The Offbeat Bride: Julia, Graphic designer, candy store worker (and Tribesmaid Julia37)
Her Offbeat Partner: Bobby, Graphic designer
Location & date of wedding: Club Congress and the Copper Room at Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ — November 7, 2009
We had a ring BEAR.
We saved a ton of money by making sure everything had a home after the big day. If it didn't have another purpose, it didn't have a place in the wedding. I made all 150+ cupcakes and we iced them in the hotel guest lobby the day before — some of them had clown heads.
We had a candy ritual in the ceremony. Our decor included HUNDREDS of little dollar store cowboy and indian figures. Our ceremony was in one of our favorite rock clubs and the only decor was awesome gig posters. Our officiant wore Chinese robes and is Bobby's Kung Fu teacher.
We had View Masters as our invitations. Did I mention we had a BEAR?
Tell us about your ceremony. We had a candy ritual that we adapted from a “flavors of marraige” ritual I read about online. Traditionally, the bride and groom sample foods like vinegar, honey, salt, etc. but we love candy, so we put our own spin on it. Our officiant wrote a whole ceremony to go along with the tasting.
“Julia and Bobby have decided to incorporate a symbolic ritual into this ceremony called the “five flavors of marriage.” The ritual is adapted from a Yoruba tradition; the bride and groom will taste five candy flavors that represent the five elements, and in turn five different emotions within a relationship.”
There's more about our ceremony on our blog.
What were the most meaningful moments of your wedding? The entire ceremony was a roller coaster of emotions and I cherish every last moment. Our vows were raw and sappy and we made everyone laugh and cry in several cycles throughout the ceremony.
After the pictures were done and we tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep after days of stress and insomnia, Bobby reread his vows to me, one-on-one. It was the best wedding present EVER.
Our biggest challenge: BUDGET! I worked and reworked and stole from some categories to give to others. But we solved it by buying old junk (used stuff is awesome, cheap and earth friendly!) and not purchasing something if it didn't have a place to call home after the wedding. A sale is only useful if you actually need the product, not just because something in your wedding colors goes on sale!
We also had a daytime brunch (where we wouldn't have to have an open bar) and cut out attendants (no extra bouquets, hotel rooms, gifts, etc.) We limited our vendors to just a photographer and our caterer through the hotel and found ways to do all the rest ourselves. By sticking to our lean budget, we also paid for our honeymoon AND spending money for the trip.
What was the funniest moment of your wedding or reception? THE RING BEAR. Who knew a $50 rented costume would provide so much entertainment?
We only told a few people about it before the wedding. It was a very covert operation to get the giant bear suit and head downstairs to my nephew between family portraits and the start of the ceremony. I could hear the entire room BUST OUT IN LAUGHTER as he walked with my mom down the aisle. Later in the ceremony, we had to face the audience and it was a really emotional Veteran's poem dedicated to our fathers Bobby was about to read and I just saw a bear sitting in the front row and had to contain my laughter. Man, I love that kid suffered in a hot stuffy bear suit for a half hour for us!!
Advice for other offbeat brides: I have a ton of advice over at our wedding blog for saving green by THINKING green and some other tips for brides but honestly, just file away the advice you think speaks to your situation and kindly thank the adviser for their interest. People just want to help!
Also, trust your decisions. I read about way too many brides who end up wasting time, money and resources because they second guess themselves. Trust your gut instinct, move on to something else and save yourself the money and stress. At the end of the day you WILL be married to the love of your life, that is truly the only thing that matters.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? That my family must REALLY love me to trek out to Arizona for the weekend and stay in a vintage hotel. And that if Bobby and I can pay for and throw a fabulous wedding, well the next step is that we OBVIOUSLY can take over the world. 🙂
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Ceremony and Reception: The Hotel Congress
- Bride's dress: Dolly Couture
- Groom's suit: Duchess
- Vintage decorations and a million supplies: Etsy (see my post on our website about how I saved money and time through Etsy)
- Cheap stuff: Goodwill (see my post about our Goodwill finds)
- Lollipops: Hammond's candies (see how we used candy everywhere in our candy blog post)
- THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS EVER: Chris Hinkle and Anthony French of Mira Weddings
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!