Offbeat partner: Shae, neuroscientist
Offbeat partner: Rye, video game QA manager
Date and location of wedding: Axis Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA — January 14, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We had a rock show-themed wedding, which was inspired by our engagement shoot (by the fantastic Wild About You Photography) at a San Francisco music venue. Rye and I have a mutual passion for rock music, tattoos, and the macabre, so that theme covered lots of what we love!
We asked our guests to "channel their inner punk rocker" and wear clothing that reflected whatever "rock and roll" meant to them. There were lots of leather jackets, band shirts, combat boots, and colored hair. We had a temporary tattoo station and were surprised that even our most conservative guests got one (or several!). It was awesome that so many of our guests chose to embrace the theme and have fun with it.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Rye's parents are involved in set design and lighting for theatrical productions. His mom made us a Tim Burton-inspired wedding arbor (with working red lights!) and his dad set up blue and red lighting that made the ceremony space feel like a music venue.
We opened the bar a half hour before the ceremony started and had a classic rock cover band play to "warm up" our audience. It worked a little too well — we had a hard time getting everyone to sit down for the ceremony!
Our wedding party was just our sisters and Rye's two-year-old niece (who wore an amazing punk rock-inspired tutu!) and one of my closest friends was the officiant. Rye and I wrote most of the ceremony together and one of our friends did a reading from Led Zeppelin's "Thank You." A big part of our ceremony was honoring loved ones who had passed away, as Rye and I have both lost people who were important to us. A friend did a memorial reading and Rye and I lit candles on a table with pictures of those who had passed on.
We're really into craft beer, so we also had a toast during the ceremony (a good excuse to drink while getting married!). Our officiant ended the ceremony by saying "In the words of Robert Plant, it's been a long time since I've rocked and rolled," after which the band immediately started playing Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll," and we walked back down the aisle. It was one of the coolest moments for us.
Tell us about your reception:
We chose our band because they played the best Led Zeppelin covers that I've ever heard, so, we had them play a set that was entirely Led Zeppelin covers during cocktail hour. Our guests (and Rye's two-year-old niece) were rocking out! Rye made a "Will Call" window to hold our escort cards, which were tickets with table numbers on them that he had designed.
For dinner, we chose to go a more casual route, with food stations of tacos, short ribs, and mac and cheese. Rye and I don't like cake, so we had a donut bar instead. We had plain cake donuts with different kinds of icing and toppings that our guests could put on them. Our caterer did an amazing job of serving fun food that still looked super classy.
The best part of the reception was when my parents, who had dressed in traditional father of the bride and mother of the bride outfits for the ceremony, changed into Axl Rose and Joan Jett! My parents are usually pretty straight-laced people (and had told me they weren't really into the "rock and roll" theme), so I was SO surprised! I had talked my dad into doing a lip-sync performance of Guns 'n' Roses "Paradise City" for our father-daughter dance after he had already secretly planned to dress like Axl, so it was PERFECT. During the father-daughter performance, the rest of my family and Rye's family joined in. I didn't care if everyone else thought we looked ridiculous, I had so much fun.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Planning any wedding is stressful, but one that includes offbeat or nontraditional elements is even more difficult. It's hard when you can't just go to the mall to pick up everything you need. Rye helped with a lot of the planning, but I was stubborn and tried to do most things myself. I didn't start accepting help (or actively asking for it) until a few weeks before the wedding, which was way too late. I could have saved myself a LOT of stress along the way if I hadn't been afraid of feeling like I was imposing on my friends and relatives. I was pleasantly surprised by how many people actually wanted to help us out.
On that note, hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator if you can. Ours, Rebecca Iverson of Sane Weddings, was AH-MAY-ZING. She did so much more than just coordinate things — she gave us advice, suggested vendors that would fit our vibe, and let us borrow skull decor from her collection (talk about awesome!). You can google search things for days on end, but it's so much easier to just be able to ask a professional.
Day-of coordinator: Rebecca Iverson of Sane Weddings • Venue: Axis Pioneer Square • Photographer: Lara Schneider Photography • Band: Red Classic Rock • Caterer: Foodz Catering • Florist: Bear Creek Florist • Bride and wedding party's hair and makeup: Shyn Midili of Pacific Brides