April & David's Benevolent and Affable Order of the Jackalope

By on Jun 2nd

The newly married couple
The offbeat bride: April – Medical Social Worker (and OBT Member)

Her offbeat partner: David – Product Manager for network equipment company

Location & date of wedding: Slovenian Hall, San Francisco, CA — April 17, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Dave and I are part of a large, fun group of SF folks who swing dance, love theme parties, and will happily play along. We never could have pulled off this theme without them. We got officially married in a small ceremony on Friday, and then Saturday we held a 120 person humdinger of a reception. The concept was: you are a member of a fraternal Lodge in the 1950's, The Lodge of the Jackalope. This is the yearly convocation where all chapters gather, and at this year's meeting two members would marry.

Attire was 1950's (we told guests to think Mad Men), our bridal party were "Officers of the Lodge" and the meeting/ceremony was presided over by The Grand Buck. First guests donned name badges, cocktail hats/fezzes and drank cocktails. Then all were escorted up to the lodge hall and the Membership meeting, competition between the chapters (roshambo and people puzzles) and a faux wedding ceremony where we exchanged Pez, happened.

All chapters took photos with the bride and groom and headed downstairs to a catered buffet dinner, toasts. Each chapter created their song and sang it to the membership. Dancing ensued, then The Grand Buck announced awards (members won stuffed jackalopes and giant martini glasses), we cut the cake and more dancing! At eleven at night hot grilled cheese sandwiches were served and they were a big hit! It turned out just as we had hoped (even though it took a lot of careful planning).The official Lodge of the jackalope meetingMy funniest moment: We had exchanged rings in the real wedding the day before, so instead we had a Pez Ceremony, in which we exchanged Pez with one another. During the Pez Ceremony, Dave dropped his extra Pez, the Grand Buck (who is wonderful at improv), thinking on his toes, stomped on the fallen pez like wine glass at the end of a Jewish wedding, and everyone yelled "mazel tov!" It was a terrific improvised ending.

The guests found other uses for the center pieces!

Our biggest challenge: We didn't have many problems. Our families were pretty tame, we paid for everything ourselves. Planned and executed in four months. We worked on it constantly for those four months — tiring!

It was recommended to me that I hire a seamtress to sew my dress. I sew, but friends and family urged that I "delegate" and not get overwhelmed, in retrospect I should have sewn it myself. I would have had it done two months before the event, instead of the week of. That was stressful, and I didnt have time to make the needed alterations.

alittle jousting before cutting the cake
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Initially, when we attempted to describe the theme to our families, they were completely puzzled. Our friends got it, but not our family members. So we told them, just attempt to dress 1950s and then show up. Once they were there the "officers" were so good with getting them involved that everyone finally understood the theme and really got into the chapter competitions! That was a wonderful surprise.

Stuffed jackalope prizes

My advice for other offbeat brides: We could never have done this without our fun loving friends. They were wonderful, they loved our theme and played it up!

Our rehearsal dinner meant having the "Officers" (aka. bridal party) over for dinner a week before the event. We filled their bellies and then filled them in on all the evening's details. On the day of, the officers took over, ran the ceremony, wrangled guests and made everything run smoothly. We just kicked back and enjoyed! It was great!

Guest "book" poster

Also, my cousin who is a wiz at organization was the official coordinator for the evening, she handled all details, worked with the vendors, etc. It was a wonderful gift having her in charge! I highly recommend handing over the reigns to a responsible person on the day of.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It's very tiring planning and putting on a wedding. Everyone tells you not to stress, but its almost inevitable.

People ask us now "do you feel different now?" We say, "Yes, we're not planning a wedding anymore, we feel great!"

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Custom Fezzes: Fez-o-rama – The best ever! They are fantastic, easy to work with, artistic, affordable & affable.
  • Stuffed jackalopes: Steal Street – $8/ea
  • Dress: Vintage Vogue pattern V2903 (I saw it on another offbeat bride and loved it! Thank you!)
  • Corset: Dark Garden
  • DJ: Raul Castro, absolutely fantastic
  • Caterer: Jean Truffa Catering – She's wonderful, affordable and made our reception run so smoothly.
  • Giant Martini Glasses: From Libbey Glass $16/ea
  • Scott Wall Photography

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!