A Badass Pop Up DC Wedding with Pink Hair and Combat Boots

Because everyone schedules their wedding around a ska show, right?


Maggie, Co-Founder, POP! WED CO and Designer at iStrategyLabs & Steven,CO-FOUNDER, POP! WED CO
sum-up of the wedding vibe: Our wedding was filled with people and things we think are awesome, so we had a really good time.

Planned Budget: $10,000
Actual Budget: A little over $10,000 because we ended up having to include two round trip plane tickets!
Number of Guests: 9


Where we allocated the most funds

Our superhuman-ly amazing photographer Matt Miller! We photographed weddings together for years (starting when we were sixteen), so I was extremely excited to find our wedding photographer. Surprisingly, Steven didn’t really care about photography at all—which offended me personally a little because it’s what I do!—but once he saw Matt’s photos his whole face lit up and he was so happy to have these gorgeous images of our wedding day.


Where we allocated the least funds

Well, being that we’re huge popup wedding fans, we wanted our wedding to be about having an amazing time together, with a small group of people. Turns out that once you cut out the giant dinner part of a wedding, it’s hilariously easy to save money. Our $10,000 budget felt luxurious for a wedding of ten people! And then of course we went a smidge over budget because we had to get two plane tickets unexpectedly. But still! Oh, and also, my wedding band was something like fifty bucks, 3-D printed from Shapeways in silver! Very cheap. Very pretttty.


What was totally worth it

Honestly, everything. We got everything we really wanted, and we worked with vendors we superloved. We talked about spending around $10,000 because we wanted the day to feel more special than normal, but we didn’t want to spend a house down payment’s worth on a wedding.

Plus, we wanted to get married on the day our favorite band (The Pietasters) played their annual show, so we could celebrate with ska, and that date happened to be in January. In DC. Not only was it in January, it was that one weekend, in between the two “unseasonably warm” weekends, when the temperature was “high of seventeen degrees, feels like zero.” That was our wedding day! But… the ska was worth it.

What was totally not worth it

I don’t think there was anything that we felt like was a waste of money. Except if you count the many wedding bands we each bought before finding something we liked, which was a little crazy. But hey, it’s a piece of jewelry you wear forever, so you have to find something you love, right?


A few things that helped us along the way

We talked a lot about the “minimum viable wedding,” which for us was a few of our favorite humans, a cool location, rad outfits, and an insanely good photographer. Once we had all of that stuff, we came up with some fun projects to make our wedding feel more like “us,” as bonus extra-awesomeness. Since we thought of all that stuff as extra, we weren’t stressed about it at all!

A couple weeks before our wedding, Steven designed me a wedding band and had it 3-D printed through Shapeways (for like ten bucks!), and he made me the coolest bouquet ever with paper flowers, a vintage camera, and a GoPro inside that I completely forgot to use the entire day.

My best practical advice for my planning selF

Don’t take a chance on the dress! And by “the dress,” I mean don’t take chances with the two or three most important things to you—one of which, for us, was my dress. I gambled by ordering my dress on Etsy having never seen a photo, because I really wanted to feel good about all of our wedding purchases, having things made by independent artists, and plus it was super affordable. But the vendor totally flaked on me, and then finally delivered the most horrible dress I’ve ever seen (the boobs looked like something out of the Little Mermaid—insanity), but since she’d delivered it, Etsy said I couldn’t get a refund, which was a bummer. Luckily a friend stepped in and saved the day by introducing me to Hannah Pagan, an amazing dress designer and crafter, and my amazing dress was ready two days before our wedding! (whew)


Favorite thing about the wedding

So many things! I loved getting ready at our house, especially so our tiny/evil cat could be included a little. Taking portraits with Matt was really fun, he’s such a goofball (and goofballs are THE BEST)! And then seeing The Pietasters that night to celebrate was heart-burstingly awesome. So many of our friends came by to say hey and high five us! And what better way to celebrate than a damn good ska show?


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