3788290754 4c90b6d1f9 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
The offbeat bride: Emi, Barbershop Receptionist/Manager (and OBT member)

Her offbeat partner: Trevor, Call Center Supervisor

Location & date of wedding: Aunt Karla's Backyard Garden, Portland, OR — 07/18/2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We really didn't hire anyone for anything. We had a few rentals delivered (tables, chairs, our Honeybucket) from outside vendors, but we did all the food & drinks, cupcakes, table settings and flowers, decor, etc., ourselves (that is, with TONS of help from family and friends).

3788238124 3a0717f5ac m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)We also only kept the traditions that made sense to us — my dad didn't walk me down the aisle because, yeah, I don't like the whole “property transfer” connotation, but also because I just plain wanted to walk in with Trevor. We cut out dancing altogether because we just don't really ever dance and it also didn't really fit the whole backyard bash feel we were going for. We 86'd the bouquet and garter tosses, too. I didn't wear a “traditional” wedding gown, but still looked pretty damn good. My brother was my man of honor and our officiant was our good friend, Reyna. We actually had to get legally married by a Judge the Monday before the wedding, so I guess technically we got “wedding-ed” on the 18th.

Pretty cupcakes!Our biggest challenge: I got really frustrated with Trevor's lack of involvement in the planning process and confronted him with it part-way through. He told me that when he had initially tried to give his input or share his opinions he felt that I didn't like his ideas and didn't use them, so what was the point of his giving them anymore? Once I realized this was the reason he had stepped away so much I made an effort to solicit his opinions more often and to really listen to what he had to say and try to incorporate his ideas into the wedding as best I could.

In truth, I still ended up planning the wedding largely on my own but I realized that this was more a result of my control-freak tendencies then his disinterest, and that made the rest of the process go a lot smoother from there on out.

3787718545 75d911806b m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)My favorite moment: I started crying pretty much as soon as I started speaking during my vows to Trevor and it got to the point where I had to pause multiple times before I was able to go on. During one of these pauses he whispered a pet-name I hate (he calls me “Pouffy” because he likes to blame me for his own flatulence) and I cracked up laughing, and so did the guests sitting watching us, even though they had no idea what he had said. It totally distracted me and he succeeded in making me stop crying long enough to finish saying my vows, plus it was just a really sweet, unexpected moment during our well-rehearsed ceremony.

And then, this wasn't a moment, persay, but my brother set up a makeshift photobooth using some program on his laptop, a camera, and a printer and it was SO AMAZING to have that. I love the pictures that came from it, and our guests loved them, too!

3787428057 23b5885485 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)My offbeat advice: 1. Accept help. I say this not because I didn't and regret it, but because I did and I'm so glad I did. It really took a village to make my wedding happen, and it was such a cool experience working with so many different people on so many different aspects of the wedding. It was also such a relief to have so little to do on the day-of. I slept in and then I just spent some quality time with my bridesmaids, eating lunch then getting ready before heading off to the wedding, and it was SO nice.

2. If it doesn't matter to you, let it go. I mean this both in the sense of getting rid of traditions you don't have any use for, and in the sense of letting other people do what they want or have their way if it isn't important to you but is to them. This made my life so much easier than it would have otherwise during the planning process.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • My headpiece was from starzselection on Etsy.
  • We got our biodegradable, disposable tableware from Green Planet Parties.
  • I got instructions for several DIY projects from oncewed.com (including the fabric-flower boutonnieres I made)

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

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Comments on Emi & Trevor’s Beer & Hot Dogs Garden Party Wedding

  1. I LOVE it! We're doing some similar things next spring. One of the major similarities is a lack of dancing! I have some entertainment-y ideas, but I am curious about what you did for fun?

  2. Any idea what program your brother used on his laptop for the "photobooth"? We wanna do one but don't wanna hire a service. Any suggestions would really help. I have a MacBook with camera and was thinking of hiring one of my high school students to help run our own little "booth".

  3. You know, we didn't really set anything up. Our friends are kind of a fun, boozy group all on their own so they kind of just took care of themselves in that sense. Our reception was very unstructured. We let people know when the food was ready and we gave a short thank-you speech when we did the "cupcake cutting", but otherwise both of us just kind of meandered around and spent time with different groups of people. I think it helped that a lot of them were family and friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time, it made kind of a mini-reunion which was entertainment in and of itself. Sorry I don't have any more concrete suggestions!

  4. People have been asking me that ever since the wedding was over and the truth is I don't know. I keep asking him but he never seems able to get back to me with the info. I will try again though. It's also entirely possible that he wrote/built his own program, but I will look into it and get back to you!

  5. I actually got them super-on-sale at a rite-aid, of all places. My mom had spotted them out for me. I searched high and low for inexpensive yellow gingham or check tablecloths but could not find anything for the right size/price – and then my mom found these, which was close enough. Our colors were loosely lemon/lime

  6. Okay, so apparently he used a program that is not supposed to be used commercially and he doesn't seem to want to tell me what it is, which is kind of a pain I know. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. He DID say that there are any number of programs an individual could use to do such a thing, so maybe if you just run a couple searches or check a couple forums and things you might come across something more specific. Sorry!

  7. On the photobooth idea, most newer Macs come with a program called "Photobooth" that works with the built-in camera. There are several effects like mirror images, fun house mirror styled effects, and color effects. It is pretty fun to play with, easy to use, and can take many, many photos. It might be tricked up a notch if you use a nice digital printer to print on the spot, our you can just save the images to compile in a fun online gallery. I bet the bro used a similar program, if not for Mac. He shouldn't have any legal worries though since (I'm assuming) that the pictures weren't sold or the brother paid for running the program, so it was still for private use, though in a larger group setting.

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