True Love

The offbeat bride: Sarah, Designer

Her offbeat partner: David, Design Technologist

Date and location of wedding: Inn Marin, Novato, California — July 14, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: With Glen Miller, The Baseballs, The Beach Boys, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass coming over the speakers, there's not a person in the crowd who feels alienated based on their age with a theme like rockabilly. We are all so iconically attuned to the '50s that it is an easy theme to create and to engage with. We used a tin hamburger sign, some records, paper retro car centerpieces, a mini juke box, and bottled soda in a galvanized tin to evoke the look.



The approach

Tell us about the ceremony: As we are not particularly religious, we decided to have David's brother Eric, a Renaissance Faire veteran, officiate our wedding. Armed with a certificate from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (which he had to assure my mother was legitimate), Eric led the ceremony. It was serious intertwined and always underpinned with humor, fun, and laughter.


David and I wrote our own vows which we shared, he through curtains of tears. As Eric's speech neared the end, he brought us back around to humor with, “Please bring forth the rings — forged in the fires of Mount Doom.”

First Steps!

Our biggest challenge: Planning a wedding in Novato, California while living in New York began as a daunting challenge. How do we cram visits to all the possible venues into a short Thanksgiving trip? How do we even go about setting the search parameters to find vendors? I have two answers which apply whether you are planning long distance, or right down the street. First, use Look up the possible vendors in your area, read their reviews, and then hone that list down to the people who cater to your taste and theme. Then interview the people who made your short list, whether over the phone or in person.

Secondly, don't go with a vendor just because they are inexpensive and promise to give you everything you've ever dreamed of. Instead, reassess what you actually need. This is the time to go for quality over quantity.

The Groomsmen

My favorite moment: Obviously the vows and the ceremony were meaningful, but what David and I most enjoyed was getting the opportunity to talk to and spend time with all of our guests. I had initially wanted to get married at city hall and forgo a wedding, which David wouldn't hear of, and I'm glad that I listened to him. There is something wonderful about celebrating a moment in your life with family and friends, about bringing everyone together.

Sarah and David Tattoos

My funniest moment: All of our tables had a smattering of temporary tattoos, including traditional-style as well as personalized “Sarah and David” tattoos that I designed and had made. We thought people might like them, and possibly one or two might get used. But in seconds, our guests were covered in them. David's grandfather even had them on his face!

You're Never too Old...

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? “It's good enough” became my mantra during the wedding planning process. Now, at first glance this may sound defeatist, but it is nothing of the sort. What it means is that it is better to be happy than to nit pick or go down the rabbit hole of “perfection.” Do not sweat the little things, since everything will turn out fine as long as you are having fun and bringing the people around you into that fun.


Rad retro!

My advice for Offbeat Brides: We made a point in our invitations and emails before the wedding that our motto was “theme over formality, so have fun and go a little crazy.” [Editor's note: find more ways to tell your guests what to wear!] Guests, from our friends to family to my mom's friends, began calling us asking what to wear, what sites they could look at for reference, and “Now I know what 1950s looked like, as I was alive then, but what is this rockabilly business?” We tried to give as much reference material and encouragement as possible, and sure enough, tons of people came dressed for the theme.

The Rings

First Dance Finish

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Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

photography: Little Bat Photography

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Comments on Sarah & David’s “love never dies” rockabilly wedding

  1. The photo of your husband dipping you…it honest-to-god took my breath away. There isn’t a single detail that I don’t love about your wedding!

  2. “true love” picture…too cute cant handle it, 4th picture down of the bride from behind, SOOOO amazing, tattoo is beautiful….grandpa with tattoo on his face? should happen at every wedding….

  3. What a gorgeous, fun, lovable wedding! I am so touched that you chose a theme not only because it was visually appealing and relevant to you, but thoughtful and inclusive of the many generations present at your wedding. So many brides and grooms feel conflicted over pleasing their relatives vs. their peers, and it’s so clear from the attention to detail in your gorgeous wedding that real concern and love for both your family and friends is what pleased you the most. Bravo, and congratulations!

  4. Sarah and David’s wedding was memorable and super personal and heartfelt down to all the hand-made details. As a wedding guest, I felt amazed at how well well stylized it was and true to who they were. Mazel tov!

  5. Love your style, I’m really into the custom temp-tattoos! Where did you get them? I’m struggling with table decor, etc and we don’t have much of a theme, but my fiancée proposed with a ring pop so THEY will be scattered through the reception and we are both inked up so that idea is just too cool for school!

  6. I love this!!! The atmosphere of the wedding is exactly what I am looking for. The humor and laid backness of it all. And I absolutely love the idea of personalized temporary tattoos. This is just awesome!

  7. Omg, you’re killing me! You guys did so many things we are doing! Thanks for trying it out for us! Now we are certain it will work!

  8. I absolutely love the wedding invites! Does anyone know where to find them?

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