the groom found me a leaf.

The offbeat bride: Cat, Farmers Market Sales Associate and Small Farmer

Her offbeat partner: Joe, Grocer and Martial Artist

Date and location of wedding: Antheia Ballroom, Snohomish, WA — October 2, 2010

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Joe and I wanted to have a warm and mirthful celebration with our friends and family, so we opted for an Oktoberfest theme. Afterall, the history of Oktoberfest has to do with a royal Bavarian wedding back in the October of 1810. The folks had such a blast back then that the celebration's been kept alive.

locally grown apples and pears.

I've been selling produce for a small organic farm for seven years now, my parents have a tomato farm, and I was raised at the markets. With this strong involvement in our farming community, I also wanted to incorporate a celebration of the harvest with lots of locally grown food and flowers and locally crafted spirits. In fact, all of the produce used in our German-themed feast came from the farm I work for.

german feast.


I picked out my flowers at the Phinney Hill Farmers Market two days before the wedding. I brought home a carload of pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch to use as decorations.

my DIY favors.

My favors included homemade preserves and pickles made in small batches throughout the growing season, as well my mom's handmade goat milk soap. We served Scuttlebutt Brewery's Weizenbock beer and Red Barn Cider's “Sweetie Pie” hard cider, and toasted with Sky River Mead.

my gorgeous ladies.

The women in my family (including the moms and my five sister-in-laws) helped with so much including wedding planning, floral arranging, pumpkin painting, and venue setup. Our brother-in-law officiated the wedding. My nieces and nephews were my flower girls and ring bearers respectively. Our photos were taken by my sister-in-law who runs Nickel Images.

brimhall family dance.

We also celebrated with the “Brimhall Family Dance.” Since Joe's family is so large, they have had quite a few weddings. It's now become tradition to dance the family dance at each wedding. We danced to “Automatic” by the Pointer Sisters.

brimhall family dance.

cut the cake with a machete.

We cut our cake with a machete which was gifted to us from a farming friend. I loved cutting our cake with a farming tool rather than an old cake knife. At the end of the evening, we escaped under a rain of sparkler fire and shared a cigar on the way home under a starlit sky.

the kiss with bells a'ringing.

Tell us about the ceremony: We opened with Shakespeare's Sonnet 116:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

epic sunset.

I left orange cowbells on the guests' chairs with a little note to “ring this bell when the bride and groom kiss.” Oh boy! There was definitely “more cowbell” at our wedding when we went in to kiss.

husband and wife.

Near the end of the ceremony, we totally lucked out as a brilliant orange sunset shone in through the windows. When the venue doors opened, we were blasted with sunlight.

back to the future.

Our biggest challenge: Our quick wedding planning schedule was probably my biggest challenge, but it was also quite the fun ride! Joe and I had been talking about getting married for a few years, but decided in mid-May that it was finally time and that we wanted to get married that upcoming autumn. Not wanting to miss the harvest season, we only had about three and a half months to plan. Looking back, it would have been nice to have a little bit more time. I always joke that I never got to make my giant papier-mache pumpkin carriage to whisk us away from the wedding.

first look.

taking a quiet stroll.

My favorite moment: Joe and I wanted to meet somewhere peaceful before the whirlwind of the wedding. We chose to meet away from the venue at a small farm tucked away in the woods on a tree-lined path. It was so romantic walking together and whispering those pre-wedding sweet nothings. To be honest, we felt like we were married when we met under the trees, so as we were leaving to head to the wedding venue, it seemed like we were just headed to our party. It made me feel a lot more relaxed.

locally grown flowers.Our music selection was also very meaningful to us. Our wedding party walked down the aisle to “Easy to Love” by Ivan & Alyosha, which we liked because it brings up overcoming challenges in a relationship. I walked down the aisle to “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear, and Joe and I walked back down the aisle as husband and wife to “Home” by Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Our first dance was to “You're my Best Friend” by Queen, who has been our favorite band since childhood.

Walking down the aisle and hugging my dad at the altar was a meaningful moment for me as well. I'm happy that we were married under a branch altar, decorated with hops and dried flowers, which he made for us using branches he'd found around his property.

front row view.

My funniest moment: I'm sure some guests were horrified, but Joe and I thought it was adorable and hilarious when my little niece started rolling around on the floor and playing with my dress during the start of the ceremony. I wanted to have the kids in our family included in the wedding for the very reason that they help lighten the mood and help create good memories.

I remember Joe and I holding hands at the altar making “about to crack up” faces at each other as we watched our little niece from the corner of our eyes. I always joke that I'm going to do the same thing at her wedding. I guess I won't be as cute though.

our cake.

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Relax and be in the moment. I really enjoyed every second of the wedding day because I let myself breath. I almost feel like I was too relaxed when I walked down the aisle.

I'm also glad I invested in good photography. Everything else doesn't matter as much, but it's nice to look back at good photos.

our little table under the branches.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Bride's dress: Sarah Seven
  • Bridesmaids' dresses: Modcloth
  • Photography: Nickel Images
  • Flowers: I recommend that brides check out their local farmers market for flowers if they can. Not only are you able to pick from the freshest blooms at great prices, you're also supporting a small producer and keeping your fossil fuel miles down.

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

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Comments on Cat & Joe’s Oktoberfest locally-grown harvest wedding

  1. Gorgeous! The arbor (?) made of branches is beautiful, and I love the cake and the bridesmaids dresses, AND the adorable flower-niece 🙂

  2. Love everything about this wedding! It’s so what I want from mine! Congrats on a beautiful day!

  3. Fall weddings are my favorite to look at! No wonder I’m having one 😉

    Love everything about this wedding. The cake and the bridesmaid dresses are, by far, my favorite.

    My fiance’ has a 2 yr old niece that will be one of our flower girls and I feel the same way you do. Just let them play 🙂

  4. I was extra happy to see this post because that’s my venue, too! 🙂 This was an absolutely lovely wedding.

  5. I LOVE this. Beautiful venue, weather, dress, hair, smiles, music (and Shakespeare!). But I must admit I squee’d aloud when I saw the owl cake topper on the woodland cake. Adorbz!

  6. Holy crap this is giving me some great ideas for my Scotch-German wedding next year! Everything looks lovely here.

  7. WOw! i totally just recognized you, Cat! i used to work at the sno-isle co-op. i was just browsing off-beat bride and then,”hey, i know her!”

    p.s. i love your adorable wedding cake. best of luck to your family, now and in the future.

  8. Absolutely gorgeous! I am IN LOVE with yours girls dresses! They are absolutely gorgeous. I love your cake and the whole theme of the wedding was so fun and unique! Beautiful Mrs.

  9. I love this! The dress is gorgeous and the cake is so fun! I actually looked in shock at the topper, as my grandmother had the very same figurine! She loved owls and had all kinds of owl collectibles. I actually have that particular one now sitting in my office at work! 🙂

    beautiful beautiful wedding!

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