3545181701 573a87db93 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)The Offbeat Bride: Rae, Graphic Artist

Her Offbeat Partner: Nate

Location & date of wedding: Ridge and Valley Gun Club, Coopersburg PA — the wedding was 2/2/09 & the party was on 5/16/09

What made our wedding offbeat: Money was a complete issue for our wedding, so we decided early on that we wanted to get married ourselves and have a party for our families on another date. We went to the local judge's house where he performed the marriage in his living room. It was something that I will never forget!

3545958950 bcd612cce8 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Our party was set to be held at a Gun Club that was important to me because I had hosted a few band concerts there and I knew that I would get a good price. My husband and I set out to make absolutely everything we could for our wedding party. I handmade our favor boxes, all of the hanging decorations and all of the table decorations were arranged by us as well. I made paper oragami flowers for inside the bird centerpieces and Nate ironed and folded all of the napkins.

My favorite decorations were the old steam bleached branches we placed inside of mason jars on the tables. They came from a place in Pennsylvania called Centralia where an underground coal fire has been burning for decades. We took a trip out to see the smoke rising from the ground and as soon as I saw the bleached branches i knew we needed to have them!

The tables with the branch centerpieces & the fabulous potluck spread in the background!
The tables with the branch centerpieces & the fabulous potluck spread in the background!

We also played our own ipod, took our own pics and we asked each guest to bring their favorite dish to our pot-luck party! We embossed our own invites and Nates Aunt made us a wonderful mushroom cake!!

3545151113_97f1acfe47_oOur biggest challenge: Our biggest challenges were hand making everything in time for the party (including all the invitations that I hand embossed/glued/printed/punched), MONEY, and making sure all of our family could come since they are spread across the US.

My favorite moment: My favorite moment was when my friends decided to hold a race! Two of them decided to race down to another friend who was holding two glasses of wine chug them both and run back.

3607249793 b15913b746 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)I'm easy to please.

My advice for other offbeat brides: My advice would be to allow yourself enough time to hand make everything before the party. Make sure you have a plan for when the cake gets cut (we didn't and it was awkward). Dont try to please everyone because you can't. Do whatever you want to do to make YOU happy on your special day and enjoy your family.

Enough talk — show me the pot-luck wedding porn:


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Comments on Rae & Nate’s DIY, Potluck, Gun Club wedding

  1. I really love the twigs as centrepieces and the pot luck idea is a good one, I had friends in Germany who combined it with music ie bring your favourite dish and your favourite dancing tune!

    • The pot-luck was really the only way we could afford to feed people. Plus both of or families are FULL of great chefs both personally and professionally so it worked out great. At first i was a bit scared that it would seem cheap but it made for such a wonderful variety and let everyone contribute to our day! I think it was a great idea

      • Yeah and I have another mate in Australia who's also got money issues and I suggested the pot luck idea at first she thought that would appear too cheap but I agree, people do really feel special being asked to contribute to the day and not just being a spectator. We had a caterer (my husbands old school friend) but I asked a bunch of friends to make the cakes so it would be more personal than just having a store bought cake – my mum who's german made a blackforest cake and it was so lovely. All the cake ladies had to come to the front of the hall and introduce their cakes, they were a bit shy at first but it was great to have a room full of people applauding their efforts! Well done, loved your wedding!

    • [email protected] they are on martha stewart.com__They are layered pieces of tissue paper which are then accordian folded and the edges are rounded off. Then you put the wire through to hang it and carefully peel all the layers apart. If you cant do these ahead of time make sure you leave PLENTY of time to peel them apart when you go to set up!

  2. Congratulations, Nate. From the photos it looks like you had a great time. I loved seeing all the items you made and the cake was adorable. My dad would have been proud of your location for your wedding. Most of all, I liked your shirt and tie! What a gentleman.
    Alice, your dad's cousin from Lancaster, in case you have questions about my comments, ask him!!!

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