The Offbeat Bride: Lauren, specialty running store worker
Her offbeat partner: Andrew, restaurant general manager extraordinaire
Date and location of wedding: The House of Blues, Cleveland, OH — November 2, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Andrew and I had known each other for seven years by the time we got married. On the first night we met, we talked about our similar tastes in music and listened to our favorite bands together on his computer. We have been to numerous concerts and music festivals over the years. What better way to honor our relationship than to have a rock ‘n’ roll-themed wedding at the House of Blues? It was an amazing feeling to get married on the same stage where legendary artists have performed. We even had our names on The House of Blues marquee. We had access to the House of Blues Foundation Room for photos. The Foundation Room is an amazing lounge decorated with statues, Persian rugs, and antique Indian wedding quilts. We felt like rock stars.
Our rock ‘n’ roll theme started with our save-the-dates. They were Ticketmaster tickets available exclusively through the House of Blues. Our florist helped turn our music theme idea into a reality. She made boutonnieres that had guitar picks in them. Our tall centerpieces were silver branches with 45 records hanging from them. She acquired two awesome large candelabras that were used as ceremony decor.
Each table had an album cover instead of a table number. Cassette tapes were used in lieu of traditional escort cards. My cousin gave me cassettes from her church that were about to be discarded. I used washi tape to label them with the guest’s name and a band’s name. They looked for the corresponding album cover to find their table. I made the reception signs using frames from craft stores, scrapbook paper, and Scrabble tiles. My mom and her friend made little chocolate guitars for the favors. She also ordered guitar picks personalized with our picture and wedding date for guests. The staff at Cakes by Nadine made an amazing rock ‘n’ roll-themed wedding cake that was perfect for us.
To stick with our rock ‘n’ roll theme, I wanted the fashion to consist of black and silver. My wedding dress had black beading at the hip. My headband originally only had white feathers, but we added a few black accent feathers to match the other details. The bridesmaids’ skirts were homemade by my cousin (a bridesmaid) and her very crafty friend. They were silver with a black tulle overlay and a silver sash. The overlays ended up being eight layers of tulle in order to have enough pouf-factor. They carried lanterns instead of bouquets.
Our biggest challenge:
We only had an hour and a half time frame from the start of the ceremony until the end of our cocktail hour. I had no idea how we would cram our ceremony along with couple, wedding party, and family photos into that short amount of time. My photographer suggested doing a first look in order to get many of the photos done prior to the ceremony. A couple family members expressed disappointment in not getting to see Andrew’s reaction the first time he saw me on our wedding day. We compromised by having our first look at our hotel and allowing immediate family members to watch. In the end, everyone was happy and we got to enjoy our cocktail hour.
Another challenge we had was figuring out how to keep our guests on the dance floor. Andrew and I enjoy a broad spectrum of music, but dance-friendly top 40 music is not part of it. We wanted to hear music WE enjoy. I had given the DJ a long list of songs to choose from but I was worried that they weren’t dance-y enough to keep guests entertained. At the last minute, I ordered inflatable guitars for a dollar each from the internet. They were a huge hit! Guests rocked out on the dance floor all evening with them.
My favorite moment:
I really enjoyed the time spent getting ready. My mom, aunt who traveled from Arizona, hairdressers (long-time friends of my family), and five bridesmaids were there. Each one of these people is important to me in their own way and I don’t get to see them often enough. We had so much fun just being goofy and reminiscing. I was so thankful my photographer was there to capture those moments.
My cousin gave me Clan MacGregor scotch as a wedding present to commemorate Andrew’s heritage and my new last name. My mom gave me my grandmother’s antique wedding band. She passed away just a couple of years ago and I was so happy to have something that was hers to wear on my wedding day.
Andrew and I shared a meaningful moment just before the start of our ceremony. We had to take a short elevator ride to a different floor of the venue. This was the only moment we spent alone the entire day. He hugged me and told me how much he loved me. I don’t think he will ever comprehend just how much that meant to me.
Family played a big role in our ceremony. My cousin was our officiant. Andrew’s cousin did a scripture reading. Andrew’s niece and nephew were the ring bearer and flower girl. My sister played my bridal processional on the keyboard. She’s a very talented piano player and that moment was so emotional for me. My dad agreed to sing after he gave me away. This was special because as a little girl, I always enjoyed listening to him sing. My cousin sang also and the House of Blues staff invited both of them to sign the wall backstage!
My funniest moment:
Before ever cutting it, either my aunt or uncle poked our wedding cake. My uncle blames my aunt and my aunt blames my uncle. We still don’t know who’s fibbing.
One of the groomsmen had a birthday the day after our wedding. We embarrassed him after our cake cutting ceremony by announcing his name and both feeding him wedding cake in front of everyone.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
The most important lesson I learned was to trust in my vendors. They are considered experts for a reason. I shared my theme with them and let them have a lot of creative freedom. They created an amazing wedding for us.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Asteria Photography
- Wedding dress and bride’s headband: Lavender Bridal Salon
- Venue: The House of Blues Cleveland
- Garter: Stylish Bride
- Ring box: Antoni’s Art Asylum
- Lanterns, decor, and flowers: Flowers by Cortney
- Invitations: Elli
- Programs: Caitlin Hay
- Bride’s shoes: Amazon
- Cake: Cakes by Nadine
- Limo Service: Evening Grace Transportation
- Bridesmaids’ skirts: Candice McMath
- Guitar pick favors: Personalization Mall
- Inflatable guitars: Windy City Novelties
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!