The Offbeat Bride: Stacia, human resources manager
Her offbeat partner: Kevin, firefighter
Date and location of wedding: Heritage Hall, Kirkland, WA — February 2, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: In the three months after proposing to each other, we planned a space-themed Groundhog Day wedding. We also loved that it's also the anniversary of Kevin's grandparents' wedding.
Our wedding day began early in the morning with our family decoration set-up crew, known colloquially as the “Groundhoggers.” Our parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews all chipped in to get our small, historical venue, Heritage Hall, decked out in spacey décor.
The whole lot of us Groundhoggers then headed to my sister's house to get ready. My mom tamed my head of curls and completed the ‘do with a beaded hairpiece handmade by my father, who is unexpectedly crafty in retirement. Kevin and I got ready together, and my mother pinned his feather boutonniere on his jacket just like she did at our high school dances a decade ago (cheesy high school sweetheart alert!).
At the party, we chowed down on phad see ew, yellow curry, and cashew chicken, catered by our favorite local restaurant, Kosamai Thai Cuisine. Our vegan sheet cakes were decorated with constellations and showcased quotes from our favorite TV shows and movies: Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and Back to the Future. Han and Leia figurines eyed each other longingly from across their cake, standing aside their amorous lines, “I love you” and “I know.” And, thanks to an “oh shit kit” my mom put together, a Tide stick helped remove the inevitable chocolate icing stain from my white dress.
As for decorations, we had glowsticks on the tables that we all ended up wearing around our necks all night long, and our centerpieces were multi-colored fiberoptics that we let our pint-sized guests take home at the end of the night. Our tablecloths were made of parchment paper with provided markers, meaning we ended up with some surprisingly high-quality and very sweet artwork to keep as mementos.
After a glass or three of Thai beer, we were talked into a first dance (to Yaz's “Only You”) and then donned our coats and joined our friends outside for some celebratory cigars and shots of Fireball whiskey.
One of my favorite things in the whole world is a grab bag, so our favors were space-themed bags of surprises. Each contained something different: Star Wars Pez dispensers, blow-up aliens, planet suckers, freeze-dried ice cream, and more. The best part? We completely forgot to hand them out! The venue had to call us the next day to let us know they found our stash in the closet. We're still trying to find good reasons to get rid of them to this day!
We concluded the evening with our late-night guests at an Irish pub a couple blocks away. We had a fantastic time listening to live music and drinking Guinness… that is, until we got kicked out. Unbeknownst to us, one of our friend's parents had innocently brought a bottle of liquor from the wedding into the bar because they thought we'd want to take it home at the end of the night. Of course it was discovered by the wait staff, though it served as a hilarious end to an unforgettable day. We now love being able to say that a couple of baby boomers got us kicked out of our after-party! So say we all.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Without an aisle, wedding party, or “giving away” ritual, our short ceremony was focused only on the goal at hand: gettin' married! After a quick happy hour, we walked the half-block from our party venue to an outdoor pavilion on the shores of beautiful Lake Washington with our 75 family members and friends in tow. We were married by my brother-in-law, who was ordained by the Church of the Latter-Day Dude — a perfect fit for our atheist ways.
During the five-minute ceremony, Kevin vowed to always be an ear for me to sing in (out of tune), I vowed to love him through every level-up and set-back, and we both promised to always be a duo, a shout-out to An American Tail. At that point, my four-year-old nephew jumped out of his dog crate-turned-cave, dressed-up as a brown “ring bear,” and presented us with our wedding bands!
My favorite moment:
The most meaningful moment of our wedding was the actual ceremony. Since we're not religious and considered our wedding more of a fun-filled celebration of love, we didn't put a lot of stake into the actual ceremony. However, it ended up being both Kevin's and my favorite part of the day, hands down. Freezing our tushies off with our best friends and closest family members while we made our relationship legal was a moving experience. We laughed, we cried, Kevin said “I do,” and I said “yes.” Mission accomplished and memories made.
Another meaningful moment was listening to the speeches by our parents and siblings. My parents movingly welcomed us into each others' families. My sisters wrote us a hilarious poem that playfully roasted us. My closest friend presented a photo album she made when we were 10 years old, complete with a diary entry from 1996 titled “Why I'm Glad Stacia is my Best Friend.” We weren't planning speeches until about a week before the wedding, as we were worried that too many speeches would be start to make the guests bored. In hindsight, we are so glad we changed our minds. Experiencing such an outpouring of love from our favorite people in the world is something we will always value.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
My most important lesson was one I don't plan to ever use again: with help, organization and a solid timeline, planning a wedding wasn't nearly as hard as I would have thought. Our relatively small guest list of 75, helpful family, and casual style certainly made it easier. But with only three months to plan the shindig, neither Kevin nor I felt overly stressed. The advice I find myself giving to friends now is to not over-think things too much. If you focus on what's important to you, expect some imperfection, and use your resources, you might find the planning process to be a lot of fun!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Vitaly Kibenko Photography
- Venues: Heritage Hall and Centennial Gardens and Marina Park Pavillion
- Food: Kaosamai Thai Restaurant
- Cakes: Whole Foods Market
- Electronic Invitations: Paperless Post
- Dress: White House Black Market
- Bouquet and Boutonniere: Ynas Bridal
- Earrings: Chico's
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!