Katina & Nefi's intimate DIY state park wedding

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Photos by Crimson and Clover Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Katina, Store Manager/Vintage Costumer

Her offbeat partner: Nefi, Operations Manager

Date and location of wedding: Illahee State Park, Bremerton, WA — July 12, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: When Nefi and I first met, a large part of what we bonded over was books and comics. So, we included a nod to that in things like our directional sign and the paper flowers mixed in with the fresh ones. Everything else, from the marquee letters to the bunting (made by my mom) to the floral arrangements (made by our awesome best man and bridesmaid), was handmade. Leading up to the wedding, we also collected vintage plates, flatware, bottles, serving ware, and tablecloths.

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We're both firm believers that food is love, so it was important to us that it all be homemade. His family is from Mexico and Southern California and mine's from the South, so we had an interesting combination of the two. It was a ton of work, but we couldn't be more grateful for all of effort they put into it. We even all worked on the cupcakes together!

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Tell us about the ceremony: For the ceremony, everyone was seated on picnic-style blankets with pillows. Beforehand, we had a ring warming ceremony. The actual ceremony was brief, with my dad officiating. He read "Ever Increasing Circles" by Helen Marsh and "The One" (author unknown). Nefi and I planned on writing our own vows. What actually happened was that I wrote vows and then Nefi was so caught up in taking care of everything that he forgot. And he didn't realize it until it came to exchange them!

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Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was getting our families together. Not because they don't get along (this is the first time they had met), but because they live on opposite sides of the country from each other (and us). Unfortunately, that meant that only roughly 30 of the 70 people we invited actually were able to attend.

Time management was also an issue. Because we gave ourselves so much time, we put a lot of things off until the last minute. We had time, right? Um… nope. If you DIY your wedding (or anything else), don't just start early. Consistently continue with your projects and collections. You'll be super grateful when it comes down to crunch time.

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My favorite moment: Katina: The ceremony. I was calm all day long, and then got choked up whenever my dad spoke. Or Nefi. Or when I read my vows. So, really, whenever anything happened at all. It was especially touching when Nefi made up his vows on the spot. Fortunately, our families were very rambunctious and cat-called through the whole thing. It helped alleviate the tension dramatically.

Nefi: What really touched me was seeing our two families coming together and blessing the rings. We're not religious, but it meant a lot to see everyone giving us their blessings and well wishes.

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My funniest moment: My favorite was our cake cutting. Nefi and I had spoken about it at length, and I was adamant that he not smash cake in my face. So, as he promised, he very nicely fed me cake with a fork. However, not without explaining to the family why. His family thought it was really sweet, and then brought up the fact that he had never made me promise. So I obliged and shoved cake in to his face, plate and all. The look on his face as he realized what was happening was priceless.

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DIY these!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Elope!… just kidding. But really, it's going to be a lot of hard work and everything may not go according to plan. Things are going to be forgotten or not finished. And that's okay because nobody but you will notice.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

They ♥ OBB; we ♥ themThis post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides:

  1. Aw, I love that area of Washington! So pretty to see. And I'm really thrilled to see someone else who did homemade for food. We're going to have basically a dinner party sized guest list, but I'd still love to hear any recommendations you have for food/preparing/etc. One of the challenges we're looking at is that we want it to be the first meal we prepare as a married couple, to share with our guests, so we're trying to figure out how to balance all the timing. (I'm totally cheating and asking my sister to make the cupcakes, though!)

    I saw one of those drink dispensers over the weekend and contemplated buying it – now I'm rather sad I didn't, as I see it would make things a lot easier, not to mention pretty!

      • Oh, it's in the bookmarked folder already. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I figured I could either ask Katina something she had feedback on while I went "oooooo pretty", or I could go for "OH GOD I MISS THE PNW PLEASE GO SMELL A TREE FOR ME."

        ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I definitely second checking out the post Ariel recommended! We used it ourselves and it was SO helpful. Especially the parts on "Outsourcing" and "Research and Organizing." I made one or two flavors of cupcakes in small batches for a couple months and tested them with friends. They loved it and it gave me the opportunity to practice and see how they fared. One thing I would add, in the same vein as talking to farm stand owners, is to talk to local businesses/local restaurants. We were able to get all of the Mexican sodas, beer, and meat at cost by reaching out to small businesses we're friendly with.

      I loved having those dispensers! They were super handy. OBB even had a round up of some a while back (offbeatbride.com/2012/04/beverage-dispensers). I also saw some cute ones that looked like mason jars at World Market.

      • My sister is the bestest thing of all: a stress baker who went to medical school. The only thing (maybe literally the ONLY thing) I'm not worried about is her ability to bake a really tasty cupcake. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I just had a chance to go through the wedding picture porn. SO beautiful. Just absolutely stunning in every possible way.

  2. Also, as someone born & raised in Kitsap County, I have to say this wedding may be the most beautiful Bremerton has ever looked! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. So, first of all, what a lovely wedding! Second of all, I can't even begin to say how surreal it was to read this. As it turns out, I live about 5 minutes from Illahee (Hooray for Bremerton!). My gentleman and I are in the very early stages of planning our wedding, which we hope to have at Illahee next July. Our aesthetic is vintage-y DIY, and our families are spread out across the country (Midwest and Southwest). In short, I'm going to save this post, and when planning my wedding feels like too much trouble, I'll take a peek to remind myself that it really will be pretty awesome when all is said and done–even if half of my family doesn't show up!

    • So, I had never been to Illahee or Bremerton before shooting this wedding, but the way Nefi and Katina pulled everything off was inspirational! The park is GORGEOUS (I am admittedly a big fan of trees, so…), and all of the DIY touches they added made it so personal. They had a really amazing day — it was great being there for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Such a beautiful wedding! Thanks for sharing the poem 'Ever Increasing Circles' – I had never read it before and it is lovely. It's going on my list of potential readings!

  5. We need to talk about those Blackberry cupcakes. Wow. They look so beautiful, unique, and tasty, I'm actually mad that this is just a picture, and not a plate of cupcakes sitting in front of me. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous, but as a foodie and a self-proclaimed cupcake expert…these might be the most wonderful things I've ever seen. I bet they tasted even better than they look.

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