The Offbeat Bride: Christine – Financial Services Analyst/Music Blogger (and OBT member "Christine Marie")
Her Offbeat Partner: Greg – Dept. Manager at a car dealership/Musician
Location & date of wedding: Olde Gahanna Sanctuary, Gahanna, Ohio — July 18, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: Music is our passion, so there was no other theme for us. Everything revolved around music — concert ticket invites, RSVPs in AC/DC font, a "set list" instead of a wedding program, VIP laminates for the wedding party, custom guitar pick favors, vinyl records as part of the centerpieces. Our officiant was a very good friend/guitarist who happened to be ordained.
For the ceremony, my brother played the intro to Tesla's Love Song on the guitar as I walked down the aisle. Instead of the unity candle, we did the San-San-Kudo (sake ceremony) as a nod to my Japanese heritage. It was very unique and made me feel like my Japanese family was there in spirit since they couldn't make it to the wedding.
We got an AMAZING southern rock band, Blackberry Smoke, to play at the reception. There were actually people on their message board trying to find out the location of our wedding so they could crash it and see the band!
Greg's jacket is one of a kind and was custom made by the legendary Manuel in Nashville, TN. He always said that if he ever got married he was going to wear a Manuel and he did. The jacket was stunning and fit him and his personality perfectly.
My incredible photographer was one of my best friends from middle school. We grew up together and she totally "got" us. Her pictures all have such a personal touch and are stunning. She's a genius!
Our biggest challenge: The guest list, the budget and the music selection were our biggest challenges.
Greg has a TON of family and friends. I found a great venue that would only hold 250, so that pretty much put a cap on the number of people we could invite.
Our budget was small but we splurged on the few things that were REALLY important to us (his Manuel jacket, my dress and the band). The venue was cheap and allowed us to bring our own food & booze. We cut every corner possible and asked friends for help. Instead of going to a florist, I bought flowers in bulk and my friends and mother-in-law made the bouqets. One of my bridesmaids suggested using annuals for the centerpieces (which saved me hundreds), and I bought the vases from Dollar General. I also bought a ton of stuff on Etsy — it's great and saved me a lot!
My caterer was small and independently owned, so she was SUPER sweet and personable and gave me a helluva deal for GREAT food.
Greg & I argued only on the musical selections. Eventually, we both agreed on songs that we loved and would make our day meaningful: Love Me Tender by Elvis for the Moms and grandparents, Loving Cup by the Rolling Stones for the processional and Thank You by Led Zeppelin for the recessional. It couldn't have been more perfect!
My favorite moment: There were SO many! But my absolute favorite moment was walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing Greg with tears streaming down his face. I knew I wanted to make him cry when he saw me, but that moment was so touching and emotional and special. He's the man of my dreams!
Greg and I were both super excited about Blackberry Smoke playing at our reception. They are good friends and were there for the proposal, so it was only natural to have them as part of the wedding! They rocked and everyone loved them!
My advice to other brides: I'm sure you've heard it a million times before but don't sweat the small stuff. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and it's not worth the stress to worry about stupid things that won't matter in the end. I bought two different veils and didn't end up wearing either one of them because they just didn't work out; it didn't matter because I still felt like a million bucks!
If you are paying for your wedding yourself, like we did, start saving early and buy things along the way. We planned and saved for a year and a half. I saved every penny I could (which meant that I had to pretty much stop shopping for myself) and bought a couple things I needed every month.
Don't be afraid to ask your friends for as much help as possible! If they can cook or they're crafty, ask them to volunteer their services to make your day special.
- Photographer – Sharon Elaine Photography
- Caterer – Delectable Catering: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Band – Blackberry Smoke
- Bridesmaid Dresses – Trashy Diva
- Groomsmen Jackets – Western Emporium
- Groom's Ring – beyondtherockz.etsy.com
- Veils (that I didn't use) – Psalm117.etsy.com & brendasbridalveils.etsy.com
- Hair Fascinator – birdcage veils
- Garter – sugarplumgarters.etsy.com
- Decorations – aymujer.etsy.com & PartyPoms.etsy.com
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: