Rhiannon & Erick's Santa Monica Pier Wedding

By on Jun. 17th

The Offbeat Bride: Rhiannon, Office Assistant and writer of unpublished fiction

Her Offbeat Partner: Erick, Apple Creative and Graphic Designer

Location & date of wedding: Historical Santa Monica Pier Carousel, Santa Monica, CA — 4/18/09

What made our wedding offbeat: The goal of our wedding was to have as much fun as possible. We didn't have a huge budget to blow on fancy dinners or decor and that didn't really suit us anyway so we decided to just have the most extravagant kids party possible.

Yummy looking bridesmaids in all different colors!

Yummy looking bridesmaids in all different colors!

I google searched historical landmarks and found the Santa Monica Carousel and it totally fit the bill. For dinner we brought in old fashioned food carts and served mini pizza's, hot-dogs (and veggie dogs), churro's and cotton candy. This saved literally thousands of dollars and I was one of my favorite details. All our candy and flower centerpieces were d.i.y. We had friends fill posts such as DJ, officiant, photographer and coordinator. We were even lucky enough to have several other friends donate their talents by creating original artwork for us, providing additional catering and working make-up magic. We absolutely could not have done it without our amazing friends and family.

Our vows were written in the style of a children's story by our friend and officiant Jonathan. We let our guests eat immediately afterward while we took our first ride together on the carousel. We had very little structure to the reception, guests were free to ride to carousel, dance or get food or drinks from the carts as they pleased throughout the night.

The ceremony outside of the carousel building.

The ceremony outside of the carousel building.

Our biggest challenge: Time! No matter how long you have to plan, some things just cannot be done until the last minute. We had very limited time for set-up at our location and because so much of the wedding was being brought in it was very hectic for a few hours before the ceremony. If you can't afford a coordinator ask a family member or friend to help out on the day of. Lucky for us my new sister-in-law was up for the challenge. Be ready to completely give up control the day of. You will have a much better time and nothing is more important than that.

My favorite moment: Due to traffic and some unforeseen problems Erick arrived at the Carousel stressed out and late. He had very little time to get ready and no time to relax. Our plan was that we weren't going to see each other once we had started getting ready that day but as soon as I heard him in the other room I went, fully dressed, to be with him. I helped him get ready and we had alone time. The wedding started late and we never got all the bridal party pictures we had planned but spending twenty minutes alone together before we became husband and wife was totally worth it.

My advice for other offbeat brides: Keep your cool baby! This is supposed to be fun! Do not go over your budget, do not get too wrapped up in what's going to make your guests happy or unhappy, do not forget why you are doing this. The people you care about sharing this with are going to love sharing it with you no matter what you serve them or what you wear or where you have it. Love is the most amazing thing in the world, celebrate that and you'll have no regrets.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: