The Offbeat Bride: Rachel, Project Manager
Her Offbeat Partner: Matt, Photo Retoucher
Location & date of wedding: The Regency Grand, San Francisco — 2/22/09
What made our wedding offbeat: We had a theme wedding and asked all our guests to dress in red & black, “festive” attire. Everything about the event was a hybrid of Moulin Rouge with Tim Burton.
We designed the invitations ourselves, created 13 different centerpieces each reflecting Moulin Rouge or a Tim Burton film, and then designed icons to correspond to each centerpiece for the placecards. The cake was a physic-defying, topsy turvy creation that was gorgeous to behold and eat.
We dressed in non-traditional attire – my groom was in a pinstripe, red, white and black suit with a bowler, and I had a black & white custom dress and opted for a top hat embellished with beading & feathers instead of a boring old veil.
The ceremony began with all the guests surrounding us in a show of love and support. The entertainment included a balkan gypsy brass band play, a techno DJ, and bhangra dancers. Instead of flowers on every table, we made a huge flower arch for the doorway and a dramatic sculptural piece with feathers and vines. (And there were rose petals *everywhere*). I had a large gay man in his 30s as my “flower boy”. There really wasn't a “normal” thing about this wedding!
Our biggest challenge: Truly, the invitations were the biggest challenge. We are both designers, and wanted it to be perfect. The invitation is the first introduction people have to the event, and sets up everyone's expectations for the tone of the wedding. We had to find a way to communicate the theme without printing it on the invites. It took months of time and several heated discussions before we finally felt like it was “done”, but we wound up with an incredible package that blew everyone away – it was an 11 x 17 movie-style poster, which we rolled up, wrapped in red velvet ribbon, and sent in a bright red poster tube.
My favorite moment: When I first saw the cake I was blown away — it was absolutely beyond all of my exceedingly high expectations. I also loved when the bhangra dancers came out to perform and everyone was so excited that they lept out of their seats and rushed to the stage.
My advice for other offbeat brides: Research, research, research – find inspiration anywhere you can! I spent a lot of time watching movies (Burton, & Moulin Rouge of course) but also searched the web for images related to those films. I looked at set design books and essentially anything dramatic that *didn't* have to do with weddings.
And without sounding like I'm kissing up, the girls on the Offbeat Bride Tribe really helped out when I was stumped for one last centerpiece – its really helpful to hear/see what other offbeat brides have done!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
Dress by Black Lotus Clothing
Cake by Gabrielle of Cake Coquette
Flowers by Church St Flowers
Photography by Brian Ng
Catering by Melon's Catering
And of course, bits n bobs from various places on etsy.com
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: