How This Couple Turned Their Wedding into an Epic Rock Opera
Musicians Rebecca Bortman and her (now) husband Bryan Garza first met in 2012 at the iconic San Francisco music venue Bottom of the Hill. Two years later, Bryan pulled off an epic proposal at the exact same spot by performing Elvis’s classic song “Can’t Help Falling in Love” live on stage. Obviously, Rebecca said yes (and now they have the best engagement story ever). So, what happens when two ultra-creative musicians start planning a wedding together? It turns into a rock opera.
When Rebecca (the leader singer of the band Happy Fangs) and Bryan (the lead singer of Scissors for Lefty) began to brainstorm how they wanted to tie the knot, Rebecca tells us, “We wanted to get back to songwriting after we got engaged, since that was our original premise.” She recalls saying to Bryan, “Why don’t we sing songs and make it an awesome concert?” And Bryan, being even more theatrical than she is, replied, “What if we did a rock opera?” Rebecca admits she was tentative about the idea at first, as she didn’t want the most memorable day of her life to turn into a cheesy high school musical. But with a lot of planning the couple was confident they’d be able to nail the concept.
Speaking of planning, there was A LOT of it. The two pulled this off in 10 months’ time, but Rebecca tells us that meant doing little of anything else. The rock opera was about an hour long and consisted of eight original songs (listen to a few here), all performed at the SF-based music venue The Chapel (the name is a charming coincidence). They recruited their bandmates’ help and even hired a stage manager as opposed to a wedding planner. All in all, Rebecca tells us there were 20 people in the show and about 12 more who helped with other aspects of production.
The hardest part to pull off? Rehearsals. Rebecca’s bridesmaids (who were also her backup singers) were all the way across the country on the East Coast. She says, “We attempted to practice a couple of time on Google Hangouts. It was hilarious to try to harmonize over that.”
While the two definitely ditched most wedding traditions, they kept one: The first look. Rebecca recalls, “That was more climactic than I thought. I thought he would just be like, ‘You look awesome!” But he told me, ‘You look like a Disney princess!’ We’d done a little bit of the traditional thing in that he’d never seen me in my dress, and so when he turned around it definitely had an impact.” And after that, it was showtime.
As Rebecca and Bryan’s 350 guests (!!) filled the venue, they were greeted with finger food, drink tickets and even a poster from the show. It started as a traditional wedding does, with a wedding processional. Then the performance began. The story of the rock opera follows the way they met and fell in love. She says, “The way we wove it into being more of a theatrical performance is we’d start with a song we’d written, and then to get to the next song, we’d have different people from the bridal party introduce it.” At one point their mothers got up on stage and told embarrassing stories about them and later their dads channeled Statler and Waldorf (the two grumpy dudes from The Muppets) by hilariously heckling them.
The vows were incorporated in the final song as they brought things down a notch to read what they’d written for each other. But after all that was said and done, it was time for the grand finale, a donut tower and a dance party.
So, what are they doing with all that hard work now? Relishing in it for one. But also, the couple says they also want to put out a Love, Jerks album for their first anniversary, which will include songs from the rock opera. (PS Love, Jerks is the name of their band.) We’re thinking that’s a great idea… if this doesn’t get picked up by Broadway and turned into the next hit musical before then ;)
What’s the most creative wedding you’ve seen recently? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.
(Photos via Amber Gregory)
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
- They provide you with tips from experts on how you could build or optimize your credit score
- You'll get a detailed look at your credit score and all the factors that go into it—your payment history, credit utilization, the age and type of accounts, balances, and any recent inquiries
- The credit simulator tool gives you an idea of how your credit score would change if you applied for a new credit card, closed your oldest credit card, or got a new auto loan
- You also get free, unlimited access to your credit report
When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.