Ever seen a dirndl on a beach? You've gotta check out this California Oktoberfest wedding!

January 7 2015 | mswolfgang  
Photos by: Alders Photography
Walking on sunshine
Photos by Alders Photography

Mike and Shawna's first date was for, you guessed it, Oktoberfest. Must have been a blast of a date, because the couple decided to recreate the big party for their wedding! These people commit, y'all. Shawna AND ALL of her bridesmaids wore dirndls, and Mike AND ALL of his groomsmen wore lederhosen, and everyone looks uhhhhhhmaaaaaazzzziiiing. I've never worn a dirndl or lederhosen, and now I'd very much like to try either or both, thanks.

But to be more even more amazing, Mike and Shawna and all of their Bavarian-garbed crew trekked out onto a Santa Monica beach for the vows. Palm trees + Bavaria = perfection.

And because Mike and Shawna are as adorable as they are awesome, they included their toddler in the ceremony to comfort her after a little meltdown. Awwwwwwwww.

Stay tuned for the reception too! Guests were treated to a German-inspired menu, sampled a pretzel bar, and received white steins and dark chocolate as favors.

Bride putting on dirndl

Groom dressing in lederhosen

Hat for Oktoberfest wedding

Bride helping bridesmaid

Lederhosen and stockings

A lovely Bavarian couple

Walk to a beach ceremony

Oktoberfest precessional

Bavarian butts

Family wedding ceremony

First kiss

Oktoberfest family

Dirndls and lederhosen on a boardwalk

California beach venue

Dirndls and palm trees

Tying the apron

Bavarian menu

Beer escort cards

German beer table numbers

German chocolate and ber steins

Pretzel station

Pretzel stand II

Pretzels and palm trees

Mustards for pretzels

Wine not beer

Making the hat look good

Pretzel stein

Raise your steins

Pan flute

Oompah band


Bridesmaid dresses: Tramontana Dirndl • Caterer: The Garden of Eating • Dress: Krüger Dirndl • Musicians: L.A. Bluebirds • Photographer: Alders Photography • Venue: Annenberg Beach House

  1. Fun fact… In German-speaking areas, Dirndl, Lederhosen, and other regional variations of traditional dress are considered acceptable as formal attire. I was at a wedding in Germany recently and probably about 1/3 of the guests were wearing a Dirndl or Lederhosen, as well as the officiant.

      • Even there, it depends on the situation. I'm from Austria, and wearing Dirndl or Lederhosen to a formal function is a rural and uber-conservative thing to do.

  2. Very unique. Nice one. Good thing that the couple had insisted their bridesmaids to wear dirndls (which is the traditional dress worn in Germany) and lederhosen for the groomsmen. I'm now thinking if I should include this in my wedding planning bucket list. Not sure if One Heart Wedding planner will agree to my crazy, fun and lovable ideas. Haha.

  3. I honestly have to say that being born, bred and living in Munich (where the Oktoberfest takes place), this irks me a little. I feel that somehow, because Bavarians are white and not a minority (at least not in Bavaria, although in Munich, they are beginning to become one), I'm not allowed to call it "cultural appropriation", but for me, it feels a little like it.
    Somehow, through the commercialization of the Wiesn (which is what the Oktoberfest is called in its hometown), my culture seems to have become a kind of funny little costume play for Americans. People playing dressup in traditional Bavarian attire because, look! It's so rustic and fun!, and feeling that they totally own the culture because they once went to a highly commercialized festival here, is to me no different than people dressing up as "Indians"/Native Americans or the stereotypical "African Warrior" on Halloween.
    It's just those little details that go so totally against Bavarian culture – for example, a Dirndl would always have a circle skirt, never a fitted one, and wearing it without the apron is not only *like* running around with your fly open, but there would literally be a long slit in the front that is only covered by the apron. Also, the fact that the bride ties her apron on the left side would indicate that she is single – women that are married or in a relationship wear the bow on their right side. Brezn (Pretzels) are eaten by themselves or with butter, but not with dip (chocolate? really?). And of the beer brands that are assigned for the table number, several are from different (northern) parts of Germany, which, let's just say, wouldn't go over well here in Bavaria – we pride ourselves on our beer, as you may know.

    I have to be honest: up until now, I didn't always see the point in ranting about cultural appropriation, I thought that as long as it was not meant in a hurtful or demeaning way, people should be happy that others take an interest in their culture and way of living. I still feel the same way here – it's great that they take an interest in our traditions, even if it was just for a festival that in itself has become a grotesque caricature of Bavarian traditions – but now I understand the feeling of having your traditions taken away from you and used as an amusing sideshow to some strangers' wedding. So much so, that you take the time to write a lengthy comment under an old article that will probably never be read. 😉

    Sorry for the rant and no hard feelings! 😉

  4. I'm from Bavaria and I will get married in a Dirndl, too! <3 I'm kind of excited to see a wedding like this on Offbeat Bride! 🙂 It is a cute idea to recreate the first date and I actually like all the quirky little details in the menu and the decorations, even though they are not authenticly depicting Bavarian culture. ^_^ But I see "Korinthenkackerchens" point here (nice name by the way ?), looking at these pictures it feels a little bit like a group of grown-ups playing dress-up. But no hard feelings here, I believe the couple had a fun day and I hope they have a long and happy marriage! ?

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