This week we're celebrating simple weddings, featuring couples who opted to go a bit more minimal with their wedding details.

The Ceremony

The offbeat bride: Jenna, Photographer

Her offbeat partner: Trevor, Video Engineer

Date and location of wedding: California, United States — April 4, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted our wedding to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Almost everything we bought was fair trade or recycled. Our vegan food came from local resources. We used Cards From Africa to create our wedding invites, so that we would be putting our money towards helping communities in Rwanda. We had fair trade chocolates that supported animal conservation as wedding favors. We also asked out guests to R.S.V.P on our wedding page to reduce the amount of paper we used.

My Mom and I

My wedding dress belonged to my mother and was blue. A lot of people weren't supportive of a dark blue dress, but I'm glad I stuck with it and wore something that was special to me. Instead of renting a tux for my husband, we bought a fitted suit that he could reuse over and over again. We wanted to have an event that wasted as little as possible, so with every thing we did we'd ask how it could be cost-effective, reused, or consumer conscious.


We had my anthropology professor marry us, and we wrote our own vows. We wanted our wedding ceremony to be special and meaningful, so my husband and brother-in-law made the food and we had the ceremony in my mother-in-law's backyard. We gathered the plates and napkins from various family members and made most of the things for our ceremony ourselves.

Live music

After our ceremony, our family brought out instruments and we played music and drank wine late into the night. Our wedding wasn't conventional and didn't have the type of ceremony everyone expected, but it was special and meaningful and turned into a magical night.

The Bridesmaid Dresses

Our reception was the next day and it was just a big party. Unlike our small ceremony, we'd invited a lot of people to the reception, and wanted to have an evening of good food and dancing. We were glad we split the ceremony and reception up, because everyone arrived at our reception ready to dance and celebrate.

The ceremony

The Ceremony

Tell us about the ceremony: We included things that were special to us. We had everyone write down something they wished for our marriage, so after dinner we had everyone read their card to us. We were all crying, but I'm going to sound like a Hallmark card when I say that you could feel the love in our backyard. Having everyone feel comfortable enough to share made us feel that we started our marriage surrounded by the people who will always love and support us no matter what.

The Ceremony Table

Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge was convincing everyone that I really didn't want a big wedding dress or a traditional ceremony. I had nightmares about dress shopping and walking down the aisle towards an extravagant wedding that didn't fit me at all. My bridesmaids were surprised when I asked them to pick out their own dresses, and everyone kept asking if I was sure I wanted to wear blue for the ceremony. In the end though, it was just how we'd envisioned it. I think everyone learned so much about the kind of couple we are through our wedding.

The Ceremony

The Ceremony

My favorite moment: When everyone read the cards aloud. We still have the cards and read them on our anniversary. My nephew was the cutest. He wished for us to have a lot of love, a swimming pool, and Pokemon cards.

Reading our Vows

My funniest moment: The funniest moment was when we read the wedding vows. My husband had been telling me that his vows were epic. When he read his vows, he compared me to a potato plant. What he wrote was actually very sweet, but when he said that I reminded him of a potato, I couldn't stop laughing. It wasn't what I was expecting at all!

Cooking Dinner

The spread

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was incredibly worried about Trevor making the food for our ceremony, but he insisted on doing it himself. It actually turned out fine, and he had a great day cooking with his brother. He'd made a timed list so the day would go smoothly, and he actually stuck to it! I still can't believe he was able to make all of that food for everyone.

My Father

My advice for offbeat brides: My husband was very picky about our wedding, so I'd suggest sitting down with each other to find out what's important for both of you, then find a way to compromise and make that vision work.

The Gang


Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photographer: Beverly Hills Photography. They spent two entire days with us and we'd hire them again in a heartbeat. I can't thank them enough for the beautiful images they captured.
  • Vegan cake: Stephanie's Bakery in San Diego

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Comments on Jenna & Trevor’s vegan tree-hugging wedding

  1. It’s beautiful weddings like these that make me so annoyed I can’t get married outdoors here in the UK 🙁 What a lovely happy bride and groom.

  2. Where did they get the bridesmaid dresses? I think my maids would look awesome in those!

    • They found the dresses at David’s Bridal and purchased them in different colors. 🙂

  3. I love your wedding. It’s one of my top three weddings I’ve seen on the internet. I value that you stood true to who you are and you didn’t cave and become some magical princess to please everyone else. You kept the details thoughtful and simple. My favorite picture is the one of your mom about to cry. It’s SO sweet! Thank you for sharing your wedding with us.

    • Thank you so much. It was amazing to see how much pressure people can give, but I’m glad we stayed true to ourselves. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, it was perfect for us. 🙂

  4. LOVE the card idea! And making people read them aloud. Also loved your blue dress, but did you have a white dress too? I noticed it in one of the pictures.

    Beautiful wedding. That is all.

    • Thank you! I wore a cream colored dress for the reception the next day and we had a slideshow running pictures of the ceremony during dinner for everyone at the reception.

  5. That blue dress is positively stunning. Clearly, you made the right choice. No potato plants look that good in blue! 🙂

    • Haha, thank you. Potato plant, so epic! Oh, how I love to tease him about that. :p

  6. Jenna!! – I can’t believe it!!! Your beautiful wedding is featured on this wonderful website… Well, I just want to say that getting to read all about your wedding planning and getting to see more images is a delight. From the moment you got married, I was intrigued at how your dayS went – and its a pleasure to see faces I recognize, and hear heartwarming stories of how you are a like a potato plant. 🙂 I hope you are well. 🙂

  7. I think I’m in love with brother-in-law/sous chef!! 😉 The blue dress is GORGEOUS on you…what a wonderful wedding!

  8. Also: I think my favorite two photos are the last two. There’s just so much happiness and love there!

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