Lisa & Bill's elegant neon 1980s rock wedding

By on Aug. 12th

The offbeat bride: Lisa, Graphic Designer (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Bill, Computer Scientist

Location & date of wedding: Ceremony at First United Methodist Church, Reception in my parent's backyard, Ardmore, Oklahoma — October 2, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: My husband loves '80s rock, so I thought it would be the perfect theme to get both of us involved in the planning. We threw in as many personal touches as we could and DIYed much of it.

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I designed the invitations (12"x18" posters mailed in tubes), escort cards ('80s rock-themed mixed cassette tapes with old school tape labels indicating the person's name and table assignment), and the favors (t-shirts featuring our faces and our wedding date: Rocktober 2nd, 2010).

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I love bright colors, so we used black as our neutral with accents in neon pink, orange, yellow, and blue. We infused the colors everywhere — in the bridal party outfits, table settings, cake, tent decorations, and at our bar (blue margarita punch, yellow Bishop's punch, and pink champagne punch).

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We also used records albums and album covers to decorate. We made chargers by painting records gold, and strung up the covers in swags along the front of the tent. I also used them to decorate a fence panel for the backdrop of Polaroid guestbook pictures.

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We had an awesome '80s cover band for the reception, which really set the scene, and provided great backup for our first dance number (choreographed to "You Make My Dreams Come True"), and my bridesmaids and my large-scale choreographed dance number, complete with props.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Though the ceremony was fairly standard, we put our stamp on it with the music. Before the ceremony, we had '80s rock covers by Vitamin String Quartet playing. During the ceremony, we had all Billy Joel music, and we even had a reading from a Billy Joel song in lieu of a Bible reading. I also designed the ceremony programs which were mix CDs with music from the ceremony and reception with all the details in the CD booklet.

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Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge was reconciling my quirky ideas with my long-held desire to have a classic and elegant affair. In the end, I realized that if I just make sure I love every part of the wedding, it will be great.

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My favorite moment: During our first dance, I finally had a chance to just look at my new husband and let it sink in that we were really married. That was a great feeling.

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When my dad gave me away during the ceremony, it really made me think about how I was now starting my own new family, and it felt a little nerve-wracking, but mostly very exciting!

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My favorite moment of the day, though, was when my husband and I ran through the sparklers to our getaway car. After so many months of planning and worrying about the wedding and reception, it was bittersweet to be at the end of it. But I was just so excited to really start just being married.

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My funniest moment: My bridesmaids and I choreographed a dance to perform during the reception. One of my bridesmaids and I were on the dance squad together in high school, so it was just like old times for us. It started out to Madonna's "Like A Prayer," and then it "rickrolled" into "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. At the rickroll, we busted out our homemade fringe-ring props!

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Though we had planned on having all of the music during the ceremony played on piano, our pianist never showed up! The church was really cool about it, though, and agreed to let us just play the music from a CD even though it was non-secular, and it worked out beautifully.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Don't try to do it all yourself. I spent months feeling like I had to do it all and shouldn't ask anyone for help, and in the end it just makes it all too stressful. Finally in the last few days before the wedding, I had to give up control and let some of my friends and family help out. They did an awesome job!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!