Jami & Jamie's backyard game night wedding

By on Sep. 1st

13The Offbeat Bride: Jami, coffeehouse owner

Her Offbeat Partner: Jamie, behavioral assistant

Location & date of wedding: The groom's parents' farm in McMinnville, OR — July 18th, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: This wedding came in under $2000. I kept it cheap by collecting things that I needed over the span of a year. It was beautiful, inexpensive, and so much fun!


We did everything we could do ourselves like stamping and typing our invitations on my mothers antique type writer. We used recycled jars for vases and filled them with flowers we planted in the spring at his mothers garden, used wine corks of different colors and votives. But I splurged on big white beach balls for the kids to play with.


The ceremony was short and sweet, with my husband doing an Eddie Vedder cover. We were married under an altar my FIL built for us out of tree branches.


The reception was the best. We borrowed a bingo roller and passed out crayons and played several rounds. When you won a round you got to pick out a board game prize we bought in lieu of favors.


My bridesmaid hosted a trivia game all about us and our families. Each table was a team and the winning team also won prizes. The physical challenge was a potato sack race, which was great to do in my dress!

The evening ended with fireworks!

17Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was the budget. We were trying to keep it near $2000.

Things that helped were making our own invitations and hand typing and stamping them all. We also bought the paper at super clearance from a paper supplier.

We also planned cleverly with our food menu. We made big green salads, and cut up lots of fresh watermelon and blueberries and passed them out in little clear wine cups as appetizers before (not expensive at all). We bought lots of bread and organic veggies and chicken breast to grill. We saved money by hiring some of my brother's friends to grill and help with the catering, instead of hiring outside help.


We hosted a game night reception so it could be more interactive for everyone. We bought most of the prizes on sale, nearing $200, but still saved a lot by not hiring a DJ or band, which comes with an added cost of a dance floor and lights.


My favorite moment: One of my favorite moments was jumping on the trampoline in my dress with the kids after the ceremony. It was so far from formal, I loved every second!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Make a few things for yourself that will make you feel like you did more than plan. CREATE! Decorate your own cake! Make your own hairpiece! Make your own place cards! Hand pick the fruit you serve from your local U-pick farm.


Your friends and family will be touched by these gestures and it can connect you to the whole experience of your wedding.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

  • I bought my dress at Davids Bridal, removed the attached centerpiece and made my own brooch out of vintage buttons.
  • Etsy for my feather headband. I attached my own buttons to it, however.
  • The earrings are from Fuscia in Portland, OR.
  • The photographer was Ian Mullen.