Offbeat partner: Melody
Offbeat partner: Morgan
Date and location of wedding: Piedmont, CA — January 19, 2019
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We were going for if Wes Andersen threw an early '00s high school dance in the forest. We wanted lots of nerdy pop culture touches, but nothing too heavy-handed. We were in the same nerdy friend group in high school and actually dated for two weeks before going our separate ways. I was married to someone else for a decade but when that ended we reconnected. We have all the same friends and even the same godkids, so our wedding was like a giant reunion.
The centerpieces featured forest spirits from Princess Mononoke, and soot spirits from Spirited Away, along with various nerdy LEGO mini-figs. We got married in a beautiful redwood grove behind the hall where we had our reception. We had a churro truck for dessert.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We wanted to get married in January because of the Avett Brother's song “January Wedding,” so even though it's a dicey month weather-wise to have an outdoor ceremony — we risked it. Our dogs were a part of the procession; my puppy actually walked me down the aisle.
Before the ceremony, we gave each of our attendants a characteristic of a healthy relationship but also something that represented our friendship. My sister got Humor, his best friend from elementary school got History, etc. During the ceremony, our officiant, his mom, explained that words are powerful spells we cast on each other, binding and loosening good and bad things. Marriage is just a very powerful spell and we're all here to witness it and help bring it into being. Then each one of our attendants shared their word and a blessing related to it for us. It was touching and meaningful.
While that was happening, we put the rings in a special box and sent them around the rest of the guests and had them put a little blessing for us in the box with the rings. It was very inclusive.
Tell us about the reception:
We started off the reception with an ice-breaker game where guests had to answer questions about us from different life stages, so they had to find people who knew the answers because very few people would know all of them. The first person to get all the correct answers won a date with us! Then we did speeches and our first dance to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show.
Dancing commenced, and then the churro truck pulled up. After churros, the DJ played “Africa” by Toto and blue and white ribbons on sticks where mysteriously disseminated amongst the crowd. People started busting into a choreographed dance, blessing those rains with ribbons. This was my surprise for Morgan.
We exited the party in a vintage Chevy Nova and went to an after-party at an awesome Chinese restaurant and Karaoke Bar in Jack London Square.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I really didn't want to spend money and I was afraid if we had it in a hall it would be too traditional, but we found a way to have a very offbeat event within a pretty traditional setting.
I really wanted to do something like a camping wedding or get married in a warehouse, but there were other considerations and family desires and I'm so glad we went with a more traditional venue. It saved a lot of headaches when it came to renting tables and chairs and working with caterers.