This profile made me tear up a little bit. To everyone out there freaking out about wedding planning, remember what Ariel said in the book: If you're married at the end of the night, the wedding was a success. – Becca

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The offbeat bride: Alexandria, freelance teacher (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Christopher, retail slave

Location & date of wedding: New Jersey — May 15, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: What we wanted was a rockin' party that truly represented us as people and as a couple, and, well… at least we got married.

The Good:

  • DSCF8660My husband helped me pick my beautiful purple wedding dress.
  • I had a Maid of Honor, two Bridesmaids, and a Bridesdude (my brother). Chris had a Best Man, two Groomsmen, and a Groomsdudette (his sister).
  • Both of my parents walked me down the aisle.
  • Our non-religious ceremony was performed by the mayor of Riverside.
  • Cake & Cake ToppersInstead of a First Dance, my husband and I did a First Rock Band Song — “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon. I sang, he played guitar, my bridesdude played drums, and his best man played bass.
  • Our cake topper(s) were our Rock Band character figurines.

It was all very “us.” But honestly, that's about all that went right.

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The Bad:

  • Due to issues with the DJ's sound equipment, our ceremony started almost two hours late, and then he started to play the wrong song for us to walk down the aisle to.
  • The people working at the venue and the owner completely abandoned us, which is why I didn't give their name. I spent the night in our hotel suite crying.
Recessional

You might say our wedding was offbeat mostly because it was such a disaster, really. But, what's important to remember is the wedding is not everything; life goes on, and we are truly happily married.

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Our biggest challenge: Money was the first challenge, because we paid for this largely out of our own pockets. The best thing we did was open a separate bank account for wedding money. We actually never, ever set a budget — we just threw money at each thing as it came up. Tax returns, monetary birthday gifts — whatever extra money that came our way went straight to the wedding.

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DSCF8642Then, of course, the venue completely flaking out on us was a challenge. They told us we'd just show up and get married and they'd take care of the rest — well, that wasn't true, at all. The owner disappeared when we were having issues with the sound system. In fact, although he said he would be working our wedding, no one saw him until the end of the night, when he was pushing us out the door. I had given him instructions on all the decorating stuff I brought, yet the staff came up to Chris and asked, “what do we do with all this?” We had no DJ, and no one to lead us through the night, as the staff looked terrified every time we asked them a question or to do something for us, like pour the champagne for the toast.

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My favorite moment: Our ceremony was wonderful — it was short and sweet, romantic without being overly mushy, and just felt very genuine. Despite everything that had happened up until then, and all the anger I was feeling towards our venue and DJ, in that moment everything just melted away and all that mattered was that I was marrying my best friend (as cliche as that sounds).

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That night we also learned what wonderfully supportive people we have in our lives. Chris' Best Man did everything he could to make things right — in fact, our grand re-entrance song was played on his cell phone, hooked up to a speaker!

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DSCF8755My mom really came through for me, keeping our guests informed and standing by my side no matter what happened next. Even some of our tech-savvy guests attempted to remedy the DJ situation.

And honestly, crying my eyes out in the hotel suite after the wedding was meaningful, because it reminded me how strong and supportive Chris is, and how I couldn't have asked for a better husband. He laid with me in the bed and simply held me as I cried. After nine months of planning had lead me to what I considered to be a complete disaster, that's what I needed. We cursed the venue, drank a bottle of champagne in the jacuzzi tub, and simply relaxed as husband and wife.

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My advice for offbeat brides: I think my advice can go out to all brides, traditional or offbeat: Please remember, above all else, that your wedding is the celebration of the marriage — the life commitment — that is to follow. Whether one little thing goes wrong, or just about everything goes wrong, at the end of the day you have gained something that should be so much more important than a party: a husband, a wife, a partner, a soulmate, a friend forever. If you're true to yourself, the details won't matter.

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Although I felt our wedding was a disaster, all I hear from my guests was how much fun they had talking to the people at their table, how much fun Rock Band was, and how awesome Chris and I looked. None of them even knew that we were missing out on dance party time, or that the people working the venue didn't put the star-shaped confetti all over the tables.

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RingsChris and I are so pleased with being husband and wife, and it's not because of the party (or lack thereof) — we are enjoying our new titles for each other, although the relationship itself hasn't changed at all.

But I digress — this is supposed to be advice about wedding planning, ahem. Don't let a venue or vendor walk all over you, even the day of. If you don't want to have to handle yelling at someone yourself, ask someone ahead of time to do so for you.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? A wedding is just a glorified party — we were totally ready for the marriage, and that makes me smile more than my wedding has made me cry.

and we collide…

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Comments on Alexandria & Christopher’s Rock Band celebration of love

  1. Something tells me the venue people would be pretty bad at Rock Band – never mind them – you have your priorities straight!! I enjoyed reading about your wedding.

  2. I would love to know if you got your money back from the venue….or if they have attempted to make things right.

  3. thats terrible! if i were you i would look in to not only a refund, but conacting better business bureau. at formal venues, you arent supposed to worry about ANYTHING the day of your wedding…i have worked several weddings, and the venue RUNS IT. you show up,m kiss, dance, and make withthe than yous. tears of joy, not sadness. im so let down by our state after readiung this.

    bbut ! you have such a wonderful attitude about it! congratulations on your marriage, and positivity! it will come in handy!!

  4. Wow. Thank you for the reminder that the wedding itself is a party and to keep the details in perspective.

    Your dress was gorgeous! The unique ideas that you did try to incorporate were clever and fun and beautiful in the way that they represented you and your husband. Love the way your cake looked and I’m sure that the first rock song was a lot more fun for your guests that any typical first dance.

  5. Lots of things in life will go wrong, no matter how well you plan, and the habit of being there for each other when things go awry is what makes marriages last. You’ve clearly built that skill as a couple. 🙂

    I hope you get some kind of recompense for the bad service, though. You’re shelling out a lot of money for those people’s time and services, and there is no way you should have been treated that way.

    Best to you as you start your lives together!

  6. I’m so sorry so many things went wrong. I’m guessing that since this wedding was last May you’ve had time to heal and let their crap go. I’d tell you that you SHOULD list their names on here as a warning to the other OBB’s who might get treated the same way. I hope to hell you demanded your money back from both the DJ and the venue. I surely wouldn’t have paid for services/treatment like that. It sounds like you’ve handled it well emotionally though!

    • Yes, please share the name of the venue and the name of the owner! (Swim away!)

      Also, you and your man looked unbelievably hott.

  7. This woman is an honorable, classy human being, so I must make the educated guess that her husband is the same type of person as well. Good on you, both.

  8. Hey congrats to you both- looks like you had a lovely day!!! You are very cute couple 😉
    Thanks for sharing your day with us

    XX

  9. I love that even though not everything fell into place on your day, you were able to keep the elements that really represented you and your husband. Even though your vendors may have completely dropped the ball, it really says something when your family and friends come together to try to make things right. Congrats on a happy marriage! Oh, and although I understand why you did not name the vendors, I do hope you wrote a review somewhere in the universe about them so other brides will know not to do business with them.

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