M + J

The Offbeat Bride: Michelle Romo – Graphic Designer

Her Offbeat Partner: Jason Betrue – Web Developer

Location & date of wedding: Los Angeles, CA – The Marvimon House — 04/18/09

What made our wedding offbeat: J and I have a ridiculous sense of humor and we wanted to include all of our awesomeness is our wedding. Before he even proposed he asked me if we could have a Robocop ice sculpture at our wedding. My reply was “OF COURSE” and I think that set the tone for the whole thing.

Robocop Ice Sculpture
"Dead or alive, you're coming with me."

Love charts.

We wanted a mix of some traditional things and wacky things and took out all of things we thought were corny and replaced them with our own weird touches. Like the Golden Girls theme song printed on the back of our programs, a burrito shaped cake, and our own silly vows (mine included charts and graphs!).

We picked our DIY battles and broke it down so that I was in charge of decor, and he was in charge of music. We found RAD vendors through Yelp, Etsy, and Craigslist and it was a huge success. It was a really rad design project for me, and I did all of our flowers, printed goods (invitations, programs, favor boxes, etc).

Our ceremony was officiated by our friend Chris, and we had HUGE mixed gender wedding parties. It was short but was full of laughs and good times.

Afterward we ran around separately during most the reception and tried to talk to everyone. We had open seating, open bar, buffet style dinner and played sweet jams into the night. The whole thing just felt like an amazing relaxing party with everyone we loved.

I freaking LOVE this LA venue!
I freaking LOVE this LA venue!

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was doing everything we wanted and fitting it into our budget. We had that attitude of “WE ARE ONLY GOING TO DO THIS ONCE WE NEED TO CRAM IN EVERY GOOD THING.”

We wanted to splurge in the right places (like a Robocop ice sculpture). But knowing that a lot of places gouge you for “wedding” items we tried to work around that.

We didn't want to burden our families with any financial assistance so we put the whole thing on ourselves. We did enslave them on weekends though, to help with all of the projects (my Mom hand punched 50ft. of craft paper table runners with a 2″ wide paper punch – yeesh).

We also both have full-time jobs, and full-time non-work projects, and without a planner it was a pain in the ass. There was a lot of emailing and late night meetings with very understanding vendors. And a few sleepless nights of tears, tying bows and printing labels.

The whole thing went off without a hitch. The only sort of bad thing that happened was that some of the bouquets and centerpieces died in the fridge the night before. But that was so minimal and it only cost me five minutes of freaking out and crying. We both have a pretty laid back attitude about things though — so nothing could have ruined our night.

My Vows
"Hey J, How's it going? I made some charts for you."

My favorite moment: J and I had seen each other in our wedding clothes before the wedding, I even helped him get ready. He was postponing the wedding writing his vows before the ceremony (we had a very loose start time). I had been waiting in the bridal zone for about 20 minutes extra and then all of a sudden IT WAS TIME! I was standing in the back with all of the wedding party and my Dad, and I thought my heart was going to stop. I was so, so happy. I almost exploded. That might have been my favorite – pre-J moment. Just being there with all of my friends getting ready to do this whole big thing. It was overwhelming.

Then later, when things were settled and J and I were thanking our friends and families for coming, I couldn't have been happier. I generally don't like talking or being in front of people — but looking out at everyone we know, and also knowing that they were having fun and were happy for us, was a really sweet moment. We are lucky to have such rad friends and family who share our dumb sense of humor.

Also, after the reception, getting to the hotel, changing out of our wedding clothes and running across the street to eat ramen at 2am was pretty awesome.

My advice to other brides: You can do so many things yourself! Don't get overwhelmed by your budget or annoying vendors who tell you you can't do what you want! If a vendor is a jerk, or acts like you NEED this thing that you don't want, just dump them — there are good people you can find.

Diving into the burrito cake!
Diving into the burrito cake!

I guarantee there is a compromise so that you can get what you want and fit your budget. It might mean a little elbow grease but you can do it! Buy wedding magazines and get ideas and enslave your friends and family! They are always so happy to help. You can do so much more than you think you can and there are so many affordable wonderful things. The internet is a girl's best friend.


Don't sweat the small things! I know that is a dumb and obvious thing to say, but I know it is easy to obsess. I had made my bouquet two nights before my wedding and put it in the fridge, there were wilting areas the morning of the wedding, two of the boutennierres died, and three of the centerpieces were frozen. It sucked, but OH WELL. The whole wedding was still awesome.

Remember that the day is what you make of it. So as long as you are marrying someone you like — nothing else matters.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?: OH YES.
I made a list of our vendors on our wedding site. They were all INCREDIBLE. We got lucky to work with such sweet people.

Our caterer and bartender team was really amazing. I don't know what we would have done without them. Alex Catering and CFR Mixology are a team that work together for events. We found them through Yelp, and after meeting with overpriced, snooty, asshole caterers they were a breath of fresh air. Their staff was AMAZING and they fit our budget and the food was so good! Alex and his staff really went above and beyond the day of. And Alex was never a jerk when we were asking 1000 dumb questions before the event.

Our photographer (Smith Prasirtpun) was also great – we found him on Craigslist. He didn't pressure me in to buying prints or a pre-made wedding book. I am a craft machine so I wanted to make my own and he was really understanding of that and shot amazing pics and just gave me a disc so I could do it myself.

I don't even know where to start about all the sweet ladies on Etsy who made nice things for me. Sarah Neuburger of the Small Object makes the cutest wedding toppers I have ever seen, and Myra Callan from Twigs and Honey make the prettiest hair accessories…

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!:

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Comments on Michelle & Jason’s Silly & Fun Los Angeles Wedding

  1. The guestbook/ photo album looks super neat. Dear, OffbeatBride editior, please put info on their neat-o guest book table on your site.


  2. Oh my god, this is my favourite OBB wedding I've seen for a long time! I came for the Robocop icesculpture, I stayed for the gorgeous paper-stuff (are they napkins with your faces on? I LOVE it!)

    And bridesmaids in little black dresses? I'm also having bridesmaids in LBDs (Commitmentettes style) so it's thrilling to see how gorgeous and grown up it looks. Congrats to you and your gorgeous bear of a hubby…

  3. Michelle, thank you SO much for the idea of doing a vow chart — I'm not sure exactly what that inspiration will unfold in me, but my fiance is a huge math nerd, and I've been struggling to put together something a little sneaky that ties into his (and our) nerdity. A chart just may be the ticket! 🙂

  4. So, how many times did you have to repeat "No, really, we want RoboCop" before the ice sculpture artist took you seriously?

    • Haha – Just once!
      The only question the ice sculptor had was do you want it to be 3 ft. tall or 6 ft. tall.
      OF COURSE we went with the 6 ft. one.

      • Well, naturally. You don't want some weenie Lollypop Guild RoboCop, do you? 🙂

  5. Although I LOVED their entire wedding, I'm particularly fond of Michelle's dress…where did it come from?

  6. Wow, Michelle and Jason, such a fantastic wedding! This is the first time that I have ever looked at the Wedding Porn and thought, I want our wedding to be like that!
    I guess the things that I liked the most was:
    1) that you used Etsy vendors (my engagement ring is by Caron and my wedding dress is from Conscious Clothing – thanks for the tip for your fascinator/veil)
    2) that living wall background that you photographed against – it looks like Woolly Pockets and vines thrown together – gorgeous!
    Anyway, I was inspired to see a couple doing the whole wedding thing their way, and feeling empowered rather than just broke… Best wishes on your life together!

  7. I love those STDs. Seriously, I have a bruise on one side of my face from falling down and laughing.

  8. all the printed material is just fabulous! the love charts, the STD, the invitations…. THE NAPKINS!

    fantastic job!

  9. Some great and inspirational ideas here, well done Michelle and Jason!

    I really admire the way you listened to each other’s ideas no matter how crazy they sounded at the time, it’s important to remember that a wedding is about the bride and groom and not just keeping up appearances.

    The Robocop ice sculpture was a stroke of genius and absolute love the venue; looks so romantic and coy.

    Hope you both have a successful and happy life together.

  10. Those save the dates….BRILLIANT! Oddly enough, a few months ago, my fiance and I were joking around about playing off an old fight night bill for our invites. Now that I've seen a success, I think I may push the idea a little more!

  11. your wedding rocks! i think i just found my venue. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! (fiancee says he has to have a robocop ice sculpture now…. lol)

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