Valerie and Brian met when she was 18 and he was 23. Brian worked at a skate shop and they would routinely hang out talking about alternative ideologies and hardcore music, never thinking that their paths would cross again. Fast forward a few years and they reconnected via OKCupid and decided to meet up! “In typical Jersey Shore fashion, we met for a late night cup of coffee at a diner, and a stroll on the boardwalk; the rest is history”, said Valerie.
They were married in New Jersey at The Loft at Jackʼs Barn. “As music was the glue that held all of our wedding plans together, it is only fitting that the inspiration for our wedding would be an album”, she continued. “The Bouncing Soulʼs 1999 album Hopeless Romantic was the inspiration for our wedding. Youthful, care-free, alternative, and fun, but still romantic in itʼs own right.”
“We chose to skip a lot of the more common American wedding traditions such as the bouquet toss, garter belt toss, wedding party entrance, cake smashing, etc. None of those traditions felt much like ‘us’, and we believe you should always plan a wedding that is true to who you are, regardless of how conventional or unconventional that may be. Plus, it was important to us to make our wedding the raddest party we would ever throw. Eliminating those traditions from the day, gave us more time to dance and party with our friends and family, which is exactly what we wanted!”
The ceremony was lead by one of the bride’s friends and was their favourite part of the day. “A long-time friend of my family was our officiant”, she said. “He wrote and delivered the most beautiful ceremony script, and because he knew us on a more personal level, he was able to keep the entire ceremony relaxed and fun, which was exactly what we had envisioned. It was important to us that our ceremony be lighthearted and not overly stuffy or traditional, since that is not who we are. I walked down the aisle with my mother to Bikini Killʼs Riot Grrrl anthem; Rebel Girl, and I donʼt think it gets much more unconventional or bad ass then that!”
“Besides the entire ceremony, our other favourite part of the wedding was our first look. From the moment we started wedding planning, we knew that we wanted to do a ‘first lookʼ with our photographer. It meant a lot to us to carve out one intimate moment at the start of the wedding, that was just for the two of us and our raw emotions. Weʼll never forget that first look, and what we felt seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day (and weʼre really happy to forever have the pictures of that exact moment!)”
The majority of the reception decor was DIY, except the beautiful flowers which were provided by Desiree Dean Designs. “Brian is a freelance graphic designer and he designed our ceremony programs and menu cards, as well as our ‘wedding welcome sign’, which became the logo to our day. He made a custom sign with our illustrations, based off of the cover artwork to The Descendents album Milo Goes To College. We had the illustration made into vinyl stickers for our guests as well, and even got matching tattoos of it on our honeymoon! To further the music theme, we collected vintage 7” records from antique shops for our table numbers, and had stickers made in our colour scheme with each number, that we stuck in the centre of the record.”
“The best thing about planning our wedding was the closeness and creativity that it allowed us to have”, she concluded. “We thoroughly enjoyed planning out all of our little unique details, crafting our playlist to perfection, and spending time hunting for the exact vintage decor for the day. There were a lot of fun times spent planning our wedding, that have since become memories that we will cherish. Keeping track of all of the lists of things to do was hard though.”
The only thing we might do differently if we were to do it all over again would be to listen to other’s opinions less. We donʼt believe that we let other people’s opinions get to us too much, but of course when wedding planning, there will always be times when you are overwhelmed by the opinions of your family, friends, wedding blogs, and society at large. Itʼs helpful to take time to shut all of that out, and regain control of what is important to you and your partner. Because often, those will become your favourite parts of the day.”