Emily & Ian's tattooed rocker wedding by candlelight

By on Jul. 15th

The Offbeat Bride: Emily, Graphic Designer & Studio Artist (and OBT member "TheSueb")

Her Offbeat Partner: Ian, Musician

Location & date of wedding: The Loring Pasta Bar and Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN — 9/20/08

What made our wedding offbeat: Our ceremony was in a restaurant that was shut down for a few hours. My girls and I walked down a giant staircase and the ceremony was held on a small stage. The best part is that we can relive our wedding anytime we want just by going out for dinner or drinks! I walked down the aisle to the "Bridal March" which transitioned into "Cum on Feel the Noise," by Quiet Riot played on the violin. My husband and I left to bagpipe music (a tradition in his family).

Beautiful rings and AMAZING invitations!!!

Beautiful rings and AMAZING invitations!!!

Both of my parents have passed, so my brother & sister walked me down the isle. I carried photos of them on my bouquet and wore a locket of my mother's that has a picture of her on thier wedding day and my dad straight out of the army. Both my engagement ring & wedding band were "recycled" family diamonds. My rings contain diamonds from my mother, grandmother and his grandmother. We designed the settings together.

The reception was in an old theater. The entire venue was light by candelabras on each table, strings of lights and stage lights. The favors were homemade caramels and temporary tattoos with our names & the date on them. Neck tattoos were very popular, especially with my husbands step-grandmother!

The groom rocking out.

The groom rocking out.

Throughout dinner we had several of the husband's professional musician friends get up and play for us as wedding presents. We had six very different musical acts during dinner. Then my husband's band got up and played a few songs (including Johnny Cash's "Folsum Prison!"), then we closed it out with a cover band that our officiant leads. The best comment of the night was when a good friend of mine and I were dancing. She stopped in mid shimmy and yelled "Is that your f$*king priest?" Our families that usually don't get to see live music loved every bit of the reception and were thrilled with all of the music.


We refused to spend money where we didn't have to, so I designed, printed & assembled all of the invites, programs, set lists, thank yous and temporary tattoos. My mother-in-law made over 300 caramels and froze them in the months before the wedding. We bought all of our flowers for $125 from a local farmers market and had family members arrange them. Finally, we asked our musicians to play as a wedding gift to us, so we didn't spend any money on music either! My bridesmaids wore "any black dress that they felt hot in," so they could avoid paying $300 for a dress. My bridesmaids made their "Bird veil top hats" that we all wore at the reception. The maids also wore mustaches. They were super foxy.


Hot bridesmaids… with mustaches.

Hot bridesmaids… with mustaches.

I didn't bother to buy special "cake cutting tools", so two days before the wedding we were searching for a suitable knife. My husband was into knifes and goofy ninja gear when he was a kid (numchucks & throwing stars anyone?) So we chose a very ugly and very scary "trench knife" to cut the cake with. We tied a pretty bow around the handle. It was perfect.


We had a photobooth that was a big hit. Our guest book has a copy of the strips with people's comments & well wishes. When we left all of our guests waved sparklers outside on the street. It was an amazing end to an amazing night.


Our biggest challenge: Because we had so many different musical aspects to our wedding ceremony and reception, it was a logistical nightmare to time everything perfectly.

My husband and his best man are both musicians and thought of everything, including all of the problems that might arise. They found a sound guy that they really trusted and the three of them worked together. We also designated a "Stage Manager" who had the responsibility of finding all of the musicians and letting them know when they were needed on stage. She was a life saver!

My favorite moment: So many!

We didn't see each other before the ceremony and took our photos about 15 minutes afterwards. You can really tell in those photos how excited & in love we are. Those few moments before we joined our friends and family in the reception were amazing.

Watching my husband perform. I had goosebumps. They sounded amazing, the lights were beautiful and everyone was really into it!

My advice for other offbeat brides: The best advice I got while in the early stages of planning, was to "delegate, delegate, delegate!" Friends and family really want to help you, let them! The less you, your FH, your wedding party and parents have to worry about, the better.

Don't stress over the last minute stuff. Just don't. It's not worth it and no one will notice anyway.

During your day – take a second, stop and really "be" in the day. You've been working your butt off, enjoy it!

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: