Offbeat partner: Tiffany Rose, Nurse Practitioner
Offbeat partner: Victor, Organic Tea & Herb Buyer
Date and location of wedding: Sacred Sands Bed and Breakfast, Joshua Tree, CA — June 25, 2016
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
A sci-fi lover's ceremony and mythical/cryptid creatures with a dose of boho in the desert! Since Victor proposed in a redwood forest after we visited the Bigfoot Museum in Santa Cruz, we kept the cryptid creature theme going for our wedding. Our save-the-date paid homage to X-files, UFOs, and the elusive Sasquatch. Our quirky wedding suite reflects our love not only for Joshua Tree but for all things mythical and paranormal.
While we sat at our "Sasquatch Sweethearts" table during our reception, our loved ones were seated at long picnic tables grouped by these legendary creatures: Troll, Cyclops, Aliens, Unicorn, Phoenix, Gnome, Merman, Game of Thrones Dragons, Gargoyle, the Kraken, Vampire, Zombie, Mummy, Loch Ness, and Werewolf.
Seating cards were displayed on a beautiful wind-loving macrame piece. My unofficial Man of Honor M.J. drew each of the cryptid creatures that were framed at each table. Away from the cacophony of a big city and amidst the bizarre Joshua Tree landscape and serene desert sunset, love became soothingly palpable, hearts and minds were blown open to this new experience, and living in this moment of time was everything.
Tell us about the ceremony:
As fans of X-files, Battlestar Galactica, anything alien or sasquatch related, and Game of Thrones, our good friend Matt, our officiant, eloquently incorporated our love for these things into his speech. Here's a bit of Victor's guided vows:
"Tiffany, my khaleesi, healer of wounds and lifter of barbells. I vow to always make room for you in my tent and to always give you the last bite of foie gras. If aliens come to take me away, I vow not to go unless you can come with me. And I promise to be the Apollo to your Starbuck, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. I am yours and you are mine, from this day until the end of my days."
To conclude our ceremony Matt exclaimed, “Tiffany and Victor, by the power vested in me by the State of California and the old gods and the new, it is my pleasure to declare House Ynoquio and House Jara united as one, and to declare these two lovebirds husband and wife. Victor, cloak your lady and bring her under your protection and give her a frakkin kiss!"
For our ceremony ritual, Victor and I did a Yoruban tasting ceremony of four elements. We experienced four tastes together: Sour (vinegar), Bitter (imperial stout), Spicy (Siracha peanuts), Sweet (Cotton Candy) — each represented a challenge of marriage to overcome. We added The Fifth Element of Love represented by aged whiskey in a glass; for, like love, good whiskey takes time and must be savored. And The Fifth Element is one of my all time fave movies!
Tell us about your reception:
We kept it badass with our grand entrance song of UGK's “International Player's Anthem!”
Victor and I did a choreographed dance to a song medley of Justin Timberlake's "Spaceship Coupe" to go with our sci-fi theme, Miguel's "Sure Thing" to capture our ride or die love, and Lucy Pearl's "Dance Tonight" to honor our love for '90s music.
Food was served from the Los Lobos Truck with family-style sides. Liquid courage was free for all. Our open bar featured Stone's Enjoy By Tangerine IPA ad Citrus Wit brew, Modern Times Blazing World, and fine wines from Justin and Sextant winery. My poison of choice aka "The Hampden" was Blanton's whiskey neat. Victor's choice of libation aka "El Capitan" was a turmeric tonic, gin, and soda water.
Our favors reflect our professional sides of nursing and tea buying — organic Rishi Turmeric Ginger and Green Tea in amber medication bottles with an awesome prescription label. A sweet moment was when my father serenaded me with "The Way You Look Tonight." My dad and I performed our self-choreographed mash-up to The Temptations, The Monkees, The Lovin' Spoonful, Kris Kross, Outkast, and a salsa song by La-33.
Our desserts included mini pies (Yuzu Citrus, Apple Pie, Banana Cream) and divine mini cupcakes: Churro Horchata, Maple Bacon, Matcha Green Tea, Espresso Brownie, and Nachos Del Rey (chipotle buttercream, dark chocolate cupcake, cheddar cheese ganache, topped with milk chocolate tortilla crunch).
What was your most important lesson learned?
Staying within budget while trying to plan our dream wedding was the toughest challenge. Before planning started, we wrote down five adjectives to describe our wedding and chose things within our budget that enhanced our five precious adjectives.
Getting friends or family involved in small, easy projects helped us cut down on costs too. For example, table decor and settings can be pricey but we saved hundreds on picking a cheaper material with basic glassware and plates. I asked my family traveling for our wedding from the Philippines to bring Batik cloths. These Batik cloths adorned the tables and showcased my Filipino culture while adding a personal touch to decor.
Small details are important but in the end, the overall experience is what most guests remember. With such a unique setting and wedding venue, we didn't have to stylize the place so much — we let the surroundings speak for themselves. My advice would be to choose a venue that is naturally gorgeous. Providing transportation for our guests enabled them to party to the max responsibly — no need to worry about parking, a DD, or getting lost in the dark desert. Getting a food truck also helped us keep food costs low. I definitely recommend having late night snacks two hours after dinner. Our guests loved the late night fried chicken wings and jalapeno poppers!
Photographer: Meredith Gradishar, Zoom Theory • Dress: Daalarna • Venue: Sacred Sands Bed and Breakfast • Videographer: D.P. Weddings • Makeup and Hair: Thorne Artistry • Catering: The Lobos Truck • Wedding Design and Coordinator: Sweet Emilia Jane