Her offbeat partner: Bryan, Project Manager at UCSF & Singer of Scissors for Lefty
Date and location of wedding: The Chapel (a rock venue) in The Mission District of San Francisco, CA — September 26, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Bryan and I wrote and performed an all-original rock opera as our wedding instead of a traditional ceremony. We're both in bands, so it made sense. He saw me singing with my band at the San Francisco rock venue, Bottom of the Hill, and contacted my band about playing together. About two years later, he proposed to me on that same stage. It seemed only fitting that we keep going with the rock ‘n' roll theme.
I know it might sound like a stressful undertaking: a wedding + a concert + writing an album. It was! But it was also a total dream come true to create something with the man I love that can live on beyond one single day. This project, (we call it Love, Jerks), lit a fire under our butts to write a full album in under a year. We did it by keeping all the other details of the wedding as simple as possible (no dinner, no flowers, no favors). We just focused on creating a transcendent experience for our wedding guests through the power of our shared love for music.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We rented out a concert venue in San Francisco, aptly named The Chapel. We had members of both of our bands make up the wedding band. My bridesmaids were my back-up singers and Bryan's groomsmen were all members of his band. The songs of the rock opera each told a part of Bryan and my love story. We asked our parents, maid of honor, and best man to tell short stories to introduce each song. We even convinced our dads to dress up like the grumpy old men from The Muppets, Statler and Waldorf and hanging out of the side balcony and give us a bit of a roasting before one of our songs.
For our actual vows, we picked three popular songs with lyrics that made promises we both want to uphold in our lives together. We had our officiant, our friend Michael, recite a few stanzas of the lyrics and then we sang them back to him together a capella.
During our kiss, we queued our drummer for an extended drum solo and had the bridesmaids shoot off confetti canons from different parts of the stage! It was totally worth the extra clean-up fees for the photos folks captured.
The rock opera ended with a refrain of a song we started earlier in the rock opera called “We're Doing It our Way.” We invited our family and the entire cast on stage to sing the final song with us.
What was your most important lesson learned?
One of the best things we did for our performance wedding was to hire a stage manager instead of a wedding planner. We were lucky enough to convince the stage manager, who manages a lot of the Midnight Mass drag performances with Peaches Christ, to work with us. He was incredibly supportive of all our crazy ideas, and it was reassuring to have someone on the team who was used to performances with purple sparkle motorcycles.
Instead of taking traditional engagement photos, we filmed each other on some weekend getaways and made a little engagement music video that we played at the wedding:
My final advice is to have an “oh shit” list. What will make you say “Oh shit!” if it doesn't happen on your big day? I wish I took a half hour to sit down the day before my wedding and write a list of the most important little details to me. Then I wish I handed it over to someone else!
- Video Team: The Adventures Of
- Wedding Photographer: Matthew Leland
- Live concert photographer: Amber Gregory
- Venue: The Chapel, Patricia Gums
- Stage Manager: Sam Sharkey
- Stage Visuals: All of It Now
- Dance DJ: Cosmic Amanda
- Hair: Onika Simone
- Make-Up: Mystie Rodriguez
- Wedding Dress: Emerald City Gowns (Second-hand!)
- Bridesmaids Gowns: Rent the Runway
- Bands: Bryan's band, Scissors for Lefty & Rebecca's band, Happy Fangs