Donelle & Adam's 8-Bit Wedding

October 19 |

coupleshot3The offbeat bride: Donelle (aka. OBT member "Donna"), Graphic Designer, Musician, and Professional Ice Cream Slinger at Baskin Robbins

Her offbeat partner: Adam, Creator of fine iPhone games such as The Battle of Pirate Bay

Location & date of wedding: Wedding at parent's backyard in Sacramento, CA. Reception at the Coloma Community Center in Sacramento, CA. — June 20th, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: My first thought when I was proposed to was that I did NOT want to have just another white wedding. Yawn! I've been to those before, and I didn't want my guests to have to sit through yet another one. Then I stumbled across the wonderful Offbeat Bride website. It had never occured to me before that a wedding could be so creative and personal!

The bride's 8-bit bouquet

Shrinky Dink hair clips and boutonnieres.
Shrinky Dink hair clips and boutonnieres.

The 8 bit wedding theme was inspired by my square blue sapphire engagement ring. The theme was perfect for us because Adam is a video game programmer and I'm a graphic designer who deals with pixels every day. Plus, classic 8-bit games were a big part of our childhoods.

We had a very modest budget of 6k, so we made pretty much everything ourselves. We used Shrinky Dinks to make the boutonnieres, corsages, jewelry, hair clips and cake topper. We used window paint to make the bouquets, and fabric paint for the pixel tie t-shirts. We even made our own cupcakes! (The night before, I got the bridesmaids hotel rooms with full kitchens and we stayed up all night making them!)

We basically kept the traditions we liked and customized the rest according to our interests and values.



The cake toppers
The 8-bit cake toppers

A bride & her bass.
A bride & her bass.

Our biggest challenge: Sure, doing everything ourselves was far from easy.
Sure, our budget got strained a little bit. Sure, it was stressful as all hell. (Very!)

I'd have to say that our biggest challenge was when a close friend emailed us, the night before, with an itemized list of reasons why he would not be attending the wedding. He also told us what we were doing wrong in our lives and that we should've hired a wedding planner. This, to put it lightly, was hard to deal with the friggin' night before the wedding!

We were mad, but ultimately decided to let it go and deal with it later, because we just wanted to be happy on our day, not resentful. So, we did just that. We enjoyed our day, and did not let that person's negativity ruin it. Then, as planned, we worked everything out with him after the wedding.

ceremony01My favorite moment: My favorite moment was when I walked out in my dress and saw 120 or so of our closest friends and family standing there, and Adam, with an outstretched arm, to walk me down the aisle. It's hard to describe, but all of that love condensed into a 600 sq. ft backyard is a magical feeling!

My offbeat advice: Doing everything yourself is a great way to save money, but I actually ended up spending way more than I anticipated! Craft supplies: they ain't cheap!

Still though, I will always be able to look back at the photos and see the personal diy touches that made the wedding so unique and very "Adam and Donelle!" And hey- it was still less expensive than buying the boring cookie cutter wedding stuff!

Oh! One more piece of advice: Ask for handmade gifts (in addition to, or instead of) your registry! In today's economy, people don't have a ton of money to spend on gifts anyway, and will jump at the opportunity to make you something! And what could be better than than receiving a piece of art that one of your friends made and proudly displaying it in your home? :)

Cupcakes with pixel heart guitar picks.Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  1. Love it, folks – great stuff. 8 bit rules! Congrats to you! xxx

    1 agrees
  2. Anyone who said anything like that to you is NOT a friend.

    1 agrees
  3. I love it! And I can't believe your friend would do that!

  4. I hope you mean by "working things out" with your "friend" after the wedding, you kicked his butt to the curb. Anyone who pulls that the night before your wedding is no friend. Plus, no one should tell you how to live your life.

    Beautiful and very creative wedding though!

    2 agree
    • I agree, what an @SS to email you an "itemized list" at ALL, but particularly the night before the wedding! Should he then send you an "itemized list" of how you should run your ENTIRE life, then? What to do on your honeymoon (of course), when to have kids, how to budget your money each month?? Because apparently, that's his JOB. Oy, that's horrible and I'm very glad you didn't let it get to you.

      ANYway – I also wanted to say that I love your bouquet and your bracelets! SO cute and it looks like your wedding day was wonderful :) .

  5. Thanks everyone! We had a ton of fun. And thanks for your concerns regarding this "friend." Yeah, this guy complicated our relationship to a great degree, to say the least! And yes, it had a very negative impact on our friendship, but ultimately things are smoothed over, and we don't see him very much anymore. So it goes.

  6. OMG, I LUV this wedding! Everybody looks happy, which makes everybody look beautiful!

  7. Yay! What a lot of fun! I'm SO glad that Shrinky Dinks make it into your wedding! They played a huge role in mine, too! POWER TO THE DINKS!!!

  8. I'm sorry to hear about the drama and kudos to you for your attitude in handling the situation.

    Your wedding looks really amazing!

    Thank you for bringing up the point that sometimes, DIY can get out of hand and eventually end up costing you more than you expected. I found this on a couple of things we did for our wedding but I also knew I wasn't going to find what I wanted anywhere. I though my shoes were going to be between $35-50 dollars to restore. They ended up being about $175 but I don't regret a thing. The resoling alone was worth every penny spent to keep them alive several more years.

      • It really is a great article and thank you for relinking to it! We cut several projects off our list because we knew the fantasy was unrealistic. We made a promise to each other early on that if we started seeing issues with a project that we would let it go. Then I would come up with crazy ideas that we would initiate! It was some of these projects that Michael and I worked closest on and it really brought certain aspects of the wedding together for us and created a unity that we hadn't shared or knew that we thought we could even exprience.

        It was the sterling brooches that also jacked the price of the shoe restoration. I got one cheap and then ate the steal in the other. I can always turn around and sell them. That was the deal I struck with Michael.

  9. Quite delightful, the 8-bit Shrinky Dink details are sweet and cute.

    Your wedding looks lovely, much congratulations on your marriage.

  10. Your bouquet just blew my mind! It looks fantastic! I'm so glad you had such a lovely day and I'm so sorry that someone tried to ruin it the night before. Congratulations on your marriage and I wish you a long and happy life together!

    • On looking at your Flickr photos I must add that your neclace is FANTASTIC! Your wedding looks like it was a wonderful day! Congratulations!

  11. What a fun, beautiful wedding! It nearly puts me in tears bringing me back to my youth! My FH will totally geek out on me when he sees this. And, baking till the wee hours the night before with your closest girl friends? Some would say crazy, but I say Heck Ya! Way to rock out on the DIY. It's one in a million!

  12. I love love LOVE that Murder Burger catered your wedding!!! Did they full on cater or did you just go pick up a couple of burgers? I am in the pre-engagement-dreaming-up-ideas stage of wedding planning, but Redrum is totally going on my mental list now! Also: guitar picks. HAWT!

    • Kim, yes it was so delicious!! We just called them up and asked if they did catering, and boom! The rest was history. It wasn't too expensive compared to other places (it was a little over a grand for 120 people). They provided burgers (and veggie burgers), chips, and sodas. The black and white checkered papers under the burgers was extra, but they were perfectly willing to special order them for me. The food was a huge hit! Even my pickiest friends loved it. One word of advice, though, if you're going to go with Redrum Burger: get a venue with a kitchen! We didn't rent the kitchen portion of the Coloma Center and they cooked the burgers inside of it! (which we didn't know they were going to do) When we got the reception, the place was filled with smoke from the cooking. Luckily there were fans on hand to direct the smoke out of the door. And the floor under the cooking area was greasy, but cleaned up fairly easily! Ah, but it was soooo worth it.

      About the guitar picks: Thanks! We decided to go with Steve Clayton picks. They have an online pick design thingee where you just upload an image and position it on the pick where you want it to be. So easy! Except that a few days after I placed my order, I went back to my order form and noticed the design wasn't centered. So, I called them and got to talk to the lady who did the actual printing on the picks. She was like "Oh, those ones? I went ahead and centered them because I figured you didn't want the design to be cut off!" Phew! That really eased my mind. After a $100+ dollar guitar pick investment, I wanted them to be perfect, and they were! Yay Steve Clayton! :)

    • Kim, yes it was so delicious!! We just called them up and asked if they did catering, and boom! The rest was history. It wasn't too expensive compared to other places (it was a little over a grand for 120 people). They provided burgers (and veggie burgers), chips, and sodas. The black and white checkered papers under the burgers was extra, but they were perfectly willing to special order them for me. The food was a huge hit! Even my pickiest friends loved it. One word of advice, though, if you're going to go with Redrum Burger: get a venue with a kitchen! We didn't rent the kitchen portion of the Coloma Center and they cooked the burgers inside of it! (which we didn't know they were going to do) When we got the reception, the place was filled with smoke from the cooking. Luckily there were fans on hand to direct the smoke out of the door. And the floor under the cooking area was greasy, but cleaned up fairly easily! Ah, but it was soooo worth it.

  13. That bouquet is insanely awesome. Sorry to hear about your friend. A person with less poise (me) would have lost her voice swearing at him all night. Way to rise above! Congratulations!

  14. your wedding is beautiful. would you be offended if i asked how exactly you made your bouquet and hair clips? i am currently considering an 8 bit themed wedding also. my boyfriend has an 8-bit tie that he will be wearing but that's all we have set in stone so far.

  15. Thanks again everyone! It totally makes my day that you guys like it so much! :)

  16. Hey Sara! Thanks! That's so cool that you might do an 8-bit themed wedding too! Video game themes are soo much fun because you can do pretty much anything you want with the concept. I'm actually in the process of making tutorials for the Shrinky Dink accessories and bouquets, so stay tuned to the OBB homepage for them! :) Also, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help brainstorming. Happy planning!

  17. This is like, the coolest OBB yet. I love the little 8-bit bride & groom! Ah, brings me back to my late 80's youth…

  18. Wow! Some friends to call you out like that the day before your wedding day. Let's face it, it's your day not theirs. I really like what you did. Way cool and off beat. More and more couples are opting for a much less traditional wedding and reception too.

  19. I havn't commented on any other wedding, but just HAD to comment on this! I love it all!! The 8 BIT pixels are everywhere! the ties, her necklace, its such a great detail. and i love the wedding favors of guitar picks with the pixel heart! this is so unique and beautiful! i hope my wedding has as much style as this one does!! :)

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.