Michelle & Jeremy’s Parisian/Zen wedding

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3309806326 8540077bd9 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The offbeat bride: Michelle, Wedding Coordinator's Assistant & Domestic Goddess

My offbeat partner: Jeremy, Director of Marketing at an Real Estate Website Company

Location & date of wedding: The Historical Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside, CA – 9/13/08

What made our wedding offbeat: As an assistant to the wedding coordinators at the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa I've seen every boring wedding that can be done- down to the last damn guestbook. We worked very hard to not only keep our wedding different, but to incorporate our personalities the very best we could.

the guys & their feather adorned boutonnières
the guys & their feather adorned boutonnières

Jeremy speaks 6 languages: German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese, but his favorite of all of these if Japanese. We love to collect Japanese antiques and we love to go out to sushi. I love zee Francias and didn't want to give up a little Parisian touch. So we themed the wedding with a zen combination of bamboo, orchids, lanterns and crystals.

2887887623 e82359b03b alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
The girls picked out their own bridesmaids dresses and chose some really beautiful cocktail length chocolate brown numbers. Jeremy's staple every day is a pair of chuck taylors so we put all of the groomsmen in them. I added little white feathers wherever I could: the bouquet, boutonniere, my maid of honors hair flowers. We strung lanterns across the ceiling of the reception room and used manzanita trees to hang more orchids and crystals. The buffet was wontons and sushi with jasmine rice. Jeremy's cufflinks were gifts from my dear friend Heather last christmas: they're computer keys symbolizing his sexy, uber nerdiness.

We really went all out and since the guest list was kept to 80 instead of 100+ we were able to really make the event personal.

Ctrl+Alt+Deliciously Nerdy - Im in love with these cufflinks!
Ctrl+Alt+Deliciously Nerdy - I'm in love with these cufflinks!
gotta love sassy bridesmaids with parasols!
gotta love sassy bridesmaids with parasols!

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was overcoming family to be totally honest. It was just impossible to please everyone: we didn't want kids there, his sister wanted to be a bridesmaid, my cousin and aunt were fighting blah blah blah. As supportive and incredible as most of the guests and all of the wedding party are there is just no way to ensure everyone's happiness. We dealt with it the only way we could.

romantic lighting
the romantic lighting

We kept reminding people who the wedding was about and knew that the people worth having in your life would understand.

My favorite moment: My favorite moment was walking the grounds of the Mission Inn with my new husband. We were doing it so that the photographer could get “romantic” shots of us but honestly it was really nice for everyone to disappear for a moment and have it be just him and I.

My offbeat advice: Write your own vows, seriously, it keeps it really personal. Don't forget lighting and when people ask if you want help say yes and find something for them to help with- I'm a huge control freak and I really should've let my girls help out more.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:


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Comments on Michelle & Jeremy’s Parisian/Zen wedding

  1. Wow the bride looks so beautiful, and the crystals and laterns are so great !

  2. Fabulous wedding! I love the application of French and Japanese elements to infuse your personality into the event! So smart and original.

    And I’m in love with that tree branch arbor in the last picture. GORGEOUS! Where on earth did you find it?

  3. Mmmm, that is one sassy bride and one sexy nerd groom! Congrats you two! Looks like a great event 🙂

  4. Can someone pretty please tell me where the arch came from and/or how it was made? It is exactly what I had in my head for my wedding.

  5. Oh my gosh, you all rule!

    The branches/arch are made of manzanita branches that can be purchased online at: http://www.nettletonhollow.com , you can get them in natural brown, white, oyster etc. They’re SUPER classy and they come in many sizes. Tie the LONG branches together in an arch and attach to some kind of heavy base. Use a good fabric to cover the base…. easy peasy.

    Second, the bridesmaids dresses are actually Vera Wang- the girls all met up and plotted this. I had little to nothing to do with the bridesmaids dresses. The color is chocolate brown with black ribbon belt tie. I agree, they looked so freakin cute.

    Jill- NO! YOURE a sexy bride! lol. Thanks all of you for the ego boost!

    Michelle Alyssa Mae

    • Your arch is beautiful. A few days ago, i was googling images of branched wedding arches to see if i could find one like the one i visualized…. yours was that plus some!! so i downloaded it to show my sister (prior she didnt understand my vision)Anyways, today im cruising offbeat bride- lo and behold, the acutal bride and owner of this amazing beauty. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing…. I cant wait to make it!!!!!

  6. i’ve just seen all the photos in your flickr wedding album, and i’ve got to say – you, your husband, your decor, your everything = totally gorgeous. it looks like you had a wonderful day, and the whole feel was so lovely and romantic without being fussy or forced.
    and i love your little bow tatts too 🙂

  7. I know the bride and she is every bit as adorable, sexy and quirky as she seems in this article. And her husband is a truly georgeous nerd. I love them both and sincerely admire the bride’s considerable sense of style and bubbly personality.

  8. This is my oldest friend ever and you are definitely the sexiest bride I have ever seen…This has been said by many who attended, and I must agree, “the best wedding they have ever been to.” Truly amazing and it was so intimate and beautiful, bride,groom and decor. I love you both and think you are so awesomely awesome!!!

  9. WOW! Absolutely stunning! Where did you get your laterns and hooks? That’s exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks and Congrats!!!!

  10. Hey Michelle, your wedding was wicked tasteful! And, the info you gave everyone on where to get the branches etc was great, detailed and helpful!

    I’m using the table linens that the hall does and they’re white!

    I wanna use a mixture of greens and whites flowers for centpieces in tall black vases.

    do you think I should damask runners on the tables or no? I’m going for a mainly black and white theme.

  11. Danielle- hey sugar! thanks for the sweetness.

    black and white damask runners sounds really neat! Do the black vases with the manzanita branches with white/green accents! what color are the favors going to be? there is a REALLY cute/inexpensive place online to get great favors and stationary- http://www.whiteaisle.com- they actually have black/white damask patterned chocolate boxes tied with a bow! go check it out: http://whiteaisle.com/black%20and%20white%20damask%20paper.html

    email me directly if you have anymore questions. Do you have a wedding website? A wedding blog? I wanna see your wedding ideas and updates!

    Michelle Alyssa Mae

  12. I loved the parasols, great idea plus the lanterns, paper and metal. ot to mention the photgraphy that captured it all was amazing. But I have one question, after this profile went live did any of the family freak out because you said they were the biggest challenge? I’ve had a major crisis from my Mom after my wedding got profiled this week. Wish I had never of posted anything about her now!!

  13. I LOVE the arch!!! I would really love a more indepth instructions on making this!! How many pieces did you have to buy and how tall did you make it? I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!

  14. i love love love your wedding dress!!! you look amazing…i would never want to wear the same exact dress? but what is the designer??? i love the style of it!!!

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