Laura & Kate’s Science-Meets-Literary Nerd Chic Wedding

* Laura & Kate * Photographer: Nataliya Vakulenko * Soundtrack for reading: “All Your Life” by The Band Perry *

One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: Gambling the circle around the zero. With cupcakes.

The Info—Photographer: Nataliya Vakulenko / Venue: Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse / Food: Lucille’s BBQDay Of Coordinator: Cindy Pham / Officiant: Our dear friend, Debra Kazden / DJ: Ryan Girgis “DJ Tempoe” / Accordionist: Richard NoelLaura’s Dress: Baklava Beauty Dress from ModCloth, altered by Laura’s friend Freya / Kate’s Dress: Sand by Me dress from ModCloth / Jewelry: Laura’s Aunt Michele / Cupcakes: Buttercake Bakery / Hair & Makeup: Dawn DeKruyf / Marriage Contract: Lilah Koopman-Glass

Other cool stuff we should know about: We’d had absolutely no intention of having live music at our wedding, until one lazy evening surfing YouTube we stumbled upon this channel by Richard Noel, a retired psychology professor who now played the accordion. We watched the video of his playing Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” and that was it. I think Kate and I pretty much just looked at each other and said, “We need him at our wedding!” We found his email address and asked if he’d be willing to drive down from Bakersfield, a city about two hours north of Los Angeles, to grace our wedding day with his talent, and he was game. He even offered to wear his beret. We ended up walking down the aisle together to Richard’s playing “What A Wonderful World.” He was, by far, the best screw-the-budget decision we made.

Our wedding prologue, read by our officiant’s son, was the opening words to Richard Dawkins’s book Unweaving the Rainbow. I’ve always loved this passage, but while I’d known of its being read at funerals, I’d never heard of it being used in a wedding. Still, it had special meaning to us, as Kate has cystic fibrosis. More often than most couples, we find ourselves needing to focus on the precious time we do have together, since the future holds so many scary possibilities. We couldn’t help but joke, however, for weeks before the the wedding, about the fact that the first words spoken at our ceremony would be, “We are going to die.”

Kate’s a geek for play and a real-life space physicist for work, and I’m a huge bookworm. We chose to represent both of our personalities in the table centerpieces, which were hollowed out old books filled with paper flowers, encircled by paper robots. Both the robots and the paper flowers took many, many hours to assemble, and some of my favorite pre-wedding memories involve sitting around with friends and family, passing glue guns and talking smack (or, in the case of one family centerpiece-making session, singing My Fair Lady songs, and talking smack).

For escort cards we bought packs of those manilla library pockets and loan cards and asked all of our guests to write us a message on their card. After returning from our honeymoon, we had a blast going through the basket of them, (alongside my mom, who had been cat-sitting at our apartment), reading what everyone had written (or drawn, in the case of some young nieces and nephews)! We have some of the most thoughtful, hilarious friends and family (and, apparently, some super drunk ones).

Towards the end of the reception, Kate gave an epic performance of “Ice, Ice Baby.” ‘Nuff said.

Favorite thing about the wedding: One of my favorite moments was at the end of the day, stumbling out in our sore wedding feet to the end of a nearby rock jetty to pose for what would be one of our coolest wedding photos. Before the wedding I had had some apprehension about holding our same-sex wedding in such a crowded public place, fearing potentially unkind comments from an onlooker or two. But on our path down the jetty, we were greeted by several friendly strangers sitting along the rocks asking us if we had just married and wishing us congratulations. It gave us warm fuzzies.

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