Vanessa & Adrian's 1940s, Zoot Suit themed wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

Here's another wedding profile with some of our new questions.

DSC03879The Offbeat Bride: Vanessa, Teachers Assistant

Her Offbeat Partner: Adrian, Construction Worker

Location & date of wedding: Los Angeles and Long Beach, Ca — November 28, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted to have a wedding that reflected both our love of vintage and our Mexican American heritage. After I wrote my thesis on the Zoot Suit Riots we came up with the idea of a 1940s Zoot Suit wedding.

We would focus on Mexican American music and Mexican stars of the 1940s, whose images became our table numbers. Feathers, roses, and orchids composed our centerpieces — all created by my uncle and hand-crafted by cousins, sisters, my uncle and brother the day before the wedding.

We knew we had to have a Catholic wedding because our families are very Catholic. We had the mass in Long Beach, where his family lives, and the reception in Los Angeles where my family lives. We got from place to place in two classic cars from Old Memories Car Club and all the guys wore suites from El Pachuco. My dress was a big issue because I had my heart set on finding an original 1940s dress to wear, but I had no such luck, and finally found the one I wore at Davids Bridal. Though my family was not happy with my choice of dress and was furious with my veil, they understood my vision the day of the wedding when they finally saw it all come together. The cigarette girls were awesome and Pachuco Jose y Los Diamantes played original, Spanish, 1940s music.

My favorite moment: I think the most meaningful moment was when we danced our first dance. We had a hard time trying to figure out what song to dance to. Being a History major, I got really picky about EVERYTHING being in theme but our song is Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways," which is 1950s. I finally gave in and we danced to our song. The funny thing is no one even noticed it was not in theme.

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest chalenge was finding wedding items that reflected the 1940s and the Zoot Suit Riots. I had to hand make invitations, table numbers, the guestbook and many other things.

Also, I had to try and get the people helping me to understand my vision. They had no idea what the Zoot Suit riots even were. I had to keep drawing the picture for everyone.

DSC_9361

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great?: Our dollar dance. I was DREADING the dollar dance but it is a tradition in my family I could not escape. It actually went by really fast and we made sure not to drag it out. It really was not as bad as I though it was going to be.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?: When planning a nontraditional wedding, organization and planning ahead pays off. I started planning things, buying things and coming up with ideas a year in advance, and I truly believe thats what made my vision a reality.

My advice for other offbeat brides: Not everyone is going to get what you're going for and that is okay. Many people did not understand my theme, but when they saw it all put together they finally said "oh, I get it!" You will have to keep explaining what your going for — but as long as it's what you want, just go for it.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

  1. I love the theme!! I have always loved that era, and I am glad to see someone pull it off so genuinely. I loved how someone tied the dollar in a bow on your hair…so cute. Lovely, lovely wedding!!! 🙂

  2. why would your family be upset about that dress and veil?!? both are gorgeous!!! did they want you to wear a mantilla veil?

  3. apf,

    My mom says that in Mexico the maid of honor wears the birdcage veil, or some other sort of short veil, while the bride wears a Cathedral veil. I purchased a Cathedral veil and it was just too much veil for me!

  4. Beautiful! Absolutely!
    This makes me want to watch Zoot Suit!

    I have a feeling my Mom is going to just randomly push me into a dollar dance. I figure as long as I get some cash, I GUESS I can awkwardly dance with my hundreds of uncles and cousins! *sigh

  5. So beautiful, I'm having cigarette girls too and they look fab! The red bridesmaids really stand out, congratulations!

  6. So beautiful! I'm also working on a 40's themed wedding in the LA area, and I love so many of your ideas!

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