Erin & Chris' Brady-Bunched on the beach wedding

The offbeat bride: Erin, teacher

Her offbeat partner: Chris, photographer

Location & date of wedding: Treasure Island Beach, Florida on November 1st, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: We live together with our four children (two mine, two his, all ours). This wedding was not just about the two of us, but about merging to become this big, crazy, wonderful family.

Take me home!

I said vows to Chris's biological children, and he said vows to mine. It just formalized the incredible bond we already have with each other. We didn't have bridesmaids or groomsmen, we walked down the aisle together, and we skipped the bouquet toss and garter business, and most other expected elements of the modern American wedding.

The Zombie Cake Topper
Our wedding cake was a cupcake tower with a zombie Spidey and Mary Jane cake topper. I wore a black dress with hot-pink crinoline, and my husband wore a matching pink tie and black Chucks. Our kids chose their outfits, and we all ended up coordinating amazingly!

We planned the whole affair ourselves, but could not have done it without our Moms and my sistercousin Tara, who is my very best friend and who also got married this year. My husband really made it all happen: finding vendors, keeping everything organized, and putting up with me! He is the fucking greatest.


Our biggest challenge: Keeping our wedding small. I come from a huge family, and weddings in our clan are always gigantic, wonderful affairs with hundreds of people and dancing into the night. I love attending these weddings, but it's not what I wanted for mine.

I live in Florida and most of my family is back in Boston, and I didn't feel comfortable planning a huge event that required the logistics of dozens of people flying in. I know we hurt some feelings, but I tried my best to diplomatically and sincerely let my family know how much I loved them, and that I hoped they would understand that I wanted a small, intimate, understated wedding.

The whole fam damily

My favorite moment: Walking across the beach to the ceremony site and seeing our family and friends all turning their heads to look at us. Everyone looked so happy and beautiful.

My brother was the first person I saw, and true to form, he got up and started doing this dumb-ass dance. At that moment I was so incredibly happy that we had done this wedding our way – informal, authentic, full of joy and full of US.

Cin Don

My offbeat advice: Laugh it off. Seriously. A waiter spills a glass of red wine on your father-in-law's white shirt at the reception? Laugh it off. Your fiance says something heart-breakingly insensitive about your dress or hair? Forgive him/her and laugh it off. Your photographer disappears on you a week before your wedding (yes, this actually happened to us)? Laugh it off, decide that it was meant to be, and find a better photographer. You are going to need large doses of humor to get through planning and going through with a wedding.

Enough talk β€” show me that wedding porn: Click on the picture below to see the awesome shots from Erin and Chris' PB&J Get Brady-Bunched on the Beach wedding!

  1. What a beautiful wedding! I'm in love with your color scheme, but more than that I'm completely in love with the Marvel Zombies cake topper! Where on Earth did you get it??

    1 agrees
  2. Your peanut butter and jelly sandwich tattoos are so cute and original! I love them!

  3. This is BEAUTIFUL! Erin, you know how to work a camera like nobody's business – you could be a model. Everyone looks so happy and comfortable at your wedding. I hope for the same feeling at mine. Congratulations!

  4. my, that lady is gorgeous!! I'm so lucky to have her as my wife!

    1 agrees
  5. i saw your wedding pics a while ago, but didn't realize these were YOUR kids…
    hearing about all of you walking down the aisle together got me instantly choked up. i'm having my 8- and 5-year-old boys walk me down the aisle and my 10-year-old daughter walk as my maid of honor. i love family blending ceremonies… you all looked beautiful!!
    congrats… to all of you!!

  6. Great choice for the first wedding profile of the year! Fantastic ceremony and reception; I'm in love.

  7. Yes, like Rebekah, when I first saw your pics I thought the kids were cleaned-up street urchins you'd tempted down to the beach with the promise of some soup, bread and a blanket but now I see they are in fact your own children. That's beautiful.

  8. Oh my god what an amazing, amazing wedding! Love everything about it and the bride is hot!

  9. That hot chick bride is my beautiful daughter — and that dashing dude in the chucks is my new son. And those children could not have blended better if they all came from the same womb. They have all made this work seamlessly. I am so very happy for them and so incredibly proud of this beautiful family. xoxo

  10. I love how simple this wedding is. I don't normally say things like that, but I just love how they are this rocker couple and everything else is just simple.

  11. I absolutely LOVE your dress! I am planning a 50's inspired vintage wedding for this summer. I am wondering if you would mind sharing where you found your dress or the brand name? I would love to find something similar for my bridesmaids who all want to wear thier chucks to the wedding!

  12. Hey you two… I don't normally even bother with this kind of thing but I REALLY like the both of you – you're truly good people and your love makes even me envious. Beautiful pictures of the entire family and you'll have a beautiful life together, always. Much love,

  13. Thanks, everyone. And thanks Shrie for fixing my mistake and linking to the correct set of photos! Much better! Now you can see the whole ceremony as it progressed.

    It was such an incredible day. I was over the moon to be able to celebrate my love for this incredible man and our amazing family.

    And to all who asked about where I got my dress, we purchased nearly everything through eBay! w00t!

  14. What a beautiful affair!!!! I cried when I looked at the pics and thought of how wonderfully happy the whole family is!!!!! God Bless and keep doing you!!!!! Gabriella "+"

  15. YAY! As a pink-and-black-haired hopeful, I am so, so glad to see another girl making this work at her wedding. Erin, you are tres awesome. Thank you for the encouragement, and blessings to you, your new hubby and new family.

  16. Does anyone know where I can find a dress like this is white??

    And everything in there photos looks amazing!

  17. the dress is by Ruby Rox, though I'm not quite sure if it is still available, and the additional crinoline was found on ebay. πŸ™‚

    BTW, the official photostream is linked to the last photo, the other pictures take you to the first one that my lovely, impatient wife put up before realizing the files were huge!

  18. Yeah, but it meant I filled my 100MB limit before getting all the pics up! πŸ™‚

    Thank the gods for partners who make up for your shortcomings, w00t!

  19. Erin & Chris – So glad to see that your "untraditional" but perfectly storybook love story was featured here. You guys are the best! Congrats again!

  20. I remember seeing this dress on OBBT and thinking how fabulous it looked on you. πŸ™‚ Great to see it all together, especially in such a happy, beautiful wedding.

  21. Do you remember the name of the ebay seller that you bought the crinoline from? I'm having a hard time finding a crinoline for a shorter lenght dress and the pink is too cute! Any help would be great.

  22. Hi Tara,

    Not sure if this is where I ended up purchasing mine, but the ebay store called "sweetdealz3" has some shorter ones. Using "petticoat" instead of "crinoline" as a keyword may also help. Good luck!

  23. Nicole: The Zombie Spidey and Mary Jane wasn't meant to be a cake topper. It's a Marvel Milestones statue that my comic-geek husband found online and just HAD to have! We decided to use it as our cupcake topper because it seemed too perfect not to. πŸ™‚

  24. Your wedding pics are gorgeous! Can I ask who your photographer was? I am looking for one- marrying on the beach- two yoga teachers/ fire dancers with a handful of freaky friends…I want a great photographer. You guys look lovely together!

  25. On the off chance that anyone will get flagged by this comment, I would love more information on how you included your kids, and what type of vows you exchanged with them (if you feel comfortable sharing that).

    My 11 year old daughter will be our only attendant in May (FH's dad would have been his best man but he died a few years ago), and I want to do something special to celebrate her in the ceremony. FH already loves her as his own, but we want to communicate that to both families.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! πŸ™‚

  26. Oh, Jenne, I wish I had seen your comment. I'd love to hear how your wedding went, and how you included the kids!

    For our part, we searched for "stepfamily vows" and chose ones that we liked, then modified them to suit our family and what we wanted to promise each other.

    After the wedding, Chris legally adopted my biological daughters. They got new birth certificates and everything! πŸ™‚

    It's been four years since our Offbeat wedding, and our family is more committed and in love than ever.

    I'm so thankful to Ariel for her wonderful book and fantastic website. She helped us have a gorgeous, fun wedding that we customized completely without spending much money at all. YAY OBB!

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