Karin & Travis' DIY, Jewish wedding with Elvis

April 5 |

Por14

The offbeat bride: Karin, Animator (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: Travis, Steamfitter

Location & date of wedding: A seafood restaurant in Pasadena, Maryland called Windows on the Bay — May 23, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: I refused to pay a fortune for flowers, so I spent a year hand-folding flowers for sixty centerpieces and six bouquets. With the exception of my maid-of-honor, my bridal party were all children in non-matching, off the rack, polka dot dresses.

Although I'm heavily tattooed, I wore a ridiculously traditional dress. My husband wore a hand-embroidered linen guayabera that we designed. His groomsmen also wore embroidered guayaberas. Instead of a band we hired an Elvis impersonator and an instant digital camera for photo favors.

We wrote each other's vows. I made him promise to walk the dog when it rains, finish the crown molding in the bathroom and never sell the house for a handful of magic beans. In return I promised to make him homemade soup to take to work during the winter, keep the checkbook balanced, and NOT LET HIM sell the house for a handful of magic beans.

Our actual wedding photographer is better known for shooting hardcore shows. We tried to ONLY spend money on things that would directly make our guests have more fun.

My parents' best friends were a few days away from their 40th anniversary, so we had a small cake made for them and they had a cake cutting right after ours.

Our biggest challenge: My husband is from the mountains of West Virginia and he was marrying a city girl who was *gasp* Jewish. We invited 185 people, but it wasn't enough for his father. He refused to attend and cut off ties with us, possibly forever.

We tried to make the whole event as much fun as possible, to take the attention away from the fact that we were missing a parent.

The end result was all worth it. Everyone mingled and got along wonderfully.

My favorite moment: Some of my husband's little cousins took the pens from the guest book and drew up some police badges. They went around "arresting" people.

My advice for offbeat brides: The absolute best part of a wedding is that for one day in your life, you can gather every single person who is important to you in one room together. It is absolutely priceless. The day went by in a blur; I felt like I wasn't even there. The pictures are how I actually experienced the wedding.

With that said, remember you are starting a life together, try not to go into debt for a party that lasts a few hours. At the end of the wedding, no one will remember what your chairs looked like or if you had matching napkins. I would recommend putting as much as your budget as needed into a good photographer who understands your style.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Beautiful! I love those flowers you made…I think the money was better spent on that giant bottle of champagne, myself! :-D

    I'm from WV too and I'm sorry about Travis's dad being who he is, but ultimately he is the one missing out on being part of your family and part of your lives, and that's sad, really, that he can't get past some small-minded idea and see his son so happy. I thought of him when I saw the picture of the old man sitting alone at your reception, with the boat behind him. I don't know who that is, but the idea captures Travis's dad – sitting alone, with beautiful life going on behind him that he won't turn around to notice. Best wishes to you and Travis, for now and for the rest of your days. Mazel tov!

    0 agree
    • The old man was my husband's grandfather. He's so awesome!

      0 agree
  2. i am so, so sorry that your husbands father decided to miss out on the gift of attending your wedding. if its any consolation at all, i would like to share a story from one of my best friends weddings:
    i was a brides maid in one of my best's wedding last year. neither of her parents were in attendance because her mother had passed a few years before and her father refused to support a transgendered union. the ceremony was amazing and during the reception she made the most beautiful speech where half way through she set down her note cards and looked into the crowd and began to tear up. she told us all that even though her biological parents couldn't be there, looking into the room she knew that she was still with family. she thanked us all for never asking her to question our love and for making her the person who was deserving of her amazing husband. there obviously wasnt a dry eye in the house.
    i commend you on not allowing your husbands fathers absence dampen your day. your wedding looked so beautiful, and i wish you two all the happiness in the world.

    0 agree
  3. I love the picture of your puppy in the flowers! So sweet! Gorgeous dog! (i have puppy fever at the moment.) :)

    Congrats! It looked like a good time was had by all!

    0 agree
  4. I was a guest at Karin and Travis' wedding and it was such a memorable and special wedding. Not just because of Elvis, or the totally amazing paper flowers (that Karin SLAVED over! well worth it!), or the vows that made everyone laugh…I also need to mention that Karin decided to forego the traditional "Here Comes the Bride" song and walked down the aisle to the Indiana Jones theme!…but really what made it so special and so memorable is that Karin and Travis are just an awesome couple, who really and truly love each other and any of the guests that were there know that they were lucky to celebrate their marriage with them. Best wishes to two of the best people that I know! On a sidenote: The flowers were so amazing that at the end of the night I was half expecting a fight to break out over the center-pieces, that's how beautiful her handmade paper flowers were. (The center-piece from my table at the reception now lives in my dining room! Thnx!)

    0 agree
  5. Well, it seems that there's a few of us out there with families who make our fun a little more of a challenge to achieve. My fella and I both come from challenging families. You seem to have risen above it. Well done on making your day the beautiful and colorful event it was. I want one of those flower girl dresses! And you made all those flowers?! I am considering making enough felt flowers for my own wed-day and I think you've re-inspired me! Congrats and much happiness to you both :)

    0 agree
  6. Wow, yeah, sorry to hear about small-minded family, but congrats on putting together what looks like a really fun and beautiful wedding. Also, I am drooling over the shoulder tat on the bride (bird and a bunch of strawberries? whatever it is as a whole, I love it and the style).

    0 agree
  7. Beautiful wedding!!! I LOVE the necklace you're wearing! Is there any chance of getting more info/DIY post/link-to-instructions… (anything?)for the flowers? Or do you sell them? I'd love more info!!!

    0 agree
  8. the flowers are amaaazing!!! and so is your ink! beautifull wedding

    0 agree
  9. Hi everyone, thanks for the kind words. I'd like to sell the flowers on Etsy. I really still like making them. There is no pattern, I just make them. For a good starting point, take a look at the Martha Stewart website!

    1 agrees
  10. I'm guessing the "hardcore shows" the photographer is known for shooting means heavy metal music, not…..*ahem*…….adult hardcore……shows……..*blush*

    0 agree
  11. Yes, Anna- rock shows, but I have shot some kitschy burlesque, which was hard-PG at worst/best… haha. It was a blast to contribute to Karin and Travis' wedding, which was a perfect hybrid of romance, goofiness, and sincerity.

    0 agree
  12. Ok..so, I know this has nothing to do with the wedding, itself (which was GORGEOUS, by the way). But, that tattoo on your shoulder is fantastic! I have never seen color done that well..Do you mind sharing who did it?

    0 agree

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.