Her offbeat partner: Phil – drummer of Centaurus, repairman
Location & date of wedding: Our Backyard! Chicago ‘burbs, IL — 06-26-2009
What made our wedding offbeat: From the start we wanted to do something that completely embodied our personalities. Dia De Los Muertos was the perfect fit! It is a custom that is spiritual, quirky, morbid, and unique -– just like us!
We tried hard to create an event that effortlessly combined all the things we love: GOOD Mexican food, good beer, fabulous décor, macabre imagery, bright colors, good music, heavy metal, and good company.
I walked down the aisle to an instrumental Dimmu Borgir song (Norwegian Black Metal). We had the friend who introduced us get ordained and perform our non-religious outdoor ceremony. He was amazing! He really came through for us and composed a beautiful ceremony.
For our reception we couldn't afford a sit-down dinner, so we had a cocktail-style party with tacos and mexican finger foods (quesadillas, tamales, empenadas, etc.) served all night long. We had a few live musical acts play throughout the evening, and were spinning 70s rock and heavy metal all night long.
And the best part, is that my wedding dream came true -– we ate tacos (my fave!!)! We hired a traditional Mexican “taco cart” guy who showed up with a huge grill and made fresh, AMAZING tacos all night long! It was incredible.
We were unfaltering in our vision and quest for a fun, unique wedding. And, in the end, it was a huge success! We had a blast, and all of our guests continue to praise the event, the food, and the fun!
Our biggest challenge: Our budget was always our biggest obstacle due to my outlandish imagination. It was hard at times to face reality that we couldn't afford fire dancers and live-action “calacas,” but you learn to prioritize and to stretch your dollars as far as possible. And DIY anything you can get your mitts on.
Another obstacle for me was a bit of a culture-clash. I knew these “taco men” existed with their mobile grills and arsenal of delicious meats –- but, being that I'm uber Caucasian, I didn't know where to find them! I asked every Mexican person I knew, I posted “help me!” ads on Craigslist, I tried EVERYTHING to get a hold of a Taco Guy. Tips finally started rolling in, but most of the phone numbers I was given lead me to people who only spoke Spanish. No habla Espanol. So that, for me, was a huge obstacle.
In the end, I found a good reference, found a translator, and great tacos were had by all!
My favorite moment: First, the moment when I walked into our house, after getting my hair done, and saw how great all my girls looked, that most everyone was ready, and that things were coming together! Everything and everyone looked so good –- much better than I even imagined! It was total relief and complete excitement!
My other favorite moment was during the reception. My new husband and I just got our tacos, sat down (the only time we sat all night long!) and began to eat. We had a few moments to ourselves at the table, and we just soaked it all in. We were married, we were eating tacos at our wedding, it was all happening and there was nothing else to worry about. We were kissing and talking and just like “Wow! It's here! And we DID IT!” All the planning and obsessing was for THAT moment, and we just relished in it and felt so proud of ourselves and so incredibly happy!
My offbeat advice: Keep it small. We had about 130 guests. Now, that's not even a HUGE wedding and I still felt completely rushed. I only spent about a couple of minutes with each guest (if I was lucky!) and I almost feel BAD that some people traveled from far away only to get to talk to us for two minutes. So, if I were to do it over again, I would have made it much smaller -– or, I would have opted for three separate parties (one for my family, one for his family, and one for our friends) to make mingling more manageable.
Your wedsite is an OBB's best friend! If there is a crazy idea or theme you want to incorporate -– do it! Don't be afraid that your guests wont “get it” or that they will think you are weird or morbid. Create a page on your wedsite to EXPLAIN all of your wedding quirks, inside jokes, and offbeat themes!
I was afraid the older relatives might find our “Novios” (skeleton bride and groom) and all the skulls rather depressing and creepy. So, I created a page on our wedsite that explained the Day of the Dead holiday, customs, imagery, etc., etc. We explained that it means we'll be together forever in life and death – and once we did, everyone embraced our theme!
Also, for anyone worried about an offbeat menu -– give your guests some warning on your website! I mentioned Mexican food on our site, just to give anyone who didn't want to eat that a ‘heads up' that they might want to eat beforehand.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
- Dress: Maggie Sottero
- Hat: (of course) Topsy Turvey Designs
- Photographer: Emily Gualdoni Photography
- Organic cake & food: The Bleeding Heart Bakery
- Invitations: Lost Dolly Graphics
- Skeleton Cake Topper: Claylindo
- Florist: Pollen
- Vintage Umbrellas: Bella Umbrella
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: