Laura & Dave's karaoke wedding

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Dueting in to our own Ceremony

The offbeat bride: Laura, at the time an office manager and now an offbeat wedding planner!

Her offbeat partner: Dave, Animation Production Coordinator

Location & date of wedding: We were married at a gay karaoke bar called The Boulevard in Pasadena, on 07/07/07 — us and about 38,000 other people thought that was a good idea!

What made our wedding offbeat: We were a straight couple getting married in a gay karaoke bar with a musical theater themed ceremony.

The Fabulous Miss Roxxy

The Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Roxxy.

Not being much for tradition, when it came time to plan our wedding, we completely deconstructed the entire process and put it back together again from scratch. We started by thinking "OK… if we were going to throw a big, fun party that *wasn't* a wedding, where would we do that?" The answer: In a karaoke bar! (We're theater people — need I say more?)

Instead of spending a fortune on invitations, we sent our guests "complimentary VIP tickets" to a show entitled "Music, Love, Cupcakes — A Most Unusual Wedding" We got them through a company out of Canada, custom made and they look just like real concert tix, for about 21 cents each!

Concert "tickets" as invitations.

Backstage Pass

Backstage passes for the bridal support team

We created laminated backstage passes – like you'd see at on roadies at a concert – and had the bar staff, photographer and "bridal posse" wear them.

My dress was a Marilyn Monroe inspired cocktail dress and was $150 from Nordstroms. (And, yes, I WILL wear it again!)

One of the employees of the bar hosts karaoke in drag, and is an AMAZING performer, so we hired her to "host" our show. We dueted in to our own ceremony to Dean Martin's "Ain't That A Kick!" (My fiance began the song while I hid in back, and then made my big, surprise entrance about half way through!)

Ain't Love a Kick!

Laura making her surprise entrance. Note the microphone veil!

Singing Minister

The singing minister

We found a minister who also happened to be a beautiful singer… or maybe she was a singer who happened to be a beautiful minister… not sure! Regardless, she was willing to marry us and then perform our first dance on acoustic guitar.

And the father of the bride, in keeping with the spirit of it all, wrote and performed his own rap-song (complete with gear and bling) in our honor.

Proud Mary

Proud Mary

Our biggest challenge: *Sigh.* Our/my single biggest challenge was dealing with what I called the "You gotta's." As in, "But you GOTTA wear a wedding gown!" and "You GOTTA have flowers at a wedding!" I really didn't expect that as my family is very small, so it's not like I have sisters and aunts coming out of the woodwork with opinions. But friends I had formerly deemed sane suddenly started acting really weird — like they had all drank the wedding Kool-aid! I even had a minister who I was interviewing over the phone try to talk me out of dueting in to the ceremony. She literally said, "Oh, honey… you don't wanna do that." (Uh… yes… I do. *click*!)

Whatever Laura WantsEveryone knew we were getting married in a karaoke bar, and yet I kept getting asked questions like: "Have you found your florist yet?" And when I would respond "We're not doing flowers — it's a karaoke bar." They… well… their panties got all in a ruffle! People even balked at the fact that we announced the dress code was "casual." So many people, that we ended up including an FAQ on our wedding website that stated "YES, you can wear jeans!"

In the end, I had to learn to roll with it, but I found myself constantly having to remind our friends "I don't GOTTA do nuthin!"

The Unofficial Bridal Party

The unofficial bridal party

My favorite moment: There is a fine line between "making fun of" and "having fun with" your wedding. We were always careful not to cross that line, and our ceremony was very beautiful.

ceremony bw

Will some of them talk? Probably. But, you know what? They're gonna talk anyways. Might as well give them something to talk about!

The moment we were sort of "magically" pronounced husband and wife is what stands out most to me. Our minister, an earth-mother type of woman, had us place our respective hands over each others hearts and hold them there. She then spoke for a minute or two about our love and commitment and then said "as you look in each others eyes and hold each others hearts in your hands, it is at this exact moment… that you have become… husband and wife." I was just kind of a sparkly, romantic moment. (And with all the "show" we had put on, I don't think anyone was expecting such a moving ceremony!)

Bartender Jeff & his Backstage PassMy offbeat advice: My best advice: You don't "gotta" do nuthin' you don't wanna do! I know sometimes it's hard and it seems like everyone has an opinion about your wedding. But if you make yourself nutty trying to please everyone, you will likely fail and will just be miserable yourself.

Rather, if you stay true to yourselves and do what makes YOU happy, the others will follow, and a good time will be had by all! Will some of them talk? Probably. But, you know what? They're gonna talk anyways. Might as well give them something to talk about!

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: