Kristen & Brian's all access rock 'n' roll checkerboard wedding

November 21 2011 | offbeatbride
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Photos by Ashley Smith

The offbeat bride: Kristen, Student (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Brian, Factory worker

Date and location of wedding: Saint Peter's Village, Elverson, PA — May 7, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: Our original plan was for a punk and ska wedding, but we opted for a general rock 'n' roll theme, so as not to scare off older family members.

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Staying true to the theme, we made backstage passes instead of table cards. Each table was named after one of our favorite bands. The backstage passes showed the name of the guest and the name and picture of the band to which we assigned them. The wedding party's backstage passes were different. They got to choose their favorite band for their pass.

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I labeled their seats with their favorite band as well. I sewed a white table runner for the front of the head table, and on the table runner, I used iron-on transfer sheets to copy a Walk-of-Fame-style star with the name of each person's favorite band.

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Brian added his own personal touches by making the card box out of Legos. It was also his idea to give out Pez dispensers. We had mini Pez candies and temporary tattoos in homemade record bowls.

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I thought it would be funny to surprise Brian with a checkerboard cake since he loves black and white checkers. He was supposed to find out when we cut it, but unfortunately we didn't cut it very well.

I made my own dress as well. I wore the same top all night, but changed into a shorter skirt later in the evening. (Editor's note: we featured this amazing transformation here!) I also made my flowers, and the flowers for the bridesmaids, using fake flowers and feathers.

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Tell us about the ceremony: I wrote the ceremony, and Brian's sister-in-law officiated. My dad and I walked down the aisle to an instrumental song by Thursday (my favorite band). With the exception of my dad walking with me down the aisle, I wanted the ceremony to be as gender-neutral as possible.

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We are both supporters of marriage equality, and we wanted to show it during our ceremony without using it as a soapbox for our political beliefs. Therefore, I wrote the ceremony to emphasize that marriage is about love and commitment, not a union between a man and a woman.

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Since we have tattooed rings, we had no real use for actual rings. We decided to have a little fun with unofficial rings, since they were just for the ceremony anyway. He picked a Green Lantern Power Ring, and I picked a Claddagh ring, inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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My funniest moment: My sister provided inflatable guitars and microphones for everyone to play with. It was funny how serious people were acting with them. My godmother and her husband really got into the rock-n-roll theme too. They showed up dressed as Elvis and Bee-Bop!

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Since almost everything was homemade, I barely got everything finished on time. I had to make lists and spreadsheets to stay organized, and prioritize my projects so that I could skip less important projects if time was running out.

I was also worried that it would rain and we wouldn't be able to take pictures outside. Luckily, we were able to get awesome pictures down by the river. It did rain, but not until after dinner.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Floating candles look awesome, but think twice before using a centerpiece that requires water. It was a mess! Also make sure to eat something! Drink water! The wedding won't be delayed because you decided to eat lunch.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Have fun with it! Don't worry so much about what other people think, but don't try so hard to be offbeat that you aren't being true to yourself. Don't beat yourself up if you want something traditional, or if you don't. You want to stay within your budget, but let yourself splurge on a few things that are really important. It may seem trivial, but I have no regrets about going a little over budget to order chair covers because it looked freaking cool!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. I got to see this wedding (from a distance) because my fiance and I were eating lunch at the cafe that overlooks their venue that day. Crazy small world! Everyone looked like they were having so much fun that it inspired us to be more true to ourselves with our wedding plans. Rock on, you guys!

    • We have some pictures of us walking through the cafe area, while people were eating. I wonder if you are in any of our pictures!

  2. Toadally fantastic! I'm trying to convince my man to go for wedding tattoos (since he can't wear a ring in his job) – will have to show him yours as part of the convincing! What a wonderful, fun wedding! (And I love the two-style dress, brilliant idea!)

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