We couldn't stop ourselves from doing another theme week once we saw a pattern of era-inspired weddings. This time: the 1950s!

Dream Car

The offbeat bride: Cailey, Hairstylist/full-time mommy

Her offbeat partner: Christian, Tattoo Artist

Date and location of wedding: Life Church, Concord, CA, and the Clayton Club Saloon, Clayton, CA — August 6, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We only had three vendors for our retro 1950s wedding: our reception venue, our popcorn and cotton candy machine rentals, and the barbecue joint that delivered the food. Our venue included a free wedding planner with a rental fee of only $500. Our friend from church is a professional photographer and his wife an amazing baker. We traded hairstyling and tattoos to those who wanted to help, and we couldn't have had the dream wedding without them.

'67 Caddy

One week before our wedding we had a joint bachelor/bachelorette party, and our friend drove his '67 Cadillac there. In passing, I mentioned how cool it would be to use it for the wedding and without hesitation he said, “I'll do that for you guys!” Our favorite photos are in his leopard print backseat. It fit our retro theme well.

eat and drink and be merry!

Our reception was held at the local watering hole, Clayton Club Saloon. Complete with boots on the ceiling, it had a surprising lush green ivy courtyard out back. We had chosen it before it was renovated, but by the time of our wedding they had gorgeous wooden tables that were refinished, and an impressive outdoor bar that was exclusively ours. I think when our families read the invitation they were nervous that it was going to be a drunken mess, but we are so glad we pushed for this venue.

eternity bands

Tell us about the ceremony: Our wedding ceremony was held at our home church which we regularly attend (and where I attended preschool!). We had two officiants, who happen to be good friends. One is a friend of my husband's family and has known Christian since he was 15. The other is now our pastor at our home church. It was so nice that they knew each other, and it made the transitioning from one to the other feel very natural.

Our wedding party began by walking down to Beyonce's “Halo,” which was very meaningful to us because of how the lyrics mention breaking down walls. I don't love all of her music, but that one song is so powerful and the words were perfect. I walked down the aisle to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Jason Castro. As I walked toward Christian, he began wiggling and jiggling his legs back and forth, and I felt calm until I saw how nervous he was!


We kept telling each other how much we loved each other, and then Christian couldn't hold back any longer and he kissed me before it was time! I didn't know what to do when I saw him leaning in — do I give him the cheek? Do I stop him? I did what any woman in love does: I kissed him back.

the cupcake station

Our biggest challenge: Finances were the biggest challenge. I am an extreme budgeter, and I revised our budget so many times because funds were up and down before the wedding.

We traded some traditions for handcrafted and personalized versions. I couldn't find affordable cake toppers, so I made ours out of wooden doll heads glued to wooden eggs and then I used acrylic paint to detail them.


I handmade chocolate mustache lollipops as favors and props. We had really wanted a photo booth but lacked the tools and time to make our own. So my aunt asked what photos I wanted her to take since we had our wedding photographer already, and I instructed her to encourage people to use the props for photos.

Reality moment #1

My favorite moment: When I was putting on my dress, I was flooded with how real this day was. Our wedding day then became tangible. I felt all the emotions from all the planning, the stress, and the anxiety, and it all came rushing out. I took some deep breaths and tried to purge all of those worries, and actually became empowered by real joy.


My funniest moment: While our pastor was reading our vows, he gave Christian a long sentence to repeat. Christian was so nervous that he gave me a really blank look and then turned to the pastor and just said, “Uhh…” The pastor asked, “I'm sorry was that too long for you?” Christian said, “Yeah, could you break that down for me?” There was a lot of laughter.

MUUUUAH! Best kiss of our lives!

Our other pastor read a scripture, Isiah 49:16: “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Then he said, “See, even God has tattooed you on the palm of his hand!” Everyone laughed since we are two very tattooed Christians.

woo we did it!

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Whatever your budget is, embrace it. Don't dream for more than you can afford, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how complete your day will feel even without the things you couldn't afford. Just be choosy about what you spend more on, and it is completely possible to have a fulfilling day on a meager piggy bank.

The Family

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? You aren't meant to control it all, or know what will happen. If you did, you would miss out on beauty that is in the unexpected. I had to learn not to fight what wasn't meant to be, and just wing it on other things. I wish I had learned that a bit earlier on since I think I would have enjoyed the journey of the wedding planning much more.

holding hands

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Comments on Cailey & Christian’s 1950s BBQ saloon wedding

  1. I love this!!! What a beautiful day! We are also on a super-tight budget and the whole wedding will by DIY – including the BBQ – so the advice was great. Thank you & Congrats!!

    • we had practically no money to work with. So I just planned based on the CHEAPEST possible way to make it what I wanted, and then asked for help from talented people we knew, and Christian’s parents really saved the day! total I think it was somewhere around $3,200 and we purchased my dress and his suit. The saloon included a live cover band already booked for that day, so we got to go inside and dance to awesome classic rock after our reception ended outside!

  2. Her dress is so gorgeous!!! What an awesome wedding 🙂 Congratulations on being married!!

  3. I’m a tattooed budget bride as well so this is super inspiring 🙂 Congratulations! (Oh and PS- you guys make a super hot couple!)

    • FeistyAli I found my veil at Nordstrom. I was feeling depressed with some bad news about money not coming in for the wedding, and wondered out hoping to find a headpiece I could Dr. up (I have made my own from scratch for other brides) but didn’t have the energy to do it for myself. I found the LAST one, it was just on a counter, calling to me. My son was with me, I asked him if it was the one and he said “yes!” Not sure if they still have it. The label just says “Tasha” inside?

      • I love the short hair/cage veil combo too! I have super duper short hair and the thought of a heavy fascinator falling off mid-wedding terrifies me, so I’m glad to see the headband looking so fabulous and glam!

  4. Thanks ladies. I am open to any and ALL budget questions. What I didnt include in the article was the fact that 3 months before the wedding our financial support was pulled right out from under our feet. My in-laws stepped in and rescued the wedding. They asked me my budget and when I told them $3,200 they were so VERY generous and because I had kept everything realisitic were so awesome to step in and help. They made it happen along with our awesome church family, and friends. Don’t feel bad asking for help!

  5. Clearly you are as lovely inside as you are out to have so many people eager to help. Congratulations on a gorgeous wedding and a lovely family, that photo is so cute! 🙂

  6. Love this! Totally the direction I want to go: Only spend on the things that matter. My honey has a hard time with this, so an illustrated example helps. 🙂 Also, where’d you find the mustache mold? 😀

    • Jennifer F. The molds were found at our local Michael’s craft store it is by Wilton’s, however I tried to find the mold online for you, and couldn’t. So check with Michael’s or look it up on Wilton’s website. They have different lengths of lollipop sticks, we chose the longest ones. I got yellow, chocolate, and white chocolate melting candy and bought a black candy dye to make my own grey mustaches. It was a long process, I did them almost every night for a month before our wedding to make 175 mustaches. (I only had a small bit of refridgerator space and 3 molds.) But I felt a lot of pride in the finished product. They can be fragile when packing up to ship to the venue so I made 10 extras.

  7. OMG this Wedding makes me incredibly happy! Such a gorgeous couple, absolutely love the photo of the Bride putting her dress on and being overcome with emotion!!!

  8. All of the weddings featured here are beautiful, but yours made me actually cry! Everything is awesome. I love the photos – especially the one with your son grinning ear-to-ear!

  9. I just LOVE your big ring girl! 🙂
    Your wedding seem really fun too!
    Congrats and all the luck for the future!

  10. Strangely, Offbeatbride.com was always something I looked too, and admired. Now, our wedding day was posted 3 years exactly from the day we met. Fate? possibly. Awesome? Absolutely!

  11. This looks like one fun wedding and guessing the guests all had a blast – love the final photo especially.

  12. You’re wedding was amazing! You two are a beautiful couple and your little man is absolutely adorable!! Congratulations!

  13. Your wedding is full of beautiful awesomeness and your little boy is just the cutest little guy!! You did an amazing job!


  14. OH MY GOSH I LOVE THAT YOU HAD YOUR RECEPTION AT THE CLAYTON CLUB! I never would have thought to go that route.

  15. hey … u guys look gorgeous .. such a beautiful wedding .. ur son is LIKE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING on earth …

    congrats dear … 🙂

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