The Offbeat Bride: Kiara, musician
Her offbeat partner: Kiel, musician
Date and location of wedding: Elysian Park, Los Angeles, CA — April 23, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our rogue park wedding idea was born from there being a few things that are really important to us in our day-to-day lives, and we wanted to be able to honor those in our wedding.
We both are vegan and lead lives of compassion towards ourselves and living beings around us. From the beginning, we were sure we wanted a 100% vegan wedding, from what we wore to what we ate. We sourced our shoes from awesome vegan shoe companies, my dress was made with synthetic fibers, and Kiel's suit is a cotton blend. We care about the preservation of our earth and environment and wanted to have a low impact, eco-friendly, and minimal waste day, so our plates, napkins, and cups were all compostable, and our venue was provided graciously by Mother Earth.
We gave away all our extra food and flowers to our guests and the fleece blankets we made to be used as picnic blankets were donated to a woman’s shelter after the wedding. Above all, we wanted the day to be about our love for each other and our love for our community that surrounds, supports, and holds us accountable.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We had an intimate ceremony in a circle. Ben, the guy who didn’t really mean to introduce us four years ago when we were both playing in his band for his CD release party, was our loving officiant. We walked into the circle of our community to our friend Ryan Dilmore singing his song, "Forever Sounds (So Much Like Your Name)." After the kiss, our friends, “Sometimes We Sing Together,” came into the center for a beautiful rendition of their song "Pyramids." These artists and songs speak to Kiel and myself in the way they discuss love, openness, and adventure.
In addition to our own vows to each other, Kiel and I had prepared community affirmations where we asked our community to exclaim "We Will!" to a list of requests to support us in our marriage. There was a mat that the guests were asked to sign at the reception and our affirmations are being artistically rendered and will hang in our home surrounded by the signatures.
After the final song and a large group hug, it was time for the reception!
Tell us about your reception:
Many two- and four-legged creatures gathered in the park on a gorgeous spring afternoon. It was magical. With dietary restrictions, wanting to keep the day as simple and waste-free as possible, and pure cost considerations, we decided to keep the wedding in the middle of the day and provide vegan snacks, lemonade and iced tea, and vegan cupcakes and invite our guests to bring their own libations and a picnic if they wished.
I think art is a wonderful way for people to connect or become acquainted, so we had two art tables. Guests were asked to bring a little succulent plant. At the Succulent City table they painted the pot, and when they went home, they were invited to take home someone else’s painted, potted succulent as a fond memory of the day. The other art table was our Memory Book, where each guest was asked to create a page. They were invited to bring something physical like a photo, poem, letter, etc. to assist their page, or they could use the art supplies provided to create their masterpiece. The book is so beautiful; each page different and unique, just like our eclectic community.
What was your most important lesson learned?
It truly takes a village. The most important thing to me was that our community was around us and that everyone could have a relaxing and fun day. My family arrived super early at the park that morning to stake out our area. When I had to go up to the house to get ready, the park wasn't set up. Until that point, I had had 100% control over everything and this was when I had to take a deep breath and just let go. While I was sitting still and getting my hair and makeup done, my incredible mother and friends made my bouquet, Kiel's boutonniere, table arrangements, and set up our park site.
When I got down to the park for our first look, everything looked perfect. I walked through the grass towards Kiel’s back, locking eyes with our dear friends who were finding their individualized notes that we’d handwritten in the ceremony circle. The sun was shining but shade was abundant and there was a beautiful, soft breeze. That little bit of letting go, of letting my community take over and make those final decisions, brought the final touch of magic into this fairy tale day for us.
- Photographer: Aleah Eileen Photography
- Video: Body Checker Productions
- Crystal crown: Jewelz By Jewelia
- Dress: Grace Bridal Couture
- Suit: Express Men
- Kiara's Shoes: Nicora Shoes
- Kiel's Shoes: Will's Vegan Shoes
- Flowers: Seminavi Farms
- Plates, Cups, Napkins: Green Party Supply