4363916161 c5bb88f377 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)The Offbeat Bride: Tanith, Aspiring Romance Novelist (and OBT member “TanithRice“)

Her offbeat partner: Darius, Youth Case Manager

Location & date of wedding: The Crofoot Ballroom, Pontiac, MI — Aug. 14, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: I never dreamed of being “princess for the day,” and good thing too, because our budget simply wouldn't allow it. I knew right away that I wanted an intimate affair with only our closest friends and family and since me and my hubby were the only ones paying for our wedding we did everything OUR way. 🙂

4363916019 7455c4ec6e m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)We opted for a garden ceremony with our own personal vows. And even though my hubby had four men standing with him (and rightfully so) I chose only to have my dearest friend; forfeiting well proportioned pics — no human decorations here! I donned my yellow (bridesmaid) dress (the exact same color as the wedding party), jumped the broom, and grooved back up the aile to the sounds of Mos Def and Talib Kweli's Beautiful.

My reception was held in the three-level Vernor's room of the Crofoot Ballroom. It suited me and the hubby perfectly as it had a jazzy/art gallery/poetry cafe' feel to it. We never chose a first dance and spontaneously danced to his little brother's A cappella dedication to us. The top floor had pool tables and we provided decks of cards for the tables as well. It was a very laid back affair.

4364657940 0b17131e5a alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was the DJ not having our music. We are both HUGE music fanatics so, to us, this was terrible. Basically we just had to suck it up. Luckily we had made CD'S as our favors and some of the songs we wanted played were on it, so we popped one open and kept it moving.

4364658388 5079a3687d m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)Honestly, we were so happy that we were actually married that nothing could ruin our day. In retrospect I still can't believe that I wasn't pissed, lol. Maybe it's because I planned for a marriage and not a wedding/reception.

What were the most meaningful moments of your wedding?: The most meaningful moment of my wedding was when my husband was reading his vows — at one point he said that he no longer wanted to read what he had written and began to freestyle it because he was so caught up in the moment.

Also jumping the broom was very special to me as a way to honor my ancestors. It was a fun little add on at the end.

It was also important to me to be outside surrounded by the beauty of nature, to me that added to the spiritual experience. It was lovely to feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun, to hear the birds chirping and to look out and to see all our loved ones supporting our journey.

4364658896 d587136e39 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)My advice for other offbeat brides: My advice to all the brides is to go with what makes you happy. Even if you are on a tight budget you don't have to sacrifice style. Because I didn't want to pay tons of money for a dress that I was only gonna wear once I bought a bridesmaid dress which made a big difference! Instead of designer jewels I went to my everyday favorite (Forever 21) and got what I think was the perfect jewelry to compliment my style. Also, don't get easily discouraged. When one door closes another opens and nine times out of ten it has better stuff behind it.

4363916107 c169c7cdfb m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)If it's something that you just can't compromise (for me it would be the music) you might want to shell out the cash for it. My DJ got burglarized the day before our wedding and because of that we didn't have many of our songs, NOT COOL. 🙁 Other than that it's really nothing I would change.

People kept asking me why I wasn't stressed and it's because I kept in perspective what the day was actually about. I knew no matter what went wrong I would marry the love of my life so that alone would make my day perfect!

Another thing that made us feel good was that we donated all the left over food to the local shelter. It felt good to know that we were providing a good meal to others without any exchange.

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!:

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Comments on Tanith & Darius’s laid back, Motor City recession special wedding

  1. I really love this. The advice that you are planning a marriage, not a wedding, is so reassuring.

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous. Beautiful dress and jewelry. Each picture, as it came up, became my new favorite.

  3. "When one door closes another opens and nine times out of ten it has better stuff behind it." Wise woman! And a gorgeous weddign!

  4. Lovely! That dress is more flattering than any bridal gown would have ever been. You positively glowed! The wedding party looked wonderful. Much happiness to you and your groom 🙂

  5. Oh this is so lovely!!!….the buttery yellow looks fab on you!!! You have such a charming sense of style and a laid back attitude.

    And, i'm delighted to see an african-american couple. I know OBB prides itself on being the place people with "different" ideas about weddings can get support and i just can't help but to note how few minority couples/brides are actually on the site and members of OBT (is there a website that serves minority wedding interests/aesthetics better?). The more diversity we see/experience, the richer all our lives become.

    Thank you for sharing your wedding.

    • As an african-american, I find that websites that serve minority wedding interest/aesthetics are boringly mainstream. This is one of the few wedding websites that are interesting and fun!

      Also, I'm certain that it is not intentional that there are few couples of color on this website – couples of color that are offbeat just haven't gotten over here yet! it can be really difficult to be a double minority in this society (black/goth, asian/steampunk, etc.). I think that as more people hear about it, that more people of color with check it out and get into it. I know of a few black couples who LOVE the stuff on here – they're just not at the point of getting married yet!

      • I agree with what you've said here.

        Once again, your wedding was beautiful. I can tell by your response, you're a beautiful & thoughtful person.

    • Oriah, we're delighted too.

      I share your frustration with the lack of ethnic diversity on OBB — it's something I've written about numerous times: http://offbeatwed.com/2008/10/offbeat-bride-div

      We have a tag dedicated to offbeat couples of color (http://offbeatwed.com/tag/offbeat-couples-of-co… and we're always on the lookout for nontraditional weddings featuring non-white couples. Much of the content we feature on OBB is submitted by readers — and we make a very pointed effort to prioritize any and all non-white/non-het content we receive. In fact, it's something we take so seriously that we've been accused of "tokenism." *sigh* Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

      Anyway, this is all to say I agree with you whole heartedly, and just know that it's something we think about a lot.


      • I wasn't dinging OBB….hope i didn't come off as being critical. It's so hard to get tone via text.

  6. I loved that you walked out of the ceremony to Beautiful, I love that song 🙂

    Gorgeous couple, gorgeous wedding!

  7. I love your dress. Can’t believe its a bridesmaid’s dress! Just devine 🙂

  8. Wow, that is one gorgeous looking wedding party, and one smokin' couple! You may have not wanted to be a princess, but I think you definitely out-glammed red carpet stars. 🙂

  9. Congratulations! You give some of the best advice I have ever heard! And I love that you had an "uneven" wedding party. The dress you chose is gorgeous too! Love it all!

  10. The color combo you chose is AMAZING. The warmth in your words totally shines through in the pictures, too! Congrats.

  11. What a beautiful couple!! I love how down to earth and reasonable this couple was in planning their wedding.

  12. You two look wonderful together and that yellow dress really complements your beautiful skin tone and adds such a lively light feeling to your pictures.

  13. Congratulations! I love how relaxed you seem. Your wedding was absolutely gorgeous.

  14. love it! I'm on my way out the door to raid the clearance aisle at a party supply store…thanks for the reminder that we are planning for a marriage, not a wedding/reception. Love ya!

  15. Both of you guys are beautiful inside and out, and what more than a beautiful wedding to match your spirit. I wish you all the best and many years of prosperity. Love yall!!!!

  16. I am totally in agreement about the planning a marriage not a wedding/reception comment! I will have to snag that for people who ask me about my wedding!

  17. Such an inspiring and beautiful wedding! 🙂

    "Maybe it's because I planned for a marriage and not a wedding/reception."

    That is wonderful, and definitely something of a mantra for everyone!

    "People kept asking me why I wasn't stressed and it's because I kept in perspective what the day was actually about. I knew no matter what went wrong I would marry the love of my life so that alone would make my day perfect!"

    I agree with this whole-heartedly. Good for you for staying stress-free, and I hope I can maintain my stress-free planning and have a stress-free wedding. I've told people over and over, even if all our plans fall through, I'm still going to marry that man on May 15, and that's all that really matters for me.

  18. I LOVE the idea of the bride and bridesmaid wearing the same color, but the bride having the longer and more ornate dress. And beautiful flowers!

  19. Yes! Michigan! That's great that you had the favor CD's to play. And that you didn't strangle the DJ for not doing his damn job. 🙂

  20. Love love love the dress and the necklace. The color is absolutely divine on you. And I also really like that you donated your leftover food to people who really need it. Nothing bothers me more than food that gets thrown away… esp. at restaurants and catered events and the like. Such a waste! I'm glad you put your leftovers to good use!

  21. This is beautiful, I really love it! The love in your pictures just SHINES through 🙂 Congratulations to you both and much kudos for your awesome attitude!

  22. It is so nice to see an authentic, heartfelt wedding on here… such a rarity! Looks like you had such fun and that you beautifully created the beginning of a wonderful marriage- not just a pretty day to just get photos and look OMGCOOL! Not that you and your wedding weren't beautiful because you totally are! Best wishes to you, Tanith!

  23. Thank you all for your warm comments, you guys certainly put a smile on my face today 🙂

  24. Your groom started freestyling his vows?! How awesome and fun is that?!

  25. I loved the color scheme of this wedding. The dress is really pretty and oh so flattering. I liked how this wedding looks great and really kept it low budget (without it looking like it) with the bridesmaid dress and F21 jewelry. I'm always more interested in weddings that are cool without it costing a fortune. I'm inspired and I will be donating my leftover food as well (thanks for the tip).

  26. Freestyle wedding vows=awesome. Your wedding really resonated with me on many levels: the jazzy/gallery space, poetic/hiphop elements. Grown and sexy without being stuffy. I'm totally forwarding this to the fam that can't "see" what I'm getting at. And BIG KUDOS for staying calm about the DJ situation. I pray I could be so mature!

  27. Congratulations! You are so right in planning a marriage, not a wedding. I got lots of comments about not being stressed, and really, why should you be? Marrying your beloved in front of those who love you…it gets no better than that. Kudos on keeping everything in perspective. Well done, you! Best wishes for a long and happy life together!

  28. "In retrospect I still can't believe that I wasn't pissed, lol. Maybe it's because I planned for a marriage and not a wedding/reception." That is the most wise and thoughtful statement I've ever heard from a bride! What a lovely sense of perspective and appreciation. Gorgeous wedding… both of you look so happy and the love shines through. Congratulations!!

  29. I'm in the Detroit area starting up my own alternative wedding coordinating biz, and was soo excited to see you held it at the Crofoot Ballroom – I can't wait to help someone create a wedding there! It's such a neat space, and I think the Vernors room is my favorite too 🙂

    • I loved it!!! Out of all the places we considered I'm elated that we found the Vernor's room, it was no question after we viewd it!

  30. What a BEAUTIFUL wedding. I admit, I couldn't seem to click fast enough because oh em gee there's a couple who reflect what me & my so look like. It's totally not a slight to the OBB or OBT for that matter, it's just like winning the mini-lotto to see minority weddings that do things against the grain. I don't know how those of us who feel this way can possibly express it without offending someone else 🙁 either way, congrats to Tanith & Darius and I wish you all the best!

  31. Thank you all for the comments, this bored will forever be held dear to my heart!!!

  32. This wedding was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! She was the least bit stressed- and the whole day went by as smooth as ever. Which made it a lot easier for me :p Tanith has the most amazing ideas and she is the epitome of ' a stylish and classy woman who makes things happen!' Luv ya

  33. This is my favorite offbeat wedding yet! Full of class and straight from the heart. Congratulations and thank you for a great example.

  34. I am having my reception in the CroFoot Ballroom, but my first love was the Vernor’s Room. Did you use the Vernor’s or the Ballroom? How did everything work with the 3 floors, if you did go with the Vernor’s? Any decorating tips?
    Also, where did you have the ceremony? The photos look beautiful!

  35. I LOVE your dress! That color is gorgeous!!!! Lovely wedding and you seem to have had such a great attitude about everything! Congrats to you and your husband!

  36. Congratulations on your marriage! I found this site a while ago and this is my first comment ever. I am in love with your wedding. I want to steal it! I have always wanted a laid-back affair that was still classy and you hit the nail on the head for me with this one. P.S. You are a gorgeous couple!

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