Kelly & Matt’s Bright Blue and Green Retro Video Game Wedding
This wedding that I’m about to show you put a smile on my face the moment I saw it. The truth is my husband and I are pretty nerdy too — well him especially — so we connected with handsome twosome Kelly and Matt’s fun and quirky bright blue and green celebration of their geekiness!
Photographer Jamie Y who took the wonderful photos you see here shares:
This beautiful couple just finished up getting their PHDs on the East Coast and came home to Pasadena where the bride is from. They consider themselves “nerdy” gamers. Their wedding was full of little details from various video games. The bridesmaid dresses even resembled something out of a video game.
Aren’t they adorable? The effervescent bride is a lot of fun to correspond with too as she gamely answered all the questions I threw at her. I think it would be better if I let her do all the talking now so take it away Kelly!
Matt and I met five years ago when I started grad school for genetics. While we have a lot of common interests, Matt and I are two very different people. He’s about as straight-laced as they come, very rules oriented, eats the same breakfast and the same lunch everyday, still dresses the same way he did in high school. My motto since I was about three years old has been “I’m my own person”. When we met, I had several piercings, blue hair, a new tattoo, and was very punk in my clothing (and attitude). Deep down though, we are both ginormous nerds. I have an older brother who I always thought was the coolest person ever so I grew up loving things like video games, sci fi, comic books, and anime. It turns out that Matt loves those same things.
Our theme was “Matt and Kelly get married”, haha. My mom said everything was kind of all over the place but I argued that if you knew Matt and I, everything meshed because it was “us” and if you didn’t, why were you at the wedding? Taking a step back, we had two themes. The first was video games, the second was vintage. Our colors were blue and green because I have an addiction to blue and it always looks so nice with green.
My dress was custom made by Avail & Co. I looked at a ton of places and I couldn’t find the things I wanted. One lady even laughed at my ideas. I found Rachel and since she does free consultations, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. That’s how I ended up with my dream dress. It was princess-y, and blue and sparkly, and, best of all, it had pockets!!! The price was really amazing, it was cheaper than the dress I was going to settle for. Did I mention it had pockets?
Our hairstylist was amazing. He was even able to put blue hair into my ‘do, because really, I couldn’t get married without blue hair. That would just be weird. I should note that I had blue hair for over ten years and only stopped doing it because I was lazy and didn’t keep it up.
I found my shoes at Sears. I think they were for old ladies but they were adorable. They had everything I wanted, low heel and t-strap. The color didn’t matter because I had found an article on a website that showed me how to glitter my shoes. It turns out you can just mix a ton of glitter with mod podge and paint it on things. Because the glitter is suspended in the glue, it doesn’t flake off everywhere. That’s how I got the perfect sparkly blue shoes.
Matt reminds me to mention that we ordered his cufflinks from Etsy. They are the same as the ones that Homer gave to Lisa’s fiancee in the episode “Lisa’s Wedding”. In case you’re not a huge Simpson’s fan, they are a hideous bride and groom pig. Adorable.
Matt is definitely the guy that your parents hope you bring home. They were all more than a little shocked that he wasn’t more “unusual”. He was kind of shocked at being thrust into a loud, happy, Mexican family since he grew up in a quiet mid-west family.
We were married at the San Gabriel Mission in California. Matt and I are both Catholic so a church wedding was the obvious choice. When I was little I used to imagine getting married there.
From the beginning I told everybody that I would take any and all help that was offered. It resulted in some craziness but mostly a lot of wonderful experiences and less stress. I digress. As I said before, I am a Mexican-American and I really wanted to include our traditions into our wedding. Matt was very supportive with that. Luckily, getting married in CA means that the priest was familiar with the additions such as the laso and the arras and the presentation to Mary. We also decided to have a mariachi band playing at the front of Castle Green to welcome our guests as they arrived.
The inspiration for the bridesmaids’ look was vintage style. They’re dresses were kind of 1950s and everyone got to pick their own vintage hairstyle and we all got together one day and each girl made a fascinator to wear. I think they all looked beautiful.
We had our reception at Castle Green in Pasadena, CA, which I used to dream about living at when I was little too. I guess I had a lot of dreams come true that day. Both sites are historic landmarks with a ton of history which made them even cooler. Come on, they filmed the movie Clue at Castle Green, how cool is that? I think using both of these places really helped with the vintage portion of our theme.
I am super duper crafty so I went in wanting to do everything myself. Unless you are having a small wedding, this is probably a bad idea. Since we were having a family wedding, which in my culture means that everybody is invited, I knew it was going to end up pretty large. Luckily I have some of the most supportive friends and family that helped us through. It turns out that planning a wedding from across the country (Matt and I were living in NC) is not an easy task. My sister-in-law, Michelle, saved my sanity and acted as my wedding planner from start to finish.
Our plan was to personalize stuff. Not like put our initials on everything, but make it all stuff that we loved. We decided to have stations instead of a traditional sit down meal. I’m a vegetarian and I know from experience how wretched it is to get a meal that you don’t like or can’t eat. We wanted everyone to have their fill. Our caterer was really wonderful about helping us personalize the meal. One of the stations we had was Southern themed to celebrate where we met- Carolina bbq pulled pork sandwiches, fried okra, fried pickles, mac and cheese, and cole slaw. We had a small wedding cake but we had a dessert station that included some of our favorites- lemon bars, pumpkin pie, and bread pudding.
I love to crochet and I thought it would be fantastic to crochet doilies for the center pieces, I managed to make eight and my friend’s mom made a couple too. It was about summertime when I realized that there was no way I was going to finish all the doilies in time. My mom talked to some of her cousins and they all got together and each one either made one for me or donated a family heirloom doily for our wedding. That meant so much more to me than if I had made them all myself. I use them now to decorate our home.
We both really love video games so they kind of just seemed right to include in the wedding. Our save the dates were postcards that had video game versions of the two of us.
Each of the tables was given the name of an old school video game character and the table markers were all cross stitched version of the characters (my bridesmaids, one of my moms, and my new mother in law all helped out with that).
Our gift card box was made by two of my good friends, in the shape of the original Mario ? box. The little escort cards had the name of the guest and a picture of their table character and a pumpkin spice lollipop from Sees Candy (we really love pumpkin flavored things). Since we had to have a cake we decided that we needed really cute cake toppers. Ours were these great kokeshi style wood figures that were painted to look like Zelda and Link from the Legend of Zelda games. I even kept Matt’s gift in the theme. I had a stained glass MegaMan made for him from Judy at Nerdglass.net and she a great job.
The flowers were a gift from one of my best friends since high school who used to be a florist. Her vision was that the centerpieces would be made up of several vases, each with a single type of flower. Starting about a year ahead, we put the word out that we needed small vases for the tables. It gave everyone a great excuse to hit the thrift stores. Things got a bit hectic at the end. Don’t they always? My bridesmaids (one of which was the friend doing the flowers) got together and stayed up late getting all the flowers cut and arranged, and then had to do a bit more the next day too.
Our friend Linda did all the stationery for the wedding. She has her own graphic design company, Ruby Red Design Studio, that does superb wedding statioeary and she’s super busy but she managed to fit us into her schedule. The save the dates were spectacular. She even managed to make our invites look classy while still being us. That makes it sound like we’re not classy, haha. Maybe I mean formal.
I think my favorite part, besides the blue, green and stars, were the options on the response card. We are very nerdy.
And Jamie!!! Jamie Y Photography did the wonderful pictures. I was getting overwhelmed trying to find a photographer that took good pictures and didn’t want my first born in return. My brother is an artist and I had asked for his help finding someone. He remembered that a friend of his from high school had her own photography business. It took him a little while to remember what it was and find her. Jamie and her husband are so wonderful. I think the pictures speak for themselves and it was really great working with her. She wasn’t all up our faces and she was really cool. Phew, that’s a lot of stuff.
All these things were great and made our wedding so personal and fun, but I think having the friends and family willing to help was the best part.
Matt was in the middle of getting his PhD so he wasn’t able to help as much with the planning as he would have liked but he more than made up for that in emotional support.
Ever sensible, in the beginning Matt made me sit down and figure out what the most important things for the wedding were. This was my list for the most important things: 1. Get married, 2. Have a big twirly dress, 3. Have an open bar, 4. Make sure there was lots of delicious food. Anytime I was overwhelmed or freaked out and crying because I couldn’t decide which stamps would look best on our envelopes (true story) he would have me take a deep breath and go over the list. Then he would ask me if I really actually cared about X problem or if I just felt I was supposed to. It usually did the trick. I think that was one of the hardest parts. I visited a billion wedding sites and read every magazine, which was fun, but it also kind of left this voice in my head that kept telling me that which napkins we had was going to be the most important thing ever. Sometimes it was hard to drown it out.
I think my best piece of advice is that once things start rolling, stop worrying. I even took my own advice. Once we got in the limo to leave my mom’s house, I was so much calmer. I knew at that point there was nothing more I could do and if anything went wrong it didn’t really matter. In the end, nobody knows if something didn’t turn out the way you envisioned it because they didn’t know what it was supposed to be like in the first place. I hope that doesn’t sound all preachy. I heard that a lot too but it turns out it’s true. One thing nobody told me though, that I would really dislike weddings by the end of planning ours. I think about two weeks out I just started despising every time I had to make another decision.
I think it was great that their wedding — however crazy* it may look from the outside — was a big mesh of her and Matt as a couple. It was awesome of Kelly to share what went on in such vivid detail, and to give such great advice to those of you who are still in the midst of planning too. Thank you Jamie for the great photos and submission, and Kelly and Matt for giving us all a VIP pass into your very colorful, festive, and positively nerdy celebration! I wish you two a happily married life.
* Kelly thought it was crazy (in a good way) that I, who don’t even know them personally, found something to love about their wedding but I know that a unique and highly personalized wedding like theirs is the kind of wedding that you all love to read about on here, right?
Photographer: JamieY Photography
Reception Venue: Castle Green
Dress Designer: Avail & Company
Ceremony Location: San Gabriel Mission
Date: October 08, 2011
Images submitted via Two Bright Lights