2722709692 80c80e9d80 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)The offbeat bride: Jamie, Recruiter and Executive Assistant & delicious cookie baker.

My offbeat partner: Chris, Screen Printer

Location & date of wedding: Hugh Moore Park, Easton Pennsylvania — Saturday July 12th, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: During planning stages, when we described our wedding as a family reunion, people laughed at us. But in the end — that's exactly how it turned out.

We had games like badminton, Corn Hole, quoits, and a guest brought Kan Jam (a Frisbee game that the guys were all over), a keg, pinatas, and LOTS of family. That's all we really wanted for our wedding. Oh, and an all vegetarian spread of picnic-type food and a baked potato bar!

The unicorn pinata before getting the hell beat out of it.
The unicorn pinata pre getting the hell bashed out of it.

We wanted our wedding to be super casual and really fun. We wanted people to look back and remember the 20-somethings bashing the hell out of the unicorn pinata — NOT remember 10 drunk people dancing to the electric slide.

People said I was crazy because I baked cookies and mini whoopie pies to go with the cake and I DIY-ed a lot of the details, but I honestly wouldn't have had it any other way!

I'm sure a couple people whispered about my chest piece and my non-white dress. I'm sure that people wondered when the daddy-daughter dance was going to take place or when the toasts and the bouquet toss was going to happen. But that's just not us. And I also know that a lot of people had an awesome time.

The tented reception area with simple, yet impactful, details.
The tented reception area with simple, yet impactful, details.

The bride being walked down the isle.
The bride being walked down the isle.
Our biggest challenge: You know, it's hard to remember the challenges after it's all said it done. They just fade into the background.

I guess I would say that our biggest challenge was keeping true to what our vision was for the day, maintaining a cohesive idea of what we wanted. It's easy to stray when you have two families, who are also helping monetarily, whose opinions and feelings you have to take into consideration.

We managed to deal with everything with a level head and remember that it is just a day.

Frisbee & beer, good recipe for a fun wedding.
Frisbee & beer, good recipe for a fun wedding.

My favorite moment: My favorite moment was when I arrived at the park 30 minutes before the wedding and just hung out with everyone, including Chris. There was no “hide the bride” game before the ceremony. I was able to relax and say hello to our guests until our officiant arrived and we were ready.

When it was time to get started we let everyone know and they took a seat. It definitely allowed me to let go of any stress I may have had about walking down our make shift aisle in front of 80-90 people.

My advice for other offbeat brides: I have to say that it's OK to let yourself stress out (to a point) but then for the last three days before the wedding — let it go. Push it onto everyone else and just LET IT GO.

The bride & groom & the friends that have their back.
The bride & groom & the friends that have their back.

I tend to operate on a high frequency stress level and I took my own advice and the day of the wedding was so much more enjoyable because of it. Three days before the wedding there isn't much that you can control or fix and if there is — then you have a mother, mother-in-law, maid/matron/man-of-honor to take care of that stuff.

Enough talk — here's the wedding porn:

chris and jamie (719)

(Intern's note: People who direct me to Flickr streams where their first picture is them posing with a shark make it impossible for me NOT to profile them asap.)

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Comments on Jamie & Chris’ Family Reunion Style Wedding

  1. The bit about the “hide the bride” game made me laugh! It makes me imagine a game of sardines–the one where the “it” hides and when you find the “it” you hide with them, until everyone but one person is squished in a little hiding spot… Now I kinda want to do that before my wedding, and then when everyone finds me is when we’ll know the ceremony can start!

  2. Wow, this seemed like such a good time. It emboided everything a wedding should be-family, food, and fun. I love the last picture too—super cool. I wish I would have thought of doing something like this. I’m sure the wedding was memorable for everyone involved.

  3. Awesome wedding! We *almost* had a pinata at our wedding. It was one of the last minute things I meant to get, but then forgot. Love that you had one!

    The last picture is beautiful – very, “O Brother Where Art Thou.” 🙂

  4. Wow! Looks sos fun. I LOVE the dress! Is it vintage or reproduction? I’m having a hard time finding vintage that is bigger than a size 1 🙁

  5. I lovelovelove weddings with “activities.” Be it frisbee, guitar hero, board games, hula hoops…whatever! =)

    It’s such a good idea! It keeps guests there longer. When there’s only food and dancing, the guests that don’t dance will, well, leave after the food, no?

    Great wedding! Love it.

  6. I love your dress Jamie! It is so beautiful. Looks like you had heaps of fun – congratulations!

  7. I agree – beautiful dress! I briefly thought of going for a gold dress, after seeing Julia Roberts from the Oscars in 2004 on the NYtimes website a few weeks ago… her dress was gorgeous. But, in the end, I went with white. Because, when else am I going to get to wear a white dress??

  8. I love it! I’m totally going to get a Pinata also.

    Jamie, Chris, or anyone else know where to get those wood boxes that the grass is in on the tables? I’d appreciate the tip! 🙂

  9. Wow! Thank you for all the awesome compliments everyone! I’m so excited to see my wedding on Offbeat Bride!

    Natalie: The dress is a reproduction by Stop Staring, I got it (along with my crinoline) at Daddy O’s (http://www.daddyos.com/) for about $170 total. They have sizes up to a 3x and a HUGE selection!

    Jessica: I got my veil and the fascinator at Events & Occasions (http://eventsandoccasions.org/birdcageveils.aspx) for about $30 total. I did swap out the flower that came on the comb with something else, but that took minimal effort. And she seems to have a larger selection now than she did when I ordered.

    Tara: We got the boxes at Michael’s craft store, in the unfinished wood section. They only had 3 and we had to have them special ordered (we needed 15.) I think they were only $5 and we had a 20% off the entire order coupon. It was a great deal. We actually grew the wheat grass ourselves in my mom’s backyard!

    • Hi Jamie! I have my heart set on having my wedding in Hugh Moore park and have a few questions for you! I’ve been searching for other weddings there but yours is the only one I see! If you don’t mind, please email me at [email protected] so I can pick your brain!!! 🙂

  10. I love it! I’ve been a little nervous about the reactions I’ll get to the “family reunion with a wedding” that I’m planning, but you two pulled it off perfectly! I can now happily proceed with my frisbees and flowers in mason jars!

  11. My bride and I did a similarly themed wedding. It was a christmas party idea. When we announce our December 27 wedding, everyone said we were crazy, that we wouldn’t get anyone to our wedding two days after christmas. As it turned out everyone we invited showed up and we had a blast.

  12. I am the mom of the bride. Jamie did a great job on this wedding. It was fun and different but it was so “Jamie & Chris”. Everyone loved it and will remember it. What was really cool is when her father and I were getting married this is kinda of what we wanted- to get married in the same park but we did not have the strength to stand up to our families and do it our way. I am glad my daughter did. Love you both. Mom

  13. You look so gorgeous!!! I love the little grass boxes & flowers…it looks like everyone had a great time!!! Kudos to you for doing such an awesome, DIY, fun wedding 🙂

  14. Love this wedding and the all your cute photos! I’m planning a similar wedding in Northampton PA so I know exactly where this park is in Easton. I was so happy to see someone more local on here!

  15. I love your wedding, it’s a lot like what I want. Something low-key but with character.

    And it’s so cute that mom left a comment!

  16. I love this wedding. Your dress is gorgeous and I’ve just texted my fiance to ask if we can have a pinata at our wedding. I also love the wildflowers in mason jars. I never would have guessed that could look so pretty.

    Also, I’d really love to pick your brain about your menu. We’re having an outdoor wedding and I want it to have a picnic/cookout type feel but I have no idea how to do that without meat.

  17. Jenny: As for our menu, we were very conscious about keeping our menu at a level that would be comfortable for non-vegetarians: that meant no fake meat products, no seitan, not even tofu. It limited us but I felt it was important, especially because of all the flack we were getting for having a veggie menu in the first place.
    The focus of the meal was the baked potato bar, and it was a HUGE hit. Our caterer (a family friend) did an awesome job covering all bases. She had all the standard toppings along with a vegetarian chili. It was amazing.
    We also had baked mac and cheese, roasted veggies, and a to-die-for pasta primavera with a wine sauce (that one strayed from the menu a bit but it was worth it!) Kind of homey-traditional-pot-luck type dishes.
    We also had salad, a veggie tray, fruit tray, and a hummus/pita tray. Not one person complained (at least not that I heard.) And I think it also helped that the wedding started at 1pm and we were eating at 2:30pm and it was hot, sweltering. People weren’t expecting a huge sit down meal.
    Hopefully that helps!

    • Hi Jamie! I have my heart set on having my wedding in Hugh Moore park and have a few questions for you! I’ve been searching for other weddings there but yours is the only one I see! If you don’t mind, please email me at [email protected] so I can pick your brain!!! 🙂

  18. AWESOME!! I loved reading about your wedding!! I’m so glad you wrote about mingling among your guests prior to the ceremony…this is my plan, also. People think I’m nuts! I want to greet our guests…I don’t want the whole “show” of “Here comes the bride”…I hate that! I’m not even walking down an aisle. I’m glad to read it worked out well…this makes me SO psyched for our plans! Congrats on pulling off your wedding exactly as you wanted it! And yay for an all veggie menu!!

  19. Hi! i thought your weeding was very nice. I have a question to ask. Me and my husband got married in 2007 at city hall but i always wanted to have a big wedding but my husband dont. My family is having a family reunion next year in new jersey and my mom wants me to have my wedding there. What do you think?

  20. YAY! Someone not far from me! I’m trying to find a nice place to get married at around here, since I want to get married outside. I’ll have to check this out. Awesome wedding!

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