Our wedding was one of the harder things we've ever pulled off – we put so much of ourselves into it. And I wouldn’t have done a single thing different. I find that the things we really dive into, the things we do as extensions of ourselves and then work the hardest to turn those dreams into reality, are the things that we are never unhappy about doing. I can look back on plenty of other things I didn’t put my heart into and have regrets and criticisms. But not this wedding, and never anything I know I put my entire soul into and worked the hardest I’ve ever worked.
Sure, I definitely made things a lot harder than they had to be to create this wedding, but there’s not one day I’ve ever regretted it. I mean, I said my vows on a checkerboard dance floor and got confetti thrown at me instead of rice.
What would our lives look like if we lived everyday like this? Would we be happier? Would we feel more accomplished in our jobs and our personal lives? It takes guts and it takes grit, but aren’t our lives worth nothing less than that beautiful pay off when we are extremely and unapologetically ourselves?
I had the privilege a little over a year ago of marrying my best friend. His name is Micah Twan Heykoop, for those of you who don’t know him and/or didn’t know “Twan” could be a middle name (pronounced “Tao-” like the nightclub in Vegas “-juan” like the Spanish version of John).
He wanted me to make sure you knew how to pronounce it before moving on.
Being the traditional people we are, we decided to have a warehouse rager in Downtown Los Angeles and invite the grandparents.
A short note about the proposal: Micah flew home from a business trip to Florida one day early and had my best friends (Melissa & Kasandra) set up and distract me from coming home to the apartment I lived alone in at the time so that he could fill the scarce living room with Christmas lights, sunflowers, and champagne. Successfully scaring the crap out of me when I came home and thought there was an intruder inside my apartment, only to propose to me with our favorite songs playing on the iPod deck.
I wanted to get married under a tree, but April was a little spotty when it came to the whole “will it rain or be 100 degrees that day?” California question. So clearly the next logical step in that scenario was to get married in a space large enough to bring a tree indoors.
At the time, I was working on Skid Row in Downtown LA (DTLA for short) and was always riding by the warehouse district with tons of “rent for filming” signs on the empty buildings. Since we hadn’t found a venue yet and we were less than three months away from our wedding, I decided we should try this avenue and with much success we located Six01 Studios.
It was time to convince someone to rent a tree to us, so naturally we found a set landscaper in North Hollywood. A grumpy genius owned this massive lot filled with fake versions of every natural landscape on earth, and after initially shutting us down with the line, “Listen, I do movies and commercials and TV shows, there’s no way in hell I have time for a few topiaries and a tree,” we kept bugging him and grew on him enough to drive us around his lot in a golf cart and let us rent a few topiaries and a tree for our inane sounding wedding. I think he wanted to just see if we could pull off what we were saying.
We rented the actual stump and branches of a real tree, and then selected the fake leaves to be assembled on it out of a warehouse of shrubbery for this type of event (aka stapling fake leaves to a real tree stump, part of this man’s everyday life. Am I jealous? Yes).
Another insane genius and friend, Ryan Choura, helped us with our rentals and reconfigured the entire set up of our wedding just before the big day after standing in space and deeming our original plan impossible. He, too, a mastermind.
The set up day consisted of 10 friends, live sod to be cut up (naturally) for centerpieces, one person getting electrocuted setting up the lighting and almost falling off the ladder, the massive golden wall that made up the background of the stage almost plummeting off the back of said stage, me setting up chairs right up until the minute of the rehearsal, hundreds of bottles getting washed for water, and the love and dedication of our dear friends filling the room with their elbow grease, sweat, and blood.
Of course I had a massive head cold/infection the days leading up to the wedding and into the honeymoon, but luckily my two best friends are a nurse and a licensed cosmetologist so no one knew any different.
The entirety of the wedding, I can only describe to you in the pictures included. Words can’t express the perfection of the crazy sweaty mess that was our wedding. When it started getting warm, we just rolled up the warehouse doors and let the breeze in. People sat and dangled their feet off the sides of the delivery openings, there was a classic Pac-Man arcade game in the space, we ate quiche from a dear friend’s customized menu he created with his students, we had a tower of donuts, customized temporary tattoos that read “I Survived the Heykoop wedding,” and a massive open bar with drinks called “the Bethany” and “the Micah” (we ran out of creativity there at the end). Goldfish were swimming in massive vases on top of sod in the centerpieces. It was the best day.
Also, a special thank you to the angels I call my best friends & family, who got us down the aisle in one piece and swept up every bit of confetti off the sticky floor the day after.