The Offbeat Bride: Michelle, Actress and Odd-job Extraordinaire (and Offbeat Bride Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Ricardo, Director and Barber
Date and location of wedding: Historic El Portal Theatre, North Hollywood, CA — March 14, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Ricardo and I met in a theater in acting class and our first date was to see a movie, so I can't imagine a better location for our wedding than the historic El Portal Theatre built in 1926. As we are both film geeks, we chose movies as our wedding theme. I also added little references to our many fandoms throughout the wedding and reception.
My sister made a mock Back to the Future poster of Ricardo and me for our save-the-dates. She changed it slightly and enlarged it so we could set it up outside by the red carpet on the way into the theater.
We were also very conscience of the budget. Since I am crafty, I did a lot of DIY projects to keep our budget small. The flowers were all DIY from pages of Sherlock Holmes. My DIY bouquet was flowers from Sherlock, River Song's Sonic Screwdriver as the handle, and the Samulet charm from Supernatural — so it was SuperWhoLock. I started collecting glass jars from friends as soon as we got engaged for centerpieces and to hold lights.
Our programs had a crossword puzzle and word search filled with factoids about us. We also had a list of “Wedding Achievements” in the program. These achievements were designed to make people participate in all the things at the wedding (like get photo booth pictures and dance.) Surprisingly, people got really into trying to get all the achievements. As people walked in the theater, we had a slideshow of the mock movie posters my sister made of us.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Right before the ceremony began, we projected a slideshow of our lives together set to “You’re my Best Friend” by Queen on the back scrim. Many of our guests were featured in these pictures, so the photos got a lot of hoots and applause.
Ricardo walked with his mother down the aisle to the start of the processional. Keeping with the movie theme, he walked down to a song from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I walked down the aisle with my father to the theme of The Princess Bride. I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, so right before my song played I had the sound of the TARDIS landing.
We kept our ceremony simple. A friend officiated and he really captured us with what he said, even ended the ceremony with a slight modification of a Doctor Who quote: “You and he, time and space, we’ll watch you run.”
Our vows were my favorite part of the evening. Because I am an actress and we were on stage, I automatically turned to face the audience when I started to talk and then I said, “Oh, wait I am supposed to be saying these things to him,” and everyone laughed. I think that helped get everyone to relax. We wrote our own vows and without planning it we actually said very similar things, such as his love of and my dislike for Terrence Malick movies, how I set up for parties and he always cleans afterwards, and we both mentioned how he always eats my leftovers.
Our recessional was to “Hooked on a Feeling” from Guardians of the Galaxy. Ooga-chaka!
Tell us about your reception:
Our reception was divided into two parts: dinner in the lobby followed by dancing back on the stage. We had appetizers and a taco bar. Instead of having a sit-down dinner we had high top tables. Having it set up this way allowed for us to mingle.
We had a DIY budget photobooth with an app on an iPad and a simple backdrop of a black curtain with some bunting and props from my old dress up clothes and the dollar store. We worried people wouldn’t use the photo booth, but our nieces were obsessed so they dragged just about everyone up there.
Since it was Pi Day, we had pies, along with the cake. We decided to get a simple, small cake (figuring many would go for the pies) and had Star Wars action figures as our toppers. The pies were a big hit and one of our Achievements in the program was called Mathematician for a Day, which was to eat a bite of pie at 9:26 (Pi is 3.1415926.) Lots of people saved some pie for 9:26.
Everyone loved dancing on the stage. We decided not to have a DJ and instead had a playlist on our computer that the techies ran from the booth. We cut together clips of some of our favorite movies such as The Princess Bride, Spaceballs, Casablanca, etc. to screen on the back of the stage during the dance party.
The toasts were some of the funniest moments of the day. My sister and Ricardo's best man both hate public speaking and worked hard on their speeches. They ended up seeming to compete to see who could get the most laughs.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Any other advice for Offbeat Bride readers?
Devastatingly, two weeks before the wedding one of my best friends passed away. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to get through the wedding, because that first week was so difficult for me to even get out of bed. When the funeral was on the opposite coast five days before the wedding, I knew I needed to go. The lesson I learned here was that there is more to life than having a “perfect” wedding. On the day of the wedding, I was able to find joy even while mourning because I was marrying the love of my life surrounded by friends. I added a Batman charm to my bouquet, so that I’d have him with me as I walked down the aisle.
- Photographer: Iconica Photography
- Venue: El Portal Theatre
- Catering: Silver Service Events
- Dress: Creme de la Boheme Dress ModCloth
- Veil: Venus Jewelry
- Bride's Shoes: Custom Converse
- Groom's Suit: Macy's