3167646696 8a7fc505ab alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)The offbeat bride: Naomi

Her offbeat partner: Casey

Location & date of wedding: First Assembly Church Chapel in Cedar Rapids, IA. November 1, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: For starters, I wore a black dress. It was actually a bridesmaid's dress, which made it tons cheaper.

Then, we did almost everything ourselves. I made our invitations on postcards. No real flowers — my bouquet was handmade from little christmas bulbs and tulle. Oh, and little white lights. Yes, it lit up!

Every tradition in weddings we pretty much went against. No unity candle, I stood on the ‘wrong' side, my mom and dad walked me down, Casey had his parents walk him down.

There was no white was at our wedding — it was all black and bright blue.

3166807163 1b28cc6dd3 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)My ring is a black onyx, and we had very few traditional pictures taken. They were all unique and fun and captured who we are. The wedding party walked down to Ratatat songs, and I walked down to the acoustic version of “Hey Ya” by Outkast. No wedding programs — we made a slideshow to introduce everyone.

I made all the confetti. I made tons of 3-D paper stars instead. I made my birdcage veil instead of a traditional veil. We had cupcakes and soda and blue popcorn instead of a full meal, since the wedding was at 7pm. We had Dance Dance Revolution at our reception, and a little photobooth as well. We also hooked up another video game station to play Smash Brothers or whatever they wanted to play. No formal dances. Nothing sappy about it. Just a fun time.

3166806617 a2310e95af m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Our biggest challenge: The biggest problem for us was getting everything planned in such a a short amount of time without taking off any work. We had everything down, including pre-marriage counseling in three months. My family and Casey's family were pretty much expecting a crazy non-traditional wedding, so we didn't have too many people look down on us for the choices we made.

My favorite moment: My favorite moment of the whole event had to be all the comments and smiles people gave us after the ceremony. They all said it was a very refreshing wedding and very unique. Like nothing they've ever been to. I also loved knowing that everything was paid for and we had money left over in our pockets, and realizing just how punk rock and classy you can make a wedding with such little cash.

n500676902_1246466_3600A few of my vendors: I got my dress and the girls' dresses at Brides and Weddings at Manchester, IA. They were great and made me feel so important and embraced my offbeat style. David's Bridal looked at me funny and embarrassed me.

I got our invitations printed at Nextdayflyers.com. they are SUPER cheap and great to work with. They called me on the phone and knew me by name.

3167644446 fed4361668 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Casey got his shoes custom made on the Converse website. I got my converse made there too. I wore them at the reception.

My offbeat advice: Go out and buy or rent books on how to make things yourself. Like your bouquet or centerpieces or your veil. Stay away from wedding shops, wedding floral shops, even the wedding aisles at stores. Anything with ‘wedding' in the title jacks up the price ten times! You can find most everything you need in the craft aisles, in department stores, online, anywhere.

Be creative where you shop. I found my rhinestone pin that was in my birdcage veil at Goodwill.

DON'T USE CREDIT CARDS. Try making your own invites. Getting them printed online is a LOT cheaper than going to a printing place in your town or having a company design them.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Click the cuties below to see the 200 amazing photos for Naomi & Casey's wedding:
3167636350 bfba88a563 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

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Comments on Naomi & Casey’s punk rock Iowa wedding

  1. You two are adorable. AND you’ve completely inspired me on how to create engagement photos and save-the-dates that are 100% true to my fiance and I.

    Good going!

  2. Love the shoes and the bouquet and LOVE the Thank You pic. What a fun wedding!

  3. I LOVE your wedding! it looks like it was a lot of fun, and your personalities really shine through. And the pics are gorgeous!!

  4. I am LOVING your wedding! That bouquet was awesome… great idea for a non-floral bouquet!

  5. how fun?!

    your colors are exactly what i’m looking to do for my july wedding! where did you find your groom’s tie? love it.

    amen for DIY brides!

  6. I want DDR at my wedding to! I can ask my brother, since he has all the kit (dance mat, step mania etc.).

  7. 🙂 Nicely done! I’m still going for the white dress, but I love the black and electric blue.

  8. “I also loved knowing that everything was paid for and we had money left over in our pockets, and realizing just how punk rock and classy you can make a wedding with such little cash.”


    Beautiful wedding!

  9. Awewsome wedding, and may I say, one of the most drop-dead-gorgeous couples I’ve ever seen!

  10. I love it. Beautiful couple.

    PS. Ariel, I have linked your book on my blog in my section called Reading List for Best books for Feminists.

  11. I used to go to First Assembly when I was a kid! Congratulations on rawking out your wedding.

  12. I’m so glad to see another Offbeat Iowa Bride! Your wedding looks amazing. Congrats!

  13. thanks for the comments guys. check out jbeyer.com for photographer ideas if you wanna.
    the groom’s ties were from the Brides and Wedding Shop in Manchester, IA. But they were ordered from a pretty popular magazine they vend with. I’ve seen them in other shops. (they’re in a book where you can order the tuxes and stuff)…but i forget what the company is called. sorry.

  14. Such an awesome wedding! Maybe I haven’t been browsing Offbeat long enough, but I’ve never seen a black wedding dress before – it looks amazing. What a cool day, you guys must’ve had the best fun. Aagh it just looks awesome!

  15. you have officially inspired me!!
    my man and i are both previously married and each have done the big “white wedding” thing….we want something completely different, yet i was feeling nervous about it for some reason~ seeing how GORGEOUS your photos are assures me that unique and classy will go hand in hand for us too~~

  16. your pics are amazing.
    I like what you did at your reception, my fiance and i have been throwing ideas around and we talked about setting up video games and such. lol.

    Loved the dress

  17. can I just say that your bouquet is AMAZING! and it’s nice o see someone wearing their piercings at their wedding… I’m torn over whether to wear all of mine or not

  18. You know, I’m being completely honest when I say that this is probably my favorite wedding that I’ve seen on this website. I was absolutely blown away when I read that you planned this in three months because I was so impressed by how coordinated and immaculately lovely everything was, even down to the last small details. You look like a wonderful couple and I wish you the best of luck with your lives together! 🙂

  19. Can you tell me where you found the how too for your bouquet?
    I am getting married in two months and really love it.

    thank you do much.

    Also, I agree with the other ladies. This is definitely the coolest wedding I have seen so far. I love the black dress and the blue accents on everything. Very inspiring.

  20. thanks so much for all your comments guys:o) it makes my day!

    my mom actually made my bouquet. i sorta told her what i wanted it to look like, but she put it together. i am having her type up some directions, and she’ll send them to me soon! i’ll post it ASAP!!

    • first off these are amazing pictures!! I hope my wedding is a tiny bit as creative and unique as this! Were did you get the ceremony shoes from? The blue and black shoes? i’ve been looking for something like this for two months now, HELP ME!!!

  21. Everything you both did is absolutly beautiful!! I would have to agree with a lot of the girls that have commented that this is best wedding I’ve seen to be done in just 3 months! I loved the converse’s, your dress, and the colors went perfect together. Thank you for the great advice because I’m doing DIY too. I LOVE your invites and the save the dates! Great inspiration and even my fiance loved them! I don’t want a traditional type wedding either and you’ve proved it’s capable of happening and be as beautiful as you make it! Congratulations!

  22. love the pics they are amazing i was goin to ask if it was hard to get your wedding that unique and get the things you need cheap because i am bout to get married and me and my fiance dont want our wedding to be anythig but untraditional so if you could please give me some advice on how i should go on with this

  23. Ashley,
    I did a lot of shopping and ‘idea hunting’ at Hobby Lobby and other big craft stores. Most of the time I didn’t know what I was looking for, but things caught my eye that I liked, and I thought, “what can I do with THIS?” Sometimes shopping for inspiration works better than shopping for ‘things’.

    Plan it as if you’re not planning a wedding. Think about your favorite things (and your guys’). I think that’s why so many weddings are ‘traditional’ –because girls plan their wedding on ‘weddingey’ things. Plan your wedding on your favorite things. Do you like coffee shops? Have a coffee bar at the reception. Do you love thrift store shopping? Have your guests bring a thrift store boughten item that reminds them of you as a cool way to ‘sign into your wedding’ instead of a guest book. Look at your closet, what do you wear a lot of? What patterns, what colors, what styles?

    As far as getting things cheap, don’t shop in the wedding aisles or at wedding stores. They jack up the prices. If you online shop, search tons of online stores before you order. There are so many online stores that sell the same things, but have totally different pricing. Look around for the best price.

    If you get your dress and your wedding partys’ outfits at the same place, don’t be afraid to ask the store for a discount.
    I read about a wedding where the couple mentioned in their wedding programs where they got their outfits and rings, and those stores gave them a break as far as pricing goes, since the couple were ‘advertising’ them.

    Final bit of advice: Read all the profiles and blogs on this website. There are so many great ideas, and so many thrifty, crafty girls here that can help.

  24. Oh my, your bouquet is just perfect 🙂 (actually, pretty much everything is so damned gorgeous – I’m blown away!)

    My outfit is going to be blue and I loved a previous bauble bouquet I saw on here as flowers were never going to do it for me, but thought it wasn’t quite… fluffy enough for me. You and your mum are genius! I feel a DIY project coming on.

    I’m intrigued though – how did you get the lights to light up?!!

  25. oh my gosh! I saw your pictures and was like, wow, that’s a cool wedding, then zoomed in and realized “hey! that’s Casey!”

    Congrats to you both!

  26. Helen,
    the bouquet had battery operated christmas lights in it. tiny ones. the battery back was attached to the handle of the bouquet wrapped in tule. i don’t know if they’re still around to buy or not,…i got them in the christmas aisle in hobby lobby, but i would try going there in looking in the section where they have all the supplies for dollhouse making. i’ve seen those lights in that aisle too.

  27. Hey, LOVE your wedding pics!! You guys are SO cute!! is your man’s vest plain black with no pattern? if so, where did you find it? i’ve been scouring the internets forever (it seems)… but i can’t find one that doesn’t have some kind of ugly stupid pattern on it… any help would be much appreciated… when you’re not busy enjoying the honeymooning

  28. His vest was custom made by this little shop in a small town near where I used to live. It’s called River Junction Trade Company. Here is the website: http://www.riverjunction.com/

    it’s plain. and it wasn’t too pricey either. It’s a small store so give them a call and you can talk to them. Casey’s vest style was a ‘gambler’s’ style or something like that.

  29. your wedding totally rocks!
    how did you make your veil, it’s exactly what i’m looking for!

  30. very cool! i live in iowa city and it so neat to see a ‘local’ wedding on this site 🙂

  31. where did you get your dress from i’m getting married in july of this year n we’re having a hot pink & black wedding.
    It would be nice to get a nice wedding dress.

  32. I love your shoes!
    Do you mind telling me/us where they are from or who makes them?

  33. kari,

    i got my dress from Brides and Weddings Shoppe in Manchester Iowa. I”m not sure if they have a website, but I’m sure you could Google it:o)

  34. Spring,
    the veil was sorta hard. well, hard to explain. i went online and found some instructions with pictures. i even found some good instructions on this website(i’m pretty sure at least)
    i also had a hard time finding the material at fabric shoppes. i ended up ordering it online.
    here’s a couple places to look:


    search ‘russian veiling’ or ‘french veiling’ or ‘netting’

  35. Even though this was posted almost a month ago I keep coming back to look at this wedding because it’s so inspiring!

    Naomi, if you’re still reading comments, would you mind sharing how you designed your postcard invitations? I’m graphically challenged and having a really hard time trying to DIY my invitations.

  36. That’s hilarious! I totally intend to wear the exact same dress (except with red, not blue) and a birdcage veil in black! Attire twinsies! <3

  37. Dina,

    I guess it’s sorta hard to explain how I made the invites. I used Photoshop and InDesign for programs. And I found the swirl graphic on a graphic website. Adobe Stock Photos have lots of cool pictures and graphics you can brows for. You have to pay for them, but it’s worth it. I got my graphics from the newspaper’s graphic site I was working for called Metro Creative.
    I got them printed at Nextdayflyers.com. I’m not sure if that company designs things for customers, but I know a lot of online printing companies also design things for customers, which is worth looking into for something unique.
    I pretty much made all of it from scratch, even the graphic I pulled off the site I colored and manipulated. Photoshop is a wonderful thing:o)
    I’m sure there are a lot of design shops around too that specialize in this area.
    There’s nothing wrong with paying someone to design your invite, and taking the file to have it printed elsewhere. The printing is what can add up.

  38. I love everything about this wedding – the informal style, the meal, the clothes, everything!

    Best of all? THE SHOES!

    Weddings usually put me to sleep. They are always the same! It’s beyond me why more people don’t choose to be creative and do something that reflects their style and personality. Well done!

  39. This is by FAR the most creative wedding I have ever seen. I love the colours you chose, and just everything about it! Where did you get your dress? I absoloutly ADORE it, and would like to find one in my size for mine. I love how you both rebeled against everything traditional about a wedding. No white.. hmm, I think I am going to have to consult Scott (my fiance) about that. I would simply LOVE to know where you got that dress because Scott and I really don’t want to go for a traditional wedding either so I was looking online for black, or red dresses and saw yours instead. I absoloutly LOVE it and want it for my own. I think it would be absoloutly amazing! Plus, I love how you made it so personal. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! 😀

  40. How adorable!
    I really love this, and I can honestly tell this couple is SOOO in love!

  41. Yea Naomi! this is great that your hard work and creativity got featured here!

  42. Guys, you really rock with this wedding, my bf and me are going to marry soon and looking at this wedding was the best inspiration for us. ! LOVE IT!

  43. I love your ideas and style! I'm planning something similar but with different colors other than the blue. These are definitely some of my favorite pictures on this website!

  44. OMG! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! Thank you so much for featuring this. THIS is exactly what I'm looking for for our fourth wedding (long story)! 🙂 You rock Ariel!

  45. Ooh, I claim bragging rights for introducing Naomi to Ratatat, but I have to give her mad props for her use of their song “Loud Pipes” to tremendous effect. It was a really amazing wedding. The cupcakes were also delicious.

    • i just read this comment today. it is true. bryce and his wife shannon have introduced me to a load of great music over the years.

  46. I love your wedding pics! Absolutely amazing! I showed my fiance too since he’s so against black at our wedding due to a “goth stigma”. I’m trying to make a bouquet like yours for my december wedding (I thought the christmas lights and bulbs would be perfect since I’m getting married christmas eve!) but I can’t decide what size diameter of christmas bulbs to use? And what size styrofoam ball base did you use?

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