Just us and a bear

The Offbeat Bride: Julia, Graphic designer, candy store worker (and Tribesmaid Julia37)

Her Offbeat Partner: Bobby, Graphic designer

Location & date of wedding: Club Congress and the Copper Room at Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ — November 7, 2009

LollisWhat made our wedding offbeat: We used lollipops in lieu of flowers, including my bouquet. We skipped a wedding party and instead our mothers served as our witness.

We had a ring BEAR.

We saved a ton of money by making sure everything had a home after the big day. If it didn't have another purpose, it didn't have a place in the wedding. I made all 150+ cupcakes and we iced them in the hotel guest lobby the day before — some of them had clown heads.

We had a candy ritual in the ceremony. Our decor included HUNDREDS of little dollar store cowboy and indian figures. Our ceremony was in one of our favorite rock clubs and the only decor was awesome gig posters. Our officiant wore Chinese robes and is Bobby's Kung Fu teacher.

We had View Masters as our invitations. Did I mention we had a BEAR?

Cupcake craziness

Tell us about your ceremony. We had a candy ritual that we adapted from a “flavors of marraige” ritual I read about online. Traditionally, the bride and groom sample foods like vinegar, honey, salt, etc. but we love candy, so we put our own spin on it. Our officiant wrote a whole ceremony to go along with the tasting.

Sugar fix

“Julia and Bobby have decided to incorporate a symbolic ritual into this ceremony called the “five flavors of marriage.” The ritual is adapted from a Yoruba tradition; the bride and groom will taste five candy flavors that represent the five elements, and in turn five different emotions within a relationship.”

There's more about our ceremony on our blog.

Sheriff Squirrel

What were the most meaningful moments of your wedding? The entire ceremony was a roller coaster of emotions and I cherish every last moment. Our vows were raw and sappy and we made everyone laugh and cry in several cycles throughout the ceremony.

Our official portraitAll of the people who helped us set up, tear down and do random tasks for us the whole weekend made us feel amazing and we can never thank them enough.

After the pictures were done and we tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep after days of stress and insomnia, Bobby reread his vows to me, one-on-one. It was the best wedding present EVER.

Our biggest challenge: BUDGET! I worked and reworked and stole from some categories to give to others. But we solved it by buying old junk (used stuff is awesome, cheap and earth friendly!) and not purchasing something if it didn't have a place to call home after the wedding. A sale is only useful if you actually need the product, not just because something in your wedding colors goes on sale!

We also had a daytime brunch (where we wouldn't have to have an open bar) and cut out attendants (no extra bouquets, hotel rooms, gifts, etc.) We limited our vendors to just a photographer and our caterer through the hotel and found ways to do all the rest ourselves. By sticking to our lean budget, we also paid for our honeymoon AND spending money for the trip.

Can you bear it?

What was the funniest moment of your wedding or reception? THE RING BEAR. Who knew a $50 rented costume would provide so much entertainment?

We only told a few people about it before the wedding. It was a very covert operation to get the giant bear suit and head downstairs to my nephew between family portraits and the start of the ceremony. I could hear the entire room BUST OUT IN LAUGHTER as he walked with my mom down the aisle. Later in the ceremony, we had to face the audience and it was a really emotional Veteran's poem dedicated to our fathers Bobby was about to read and I just saw a bear sitting in the front row and had to contain my laughter. Man, I love that kid suffered in a hot stuffy bear suit for a half hour for us!!Lollipop arrangement

Advice for other offbeat brides: I have a ton of advice over at our wedding blog for saving green by THINKING green and some other tips for brides but honestly, just file away the advice you think speaks to your situation and kindly thank the adviser for their interest. People just want to help!

Also, trust your decisions. I read about way too many brides who end up wasting time, money and resources because they second guess themselves. Trust your gut instinct, move on to something else and save yourself the money and stress. At the end of the day you WILL be married to the love of your life, that is truly the only thing that matters.

4442006339 6cc2ebea74 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
The groom serving the guests their cupcakes. Adorable.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? That my family must REALLY love me to trek out to Arizona for the weekend and stay in a vintage hotel. And that if Bobby and I can pay for and throw a fabulous wedding, well the next step is that we OBVIOUSLY can take over the world. 🙂

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Comments on Julia & Bobby’s 1950s, kiddie cowboy and lollipop party

  1. this has to be the greatest wedding of all time!! EVERYTHING is just so fantastic.. i nearly died when i saw the “ring bear” hahaha so awesome! (i tried to convince my fiance to have one at ours but alas he vetoed it lol)
    perfect attire, favours… everything!
    A million congrats to you both!!! 😀

  2. Ah! I’m so excited to hear more about your wedding – I obviously fell in love with the style and candy bouquet, but it’s so much better when I read about the rest! You MUST send me photos of your home, it must be amazing!!!

  3. It is so surreal to see our wedding profiled after following this site for almost two years! Thank you Ariel for empowering me to do my own thang, thanks to all the OBT members for their ideas and encouragement and thank you to the always-awesome MEGAN for her support!! My wedding would have been a shadow of the final outcome without offeatbride.com and Offbeat Bride the book!

  4. this wedding is just covered in awesome-sauce!! I just love the funness (is that a word??) of it all!! I LOOOOOOVE your hair… big hair for the win! Congrats X

  5. I thought for a second it might be a live bear, and wondered what kind of hijinks would take place. 🙂 I really love the lollipops.

  6. CUTEST WEDDING EVERRRRRR! I love everything, and I especially love the shot of the two of you on different floors of the hotel. I also feel like I have a cavity now. But in a good way! 😉

  7. Being in a bear suit for half an hour now *that* is love for an aunt.

    Congratulations on your marriage!
    Your ceremony looks delightful!

  8. 1) “BUY LESS CRAP” — well said. It is my new mantra, and hopefully it will spare my guests the fate of another useless trinket for the junk drawer!

    2) The candy bouquet is my new favorite non-floral alternative. Beautiful and delicious!

  9. Quite possibly my favorite OBB wedding, oh my GAWD. Everything is perfection! The wig storeo photos – I could die! Wondering where the bride got her gorgeous headband?

  10. so cute i love this! the lollipops are the best and also the pic where you two our on different levels of the building hehehehe

  11. cute couple, cute bout, cute ceremony…cute cute cute cute cute. happy marriage to you.

  12. Holy wow cute and full of everything I love. Whoop, I just squeeeee-ed myself onto the floor over the detail on the boutonniere. Best wishes to you both!

  13. I followed the link to your ceremony and wow… There are so many elements that I just love, like the veterans day prayer and the coin toss…and the stand-up routine and the star wars processional and…oh I could just keep going! It’s obvious that the whole shebang was sincere and true to yourselves:)

    Words cannot fully express how ridiculously amazing your wedding was (is?). The THEME! COWBOYS and CANDY! In the 50’s! THIS IS STUPENDOUS!!! Everything (the dress, the cupcakes, decorations, the INVITATIONS) was absolutely perfect. There is nothing about this wedding that I don’t LOVE 100%.


  15. OH MY GOD!! I have been looking at wedding stuff for 3 years now and can honestly say this is by far my favorite! What amazing ideas! LOVE IT!

  16. LOVE the dress! LOVE the bear! LOVE the lollipops! This looked like a super fun wedding! Congrats!

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