The offbeat groom: Christopher, Special Education Teacher
His offbeat partner: Kevin, Disneyland employee
Date and location of wedding: Dana Point, CA — June 9, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: First and foremost, Kevin and I really wanted a long engagement to sort our relationship into “marriage mode,” and give us time to really figure out how we wanted to go about getting married, even if it wouldn't be legal in California at the time. When Kevin and I got engaged in 2011 and started planning this event, we were very undecided about the theme, and decided to look into our mutual hobbies and interests for inspiration. Both of us are self-proclaimed geeks, and we decided that we would work that into the theme. We couldn't cover all aspects of our interests, so we narrowed it down to one mutual love between us: Batman.
The trouble was that we liked Batman for different reasons, and we didn't want to have a costume party or a child's birthday party-style wedding. Kevin loves the heroic aspect of Batman, and I love Batman's many villains, especially the much ignored and unloved Mr. Freeze. It took a few months before our vision started to gel into a “heroes versus villains” cocktail party. This gave us the ability to decorate and dress up, but within the confines of making everything cocktail party-inspired.
After some financial hardship that shut down our longest standing plan, we went back to the drawing board in January, less than six months before our wedding date. Pulling funds together, we started looking at what was important to us: all of our supporting family members and friends to attend if they wanted to, and being by the beach.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our officiant was a mutual friend and my coworker. He took a great deal of care crafting a ceremony that paid tribute to us as a couple and to acknowledge the fact that though government and religion may not condone what we were doing, it was nonetheless an act of love we were committing in front of all of our family members and friends. We loved it.
We each had one of our friends read a superhero-inspired love poem. My friend from art school, Margelia, read this:
My superhero doesn't fly.
Or wear a cape.
My superhero doesn't have a mask to hide his face.
And he doesn't have a super suit.
In fact the only suit he wears is with a shirt and tie.
My superhero spends his days playing video games.
My superhero has his nose in a book.
In fact, my superhero is an open book.
I can always tell when something is wrong.
Though I want to help, I cannot find the words to say.
My superhero doesn't fight bad guys.
Or save damsels in distress.
My superhero hasn't been in life or death situations.
But has trails of his own.
My superhero doesn't get called to save the world.
So I get to see him every day.
I am not his Robin.
I am the man who fell for the man who saved my little world.
He is kind and considerate of my feelings.
Though he may be the one who hurts my feelings,
He is also the one who makes everything all right again.
He is the one who saves me.
I guess I could call him my Batman, my Superman, my X-Man…
But that doesn't fit.
Because, he is just,
We also planned a ring warming, and though it was a bit rocky trying to get 25 people to pass the rings in the right way, it really did work and make the exchange feel that much more personal.
Our biggest challenge:
We had two giant challenges: finances and false friendships. I had to use the wedding money at one point to pay for my last semester of my teaching credential and that shut down our wedding for a few weeks. Both of us pulled as much as we could get together, and our friends searched for alternatives for us until we found our way to a beautiful venue that was in our new budget.
Also, both of us had to deal with the loss of significant friendships over the course of our two-year engagement. These friends were a part of our wedding parties, but due to shakey ground we both had to let them go of their titles and obligations. Two years is a long time. Make sure you choose your wedding party members wisely if you are in a long engagement.
My favorite moment: The first thing that comes to mind is the amount of people who came. We ended up with 85, which is pretty huge for a gay wedding in a state where it was not legal at the time, in a very conservative county, and with conservative families. I will never forget what it felt like standing and greeting people as they came in… and just kept coming in!
After that, it was seeing our wedding party members take such love and care with our plans that day. We weren't going to be around to set up the décor in the ceremony or reception spaces due to a photography appointment we set up for that morning. I trained our wedding party members on how to set up some things, and then just gave them the supplies and hoped for the best. So, when we came to the restaurant and saw all of our dreams and crazy wedding plans come to life… it was magic.
The last and most meaningful moment of the wedding was being able to hold Kevin's hand as we walked down the aisle and saw 85 smiling faces look at us in approval. The feeling of acceptance blew all worry out of my body in that moment. I really was nervous because we had spent so much time and money on a ceremony and reception that wasn't for a legal marriage. I felt silly, really. It wasn't until we walked down the aisle and everyone smiled at us and applauded as we walked past them that I felt accepted. From then on I realized, though it wasn't legal, that doesn't mean it wasn't real. And all 85 of our guests saw it as the real deal.
My funniest moment: Our officiant really wanted to participate in the theme, but we ran out of Batman characters for him to dress as. When he greeted us at the altar, he turned around so his back faced us, opened up his shirt, then turned back around to reveal a Superman logo under his dress shirt! It was a perfect reveal, and so absolutely fitting.
I found myself laughing a lot during our vows, because we both wrote personal moments that we share. It was funny hearing how Kevin makes sure to prepare my favorite cookies and save favorite American Dad and Bob's Burgers episodes after a hard day at work, and how I always seem to cheer him up with my “cartoon faces.”
Then there was the chaos that was our wedding party photos. Since my wedding party (11 people) dressed in villain-inspired cocktail attire, and his wedding party (another 11 people) dressed in hero-inspired cocktail attire, it seemed only fitting that instead of formal line-up photos, we would go with an all-out faux brawl between the two sides. 10 minutes and three wars later, we left with a lot of fun shots of people beating each other up. Nothing says a wedding without a good bit of fisticuffs!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Be mindful of your engagement length, and aware that things can change a lot during a long one. Try not to hammer all the details out more than a year and a half in advance. If you do, make sure the details involve things that are not likely to change prior to the big day. Friendships may change, financial situations may change… so make sure you've got the right people with you to help.
One more thing: it goes by FAST! Take every little chance you get to step back, look around, savor, and enjoy that so many people are there for you.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Collective Perception Photography
- Grooms' suits: Express
- Mr. Freeze snowflake pendant: Jan Hall Designs
- Custom Converse: Converse.com
- Mr. Freeze gun and cardbox: NoDice1904
- Snowflake belt buckle: Rhythmic Metal
- Hourglass: Heirloom Hourglass
- Cake: Beverly's Best Bakery
Comments on Christopher & Kevin’s Batman vs. Mr. Freeze heroes and villains wedding
Everything about this is fantastic. Congratulations! =)
Thanks so much!
This is just fab! The photos look great, what an awesome wedding 🙂 xxx
Thank you! We had a lot of fun putting all of this together. 🙂
I’m in love with your cake. Please let your cake decorator know that they have a standing faux-marriage proposal should they be interested.
The tiny top hats are so adorable! Your suit colors are amazing. I love how you both managed to use your character colors without falling into a costume. You look distinctly different, but you still match. Those suits are beautiful.
Lovely wedding, guys! Y’all rock my socks!
Such great compliments! We really tried hard not to make it a costume party, so hearing that it looked good makes me smile. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your awesome and beautiful celebration of love! Have a happily ever after!
That cake! Those suits! THAT CAKE!
Ha! It was an amazing cake! Our decorator is super talented. The cake still tasted great despite the multiple layers of fondant. The inside cake was cookies and cream and the filling was the same. MMMMMM cookie cake! Wish I still had some!
This is so amazing! I rarely come by OBB anymore, having been married nearly 5 years, but this came across my Tumblr and I just had to click! Y’all look to happy and adorable!
Thanks for stopping by and seeing what we came up with. I’m flattered! 🙂
I rarely come here anymore, since I got married over 3 years ago, but I had to stop and click on this when I saw it on Facebook. My brother and his partner are FINALLY planning their marriage in Cali after being together for 24 years, and looking at your wedding photos made me even more excited for theirs. Beautiful and unique wedding! Congratulations!
Thank you for stopping by to take a look. Hooray for Prop 8 finally being struck down! Congrats to your brother! I’m sure they will have a great day! 🙂
Words cannot express how much I love every inch of this!!!
Ha! I love it! Thanks for saying that! 🙂
<3 <3 <3
Everything about this is amazing, the love, the colors, the photos, the suits, the officiant, the love! Congrats to you both!
Thank you so much! 🙂
Da na na na na na na na Da na na na na na na na LOVE THIIIISSSS!
Da na na na na na na na Da na na na na na na na THANK YOU!!!! 🙂
My fiancee and I are also in a long-term engagement, so it was really cool to hear advice about that from another LGBTQ couple in the same boat. Your wedding was amazing!
Ah! So happy to hear the advice I wrote is coming in handy. If you ever need anything, please message me. Just remember to take your time with planning, and if you do set things in stone make sure you feel like they will be things that you will continue to want to have in your special day further down the road. Good luck! 🙂
This is beyond awesome! Also, it’s greatly appeals to my nerdy side. XD
Love the Batman /Mr. Freeze theme. Awesome job.
Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun! Yay geekdom! 🙂
I showed this to fiance and he said, “I want to have this exact wedding.” I’m not sure if he was including the groom. Of course, he doesn’t know about my Batman panties yet.
Okay, seriously, that cake is brilliant. And your wedding party photos are ridiculously epic!
Thank you so much! The cake was delicious and the wedding party was just beyond anything I could have hoped for.
The officiant reveal = AWESOME! That blue tie askew in the ceremony photos puts the biggest smile on my face. Sadly, I do not think we would be able to get our semi-retired Lutheran minister to do the same – though she is a great lady and full of surprises 🙂
Well if you ever want to do something outlandish in terms of your officiant it would never hurt to ask to see what they would be comfortable with. We were just lucky that our mutual friend was as geeky as us… and talented enough to put together all of that himself! Good luck! 🙂
You two look so happy it literally made me tear up. Also, heroes versus villains? brilliant! love it! cheers, applause!
I love the outfits and the overall look of this. When I try to describe my possible future wedding I generally come up with something along the lines of “nerdy…but, like, classy?” You nailed it!
SUCH A GREAT COMPLIMENT!!!!!!! We wanted desperately to do something with geek flare while keeping it classy. Thank you so much for that!
This is just freaking wonderful. You two are adorable and your wedding is amazing. I wondered how we would make our sci-fi wedding classy, while celebrating the geek – you’ve given me some fabulous ideas with your figurines, colours and THAT CAKE!
The sheer joy on your faces and the pride and pleasure of your guests has me wiping away a tear, too. Especially the huge grins in the photos of you dancing.
So. Much. Awesome.
Disneyland employee! DISNEYLAND EMPLOYEE!
Ok…sorry, got a little too excited there…going back up to actually read the article now.
“The last and most meaningful moment of the wedding was being able to hold Kevin’s hand as we walked down the aisle and saw 85 smiling faces look at us in approval. The feeling of acceptance blew all worry out of my body in that moment.”
I much prefer this Mr. Freeze to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. Great job putting on the wedding and keeping Joel Schumacher away!
This is so cool! I love this idea, the cake is fabulous!
What a cool wedding theme. Love the photos and the cake.
Awesome props to the scarecrow bridesmaid. :]
I have forwarded your props to her and she is very flattered. She made that all herself!!!!!!!!
I’m Jane and I’m Scarecrow and Chris said you liked my dress and and and… I’m so thrilled! But I really need to give a ton of credit (99%) to a girl named Juliette Capra. She helped design and then did a lot of the alterations on the dress. She’s absolutely brilliant. She works in a comic shop and is the daughter of a Broadway costume designer. Geeky AND fashion forward! She’s been joking about being a nerd wedding planner after being part of this :p.
“Offbeat Wedding Planner” sounds like the most awesomly creative and fun job description in the entire world. 😀
IT IS: http://vendors.offbeatwed.com/category/wedding-planners 🙂
I love this! I’ve been searching for Superhero Wedding inspiration and have come up with nothing. One batman figure on a table does not make your wedding geeky! And then I found your wedding. It’s perfect. Classy yet absolutely nerdy. Very adult yet fun. I hope my wedding turns out half as beautiful as yours. Congratulations!
Thank you sooooo much for your compliments! I’m so glad our efforts to stay classy yet geeky came off loud and clear! 😀
I’m on the same page as everyone else here…I love your wedding!!! But, I’d love to know more about your comicbook/guestbook. I’ve been looking for, and have found hundreds of, a guestbook that fits us. I think this one is the bullseye. But you have no details. 🙁 Please!!!! Please!!! I NEED DETAILS!!! 😀
K, thanks, bye. 😀
Hey there! We scanned a comic book that featured only Batman and Mr. Freeze, photoshopped the text out of each speech bubble, printed the pages out a bit larger and had them bound into a book at Staples, then had our guests sign in the text bubbles so that we can enjoy the art AND our guest’s comments. Hope this helps!
Genius!!! Now I have an endless search ahead of me to find an appropriate graphic novel to make my very own. You Rock!! Love the wedding and I hope you enjoy your wedded bliss. THANKS A MILLION!!!
I got here via the HuffPost article. BEAUTIFUL wedding. Love the photos. So creative and I love, love, love your cake! Best wishes to you and your husband. And thank you for sharing your day.
Awesome! I’m having a Joker & Harley Quinn wedding in April. I was also worried about it looking too much like a costume party. You gave me so many great ideas! 🙂
Congrats! And so happy that California is now a marriage equality state again! <3
Smiled from the start to the finish of this article. Great job guys!
I love everything about this wedding, and I have to know where the Mr. Freeze figure came from on top the cake? My son would love this for his Mr. Freeze themed birthday party.
I absolutely love this. You have inspired me to talk my fiancée into a batman theme. I’m addicted to it and we are both huge nerds… You made it look so beautiful and fun all at once! Good luck to the both of you and congratulations!
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