5 inspired wedding ideas I stole from Offbeat Bride

May 24 |
let the nerf war begin
Play a Nerf war at your wedding reception! Photo by Juliane Masciana, from this wedding.

I don't know if you've noticed, but we have a special archive called Steal This Idea! This means, clearly, we love offering up great wedding ideas for you to take, run with, and make your own. But, apart from noticing them in real wedding profiles, we never really get to know how many of you actually DO steal those ideas.

That's why it was so awesome to read this "thank you" note from Australian Tribesmaid Jass

Thanks to Offbeat Bride and the Tribe, I have found:

  • The idea of getting all (36) invited kids involved in the ceremony. The idea was that all the kids would start the ceremony by ringing bells. But I was concerned that this would mean bells would be going off during the entire ceremony (although the original bride said this wasn't a problem). Instead, one of the activities in the book is for the kids to make and decorate themselves a paper basket which we will fill with dried flower petals. They will then start the ceremony by scattering (read throwing about) petals up the aisle.
  • My wedding dress. A Tribe member posted a picture of a beautiful Anarkali, which had me hunting down Indian stores in Australia, which had me taking a trip to Melbourne, which had me buying the dress!
  • My wedding veil. Ariel put me onto this idea, as I wanted to twist the Indian dress into something a little closer to Tribal style.
  • The two readings for the ceremony (one Christian, one secular). This was hard because I'm not Christian, although my future husband is, so finding one which didn't feel hypocritical was a challenge.
  • Ideas for what games we are going to play during the war. We're having a Nerf war before the ceremony, so a bunch of zombie, LARP and historical-types offered to do what they do best. The main idea is that my future husband and I will try to "kidnap" each other, with help from all the guests.

Listed like that, it sounds like a bunch of short and sweet things, but each was the result of days or weeks of searching, mulling, twisting around, deleting and starting again and so on.

I was just going through my notes and noticed how much had come from Offbeat Bride. So I wanted to say thanks to you all, I really appreciate the help.

Which Offbeat Bride ideas are YOU integrating in YOUR wedding? Bonus points for including a link to the article that inspired your idea!

  1. Just got married on Saturday. Some ideas we got from OBB:

    Paper roses, made from foreign language dictionary pages. Original inspiration here: http://offbeatbride.com/2011/08/wedding-paper-flowers

    Customized Fluxx deck
    http://offbeatbride.com/2012/01/ottawa-party-games-wedding

    Wine in decorative box for our 5th wedding anniversary. Though that was not part of the ceremony, as it was in one of the many inspiration articles like this one
    http://offbeatbride.com/tag/wine-ceremony

    I gave my bridesmaids a color and range for length, and they picked up or sewed FABULOUS dresses that were perfect for each of them
    http://offbeatbride.com/2008/09/non-matching-bridesmaid-dresses

    There are more that I am forgetting!

    2 agree
    • Can you explain this customized Fluxx idea a little more? I am greatly intrigued but can't find it anywhere…

      1 agrees
      • Honestly, aside from brief mention in the link above, I couldn't either. My then fiance sound a Magic card template program online that, believe it or effing not, actually had Fluxx templates in it. We used all the usual Action and New Rule cards, but made our own Keepers and Goals with images and everything, that way it could be all about us. Some of our Keeper combos and goals were
        Pittsburgh Penguins + Les Habs = Hockey Night (we both are huge hockey fans)
        India and Swords = Mughal Empire (my masters degree will be in South Asian Studies)
        Ska + Beer = Dance the Night away
        1994 Jackson Kelly + Ska = Reel Big Fish Concert (can you tell we're ska fans? we played TONS of ska at the wedding)
        Powerpoint + Ironman = Stark Industries (Husband loves Ironman)
        Tea + Library books = Finals Week (grad student!)
        Chibithulhu + Ocean = The Stars are Right (and we're gamers)

        I have to ask him for the link where he found it or the name of it.

        1 agrees
        • Oh!! Cool! If you find it, please post a reply! Thanks! :)

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    • Other Offbeat things we did:

      -bright purple shoes
      -ska recessional
      -I changed into purple Chucks for the reception so I could skank
      -nonstandard cupcake flavors
      -book/library theme
      -married by a friend
      -NO garter toss
      -microbews
      -NO SODA on premise. freshly made juices instead (like watermelon!)
      -bread and wine ceremony
      -didn't change my name
      -book/lantern/potted plant centerpieces

      And I second the other comments that one of the biggest things I got from OBB was the confidence to do things my way and follow our vision (which, btw, turned out even better than I had ever imagined)

      1 agrees
  2. Dalek cake toppers. I wouldn't have known they existed if I hadn't seen them on OffbeatBride. Thank you!

    5 agree
  3. Getting married NEXT weekend (June 2nd). Offbeat wedding things include (some stolen from OBB, some not):

    -Short dress from Etsy

    -colored shoes and sash that are NOT the same color

    -Paper flower bouquet (style heavily stolen from these bridesmaids: http://offbeatbride.com/2008/05/sandys-colorful-crafty-hip-but-wont-scare-grandma-wedding)

    -Games games games (actually, this was stolen from my sister, though still OffBeat)

    -Paper bunting

    -Pinwheels

    -Potluck reception

    -Mismatched tablecloths, napkins, and cups

    -Hay bales for ceremony seating

    -Confetti kids (instead of flower girl)

    -Wood inlaid titanium wedding rings (an Etsy find)

    -No specific wedding colors

    The biggest OBB inspiration was getting the courage to do things my own way. Including my biggest anxiety item: finding a way to tell my dad I wanted to walk down the aisle alone, un-escorted. Turns out he totally doesn't care, and this way my parents can walk together the same way the groom's parents walk together.

    5 agree
  4. We're having a ring warming, colourful dresses with a touch of rainbow inspired by that awesome rainbow tulle dress you once or twice featured, we made fabric and paper flowers ourselves and I'm wearing a butterfly crown. Oh, and our venue is a small community-owned business which we found after finally thinking outside the wedding industrial complex box. We also used many local and indie businesses as vendors.

    All things I didn't even know existed or would be so important to us until seen on here. :)

    1 agrees
  5. I am getting married in July and, though I have not seen it here, we are having breakfast for dinner for our evening reception. Mostly because both of us love bacon, and we thought, "who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?"

    6 agree
    • Our wedding is in September and we're doing this too! :D

      1 agrees
    • Dude. This is genius. I'd love it if I went to a wedding and there was breakfast for dinner. Mainly because I love breakfast food. Also: mmm, bacon. I'm seriously filing this one away for later.

      1 agrees
  6. Stuff I stole –

    Day of Coordinator – I would have denied myself this if I hadn't found my awesome DOC through a comment from another Tribesperson in my area.

    Origami flowers – loved the idea as a DIY option and during the time I was making them OBB game me the confidence to explain to my mother over and over again that I really didn't want live flowers (even though I grow them all over my yard!)

    A small small wedding that respected my introversion — all the conversations about those with social anxieties and even those who are introverted.

    A friend as an officiant – who could feel free to talk to us and about us during the ceremony

    Handfasting cords – making them for ourselves and taking ownership of the design so that the cords became a symbol for our relationship and our family.

    Permission to paint outside of the lines – making the walk down the aisle about my relationship with my dad, not about ownership or patriarchy, tossing the garter and bouquet toss.

    And most amazingly the support and knowledge that I had Tribesmates who understood what I was going through even when I did not.

    2 agree
  7. Our wedding is just over a month away and there are so many things we have taken from Offbeat Bride, that I think any list would be incomplete. We will be doing kids activity books/kites, ribbon wands, chemistry unity ceremonies and more (all OBB inspired) but beyond that, the level of support and inspiration from Tribesmaids has been incredible. Were it not for the Tribe I doubt I would have dared to make 1/4 of the things I have crafted for our wedding. I could never thank OBB enough!

    1 agrees
  8. Ok, funnily enough my wedding was featured on OBB, so it may continue the cycle of inspiration… But these are the specific things we got from OBB:

    – getting a dress from Etsy (actually discovered Etsy through OBB)
    – wearing a corset!
    non-white shoes!
    – books as centerpieces! (and other non-floral centerpieces)
    mismatched bridesmaids!
    – awesome, non-boring invitations! (mostly inspired by Royal Steamline, which in turn inspired our wedding theme)
    – no wedding colors
    – having a theme that's not just "wedding"
    rock band instead of first dance
    photobooth

    (There are so many posts about all of these from which I was inspired!)

    Honestly, our biggest inspiration was that we could be ourselves, and celebrate that. Cheers to you, OffbeatBride!

    1 agrees
    • Oh Yeah! I totally forgot! Awesomeness of shoes!
      I might have dialed it back a bit if not for OBB and just gone with a pale blue shoe (which is tough to find on its own).

      Instead I found my shoes by following links on one of Ariel's epic shoe posts. Not only were they not-white, they were the most embellished part of my outfit! (Irregular Choice, Can't Touch This in blue and gold)

      1 agrees
  9. I don't think that there is a part of my wedding that ISN'T coming from Offbeat Bride.

    18 agree
  10. polymer cake toppers (pandas)

    ring warming

    inspiration for vows

    activity books

    ping pong table

    father-daughter dance song (father daughter by paul simon)

    I know I'm forgetting alot, but generally just inspired me to think outside the box from everything to my tablecloths (coffee bags) to our guest book (complicated with polaroids and a world map), this place is just generally awesome.

    0 agree
  11. We just got married last weekend! I obsessively read Offbeat Bride Posts during our 10 months of planning. :) A few things we used that I saw on OBB . . .
    Origami Flowers for centerpieces
    This article for getting your groom involved
    – Paper Hearts! http://offbeatbride.com/2010/08/paper-heart-decor
    – About 6 months in I fell in love with this wedding. It was just so similar to ours and our ideas – the colors, I made/designed everything with the intent of being able to keep and display it all, swing dance for our first dance, punk/rockabilly/80's playlist etc-
    – We are atheist and had a friend perform our ceremony, which we put together ourselves, and I found some ceremony inspiration in a couple different posts- including the inspiration to make a handfasting cord.

    I'm sure there are other things, but if nothing else- I love seeing everyone's wonderfully offbeat weddings :)

    0 agree
  12. My husband said, every time I found a fantastic idea on OBB (about once every 8 minutes), "We should just say our wedding exists thanks to Offbeat Bride." :) Because srsly, it did! We were both quite wary of following the traditional WIC style of wedding but seeing other people out there doing things their own way made us realize we could do whatever we wanted.

    In addition to giving us many ideas and inspiration, as well as the confidence to do things our way, we found our officiant (the fantastic Reverend Michael Alan), rings (Fabuluster), my husband's tailor (9 Tailors), my seamstress (Collier Couture), our wedding reading ("To Love Is Not To Possess"), our processional song (Your Personal Penguin, sung by Davy Jones), Etsy vendors for the ladies' hairpieces and handwarmers, and the shoes I wanted to wear but could not due to unexpected foot surgery (the peacock pumps from TUK! ALAS!) via Offbeat Bride's blog posts and Tribe. The site, blog comments, and Tribe members gave us the confidence and inspiration we needed to pull off a fabulous, very us day. Thanks to all of you! :)

    0 agree
  13. –Having open expectations was my biggest one. It's allowing me to trust my mother and future mother in law to use their own creativity on the celebration, and they have in turn come up with awesome ideas that I never would have thought of. Apparently I'm now going to have outdoor centerpieces made from copper lanterns topped with grapevine and floral wreaths!

    –So many people here DIY their favors in some fun geeky theme, and it got me thinking, and now everyone will be leaving with some permutation of a Millenium Falcon brooch, and they're gonna function as an ID badge so interlopers don't end up mixed in to the wedding.

    –Writing a ceremony from scratch. This was HARD, having been to very very few weddings and having no particular religious tradition to draw from. I went through the Ceremony/Vows related forum so much!

    –I found our wedding bands when OBB introduced its new sponsor, tinahdee and we're thrilled to have rings we like for a very low monetary investment

    –Paper lanterns seem to be really popular w/ Offbeat Brides right now and I'm not ashamed that I jumped on that cheap, colorful, happy, pretty bandwagon.

    –Other brides' success with home-generated flowers got me talking to my mom about flowers and led to us, well ok maybe mostly my mom, coming up with faux-aged pots of live, growing herbs for centerpieces. She's raising the spearmint and Cuban oregano herself!

    –Another member mentioned that she'd noticed that many Indian restaurants cater cheaply as compared to "normal American" caterers. This threw the idea in my head to contact the first restaurant my fiance and I ever went to together, and yeah, they cater, and yeah, their estimate was HALF the nearest caterer, and YES, I am serving tikka masala and roganjosh and biryani and lots and lots of naan at my wedding!

    –The general idea that Etsy can be a treasure trove for a lot of Offbeat Brides. I mean, I got my dress on Etsy, but it was the constant posts on OBB about the widely varying items they were getting that caused me to seek, and lo, I found.

    –I sought the opinion and proofreading of fellow tribesmaids a LOT while making my wedding website!

    –I actually didn't know that some regions have a tradition of the guests taking home the centerpieces til I saw an OBB discussion about it. And good thing, because turns out I am from one of those regions and otherwise might have freaked when everyone started taking them…

    –I over-ordered invitations so I'm probably going to end up doing something like http://offbeatbride.com/2012/04/wedding-invitation-photo-backdrop

    0 agree
  14. Our wedding is 4 months away…OCTOBER 6!

    I think the number one thing Offbeat Bride has given me is the CONFIDENCE to move forward with offbeat ideas without worrying what others might think!

    I work at a preschool and that pretty much says it all. My coworkers all hound me about my wedding details and I pretty much keep them to myself because of their shock over my answers! LOL so…

    1. Small (26 people including my groom and I)
    2. A family friend will be marrying us
    3. It is a pagan ceremony. I am pagan my groom is not but he isn't religious and leans towards paganism when he is.
    4. We are purchasing hand fasting cords and still considering jumping the broom afterwords.
    5. Up until recently all the food was going to be grilled by my amazing step-father. He was diagnosed with cancer and while doing great as of right now he is very tired so we may be catering last second.
    6. We are renting a beach house on lake Michigan to party and crash at after the ceremony. I always tell people it's "backyard wedding" only we don't have a big enough back yard so we are renting one hahaha
    7. We are only having one person stand with each of us.
    8. My brother and step-father will be walking me.
    9. I will be walking to a violin/piano version of Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
    10. Our first dance will be first day of my life by Bright Eyes
    11. I am DIY'ing our FAKE flowers.
    12.I am NOT doing any form of bridal shower. ACK! I am very introverted, and dislike formal stuffy affairs of any kind. No thank you. And to top it off my groom and I have been together 6 years, lived together for 2. We have everything we would need. Why would I ask our already poor starving college student friends and family to fork over money for items we HAVE?

    I LOVE every single detail about our wedding. I love that we are basically having a party that celebrates not only US coming together as one but also celebrates the close friends and family who will support us through all the years of our marriage!

    THANK YOU Offbeatbride for EVERY detail and idea you have given me or given me the confidence to branch off on!! MUCH LOVE!

    2 agree
  15. Let me think…
    Campground as the location.
    I am going to have a potluck reception.
    A bridesmaid is making the cupcakes.
    Pinwheels in glass bottles on the tables.
    Ceremony and reception in same location.
    Picnic tables instead of chairs or round tables.
    Giant tissue paper flowers decorating the room.
    Pinwheel chandeliers(mobiles.) (My own take on pinwheels).
    Lots of DIY.

    0 agree
  16. Just had my wedding on May 26,2012. Lots of offbeat inspiration from here got incorporated!
    1. handfasting
    2. tree planting
    3. small wedding (~45)
    4. We both got walked down the aisle by our mom and dad
    5. Thumb print guest book
    6. after party dance party!
    7. kid activity book and table
    8. lawn games galore
    9. bonfire
    10. no garter toss
    11. No bridesmaids or groomsmen
    12. Guest came dressed super casual
    13. Local grass fed burgers and local food featured for the dinner
    14. First dance song, father/daughter song, and mom/son song ideas
    15. Found Wai-Ching through off-beat and had a beautiful Wai-Ching dress made for my day
    16. Ok with saying no gifts needed and being ok with a registry through simple registry for traditional gift givers.
    17. Offbeat gave me wedding invitation ideas and wording! Invitations came across as woodsy and laid back.
    18. Completely laid back and organic (groom's words!)

    So absolutely perfect and us! Thanks for all the inspiration.

    0 agree
  17. Our wedding is the 4th of July and so far the ideas we've stolen from here are as follows:
    1) felt and button bouquet for me, and no bouquets for the bridesmaids instead they will have flag patterened paper fans. :)
    2) the balls to rock my bad ass red, white and blue heels with my wedding dress. Seriously all the shoe porn posts made me say hell yeah I'm wearing those shoes!
    3) the camera shaped box for holding cards with photosharing info.
    4) the courage to let my crafty/ diy flag fly. There is just something so awesome about being able to say, oh yeah I made that!

    Love you guys!

    0 agree
  18. I know this might be a bit off topic, but now I really want to see a picture of that dress!

    0 agree
  19. Not quite married yet but I'm stealing these ideas :

    – an Oh Shit Kit

    – kids activity books

    – newspaper nails : http://offbeatbride.com/2011/11/superficial-snack-newspaper-nails-tutorial

    – having postcards sent to us instead of a guest book

    – these paper bags for favors, that I had first seen on OBB : http://www.diywedding.org/diy-wedding-ideas/free-downloads/diy-wedding-favor-bags-with-a-twist

    – maybe a personal verion of these centerpieces : http://offbeatbride.com/2012/01/geeky-terrarium-centerpieces-ftw

    – maybe a companion cube ring : http://offbeatbride.com/2013/07/diy-companion-cube-ring-box

    – tossing a plushie instead of a bouquet (I am making my own octopus plushie) from http://offbeatbride.com/2011/09/texas-geeky-corgi-wedding

    -making a very private handfasting ceremony

    0 agree

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