Remember the amazing Austenland-themed shower? We've got the ENTIRE STORY of the bride's equally enchanting Sailor Moon-themed wedding to share!
The Offbeat Bride: Michelle, event planner, fashion designer
Her offbeat partner: William
Date and location of wedding: Oviatt Penthouse, downtown Los Angeles, CA — December 6, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Okay, no laughing allowed. I had a Sailor Moon-themed wedding. But perhaps not the rainbow colored, anime-poster ridden melee of sad artistic choices that you are expecting. Since William and I are fairly fashionable adults with an pretty serious otaku problem, we finally landed on the perfect mash-up of classy and nerdy for our big day: we had an art deco, Sailor Moon-inspired wedding. We both love anime, manga, and video games, and we actually met in Japan when we were both English teachers in Osaka. We loved that the wedding was a reflection of our otaku-ness, as well as our love for all things fancy.
The plan was to have an elegant, grown up wedding, with a highly stylized injection of Sailor Moon design into every nook and cranny! Utilizing the extensive archive of beautiful Sailor Moon imagery, such as the lockets, wands, and symbols from the manga and anime, as well as the influence of Art Deco moon and stars designs, pulling together the decor, graphics, and fashion into an elegant nerd wedding was an event planner’s dream! I have extensive wedding planning and decorating experience under my belt, and was confident I would be able to do something to suit our tastes.
We were on a very limited budget, and it almost all of it went to the venue food and drinks. I was crafty and made everything for the wedding except for the flowers with the help of my awesome friends.
Some aspects I loved:
- My Sailor Moon Cutie Moon rod (made by my awesome friend Grant Imahara) and bridesmaids Sailor Senshi Wands (made by my Maid of Honor, Yume) in lieu of bouquets
- Giant Silver Imperium Crystals as centerpieces
- Giant vintage Moon in the photo booth made by our friend Kate
- Awesome Sailor Moon wand and compact props we made by printing and mounting to foam board
- The AMAZING venue: The Oviatt penthouse is like three venues in one
- The dangling paper stars I sewed together that were attached to the backdrop of our ceremony arch
- Custom wedding bands that mirror each other in pattern, but mine is shaped like a Moon Tiara with a tiny moon and stars etched into it with diamonds
- Groomsmen and groom's metal filagree moon boutonnieres I made in three hours
- My art deco-inspired Moon tiara, moon necklace with fire opals, and bracelets I made myself, using vintage brass stampings I found on Etsy and the fashion district. I also made star tiaras for my bridesmaids.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Here were some of our music choices:
- Processional: Fragments of Memories, “Potions” orchestral version, from Final Fantasy VIII (theme from the town Winhill)
- Bridal March: “A Maiden’s Policy,” Piano Fantasia version, the Sailor Moon R ending theme song
- Recessional: “Sakura Kiss,” Strings version, opening theme song to Ouran High School Host Club, anime version
The only cosplay at our wedding was our sweet “star” girls, dressed in Serenity dresses my mother made for my nieces. They threw paper stars and moons instead of flower petals. Our ring bearer, the groom’s nephew, wore Tuxedo Mask’s medallion and snuck the mask into his front pocket. He was a trooper, but we could not get him to wear the mask!
We had our wonderful friend and groomsman, Glenn, be our officiant for our wedding. We first panicked about hiring a stranger to be our officiant, but we knew that would make it so uncomfortable for us, so we asked our friend, who a few years earlier had done that quick five-minute certification thing online for California, and he crafted a wonderful ceremony for us. I guess the only downside to having one of your best friends be your officiant is that poor Glenn started choking up at the beginning of the ceremony and I had to pat him and say, “there, there!”
Our biggest challenge:
My wedding dress was lovingly made by myself with help from my friends that I will never forget it. However, it was the devil in terms of stress. It was about a year's worth of work to design, source materials, and construct that monster, and I foolishly chose techniques that I had never tried before (embroidery and hand sequin-ing). I tend to over-complicate things, and although I loved my dress, I think it took about 10 years off my life. I finished it the week before the wedding.
My favorite moment:
I'm so happy we did a first look before the ceremony. It helped erase a ton of wedding jitters and helped me feel like we were both facing the wedding (and all the decorating and coordinating that still needed to happen that day) head on, together. When I saw Will for the first time about three hours before the wedding, I knew everything would be fine.
The ceremony itself was really great. Writing our own vows and promising each other that we would share everything (except the comforter), and solve any problem together (except how to fix the wireless in the living room) was such a roller coaster of emotional tears and laughing out loud.
My funniest moment:
Our bouquet and garter toss was like a crazy kawaii showdown of wills. Because I had a huge moon rod, I was definitely not throwing that. We also hated the idea of the awkward garter display, so the day before the wedding, I was looking around the house for something else to throw. I had these two plush bunnies I had made for one of my fashion shows a few years back, so we brought those to throw instead. My toss went normally, and my girlfriends fought nobly for the rabbit, but the groom's toss was absolute hilarity and chaos. The men JUMPED ON and OVER each other to try to get the bunny, knocking it out of each other's hands over and over until it plopped into the hands of our friend Matt, who was standing quietly in the back, not even trying to catch the dumb thing.
Also, we really loved the music of Guardians of the Galaxy, so everyone laughed when our Grand Entrance was to the tune of “Hooked on a Feeling,” and Jackson 5's “I Want You Back.” It was especially funny when our guests realized that for our first dance we weren't going to be sappy and sweet, but instead reenact Chris Pratt's fun moves and dance to Redbone's “Come and Get Your Love.”
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Asking for an accepting help is very very difficult for me, as someone who loves to DIY everything myself and is constantly afraid of being disappointed if I ask for a favor and that person is unable to pull through. However, my friends, time and again, all came through for me and helped me in every aspect of my wedding, even though I thought I would be alone in doing everything. My wonderful friend Aimee made my wedding dress with me, my maid of honor Yume did all of my wedding graphics, my friend Sheyne became the day-of coordinator when I decided I really shouldn't do that, our buddy Grant created the amazing Cutie Moon Rod despite being super busy with work and travel, and on and on and on. I can't even list all of the favors I now feel indebted to. But I love my friends and I'm so happy that they helped make our day magical.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Shannon Cottrell Photography
- Photo booth: Snap Yourself! Photo booth
- Print designs: Yume Ninja, Graphic Designer (can literally design ANYTHING you need for any occasion)
- Star Cake: Hansen's Cakes
- Flowers: My Wedding Blooms
- Makeup: @TessxMoney
- Bride's shoes: Irregular Choice
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!
Comments on Michelle & William’s Art Deco Sailor Moon-inspired moonlight gala
OK what. THE Grant Imahara?! A Mythbuster contributed to this wedding?! SO COOL!
Oh, Grant’s part of the Offbeat Empire family:
Here he is on Home: http://offbeathome.com/2013/10/bill-murray-party
And here he is on Bride: http://offbeatwed.com/2013/07/california-steampunk-wedding
In fact, the groom from that wedding was the officiant in this one! See, one big happy offbeat family. 🙂
He was such a doll for doing that for me ;.; I LOVE YOU GRANT.
Okay, this may be favourite wedding ever. The fifteen year old Otaku inside me is squeeing with joy at all of it.
And also, HOLY CRAP THAT DRESS.
ALL of the yeses. This is amazing. I LOVE anime, but trying to include it in (what I see as) an elegant way has always eluded me. This is just perfect. You guys did an absolutely amazing job. It’s so fun and pretty at the same time.
And that dress is just incredible. I can believe how stressful it would have been to make. It’s so detailed and delicate, but it’s just stunning.
I love how into it every is in the photos. Hell yes I want slow-motion fight scenes at my wedding to look back on.
Seriously, you guys rock. Hard.
Thank you so much! It was definitely a labor of love, and insanity, haha.
Wow – this wedding is epic. I love all the details!
Also, did you meet on JET? I met my husband on that program in Yokohama, and we ended up doing another three years with Interac after our JET contracts were up.
Thanks! No, we were with ECC and I later let and joined several other companies as well as bartended and did freelance writing while we were in Japan for about 3 years 🙂
Hey, I’m an Interac alum, too! Did 2-1/2 years in the Tohoku region. What a great experience!
I’ve been dying to see someone wear those shoes to get married!
Loved the whole wedding. Stunning!
WHAT! OMG! This is amazing. It’s a Sailor Moon wedding AND they danced to Guardians of the Galaxy’s soundtrack? Can this couple be my new best friends? I love love love this.
Please do my wedding!!! THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
Okay, this is seriously THE BEST THING EVER. As soon as I saw “Sailor Moon” I was like OMG YES! But then actually seeing everything….wow! All the details were mindblowing! I loved the stars as flower petals and the wands as bouquets! Bride’s dress and the flower girls’ dresses were incredible. I could sit and list it all but seriously, every single thing was amazing. Now excuse me while I scroll back up to drool some more! 😀
Great job on the dress! The rest of the wedding is super cute, but I’m blown away your seamstress skills. 🙂
OMG those graphics are AMAZING. I am in love with all of it 🙂
Ah this is the cutest thing ever. I wanted to do a cosplay themed wedding and the nails too!!!!!! I really like how this turned out.
OMG this is one of the best Sailor Moon Weddings I have seen as of yet. I am getting married Dec. 2015 and this is also my theme. Could anyone tell me where I can find the wands for the bridesmaids. I so love all the details to this wedding. Very beautiful.
I think they were handmade by friends
OMG I think you just had every cosplayers and otaku dream wedding! You looked beautiful,so did everyone and everything else. Here’s proof that a wedding doesn’t have to be rigid and stressful but fun! Though its kinda late (since you married last year) But wishing you both a happy married life!
Original and spectacular!!!! The work that you put into the dress and the our friends did on the wands/septors. Yes, you are a little OCD about all things Sailor Moon, but Michele there is nothing wrong with that. You have wonderful husband/best friend to open to it being your wedding and embracing it with you. Can I ask at the risk of embarrassing myself, is that a wig that you wore for the wedding or do you bleach/dye it that fantastic pink??? Best Wishes and starry nights happiness together!!!!
Hi! It’s my hair (dyed) with extensions I dyed to match it 🙂
What’s 10 years off your life when you get to wear a dress like that? Haha 😉
My boyfriend and I are huge Sailor Moon fans and we both thought of doing a Sailor Moon themed wedding too for when we get married. I really like the ideas on the photo thing (having props laid out for others to use for the photo booth) What a neat idea. I already plan to have 4 of my friends as the inner sailors for my bridesmaids. I hope we go for fewer guests (for budget reasons and my dad will not pay a whole lot of money on my wedding)
Comments are closed.