Christine & Brian’s nature-inspired steampunk wedding

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 | Photography by Retro Spike Studios

The Offbeat Bride: Christine, Full-time Environmental Science Major, and mom of two

Her offbeat partner: Brian, Graphic Designer

Date and location of wedding: Chumash Indian Museum, Thousand Oaks, CA — June 13, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: After Brian proposed to me, we were sitting down to figure out the date when Brian said he would really like to get married during a full moon. I did a quick Google search of full moons that landed on weekends in the next year when we stumbled across Friday the 13th of June 2014. A full moon AND Friday the 13th?! YES! This combination of events won't happen again until 2049.



We knew we would need to make as many things as possible for the wedding in order to save money, so I asked my mother to make my wedding dress (a task that I hadn't fully grasped the magnitude of at the time), and my mom happily agreed, because her mom had also made her wedding dress! My mom also made our daughters' clothes. Brian is a graphic designer, so we saved money by Brian designing the printed materials.



We decided on a steampunk theme as well. We wanted our guests to dress up, and they really did!


Tell us about the ceremony:
Our officiant made a circle around us on the ground of lavender, rosemary, sage, and oak branches. This is the prayer for marriage that our officiant read:

As we look at the oak trees around us, we notice these two regal oaks look like twins, rising up out of Mother Earth embracing the sun, with its brilliant golden and orange rays. These trees, so similar in stature, yet standing apart from one another, are married in the earth. Their roots are intermingled, taking their life forces, and uniting them as one to the sky people that are above them. Great Spirit, a marriage is a beautiful moment — a time when two spirits come together — a time when two identities like two regal oak trees unite, each shining now in the setting sun, each reflecting different shadows, different energies of light and darkness, but each grounded together forever in sacred Mother Earth. I pray, Great Spirit, for this marriage bringing together two souls united as one. As they open their hearts and arms to each other, they will always respect the others' individuality. So you who are about to unite, allow the winds of heaven to blow between you, combining earth, water, fire, and sky. Love is a powerful force, and it takes the love, patience, and support Of the whole village to make a marriage strong. As this beautiful woman and this magnificent man unite in marriage today, we all celebrate in their commitment to each other.




I also did a reading during my vows, it was from Lemony Snicket, “The Beatrice Letters”:

I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled.



Our biggest challenge:
Our biggest challenge was saving money. We tried to make almost everything by hand including centerpiece hot air balloons out of paper lanterns. The net had to be cut to a specific size and sewn on to the lantern. The hot air balloon's “basket” was a terra-cotta pot with a strawberry plant growing inside. We had lots of strawberries at the wedding because it was a full moon, and the full moon in June is called a “Strawberry Moon.” We had a sign explaining the origins of the name Strawberry Moon hanging from each plant.



Brian's sister made us cupcakes, and his mom made us a beautiful pound cake display. Jon Snow and Ygritte from Game of Thrones were our cake topper. Having family help with the dessert saved us a ton of money on a traditional cake. Thank you family!

We spent a lot of time at thrift stores buying decorations. Brian sewed his own bow tie from the fabric we used to make the girls' outfits. There were so many DIY projects we took on, which was very overwhelming, but saved us a ton of money in the end.

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My favorite moment:
A really special moment was when “the family band” played music as entertainment. It was really special because the band included members of both of our families, which means they came together to practice several times and were able to get to know each other better. Our six-year-old even sang for the entire wedding party.



My funniest moment:
We had a first dance as a family to Pharrell's “Happy” and our daughters were flying through the air and running around with us. It was absolute jubilant mayhem!


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Comments on Christine & Brian’s nature-inspired steampunk wedding

  1. You MADE those centrepieces?! Amazing!
    Beautiful pictures, the light is so soft and lovely.

  2. lovely! the hood-as-veil is adorable – bride’s mom did quite a job with that dress and the little girls’ attire! everything is thoughtful and beautiful.

    also, would love to know if anybody has any info on the steampunk airplane in the last photo.

  3. AHHHHH. Aaah. Aaaaaaaaaaaah. This wedding is so beautiful! It looks so full of light and love, I wish I’d been there. And… hey, that corset looks really familiar. XD

  4. My gorgeous Granddaughter and her handsome Prince. What joy they bring to one another and to all who touch their lives, may they continue this comradeship and deep love throughout their lives. Grandma Apperson

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