Robin & Mark's retro 3D movie theater wedding

November 9 |
Elvis wanted to take the Caddy to Vegas!
Photos by a friend of the couple

The Offbeat Bride: Robin, Graphic Designer

Her Offbeat Partner: Mark, Graphic Designer

Date and location of wedding: Plaza Arts Center, Carrollton, TX — May 19, 2012

Our Offbeat Wedding at a glance: Being graphic designers and lovers of retro, we incorporated tiki, ska, '50s-'60s style, mod scooters, old movies, rockabilly, and swing through the music, clothes, colors, and decor.

We booked an old movie theater from the '50s. While getting the details of the venue, we were told they had an Elvis impersonator that performed monthly and he was ordained. Our jaws dropped. We were sold. That wrapped up a few details for us. Elvis would sing as I walked down the aisle, perform the ceremony, sing as we "left the building" and continue to sing to keep guests entertained as we took a few post-ceremony pictures outside.
Wedding Invitation and Poster
Since our venue was a movie theater we designed a 3D B-movie style poster invitation complete with 3D glasses and a ticket with wedding day details. The invitation doubled as a poster we hung outside the theater on the day of the wedding.
Signing the Guestbook
For our alternative guestbook, we bought two sketchbooks, markers and stickers and let people draw or write whatever they wanted. Some even made multiple trips to sign it.
My aunt had great glasses…and hair
Our table markers were movie posters that had our food and drink menu printed on the backside. We had someone working the ticket booth that would give you a ticket with your movie on it. All of the tables were named after our favorite old movies. Once guests were in the theater, the bar was open and there were nuts, pretzels and M&Ms on all the tables. I've always wanted to have a drink during the ceremony. I made sure my guests could. It was all about having a relaxed, fun time.
Last dance was a stroll line
I couldn't decide on a "last dance" so we decided a stroll line would be fun. We played songs like "The Twist," "Mashed Potato Time," and "Land Of 1000 Dances." That way there were a few songs to dance to and there was more interaction between all guests.
A shot of us making our flipbook
I found a company that makes flipbooks that was so much fun. Like a photo booth, they have props and signs for your guests to use. They record a seven second video of you and convert the videos to still frames that print out minutes after they're made. They staple on a cover, which you can customize, and you've got your own flipbook to take home.

Mark isn't a cake guy so instead of a groom's cake we had mini tarts in assorted flavors. The cake and tarts were served with small milk cartons with red striped and blue polka dot straws.
Do you promise to leave her all shook up?
Tell us about the ceremony: I walked down the aisle to Elvis singing "Can't Help Falling In Love." He performed the usual ceremony and then an Elvis-flavored ceremony where Mark had to repeat lines such as "I promise to keep her all shook up." He also had Mark put a red scarf on me that said "Congratulations Mark and Robin! Love, Elvis." Once the ceremony was over he broke out into "Burning Love" and we danced all the way out of the building to take post-ceremony pictures.
No floral centerpieces for us
Our biggest challenge: Probably building our centerpieces. I didn't care about flowers for centerpieces so we made some out of Styrofoam balls, spray paint and many dowels. They look kinda like a planetary project you had to build in science class. Sounds pretty simple but all the spray painting, dowel cutting and hot gluing got a little old after a while. We only had 10 but they were quite the effort. Then we worried if they would fall over or apart once they were on the table. They all survived and people even took some home with them.
Here comes the bride
My favorite moment: Right before the ceremony. I had both my parents walk me down the aisle while Elvis sang "Can't Help Falling In Love." He's such a great singer, the song is so sweet and I was just so happy. Halfway down the aisle I lost it a little bit. But I recovered quickly. No smearing mascara on my wedding day!
Dancin' Dad!
My funniest moment: We skipped the mother/son and father/daughter dance but I did dedicate a song to my dad. I knew he would love to hear "Double Shot of My Baby's Love" by the Swingin' Medallions. The DJ announced "Hey, Father of the Bride, your daughter has a dedication for you." The music started and my dad lost it. He danced (drink in hand) and sang along to the whole song at the front of the theater. He was so into it. He had everyone's attention and they gave him a round of applause when the song ended.
Our Marquee
The theater no longer shows movies, but seven people saw our poster and marquee and actually tried to buy tickets for our "movie!"
Decorated venue
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I wanted these paper lanterns hung from an upper level of the theater. My sister-in-law was our caterer and a huge help for everything else we needed. We had a plan of how to hang them. But would it work and would they stay? She enlisted her son and husband to help her hang them morning of the wedding. It was no easy task and after the wedding my brother-in-law admitted he was sweating about the last strand they hung. He was just waiting for it to fall on us. But it held the whole time.
Copy Edits
My advice for offbeat brides: We focused on having a fun event rather than worrying about all the usual wedding traditions. There was no bouquet toss, cake cutting, parent/child dance, only my sister (maid of honor) made a speech which was hilarious, etc. I realized the less you have planned the less that you'll worry about going wrong.
Think about weddings you've been to and what you liked and didn't care for so much. Do/don't do those things. For instance, when I go to weddings, I'm always ready for the reception and party time so I had drinks and snacks for my guests during my ceremony.
If you concentrate on fun for you and your guests and less about "we need to cut the cake now" type details, it's a much more enjoyable experience for all.
Getting the best man ready to go
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? If you're not detail-oriented find someone to help you, whether that's a planner, a responsible friend or family member. I'm big into details and I had everything under control but those last couple of weeks were a bit stressful. Getting last-minute details and payments wrapped up was rough.
It didn't help that we were also planning a move. DON'T DO THAT! Move well after or before your wedding.
Also…EAT YOUR FOOD! We were so busy partying and visiting at the wedding that we hardly ate any of our food. I'm bummed because I heard it was all delish.
Bridal party - They're coming!!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. This is perfect timing to feature this wedding. It's giving me a great deal of inspiration for my own wedding!

    I absolutely love that you had an Elvis impersonator marry you! Fab!

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  2. AAAH THOSE CENTERPIECES!!! Those are AWESOME!

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  3. Re "EAT YOUR FOOD", I went to a wedding this weekend where the bride and groom had bodyguards. They went through the food line first, then the groomsmen took shifts standing in front of the table shooing people away so the newlyweds could eat and drink for twenty minutes without being interrupted for hugs, photos, and conversation. Worked great!

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    • OMFSM. One of my man's best friends is in the Air Force, and he used to be a bounty hunter. This will be his job. Thank you.

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  4. The impromptu Dad Dance is great!

    Love the graphic look you guys did – the paper lanterns, the centerpieces, the poster, even your clothes. Gorgeous!

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  5. I ditto the comment about finding a way to eat. We sat at our table and the servers brought us our plates first. Then opened up the buffet to everyone else. It worked out great because while everyone else was in line getting food, we were eating :-)

    Love all the details of your wedding! Everything really pops and your movie title – that is awesome!! Congrats!! Looks like it was so much fun!!

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  6. I just love every single thing about your wedding…. My FH and I are going to skank together for our first dance.

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  7. Oh.. I love this blog! Our Civil Celebrant Louise Goodrem recommend we research for our wedding online… came across your site.. such a great resource.
    Thanks.

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  8. AMAZING!!!! Love the centerpieces so much, so fantastically retro and the way everything tied together was really, really clever.

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  9. Sorry you didn't get to enjoy much of your great catered food…..But here's an idea, for your 1st anniversary have a small catered party and order some of the same things and CELEBRATE!! P.S. I lived in Fort Worth, Weatherford and Denton between high school and my college years. Best Wishes to you both.

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    • Exactly what we're doing haha! My sister-in-law was the caterer so we're going to have some of our food made for our anniversary. Even going to stay in our wedding night hotel and eat in the room :)

      1 agrees

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