The offbeat partner: Megan, Offbeat Empire editor for 10 years, and food and travel blogger

The offbeat partner: Mike, TV writer and producer

Date and location of wedding: Redwood House: Mike's mother's home in Anderson Valley, Northern California — June 24, 2017

The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine
We used Mike's toy AT-AT that we grabbed from his mom's attic, as our card holder.

Our redwood wedding at a glance:

The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine
These are the signs that we placed on the driveway to show people where to go.

We met at a Game of Thrones viewing party and podcast, and we really bonded over our love (read: obsession) with food. So when it came time to plan our wedding at Mike's ancestral — Redwood House — we combined the things that brought us together: Game of Thrones and food. Thus, “The Redwood Wedding: All Men Must Dine” was born. And man was it awesome!

The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine
Pictured here is Mike and me in my two forms: unicorn and Cersei, and the dress my HUSBAND had to literally rip off of me because I danced so hard the zipper broke!!!!

We kicked it off with these Game of Thrones Save the Dates, and then emailed people our Honest Trailers wedding invitation video! (What better way for a writer/producer and a pop culture nerd to announce their wedding!?)

Then I set about having my dream wedding dress made. I went into a custom dress shop — RMINE in Studio City — and said, “I want a dress that looks like a unicorn sneezed on it.” And they created this magic…

the dress by RMINE alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
megans wedding dress by RMINE alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

I was lucky enough to have a stylist as a bridesmaid, and Kimmy (who you might recognize from this musician wedding) outfitted every single person in our wedding party…

our wedding party The Redwood Wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
my awesome wedding party The Redwood Wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Can we talk about how hot my wedding party is?

Both our wedding parties were mixed gender and contained married couples. (I got greedy and had a Best Man AND a Hand of the Queen — pin and all…)

hand of the queen pin alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
mikes details alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Of course, Mike also had some awesome Thrones-y fashion details too!
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We surprised Mike's wedding party with Game of Thrones-theme wine boxes.
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Yes, that decanter says “Fuck yes, I'm gonna marry the fuck out of you.”
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We had even more Game of Thrones references than that though. See how many you can catch…

The Redwood Wedding ceremony alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Tell us about the ceremony:

I felt like the ceremony was the most important part of the whole event. I wanted it to include as many of our loved ones as possible, and have the right amount of gravitas + humor.

The Redwood Weddign ceremony program alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
We wanted our wedding program to look like TV credits.

The redwood wedding processional

I had my ex-husband mix a couple special music cues for our processional, including music from Game of Thrones and a secret music surprise…

redwood house alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Mikes face during the processional The Redwood Wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The secret song was a gorgeous acoustic version of “our song.” And I worked my tail off to make sure Mike had NO IDEA it was going to be played. It worked a charm. Seeing is eyes simultaneously light up and tear up when he heard it is one of my favorite memories of our ceremony.

mike and my mom alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

I also loved the fact that, because I had my dad support me down the aisle, my mom had no one to walk with. So Mike offered to escort her down the aisle. She said she could feel his heart beating so fast when she took his arm, and it made her feel so close to him. Awwwwwwwww!

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And speaking of “awwww,” our dog Pita also strutted her stuff down the aisle, escorted by my Hand of the Queen.

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This unicorn skull held our rings.
During the ceremony The Redwood Wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The ceremony itself

Was long AF and involved two officiants and seven friends, and it was like a perfect dream come to life. If you want to know more about how we pulled off a two officiant ceremony, and read our script, clicky here.

Ariel reading at The Redwood Wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Ariel making me laugh and cry with her reading on friendship. You should really ask her to publish that reading. It's SUPER good.

We took “the seven blessings” — a traditional Jewish ceremony — and turned it into “the seven ingredients” (to both make a subtle nod at Mike's Jewish heritage, but in a way that felt authentic to our actual religion: food). You can read more about that here.

ceremony243 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
I also read my vows off my cellphone, but I made it look like a giant ice cream cone!

Here's a secret about me, I've been writing my vows to Mike since the moment I knew I wanted to marry him… which was reeeeally soon after I met him. I went in going, “I'm going to make this fucker cry.” And not only did I make him cry (for the first time since I've known him!), I apparently made the entire audience cry too. I may have overshot the landing.

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Look it's Catherine and Caroline who you may know from such websites as THIS ONE!

If you want to see/hear my vows, you can head over here.

Tell us about your redwood wedding reception:

Megan and Mike of The Dash and Dine alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The very first consideration: The food!

Mike and I love going to food festivals, so we wanted our reception to have the feel of a food festival — lots of yummy bites and no man goes home hungry! My very first food suggestion (read: demand) was that we serve chicken and waffles.

game of thrones wedding menu alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
The fork says “forking since 2015” and the spoon says “shout out to Spoon Nation.”
The menu from The Redwood Wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
One of my favorite details of our wedding was our menus.

So we scoured the bay area for the best chicken and waffle truck (that would also make the trip out to the middle of nowhere and serve a wedding of 150+) and we found it with The Waffle Roost! We served chicken and waffles three different ways, plus mac and cheese and collard greens.

chicken and waffle truck The Redwood Wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
chicken and waffle wedding by Wild About You Photography alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
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Yes, that fork says “I <3 waffles.”
chicken and waffles at the redwood wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

For extra full tummy measure we also brought in an awesome slider truck from the Bay Area. Me So Hungry Too offered up three different sliders and sweet potato fries…

Me So Hungry Too food truck at the wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Then our caterer rounded out the menu with Game of Thrones-inspired appetizers. He based this menu on what he thought would be served at a current wedding in Dorn:

appetizers alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
appetizer the redwood wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
  • Lamb or Eggplant Dolmas with Local Pinot Leaves
  • Roasted Gypsy Peppers with Shitake and Piquillo Stuffing
  • Fried Pita Wedges with Hummus, Pickled Red Onion, and Tarragon
  • Local Chevre Laychee and Smoked Salmon Stuffed Gougères
signature cocktails old fashioned alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
signature cocktail the arya snark alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

And, of course, we had signature cocktails that represented us. Mine was the “Arya Snark,” which included a champagne gummy bear with a sword, that fizzed in a kir royal.

Smitten Ice Cream alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

For dessert we brought in Smitten to make their amazing liquid nitrogen ice cream. It was dessert AND entertainment…

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reception322 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

And we also had a S'mores station, wonderfully named “House S'moremont”…

House Smoremont smores station alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
House Smoremont making smores alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The redwood wedding decor

Like I've been unafraid to say before, some of my favorite things about weddings are the details. So I got, well, detailed with the decor…

The welcome table alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
The reception table with everyone's “name card.”
seating chart alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
All guests had to find which “house” they'd been “sworn” to.
House Game of Thrones table alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Every table's house banner was modeled after a real house in Game of Thrones, and their “house words” were tweaked to be about food.
House Finley alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
House Horowitz alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
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The “place cards” were wine bottle stoppers — the name on one side, their house banner on the other.
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All our tables had edible centerpieces and themed trinkets from our lives. Like Mike's juggling balls, and cassette tapes of films he's made.
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You can read more about our edible centerpieces, and how ACTUALLY ATE THEM after the wedding, over here:

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House Hollywood was all about, what else, but The Industry and The Dodgers!
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Here's the House Hollywood table in action.
House Redwood centerpiece alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
This was one of my favorite centerpieces.
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Is it weird that the “iron throne” decal was one of the first things I purchased for the wedding?

The redwood wedding entertainment

Lawn games

reception games alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
I even Thrones-ified our Giant Jenga set!
custom cornhole boards 1 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
This was our wedding logo, it's now our life logo.

Exploring the property

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My friend Jenny did some casual Daenerys cosplay!
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Photo booth

Photo booth alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Our photo booth was “all men must dine” themed — props from Game of Thrones + food items.
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The Empire girls + Trista from Altar Image

Dancing

I'm pretty sure I spent the bulk of the reception just dancing my ass off. Mostly with Ariel.

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gettind down with Kneppers alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
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dancing with Mike alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

What was your most important lesson learned?

After almost a decade of working for Offbeat Bride, I knew a lot about planning a wedding. So I got the chance to take my own best advice:

My wedding planner Holly alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
This is my wedding planner Holly. Clearly she is the best.

Hire a great wedding planner and photographer and chill the fuck out

My first hire: Wild About You Photography. My second: Events by Holly Gray. And that kick-ass combo resulted in a near-perfect wedding.

prep170 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
While it looks epic in photos, this dress was WAY too long.

Trust the professionals, but also trust your gut

I say “near-perfect” because the two things that went “wrong” were two things that I was talked into against my better instincts. For example, my dress was too long. I wanted it hemmed shorter, but was told by my stylist and the designers that it looked better long. And they were right! It does! But then I almost broke my neck several times slipping on it on the dance floor. Don't be afraid to override the pros when you're not feeing comfortable.

end of the party alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
You know you've hired amazing vendors when your dessert people say “I have one can of liquid nitrogen. Wanna do something cool with it?” And your photographers stop packing up to go home, to shoot a final, smoke-filled, shot for your wedding.

Vendors — aka. “how to throw the perfect redwood wedding in Northern California”

prep065 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
I think I was saying “what the hell would I have done without you Kimmy!???” You know, after she styled me and put on my shoes, and before she was about to get the boys dressed next. (Also, note Ken's pitch perfect shirt.)
treats and geeks forking and spooning alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Forking and spooning set by Grace Began to Grow
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The inside of our rings say “You're my favorite.”
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Cheers to kick-ass weddings, bitches.

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Comments on The Redwood Wedding: All men must dine

  1. YAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

    I don’t know what more I can say but that. Congrats, Mike and Megan!!! <3

  2. Was this really only 1 day??
    TWO tremendous dresses! ( Although not clear when Dress Cersei was worn. )
    Pleeeezzzz tell me there’s a “House Carnal Desire” up there!
    And can we talk about the food?!?
    Or as I like to think of it: “OMGTHEFOOD”.
    I looooove food stations and buffets and finger food! I love how you have chi-chi nibbles next to chicken and waffles. I love it when the host says “look I’m just going to put a whole bunch of stuff out there and you figure out what you like” because MUAHAHAHA… I LIKE ALL OF IT!

    …Sigh…

    • Good questions!

      This was actually held over 3 days, but this is only photos from the second day. 😉 The 3rd day had juggling and high wire walking.

      The Cersei dress is from my cosplay closet, and I offered it up to the photo booth!

      There was a House Carnal Desire, but then some guests cancelled and I had to kill some Houses as well. 🙁

      “look I’m just going to put a whole bunch of stuff out there and you figure out what you like” <– THIS forever.

  3. This is an incredible wedding! I’m glad it was everything you hoped for. Can I ask what your budget was?

    • Oof. So so much. WAY more than we planned on spending. I don’t recommend planning a big wedding at a non-wedding venue in the middle of nowhere if you want to stick to a budget. 😉 Luckily we don’t regret one penny of it (and we can write off a lot of it, since most of the attendees were also work colleagues).

  4. It’s been a LONG time (The Beatles “Wait” is now in my head) since I’ve commented on a wedding, but MEGAN YOU SLAYED LIKE NO OTHER HAS SLAYED BEFORE! So so so so so so happy for you and your hubs and the OBB empire.

    Also, your hair. Can we talk about that? How often do you get it done to look that amazeballs?

    xo
    L

    • Thank you!!! I’m honored by your rarified comment. 🙂

      So the hair: It was Special Wedding Hair. I showed my hair person a photo of The Dress, and said “go crazy.” And that’s what she came up with. It’s a million different colors, including extensions, and it looked amazing and was total pain in the ass!!! I’ll never do it again. I usually just go to her once every two or three months and let her dye my hair whatever purple-ish color she wants. 😉

Comments are closed.