The offbeat bride: Erin, cocktail server (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Ash, club VJ
Date and location of wedding: 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN — September 4, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: We got married in a bar attached to the night club where we both work. There was no other place that I wanted to get married, and it all had to be done on a very tight budget. Some of my favorite bands have played on the same stage where I wanted to get married and that really meant a lot to me. I wore a black vintage-style dress and Ash wore a custom-made anime cosplay outfit.
We had a very quick ceremony and a short, two-hour reception with cupcakes and opera squares. It was all family and co-workers, who really are like our second family. At first we were only planning on having a maid of honor and a best man, but in the weeks before the wedding we kept adding people. We added the last groom's dude two days before the wedding!
Everyone was allowed to wear whatever they wanted, so there was a mix of suits and ties along with people in metal shirts and jeans. I even asked one of the groom's dudes to wear his cat ear hat. Formal just isn't our thing, and we wanted everyone to be as comfortable as possible!
Tell us about the ceremony: We decided against having an aisle, we just came out on stage from the back. Our cue to come out was a death metal version of the "Imperial March." A good friend of ours performed the ceremony that we wrote (mostly!) ourselves. We incorporated a lot of our favorite things into the ceremony, including Adventure Time and Arrested Development quotes and things about how much we love video games (and each other!).
We did a handfasting ceremony that turned out beautifully. It was a very short ceremony with no readings or music, and after it was all over "The Final Countdown" by Europe played. We really just wanted something short and sweet since we both don't like to be the center of attention.
Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge for us was paying for everything. When we started planning we had no money to work with, and every paycheck that I got in the three months of planning went to wedding things. When it got closer to the date, more people started helping us, and we couldn't have done it without them. We were lucky enough to have friends help us with things like photography, music, decorations, and even someone to help us out on the day.
The biggest challenge the day-of was the fact that the hotel wouldn't let us check in before the wedding because we didn't reserve the room ourselves! It was a challenge because we were planning on getting dressed and doing "getting ready" pictures over at the hotel before we walked to the venue. Since that didn't work out I had to get ready in a bar bathroom. Thank god the bathroom was clean.
My favorite moment: For me, the most meaningful was being on stage telling everyone how much I love Ash. The ceremony was so personalized that we had everyone laughing and crying along with us. All I could see onstage was Ash, and I kept thinking that he was so far away and that I wish I could reach out and grab him. Luckily, the ceremony was short so I didn't have to wait too long.
The handfasting part of the ceremony was really beautiful. We had our friend tie the knot. She had to practice beforehand because she had no idea what to do! When I asked Ash to be my husband after I read my vows, and he actually said yes, I was so happy I thought I was going to explode!
My funniest moment: The funniest moment for me was when I was looking out onto the dance floor, seeing all my friends and family and one dude who looked a little out of place. I know I had seen that guy somewhere before, but I couldn't think of where, until a friend pointed out that that was the lead singer of Soul Asylum. He had been drinking in the restaurant next door and just sort of wandered over.
Another great part was right as our formal pictures were done, a cook from the restaurant next door came outside with a "cake" (I use the term loosely!) made from every deep fried item in the kitchen! It was a tower of onion rings, tater tots, and cheese curds. I got about two cheese curds and a tater tot, and the next time I saw that cake, all that was left were the dipping sauces.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Everything! But really, 80% of the people we invited didn't RSVP, so we had no idea how many people were going to show up. I was so afraid that we wouldn't have enough cupcakes that I made Ash make "cupcake tickets" the night before so everyone would get one. Turns out we didn't need them at all. Most guests got at least two cupcakes and three opera squares. We were eating the leftovers for weeks.
My advice for offbeat brides: Stay true to yourself and vision, but don't be afraid to scrap things at the last minute if it isn't working out.
If you have a friend who is reliable and great at ordering people to do things, ask them to be your day-of coordinator! I was lucky enough to have an awesome friend volunteer for that position, and without her I would have gone nuts.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? No matter how important your wedding day is to you, it's not necessarily going to be that important to everyone else.. And that's okay. People have lives, let them live them. If someone would rather go to the cabin, or attend a birthday party instead of going to your wedding, let them. It's really not that big of a deal. The ones who took the time to come to your wedding are the people that matter.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Bettie Page Clothing
- Cupcakes: Cupcake Bakery
- Opera squares: Wuollet Bakery
- Venue: 7th Street Entry at First Avenue
- DJ: Tony from Midwest Sound
- Rings: Etsy seller Titanium Knights
- Handfasting cord: Etsy seller The Magick Hearth
- Cupcake stand: Save-on-crafts.com
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!