The offbeat bride: Cailey, Hairstylist/full-time mommy
Her offbeat partner: Christian, Tattoo Artist
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Greg Doramus
- Ceremony: Life Church
- Reception Venue: Clayton Club Saloon
- Catering: Kinder's BBQ
- Dress: Mori Lee at Bay Area Bridal
- Necklace: Betsy Johnson
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!