Kyle & David's multicultural beachside fiesta wedding

June 29 |
Husband and Wife
Photos by Story Photographers

The offbeat bride: Kyle, Administrative Assistant (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: David, IT Specialist

Date and location of wedding: Surfside Center, Surf City, NC — May 7, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat:We wanted to have a fun wedding at the beach that included both our American and overseas friends — all without blowing a fortune. We used to live in Japan and had lots of friends make the trip over. We did our best to incorporate both American and Japanese elements into the wedding.

First Dance

I also scoured the internet for the best deals on items for the reception, bought a bajillion things on Etsy, and used friends for the catering, music, and more. In the end, we managed to keep our wedding under budget without sacrificing the things we wanted the most out of the wedding.
 

Escort Cards
Peeptastic place cards!

Little Details.

Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was on the public beach at Surf City. We didn't bother with decorations or music and only set up chairs for our elderly guests. We figured the kick-ass beach was an awesome backdrop as-is.

My Vows

Our friend Kenny wrote the ceremony and we wrote our own vows. My favorite part was at the very end of the ceremony when Kenny used a line from "Friday" by Rebecca Black and everyone cracked up laughing.

The Ceremony Begins

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was balancing our expectations of what we wanted in the wedding with our budgetary restraints. It came down to each of us choosing the one thing that was most important to us — mine was photography, his was the food.

Then we found where else we could cut corners or do nothing at all to pay for those most important things. For example, we used disposable dishware for the reception and bought our flowers from the farmers market.

Japanese-style Girls

The Wedding Party

My favorite moment: I was amazed at how much our friends and family pitched in to help with the wedding. My mom made the entire dessert buffet and everyone helped set up and break down the venue. We ended the party at 10:15 and everything was broken down and gone by 10:30! I couldn't believe it.

The Cake Toppers

And I couldn't help smiling at watching our Japanese friends get along so well with our American friends and family. Even though there was the language barrier, they still became good friends over the course of the wedding.

Father-Daughter/Mother-Son Dance

Dance the Night Away

My funniest moment: The Saturday of our wedding was the first warm sunny day at the beach this year. So of course it was PACKED with people. The groomsmen spent time before the ceremony helping people move their stuff out of the way of where the ceremony would be and putting up some chairs. Apparently during all this a fist fight broke out between some Marines drinking on the beach. The cops came and it was a real ruckus.

Poor David was nervous about what would happen once the ceremony began. But once my dad and I appeared at the top of the stairs to the beach, the Marines erupted into cheering, hollering, and clapping. It was hilarious!

Entering the Ceremony

My Dad and I

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was nervous about how my bouquet pull would turn out. I did the Japanese tradition of a pull instead of a toss.

Attached to a bouquet are ribbons, but only one ribbon is actually secured to the bouquet. In Japan, little trinkets are attached to the other ribbons but I decided to do gift cards to our favorite stores like Trader Joe's and Amazon.

Bouquet Pull

I wasn't sure if people would go for the idea at all but they seemed psyched about it. I was really happy to see that people enjoyed the Japanese version of the bouquet as much as I did.

My Bouquet

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The most important thing I learned is to relax. In the beginning of my planning I was freaking out because we couldn't afford most of the things you "must do" for a wedding. But as the day approached and all the little elements we cared about were falling into place, I realized the only "must do" is to be married at the end of the day.

Just the Two of Us

Just the Two of Us

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. that is one amazingly dressed bridal party – i love the red white and blue, it's perfect!

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  2. I love the picture of the bride and the lovely ladies in red!

    And where did the bouquets come from? Handmade? Details — I totally want!!!

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    • Thanks! The bouquets I made myself using buttons collected from etsy and Japan. Some of the buttons my Japanese students gave me.

      The red dress with the white sash came from a local North Carolina designer, the red and white dress is from Anthropologie, and the other red dress from eshatki. I let the bridesmaids choose whatever they wanted and I think they all looked great!

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  3. Your dress, your dress! Where did you get your dress!

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  4. We are loving all the vibrant colors! Especially the Peeps! Such a clever alternative.

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  5. NC wedding=awesome. :)

    And please tell me how Rebecca Black's song was integrated into your wedding?! I am not a fan of the song but I love throwing out the lyrics in random conversation for humor purposes, so I'm dying to know how it was worked into a wedding!

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    • Haha it was just a tiny part at the end. He said something like, "I see all my friends here," but said friends that weird way Rebecca Black does in the song, like "frans"lol.

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  6. This is right by me!! I'd totally be getting married there if I wasn't going back to Cleveland!! But i LOVE this wedding, beautiful!

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  7. I'm loving his tie! What a beautiful, joyous wedding. Thanks for posting it.

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  8. I love the red and turquoise together – very different and pretty! And I love the idea of the pull instead of the bouquet toss! Almost makes you feel bad for the one who gets the bouquet tho….
    CONGRATS!

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    • Haha I don't think she minded getting the bouquet. She got a $ 25 amazon gift card with it!

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    • Pro pull vs toss? I second that emotion–I love this tradition–especially knowing they ALL got nifty gifts out of it!! To be honest, this is the first time I've ever not hated the idea of a bouquet toss.

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  9. That is an AWESOME cake! The toppers are so cute!

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    • Thanks! My mom's red velvet cake is famous around these parts :)

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  10. I think you are the most adorable and pretty bride!! I love your wedding! Your hubby's tie is so freakin cool. I am way intrigued by the Japanese bouquet pull too! Congrats :-)

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  11. I absolutely love that you incorporate Japanese themes! Japanese was originally my major and my boyfriend and I still talk of moving to Japan as his aunt and uncle did when he was younger. He definitely loves the bits of Japanese culture I've exposed him too, such as Valentine's Day/White Day (though, admittedly, he usually gets chocolate and then we both accidentally-but-completely forget about White Day!). I will definitely incorporate the bouquet pull now that I've seen it in action (and also because I can't throw worth a damn!).

    Is there a Japanese equivalent of the garter toss for the men folk?

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    • I never saw anything remotely like a garter toss at weddings I attended in Japan, but I did go to one where the groom had a bouquet toss where all the single men fought for the flowers!

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  12. I can't even begin to explain how much I want those cake toppers. Like, not even for a cake. I just want them to keep with me and make me happy ALL THE TIME.

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  13. "I realized the only "must do" is to be married at the end of the day"

    this is the mindset of my whole wedding. I love hearing other brides with the same attitude. congrats on your beautiful day

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  14. Love this wedding! and used the same photographer for my own :)

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  15. I love your wedding dress! It is just perfect on you! Looks like a gorgeous wedding and I loved all of the attention to detail. The peep placecards=awesome. I love the Japanese bouquet pull. What a great ritual-so much cooler than the American bouquet toss!

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  16. I love the peep place cards!! Awesome idea! Beautiful wedding! Congrats!!

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  17. peeps place cards… I. DIE.

    the cake looks amazing! i love the unfinished look that is probably perfectly done!

    the milkie frozen looking dessert with berries…what is it?

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  18. Looks like you had a fun father-daughter song the way you are dancing! What did you choose?! :)

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    • I ended up choosing "Ripple" by The Grateful Dead :)

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  19. Haha, thank you for not torturing your Groom's Men into wearing Tuxes at the beach. My Bf's friend did that and they looked so uncomfortable.

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    • Tow of my three groomsmen made me do exactly that in their weddings. I wasn't going to do that.

      I am proud that we never wore shoes for the entire evening once the ceremony started.

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  20. OMG! Are those 2 guys in trunks with Bud Light cans the fighting marines?! They saw how awesome you guys were and came to sit down and enjoy? I love it!

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    • haha, the ones in the fist fight got carted away by the police but those two guys were some of their comrades that got left behind.

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  21. We fell in love with this couple as soon as we saw the pictures. Kyle looks amazing in 'Chastity Rose'! Thanks for the feature!xoxoxo

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  22. Love the Japanese bits. My husband and I met when we were living in Yokohama, and our wedding was also highly influenced by that. We went more the origami route. Your cake toppers are fantastic. Are they shisa?

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    • They are indeed shisa! I bought them the last time I was in Okinawa along with the fabric we used for table runners.

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  23. LOVE LOVE LOVE this wedding. Almost everything about it reminds me of the wedding I'm planning. Simple, colorful, and on the beach! It looks absolutely fabulous and fun!

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