The offbeat bride: Molly, business owner and teacher
Her offbeat partner: Laurie, business owner/dog adventure guide/writer
Location & date of wedding: Guemes Island, WA overlooking the water and mountains on October 25th, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: Some details of that made it ours….
Rather than sending STD cards or standard invitations…we put together a CD (I love music) and sent it to our guests. We sent the CDs 10 months ahead of time (and even with no Save The Date) it worked out great – people loved the CD and still talk about it. The CD had our website on it, which was all people needed. It set the tone for fun and expecting the unexpected. (In hindsight, it also served as the ‘favor').
Guests were asked to participate in many ways. During the ceremony we had a Community Support section where guests were asked to publicly declare their support to our commitment. We also had a Ring Warming during the ceremony where the rings were passed around and guests were asked to take a moment to hold them, infuse them with their physical, emotional, and spiritual warmth. And we had a wedding certificate made that our guests signed with us after the ceremony. We got a lot of response at how much people enjoyed being a part of it all.
We had a pre-ceremony mingle with food and drink – guests love food & drink! We had to do a lot of planning for about a year before the wedding; however, neither one of us did any work on our wedding day. We got massages and were super relaxed… we totally gave up all control and let our community loose… they set up the tables, the chairs for the ceremony, the flowers, the sound system, did our hair, etc. We literally just showed up… it was awe-some!! We also choreographed a playful first dance to Frank Sinatra's “World on a String.”
Our DJ was a local woman we heard at a club and loved… I emailed her and asked if she did weddings. She said she didn't, but once she knew that it was more party/less wedding music she happily agreed! Neither of us like cake, so no cake… in fact, no hoopla of any kind around the desserts (brownies with ice-cream – yum).
The wedding was at a rustic resort and many guests slept in the cabins or yurts on Friday and Saturday night, making the event a community one (i.e., set-up, clean-up, breakfast, midnight snacks, fire building, hot tubbing, bonding, etc.).
Our biggest challenge: Sadly, Laurie's parents chose not to come to the wedding. They felt/feel our marriage conflicts with their religious views and they cannot support it. We live in the same city as her parents, and our engagement lasted over a year, which made – and still makes – interactions & holidays tough.
They pray against our love and actively support bans on marriage equality. They even chose not to see/interact with their multiple family members that flew in for the wedding (including their son/Laurie's brother).
We did/do our best to cope with this by talking about it openly, perusing OBB, trying not to make them wrong and trusting that the greatest gift we can give to family, friends and the community in general, is to be truly authentic, no matter how hard the ‘truth' may be for others.
My favorite moment: The declaration of our marriage by our bad-ass celebrant & dear friend, Roxanne.
She took a step forward, puffed her chest and powerfully announced:
“By the power unlawfully seized by me in defiance of the State of Washington's laws prohibiting marriage equality, it is my great pleasure to declare you MARRIED!”
It felt like the earth shifted at that moment. It was powerful because of how real the words were to her… it sent a visible wave of chills + joy over the crowd. It literally rocked!
A few of my vendors:
- Photographer, Jenny Jimenez. Hands down she was the best vendor ever!!! Her work wows us to no end. If you're near Seattle lucky you! If not, fly her out!
- Molly's Dress Designer, Chrissy Wai Ching
- Molly's Shrug, seller Rohm on Etsy [as seen on OBB!]
- Rings, The Wedding Ring Workshop
- Laurie's hot local designer jacket & shirt, Synapse 206
- Custom Wedding Certificate, Documents and Design
- Caterer, Gere-A-Deli in Anacortes, WA
- Tent, Pacific Party Canopy
- Port-a-Potty, Wizards of Ooze
My offbeat advice: Keep a separate checking account for your wedding spending/saving & use an on-line budgeter! Even my Excel geekiness couldn't outdo the free tools available on-line. I'm sure there are other great budgeters, but I confess, I used the Knot's budgeter. (If you've never heard of the Knot, don't go there, you are a true OBB. Keep your purity! If you've heard of it and I made you gag – sorry.)
Anyway, I clicked past the white cookie-cutter consumerism crap and found that their budgeter kinda rocks. We had to reformat their suggested budget (i.e., subtract: hair & make-up, bridesmaids stuff, bridal bouquet, limo, etc and add: CD envelopes, mason jars from goodwill, port-a-potty, etc.), but from anywhere in the world I could keep track of our payments and budget stuff. Yeah for financial control and ease!