The offbeat bride: Aryanna, Public Relations Assistant (and OBT Member)
Her offbeat partner: Craig, Teacher
Location & date of wedding: Our home and garden, New Orleans, LA — May 30, 2009
What made our wedding offbeat: Not only did we manage to have our wedding and over eighty-five guests in our one bedroom, one bathroom, 1,000 square ft. home (and fabulous garden), but we also managed to have a blast!
My main goal (besides getting married!), was to have a fun party, Big Easy style. Having the wedding at our house gave us more freedom. There was no one to tell us when to pack up. While the evening started like any other laid-back, family gathering in the Big Easy, it lasted well into the night (and morning!), like any true New Orleans shindig.
Our biggest challenge: Our two biggest challenges were finding a way to get everyone to fit into our house, and getting our house “wedding ready.” The key to our success was thinking outside the box. We moved almost every piece of furniture into the bedroom and made that off limits. Then, with thorough measurements, I was able to create space for about fifty-five people at tables and chairs. Then, by tearing down our shed, we cleared an area in the backyard for more milling about space. Also, we had food and drink stations both inside and out.
The second challenge was making sure our house was “wedding ready.” Just when you start to think everything is falling into place, something always goes wrong. From fixing the toilet in the bathroom, to patching cracks in the wall, keeping up was a huge challenge.
My favorite moment: I was hanging out on my front porch, talking to some friends during the reception, and someone said, “You know, only in New Orleans, will you find a bride hanging out on the porch, in a huge gown, like it's just any other day.”
The best part was just enjoying our time with friends and family. Although the set up and clean up were the most stressful things ever, it was truly a night of enjoying the wonderful company of friends.
But overall, nothing could stop the “laissez les bon temps rouler” attitude and atmosphere of a true New Orleans party. Even when the meter maid tried to give guests tickets for parking over the sidewalk, everyone remained care-free.
My advice for offbeat brides: Don't let people tell you that it can't be done! If you put your mind to it, you can probably accomplish whatever goals you have. With a lot of careful planning, we were able to have the ceremony we wanted, where we wanted it, with the budget we could afford and had a blast doing it!
I kept hearing that I was never going to fit that many people into my house, and that I HAD to cut down the guest list. Instead, I completely rearranged the house and created a layout that would keep people spread out in different parts of the house and garden.
Then we decided to have a family only ceremony, followed by a friends and family reception. It worked out great, it never once felt over-crowded.
Where there is a will, there is a way, you just need to find it! Careful planning can go a long way, if you have the patience and dedication to make it work!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Dress: Off the rack and 50% off at Cache ($250!)
- Bridesmaid dresses: Zara
- Headpiece: Ebay seller littleworksofart
- Photography: by J.Vu
- Flowers: I ordered wholesale orchids from Potomac Floral and did the all the centerpieces, boutonnieres, and bouquets myself with greens from the backyard.
- Paper & envelopes: Invitation Outlet and designed and printed invites myself.
- Vases, candles, candle holders and other table decorations: Dollar Tree!
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!