadres. It was one of the most beautiful moments of the ceremony. My family is Irish and my sisters also read a traditional Irish blessing.
One of the most amazing moments in the ceremony was when my husband and a Dido song to me. This was a complete surprise, and since he's not a professional singer, he must have been so nervous! He then pulled out several old letters I had written him and read excerpts aloud. It was so overwhelming to hear such personal and funny moments of our relationship.
Our biggest challenge: My dress' zipper split open as my mom was zipping it up. I freaked out, had a shot of whiskey, and then one of my bridesmaid's brought in her mom who stitched me into my dress, all mere minutes before the ceremony. Later, I had to be cut out of the dress!
My favorite moment: Having those few moments before the ceremony with my mom and dad will always stick out for me. They were so excited and glowing. Hugging Gonzalo's mom after the ceremony while she asked me to “Take care of him always,” was beautiful and emotional.
My grandma is Lithuanian and she made one of my favorite desserts, a traditional Lithuanian dish called Love Knots and brought them to the wedding for the dessert bar.
Another moment that stands out was when the venue was getting packed up, and the lights were coming on, Gonzalo asked the DJ for one more song, and we were the only two left on the dance floor. We laughed and danced up a storm in the last few minutes of our wedding.
My funniest moment: At one point in the night, I saw that Gonzalo was crowd surfing on the dance floor! It was hilarious to see him go flying over the tops of our friends and family.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? It was extremely hot the day of our wedding (over 90 degrees!). In Seattle, most places aren't equipped to handle such heat. During the ceremony, I was sweating like crazy, but it ended up cooling off as time passed, and it was fine.
My advice for offbeat brides: Start early! I wanted all mismatched vases for our flowers. I collected for an entire year at thrift stores and garage sales. Check Yelp too. We found our venue and bakery simply by searching on Yelp, and couldn't be happier with our decisions.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Venue: Urban Light Studios
- Bride's dress: BHLDN
- Cake: Madison Park Bakery
- Groom's suit and shoes: Nordstrom Rack
- Flowers: Pike's Place Market and put together by a friend
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
venue: Urban Light Studios