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A backyard garden party wedding with yard games & cocktail recipe cards

When we started planning our wedding, we quickly discarded a lot of traditional elements. What we did want in a wedding was an opportunity to celebrate with our loved ones, to gather around a table and enjoy a meal together, to welcome our people into our home, and celebrate as a group. So we focused on the most important stuff to accommodate our vision: a small event in our backyard, a menu and cocktails that reflected our tastes, handmade décor, yard games, and a non-religious ceremony officiated by a dear friend.

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A sweet and sunny same-sex beachfront wedding on Puget Sound

Julika and Jess were married at the Ballard Bay Club on Shilshole Bay in Seattle. Jess waited for Julika to arrive at the Chittendon/Ballard Locks for a super sweet first look. it all started out cloudy, but soon the sun peeked out and shed light on all the love and lit up Puget Sound as their stellar ceremony backdrop. The ceremony was conducted by Julika’s father, Rev. Jon Luopa, and included a tree ceremony!

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Led Zeppelin, craft beer, and tattoos at this bad-ass rock show-themed wedding

We had a rock show-themed wedding, which was inspired by our engagement shoot (by the fantastic Wild About You Photography) at a San Francisco music venue. Rye and I have a mutual passion for rock music, tattoos, and the macabre, so that theme covered lots of what we love!

We asked our guests to "channel their inner punk rocker" and wear clothing that reflected whatever "rock and roll" meant to them. There were lots of leather jackets, band shirts, combat boots, and colored hair.

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An intimate bucket list wedding planned in two weeks after a cancer diagnosis

My husband died seven months after our wedding. The most important lesson I learned from our wedding is that when it really comes down to it, your marriage is more important than your wedding.

What I want to share with other Offbeat Bride readers is that if you are lucky enough to have found someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with, the rest of details don’t really matter.

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Velvet, faux fur, and waterfalls at this Franklin Falls wintry elopement inspiration

If there's ever a place that deserves to be photographed with lush flowers, faux furs, and black lace, it's Franklin Falls, about 50 miles east of Seattle with waterfalls, hiking routes, and tons of greenery. This wintry elopement inspiration shoot featured burgundy velvet, Jon Snow-worthy furs, jagged icicles, and a roaring waterfall.

It was a three-mile walk to the area, but the breathtaking views are most definitely worth it. Go see for yourself and let me know how much you pine for that black gown…