The offbeat bride: Jennifer, Corporate Person
Her offbeat partner: Rick, Corporate Person II
Location & date of wedding: Scottsdale Country Club, Scottsdale, AZ — November 5, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: My husband and I met because our mutual love for the Coachella Music Festival (and music in general) caused us both to flock to Los Angeles in 2007 to see Daft Punk. While I always wanted a very romantic, candlelit, outdoor ceremony, we felt it absolutely necessary to make Coachella, Daft Punk, and our love for live music in general prominent in our wedding. So we did both: a romantic candlelit ceremony and dinner followed by a glowstick-filled dance party.
Our original goal was to only feature music from bands we've seen together, which we mostly did. While our music tastes lean toward loud electronica, our processional was very mellow:
Our DJ was a great friend and extremely talented. Not only did he understand our tastes, he understood how relaxed and fun we wanted the reception to be. No annoying announcements, just really good music. Knowing he was bringing his decks ahead of time, we put a shout-out to our guests to feel free to bring any great vinyl selections with them for the DJ to drop.
The ceremony was candlelit. Guests were given candles, drip protectors, and matches, and asked to light the candles as the ceremony was starting. We also lined the aisles with candles, decorated the altar with hanging candles, and bought lawn lights for the lawn in the background.
Our invites were watercolor prints of us in wedding garb at Coachella. We used the original watercolor painting, too: we framed it with a large canvas backdrop and had everyone sign it.
There were churros (the first thing you do when you get inside Coachella? You get a churro).
Our favors were glow sticks, Ring Pops, candy necklaces, and handmade bracelets, each one totally unique and handmade by a friend of ours. The tables were named after bands we've seen together. Instead of table numbers, we used pictures of the bands imprinted with the dates we saw the act together.
Coincidentally, Toybreaker Ties make a turbine windmill tie — the same wind turbines we see every year outside of Palm Springs on our way to Coachella. Coachella ties!
Tell us about the ceremony: We really went the traditional (but nonreligious) route with the ceremony. Our officiant went through her usual “a wedding is…” thing, and then read “The Union” by Robert Fulghum. Before the vows, our nieces came up and read the children's poem “Nobody” by Shel Silverstein, which made everyone cry. The remainder was very traditional “I Do” vows.
My favorite moment: The participation from so many of our friends and family in making sure the day was perfect for us was probably the most meaningful thing. It felt really great knowing they cared about us enough to go out of their way to do what they did for us.
My funniest moment: My husband's young cousins really got a kick out of the glow sticks. It didn't take them but mere minutes to figure out how to make bunny ears out of them. The were all hopping around on the lawn like rabbits. The youngest one got really hopped up on sugar and when our DJ dropped “Firestarter” by The Prodigy, he freaked out and ran around like a wild man with his yellow glow sticks.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The only thing I was every really worried about for the day was the setup. We utilized our friend network again and discovered that one has a sister interested in getting into the planning business. We hired her for a tenth of what a regular day-of-coordinator would cost to be there on the day of to help with the setup and it went off without a hitch. Best money we spent, I think.
My advice for offbeat brides: Utilize your talented friends! We hired a friend who is an “official” Coachella and concert photographer to photograph the wedding. We were both adamant that we not spend our reception posing for pictures, so most of the shots would be action shots. We also knew he could capture some great nighttime shots. We honestly didn't trust anyone else to do it. We also had a friend make the favors. We threw them all money, but in the end, we saved thousands asking our friends for help.
Be willing to compromise. We originally wanted to go all out with the Coachella theme. We even looked into renting a giant tent and setting it up in the Scottsdale Polo Fields so it would feel like we were in a tent at the festival. When we realized that wasn't going to work for our budget, we went on the hunt for a really different venue. In the end, we went with the country club because they gave us a deal we couldn't pass up. Things are what you make of them. We were still able to get a lot of what we wanted even though we had to settle on some things due to budgetary constraints.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photographer: Michael Ivankay
- Men's ties: Etsy seller ToyBreaker
- Invitations: Etsy seller ambermmoran
- Dress: Etsy seller goffcouture
- Jewelry: Etsy seller ForTheCrossJewelry
- Lawn Lights: Amazon
- Daft Punk Cake: Kick-Ass Kakes
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!