13The Offbeat Bride: Jami, coffeehouse owner

Her Offbeat Partner: Jamie, behavioral assistant

Location & date of wedding: The groom's parents' farm in McMinnville, OR — July 18th, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: This wedding came in under $2000. I kept it cheap by collecting things that I needed over the span of a year. It was beautiful, inexpensive, and so much fun!


We did everything we could do ourselves like stamping and typing our invitations on my mothers antique type writer. We used recycled jars for vases and filled them with flowers we planted in the spring at his mothers garden, used wine corks of different colors and votives. But I splurged on big white beach balls for the kids to play with.


The ceremony was short and sweet, with my husband doing an Eddie Vedder cover. We were married under an altar my FIL built for us out of tree branches.


The reception was the best. We borrowed a bingo roller and passed out crayons and played several rounds. When you won a round you got to pick out a board game prize we bought in lieu of favors.


My bridesmaid hosted a trivia game all about us and our families. Each table was a team and the winning team also won prizes. The physical challenge was a potato sack race, which was great to do in my dress!

The evening ended with fireworks!

17Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was the budget. We were trying to keep it near $2000.

Things that helped were making our own invitations and hand typing and stamping them all. We also bought the paper at super clearance from a paper supplier.

We also planned cleverly with our food menu. We made big green salads, and cut up lots of fresh watermelon and blueberries and passed them out in little clear wine cups as appetizers before (not expensive at all). We bought lots of bread and organic veggies and chicken breast to grill. We saved money by hiring some of my brother's friends to grill and help with the catering, instead of hiring outside help.


We hosted a game night reception so it could be more interactive for everyone. We bought most of the prizes on sale, nearing $200, but still saved a lot by not hiring a DJ or band, which comes with an added cost of a dance floor and lights.


My favorite moment: One of my favorite moments was jumping on the trampoline in my dress with the kids after the ceremony. It was so far from formal, I loved every second!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Make a few things for yourself that will make you feel like you did more than plan. CREATE! Decorate your own cake! Make your own hairpiece! Make your own place cards! Hand pick the fruit you serve from your local U-pick farm.


Your friends and family will be touched by these gestures and it can connect you to the whole experience of your wedding.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

  • I bought my dress at Davids Bridal, removed the attached centerpiece and made my own brooch out of vintage buttons.
  • Etsy for my feather headband. I attached my own buttons to it, however.
  • The earrings are from Fuscia in Portland, OR.
  • The photographer was Ian Mullen.

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Comments on Jami & Jamie’s backyard game night wedding

  1. THESE are the kind of weddings I love. Laid back, economical, crafty, intimate, and FUN. Nothing stuffy, no one-upping (can you tell I'm jaded by most cookie cutter weddings?). I want to know what Eddie song he covered 🙂 And the trampoline picture is awesome. Congrats.

    • Thank you! Everyone who was there said the same thing, it was so intimate and different, and FUN!
      He played "Throw your arms around me" which is originally by the Hunters and Gatherers, but Eddie Vedder has been covering it for a while.
      Thanks again!

  2. After hours of hashing out my budget, I am left wondering how many guests were at this wedding! I would so love to chop my own garden grown watermelon myself, but fiance has so many cousins… Cheers though, this is gorgeous! I love the trampoline : )

    • Around 50 I believe. There were some surprise guests, one of my husbands closest friends came up from LA to surprise him at rehearsal dinner! We did our watermelon and blueberries in little clear cups, like they kind they give you on airplanes, and passed them out on trays I believe (we were getting our photos done at the time) as appetizers before the BBQ. Trampoline was great too!

  3. Love the potato sack race! And the trampoline. And the home-made altar. Hell, I love it all!

  4. Your husband's tattoo reminded me that I need to flip the page on my Nikki McClure calendar today.

    It looks like a good time was had by all!

  5. I love this wedding! This is the closest thing to what my guy and I have been thinking of for our own wedding! Congrats to Jami and Jamie, and thanks so much for sharing your wedding! :o)

  6. That all looks so great for $2000! Thats about my budget too and you gave me hope on not having a cheap looking wedding (which is my BIGGEST fear)!!!
    on a side note, do you two have matching tattoos? so cute!

  7. This is awesome. I'm getting married in about 2 weeks and ours is (hopefully) going to look very similar to this one. It's amazing how so many people have pulled together for us, especially when our budget is about $1800 for the whole thing. Congrats to this happy couple–looks like you had the perfect wedding! 🙂

  8. Wow I love this wedding, wish I could have one just like it but being a super city slicker leads to very few places like that. I love how much fun there was to be had by both kids and adults alike!!!

  9. I love, love, love the table settings — so pretty! This is so inspiring to see how sweet, special, and FUN a wedding can be on a budget. Very inspiring!

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