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The Offbeat Bride: Kirstin, jack of all trades

Her offbeat partner: Earl, retail slave

Date and location of wedding: Historic Elsinore Theater, Salem, Oregon — October 31, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We got married on Halloween. We'll always have an excuse to pig out on chocolate and I'll never forget our anniversary.

To go with the Halloween theme, we decided to have a masquerade and gave a variety of masks to the guests as favors. Some people didn't take theirs home but it was well made-up for by the people who took home one of each!

We also didn't have any kind of seating arrangement and encouraged mingling by placing the masks on each table setting. This way people could either sit next to someone they initially wouldn't think to in order to get the mask they wanted, or would talk to someone they wouldn't think to in order to trade masks.

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We had quite a few friendors, which I am eternally grateful for, as we ended up saving a ton of money. Between the ceremony and reception we moved the guests into the theater for entertainment, a silent movie followed by an aerial silk dancer!

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We also didn't have any flowers. My bouquet was made of beads, the wedding party carried lanterns that doubled as gifts, and the rest of our decorations came from in-season pumpkins.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
We got married in a theater, which was perfect for a variety of reasons. Neither of us are religious, and Earl is currently in school studying theater arts. There are local legends of the theater being haunted, so that went perfectly with our spooky theme. We got married under a mural of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, a play we were both in when we started dating (in fact, our first kiss was directed!).

We wanted to keep our ceremony egalitarian and did so by replacing things like “Matrimony symbolizes the ultimate intimacy between a man and a woman,” with “Matrimony symbolizes the ultimate intimacy between two people,” and we replaced “you may now kiss the bride” with “you may now share your first kiss as a married couple”

Each of us walked in unaccompanied from the side, toward each other. To us, this symbolized that we are going into this on our own, as individuals without ownership. Meeting in the middle also symbolized compromise.

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During the ceremony, we entered to the a capella version of the Turret Opera from Portal 2. During our vows, we had the instrumental version of “Storybook Love” playing, and we exited to “Concerning Hobbits” from Lord of the Rings.

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We did a handfasting as the unity portion of our ceremony, and used a wonderful hand blessing I found here on Offbeat Bride. We took turns alternating our vows and ended with saying together, “Forever Endeavor.” Forever Endeavor is our little saying to each other, and it was nice to have that moment where we knew what we were saying while everyone else thought we were saying “forever and ever.”

Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was definitely the week before the wedding. In that time it seemed like the universe was completely against me and my last-minute finagling. But the biggest, most stressful moment was having to find a photographer with only 24 hours notice and a microscopic photography budget. We initially were going to have a friend do the photos for us, but she ended up with a conflict. That left us with only a day to find someone new! I reached out to every photographer I knew on Facebook and had them send out shout-outs. Somehow, we managed to find someone!


My favorite moment:
A few of my favorite moments include the moment just before the ceremony where Earl and I took a selfie with all of our wedding party members in it, and during the ceremony watching my husband tear up. I always thought I would be the one crying, but in the end it ended up being the other way around.

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I think my very favorite, though, was after the ceremony. We were up on the balcony overlooking the lobby and “Hedwig's Theme” came on as the guests moved into the theater for some pre-reception entertainment. When I looked out at everything and everyone, it actually felt magical and like we were really at Hogwarts.

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My funniest moment:
Before the wedding, one of the ladies in the wedding party comes up to me and says, “Um… there's a strange guy sleeping on the couch in our dressing room.” An hour or so later another one came up to me and said “They've doubled. There's two weird guys in there now.” Eventually I went to the dressing room to find that my godfather (aka the DJ) and brother were in there. They had driven down from Washington and found the first comfy place to nap!


Seeing my great-grandmother dressed up as Cleopatra and my grandfather dressed up as a vampire (complete with a light-up coat) was also really funny.

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Comments on Kirstin & Earl’s gothic-inspired masquerade wedding

    • I highly recommend the Elsinore theater to anyone looking to get married in Salem. There is some sticker shock until you realize you won’t have to rent anything. the coordinator Sharon is wonderful and does all the stressing for you. I (only half) jokingly said more than once that she knew more about our wedding than we did! She also worked around us living 4hours away through much of the planning process

  1. To have found a new photographer in one day is astounding. To have found one that captured such *glorious* images of clearly an amazing wedding, in one day is ridonculous!

    I’m feeling a sudden urge now to get a passport and book this place despite living in the maritime region of Canada! I’m wondering if I could drool even a little more….

    Also first kiss being scripted makes the theater geek in me swoon.

    • Well, the photographer wasn’t all glorious. It took us over 4 months to get our pictures and he lied to us several times about sending them out. Most of the pictures were of the same thing from the same angle during the ceremony (very few formal shots, none with me and my mother). Half the pictures we chose actually came from my MIL’s phone camera (making me VERY thankful we didn’t do an unplugged wedding like I was considering). We did get a few great pictures from him, so it was both a blessing and a curse you could say lol

    • Also, if you did want to seriously consider this place, their coordinator Sharon would make the price oh so with it for you. She would work with you to get everything set up and make the wedding perfect for you while you’re in canada

  2. Wow I love this! I wore a red dress on my wedding day too. Kinda jealous that you got married on Hallowe’en…. Why didn’t I think of that?!

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