This profile made me tear up a little bit. To everyone out there freaking out about wedding planning, remember what Ariel said in the book: If you're married at the end of the night, the wedding was a success. – Becca


The offbeat bride: Alexandria, freelance teacher (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Christopher, retail slave

Location & date of wedding: New Jersey — May 15, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: What we wanted was a rockin' party that truly represented us as people and as a couple, and, well… at least we got married.

The Good:

  • DSCF8660My husband helped me pick my beautiful purple wedding dress.
  • I had a Maid of Honor, two Bridesmaids, and a Bridesdude (my brother). Chris had a Best Man, two Groomsmen, and a Groomsdudette (his sister).
  • Both of my parents walked me down the aisle.
  • Our non-religious ceremony was performed by the mayor of Riverside.
  • Cake & Cake ToppersInstead of a First Dance, my husband and I did a First Rock Band Song — “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon. I sang, he played guitar, my bridesdude played drums, and his best man played bass.
  • Our cake topper(s) were our Rock Band character figurines.

It was all very “us.” But honestly, that's about all that went right.


The Bad:

  • Due to issues with the DJ's sound equipment, our ceremony started almost two hours late, and then he started to play the wrong song for us to walk down the aisle to.
  • The people working at the venue and the owner completely abandoned us, which is why I didn't give their name. I spent the night in our hotel suite crying.

You might say our wedding was offbeat mostly because it was such a disaster, really. But, what's important to remember is the wedding is not everything; life goes on, and we are truly happily married.


Our biggest challenge: Money was the first challenge, because we paid for this largely out of our own pockets. The best thing we did was open a separate bank account for wedding money. We actually never, ever set a budget — we just threw money at each thing as it came up. Tax returns, monetary birthday gifts — whatever extra money that came our way went straight to the wedding.


DSCF8642Then, of course, the venue completely flaking out on us was a challenge. They told us we'd just show up and get married and they'd take care of the rest — well, that wasn't true, at all. The owner disappeared when we were having issues with the sound system. In fact, although he said he would be working our wedding, no one saw him until the end of the night, when he was pushing us out the door. I had given him instructions on all the decorating stuff I brought, yet the staff came up to Chris and asked, “what do we do with all this?” We had no DJ, and no one to lead us through the night, as the staff looked terrified every time we asked them a question or to do something for us, like pour the champagne for the toast.


My favorite moment: Our ceremony was wonderful — it was short and sweet, romantic without being overly mushy, and just felt very genuine. Despite everything that had happened up until then, and all the anger I was feeling towards our venue and DJ, in that moment everything just melted away and all that mattered was that I was marrying my best friend (as cliche as that sounds).


That night we also learned what wonderfully supportive people we have in our lives. Chris' Best Man did everything he could to make things right — in fact, our grand re-entrance song was played on his cell phone, hooked up to a speaker!


DSCF8755My mom really came through for me, keeping our guests informed and standing by my side no matter what happened next. Even some of our tech-savvy guests attempted to remedy the DJ situation.

And honestly, crying my eyes out in the hotel suite after the wedding was meaningful, because it reminded me how strong and supportive Chris is, and how I couldn't have asked for a better husband. He laid with me in the bed and simply held me as I cried. After nine months of planning had lead me to what I considered to be a complete disaster, that's what I needed. We cursed the venue, drank a bottle of champagne in the jacuzzi tub, and simply relaxed as husband and wife.


My advice for offbeat brides: I think my advice can go out to all brides, traditional or offbeat: Please remember, above all else, that your wedding is the celebration of the marriage — the life commitment — that is to follow. Whether one little thing goes wrong, or just about everything goes wrong, at the end of the day you have gained something that should be so much more important than a party: a husband, a wife, a partner, a soulmate, a friend forever. If you're true to yourself, the details won't matter.


Although I felt our wedding was a disaster, all I hear from my guests was how much fun they had talking to the people at their table, how much fun Rock Band was, and how awesome Chris and I looked. None of them even knew that we were missing out on dance party time, or that the people working the venue didn't put the star-shaped confetti all over the tables.


RingsChris and I are so pleased with being husband and wife, and it's not because of the party (or lack thereof) — we are enjoying our new titles for each other, although the relationship itself hasn't changed at all.

But I digress — this is supposed to be advice about wedding planning, ahem. Don't let a venue or vendor walk all over you, even the day of. If you don't want to have to handle yelling at someone yourself, ask someone ahead of time to do so for you.


What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? A wedding is just a glorified party — we were totally ready for the marriage, and that makes me smile more than my wedding has made me cry.

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Comments on Alexandria & Christopher’s Rock Band celebration of love

  1. Something tells me the venue people would be pretty bad at Rock Band – never mind them – you have your priorities straight!! I enjoyed reading about your wedding.

  2. I would love to know if you got your money back from the venue….or if they have attempted to make things right.

  3. thats terrible! if i were you i would look in to not only a refund, but conacting better business bureau. at formal venues, you arent supposed to worry about ANYTHING the day of your wedding…i have worked several weddings, and the venue RUNS IT. you show up,m kiss, dance, and make withthe than yous. tears of joy, not sadness. im so let down by our state after readiung this.

    bbut ! you have such a wonderful attitude about it! congratulations on your marriage, and positivity! it will come in handy!!

  4. Wow. Thank you for the reminder that the wedding itself is a party and to keep the details in perspective.

    Your dress was gorgeous! The unique ideas that you did try to incorporate were clever and fun and beautiful in the way that they represented you and your husband. Love the way your cake looked and I’m sure that the first rock song was a lot more fun for your guests that any typical first dance.

  5. Lots of things in life will go wrong, no matter how well you plan, and the habit of being there for each other when things go awry is what makes marriages last. You’ve clearly built that skill as a couple. 🙂

    I hope you get some kind of recompense for the bad service, though. You’re shelling out a lot of money for those people’s time and services, and there is no way you should have been treated that way.

    Best to you as you start your lives together!

  6. I’m so sorry so many things went wrong. I’m guessing that since this wedding was last May you’ve had time to heal and let their crap go. I’d tell you that you SHOULD list their names on here as a warning to the other OBB’s who might get treated the same way. I hope to hell you demanded your money back from both the DJ and the venue. I surely wouldn’t have paid for services/treatment like that. It sounds like you’ve handled it well emotionally though!

    • Yes, please share the name of the venue and the name of the owner! (Swim away!)

      Also, you and your man looked unbelievably hott.

  7. This woman is an honorable, classy human being, so I must make the educated guess that her husband is the same type of person as well. Good on you, both.

  8. Hey congrats to you both- looks like you had a lovely day!!! You are very cute couple 😉
    Thanks for sharing your day with us


  9. I love that even though not everything fell into place on your day, you were able to keep the elements that really represented you and your husband. Even though your vendors may have completely dropped the ball, it really says something when your family and friends come together to try to make things right. Congrats on a happy marriage! Oh, and although I understand why you did not name the vendors, I do hope you wrote a review somewhere in the universe about them so other brides will know not to do business with them.

  10. I love love love that you posted a “disaster” wedding. Seriously, THEY HAPPEN. And years from now you will look back and laugh, and give great advice to your friends who are getting hitched. It is refreshing to see a brutally honest opinion of a day gone wrong. Luckily the photos make it look picture perfect 🙂

  11. I so n-e-a-r-l-y bought this dress!!! 😀 Seriously, I fell in love with it when I saw it on the site – the only reason I didn’t buy it was because I was set on dark blue but it had me wavering for quite some time! (Funnily enough, the dark blue is because of a night sky theme, which will naturally include star shaped confetti!)

    Sucks about the venue though. Hope they make even a gesture to make it up to you, because that is completely shocking.

  12. Aw hon, I’m so sorry the venue was such a disgrace! That must have been so stressful and horrible. 🙁 However, you seem to have a very positive and mature outlook on the whole thing- and you look like you’ve found yourself an extremely supportive and wonderful husband. Which is most important. 😀

    I do echo the other commenters about getting some kind of financial recompense, or at least an apology from the venue. I would also consider going to the media on them if they don’t come though with a refund. In NZ, we have a TV programme called “Target”, which exposes companies and vendors that have ripped off their clients, and helps the client get what is rightfully owed to them. One episode featured a bride whose hair and makeup artist completely flaked out on her, and didn’t show up on the day. 🙁 Do you have any programmes like that over in the US?

    Anyway- aside from the venue owner being a complete moron, it looks like a wonderful day, and you and your hubby are completely adorable together. 😀 And that dress is made of love and win.

  13. Oh God, I am so sorry! That’s terrible! I hope you got money back from the venue and the DJ, and if you didn’t, you should sue them. But I’m glad you were able to look at the important things too. And there’s always the vow renewal option.

  14. Love it! It’s so easy to get caught up in all the little details of a wedding. Thanks so much for your amazing attitude and reminding us what getting married is really about.

  15. I gotta say, if it wasn’t for the accompanying article I would never have guessed from the photos that this was a ‘disaster’ wedding. You and your groom look fabulous and like you’re really happy together! I’m so sorry the venue fucked up and caused you so much stress, but I’m glad you guys managed to deal with it and have a wonderful wedding.

  16. Your wedding looks so cool! I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you…but I am happy to hear that you and your husband are happy together. This is random but I must know where one of your guests got their dress! The black lace dress on the beautiful woman with the glasses? I must have that dress for my wedding!

  17. I’m so sorry that your venue did not do as promised! I work as a Banquet server at a state park lodge (like a hotel) and I am absolutely appalled at the way your wedding was handled. Weddings are some of THE most important events we do, and they are always treated as such by everyone in my workplace, from the General Manager to the Head Chef to the Food and Beverage Manager and finally to every staff member in the Banquet department. I don’t mean to ramble about this, but having worked in this industry for almost a year it just makes me soooo furious!

    That being said, your dress is goooooorgeous!! Purple is my favorite color, and it looks fabulous on you. 🙂 As a Rock Band enthusiast, I love that you incorporated this into your reception. It looks like, despite the staff completely disregarding everything to do with your day, that you had fun and made the best of it anyway. Thank you for reminding me that no one, no matter what, can ruin the fact that you’ve just made an enormous commitment to your very best friend. I’ve been struggling with letting the little things go,and your story helps tremendously.

    Congratulations and may you have a long and happy life together! 🙂

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