Elizabeth & Jim's "attack of the fifty foot bride" wedding

The Hershberger/ Gray Wedding

The offbeat bride: Elizabeth, graphic artist for film and TV

Her offbeat partner: Jim, TV and feature writer

Location & date of wedding: The Alex Theater, Glendale CA — August 8, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We chose the Alex Theater, one of Hollywood's earliest movie houses, as the backdrop and inspiration for our event.

We adapted old B-Movie posters for our hand-made save the dates and old vintage movie tickets for invitations. Since we were on a budget, I designed and made my vintage Hollywood dress. We had a nearby historic restaurant cater. Me and my ladies made all the center pieces. We also made the bouquet and boutineers from flowers bought wholesale at the LA flower market the day before! We set up cut-out paparazzi to meet the vintage-clad guests as they entered on the red-carpet and were seated in the theater.

The ceremony portion was split into two parts. The evening began with an eight minute "our story" B-Movie (starring the bride and groom) followed by a passed-appetizer and cocktail hour to get our guests warmed up. We joined the party mid-cocktail and exchanged song, poetry, and vows, which ended in a toast! Dinner and dancing followed in the open-air Forecourt under the towering marquee that announced, "The Marriage starring Jim and Elizabeth."
Exchanging Rings
We drank his n' her champagne cocktails and the dessert was an assortment of homemade bundt cakes topped with terrified B-movie victim figurines. The guestbook was an old typewriter with personalized stationery to leave notes. When the night ended, everyone chipped in to pack-up and our closest friends and family headed to the historic restaurant across the street for Drag-queen kareoke.

Our biggest challenge: The venue and music! Venues can get pricey, but we found a Saturday in a slow month and were able to negotiate for a "meeting rate" instead of the usual reception rate.

Finding a band can be a challenge when it comes to staying within a budget. We researched local, volunteer ensembles and found a fantastic fourteen-piece big band that played for a donation: amazing music and a write-off!

My favorite moment: Unbeknownst to our guests, Jim and I watched and enjoyed their reactions to "our story" from the floor below the balcony in anticipation of the night to come!

My advice for offbeat brides: Theme! Everyone loves a theme party so why not a theme wedding? Big or small, budget or not, it will help set limitations, boundaries and can provide great ideas.
Make a rubber stamp and go crazy with it. It's a great signature that people will remember. They're cheap and go a long way.

Three days before the wedding, give your phone away! Let your sister, best friend, mom, or right-hand-man be your answering service. It'll save you from all the little stresses and gives that special person a great task.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Great minds really do think alike…we're having our April 2011 wedding/reception in a 1920s theater with a vintage cinema theme! I love your save-the-dates and the B-movie bundt cakes! And I can't believe you made your own dress…nice work!

  2. Congratulations on your wedding and marriage!
    Everything looks so divine, I love your theme and your execution of it.
    Never thought of passing off my phone before, but just might now that you've put the thought in my head.

  3. Everything looks beautiful, but your DRESS!!!! HOT DAMN! You can WEAR that thing, lady! Can't believe you made that… just gorgeous. Phenomenal. (I'm going to go pick my jaw up off the floor now)

  4. We're planning a 1920/30's/art deco/Hollywood glamour theme wedding at our local art deco cinema (if I can ever get them to agree to a price, aaargh), and your gorgeous photos and lovely wedding have got me so bloomin' excited now!! Also, as everyone else has said, your dress is spectacular!! Big congrats on your big day.

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.