Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Collecting & Developing Ideas: Shooting Range Wedding

I received an e-mail from a kindred spirit who is planning a wedding in San Diego. She and her partner are trying to work within a $2,500 budget. Here's what she says about the search for a venue:

We had settled on one place that required little decorating but was $1200 PLUS they required the beverages be professionally catered.

Then the idea came from my fiancee's parents (retired San Diego Police Department) to have the reception at the hall at the shooting range. Yes, the shooting range. The place is at the right price (free), plus we would have no time restrictions, and we can bring our own alcohol. Now I want to make the best of it and come up with creative ideas for decorating the place and incorporate a little bit of the shooting range theme in to it.

And she would like our help coming up with ideas! I'm psyched to help out; this wedding sounds like it will be so meaningful, memorable, and downright fun!

I know from personal experience that trying to find a wedding venue in a popular city can be a NIGHTMARE. There are typically Wedding Industrial Complex predators everywhere, waiting to get signed contracts from their most recent prey. I don't mean to sound overly dramatic because clearly not every wedding venue is evil, but so often the word "wedding" means that everything has to be more expensive. Once a venue starts requiring that you use their alcohol or their catering services, the costs can skyrocket.

And the truth is, there are very few MUSTS associated with planning a wedding. Aside from marrying someone you want to be with for the rest of your life, there really are no rules. You don't have to wear white if you don't want to (or even a dress, for that matter). You don't have to dance. You don't have to wear a garter. You don't have to have flowers (unless, of course, you want to!).

Although you may get a strange look (or two or three) when you try to explain any unconventional choices that you and your partner make for your wedding, going your own way can be absolutely worth it. You can craft an experience that feels more authentic and more fun.

So, without further ado, let me try to brainstorm some ideas for the shooting range theme:
  • First, I think the invitations and wedsite (if you have those things) are an excellent way to introduce the theme early. I think a clever phrase and a cute picture could work together perfectly. Something like, "We're aiming for a lifetime of love and happiness. Please join us as we celebrate our marriage." Or "We're gunning to get married. Please join in the fun!" You could weave shooting references throughout the invitation and wedsite with phrases like, "You only get one shot; we hope you're able to join us for this special day!" I also think it would be fun to play with the theme in the attire section of your wedsite by saying something like, "Bullet-proof vests not required."
  • In terms of decoration, targets come to mind. You could make target place mats for centerpieces by gluing together concentric circles on a circular base of cardstock. Perhaps you could make paper bunting of circular targets and string it all around the room.

Those are my ideas for now, but hopefully more people will take a shot (cheesy pun, intended) at coming up with additional ideas in the comments!

Please share your ideas!

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Nora said...

You could turn the target idea into more of a cupid idea...pink heart shaped targets with an arrow in the center. Or maybe not even so literal, and just go with cupids heart/arrow idea.

Or you could make it kind of southern/cowboy themed...red checkered table cloths, ball jars for drinks, photo booth with fun hats, toy guns, lassos, casual southern style food, moonpies as favors.

OR! Bonnie and Clyde themed...

Sara @ House Bella said...

How do you feel about Old West? Not super cheesy old West, per se, but classic, vintage Old West? Something like : http://www.underconsideration.com/fpo/archives/2010/02/a-cowboys-dream-identity-not-finished.php

Jessica said...

I like the Old West/saloon theme mentioned above. The Western style save-the-dates/invitations are very popular right now and can be easily played with.

lizzie [love your way] said...

i love the target decorations idea! you could do something kind of mad-men-ish meets james bond? 40's style smoking gun (roger rabbit style) invitations and come up with a cute little gun/bonnie'n clyde/italian gangsta theme slogan to tie in the guns!

Sandra said...

I love all the ideas! Thank you for the post & suggestions! Wedding is still 1 yr away, but I will take pics & send them!

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