The Offbeat Bride: Ang, Bingo Chat Mod, Event Planner wanna-be

Her offbeat partner: Matt, Automotive Technician, Musician

Location & date of wedding: Bethany Covenant Church, Bedford, NH — 11/14/2009

What made our wedding offbeat: The main theme of this wedding was low maintenance. I wanted to ENJOY the wedding process, not be miserable and stressed the whole time. It was hard, but it happened! After that was the budget of $5,000. I know that other brides have done it on smaller budgets, but I was ecstatic with what we were able to accomplish.

4117220025 8dfe12c1f0 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Hand in hand with the budget was copious amounts of DIY/small business. The only vendors we used were our wonderful photographer and the people we ordered chicken tenders from, oh and my AMAZING jewelry. And hot on the trail of the chicken tenders, was how we bucked tradition.

OBT would call it the “Not so average bride“. Yes, I wore a big poofy white dress, and we had cake, but there was no veil, no giving away of the bride, my bridesmaids didn't match in the slightest, the whole ceremony was about the joining of our families, a booze/dance free brunch reception in the church basement, no tossing of the bouquet/garter, and instead of a sweetheart table Matt and I were able to mingle with all our guests one on one.

4117991334 87cdfb1266 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Oh yeah, and our brunch consisted of French Toast, Bagels, Chicken Tenders, and Bagel Bites, all kept smoking hot by the awesome ladies of the church who volunteered their Saturday to help us out. Not to mention the whole thing was to be streamed live over the interwebs.

Our biggest challenge: Dealing with people. The wedding coordinator we had to use was very frustrating (this was only her second wedding). I had some relatives who sent emails that they wouldn't be coming to my weird wedding, and how shameful it was. The rain prevented us from using the classic convertible we bought as our escape vehicle.

4117221921 1037a8192a m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Over it all I just repeated my mantra, “low maintenance.” Even if none of the other stuff I'd been obsessing about for the past year makes it to the wedding, even if no one else shows up, at the end of the day I'm marrying my best friend and that's all that matters.

My favorite moment: This is so lame, but after the wedding was over, after we were in our awesome hotel, the photographers had left, Matt and I looked at each other and he said “We really should have brought some food with us.” A few hours later, we went out for McDonalds, came back, and I curled up against him while we watched Mythbusters and fell asleep. At 7:30, when we woke up, Matt proclaimed us the worst newlyweds ever. But that cuddly moment was the most “husband and wife” I felt all day. All the dramas were gone, it was just us, and it was perfect.

Jazz hands!
Jazz hands!

My advice for other offbeat brides: EDIT EDIT EDIT!!!!! Ask the girls on OBT, I had SOOOOO many ideas of little details that I wanted to do. If I did end up doing them, they were in a severely different version that I planned at the beginning. Most of them I threw out completely. No favors, no welcome bags for the out of town guests, instead of a highly involved interactive artistic seating chart, we decided to just let people sit themselves. Those details that all the bridal blogs are constantly obsessing over are NOT worth your sanity. Seriously.

4117991654 1df8db542a m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)And on that note, for the love of God, please don't go overboard with the bridal blogs. This said from a girl who currently has over fifty on her RSS feed. While they're great for inspiration, they also have a tendency to make you doubt your own decisions, even to the point of hating your own wedding, because it will never be as awesome as the people in the blog. Screw them. Take what you need from them and move on. Seriously. That was THEIR day, focus on YOURS. [Editor's note: Ariel wrote a great post on this if you need more convincing: When to stop looking at wedding porn]

Stay tuned for this chalkboard DIY post!
Stay tuned for this chalkboard DIY post!

Also, if you fall head over heels in love with something out of your price range, nine times out of ten, there is a way you can get it — either by smart shopping, bartering or DIY. OBT is a great resource for this kind of thing. All of my decor was DIY.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:


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Comments on Ang & Matt’s low maintenance, low budget, DIY wedding

  1. Your relatives called and told you they wouldn't come to your weird, shameful wedding? That's horrible! However, in an odd way, that comforts me that you went through that and still had a blast. I have a similarly outspoken family and I am just dreading the call I get from my grandma when she gets the invite and finds out 1) I have no registry, 2) in place of registry we've asked for donations to be made to a gay rights advocacy group, 3) that I sent gay "propaganda" to her relatives! 4) that I didn't send gay propaganda to all of her relatives she felt should be invited and 5) that I mentioned anything about gifts at all in the invite. I know, TACKY! She's so predictable I'm trying to preemptively plan my response.

    • Haha, your list made me laugh. I'd expect something similar from my grandmother if I were inviting her… XD Aw hell, I'll probably get it anyway. (WHY DIDN'T YOU SEND ME YOUR GAY PROPAGANDA?!)

      Also, thanks for supporting us queers. 🙂

  2. I love the rich textures of your bouquets. What did you use in them? Fresh or silk? I love 'em!

    • They were all fresh, we picked them up the night before. They were antique green hydrangeas, and assorted football mums. My bouquet also had mini burgundy calla lillies. We used a local florist who was brilliant with ideas of how to keep the flowers fresh (After you cut them, dip the ends in Allum, the pickling spice), and for centerpieces, which were great, but were unfortunately part of the editing process LOL

  3. Weird and Shameful? How about Lovely and Heartfelt? Love your gentle woodland theme, those amazing Louboutins (Damn!), your bad newlyweds moment, and mostly your attitude! So happy you had a wonderful day despite it all!

  4. Back in the day (the 70's) my parents had a wedding just like this – In my mom's church. There was no dancing, no big party, just punch and cake. And that's how they all were in small towns! This wedding is so pretty, I don't see how its so shameful at all.

  5. I've been reading this website for a year now off and on even though I dont' have any upcoming plans to get married – although I do someday want to! This is the first time I've posted because I absolutely ADORE those photos, they had me all teary-eyed and were just so beautiful and simple without a lot of editing or fancy backgrounds or arranged portraits. Wonderful!

  6. I've been reading this website for a year now off and on even though I dont' have any upcoming plans to get married – although I do someday want to! This is the first time I've posted because I absolutely ADORE those photos, they had me all teary-eyed and were just so beautiful and simple without a lot of editing or fancy backgrounds or arranged portraits. Wonderful!

  7. Weird and shameful? Weird and shameful? Huh. Well, freedom of expression goes two ways: you can have your wedding how you want and they are free to not like the approach and free to say so. At least they were honest and didn't show up snippy and passive aggressive.

    On the other hand I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

  8. What was so weird and shameful?….the chicken tenders? That is awesome! Too bad some of your family had to be that way and miss out on what looked like a wonderful day. And I could see my fiance and I doing the same thing the night of our wedding…….Mcdonalds or Taco Bell here we come.

  9. I don't get what was weird and shameful! From everything I see it was beautiful and wonderful!! I'm in awe that someone would say that, and family members no less! The pictures were wonderful, you should be very proud of what you accomplished! I just love DIY weddings!

  10. I don't look at this and see "weird wedding," or even "cheap wedding," I just see awesomeness and simplicity! Congrats to you Ang & Matt!

  11. I wanted to thank everyone for your sweet comments. There were so many things that I wanted to include but I didn't have room LOL.

    My relatives are the way they are, and they've been that way since I can remember. They're very WIC, and into tradition. *Shrug* I looked at it as, if they didn't want to be there I didn't want them there.

    As an afterthought, I wish I could have included the infamous "Keep Calm, carry on". There were so many things that went horribly horribly wrong and because of them they worked out for the better. For example, we didn't do a honeymoon so I wanted a really nice wedding night. I booked a hotel room 7 months in advance at a high end inn, their cheapest room, but still really nice. Well with 2 months to go I saw they were booked for the night and wanted to call and make sure our room was taken care of (color me paranoid). Well they canceled it. I was livid, I was hurt, I had a melt down. Well after a few constant polite calls, 2 days later they gave us a 3 bedroom amazing cottage for the same price as the original room we booked (1/6th of the price!). We had the use of that gorgeous space for our photography, something that wouldn't have happened if we had just had our little room.

    Also we bought a 76 MG as a wedding car. Of course it rained buckets and British electronics don't DO wet. So we used my Hubby's Saab. And it worked out because I had not realized how enormously poofy my dress was, and it is no lie it would not have fit in the MG.

  12. Yay for your wedding and your marriage! Your favorite moment was so genuine. I don't know how your wedding can be considered remotely weird or shameful. There is no shame in chicken tenders I say! Also, kudos to your keeping your budget under control. I'm not sure if all Christian churches charge so much but the Catholic church is really sticking it to me. Rock on with yo bad self.

  13. DOH and I forgot. I had to limit the pics for OBB, but here's the link to my photographer's site:

    And I'm sure you'll notice that there are programs there, even though I made a chalkboard to avoid the whole program thing. I did the programs (Made from leftover invite materials) the night before the wedding to make my mom happy.

  14. As somebody who has been married for almost eight years (without kids), I can tell you that your McDonald's/Mythbusters/cuddle moment is pretty indicative of how awesome marriage can be. The vacations together and fancy celebratory dinners and whatnot are great and all, but there's really nothing like running out for McDonald's because neither of you feels like cooking and snuggling on the sofa with a Mythbusters marathon on TV. It's so the opposite of lame.

    • Agreed!
      I had a raging migraine at the end of my reception. The second we got home, my husband helped me tear off my dress and started taking the bobby pins out of my hair as I threw up (while naked) in the toilet. Then I fell asleep while he went to Jack In The Box and got us milkshakes and fries. I woke up and we ate our food in bed, snuggling.
      It was a romantic ending to a wonderful day!

  15. Your telling of your sweet and intimate post Mcdonalds moment made me cry (in a good way)! My fiance and I have been together for 7 years, and somedays, I ask myself why we are going through with a quasi-traditional wedding at all. But I keep telling myself that maybe going through it together makes us feel different, subtly, somehow; and that those types of experiences are what bonded us this long in the first place. And even more than the wedding itself, I look forward to those “ordinanary” but amazing moments as Husband and Wife, like you described.

    Thank you for sharing. I needed your “don’t look at too many wedding blogs” comment.

    Your wedding sounded totally AWESOME (but not in a way that is making my doubt my own choices–I’m making many of the same that you did!)!

  16. Beautiful! But you left one vital piece of information out… where did you get your amazing shoes? *Love*!

    • Yay for Ebay! I was looking for blue shoes. I had bought a few pairs that looked promising and hated them as soon as I put them on. These, I saw and *gasp* then just "WOW, these are my soul mate shoes. I must own them" Fortunately they were my size and absolutely perfect. I didn't wear them for the reception or after wards because it was raining and I hadn't waterproofed them (Blue Suede). They up now in my house as an object of art, at least until our wedding prints come in.

  17. Good for you for doing what you want! My wedding is in March and I am wearing a black dress. My soon to be husband's family is not happy with it.

  18. Aww…… You two are just one the most adobable couples ever! Relatives actually called your wedding weird? Jerks! I love that your husband called you two the worst newlyweds ever, that part made me giggle! This is so cute, I love your dress, I love the mismatching of the bridesmaids, I love the chicken tenders idea! And the Mc D's! This goes to show how real and true your love is, that even though it would be awesome to have a gigantic, fancy wedding, its sooooo much more close to heart to have a tiny, unique one. I wish you well in your new marriage!

  19. Love it!! I'm taking the same approach with our wedding..its about love, family and fun not the little things that don't really matter except to those who say they do. The sweetest part was the story about you guys watching Mythbusters eating McDonalds. It sounds perfect!!

  20. Those shoes! Omg those shoes! What else can I say? Those shoes are my new obsession, you just made my day:)

  21. I love your "McDonald's and Mythbusters" story! Sounds like you guys needed a bit of low-key time to yourselves after the wedding. Also, your wedding dress is so beautiful. Congratulations on a lovely day!

  22. It was said before but I really can't figure out why your relatives objected to your wedding. It looks very similar to my parents wedding in certain ways (1969) who were completely conservative. Classy church wedding, with sweet family moments.
    I am getting married in the fall at a camp I used to work out so I LOVED your jewlery, invitaions and cake.:)

    • yeah, the wedding looks super sweet to me. And im insanely curious to know how some of the relatives thought the wedding was shameful and weird? its in a church…last i checked, really conservative people freaked out over weddings NOT being in a church XD

  23. i could never understand why family feels the need to critic anyones wedding. seriously, if you dont like what we can accomplish on a budget, then for crying out loud, pay for it! i had a simple wedding that i spent less then 3k on. 50 guests. luckily i had some really good friends who were more then willing to donate their services. i have a friend who is a dj and another who is a photographer. the biggest ticket item was our wedding night spent in a corner room with a veiw on the river downtown in a fancy schmancy hotel. we have been married for 11 years now and our friends and family still talk about what a good time they had at our DRY wedding. of course having another friend who woked at a local nightclub talk his boss into making arangements for everyone to gather in his bar after the reception for a cashbar didnt hurt!

    your wedding was both classy and sweet. i like the intimacy of the decor and how comfortable you all seem!

  24. Darlin', I served with Weird and Shameful, I knew Weird and Shameful, Weird and Shameful are friends of mine. Darlin', you're not Weird nor Shameful.

  25. This has been asked a bunch, but I need to know where are the shoes from! I actually purchased a dress similar to your style, and those shoes would match the bridesmaids dresses we have. I MUST GET THEM!

  26. I definitely just saw this wedding and freaked out because it is so perfectly in the spirit of what I want. (My fiance and I are having a church ceremony and basement reception, as well.) This looks so classy yet simple! I love it!

  27. I have a family that would probably have the same views and ideals, but none of that matters. All that matters is how you choose to handle it. You can't control what anyone else does even though you keep wishing for it. When you know what's right for you stick with it, cause in the end all you really need to please is yourself. I have a similar situation where I know that if and when me and my man decide to get married, I can't even decide whether or not I even want to invite my family. I told my bf that it is not that important where or when or how we do it. I'd be happy getting married in McDonalds! So kudos to you for staying strong, in the long run you and your man will be closer and be able to get through anything and you are each other's family now.

  28. I ABSOLUTELY loved your beautiful shoes! Your wedding was lovely thank you for sharing your photos.

    • Thank you! I got it from a local wedding shop, the designer was Rand Evans. I wish I could be more helpful, but the only info I could find on him was from two shops, Alan Evans Bridal in Minnesota ( http://www.alanevansbridal.com/ ), and Alan Evans Bridal in North Dakota, where he goes by the name Rand Allrich.

      The most recent info I can find on him was a sketch he did for “If I designed Kate Middleton’s dress” http://www.agweek.com/event/article/id/317660/publisher_ID/1/

      Originally it had a sparkly applique on the hip and bust, but I preferred it without.

  29. This is why I love this website because I find articles like this! I am currently planning a wedding and my family is about to drive me crazy!! Whenever I get overwhelmed I come to this website and find brides who decided to have a wedding that was uniquely them! This community is a complete breath of fresh air. THANK YOU from the bottom of my little stressed out wedding planning heart!

  30. Your wedding sounds like a dream to me!! We came up with the basis of our wedding: location, theme, date, all within the span of a week, so now I’m obsessed with wedding blogs, and I need to just STOP! I love your ideas about low maintenance, it has inspired me to just Calm my anxiety and enjoy the day itself! Thank you for sharing such an awesome day!

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