The Offbeat Bride: Emily, Graphic Designer & Studio Artist (and OBT member “TheSueb“)

Her Offbeat Partner: Ian, Musician

Location & date of wedding: The Loring Pasta Bar and Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN — 9/20/08


What made our wedding offbeat: Our ceremony was in a restaurant that was shut down for a few hours. My girls and I walked down a giant staircase and the ceremony was held on a small stage. The best part is that we can relive our wedding anytime we want just by going out for dinner or drinks! I walked down the aisle to the “Bridal March” which transitioned into “Cum on Feel the Noise,” by Quiet Riot played on the violin. My husband and I left to bagpipe music (a tradition in his family).


Both of my parents have passed, so my brother & sister walked me down the isle. I carried photos of them on my bouquet and wore a locket of my mother's that has a picture of her on thier wedding day and my dad straight out of the army. Both my engagement ring & wedding band were “recycled” family diamonds. My rings contain diamonds from my mother, grandmother and his grandmother. We designed the settings together.


The reception was in an old theater. The entire venue was light by candelabras on each table, strings of lights and stage lights. The favors were homemade caramels and temporary tattoos with our names & the date on them. Neck tattoos were very popular, especially with my husbands step-grandmother!


Throughout dinner we had several of the husband's professional musician friends get up and play for us as wedding presents. We had six very different musical acts during dinner. Then my husband's band got up and played a few songs (including Johnny Cash's “Folsum Prison!”), then we closed it out with a cover band that our officiant leads.


The best comment of the night was when a good friend of mine and I were dancing. She stopped in mid shimmy and yelled “Is that your f$*king priest?” Our families that usually don't get to see live music loved every bit of the reception and were thrilled with all of the music.


We refused to spend money where we didn't have to, so I designed, printed & assembled all of the invites, programs, set lists, thank yous and temporary tattoos. My mother-in-law made over 300 caramels and froze them in the months before the wedding. We bought all of our flowers for $125 from a local farmers market and had family members arrange them. Finally, we asked our musicians to play as a wedding gift to us, so we didn't spend any money on music either! My bridesmaids wore “any black dress that they felt hot in,” so they could avoid paying $300 for a dress. My bridesmaids made their “Bird veil top hats” that we all wore at the reception. The maids also wore mustaches. They were super foxy.



I didn't bother to buy special “cake cutting tools”, so two days before the wedding we were searching for a suitable knife. My husband was into knifes and goofy ninja gear when he was a kid (numchucks & throwing stars anyone?) So we chose a very ugly and very scary “trench knife” to cut the cake with. We tied a pretty bow around the handle. It was perfect.


We had a photobooth that was a big hit. Our guest book has a copy of the strips with people's comments & well wishes.


When we left all of our guests waved sparklers outside on the street. It was an amazing end to an amazing night.


Our biggest challenge: Because we had so many different musical aspects to our wedding ceremony and reception, it was a logistical nightmare to time everything perfectly.

My husband and his best man are both musicians and thought of everything, including all of the problems that might arise. They found a sound guy that they really trusted and the three of them worked together. We also designated a “Stage Manager” who had the responsibility of finding all of the musicians and letting them know when they were needed on stage. She was a life saver!


My favorite moment: So many!

We didn't see each other before the ceremony and took our photos about 15 minutes afterwards. You can really tell in those photos how excited & in love we are. Those few moments before we joined our friends and family in the reception were amazing.

Watching my husband perform. I had goosebumps. They sounded amazing, the lights were beautiful and everyone was really into it!


My advice for other offbeat brides: The best advice I got while in the early stages of planning, was to “delegate, delegate, delegate!” Friends and family really want to help you, let them! The less you, your FH, your wedding party and parents have to worry about, the better.

Don't stress over the last minute stuff. Just don't. It's not worth it and no one will notice anyway.

During your day – take a second, stop and really “be” in the day. You've been working your butt off, enjoy it!

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Comments on Emily & Ian’s tattooed rocker wedding by candlelight

  1. First off, I hope you don't mind me saying that you are *gorgeous!*

    Secondly, '"Bridal March" which transitioned into "Cum on Feel the Noise," by Quiet Riot played on the violin" is probably the coolest thing I've ever read.

    Lastly, I'm really loving the trend (which I mean in a good way) towards using store bought flowers and making them your own! As someone you used to work in produce/floral, it KILLS me how many flowers get thrown out everyday over one wilted petal πŸ™ πŸ™
    I would love to adopt that tradition myself, but since I'm marrying into an *entire* family of florists and nursery owners, I don't think that'll go over well! That'd be like marrying into bakers and buying a cake from Carvel!

    Anywhoo, congrats & happy marriage to you both πŸ™‚

  2. Absolutely gorgeous, your wedding is definitely one of those I wish I was invited to – it looks awesome, sincere, warm and fuzzy, and super styling. LOVE IT!

  3. great job with all the planning πŸ™‚ I agree – DELEGATE – this is a must and it's really a stress releiver… it's hard for bridzillas to this LOL ____Love the stage!! totally cool.

  4. Yea! Minnesota wedding at one of my almost venues. The Loring Pasta Bar is a perfect choice and I love the thought of a reception at the Varsity. So lovely. And rocking the photobooth. We used the same company for our June 13th wedding and I would recommend them to anyone. Best use of photo money evah. People are so spontaneous and silly behind that little curtain.

  5. sweet! i'm from minnesota too and would have loved to have a wedding at the varsity but we just couldn't afford it. i've been to a reception at loring pasta bar and that was a blast, so i can't even fathom how AWESOME your wedding must have been!

  6. Wow, it never would have occurred to me to have our reception at the Varsity, but what an awesome idea! I mean, the lighting in that place *alone*… venue crush! My hubby and I just had our own (geeky) Twin Cities wedding two weeks ago, but our budget wouldn't have allowed that. (No regrets, though! We loved our venue. πŸ™‚

    Love the marquee!

  7. I also never would have thought of the Varsity, and it's totally perfect! I'm in the Twin Cities as well. πŸ™‚

  8. Getting it out of the way: your dress is amazing and the bouquet is gorgeous! But really, I was incredibly touched by you having the locket of your parents. My father passed away last year (my sister has also declared she will be giving me away) and in planning the wedding I have been trying to find ways to honor him there (I even got a tribute tattoo for him on the shoulder where he would have been to walk me down the aisle). Very beautiful. I'm actually teary eyed.

  9. Will you please do my invitations? It is exactly what I have been looking for!

  10. I love the photobooth! And have thinking about doing one myself – can you recommend a temporary way of doing one? Our reception will be in a restaurant, with a little corner perfect for a photobooth!

  11. I just saw the cake knife! That’s hysterical! Cool wedding and congrats πŸ™‚

  12. I absolutely LOVE the setup you have for the reception! My fiancΓ©e is wanting to play a little with the band(s) at our wedding. This would be absolutely perfect!

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