Tiki torches and rainbow-bright Tibetan prayer flags framed the outdoor amphitheater at the McMenamins Edgefield hotel in Troutdale. It was a hot summer day, and the festive decorations offered the perfect backdrop for the wedding ceremony of Brandy Rowell and Frank Zurbano.
Guests caught glimpses of the bride, wearing a trim white gown with a fashionably low-cut bustier top, her hair fixed in a stylishly casual do, her feet clad in Birkenstocks. She was trailed by a crew of females, four bridesmaids dressed not in stereotypical matching frocks but in various shades--and styles--of purple dresses. The bride appeared calm, while her attendants seemed to be fussing around, carrying makeup kits and brushes and various other accessories.
Once all were seated, Frank, a 29-year-old-graphic designer for WW, took his place beside his posse of groomsmen.
He stood waiting for his bride-to-be.
She was ready, but just one thing was preventing her walk down the aisle: the music.
The introduction of Brandy, 29, a masseuse-in-training, was stalled because no one had bothered to teach the DJ how to operate the couple's iPod.
After a few tries--in which the wrong tunes were stopped and started--and some giggles from the audience, the DJ finally got it right. It was a moment that might have sent a few brides, not to mention some grooms, into fits of pique.
Not Brandy. As she made her entrance, now barefoot and accompanied down the aisle by her stepfather, she was all smiles. For his part, Frank didn't seem upset. "I was expecting him to fuck it up," he says with a cheeky smile.
By all accounts, this small mishap served as an indication of the couple's easy-does-it sensibility, as well as a humorous, tension-breaker kind of moment at the wedding. No one blamed the DJ, a college friend who had volunteered to help. And once the music started, the bride's entrance song wasn't the traditional processional march but the grandiose 20th Century Fox
fanfare, followed by the Grateful Dead's "Terrapin Station."
This was not exactly the most formal of
But it was fitting, as the couple--who met in early 2000 when they both worked at the PSU Kinko's store--isn't the most formal of couples. Frank says the two were "movie buddies" first and love interests later.
Once they did get together, Frank soon
realized that Brandy was "the one" when she arranged for him to have the day off work and took him to a Charlie Hunter concert for his birthday. And though Brandy says she never thought she'd get married to anyone, she says she and Frank "were both very domesticated once we got together."
Frank and Brandy enjoyed traveling, going to concerts and rock climbing. In 2002, however, the couple took steps toward domestic bliss: In May, they bought a house together.
A month later, for their second anniversary, Frank proposed and Brandy said yes. Now, she claims she was planning to propose to Frank on that very day if he hadn't asked her first.
As they began planning their wedding, the couple set the date around Labor Day weekend so that they could spend time with out-of-town friends. Instead of the traditional getaway where the newlyweds take off on an intimate retreat, they planned a five-day holiday in Sunriver--and invited 25 friends and family.
Forgo a romantic honeymoon for a week of hiking and biking en masse?
Some might call it an unconventional honeymoon for an unconventional couple. Frank and Brandy just call it their "un-honeymoon."