The Offbeat Bride: Jessica, student/caterwaiter (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Matt, realtor

Date and location of wedding: Alamo Drafthouse Village, Austin, Texas, United States — September 23, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had a medium-sized wedding in the works for next year but as it came time to start putting down real deposits, the budget kept expanding and we couldn't keep it down without compromising what we really wanted. We were both super stressed about money and finally realized that we hated this stupid wedding. We hated what it was doing to us, hated being stressed about it and I didn't want to start our marriage off with a party that we'd grown to hate. So the idea of getting married at the Alamo Drafthouse (where we had our first date) just kind of hit us. It would be just us and our photographer (who we'd already put a deposit down for and we probably would have hired her for this regardless) and our officiant (my brain twin) and it would be ours and it would be awesome.


So we did it — we called up Alexandra and booked her first available date (three weeks away!), I shook out my dress (bought it secondhand and it was stored in the box it came in), we ordered rings and a bouquet and made some plans. The Drafthouse was super awesome and let us invade their lobby for an hour or so and even gave us some champagne to celebrate. We wrote our own vows and a super short ceremony and it was perfect. Afterwards we went for beer and cupcakes at the Draughthouse Pub, which was where we went after our first date. Finally, we met the majority of our wedding party at Trudy's for dinner and a surprise cake. It was really the best day. It was full of laughter and fun and happiness.


Tell us about the ceremony: It was super short and awesome. We just took the ceremony from the Princess Bride and had Reverend Micah read it in a normal voice.


“Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together, today. Marriage, that blessed arrangement… Ok so since this an elopment, we're just going to skip to the end.”

Matt's vows

Jessica's vows

“Have you the rings?”

Ring exchange

“By the power vested in me by the Universal Life Church, I now pronounce you man and wife. MAN AND WIFE. Now kiss!”


Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was giving up that original wedding. I was looking forward to getting everyone we know and love down to Austin and now it's less likely to gather them all together someday. Our parents still have not met and that is kind of sad to me. But I still wouldn't change our decision. The only thing I would change at all would have been to have the rest of our bridal party people able to make it. My oldest friend recently moved to London with her husband and the guy who introduced us lives in Seattle and I wish that those three people could have been there.


My favorite moment: The most meaningful part for me was the total lack of stress. Mostly I was super excited waiting for the day to arrive. When it did arrive, we woke up mid morning, got brunch, hung out around the house before wandering off to get ready. All I felt was happiness and excitement, not nerves or stress. Being able to spend the entire day together (less two hours) on our wedding day without any stress at all was just amazing.


Matt's most meaningful moment (and a close second for me) was actually being there at the wall in front of the beer taps and hearing each other's vows. We didn't have to speak up because it was just for us and that was very awesome. We could be ourselves without worrying what family or friends would think — we were able to be just as honest with each other as we usually are. Another top contender was later that evening. We got home, got out of our fancy digs and into comfy clothes. I did a quick bit of homework and then we hung out and watched TV on the couch together. That relaxing time to just be together was a perfect ending.




Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I expected a lot more backlash from family but as soon as they were assured that this was what we wanted, everyone was very happy for us.

First look

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Try to let go of what you want and think of what you need. Remember what is important to you. While it's great to get something that you want, don't sacrifice what you have to get it. Stay within your means and seriously consider eloping. As you can see, it's a lot of fun, you can still have a lot of the awesome stuff you want and you save so much money and stress and time. Also it's kind of fun to spring on people. And if you elope, hire a photographer — the day still passes in a blur and it's wonderful to have those photos.


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Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

dresses: Wai-Ching

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Comments on Jessica & Matt’s spontaneous Austiny elopement

  1. I am so, so very jealous. This is beautiful and so our style. Two weeks until our wedding and I wish we could tell all of our family and friends “SORRY! WE ALREADY WENT AND DID IT!” C’est la vie.

  2. Totally jealous that you got married at the Alamo Drafthouse. It’s me and my husband’s favorite place. If I could do my wedding over again, I think I would do it there. Also, love the dress!

  3. i have a feeling that if i try to go all out with what a “typical” wedding entails, ill end up doing this…. haha. i love it.

  4. I like that you went to the Drafthouse and then the Draughthouse.

    It’s like a meta-bar version of “for better of for worse”.

  5. you actually used the “mawwiage” speech from the Princess Bride! ohhhh i wanted to do that, but with the goofy pronunciation.

  6. I love the flowers and the dress is such an amazing find!
    FH and I have discussed so many times if we have room in the budget we’re having an engagement party at the Alamo and screening ‘The Princess Bride’

  7. Love the cake topper! Been considering a paper based topper, but they’re all super expensive. Your hand drawn heart & stick figures are so lovely 🙂

  8. We loooooove Hey Cupcake! That’s so awesome that you got them for your wedding!

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