“Punk Rock is in Your Soul” – A DIY City Hall Wedding….and a Bride in PINK: Lenore & Ryan

I don’t say this lightly, but Lenore & Ryan’s wedding may be my wedding of the year! I simply love everything about it – from the bride’s incredible pink ensemble, to the family-central cuteness of the whole thing. I’ve also realised that I definitely need to add some more giant bows to all my outfits.

I don’t know about you but I kinda want to live in this wedding…

“Ryan and I met through a LDS church dating site,” Lenore told me. “We both were recently divorced with small children, he has two and I have three.  We dated for a year and then put our family together in a legal ceremony at City Hall.  Latter Day Saints weddings (Mormon) are typically performed at temples and are extremely sacred simple ceremonies without any of the typical wedding flare (no walking down the aisle, etc), but Ryan and I had both been married in the temple the first time around.  We wanted our children to feel like they were included and involved in our families joining together.  We were tempted to hold a large wedding and even planned an event at a local theater, but in the end we decided that in order to preserve the sacred nature of the LDS temple we would be married at the courthouse instead.”

The couple didn’t have a reception and their ceremony was open to anyone who wanted to come along, “The San Francisco Courthouse happens to be a beautiful building,” Lenore continued. “Typically the Commisoners only allow six guests to witness the wedding and they are usually performed in small courtrooms.  It’s a ten minute ceremony – no frills.  You stand there with the commissoner and he or she marries you.  When we showed up in all our pink glory with hoards of children and about forty relatives (I’m from a family of 10, he’s from a family of 8 – typical Mormons!) the Commissoner had mercy on us and married us in the Rotunda in front of all our surprise guests.  We didn’t send out invites, we just posted on our blog and facebook the when and where and people showed up.  It couldn’t have been a more casual and romantic affair, centered on family.”

I know you’re all dying to know about Lenore’s outfit right!? Well she bought a vintage prom dress from etsy and customised it herself. She gathered up the layers of tulle and picked some of them up with clips. She then cut the top off to make it into a skirt, and wore it with a white tee-shirt and a big (awesome) pink bow! She even made her own veil by gathering up a load of tulle and tying it in a bow.

Similarly she bought some plain silver shoes and punk-rocked them up with studs, rhinestones, and broken mirrors. The good news is though that she’s now set up her own etsy store to sell them. Erm I WANT!!!!!

“Mormons dress very modestly:  they have to cover their shoulders and reach the knees.  This makes finding a wedding dress a real challenge,” she explained. “When I saw Lola’s Bad Ass Punk Rock bridal shoot on Rock n Roll Bride I thought:  I can make that work for me.  A fabulous skirt with a simple modest shirt ($12 from Marshalls — a discount retailer).  My mother can sew and we watch a lot of Project Runway together — we knew we could cobble together a dress ourselves.”

“Our wedding theme was ‘punk rock is in your soul’,” Lenore concluded. “We’re Mormons. We’re parents. We’re suburbanites. We’re professionals. And that is as hardcore as any lifestyle.”

“The second time around was so much more fun.  There was none of the pre-wedding day freakout.  We didn’t waste a bunch of money on food for other people.  Nobody was obligated to come and chat with strangers.  No stress.  People get so caught up in the Wedding Machine.  They think they need the expensive dress, the expensive location, the super fancy cake. What brides don’t realize is that two things last:  the pictures and the new family relationship.  Other than that, a wedding is just a day.  It can be done beautifully without breaking the bank.  The only thing we splurged on was our amazing photographer, Rachael McCall.”

I just DIE. I know you guys are gonna love this as much as I do.

You HAVE to click through to the gallery to see more of these babies…

Huge congratulations to Lenore & Ryan and their kids (Julian 7, Jordan 5, Miranda 4, Jude 3, and Silas 1) and much love and thanks for sharing your incredible wedding with us today.

Photography Credit: Rachael McCall
Ceremony Venue: San Francisco City Hall
Bride’s Dress: DIY
Bride’s Shoes: DIY (selling via her etsy store, Norface5)
Bride’s Headpiece: DIY
Bride’s Jewellery: Betsey Johnson
Bride’s Engagement Ring: One Garnet Girl on etsy
Groom’s Outfit: Zara (suit), Adidas (shoes), PennLivieFinery on etsy (tie)
Cupcakes: DIY
Flowers: DIY
Car: Their own minivan
Flowergirl’s Dress: DIY
Pageboy’s Bowties: PennLivieFinery on etsy

38 comments

  1. Wow. Just… wow. I can definitely see why this is your favorite of the year. I love the ceremony space, the little girl’s outfit, all the kids running around, her AMAZING dress, and their portraits. I can definitely see why they splurged on photography- these are gorgeous! And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone rock a full head of pink hair as naturally as she does. Normally, neon hair causes me to stare, but her pink hair just works. Like she was born with it. I love this!

  2. Pam G.

    Lenore forgot to mention that her sisters and I made 70 box lunches for each of the guests that showed up. We ate them just outside the courthouse, sitting on the cement berms, waiting for the bride and groom to come outside after all the photos. Each pretty, white box was tied with a pink bow, and inside was a beautifully decorated cupcake along with a croissant sandwich, fruit, chips, water bottle, and even pink rice to throw at the bride and groom. The meal was a hit, unexpected as it was, and Ryan almost flipped when he saw PINK rice thrown.

  3. I have known that family my whole life and was sooooo proud of Lenore. She was a true Punk Rock Princess. It is truly an inspiration for when I get married. Love love love it.

  4. Whitney

    She looks amazing…. stunning and happy. Happy. Happy.

    Rachael McCall is one dandy, talented woman. She caught everything perfectly. As it should be.

  5. Congratulations Ryan and Lenore you’re an awesome couple!! You have a beautiful family!! Love your wedding pictures. May you both have a great life together!! Love, Christine Duerksen

  6. We all felt bad for the normal brides.

    Great article. I like how you included the details and you were so positive.

    Those shoes are worth, like, $300.

  7. Karen

    Wow. I absolutely adore this wedding. Totally subtle and beautiful all in the same. :) Congrats to the happy couple, and the photo of the groom & child hugging was my absolute favorite!

  8. The building and the Rotunda are just so beautiful. I don’t know Leonore but somehow I can imagine her bringing out the softie within the the Commissioner and charming him in to holding the ceremony there.

  9. RachyLou

    Hands down, favourite wedding I’ve seen this year. I love her pink hair, her dress (a t-shirt, amazing!), the relaxed day….sigh.
    They seem like a beautiful couple inside and out! xo

  10. exdjryan

    For the record, the comissioner did not have “mercy on us.” Lenore is the most persuasive person I have EVER met. In the 5 minutes that we were filling out the paper work, she made friends with the entire office staff and convinced them to let us use the rotunda. As usual, she is too modest.

    And yes, it was a perfect day. She is as fun and intelligent and amazing as she is gorgeous.

    -The Groom

  11. Paige a sister

    Lenore and Ryan have been through hell individually and deserved this day and happiness together. FYI the lunches were fabulous and The Sisters all decided that we’d wear pink of some sort, and it turns out all pink matches! Those are some lucky children to have parents with their priorities right. Punk pinnacle, indeed. Now when are the next babies coming????

  12. Lex

    This is not what I expected of a Mormon wedding (which shows how little I know!), really beautiful!

  13. Just getting all caught up on my Rock ‘n Roll Bride goodness, and I just LOVE this wedding. Simple and relaxed…love it! And I’ve always been fascinated by San Francisco’s city hall. gorgeous place for elopements and small weddings. <3

  14. What a deadly wedding- completely rocks the whole Mormon stereotype, has an amazing wedding on a budget, so personal, I love the kids on the floor, I love her pink hair and the dress is too fab. I too, want to live in this wedding

  15. I love this! Not only do I love seeing LDS (Mormon) weddings featured on fun blogs, I love seeing people so very happy. Also, it doesn’t hurt that pink is my favorite color. :) Congrats, and thank you so much for sharing!

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