coupleshot3The offbeat bride: Donelle (aka. OBT member “Donna“), Graphic Designer, Musician, and Professional Ice Cream Slinger at Baskin Robbins

Her offbeat partner: Adam, Creator of fine iPhone games such as The Battle of Pirate Bay

Location & date of wedding: Wedding at parent's backyard in Sacramento, CA. Reception at the Coloma Community Center in Sacramento, CA. — June 20th, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: My first thought when I was proposed to was that I did NOT want to have just another white wedding. Yawn! I've been to those before, and I didn't want my guests to have to sit through yet another one. Then I stumbled across the wonderful Offbeat Bride website. It had never occured to me before that a wedding could be so creative and personal!

Shrinky Dink hair clips and boutonnieres.
Shrinky Dink hair clips and boutonnieres.

The 8 bit wedding theme was inspired by my square blue sapphire engagement ring. The theme was perfect for us because Adam is a video game programmer and I'm a graphic designer who deals with pixels every day. Plus, classic 8-bit games were a big part of our childhoods.

We had a very modest budget of 6k, so we made pretty much everything ourselves. We used Shrinky Dinks to make the boutonnieres, corsages, jewelry, hair clips and cake topper. We used window paint to make the bouquets, and fabric paint for the pixel tie t-shirts. We even made our own cupcakes! (The night before, I got the bridesmaids hotel rooms with full kitchens and we stayed up all night making them!)

We basically kept the traditions we liked and customized the rest according to our interests and values.


The cake toppers
A bride & her bass.
A bride & her bass.

Our biggest challenge: Sure, doing everything ourselves was far from easy.
Sure, our budget got strained a little bit. Sure, it was stressful as all hell. (Very!)

I'd have to say that our biggest challenge was when a close friend emailed us, the night before, with an itemized list of reasons why he would not be attending the wedding. He also told us what we were doing wrong in our lives and that we should've hired a wedding planner. This, to put it lightly, was hard to deal with the friggin' night before the wedding!

We were mad, but ultimately decided to let it go and deal with it later, because we just wanted to be happy on our day, not resentful. So, we did just that. We enjoyed our day, and did not let that person's negativity ruin it. Then, as planned, we worked everything out with him after the wedding.

ceremony01My favorite moment: My favorite moment was when I walked out in my dress and saw 120 or so of our closest friends and family standing there, and Adam, with an outstretched arm, to walk me down the aisle. It's hard to describe, but all of that love condensed into a 600 sq. ft backyard is a magical feeling!

My offbeat advice: Doing everything yourself is a great way to save money, but I actually ended up spending way more than I anticipated! Craft supplies: they ain't cheap!

Still though, I will always be able to look back at the photos and see the personal diy touches that made the wedding so unique and very “Adam and Donelle!” And hey- it was still less expensive than buying the boring cookie cutter wedding stuff!

Oh! One more piece of advice: Ask for handmade gifts (in addition to, or instead of) your registry! In today's economy, people don't have a ton of money to spend on gifts anyway, and will jump at the opportunity to make you something! And what could be better than than receiving a piece of art that one of your friends made and proudly displaying it in your home? 🙂

Cupcakes with pixel heart guitar picks.Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Comments on Donelle & Adam’s 8-Bit Wedding

  1. I hope you mean by "working things out" with your "friend" after the wedding, you kicked his butt to the curb. Anyone who pulls that the night before your wedding is no friend. Plus, no one should tell you how to live your life.

    Beautiful and very creative wedding though!

    • I agree, what an @SS to email you an "itemized list" at ALL, but particularly the night before the wedding! Should he then send you an "itemized list" of how you should run your ENTIRE life, then? What to do on your honeymoon (of course), when to have kids, how to budget your money each month?? Because apparently, that's his JOB. Oy, that's horrible and I'm very glad you didn't let it get to you.

      ANYway – I also wanted to say that I love your bouquet and your bracelets! SO cute and it looks like your wedding day was wonderful 🙂 .

  2. Thanks everyone! We had a ton of fun. And thanks for your concerns regarding this "friend." Yeah, this guy complicated our relationship to a great degree, to say the least! And yes, it had a very negative impact on our friendship, but ultimately things are smoothed over, and we don't see him very much anymore. So it goes.

  3. OMG, I LUV this wedding! Everybody looks happy, which makes everybody look beautiful!

  4. Yay! What a lot of fun! I'm SO glad that Shrinky Dinks make it into your wedding! They played a huge role in mine, too! POWER TO THE DINKS!!!

  5. I'm sorry to hear about the drama and kudos to you for your attitude in handling the situation.

    Your wedding looks really amazing!

    Thank you for bringing up the point that sometimes, DIY can get out of hand and eventually end up costing you more than you expected. I found this on a couple of things we did for our wedding but I also knew I wasn't going to find what I wanted anywhere. I though my shoes were going to be between $35-50 dollars to restore. They ended up being about $175 but I don't regret a thing. The resoling alone was worth every penny spent to keep them alive several more years.

      • It really is a great article and thank you for relinking to it! We cut several projects off our list because we knew the fantasy was unrealistic. We made a promise to each other early on that if we started seeing issues with a project that we would let it go. Then I would come up with crazy ideas that we would initiate! It was some of these projects that Michael and I worked closest on and it really brought certain aspects of the wedding together for us and created a unity that we hadn't shared or knew that we thought we could even exprience.

        It was the sterling brooches that also jacked the price of the shoe restoration. I got one cheap and then ate the steal in the other. I can always turn around and sell them. That was the deal I struck with Michael.

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