Karin & Travis' DIY, Jewish wedding with Elvis

By on Apr. 5th


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!