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The offbeat bride: Lea Vendetta, Tattooist/Artist

Her offbeat partner: Dave “Bastard” Archer, Tattooist

Location & date of wedding: Smathers Beach, Key West, Florida. April 1st 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: We got married in 1995 at the courthouse with no ceremony and no pictures. It was just the two of us, we were broke, and it was lame. Our 13th anniversary was coming up and I wanted to do something to finally be able to remember our wedding as a fabulous real wedding day! Of course we decided to do something 2 weeks before, so we improvised and everything ended up working perfectly! …like it was meant to be…

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Our biggest challenge: To plan it in 2 weeks! I ventured to Goodwill and found a $20 wedding dress exactly my size. A friend of mine helped me to jazz up the dress with black accents, and made me a gorgeous custom veil.


My whole wedding outfit ended up costing less than a $100: dress ($20+$25.50 dry cleaning), custom veil+black bows accents on dress$25) shoes (payless$16.95). We worked on my dress 3 nights after work and it was done, my husband rented a tuxedo here in the only tuxedo rental place in Key West.

dave and lea

I contacted weddingstogokeywest.com 10 days before our wedding, and they made it happen! Easy and simple for us and took care of everything. We got the simple “buy it now” wedding package with a click of the mouse. God, I love technology.

We even got to release a dove! That was pretty awesome in its own cheesiness.

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We kept it simple and it was just both of us just like our first wedding but this time it felt like a wedding and we have some real wedding pictures to prove it.

My favorite moment: The ceremony itself. It was intense and we both had teary eyes.

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My offbeat advice: I personally had a lot of fun not spending tons of money on the clothes and ceremony — I thought it relieved a lot of the stress people end up having when they spend tons! In my case, finding my dress at Goodwill for $20 made it unbelievably fun to play with.


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Comments on Lea & Dave’s heavily inked beach wedding/vow renewal

  1. We had a great time with Lea and Dave.

    Lea’s creativity with her dress and veil were incredible. Ray couldn’t believe that the dress came from Goodwill, he thought it came from Europe!

    Hey guys, we’ll send you all of our couples who want tattoos as a rememberance of their wedding in Key West!!

    Ray and Eileen Jensen
    Weddings To Go! Key Westâ„¢

  2. Two of my favorite people renewing their vows — made me tear up as well. They are a super couple and I love that they’re featured as wedding porn! Rock on, Ariel!

  3. Lea I was so honored that you trusted me to create your veil and help accent the dress!!! You looked so beautiful congrats!!!

  4. I wish there were more couples like you to photograph in Key West. I had fun during our photoshoot in the cemetery. You guys are one in a million.

  5. Thank you guys! We had a blast doing this, and we could not have done it without you! We feel so happy and lucky to have such great talented friends!

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