Name of the couple: Brittany Bayer and Johnny Bradley, both 32
Date of wedding: Aug. 31, 2013
The venue: The Chop Shop in NoDa
Number of guests: 200
The Chop Shop is a versatile venue — from rock shows and EDM events to b-boy battles and a male revue, the NoDa spot doesn't shy away from much. But many newly engaged couples might not consider it a first choice to host a wedding.
Unless you're live music fans like Brittany Bayer and Johnny Bradley and want your big day to be marked by a "rough, dark and gritty" atmosphere. The couple, who moved to New York early in 2013, returned to Charlotte in August to get married on the Chop Shop's big stage.
"We were loving all the industrial music spaces and bars in Brooklyn," Brittany says, "and thought the Chop Shop was perfect for our wedding. We were set on having it in NoDa from the beginning — Johnny and I met at The Sanctuary."
Although Brittany's mom had to get crafty to censor some of the topless graffiti on the walls, the day turned out to be the big party they wanted.
What were you trying to accomplish on your special day?
Brittany: We were going for a Southern-Meets-Brooklyn sort of feel.
How was your wedding/reception one of a kind?
We live-streamed the wedding, so family and friends that couldn't make it were able to see the wedding/party live. The wedding party danced down the aisle in a group to "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. We all danced out while LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" played. The lead singer of the band The Winter Sounds played our first dance ("I and Love and You" by the Avett Brothers) and father/daughter, mother/son dance ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow") on an accordion. The dessert table was an assortment of brightly colored cakes, mini cupcakes, heart-shaped cookies, homemade marshmallows and chocolate mustaches on sticks — the favorite cupcake flavor was strawberry Red Bull. We also brought pickle juice from Brooklyn, and wedding guests took "pickle back" shots (a shot of whiskey, with a pickle juice chaser).
Any advice you'd want to share with couples who want to do a nontraditional wedding?
Have fun! Even if people question you for breaking out of the norm, stick with your gut instincts. Be laid-back about planning and don't stress out. Don't feel like you have to do anything traditional or what's expected at a wedding. It will be more fun for you and more fun for your guests.
Full disclosure: Brittany Bayer is a former CL staffer.