The offbeat bride: Andrea, works for a record company by day, a yoga/pilates instructor by night, and a singer and bellydancer later at night
Her offbeat partner: Angelo, audio recording engineer
Date and location of wedding: The Berkeley Church, Toronto, Canada — April 2, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: My husband and I are both Italian, and Italian weddings can sometimes be pretty traditional and definitely not our style. While we wanted to keep the best things about being Italian — family, lots of food, and lots of booze, we knew we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of our personalities.
Music is everything to both of us so that was really one of the main things that mattered. We needed an amazing live band that could play a wide variety of all the music we love — oldies, motown, rock from the ’50s and ’80s — so we found Shugga who was all that and more. They made the wedding feel like a rock concert, which was exactly the vibe we wanted!
We knew we did not want to have the wedding at a banquet hall. I had been to the Berkeley Church to see the band Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs a few years back and knew that was the perfect place. It is an old church from the 1800s in downtown Toronto, and it’s very vintage and gothic.
I chose to a wear red dress with leopard-print accents. The choice was very nontraditional for an Italian bride, although no one in my family was surprised I did not wear white. I chose my favorite colors as the scheme — black, red and leopard-print! To keep the costs low, the only things that were expensive were the band and my dress, but both were so worth it.
I’m a bargain shopper and found my leopard heels for $23, my leopard, faux-fur vintage jacket for $20, and we bought all the centerpieces at Homesense. I made all the placecards, thank-you cards, and table numbers myself. The tables were named after our favorite music legends like Ozzy Osbourne, The Beatles, and Elvis.
I love shopping on Etsy.com and had my vintage fabric bouquet custom-made by an amazing designer for next to nothing! Our sugar skull cake topper was from there as well, painted to match our outfits, and looked so cute on top of our wedding cupcakes. I also got my headpiece, rhinestone skull garter and wedding invitations on there too. What a great place to shop!
We didn’t have a bridal party, speeches, or a grand entrance. We wanted our guests to enjoy a big, Italian feast, and then dance their asses off to a rockin’ band. We wanted a big party and that’s exactly what we had. Everyone agreed that it was exactly what they expected from me and my husband.
Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was short and simple. Everything was done in the venue, and the ceremony was upstairs on the mezzanine in front of the big stained glass windows. It was beautiful. We wanted it simple and quick so we could start the party!
Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was probably keeping the guest list under 150. We just simply had to eliminate anyone who wasn’t part of our close friends and family. We did go over, but thankfully we had people who couldn’t come and were able to end up with 147. Phew!
My funniest moment: When two of my best girlfriends started doing drunken, improvisational “modern dance” on the dance floor, complete with lifts. It was hilarious!
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? My husband was married before. I actually attended his wedding! It was pretty much night and day from our wedding — traditional Italian, over 300 guests, held at an Italian banquet hall, white dress, wedding DJ, bridal party, and a church ceremony. The only thing that was the same was the big Italian meal. That is a must!
- Etsy! I love this site! You can find almost everything and anything on here for great prices.
- Cupcakes: We bake in heels
- Live band: Shugga
- Photography: James Heaver XPhoto
- Vintage! It’s always fun and unique, but you have to hunt for this stuff yourself.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!