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
Our redwood wedding at a glance:
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!
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…
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…
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…)
We had even more Game of Thrones references than that though. See how many you can catch…
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 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…
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.
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!
And speaking of “awwww,” our dog Pita also strutted her stuff down the aisle, escorted by my Hand of the Queen.
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.
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.
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.
If you want to see/hear my vows, you can head over here.
Tell us about your redwood wedding reception:
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.
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.
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…
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:
- 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
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.
For dessert we brought in Smitten to make their amazing liquid nitrogen ice cream. It was dessert AND entertainment…
And we also had a S'mores station, wonderfully named “House S'moremont”…
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…
You can read more about our edible centerpieces, and how ACTUALLY ATE THEM after the wedding, over here:
The redwood wedding entertainment
Exploring the property
I'm pretty sure I spent the bulk of the reception just dancing my ass off. Mostly with Ariel.
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:
Hire a great wedding planner and photographer and chill the fuck out
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.
Vendors — aka. “how to throw the perfect redwood wedding in Northern California”
- Wedding planner: Events by Holly Gray
- Photographer: Wild About You Photography
- Photo booth: Altar Image Photography
- Venue: Redwood House in the Anderson Valley
- Bride’s dress: custom-made & painted by RMINE
- Wardrobe stylist: Kimmy Erin
- Hair color: Sirens Salon
- Hair styling & makeup: Raina Antle
- Catering: Bruxo Food Truck
- Chicken and Waffles: The Waffle Roost
- Sliders: Me So Hungry Too
- Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream: Smitten
- Flowers: California Sister Floral Design
- Rings: Mociun (matching wedding bands), Yayoi Forest (bride’s special wedding band), Joseph Jewelry (engagement ring)