When you imagine your wedding invitations, do you dream in Technicolor… but with modern design? If so, then I imagine you're going to love our sponsor Shine Wedding Invitations. You might remember Shine from when we delved into their bling-y and sometimes nerdy designs.
I never wanted to wear a veil, I am not big on the symbolism or the look of most veils, and it isn't something I even considered until trying a few on at the wedding shop and feeling like "such a beautiful bride" or something. But we didn't have an extra $200 for a veil, I wasn't crazy about any in the shop, I was already planning on wearing a flower crown, so I just let the idea go. Until I stumbled across a photo of a bride wearing this kind of epic veil.
Despite my sewing machine still being unopened in the box (for three years) I was all like "I can do this!" So my mom and I headed to a craft store in search of a gigantic piece of fabric to make this happen…
The Offbeat Bride: Jade, Cake Decorator (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Jonathan, Corrections Officer
Date and location of wedding: Friend's backyard in Satsop, WA — July 26, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Luckily for us, Jonathan's best man's parents offered their property as a venue site for our wedding. The backyard venue gave our wedding more of a rustic feel, with which we centered a lot of our planning. We wanted our wedding to be laid-back since the two of us are down-to-earth. We didn't want a big to-do, we just wanted everyone to have fun. Jonathan's two main concerns were the booze and the dancing. He wanted to make sure the alcohol didn't run out and the dance floor was never empty. The things that I focused most of my energy on were releasing butterflies at the end of the ceremony, the dessert table (which consisted of naked cakes, mini cupcakes, brownie bites, and a fabulous doughnut bar), and many DIY projects.
Wedding planner Jessica Carrillo from Art and Soul Events has planned a LOT of weddings, now she's giving away her insider info on how to attack your guest list like a pro.
As a wedding planner, I know that one of the main challenges our clients tackle is narrowing down their guest list. Coming from a huge family, I can totally relate — I struggled with a massive guest list when planning my own wedding.
As a general rule of the thumb, the more guests invited, the more expensive the wedding will be. You will have more people to feed, more drinks to pay for, more tables to decorate, more favors to buy, and the list goes on.
You might also be required to cap the guest list due to venue capacity restrictions, which means you can't invite everyone you originally hoped you could.
Getting started, you can just draft a rough list of all of the people you want to share your awesome celebration with (and ask your partner to do the same). List close family, extended family, friends from way back, new friends, maybe a co-worker or two, and even the few obligatory peeps your parents or "financial contributors" might ask/demand that you invite. After some back and forth (and a glass of wine or a beer), you and your partner will hopefully agree to some mutual vetoes.
Are you still over your guest capacity?
Keep in mind that about 80% of the total guests invited will usually attend. It is not a fool-proof formula, because this number will vary depending on the time of year, day of the week, location of the wedding, or if it's a holiday weekend.
Here's a few more tips to quickly reduce the guest list:
Kelsey and Joshua married each other to the tune of violins this past summer. Their own violins, in fact! The two musicians actually moved to Nashville (aka, Music City) the day after their wedding in Salem, Oregon.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We gotta talk about this wedding! Photographer Stephanie Kaloi said that Kelsey and Joshua both come from nontraditional families: "Joshua was adopted by his mother and father, who are each remarried, so he counts his adoptive parents and both step-moms as his core family. Kelsey was raised by her mother and two dads — neither dad is biological but each have raised her from a young age." Let's hear it for offbeat families! Both of Kelsey's dads walked beside her as she played her violin down the aisle.
Oh YES. The bride walked to the altar playing a violin the entire way — and Joshua accompanied her with his own violin from the altar. I mean… does it get more romantic than that? No. No, it does not.
The Offbeat Bride: Jess, Graphic Designer
Her offbeat partner: Pete, Navy Sailor
Date and location of wedding: Ceremony: Treillage Tower, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park. Reception: Thornleigh Community Centre, Sydney, Australia — June 16, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Originally, Pete and I had booked a standard wedding venue in Sydney that was going to cost a lot of money. As the time for us to start planning began to draw nearer, I started to freak out. I didn't want one of those picture-perfect, white, blinged-up weddings. I wanted a wedding that showed our personalities and was interesting for our guests (plus, I started to feel sick about how much it was going to cost!). So Pete and I cancelled the venue, halved our budget, and decided to go completely DIY, with a theme that matched our personalities: glam horror!
It's almost impossible to be an Offbeat Bride reader and not know — or love — our longtime sponsor Wai-Ching. For those of you who aren't familiar, designer Chrissy Wai-Ching provides eco-friendly bridalwear, custom clothing, and kimonos in silk, hemp, and other natural fibers — and they're all hand-made in her studio in Seattle.
We've been freaking out over these designs since 2007, but Wai Ching has been in biz for 10 years now! In order to celebrate those 10 wonderful years, Wai-Ching is offering a special 10% discount. But more on that later.
First, let's collectively drool over 10 of our favorite Wai-Ching dresses that'll blow your skirts away…
Every time I do a shoe post catered to a specific foot-need, there are howls from the internet about how I've ignored THEIR special foot needs. This has happened so many times for so many years that the editors and I now have a joke about how long it will take for the first "validate my feet" comment to show up on some of my shoe posts.
Well, for those of you seeking validation for larger-sized feet, TODAY IS YOUR DAY! I'mma curate a collection of some of my favorite wedding heels, available in sizes 10-15. As always, I like 'em loud and proud. And as always, if you think I overlooked something awesome — share a link in the comments! (Or consider curating your own shoe guest post for us. Did you know you can do that?!) Continue reading
We just talked about tandem bikes over on Offbeat Home & Life, and now we've got this adorable bicycle-themed wedding. Ah, bike bliss.
The Offbeat Bride: Janet, PhD student (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Phil, PhD student
Date and location of wedding: Our backyard in Toronto, ON, Canada — June 21, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Right from when we started planning, we knew we were going to have it in our backyard. We are both introverted people, and we loved the price tag, so this was a non-negotiable for us. Of course, as we live in a downtown Toronto property, we had very little space, and therefore a tiny guest list. We only invited our immediate nuclear families and a select group of friends. We had to compromise with both sets of parents on the guest list by allowing each set of parents to host their own parties for their own families and friends. We actually ended up having three separate celebrations!
Offbeat brides and grooms lurrvvv their canine companions. We've featured weddings with pooches as ring bearers and groomsmen, wedding invitations and programs, even cakes and table numbers. Of course, you're welcome to dig through our doggie archives (please do! You'll come back feeling awesome, promise). But we figured you might enjoy the convenience of some of our sweetest puppies in one place. After all, who doesn't need some cute lil bulldog bum in their day? (Psst: you'll have to scroll to the end for that one.)
In my almost-eight years of running Offbeat Bride and working with wedding photographers, I've heard of photographers offering potential clients discounts for all sorts of things: discounts for destination weddings, discounts for LGBT-identified couples, discounts for sci-fi weddings or elopements and all sorts of other niche weddings.