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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photographers: Story Photographers
- Bride's hairpiece: Estsy seller Goche Moche
- Groom's ties: Etsy seller Toybreaker
- Bride's dress: Etsy seller KnotCouture
- Caterer: Catering by Design
- Maid of Honor's dress: Eshakti
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!