Christina & Aaron's bug and dinosaur-infused wedding at a sake factory

Photo by bcasadontephotography
Photo by bcasadontephotography

The Offbeat Bride: Christina – Content Developer & Inventions Coordinator at a toy company

Her Offbeat Partner: Aaron – Battery Charger Sales Rep (Previously worked in development at Planned Parenthood)

Location & Date of wedding: Takara Sake Factory Tasting Room & Spenger's Fish Grotto, Berkeley, CA — 08/23/08

What made our wedding offbeat: Wedding at a sake factory. I bought my green dress from ebay directly from China. I had the Groomsmen's silver suits custom made from Etsy. We DIY'd our own invitations and favor boxes. Amigurumi cake toppers (dino & bee).

Amigurumi cake toppers

wedding at a sake restaurant

Our friend officiated and made poignant reference to the (then) upcoming Prop 8 vote. My processional was "Don't Stop me Now" by Queen. When we got on the stage the bridal party was dancing and "having a good time". The Groom and his mom did their mother-son dance to "Walk the Dinosaur" (he's obsessed with dinosaurs).

futuristic wedding party outfits

shiny suits

The Groom wore silver converse. A friend baked our petit four favors and we hand-made our butterfly favor boxes with our CraftRobo. We had our composer friend arrange a bit-crunched version of the "Flower Duet" from Lakme. Our artist friends made awesome Chibi caricatures of Bride & groom for the invitations & programs. And the bridesmaid dresses have been referred to as the "Star Trek" dresses since they look like they're made of broace foil (really just Jessica McClintock prom dresses)

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.41.39 PM

Our biggest challenge: Managing all the details was pretty tricky. I had to give the groom a pep talk, after which he got in gear and cranked out the programs like a mad man.

bug wedding napkins

bug and dinosaur wedding table

Sake!
Sake!

We also wanted to keep the cost of the wedding to a minimum. The groom wanted it to cost no more than $6,000, but after all was said and done we probably paid about $8,000. We kept costs down by having the reception at a restaurant instead of using a caterer, buying the wedding gown from eBay, getting friends to help out by baking the petit four favors, and to draw the chibi caricatures so we could design and print out our own save the dates, invitations and programs.

diy invitations

We also didn't plan a honeymoon (though the groom's parents planned a family vacation to Hawaii and let us have the "honeymoon suite".

walk the dinosaur

My favorite moment: When my Groom didn't tell his Mom that their dance was going to be "Walk the Dinosaur" until the day of the wedding. She responded, "Oh yeah, Was (Not Was), right?" Eating the amazing petit-fours lovingly made by our very talented just-graduated from culinary academy friend. And, oh yeah, my bridesmaids feeding me clam chowder as my makeup artist friend tried to do my hair and makeup.

The bride and her Treckies -- I mean bridesmaids. :)
The bride and her Treckies — I mean bridesmaids. ­čÖé

My advice for other offbeat brides: If you do favors, edible ones are always appreciated!

I also got my engagement shoot for free by posting an ad telling them that we'd be wearing custom and unusual formal wear (a green trumpet gown and a green silk dupioni suit) and would be good models because we had theatrical backgrounds. We had to do some more experimental shots for the photographer's sake, but in the end we came out with some amazing photos!

got my engagement shoot for free by posting an ad telling them about our custom and unusual formal wear

I had a lot of fun buying cutesy random things to put in bridesmaid bags for my bridesmaids. However, looking back, I wish I had bought them one thing only, and something more special — like an antique teacup from eBay for each one.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.33.08 PM

Lastly, while you can get some amazing deals on Etsy, beware that people can and DO flake out. I had a girl who was supposedly working on my wedding dress but decided she couldn't fit it into her schedule, after all. Another Etsy vendor had me buy hundreds of dollars of of silk for the suits and send it to her, only to have her disappear from the internet. Etsy and Paypal do not cover this sort of thing. I luckily found someone else on Etsy who churned out the suits last minute (Thank you UPCFashionDotCom) but it was very very stressful for both of us! So if you're using Etsy, have a backup plan, and don't put all your eggs in one basket (unless you can afford losing your eggs!)

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

  • Wedding dress by huifangzou at ebay – no longer a registered user
  • Engagement Photos by Brett Cassadonte
  • Suits by UPCFashiondotcom at Etsy
  • I also took advantage of the Offbeat Bride recommendation – I had a custom-dyed Melina Fascinator by Breeziway. It was beautiful and unique and inexpensive!!! THANKS, Breeziway!
  1. Who was the crooked etsy vendor? I'd like to know in case they pop up again – that way I can avoid them!

  2. This is great!! Love the dress, brave going green, but it works beautifully!!
    What is the story on the T-shirts with the giraffe hugging the dino? Soooo cute!

  3. I love the shot of you in your green finery with GG bridge in background. Beautiful, fun wedding!

  4. My absolute favorite color. I give you such props for being so open to wearing a green suit, my man was like no way!!!! Still you guys look so happy and I send good wishes your way!

  5. I love this dress! It's very similar to the one I will be wearing, except mine will be red and won't have the lace in the train, only in the front. I love seeing dresses in other colors other than white and ivory. So different and unique.

  6. Lara, the "crooked" Etsy vendor is no longer registered there. She would make crafts with her autistic son, and sell them on Etsy. She told me shortly before disappearing that his condition had gotten worse, and that she'd be unable to continue working on the suits. I didn't hear from her again, and slowly bad reviews began appearing on her profile. So either she was actually in a real bad situation, or she was extremeley manipulative. Still, it would've been nice to have had the fabric shipped to me.

    1 agrees
  7. Gorgeous and personal. Love it.

    And mad nostalgia for me on Spenger's — I grew up in Berkeley and had many family occasions there. What a fun location!

  8. Hi there Christina
    Would love to talk considering getting my dress from ebay more or less same style, curious about the size, alterations etc etc..great job!!!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.