The Offbeat Bride: Melissa, graduate student
Her offbeat partner: Daniel, graduate student
Date and location of wedding: The Holocene, Portland, OR– September 2, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted good food (and lots of it), good drinks (ditto), and goofy dancing (is there any other kind?). As grad students, we also needed to stick to a budget. Operating under these constraints, we did what grad students do: research. The end result is that, despite our pickiness and our itty-bitty budget, we got what we wanted: a rad party for all our loved ones.
Our venue, The Holocene, is normally a club and bar, which ended up being excellent for the dancing and drinks. It was also a super steal since we had our wedding on a Monday (at the end of a long holiday weekend, so our out-of-town guests could party with us all weekend!). We had approximately $0 budgeted for decorations, so everything was DIY. Antique vases were borrowed from my mom, flowers were bulk ordered from the grocery store, and all of the paper goods were designed, printed, and tediously stitched together by yours truly.
I made a few D20 and D4 wireframes to hang around the venue (we wanted a little something geeky that would go with our custom D6 favors). In homage to our love of Starcraft, our pie topper was a pair of custom clay zerglings. Before the wedding, family and friends helped spiff up the place, but we were lucky in that the venue already looked warehouse-y and kick-ass.
I'm vegan and the dude is not. Food-wise, we had a mostly vegan menu including wood-fired pizza, super tasty salads from a local grocery chain, pies from a local vegan bakery, and salmon that Dan's uncle caught and smoked. My mom was the sweetest and bought my wedding dress, which was a vegan-ized dress from Portland designer Elizabeth Dye.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was short and secular. My little cousins/flower girls gave a chrysanthemum to each of the moms and grandmoms. We also had a short reading from one of our favorite authors, A. A. Attanasio:
The only good of which mortals are capable is love. To even begin to do good, one must be willing to go beyond oneself […]. All things made by man perish. All words scatter into the emptiness that is the future. Only love endures. Love for what is. Not for what was or could be. Love for what is—that alone is true love. That alone the future cannot dissolve.
Our biggest challenge:
Planning from a distance, and in grad school, was a huge headache. Following up with vendors is way, way easier in person. We go up to Portland about twice a year, so we made sure to budget some time for wedding stuff, but it was still difficult. And, since we're crazy control freaks, we did not appoint family members to take care of stuff. We did a lot of the legwork ourselves, and it definitely stressed us out. But we kept reminding ourselves that it's just a big party, DWAI (don't worry about it). That, in retrospect, might have been easier — but in the end, we're still alive, we haven't been kicked out of grad school, and we're married!
My favorite moment:
We live in Southern California, but our hometown is Portland. We wanted to spend a lot of time with our families, since we don't get to see them often, so our rehearsal was at the beautiful Mt. Tabor park, and our dinner afterwards was a potluck BBQ where all our guests were invited. We were so happy to be able to spend that extra time with family and friends — and to share our hometown with friends we've met across the country.
My funniest moment:
We hadn't planned on doing a photo booth, but my dad is a photo geek and did the whole setup himself. It turned out to be awesome, and it was so fun to go through the photos afterwards and see how silly our guests were. We now have copies for future blackmail. Guests: you have been warned.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Bryan Hoybook
- Venue: The Holocene
- Pizza: Big O's Pizza
- Pie: Sweetpea Baking Company
- Flowers and Salad: New Seasons Market
- DJ: Stumptown DJs
- Suit: Nordstrom
- Custom dice: Chessex
- Pie topper zerglings: Stitchy Inc.
- Dress: Elizabeth Dye
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!