Janet & Joe’s colorful tie-dye and dancing wedding

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 | Photography by Andi Hazelwood
with the cake

The Offbeat Bride: Janet, attorney (and Offbeat Bride member)

Her offbeat partner: Joe, attorney

Date and location of wedding: San Diego, CA — May 10, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Being children of the sixties, we came up with the idea of a tie-dye theme for our reception. We listed “tie-dye” as the attire on our invitation and all but a few of our guests came through. It was so colorful and cheerful. We wore white in hopes that we would stand out in the photos, but we both had tie dye dance shoes.

feet dance



Kristine ball

We met in a swing dance class and have lots of dancer friends, so live music was important. We hired a jazz band who we dance to on a regular basis. My daughter baked our cake which was tie-dye on the inside, in addition to 145 cupcakes, with tie-dye roses on top. I made all of the favors and tie-dyed napkins for guests to use and take home. We did a potluck, which some folks were doubtful about, but in the end worked perfectly. I heard the food was awesome. I was too busy to eat. We hired an espresso bar too, which we loved.

wedding group

Tell us about the ceremony:
The ceremony was held several months earlier for practical reasons, and was in our cantor's office with just family. Two of our kids live in New York and it would have been too expensive to have them fly in twice, so they attended the ceremony via Skype. It worked perfectly. It really felt like they were there in the room. Joe wrote a moral contract which we signed in addition to the license. Although a member of the clergy married us, the ceremony was totally secular. We recorded the ceremony and played it on a loop at the reception.


Cupcakes with rose



Bonnie & Nick

J&J Reception-9244

Our biggest challenge:
Our biggest challenge was culling the guest list. We did have several acquaintances invite themselves. Because it was potluck, the food wasn't an issue, but we did worry about too many people for the space. It was cozy, but fine in the end. There were folks who it would have been nice to include but couldn't, which has created a little awkwardness.


Mingle Bingo

My favorite moment:
Having our adult children present was important to us and they all came into town, helped, and got into the tie-dye theme in a big way. Joe's sons were able to bring their partners too. My daughter's partner wasn't able to be there, but we named one of the coffee drinks in his honor. At least he was able to be at the ceremony via Skype.

Friends and family all pitched in to make everything happen and stayed after to get everything cleaned up. My daughter was amazing throughout. Very few brides get the benefit of an adult daughter to share the experience with, and I feel very lucky in that regard. Our children were all so supportive and happy for us, which added nothing but joy to the occasion. Gaining two amazing sons was the best fringe benefit marrying Joe brought.


Samara sings


My funniest moment:
Being dancers, we wanted to make our first dance special. We spent 10 weeks choreographing and practicing a dance to our song, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon.” We chose to have the band play the song and my daughter sing the lyrics. We started dancing and the music was too slow, so Joe whispered, “forget the choreography, we'll just dance.” 10 weeks work out the window in a split second.



J&J Reception-9353

I sewed some tie-dye teddy bears and named one “Bouquet” and one “Garter,” and we tossed those for any guests who wanted to catch.

J&J Reception-9350

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I learned that I could and should trust my instincts. I got negative noise about tie-dye, potluck, the espresso bar, etc. I was able to tune it out and trust my gut and I'm so glad that I did. We made some compromises for the sake of budget, for people's schedules, but not because someone else thought an idea was silly. What's wrong with silly? I love silly. This wedding was about joy more than anything else, and silly is filled with joy.



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Comments on Janet & Joe’s colorful tie-dye and dancing wedding

  1. The joy and the silly come through in spades. I wish I could have invited myself – this looks like it was a blast. A neon blast!

  2. I love the laid back-ness and togetherness of this wedding! I also found it hilarious that you guys ditched your choreography! Great job!

    • Thank you. I couldn’t believe it when Joe whispered he was ditching the choreography after all the effort we had put into; but no one else knew what we had practiced so didn’t know we were doing something different.

  3. Love it!!!! One of the best weddings I’ve ever seen. Looks like it was so much fun!

    • Thank you. What a great compliment! We had a ton of fun, both in planning and in actually partying.

  4. Janet! This is amazing! We’re having a tie-dye wedding too, so I’m stealing almost all of these ideas. I hate the idea of the garter toss (why are paper plates seen as tacky and that is not?!) so I’ll be throwing a tie-dye penguin that I’ve been looking for a reason to buy. Thanks!
    Also, I love “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”! I’ve long thought about singing it to my fiancee at my own wedding. We’ll see.
    I love the idea of everyone else in tie-dye, but I doubt I can talk most of my fashion-forward family into that. And I would show this whole wedding to my fiancee, but I’ve already had to talk him out of renting a full-on tie-dyed tux (actually, I’m pretty sure I said “If you can find it and stay in budget…” which is a super dangerous thing to say to him, oops! Guess I better learn to love clashing tie-dye patterns). I don’t dare show him that pic of the gentleman in tie-dye top and pants.
    The cake is fantastic also. Thanks for posting and reminding me that my wedding should not be about anything anyone else would want.

  5. Suzie–I love the sound of a tie-dye tux. Easy to do too, just get a white one and tie dye it :). But, I can see that that might be over the top. If I were to have done anything differently though, I would have had us in tie-dye too, instead of the white. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions about any of my tie-dye sources, or if you have a need for any tie-dye fleece. I have a lot because that’s what we used for our tablecloths. Looking forward to seeing some pictures from your wedding–what’s your date?

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