The last day of Beach Week features a couple who tied the knot to keep those hot summer nights going. Plus, there's victory curls and zombies — tell me more, tell me more! – Becca

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The offbeat bride: Emily

Her offbeat partner: Joshua, United States Navy

Location & date of wedding: Naval Station Mayport Beach Jacksonville, Fl — October 9, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Joshua and I had already been married for four months when we had our wedding ceremony. He's in the Navy and we both were tired of being apart.

Wedding #2 074We got married in a courthouse in Kansas, so all of my family could be at our wedding, but we still wanted to have a special day to celebrate our marriage.

Our beach ceremony in Florida was for immediate family and close friends.

I did all the wedding planning and tried to keep everything super cheap due to our EXTREMELY tight budget. Our whole wedding was DIY.

I ordered our cake/cupcakes from a local grocery store for only $40! My husband is quite the zombie “nerd” so we had a good friend zombie out a cake topper that we bought from Michael's.

Wedding #2 299My mother, the bridesmaids, and I bought floral stems from Michael's and made our own bouquets so they'd last forever!

My sister bought fabric from Hobby Lobby and made my birdcage veil for me. Knowing that my sister/best friend made it for me gave the veil a much deeper meaning.

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Wedding #2 198My favorite moment: My oldest brother acted as our officiant. He wrote a poem for us and read it during the ceremony.

He wasn't sure how to lead into the ring exchange and final kiss. He looked at us and gave us a good nod, meaning, “kiss the bride.” Our whole crowd and wedding party bust out laughing. Although some people might have been upset that the ceremony didn't go perfectly, I thought the humor was a perfect touch.

When my father walked me down the aisle, instead of Josh waiting for me to meet him at the end, he met my father and I halfway.

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Wedding #2 136My funniest moment: Our dinner reception was held at a brewery, and since there were less than twenty of us we decided not to rent out the whole place.

After dinner was over, there was a live band playing on the other side of the restaurant. Apparently, a lot of older couples go to the brewery to drink and dance. While standing and waiting for our drinks to arrive, several women walked by my father and each of them were full on grabbing his butt in hopes of getting some free drinks.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The most important lesson I learned from my wedding is to never stress over the little things. If you approach something with a relaxed mind, things tend to go more smoothly. It's not worth getting upset when you have so many other things that are more important.

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Comments on Emily & Joshua’s vintage, naval, beach wedding

  1. Kudos on the cake topper!

    That’s a pretty famous cake topper, and I’m sure many a Offbeat Bride has groaned whenever a family member pointed it out and said “haha, this is so funny, it’s like you and xyz.”

    So I love the vision you and your friend when they saw the topper. Now whenever I see the topper I’m going to have visions of brain-eating brides.

  2. Omigawww that cake topper idea is SO AWESOME. I might have to gank that… the Dude is going to go Ape Sh*t over it.

  3. O-M-Gee, I love this!!! Especially the look of your whole bridal party–talk about fabulous!!! Extra kudos to doing all this on a tight budget 🙂

  4. Absolutely lovely wedding! Everything is great, but I think my favorite part is the bride’s face in all of the pictures! So happy and beautiful. Also, she has reaffirmed my desire to gauge my ears out more. Awesome all over!

  5. I’m just jealous your girls got to have perfect victory rolls! I’ve been working on my hair forever trying to get them right! They, and you both, look incredible! Love the entire style of the wedding!

    • there’s tons of how to videos on youtube! The key to it (for me at least)is to lightly tease the section of hair, and give it a light mist of hairspray. It’ll help it hold better!

  6. I love how much these pictures capture the bride, groom, and entire bridal party’s excitement and irreverence! I’ll definitely make sure to laugh more for the camera when the day comes.

  7. WOW! I had forgot that I had posted our wedding on here, only to find out 6 months later people had questions!
    We did our hair/makeup ourselves actually! My mother, and one of the bridesmaids are both cosmetologists so we did have the free hair and makeup on our sides!

    Many people say it’s impossible to have a “classy” wedding on an extremely tight budget.. But you just have to take the time to find the cheap things. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, shop around. If you find something you really really like, chances are you can find it much cheaper somewhere else!

    Always check craigslist, i love it! I found my dress, and photographer on craigslist! Many photographers who are still in school offer free/extremely cheap sessions to use in their portfolio. Our photographer was a stay at home wife, who basically just wanted to get out of the house. We scored 4 hours with her, and rights to all our pictures for $250! Such an amazing deal.

    Feel free to ask more questions, if you have any!

  8. Beautiful wedding! Way to take a beach wedding & make it your own 🙂
    I do have a question though – my fiance is also in the Navy, & we’re doing the courthouse marriage before the wedding…like, more than a year before. How did you handle letting family & friends know you were *already* married?? I don’t want to plan this extravagent wedding only to have no one show up because we’re already Mr & Mrs! Any advice? Thanks so much!

    • I definitely wouldn’t keep it a secret! That may cause way more tension than needed, especially in this situation. They should be understanding because of certain circumstances within the military. Just explain to them that because of these circumstances (deployment, health care, housing, being able to move with him, etc.) you guys are going to get married in the courthouse, and then save money for your dream wedding. My family wasn’t exactly understanding about our reasoning, but they did understand that every girl wants to have her dream wedding, and that I still deserved to have a wedding. Our wedding was small, because we were on the other side of the country and only my close family was willing to fly. So if you’d like to have a large wedding I’d definitely suggest planning it close to home, otherwise some members may not be so willing to travel to his duty station. Depending on which base he is stationed on, the base may have a wedding “package” that you can buy. We opted out of buying the package and just winged it ourselves. If you decide to plan it yourself, call the MWR and ask about renting their chairs/other equipment. It’s SO MUCH cheaper than renting from someone out in town. I also have a blog post here with more info on how I saved money etc with my wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask any more questions about the wedding, or if you need support with the military in general!

  9. OMG you are fantastic. Thank you so much for the advice. I read your blog & I love that you had your brother “officiate” the wedding – I never even thought about that!
    I was working on some announcements to send out after the courthouse shindig & my fiance & mom both sort of shunned the idea. I’m glad that letting everyone know is not a strange idea. I wanted to include a “wedding celebration coming Fall 2013” to let family & friends know they’ll have a chance to party it up with us!
    Once again, you’re wonderful…thank you so much for your input!!

  10. That sounds like a wonderful idea, I don’t know why they wouldn’t like that! Maybe you could send out a photo card that says “Announcing Mr&Mrs, wedding celebration fall 2013” or something along those lines? Target has lots of cute DIY card sets that you can make at home on the computer, that’s what I did! Or this website has some super duper cute wedding invitations that you just download and you can edit them yourself! I love love love her stuff.

  11. Can you please just hold my hand the whole time I’m planning this wedding?? You seriously rule, thank you!!!

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