Martha & Daniel's low-impact redwoods wedding (with many pretzels!)

By on Oct. 23rd
Photo Shoot in Mountain View Cemetery

The Offbeat Bride: Martha, Bookstore Manager and Designer

Her offbeat partner: Daniel, Payroll Administrator

Date and location of wedding: UC Botanical Gardens and Cloud 9, Berkeley, CA — August 3, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We tried really hard to make our wedding as low-impact, local, and sustainable as possible without going broke. This translated into me getting my wedding dress used and Daniel's entire outfit being made in America (which was pretty hard to do, actually). We also used all compostable flatware and plates which we ordered in bulk. Vases, platters, and other accessories were found at estate sales, and we gave lots of things away after the wedding.

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Confidence: the secret key to pulling off a guilt-free budget wedding

Guestpost by Jennay on Oct. 22nd
Cake toppers on cupcake

Photo by Lindsey McDaniel Williams, LifeExposed Photography.

When I was planning my wedding, cost was a big factor. While I wanted to enjoy the day and have it represent my partner and me, I didn't want to do it at a premium cost. So I SCOURED the internet to find ways to slash my budget.

The problem was that some of these "20 Ideas to Cut Your Budget" just weren't feasible. Part of my problem was that, to many, a "budget wedding" is a $20,000 wedding, and I was hoping for more of a $5,000 wedding. Another problem was that the "easiest" way to cut my budget was to invite fewer people, but the guest list already had NO wiggle room. Yet another frustration was that I had already budgeted for wedding cost-cutters like using vinyl tablecloths, serving beverages in cans and bottles, asking a cousin to take my photos, non-floral centrepieces, choosing one venue, wearing a non-wedding dress, barbecue catering, using a wedding cake alternative, and opting to be my own wedding day coordinator. To many, I already had the "budget wedding."

While these things certainly saved money, they caused me a LOT of stress. I worried way too much about the table cloths looking cheap, whether or not Grandma would be pissed about having to drink out of a can, if the photos would turn out nice, and whether I had forgotten any details.

Here is where I think the biggest difficulties in planning a budget wedding lie: that it's really hard to find affirmation in choosing the "cheaper" way.

So here are my tips for planning a guilt-free "budget" wedding…

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Dogs of honor, a fabulous purple dress, and tons of family at this beach wedding in the Philippines

By on Oct. 22nd

Kenneth and Anne actually got married last year in Singapore, where they live and work, but most of their family was unable to attend. So the couple decided to throw a weekend wedding bash in their hometown of Iloilo City in the Philippines!

Things started off relatively intimate with a beach ceremony for immediate family. It's also where Anne brought the style in a purple and teal frilled gown made by an edgy young Philippine designer, Djohn Clement. Romantic, fun, and colorful — and are you ready to die from cuteness? Kenneth and Anne brought their three dogs, Piper, Prue, and Sachi, to walk them down the aisle. Complete with frickin' adorable badges announcing their duties.

But let's not stop there. The guest list grew to a couple hundred for the following night's festivities in an urban garden. Kenneth and Anne opted for more casual attire, but damn. I'm taking notes on their style.

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Emily & Raphael's handmade, community-centered Texas Hill Country picnic

By on Oct. 22nd
send off 2

Photos by John Squyers, Blue Media Works

The Offbeat Bride: Emily, Marketing Asistant & Event Coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Raphael, Information Technology

Date and location of wedding: City Park and Beir Garten of Pecan St. Brewing, Johnson City, TX – — May 17, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I knew going in what things cost (100x the normal amount) and I knew what I wanted, but learning what Raphael wanted, and planning a day together that showcased him as well as me (and us!) was really challenging and fun. Raphael and I got married in a gazebo in a city park (free!) and had our early afternoon reception in the bier garten of a brewpub. We served a pizza buffet for lunch, a cake buffet for dessert (handmade by Raphael's mom!), and a beer and wine buffet serving locally-made wines and brewed-in-house beers. Every item in the wedding was handmade by someone close to us, down to the flowers and the hand-drawn social media symbols on the chalk boards.

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Pops of bright yellow and bubble gum at this vintage farmhouse wedding at Arizona's Chapel At The Farm

By on Oct. 21st

Lizzy and Jake got engaged on a family farm in Minnesota. It was no surprise that, when hunting through Phoenix-area wedding venues, they fell in love with our sponsor Chapel at the Farm — a small 1920s vintage farmhouse in Gilbert, Arizona.

These two wanted a wedding day filled with laughter, playfulness, and heart-warming touches. Their wedding day included a lot of personal details like family heirlooms, favorite candies, and this handkerchief, hand-made for the groom, with a special message…

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On the very important importance of underwear

Guestpost by rosesinister on Oct. 21st

before and after appropriate underwear

My dress arrived, and I loved it. This is always good, but it didn't button properly in the back… which was problematic, as you can see here:

on the very important importance of underwear-2

One of my bridesmaids took me to one of those faaaaaaancy pants lingerie stores — the kind where the staff can look at you and tell immediately if you are wearing the right bra size or not, with chandeliers in the dressing rooms and all that.

I tried on a couple of different bras, and after we put on this number, I knew it was the one:

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Ruby & James' laid-back door games and tea ceremony Chinese wedding

By on Oct. 21st

Photos by Clarissa Lum from Clarzzique

The Offbeat Bride: Ruby, developer (and Offbeat Bride member)

Her offbeat partner: James, physiotherapist

Date and location of wedding: Parramatta Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, NSW, Australia — September 20, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had the world's most simplistic door games and tea ceremony for a Chinese wedding. Usually door games would entail multiple activities that embarrass the groom and his attendants, but my sister takes after me (being twins and all) and is L-A-Z-Y, which is awesome, because neither of us wanted door games anyway.

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Planning a wedding as a fatherless bride

Guestpost by Kelsey Munger on Oct. 20th

I was practically dancing, I was so excited when I told my sister that I was engaged. But just two days later, I was hit hard by the reality that I couldn't tell my dad my happy news. I sobbed like I'd only just been informed of someone's passing. And it hurt just as much.

I was thrilled about being able to inject "when" instead of "if" into sentences related to our future, excited to upgrade my relationship status on Facebook, but I was grieving, too. Life's messy. Sometimes weddings are messy.

I'm sure it's always heartbreaking to feel like there's going to be a major hole in the guest list, but it's awkward when you're a fatherless bride because so many wedding-related traditions involve dads…

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Find a hot pink wig and join the crowd at this Seattle wedding

By on Oct. 20th

As a bit of playful revenge for having to wear a natural-colored wig at her maid of honor's wedding, Dani had her wedding party (including the bridesman) rock hot-pink wigs to match her hair. The wedding party nailed the look, even though it looks like it was a super windy day! Dani and Rob got married at Gas Works Park in Seattle last July, and you'll find that delicious hot pink everywhere in their photos: bowties, guests' shoes, feathery bouquets, and all over the reception.

Be on the lookout for his-and-hers motorcycles, a drinks menu named after their bikes, and custom sunglasses for all. (AND, if you really want to know, it looks like Dani's hair color is Special Effects Atomic Pink. I speak from experience when I say that is an awesome shade.)

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