Her Offbeat Partner: Travis, engineer
Location & date of wedding: Milwaukie Community Club Center, Milwaukie, OR — March 7th, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: From the start, we knew we wanted the wedding to be uniquely ours and not cost a gazillion dollars. Although we ended up going over our budget, the cost was still way less than the norm since most everything was vintage, crafted, or Etsy (aka. “crack central”). I was torn between an elegant or fun vibe, so did my best to do both.
I tried to set the tone early on with fortune cookie pop-up save the dates and invites that included creative wording on pretty paper. Our colors were lime, fuchsia, teal, and orange because only two colors is oppressive! The girls wore black custom made dresses with a colored feather hair piece and the guys got custom wind turbine graphic ties and Star Wars cufflinks. We had a round of pub trivia after dinner with prizes for first and last place, the guests that stuck around loved it! Voodoo Doughnuts, which bake such delicacies as bacon maple bars, made our own giant heart shaped cake doughnut that we “cut” by biting into it at the same time.
Our biggest challenge: I knew I wanted really awesome pictures, but couldn't afford the price of a swanky venue and knew the weather couldn't be relied on to behave.
Solution? Book a room at the fanciest hotel in town (on discount, of course) and take some pre-ceremony shots! Our actual venue was an old community center run by square dancers, so while it had good bones, it needed some TLC. The night before I had an army of volunteers bribed with pizza and a promise of a manual labor.
For upstairs, the décor was tissue pomanders and “snowflake curtain” from stickers and dental floss. Renting all of our dinnerware seemed like a waste, so I scoured thrift stores to buy plates, silverware, colorful coffee dispensers, and white bed sheets for tablecloths.
Afterwards, I just donated them back, so it was green, economical, and charitable! Centerpieces were vintage milk glass vases with over a hundred tissue flowers — 'cause real flowers are crazy expensive and die. And I really wanted a photoboth, but they are super expensive. Our alternative was to create a Polaroid photobooth using way expired film and the guests got one to keep and the other went in our guestbook.
My favorite moment: I was really looking forward to the party aspect of the wedding, but to my surprise, the ceremony actually ended up being my favorite part.
We started with “Somebody's Getting Married” from The Muppets Take Manhattan. Our officiant was dressed as a monk and worked the crowd. We wanted large amounts of wry and funny, with only a dash of mushy since that's who we are in real life.
Travis' vows were in the style of a legal contract with a little Dr. Seuss thrown in and mine were written in the car on the way to the ceremony with Travis. Then I surprised myself by unleashing a flood of tears that also claimed Travis as a victim. I consulted a magic 8-ball to decide if I would say I do before drinking a unity cocktail mixed by our officiant. Everyone loved it, young and old alike! It was great being on that stage and hearing the laughter of our loved ones. Afterwards, our guests would come up to tell us it was the most fun they have ever had at a wedding ceremony.
My advice for other offbeat brides: We wanted to be able to show our friends and family, not only our love for each other, but give them a peak into our lives, so we made sure to put our own special twist on everything.
Avoid purchases that are sold specifically for weddings. I think this helped save some money, but our budget really ran wild with the little details (I blame it on a wedding porn addiction). Yeah, it makes a great story that the groom and groomsmen wore matching striped socks that were from a… wait for it… clown supply store! The bad part is that I wasted a lot of time trying to find matching socks that coordinated with different tie colors because I wanted that picture where the guys show off their socks. To contradict myself, I do love seeing the pictures of all the little details … I just wouldn't have made it such a priority!
Our biggest lesson, sometimes it's better to go with an established vendor. We hired a referred independent caterer who was new to weddings and gave a good quote. She ended up running out of food even though we were missing 30 guests and charged us more than originally quoted. Travis and I joke that the next time we get married, we'll know better!
And say yes to help early on. I was a stubborn control freak until the last week. It's ok to accept help from your awesome friends and family!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
I definitely want to share my rockin' vendors and the independent crafters!
- Photography- Jessica Watson Photography
- Officiant- The Right Reverend James Lawrence
- Ceremony fascinator- LoBoheme
- Reception fascinator- Jenny Pickle
- Bridesmaid dresses- Little Black Dress
- Bridesmaid hair fascinators- Calexandra
- Groomsmen ties- Toybreaker
- Groomsmen cufflinks- Cufflinks
- Groom's ring- Boone Rings
- Bouquet- Princess Lasertron
- Guestbook (modified journal)- Red Otter
- Save the Dates- FAH Popups
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!:
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!