Angela's red vintage San Diego wedding

The offbeat bride: Angela – Notary Public/Office Manager

Her offbeat partner: Chris

Location & date of wedding: 1/19/2008. Ceremony was at The Marston House's rose garden in Balboa Park San Diego, CA. The reception was at another favorite our neighborhood bar, LEI Lounge.

What made our wedding offbeat: We have been together for a decade and I never thought we were going to get married. We wanted a very nontraditional wedding and basically a big party — or as our friends say, "Another A&C Production!" I knew right away I was going to wear a RED dress, no questions asked. And of course a tea length dress so you can see the fabulous shoes — everyone knows my obsession with shoes!


There were a few things I knew I wanted: orchids, vintage candy & chocolate bar, Casablanca themed wedding, colors needed to be black and white.

So we went looking for the ceremony site — we knew we would get married outside and in a garden. We found the Marston House which is a San Diego Historic Home. We saw the rose garden and chose that right away.

Our party location we wanted something very non traditional. I did not want to walk into a room where there were 100 round tables and everyone just sat and the only reason they got off their seats was to have lunch or dinner service. So we thought of our favorite neighborhood bar, LEI Lounge. It is a very tropical lounge which include fire pits, cabanas, belly bar tables.

All guest were instructed to wear black and white colors only with a 1940s and 1950s-inspired clothing. It was a Casablanca Affair to remember…No wedding party, no ugly bridesmaid dresses, no best main or maid of honor. Just myself and my love and a really great friend of ours that got commissioned for the day to marry us. I wrote our vows.

After the wedding, guests arrived at LEI Lounge and were greeted with an open bar, red framed pictures of Casablanca photos, the Rat Pack playing, planted orchids on each table, with family-made red and black table runners.

After lunch was served, we had our first dance. I changed into red chuck taylors so I could swing the afternoon way with my new husband. No boring slow dance — we danced to "Go Daddy O" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy! It was a blast and that started the dance portion with everyone doing the jitterbug and swing dancing.

Then the Cuban Cigar Roller showed up. We had custom made cigar bands and we passed out cigars and all of our friends were able to light up and enjoy one of our past times.

Last but not least no traditional cake for this bride and groom. We had fresh baked JULIAN APPLE PIES. I had to have my favorite as well… ROOTBEER FLOATS!

Our biggest challenge: My dress, what a nightmare. Three weeks before the wedding the seamstress stopped returning my calls and missed several appointments. Two days before my wedding, I got an unfinished dress and my deposit of $600 back from her.

The next morning I went to a local seamstress and begged her to finish my dress. She managed to do it and my dress was wearable — but definitely missing all the bells and whistles that I had originally dreamed of. It worked and I made the best of it.

My favorite moment: Walking down the isle to one of my favorite songs by Etta James — "At Last" — and watching the expressions on our guests face when they saw me in that fabulous RED gown! I did not realize that there were plenty of people who did not know I was wearing red and they thought that was the most amazing thing and so ANGELA!

My offbeat advice: Do exactly want you and your groom want to do. Do not let anyone else determine how your day is no matter how influential they are or how much money they are contributing!

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Red dress, cigars, and an adorable grampa!

  1. Hey!!so beautiful and great ideas.I also want to instruct our Guests to wear certain attire.Anyone have ideas of exactly how to word this on the invites?

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  2. I can't imagine what the bells and whistles would have been — the dress looks amazing!! And there was some serious dancing going on at that party. Congrats — it looks like a really fun event!

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  3. Wow what a great wedding and lots of great ideas you added to make your wedding unique and your style! Love that classy gown of yours and very lucky to get it done on time! Congrats to you both!!

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  4. The dress is fabulous even without the bells and whistles, and I love the Casablanca theme! Hooray!!

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  5. I love it, especially the change from heels to Chucks.

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  6. Love the red dress, love the white petticoats, love the black and red feather fascinator, love the red chucks, I love the whole look.

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  7. Gorgeous! I must admit, I had a sympathetic bridezilla moment on your behalf when I read about the dress nightmare. TWO DAYS' NOTICE?? I'm aghast. My own dress got accidentally sliced by the somewhat careless seamstress who altered it, requiring a last-minute replacement sleeve, but that was nothing! I can't imagine abruptly breaking off a work agreement with two days' notice, but I'm sure she must have had a good excuse. (I hope!!) Ugh. Anyway, it certainly DID look fabulous!

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  8. OMG… this was a fabulous idea, and you looked beautiful in the dress. :)

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  9. I was a guest at this wedding and it blew my mind because it was so fun. The best thing for the guests was the bar. This bar had the most unique drinks like the cucumber martini. We were like little kids wanting to try all the drinks. Needless to say we got very drunk which is what makes every party very fun. No inhibitions

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  10. Boo,

    Just simply Fabulous!!!

    You look marvelous, amazing, phenomenal,
    no words can say how breathtaking you look.

    The photograph of you "Ricky I'm home" is such a period photo.

    You are the Femme mystique! A symbol of beauty.

    With all my luv,
    Momma

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  11. You are so aswome! I love you ideas, congrats both

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  12. Hands down the most fab wedding I have ever been to! Ash and I were so happy to share this grand day with you and Chris! You both looked smashing!!

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  13. you are a beautiful bride…and red is definately your color. love the converse and i bet your feet did too!!!

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  14. I love Lei Lounge and heard about this wedding from someone who works there. It sounds like it was a good time. Congrats!

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  15. I love u purse and ur shoes (both pairs) and ur dress… and ur bullies!!! adorable. your wedding has been a true inspiration to me!!

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  16. You forget the best part of the ceremony the famous "ring pop" wedding ring true classic. My brother the nut.

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  17. That's wy I call you pretty girl, you looked gorgeous. And I'm happy you did it your way.
    Love all those casablanca, 1940 to 1950 pictures.
    God bless you and Chris, Grandpapa and I bless you too. Hugs and kisses.
    .

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  18. Gene and I had a fabulous time so did my sisters and their husbands. It was a fantastic party and we are so happy you are officially part of our family now. Love you both Mom & Dad

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  19. Wonderful pictures. Could you please tell me who the photographer is? My son is getting married this June in SD and will have an offbeat wedding at the rowing club. Everyone and everything looks beautiful at your wedding.
    Thanks, Gerry

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  20. I am LOVING the dress!!! So unique and gorgeous!!

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  21. Hey Angela, We're having our reception at Lei Lounge also in Sept. I got the idea from you! I have a few questions for you about if you don't mind…mostly about who you worked with there. We were working with someone but he no longer works there and I cant really get in touch with anyone…would you email me when you get a chance? Thank you so much! lornbeck@gmail.com

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  22. Wow, could you let us know who the awful seamstress is? I would not want to use her!

    Great wedding – Lei Lounge is an awesome idea!

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  23. Jenny – The seamstress was a friends mother who works out of her home and does not advertise so you would never find her. My suggestion – go with someone who ones a store front and make/sign a CONTRACT!

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