Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding


 
Photos by: Garrett Downen
Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride
Photos by Garrett Downen

The Offbeat Bride: Lydia, Writer & Designer

Her offbeat partner: Matthew, Futurist

Date and location of wedding: The Lake Theater & Cafe, Lake Oswego, OR — April 3, 2016

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

We had a science and fiction theme, pulling heavily from NASA, Carl Sagan, our favorite sci-fi franchises like Mass Effect and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The theater put up our tagline on the marquee: "Written in the Stars." Our officiant wrote a beautiful, secular ceremony that touched on our primary philosophy: The universe is vast, we are very small; because we have each other we are not alone in all that vastness.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Our clothing was inspired by two of our favorite video game characters, Garrus and Tali from Mass Effect. My mom and I made my dress with an accent fabric taken from Tali's costume. Matt's jacket was made by a talented Cyberpunk designer on Etsy based on Garrus' colors and style. The officiant had an Illusive Man costume on. We wanted to look like we belonged in the beautiful imagined worlds of the future, and all our style choices reflected that.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

We skipped the wedding party and had Squadmates instead. Those were the people we would have chosen if we'd had room on stage for everyone to stand up there with us. We asked them for help with tasks on the day of, and they rose to the occasion with gusto. They really are the most amazing people in our lives. Right after we got engaged, I sent out an email asking them if they would join the Squad and letting them know that they were off the hook for buying outfits and stuff like that.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Tell us about the ceremony:

After the ceremony, Matt's grandmother said "Weddings keep getting weirder." That was one of our favorite compliments of the whole day.

We held our ceremony in the movie theater, and began with set of video "readings" from Carl Sagan and a spoken word piece from Northern Exposure. (The Pale Blue Dot taken from the newest Cosmos Series, and Chris doing Light is Light over video from NASA.) As the video came to a close, we lit up lanterns and walked down the aisles on either side of our guests, coming together in front of our officiant while an animated loop from the Illusive Man's solar office (a Mass Effect 2 reference) played on the screen above us.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Well, that was the plan, anyway. Unbeknownst to me, the AV dude had taken my tech schedule and laptop and went a bit off script. He set up a second desktop which prevented the video from being seen. Once he got that sorted out, halfway through the video, the sound cut out. I was horrified. But, the show must go on, so we walked up with our lanterns and that's when our officiant saved the day.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Our officiant is a dear friend of ours, and one of the best writers I've ever met, hands down. Everything he said was perfect. He quoted philosophers, he made us laugh, he made us cry, and he made the imperfect into something beautiful. We are so outrageously grateful for what he did. He and Matt even got matching tattoos to commemorate the wedding!

The Star Trek end credits played as we ran out. Or they were supposed to…

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Tell us about your reception:

Our reception focused on food and fun, as evidenced by our rousing game of Aliens versus Colonists. (That was really just a sci-fi re-skin of the excellent game of Werewolf.)

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Ponoko.com made all my laser-cut dreams come true. I designed a Garrus and Tali cake topper, an Enterprise "guest book," and light-up centerpieces (that only worked thanks to a talented and genius friend who built the bases for us.)

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Our signature cocktails were an Aldebaran Whiskey and a Tuchanka Sunrise. Otherwise known as a midori caipirinha and a pineapple and bourbon drink with paprika simple syrup. They were so good!

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

We held the reception in the same space as the ceremony, and so we were able to take advantage of the screen for our decor. We played a soundless loop of three fantastic videos. One from the ESA for the Rosetta mission, one about Carl Sagan's wanderers piece, and one about the New Horizons mission. ("What video is that?" became the #1 FAQ of the day!)

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

We danced our First Dance to Amanda Palmer's "In My Mind." I have a heat and exercise allergy that prevents me from doing anything athletic without breaking out in hives, so we kept the choreography simple: starting with awkward middle school slow dancing and getting more and more graceful until we finished with a dip.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

What was your most important lesson learned?

Trust your instincts. I had a hunch that the tech would go wrong for our ceremony, and it did. Spectacularly wrong. I should have trusted in my instincts and put a Squadmate in the projection booth. So many of them were so tech-savvy and so dedicated, and they would have done an excellent job. But, I brushed off my concerns. Don't do that! You can trust yourself and if it's important to you, it's worth chasing down.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Years of reading Offbeat Bride made it easy to keep true to our authentic vision. Thanks to all the preparation, we never stressed about decisions or details, except for the video. I had nightmares about that. Read Offbeat Bride and USE THE TOOLS you find here. I had photography shot lists ready, schedules of events, all sorts of organizing tools thanks to the ideas I found here. Keep reading, every day, you never know what you'll discover.

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

Mass Effect meets Star Trek at this theatrical science wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

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  1. The ceremony was beautiful! I was there and Made the lighting…. Just saying :p I work on commission contacts below.

    #moonlife #spacelove

    Twitter: @oncefuture
    Insta:@0ncefutur3
    Gmail: hislunarmajesty@gmail.com

  2. Oh my – this looks like a fabulous wedding (and cool couple)!!
    We've been musing over readings and hadn't considered having video "readings" – thanks for the tip.

  3. I love this (as a Mass Effect enthusiast myself) never thought I'd see Garrus and Tali together but I like it 😀 Perfect.

    • If you don't romance either one of them, they actually get together in ME3. Fun fact! Lol.

      Awesome wedding! And what a compliment from grandma haha 😀 I wish you two all the happiness!

  4. From one Lydia to another, I love this so much! We are in the early stages of planning, but I think ours will be vaguely space themed although skewing more jetsonsy/retro-futurism but definitely with some Carl Sagan and/or NdGT. I am curious what app/website you used? It looks great! And was that a template or did you design it yourself? Thanks and congratulations!

    • Hi Lydia! (Always awesome to meet another Lady of Purple!)
      I think you're asking about the invitation? I'm a designer, so I DIY'd it and printed through Costco. A couple times a year they'll have $5 off deals, and they print in multiples of 25. Nice quality, they have some nice templates, and it wasn't a problem to upload my designs, either. They even printed our return address on the back of the envelopes, which helped so much. All in all, the invites cost us about $45 including stamps. We did the RSVPs through my Squarespace website and piped the answers into a Google Docs spreadsheet.

      Hope that helps! (Unless I goofed up and you were asking about something else…)

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