The Offbeat Bride: Lauren, specialty running store worker
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, restaurant general manager extraordinaire
Date and location of wedding: The House of Blues, Cleveland, OH — November 2, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Andrew and I had known each other for seven years by the time we got married. On the first night we met, we talked about our similar tastes in music and listened to our favorite bands together on his computer. We have been to numerous concerts and music festivals over the years. What better way to honor our relationship than to have a rock 'n' roll-themed wedding at the House of Blues? It was an amazing feeling to get married on the same stage where legendary artists have performed. We even had our names on The House of Blues marquee. We had access to the House of Blues Foundation Room for photos. The Foundation Room is an amazing lounge decorated with statues, Persian rugs, and antique Indian wedding quilts. We felt like rock stars.
You know what sucks about wedding invitations? Pretty much all the logistics: tracking down everyone's addresses, paper cuts on your tongue from envelopes, and "How do you spell so-and-so's new last name?" You know what's awesome about wedding invitations? Our sponsor Postable.com, the free and easy way to gather your guests' addresses and send out beautiful wedding stationery without the hassle.
Postable also offers an incredibly simple way to buy and mail all of your wedding stationery. From Save the Dates to invitations to thank-you cards, you create all your cards on the site and Postable prints, stuffs, stamps, and mails them to everybody for you.
Be prepared to rock your engagement photos with some been there/done that advice. (This photo is not of the author, but it is by Wild About You Photography)
I talked my fiancé into doing engagement pictures basically because I believed the posts on Offbeat Bride that suggested engagement pics are a great way to get comfortable being photographed… and they are a nice memento.
Problem the first: My guy felt completely un-photogenic and had no interest in paying someone to follow us around a forest taking pictures of us making out. I actually struggle with low self-esteem, and am currently in therapy about it. So the idea of spending money on a photo shoot made me uncomfortable, but I figured if the pictures turned out well it would help us both feel more comfortable in our skin.
Problem the second: We currently live in the middle of Alaska. We're getting married in Seattle. Yes, most photographers offer free engagement shoots when you book them for your wedding. But I couldn't wait to get engagement pictures done, and my fiancé and I agreed that if we did get them, we'd want them to be mementos of the time we spent in Alaska. So, I needed to find a photographer in this small town who would do JUST an engagement shoot, and do it well enough that the final result would convince my fiancé that he's a hottie.
I was also fairly nervous because I convinced myself that when we did eventually find a photographer for the wedding in Seattle he or she would be angry with us that we'd already done engagement pictures, or he or she would insist we redo them (because of the valuable role engagement pics can have in getting a photographer and the couple on the same page), or would think we were cretins. I don't know. I have a lot of thoughts that don't make a lot of rational sense, okay?
But here's what happened, and what I learned from the experience:
The Offbeat Bride: Ian, Caterer (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Jonathon, Software Architect
Date and location of wedding: Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN — September 8, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Neither of us are part of any particular subcultures, but neither are we religious or especially traditional. We knew we wanted to create a wedding experience from scratch, though not by DIYing (we are not crafty at all!). We also had a fairly limited budget. The most important piece to us was to keep it small. That was surprisingly hard! Jon's mom has eight siblings with spouses and children, and my mom has a large family too. We had to make the tough choice to not invite ANY aunts/uncles/cousins. We kept it only to immediate family and close friends. Jon's family in particular is quite close and this had the potential to cause drama. I was surprised by how understanding folks were once we explained our budget situation.
I fervently wish I had paid more attention to the "lessons learned" blog posts on Offbeat Bride when I was planning my wedding.
There were quite a number of posts that, in hindsight, were fonts of wisdom and if I could go back to do it again, I would have printed them out and underlined them.
Alas, I kept thinking "that could never happen to me!" and thus ran into a few problems during the day of my wedding.
I also stumbled across some things that are not regularly discussed (post-wedding shoots? Having a mingling strategy?) and thought I'd share…
Let me tell you about this Georgian, vegan bar in Tel Aviv called Nanuchka. Photographer Liron Erel claims it's famous for fantastic parties and dancing on the bar. Jonathan and Doron got married there after they prepped for the day at their own place and posed for some pics on gay-centric Rothschild Boulevard with their dog. The ceremony itself just oozes cool: Israeli singer-songwriter Aya Korem acted as officiant. Jonathan is a music agent, and she happens to be one of the artists he represents. Not to be outdone in the Cool Jobs category, Doron is a designer.
Clearly, awesome people abound at this wedding, but let's not overlook the details! Awesome groom gear alert: Jonathan and Doron sported complementary bow ties and some wicked suspenders. Le sigh. I've always loved the look of a crisp dress shirt and suspenders. I mean, how stellar do they look on a groom while he's dancing on the frickin' bar?
The Offbeat Bride: Rachel, Nonprofit Site Coordinator (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Jacob, Game Designer
Date and location of wedding: The Gallery Event Room, Plano, TX — April 5, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jacob and I were paying for the wedding ourselves, so we needed to keep costs pretty low. The most important thing that made this easy and ultimately made our wedding special, was hand-making basically everything and accepting the help of friends. My best friend and her father made the wedding cake as a gift, my former youth pastor officiated for the low cost of a couple beers at the pub, and we had many parties watching Disney movies and sewing fabric flowers.
Remember our sponsor Sarah Gormley
— the Atlanta photographer that's all about fresh and honest wedding photography
Well, Sarah's back with an announcement: she's now based in Atlanta, but will also stay very accessible to the Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland areas (her former stomping ground) at no additional travel cost. (But we'll get to that later.)
The last time we talked about Sarah, we were all about her refreshing photography style. This time, let's get into how Sarah pulls off all these stunningly warm, and natural wedding shots.
Hint: It's all about YOU…
Some of us who are getting married have special needs feet — we've got arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and/or countless conditions that cause us pain or discomfort. Chronic pain doesn't make us love cute shoes any less! And heck: some of us who don't have chronic pain just plain old LIKE shoes that feel awesome.
So, here are a few options for those of us who need (or just want!) lower heel heights, more arch support, padded footbeds, and a little more love for our toes. Obviously, you know your special foot needs best and I'm certainly not saying every one of these styles will work for every foot… but each of these brands all have a solid commitment to comfort, stability, and support.
It's a bird, it's a plane… it's Offbeat Bride's comic book-clad and caped superhero theme week! Get in the telephone booth and change into your wedding-gawking superhero tights — you're in for crime-fighting fun.
The Offbeat Bride: Crystal, Teacher Assistant
Her offbeat partner: Gregory, System Analyst
Date and location of wedding: Northeast Park Event Center in Gibsonville, NC — May 17, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We decided that we wanted a fun, memorable wedding without destroying our bank accounts. We set a strict $5000 budget and stuck to it. We wanted to keep some traditional wedding ideas, but without being too stuffy and formal. Our wedding theme became comics and superheroes. It's something we both love, and we had a lot of fun finding comics for our centerpieces. I think we ended up getting all but two wedding-themed comic books that have been created.
Never fear, faithful citizen! If you've never delved into our archive of superhero weddings, we at Offbeat Bride Headquarters are fully prepared to guide you into the depths of awesomeness that is the Offbeat Superhero wedding. Is it a garter? Is it a cake topper? No, it's — oh, wait. Yes. Yes, it is all those things. And socks and shoes and hidden T-shirts and so many more superhero-y things that you'll just have to come see for yourself.